It was in 1990 when I stayed in the U.S.A for a year to learn English. Since the only foreign experience I had had before that was a week-long package tour to China, in which I had almost no contact with local people, I didn't know what to expect from a long stay in a foreign country. I was even scared a little. However, it turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. During that year I learned and grew up a lot. Even though eight years have passed since then, it seems like only yesterday that I would walk all by myself around the town I was staying in, trying to savor the fact that I was actually living in a foreign country. Everything I saw was so fresh and interesting. There was something very simple - yet very important - that opened my mind. Walking by a home I heard the sounds of a family laughing at the dinner table. "This sounds very familiar," I thought. "This is exactly the kind of sound I hear back in Japan." It was then that I learned that people are basically the same no matter where you go - something I thought I knew, but didn't.

Being a multi-ethnic country, the U.S.A gave me wonderful opportunities to be exposed to a lot of different cultures and to make international friends. From these friends I learned not only their cultures, but also, and more importantly, the warmth of people, which led me to become interested in cross cultural understanding. I started wanting to do something on a grassroots level using my experience of living in a foreign country to help people better understand Japan and bridge the gap that still seems to exist. However, my efforts to realize this wish so far has been limited to studying to become a tour guide, and helping friends with their Japanese language on a personal level. So I decided that I wanted to do more. I wanted to reach out to people who are willing to exchange their thoughts on intercultural communications with others and bring those people and Japan closer by providing items that are uniquely Japanese.

I sincerely hope that what I do and sell in this site will, even if it is only a very little, help promote better understanding of this country, Japan.

Thank you.

Junya Yoda

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