Mi Bachata En Fukuoka (My Bachata in Fukuoka)

Sekai Itchi Hatsukoi (The World’s Greatest First Love). I believe that this phrase adequately represents my relationship with Japanese language and culture. My love for Japan really blossomed during my childhood years. I can still recall the countless days I would wake up at 6AM during middle school just to watch Sailor Moon.

Through watching ridiculous amounts of anime (Japanese animation) I found that this strange world called Japan was extremely beautiful. From their attention to detail, to their meticulous cleaning habits, to the pink sakura trees, I just couldn’t get enough. It seemed so different from the world of Latin American culture that I was so used to. One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that a very famous Dominican artist named Juan Luis Guerra made a song dedicated to his visit to Japan. It is called “Bachata en Fukuoka.” Never in a million years would I have thought that these two completely separate worlds of mine would collide and work so well together. But to hear him speak Japanese in a bachata, a genre of music that originated in Dominican Republic,  warmed my heart. All I could think was: “I’m not alone! There is a native of Dominican Republic that loves Japanese culture like I do!” Here is the link to the music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4NBD3SqBwg&ob=av2n

And so I decided that my last few days in Japan would be spent in Fukuoka. I took the Shinkansen bullet train from Maibara and arrived there in 4 hours. The first thing that I realized was that it was much warmer than Hikone. (Thank goodness for that it’s freezing over there!) The second thing I realized was that they have a different way of speaking over here! I had just gotten used to hearing Kansai-ben in Hikone, only to come to realize that it is completely different from Fukuoka-ben. Needless to say I was surprised upon getting there.

The reason why I really wanted to go there besides the sight-seeing was so that I could play that song and be in Fukuoka. When I actually did play the song, it was very surreal. “How many times have I wished this?”, I thought to myself. It was an amazing moment for me. And it was the best way that I could end my trip in Japan.

My love for Japan has only grown since my childhood years and through my history and Japanese classes I have come to appreciate it even more. Don’t get me wrong though, it has not been a walk in the park.  We have been through some rough patches and there have been times where I wanted to quit but like all love it required hard work and dedication. I have been dedicated to my studies of Japan since my first year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and I have no intention of stopping.

Japan, I am sincerely going to miss you.

Now, off to South Korea!!! 🙂

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