Ohisashiburi desu! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It feels good to be back, though in some sense I’m not really back but rather away. Indeed, much has changed since my last post here. On October 24th, I boarded a plane at Tokyo’s Narita airport and bid a very teary farewell to my friends, colleagues, and adopted home for the past two years. Deciding to leave was not easy, and in the process I found myself grappling with many questions of belonging and place. Although my time in Japan was relatively short, much about my personality – and my way of viewing the world – has changed. Japan and the people I met there deepened my appreciation for community, trust, persistence, mutual respect, and teamwork. And although my family and upbringing in America taught me to be receptive of these values, Japan truly instilled them in me.
For now, however, the time has come for me to return to my family and friends in the States and pursue a new path. Please be assured, this does not mean Shichimi will become inactive. Although I will no longer be writing to you from Japan, I plan to continue exploring this marvelous cuisine and culture from afar. So please stay posted for more musings, photos, and recipes, and thanks for reading, as always.