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International Voices from Japan: Life in Japan as 架け橋/Bridge builders

  • 21 May 2021
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online
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International Voices from Japan:

Life in Japan as 架け橋/Bridge builders

Friday, May 21, 2021

7:00 PM EDT

Hosted online via Zoom

(Zoom link is in your registration confirmation e-mail)

Visiting Japan is a long-held dream for many who have been drawn in by the charm of its rich culture, highly accommodating people, and range in many different aesthetics. But what is it like to live in Japan? What motivates one to want to live there? What are some of the hurdles one must face when living in Japan for a long period of time?

The Japan Society of Boston is pleased to invite long-term Japan residents Ed Demling, Don Johnson, and Mandy B. Blue to talk about their experiences not only living in Japan, but from the perspective of differing professions, locations, ages, and countries of origin.

About the Speakers:

Mandy B. Blue

Born in sunny Alicante, Spain, Mandy B. Blue became hooked on Japanese pop culture while watching anime as a young girl. The Japanese theme songs to her favorite shows would pique her interest and eventually lead her to dream of a future career in Japan. Cut to today and Mandy has transformed her love of Japan and the Japanese language into a successful career, working as a music artist and model. Based in Tokyo, she has appeared on various variety shows, television dramas, and commercials.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson has lived and worked in Japan for the last 26 years. After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, he initially travelled to Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program in 1994. Since 2000, he has lived outside of Tokyo and worked for such companies as Ricoh and Walt Disney Imagineering where participated in the Tower of Terror and Monster Inc. attraction projects. For the last ten years, he has worked full time in the entertainment industry and has appeared in such films as A Man Called Pirate, Aibo IV, and (briefly) in Shin Godzilla. At present, he can be found in a series of commercials for the developer Takara Leben. In his free time, Don enjoys hiking or snowboarding the mountains of Japan.

Ed Demling

Edward Demling is a Boston native and graduate of UMass Amherst, where he studied Geology and Anthropology.

While working a summer job at the Boston Children’s Museum, Ed developed an interest in Japan through the Japanese House exhibit, and would eventually find his career shaped in relation to Japan thereafter.

Twenty plus years later, Ed is based in Japan, working as a professional translator at a Japanese IT company while translating and consulting for major universities, private companies, and public institutions in professional sports, technical/scientific and legal fields, and other areas. Ed also manages the transition of Japanese professional athletes and performers to the United States, including to the NFL/NBA, by navigating them through the process to acquire a visa and ultimately reach the field of play.   

Ed is always looking to utilize his language skills and cultural knowledge to build bridges, including working with the organizers of the Yokohama World Triathlon, tutoring Japanese Paralympians and others in English/public speaking, and much more. Looking ahead, Ed plans to continue this endeavor in the areas of sport, biotech, and the human future in space. And of course, any time the Boston Pops are in town!


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