Erichan Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi Erichan, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. I was born in the United States and came to Tokyo in 2004 without knowing anything about Japan. I found myself instantly fascinated with the differences between the two cultures and “jumped in head first” with everything traditional. Even the food has been a wonderful discovery! Some of my favorites are 桜肉, くじら, 白子 and 河豚. I love Tokyo and it feels like home now.
- Q. According to your profile, you are from California. Could you tell us a little more?
A. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the heart of the Silicone Valley. My family had dogs, cats, horses and even some “pet” chickens. In addition, I have experienced living as far north as Seattle, in Washington State and as far south as Los Angeles, so you could say I’m a “real West Coaster”.
- Q. I’m interested in your book about “Sento”. What made you publish the book?
A. There are a few reasons. I was first attracted to the public bath because it’s a perfect example of traditional Japan. I quickly found that soaking in the hot water is amazingly vitalizing. After visiting more than 100 locations, (from Hokkaido to Kyushu), I fell in love with the architecture of the old style buildings, the kindness of the people inside and the passion to part-take in a tradition that has existed in Japan (almost unchanged) since the Edo period. We also need to remind ourselves that this business is in its twilight years. Due to the massive closures, and the astonishing rate at which they still continue to close, the once easy to find business in every neighborhood is no longer the case. In summary, I wanted to document the world of sento in the written word and in photography, before they’re all gone.
- Q. In your lesson, “お金を稼ぐ! Make Money!”, what do you talking about? Who is the target of this lesson?
A. ebay is the largest online market place in the world. It not only has auctions like Yahoo Japan, but storefronts like Rakuten. There is a demand for all things Japanese which come from every corner of the world. I want to see Japanese people successful exporting their culture and products to the rest of the world, and ebay is the perfect tool to do so. I humbly say I’m an ebay expert because I have a lot of experience selling from Japan. I want to help people discover what they can bring to the rest of the world through either auction style listings or a fixed priced storefront. This lesson includes choosing the right item(s), how to get paid, how to price, how to ship, etc… Basically what it takes to succeed.
- Q. What makes your lessons special?
A. Because of my varied interests (from history to current events), it comes easy for me to relate to a wide range of people on many different subjects. Furthermore, I have witnessed too many teachers that “like to hear themselves talk”, not giving the student a chance to use the language. I think using the language is the best teacher so I always try to avoid this problem of talking too much. Finally, anytime a student wants to have our lesson sent to them as a digital audio file, they can make this request and I’ll email them the file at no extra charge. These archived lessons are wonderful for their future study and review.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for our students?
A. Dear Student,
I will always make suggestions about additional tools that you can use to improve your level. This might be providing you the link to download the written transcripts of your favorite TV drama, informing you about news programs like CNN Student News or encouraging you to use the podcast on NPR (National Public Radio) and Voice of America. Learning is best done using many different methods, so I will do my best to share with you all the ways I know how.