Loneliness, Japanese style.
This is beautiful. I love what your friend said about music. It reminded me of something Davey Havok said, “Don't let anyone, even your parents, break you. Find good people who care about you and surround yourself with just them. If you can't find them at first, find good music and fall into it, let it hold you until they come.” 💗
Hopefully with continued study and practice, at some point your friend's language skills will click - it would be lovely to see how their experience changes, if the culture bursts open to them, when they are able to communicate.
Please suggest that your friend open a Substack. That was a wonderful piece.
If there's one place in the world that I would take solace in being alone in, it would be Kyoto. A truly magical and meditative city and surrounds. I ache to return there some day.
A lovely read, thank you to your friend for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this! I have been an expat since 2017 and I can understand wanting to integrate and making the effort only to realise that locals don’t need new connections. Please tell your friend that I would love to connect with her and be a pen pal ;)
This is a beautiful perspective! I felt this deeply and anyone who has moved away from their formerly familiar surroundings can relate to💞Thanks to you and your friend for sharing this!💜
Beautiful. I have great memories of Kyoto. Funny, even on holiday, I felt this solitude. Maybe it’s a sort of peace? The hidden restaurants. The quiet river. In fact the intimacy of it all made you closer to the few you did encounter. Thanks for sharing your friend’s perspective.
It was very immersive and captured my visual imagination as I read it. What a great little piece of writing from your friend! It's so cool of you to share it with them. Maybe it's time they shared more of it under an alias, as it so deserves to be given a platform for us readers to enjoy. Loved it.
Your friend is a great writer! I love the idea that loneliness is only one side of the story for an expat, while on the other side there’s community. Beautiful post!
As a Brit living in Finland this really resonated. Lovely post and congrats on the Substack recommendation!
Wow this was beautiful. Fascinating insights and beautifully written 👏
Really enjoyed this. Good things come when you share the podium.
Hi! Fellow Substacker in Osaka. Loneliness has become a more beautiful subject to explore by discovering ways of excising the boredom that usually accompanies it.
would love to know how you are going paid. Did you get that 13-digit corporation number that you need to be posting from Japan, or are you using an overseas address to get around that bureaucracy?
Thank you for sharing your friends words. A beautiful post.
Lots to love here and think about but mostly just love the author's first paragraph. So powerful.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, personal experience of your friend. I don't know if it's any consolation, but a lot of Japanese people feel loneliness, like it's culturally ingrained. I hope they meet friends along the way to feel less lonely. Thank you for giving them such a loving space to share their life.