I <3 JAPAN: Things I’ve notice since moving to the US!

posted in: JETAADC | 3

Sachiko Tsunoda-Bedford comes from Yatsushiro city, Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan. In July, she married Ryan Giralt Bedford, who worked as an English teacher on the JET Program for 3 years in her hometown, and made the move to Washington, DC. Since coming to the US she’s been going to English classes, volunteering, making friends, and contributing to the JETAADC blog’s “I <3 JAPAN” series.

Since I started living in the US, I’ve found some things that are different in Japan and the US. I’m sure that all of you who were on the JET Program also had some similar experiences J So today I’d like to share three things that I’ve really enjoyed about this country.

First of all, the fashion mannequins.

When I saw them I was impressed because I’d never seen this kind of mannequin in Japan. But here in the US there are different sizes of mannequins and they look so fashionable. When I went shopping with my mom in Japan, she looked at one mannequin and said “these clothes are for skinny people…I want to try them but I can’t wear them. I wish I could lose some weight, ha…….”  In my opinion, fashion should be enjoyed by everyone.


2The second thing I’ve found interesting is the Neighborhood Watch sign. I found one in the Dupont Circle area. It looked scary to me…. hehe. On the other hand, check out a Neighborhood Watch sticker from Kumamoto prefecture in my home country. I’m sure in Japan there are many kinds of designs that look cool, cute, or funny, but nothing like the US logo. So this is a small example of the differences between Japan and the US. But I like it because the designs differ based on the country and culture.

The black bear is called Kumamon and he is Kumamoto Prefecture’s mascot. Lately he has been everywhere! I heard he will be in New York, and he will later give a lecture about Kumamon’s politics and economics at Harvard University in Boston in the middle of November. Good luck Kumamon!




The last thing I’d like to talk about is a sign I saw at a train station in Vienna, Virginia. Can you see the word “Kiss & Ride” on it? I guess the word means that this place is where you get out of your car, see someone off, and give a small kiss.  When I saw this sign, I felt like I’m definitely not in Japan anymore…. haha.




3 Responses

  1. Ryan

    Yeah, the difference between the Neighborhood Watch and Kumamon signs is pretty stark! Although some of the posters at Japanese elementary schools are pretty similar, with guys in shady sunglasses luring students away.

  2. elsa

    I love the kiss and ride signs too! We don’t have that in France. A friend actually jockingly asked for a kiss when he drove me to the station and stopped in front of the sign.

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