I hadn’t actually planned on moving to Japan. It was always a faraway dream or happy fantasy to be able to live in another country. I was committed to life in Los Angeles, having lived there, for the second time, since 1996. After years of working hard at finding my way through the maze that is Hollywood, I’d finally gotten an agent, was going out on lots of auditions, getting callbacks. I was finally beginning to see signs of progress, at least enough for me to not want to even think about giving up and getting a job, like a job-type job that is. Suddenly, I had to pack it all up into storage and leave my beloved Los Angeles for a life not planned for but thrust upon me.
I’d begun visiting Japan with my wife back in 2007, a few years after we got married. She’s originally from the Shiga Prefecture, 滋賀県, about 30 minutes north of Kyoto. Most people, when the think of Japan, either immediately their mind goes straight to Tokyo or Kyoto, some might even think of Osaka or Kobe. Truth be told, I’ve been here three years and still haven’t been to Tokyo yet. But I’ve gotten to know and love Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe very much. Shiga, however, it’s home and contrary to common knowledge in the West, it’s where the majority of the most significant stories of Japan’s over two-thousand year history actually happened.