Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New AFRC coordinator eases culture shock

by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay
35 Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

10/18/2012 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Japan has a unique culture inspired by its nature, historical events, and economy. Despite Japan's cultural beauty, it can be overwhelming. What can people do if they want to ease the culture shock or get their questions answered about Japan?

Taneichi Miyuki, Airman and Family Readiness Center multicultural program coordinator, recently stepped into a new position to provide Japanese cultural information to the base community. Additionally, she coordinates tours, classes and other culture specific events on base.

Miyuki encourages base residents to experience Japan with events like the Survival Japanese Class, where she teaches basic Japanese words and phrases. During a local onsen tour, she explains proper etiquette at the hot spring, which is a popular pastime throughout the country. With help from a Japanese cooking professional, Miyuki also sets up reoccurring Japanese cooking lessons.

Miyuki, born and raised in Japan, knows how important the relationship is between the American and Japanese people and wants to strengthen the bonds, hoping that more will understand their different cultures. She believes many don't try to learn about the culture because of one thing.

"The biggest reason many Americans and Japanese don't learn about each other's culture is because they are not comfortable," said Miyuki. "Many people get nervous and moments tend to get awkward because of the language barrier. I want to find ways to break that barrier so Americans can enjoy their stay in Japan," she added.

Often times, Miyuki quickly and accurately answers questions base residents have about living here. If Miyuki is unsure about a question, she will research it to ensure a completely accurate answer.

"I feel I'm a valuable resource to the base," said Miyuki, "I hope people will come to me for any of their Japanese informational needs."

Miyuki is located at the AFRC in the Torii building. For more information on the cultural programs the AFRC offers, contact her by phone, at 226-4735.

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