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LHStoday

Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

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Exchange Student Explains Some of the Differences Between Japan and the U.S.

Anne Fukushima has enjoyed her experience here in the first couple of months
Anne+Fukushima+and+her+little+sister+in+abeautiful+Kimono%2C+Japan.
submitted by Anne Fukushima
Anne Fukushima and her little sister in abeautiful Kimono, Japan.

Junior Anne Fukushima is an exchange student from Yokohama, Japan and in her two months here is adjusting to the American lifestyle. 

Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is in the northwest Pacific. 99.2% of people in Japan have Japanese as their first language. There are still a few lesser-spoken languages across the islands. Fukushima lives more on the countryside. Yokohama, a beautiful city south of Tokyo, was one of the first Japanese ports opened to foreign trade, in 1859. In 2021, 125.7 Million people live in Japan.

“When I was in elementary school, the same aged friends of mine and I almost never had that much of opportunities to interact with people from overseas apart from our ALT teachers (assistant language teachers, native english speakers) and so the act of seeing people from overseas who have different culture from ours itself was uncommon and very refreshing. And I still feel like especially the elderly in Japan are in the very similar situation we had as kids.” Fukushima explained. The extraordinary, amazing Japanese culture has been becoming known to the world gradually over and over. “I think Japan is now being more diverse and such a country that welcomes all the travelers, all those who come from other countries, with great respect and ‘Omotenashi’” (a japanese word which means to wholeheartedly look after guests).

She is proud to be a Japanese person who can also speak English.

Anne Fukushima and the night view of Yokohama city where Fukushima is coming from. (submitted by Anne Fukushima )

“I love Japan and I also love America,” Fukushima said. “America has so many Japanese restaurants.”

Fukushima loves the Japanese culture and the traditional buildings. Japan has four seasons and everything (school, work, …) starts in spring. 

“The school system is different. We start school in April and end in March.” The cherry blossoms in spring are beautiful. On July 7, they celebrate Tanabata, which is called the “Star Festival”. The Tanabata story tells of the annual reunion of two lovers in the Milky Way.

One of the biggest differences Fukushima has noticed in the U.S. are people’s personalities.

“It still depends on people, because every person is different, but American people are more friendly and open-minded.”  Fukushima said, “They talk with strangers in different places and sometimes you can’t really know if the people know each other for a long time. Japanese people are more conservative.”

The differences change her life here in the U.S. She misses Japanese food, but still likes everything she tries here and isn’t bothered by the differences. They change her life in a good way and she can learn a lot of new things from different perspectives. 

“School was one of the reasons I came here,” she explained. Fukushima made a lot of friends here and is very grateful for that. “My way of thinking is to be expanded. But I miss my little sister pretty much, I love her.” 

Fukushima has been in the U.S. for almost two months now and she is happy about the experience and to be here for the year. 

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About the Contributors
Charlize Rossow
Charlize Rossow, Reporter
Charlize Rossow is a junior and this is her first year in publications. She is an exchange student from Germany. Spending time with friends and family is a thing she loves and also playing tennis at Liberty and going to the gym. She likes to travel and to see new places around the world. In the future she would like to do something with traveling or solving crimes. 

Shae Earle
Shae Earle, Reporter
Shae Earle is a senior and this is her second year in publications. She loves going on hikes, hanging out with friends, listening to music and traveling. Besides being with friends, she does throwing events for the school's track team and works at Chick-Fil-A. Shae wants to pursue a career in sports medicine after graduating and is very excited for life after high school.

CJ Jefferson
CJ Jefferson, Reporter
CJ Jefferson is a senior who is an athlete and participates in track. He gets along with people very well and is an open person. He’s moving to Texas for college and staying with his grandpa to get his finance degree. Also a fun fact about him is that he’s been playing the drums since he was 6.

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