Tuesday, 9 February 2016


This is hard to write, but even harder to do. We’re leaving Japan. It was not in our plan, but then, so much that happens in life isn’t that I’m not sure why we bother with plans anyway. We’re here until roughly summer, and after that we’ll be heading to sunny/windy/rainy/snowy Tasmania (you’ll understand if you’ve ever visited Tasmania).
It’s not you Japan, it’s us.
Well, it is a little Japan. Tiger needs a change and he needs some support we can’t afford to provide here. We could have tried to find a solution moving inside Japan, but there are other factors, the main one being an extended family situation I don’t want to go into detail about but which requires our presence ASAP. I have a ton of posts in my head waiting to be written down, so I’ll keep the blog going until they run out and then see where we’re at. I don’t know how well we’ll cope with repatriation. I really don’t.
I’ve spent more of my adult life in Japan than Australia.
We came to this decision (as much as it was in our hands, anyway) at the end of summer. Tiger was away at a camp so we sat down that night to hash out the details. We were fast being confronted with the bottom of our very classy $10 bottle of wine when we heard music that just went on and on. Eventually we decided to go and check it out. I strapped Cricket into the carrier and we headed to the park. It was that bruise-purple light somewhere between dusk and true darkness, and a horde of dragonflies hovered at waist height, as motionless as the humid air. A little girl in a yukata called out that she was going to dance and were we dancing too? An old man in his old-man-uniform of dirty-white vest, waist warmer, and plastic slippers complained that the walk across the park was too far. We all ended up at Tiger’s school, where we realised it was the neighbourhood Bon Odori. We’d been too preoccupied to pay attention to the date. We watched the dancers until the purple turned to black and thought about how much we would miss moments like these.
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  1. So sad but it'll be great to see you again

  2. You will miss so many things. Feeling for you. Ive come to terms that life is full of things we miss, and may or may never have again - and full of never feeling truly at home anywhere, even where we come from.

  3. I am currently in New Zealand delivering my daughter to my mother. She has decided that New Zealand high school is the way to go and watching her settle in here I can see that it really is. So much support for people who are "different", so much flexibility. But at the same time it is going to be very hard to say goodbye to her on Monday!
    Despite knowing that it is the best for her, I just can't ever see me living here after my 20 years in Japan. I can imagine how torn you must be in your decision, but for Tiger it really will be the best.
    Good luck in your new life - Japan will always be there waiting for you when the timing is right.

  4. Sophelia and co., life brings us many things. I know that you are going to miss Japan greatly ... and I also know that Tiger and Cricket are going to thrive in Tasmania.

    Please don't stop blogging! We, your friends, have also been through many situations and scenarios in our own lives, and we can lend a listening ear any time.

    You are incredibly strong, Sophelia! Stronger than you know. I am filled with awe.

    Best of luck!


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