Things Japanese Message Board › もっと日本語（あるいは英語）がうまくなりたいあなたへ
Los Angeles, CA
Be it Japanese or English or any other language, it's not easy to acquire language skills and I truly believe we could help each other. You can buy any language courses online, but nothing can help us better than talking with native speakers.
I am thrilled to have another meetup this Sunday where Japanese and American members can interact and help each other.
Thinking about the mutual help, I got this desire to tell you my own little story. Long time ago I was going to a college in Tokyo called Waseda University, and soon after the freshman year started I joined a student club to help foreign students to get adjusted to their new lives in Japan, by tutoring Japanese and helping homework or going to places together. It was so much fun, not only from the activities, but the interaction with people who you wouldn't otherwise encounter in your everyday life. Being a philanthropist I just wanted to help students in need, but it was really great to meet many exchange students from all over the world.
The club held annual speech contest in Japanese by exchange students and some speeches were quite mind-boggling to me who had never gone abroad. I still remember the shock I felt when I first heard the exchange students from Korea and Chinese talk about the oppositions they had gotten from their families and friends in their countries against their decision to study in Japan. Those speakers told us about the warning and the anger they'd received before leaving for Japan, which made them fearful or worrisome, at least skeptical. The anti-Japanese sentiment and the hatred was always there and so obvious... They were told by the people around them who believed that all the Japanese people were so mean and evil. Well, I was relieved to find that the speakers ended the speech with their own surprise to find the sentiment quite meaningless after actually coming to Japan, but the experience of listening to the speech opened my eyes wide. I have to remind you, that it was the time long before Internet, email, and cell phone came out.. Gee, that makes me feel so old now though lol
Anyway, from that unforgettable day in my youth, it has become my passion to help people discover real Japanese, in any way possible. Yes, as in any country there are always people who are not nice, but there are also many other people who are nice, and in my home country it's not hard to find those friendly, welcoming, kind, and thoughtful individuals. I really want you all to have that opportunity one day to discover by yourself.
With the new tension between Japan and its neighboring countries that saddens me, I do hope to offer a little opportunity for our members to meet. We are all human beings who can understand each other. Even if you can't agree, you can still accept how we live our own lives without being judgmental, and it would be such a beautiful thing if we can find some common ground, and in this case the love of things Japanese.)
The venue of the next meetup is large enough and I encourage you to come out and start chatting with your fellow members. Of course we'd like to brush up our language skills, and that would be the main purpose of this particular meetup, but also the most important thing is that we get together and actually meet in person. That's the true spirit of Meetup - online to offline and online again - and I hope you can create new friendship that could last for long time to come and enhance your life in this town, some 5,000 miles away from Japan.
Thank you for reading, and hope to see you soon!
Have a wonderful weekend,