On the complex relationship between learning a language and being in the world

(CW: Language learning, panic attacks, mental health, suicide) I hesitated to write this post because I still feel shame about my level of Japanese after living here so long. By now, surely, I “should be native level, right?” is a question I’ve often been asked by friends back in the UK. But I’m not. I’m still intermediate level. What does that mean? Well it means I can order in restaurants,

Life as an academic in Japan (as a non-Japanese)

Let me preface this with a huge disclaimer. This post is based on my experience and in no way should it be taken as applying to everyone. Each person will have different backgrounds, working environments, institutional systems and colleagues, so my purpose in this post is merely to give one perspective (and to answer a request for a post on this). I am employed at one of Japan’s top-ranked national