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September 30, 2015 / Karen Hill Anton

Readers’ Letters, my treasures

There was a time, and not all that long ago, when readers wrote hand-written letters, taking care they were legible, or cleanly typed. These pieces of paper addressed, stamps chosen, were dropped in the nearest post box. Missive accomplished, the letters first delivered to the Japan Times, were forwarded to me. It was a pleasure to receive and reply to each one. 

I’ve kept all the letters readers sent me over the years, and indeed I consider them treasures. Here are a few: 

I’ve always found your comments about your experiences of living here very objective and refreshingly sensible. a viewpoint which is not always easy for a foreigner to maintain. I think perhaps it stems from your looking at the situation as a woman and a mother who is actively involved with Japanese women and mothers, far away from the corporate jungle in which most foreigners in Japan live. Wherever it comes from, it seems to me that it’s an inspiration to foreigners in Japan who are easily bogged down by a very different set of values.

I look forward to reading your column. Living in Osaka, I often wonder what it would be like to live and raise a family out in the “real” Japan. Consequently, I enjoy reading your various experiences and viewpoints.

I have been admiring your writing in The Japan Times since it began and I especially like the celebrations of cross-cultural themes that you are doing — and the one today (The Joy of Strangers on a Train) is especially touching.

I thoroughly enjoy your column. Your joyous, intelligent, highly personal “Tales of Anton” are fun to read. But what I like most about them is that you demonstrate without rancor and raving that people are people. I, though a WASP, have always felt sad about the often adverse fate of the non-WASPs all over the world. May your special prowess live, grow and proliferate among we people!

This is just to let you know how much I enjoy your column “Crossing Cultures”. I look forward to reading about your various adventures and experiences around and in the culture here in Japan.

I’ve been meaning to write you to express my enjoyment of your column. I am a second-generation Japanese and I admire the balanced way you present your column — plainly, and understandable, especially for Japanese readers. I am also originally from New York and i resent the way Japanese media presents a one-sided negative view of New York. More power to you!

I feel as though I know you, and I’ve thought about writing you for a long time to let you know how much I enjoy your writing.

I was having lunch with the former chief of Newsweek’s Tokyo bureau … when I mentioned your name he wouldn’t stop talking about how great and incisive he thinks your writing and observations are. He wanted you to know you’ve got a fan.

I was very much impressed with your last column in the JT. You write so gently, but your writing represents something that pierces our hearts. Reading your column I felt that the American people still have a very good fellow citizen who speaks sincerely for her own country. It shows a sharp contract with some of us Japanese people, especially so-called intellectuals. I sincerely hope your work will be born to this world as soon as possible. Many people should read your writing and I hope you have a book published.

I am from New Zealand and I am writing to you how much I enjoy your fortnightly columns. They are always thought-provoking, and often very amusing as well. I particularly enjoy your columns about family life and raising children as a foreigner in Japan. Best wishes for your column. I am sure many foreigners can identify with your thoughts and experiences. Thank you.

I really enjoy your columns. I hope you continue writing your wonderful columns to inform the Japanese about African-Americans, also to let us know we are making a different in Japan. You are doing a wonderful job! Keep up the good work!

You don’t know me, but I feel I as though I know you from your columns in the JT. I have been meaning to write to you for ages to tell you how much I enjoy your column. My only complaint is that I wish it appeared weekly instead of just twice a month. Because your experiences often parallel my own, I regularly copy your column and send it to the folks back home in the U.S. Again, thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful, witty columns. I hope you continue for a long time to come.

I read another of your wonderful articles today and found I just had to sit down and write a short letter saying how much I enjoy your column, I am not exaggerate ing when I say that it is my favorite part of the paper. It is like a breath of fresh air in a world so full of violence, greed, and distorted values. Please keep writing those wonderful articles.

I wanted to drop you a quick note to say how much I enjoy your column. I have recently moved to Tokyo from the U.S. and your columns are refreshing and encouraging. It is refreshing to read a column by a foreigner that is not dealing with “problems” or oddities  in the Japanese culture, but rather share a sensitivity and appreciation for it. I hope I will develop a similar outlook while living here. There seems to be so much to learn and discover, and your attitude is the right one to do both! Keep it coming.

I am driven by admiration to write you, I am not a JT subscriber, but I am always delighted when I come across your columns. Who is this woman? I think. Where on earth is there a person endowed with so much common sense? Maybe it is the sense that you love Japan and are able to voice opinions and criticism without losing that sense that draws me. And I appreciate your themes, and will continue to look forward to your columns. You help me keep my head and my perspective.

i enjoy your columns every Thursday, so much so that I always wish the Japan Times ran the past favorites again.

I’ve been meaning to write to tell you how much I love your column. You are writing what you have to say — and your writing is so good! The columns only get better, you have really hit your stride! i’m eager to read anything you may publish.


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