With an uncle and a grandfather who served as diplomats in Japan, Sean’s first visit in 1985, at age sixteen, was in some ways both precocious and long overdue.  That first trip was a revelation that later led to two excruciatingly difficult years of intensive Japanese language study at university, of which little remains today except some vestigial memory of kanji.  Still, subsequent visits have done nothing to dull that first exhilarating sense of place and it remains, for him, an especially beloved country.

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