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I’ve been a fool. An unjustified fool. I know experience and old age makes us wise, but certain revelations should have come to me sooner.

I didn’t come into Japan with a clean slate; this whole time I’d been basing my observations from opinions I had read before I even arrived. I didn’t allow myself to see Japan for what it was, and to start everything anew.

I encourage people to do research when they want to live abroad, especially in Japan. But… don’t take anything you’ve read to heart. Not even me, I know that now. The blogs I had read back in the states poorly influenced my judgment, and lead me to believe things about myself and myself in this country that I knew were false.

Gaijin (外人) isn’t necessarily an offensive word here; take it as you will, many foreigners use it to describe themselves. But, it’s my argument it is an immature word; the word people use when they choose to stay in their own little foreign worlds while in Japan, ignoring everything the land of the rising sun has to offer.

外人 is for the outcast foreigner… the amateur… the one who doesn’t understand. I don’t want to be like that.

I will leave my previous entries regarding foreigner behavior in Japan, as well as what I believe some Japanese people think about the foreign presence in Japan. However, take them with a grain of salt. I still stand by some of what I said; you can look at the rest as a learning process. Let’s just say being in Hokkaido taught me a few things.

I will change the format, style, and name of this blog in the coming days. Be on the lookout. I am still a runner in Japan. I am still a Japanese Kenyan. With great power comes great responsibility… but, I am Gaijin on the Run no more… no more.