Interview with New Yorkers
Learn how other New Yorkers (Japanese and other nationalities) have been surviving in New York.
Spark gave them following questions;
①What did you do in your home country? ②What brought you to NY? ③What do you do in NY? ④what do you like & dislike about NY? ⑤Difficulties you overcame? ⑥The most memorable experience? ⑦Future plan
Tochigi, Japan Since 2009
① Carreer in my home country: I became a model after I graduated from college in Japan. I did not work for a company as majority of Japanese graduates do. But later it got very hard for me to survive as a model so I started working in Nomura Holdings - one of the largest financial companies in Japan.
② What brought me to Ny: It just happend to be good timing for me! I used to wish to study in the US in the future...and I did it in late 30's because I did not want to regret missing out on something I knew I seriously wanted in my lfe.
③ What I do now in Ny: After I resigned from the company, I moved to NY to study English. I spent 4 years in ESL school and transfered to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to study massage therapy. Currently I am taking a master degree course of oriental medicine and acupuncture in the same school.
④Thing I like about Ny: Freedom. People do not try to be nosy here because they mind their own business. Apt room is so warm in winter here.
Thing I dislike about Ny: Apt hunting in Manhattan.
⑤ Difficulty: Afer finding a nice apt, it was difficult to pass the lease application and get approval.
⑥ Memorable experience: Once I was sent to the emergency room at the hospital with possible carbon monoxide poisoning when I got a fire in my apt.....(it was not serious though.)
⑦ Future plan: After graduation from Pacific College, and passing the acupuncture license exam, I would like to have my own small acupuncutre clinic in Manhattan.
Aichi Japan Since 2013
①Career in my home country: After graduating highschool in Japan, I studied acupuncture at acupuncture school and got a license. I worked in an acupuncture clinic for 6 years in Kanagawa prefecture, and then I moved to NY.
②What brought me to NY： After 6 years working experience in the acupuncture clinic, I seriously thought about opening my own clinic in my home town...but I changed my mind. I had a dream of coming to NY to get NY state license of acupuncture. I made a huge life decision to make my dream come true.
③What I do now in NY： ESL student. I am now preparing to transfer to acupuncture college, which was my original purpose to move to NY.
④Thing I like about NY： The whole entire city is filled with energy which always gives me motivation to do my best and focus on what I really like.
Thing I dislike about NY： People here seem so cold and stressed out. It is a bit hard to keep our mind calm and peaceful. (I think that is because everybody in NY is surviving so hard.)
⑤Difficulties： Earlier when I arrived in NY, it was hard for me to understand English. Understanding and accepting another culture is not that easy yet cultural differences are interesting though. It's one of the difficulties I face in this melting pot where so many different nationalities are living together.
⑥Memorable experience： I was seriously about to give up life in NY and go back to Japan because I was having such a hard time making any progress in acupuncture school admission and license application process. This was because of the lack of info about acupuncture school. When I was 90% determied to go back to Japan, I got to know about Pacific College though my friend and luckily I met Ai-san there!! It seemed like fate to me to know her. Meeting her completely made me change my decision to go back to Japan. I feel now that it's possible for me to get NY license and start having a positive thought again for continuing my NY life.
⑦Future plan： Short term goal is entering to the acupuncture college to get a license and long term goal is after getting a license in the future opening my own clinic. I know it will be a long process. Once I make my dream come true, I would like to provide my acupuncture treatment to busy stressed out New Yorkers and give them time and space where they can feel released from the stress of NY life. I want to introduce the gentle Japanese style acupuncture to the community.
Tokyo, Japan Since 2009
① Carreer in my home country: Music teacher
② What brought me to Ny: I wanted to push myself to the limit to challenge my carreer as a musician in NY.
③What I do now in Ny: Musician, singer, composer. Every Sunday I perform in Central Park.
④ Thing I like about Ny: NY is a musician friendly place, where so many people are supportive and understanding of music. Thing I dislike about Ny: Subway!!!!
⑤ Difficulty: During my first half year in NY, I suffered from surviving on a tight budget where I needed to pay tuition for ESL school and high rent fee. I really could not afford anything extra. Only once a month, I could spend a bit more than usual to eat Chicken over rice..gosh, it tasted really good to the death!
⑥ Memorable experience:When I was performing in Central Park, Josh Groban came across me...and in front of him I sang his popular song "You raise me up". I felt like " ohh it's just like a moment in the movie or something. "
⑦ Future plan: Continue as a solo singer (shigemasaland.com) while also growing my own original music band "72nd Street". I am very excited to meet new people through CD recording and live touring in different places in 2015. I am actually a very shy guy, but music always gives me the courage and opportunities to open my heart to connect with so many people!
① Carreer in my home country: Radio DJ, Narrator, MC
② What brought me to Ny: As I travled to NY again and again, I fell in love with this city to move here.
③ What I do now in Ny: I am studying English and also taking voice training so that I can start my carreer as a DJ in NY just as I was in Japan.
④Thing I like about NY：People here are full of energy. Thing I dislike about NY：Dirty the food is not as tasty as in Japan.（My taste for food has totally changed into natural and organic style.)
⑤ Difficulty: A little later after moving to NY I felt I was dying just to live. I lost the important person I cared about in my life and even without this sad incident it was so HARD just to survive every single day. Yet the reason why I still want to live in NY is that I can be myself here...I feel free. Still I am looking for the real reason why I am here though....
⑥ Memorable experience: Honestly every moment is memorable to me....LOL. If I can pick one...the moment I was moved to tears by gospel music in NY for the first time. Music and the city...I can not live without them. My first experience of amatuer night at Apolo theater was really exciting. I still go there sometimes because I can feel extraordinarily great energies there.
⑦ Future plan: I am fully committed to live in NY forever!! Hopefully I will be able to make a living by what I used to do in Japan. Please check my blog, where I talk about my life in NY.