From hate to ❤︎

I was born in the States and had to move to Japan when I was 12, right after seventh grade.

I hated that I had to move.
I hated the fact that I was Japanese because that was why I had to move away from a place I was so familiar with.
I hated the fact that my parents put me in a very strict all-girl private school.
I hated feeling humiliated in this new school because I was academically behind. SO behind.

I used to study Japanese by reading Japanese comic books but I guess that was not enough because I was called into the teacher’s office one day to be told that the scores that I was getting for the Kanji tests were not acceptable.

Kanji is the Chinese characters that we use in Japan… ONE of the characters we use because we also use Hiragana and Katakana.

But this Kanji thing is the one that looks like a little bundle of scribbles and if you miss one tiny brush of a whisker, UNACCEPTABLE.

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I remember thinking…. I HATE KANJI!!!! but I studied it and I practiced it until I was able to read and write these bundles of scribbles.

This memory came back when I was studying to be an interpreter for David Kim’s Yin Yoga teacher training in Tokyo.

I usually don’t teach Yoga in Japanese and I am not an interpreter… but when David asked me to be his interpreter and I instinctively said, “SURE!” I noticed that I had to study Japanese… again.

But as I studied Yoga and anatomy vocabularies in Japanese, I realized how beautiful this language is and how beautiful Kanji is.

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Kanji characters are like a poem because one character has a meaning. For example, I write my last name “Hamaya” 浜家 in Kanji. “Hama” 浜 means “beach” and the character for “ya” 家 means “house” so my last name means “beach house.”

For this reason, studying anatomy in Japanese was not as difficult as I initially thought and I actually enjoyed it. I noticed that certain muscle names or bone names when written in Kanji tells you what it does or where it is just by knowing the Kanji characters.

Not only did i enjoy studying and preparing for this interpreting gig, but I also enjoyed this new experience of being an interpreter in my home country using this beautiful Japanese language.

I am so grateful for that time many MANY years ago that I felt so humiliated that I studied this language.

With only a few more days before I go back home to the States, I’ve noticed that I love this country Japan and I love the Japanese language and of course … I LOVE Japanese food 😋

Join me and Stacie Reeve in beautiful Central California for a Yoga retreat where Stacie will be teaching Yang (flow) Yoga in the morning and I will be teaching Yin Yoga and meditation in the evening. Link for the retreat below ⬇️

http://hamayareeveyoga.com/

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漢字嫌いから漢字❤️へ

またヨガの通訳をしに日本に来た。

通訳するのは去年夏が初めてで今回が2回目。。。今回は6日間で時間も内容も前回より濃くなるということで日本に来る前から日本語の勉強を少し真剣に😠

私は小さいときから勉強は好きではなかった。そんな勉強嫌いの私は幼いころアメリカに住みながらも大好きな日本の漫画を読んでいたのが一番日本語と漢字の勉強になっていた程度。

だから私が12歳の夏に日本へ引っ越し、新しい学校へ転入したときに漢字の読み書きが全然できなくて大変な思いをした。転入して暫くは定期的に行なわれる漢字テストで0点近い点数を何度もとったし、漢字の量がおそろしく多い日本史の教科書を音読すると読めない漢字ばかりで日本史の先生に怒られて日記に先生の悪口を書いたのをよく覚えている。

唯一漢字が少なく自信を持って受けられる英語の授業では先生に「浜家さんは英語は参加しなくていいから後ろで漢字の練習をしてなさい」と言われてしまった。

すると、ある日学校の教頭先生の部屋に呼び出され、「漢字テストの点数が低すぎてこんなことでは困ります」と言われた。

こんなことあって漢字が大大大嫌いになりそうだったけど悔しくてしょうがないから漢字のガリ勉になり一生懸命勉強をし、数ヶ月後の漢字テストでは100点をとり、今度は院長先生の部屋まで呼び出され褒められた。このときこの経験があったからこそ今では漢字の読み書きができる。この経験がなかったら絶対いま通訳なんてできなかった。

今回日本語で解剖学の勉強をしていると「漢字って素晴らしい!!」と感動した。例えば英語ではobliquesという筋肉を日本語では「腹斜筋」と書いたり、肩甲骨の一番先にある部分を英語ではacromionだけど日本語では「肩岬」と書く。漢字がまるで詩のように体のどこにあってどういうものなのかを説明してくれている。

日本語って、漢字って✨素敵✨

通訳は100点から程遠いけど、今までは本を読んだりするのは全部英語だったのを通訳のおかげで日本語をまた勉強したい!とモチベーションが上がった!

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