Semester at Sea Fall 2006 Voyage
TABLE OF CONTENTS
By Margarita I. Gotay
Japan being a conjunction of islands
gets most of its resources from other countries. Apart from rice and
fish, Japan imports numerous primary and important products for their
daily lives. Entering the port of Kobe, I noticed LOTS of ship
containers and cargo ships coming in and out of the port.
The language barrier is definitely a
sign that states how few foreigners live in the islands (1% of Japan’s
population). Few people knew English; although in some places I visited
with SAS Group, school kids asked us questions in English. They were
very curious about America, and we could understand them clearly. It
seems they have awakened the desire to learn different languages
Food from different places was
accessible. There were Mc Donald’s, Chinese restaurants, Korean
restaurants, Starbucks, 7 elevens, Irish restaurants, an Old England
Pub that served numerous imported beer. I easily heard different types
of international music over radios in bars, malls, and internet
cafes. I heard Spanish salsa in the mall, American pop music in bars,
music was everywhere.
At the Second Chance bar I meet some
Australians who live in Kobe because they studying there. They were
impressed by the number of Americans that where in that bar that day.
They said it wasn’t that common to see so many American people. It
seemed like we were invading the place. At the hotel where we
stayed in Kyoto there was an American lady from Seattle who was
there for business reasons. She didn’t talk to us much, but her
presence reminds us of the migratory flows of capital and goods.
There were signs in English as well as in
Japanese in the train ticket machines, in the bathroom, in the boats in
the port, everywhere. But sometimes the words were misspelled. In the
park near the Hiroshima museum there is a monument for deceased Korean
victims of the bombing, an indication that Koreans are one of the major
group of foreigners living in Japan. In the book where one can put
their thought about the museum there were comments from tourist from
all different kinds of places coming into Japan but I could observe
that many foreigners living there.
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