Hi, this is Maureen. I was a college junior spending the fall 2008 semester in Nagoya, Japan. I created this blog so that my family and friends could keep up with me while I was abroad. I decided to continue it when I moved back to teach English on the JET programme in southwestern Hokkaido July 2011. As of August 2014, I’m back in the US, starting a graduate degree in Epidemiology.

Things are going to be pretty knitting heavy from now on, though there’s always the possibility of a Japan retrospective.



7 responses to “About

  1. Ann

    Hi Maureen…I like your blog, your writing style, your photos, your knitting! Thanks for giving me access. That fan shawl is really impressive…I can’t imagine the work involved.

    I’m looking forward to following your adventures in Japan. Have a great time.


  2. Fantastic blog, gorgeous knits, witty humor – you’re impressive!


  3. Rebekkah

    Hi Maureen,

    I just stumbled across your blog. My name is Rebekkah and I’m from Australia. I’m becoming a CJS student next year at Nanzan University. I was hoping to find out as much information as I could about the place before I headed off…and here I am 🙂

    I’ve read a few of your blogs and I really like the way you write. I also have a blog, but unfortunately I had to delete in Sept 2007 due to a horrible host family I had. (I was on exchange in Japan last year also.)

    Nonetheless, I’m trying to re-make it as such…

    Anyways, I would love to hear back from you. If you don’t mind and if your not too busy I’d love to ask you a few questions also.

    Well enjoy your last little while in Japan!




  4. lee ann

    Hi, I am an Otobe ex-JET. I am currently working in Alaska. They were desperate for someone to help out with their JET interviews today, so I was on the panel. After a day spent interviewing, thought I’d google the town website and came up with yours. I was the JET around 2001-2003. I really enjoyed looking at your photos. It looks like the landscape hasn’t changed much. I used to live in the big mayors ex-house and it was a hoot to see the furniture from there moved into your duplex. Even the office set-up looks the same. The job was a bit different for me because the big junior high didn’t exist. I had 4 JHS and 4 shogakkos. Most of my classes had only 3-6 students each. The new JHS was almost complete by the time I left. Oh…and I remember the sho-gakko ‘fish cutting up’ days. I swear…they haven’t changed their curriculum for ages!!! Hope you are enjoying it!!

    Lee Ann

    • maurimoii

      Oh, how cool! Yes, the sho-gakko in Himekawa closed last April. From what I’ve gathered the JHS were consolidated shortly after you left. The big consolidated school is fun – though some of the Meiwa and Sakaehama students are a little bug-eyed when they go from having 2 yearmates (though their class are combined, 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6) to 39!

      Do you have any pictures from those years? Especially anything from inside the closed schools (Meiwa elementary switched to the Meiwa JHS building).

  5. lee ann

    I think all of my Otobe photos are back in Australia (I am in Alaska at the moment). Himekawa Shogakko should have been condemned years ago! To heat up my lunch, I had to walk thru the part of the school they shut down in winter and use the old home ec room. There were always dead birds and their nests on the floor in there….they came in through the cracks in the walls and fan grills. The huge house they had me in was full of mice in the winter and super fast millipedes in the summer. THe mice used to crawl thru my hair at night and get stuck in the millipede glue traps in the back of the house. At Meiwa JHS I had three classes…each had only 2-6 students tops. However at Himekawa, one of my classes had only 1 student!!! My second year there I noted how many of my English classes were cancelled (superceded by ‘important’ sports days or ‘fish cutting up’ days or ‘clean up litter in the school district’ days. 50% of my classes were cancelled in one year. With all that time on my hands, you’d think my japanese would have been good, but it wasn’t. There wasn’t really anyone to teach me there and you can only go so far with books. I am now taking German at uni and hope to head off there next when I get fairly good at it. Say ‘hi’ to Kudo-san if he is still working in the BOE. I think most of the others have left (maybe Kitakoshi-san and Hattori-san are still there?)

    Lee Ann

    P.S….Don’t you just love those blue/green curtains they gave you???!!!

  6. Lovely blog~ Love Japan and your stories.

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