Naming of things: Nana’s Lawson

I had a dream of living in a city where nobody knew me.

When I came to Sapporo, Japan it was early march. Beginning of spring as one would suppose, but there still were mountains of snow on the streets, short days and long nights. At that time, I experienced some level of (foreign) anxiety. Everything felt heavy and unfamiliar.

My name may seem a bit long, so I decided to use my beloved childhood nick name Nana, which my family and close friends still call me. Just repeat the same syllable twice. Simple. In addition, Nana means “7” in Japanese. Maybe my purpose of coming to Japan was to retrieve my name or even give it a new meaning?

In front of the building I was living, there was a convenience store name Lawson operating 24 hours, 7 days a week. A super sensitive person may even say there is a certain sense of infinity to it. There are many convenience stores scattered all around the city and all of them look almost the same. Probably because I didn’t know any other people from except my work,  I felt some kind of comfort in going there and seeing the same people in blue and white striped clothes.

More than ever I realized I could find a solace in simplicity  and create my own story.

So there was Nanas’ Lawson.

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Question: Why Japan? Everything in its right place

“Why Japan?” is the question I hear the most either here in Japan or back home. Going to live in a country on the other side of the world doesn’t seem to be an easy decision.

For me, Japan was kind of a dream.  I thought about living in Japan for a long time before actually coming here, so it could, but the right place.

Indeed, Japan is a dream. Many people dream about Japan because of it is strikingly beautiful landscapes, unique culture and people. Amazing sakura petal rains, magical temples, manga and anime super planet and delicious food.

Indeed, it is one of the best places for traveling. Living and working here may belong to a completely different universe. In my case, at the workplace I am the only alien and  some of the rules we have to follow require flexibility and patience for someone who finds them unusual. I have no choice but to adapt, accept all my differences and at the same time try not to stand out too much.

“When are you coming back?” is the second question.

How long should I stay? When should I leave? Is it early to go home? Is it late to go home?

Dreaming a dream and living a dream may be very different things. In any case, I realize pursuing a dream may not come easy. It may be a very hard work and it takes a lot of patience.

Fortunately there is a reward.

During one year living here I feel I learnt so much and I realize there is still so much to learn. I am glad I pursued my dream. For instance, as my Japanese language level is progressing (still love fighting!), with each time it is much easier to communicate. I have also met the most wonderful people while being here. Being here taught me to learn to be more flexible and understanding. We are human after all.

Dream is a challenge.  I realize now I have other dreams and maybe something new to discover. This is not a final destination, but a journey.

Everything in its right place.


Feature picture: The Gion Shrine in Snow, Utagawa Hiroshige, in 1834

Changes and wildflowers

Changes are free. Wildflowers are free.

I want changes and wildflowers.

I want all things which are free and relentless.


Lately I have been thinking that I need a big change. Not just a change, but a Big change.

It has happened before. Maybe this change is already taking place, yet I don’t really notice it.

How do changes occur?

Are we conscious of changes within ourselves?

No matter how hard we try is there something we cannot ever change about ourselves?



(Photo taken near Furano, Hokkaido, Jp)