Japan & Me

Ali Rawling

Occupation: Principal researcher for ecoethics/ Greening Australia volunteer/ Adelaide Hills Natural Resource Centre Committee secretary/ DJ/ Konichiweb Productions proprietor.
Age: 39

Tell us about a place you like in Japan.

I like the island of Kyushu, especially the Kumamoto area with the stunning Mount Aso caldera, and the Mount Hiko district on the border of Oita, Kumamoto and Fukuoka prefectures.

What did you do when you were in Japan

I have had some amazing (sometimes surreal) adventures since my first visit in 1987. I was at Joto International Senior School in Okayama in 1990. I have worked for the JET Programme as a CIR, for the Mycal Corporation organising functions, and even for an entertainment think-tank which produced TV programs, staged fashion and design events and ran music tours.

How does Japan influence your life at present

Japan provided my first insight into Brazilian people, culture and music, because the two countries share an intimate history. Both have influenced my music, art, haiku, sumi-e painting, interior design, cuisine, my approach to civic vitality and my respect for the elderly.

How do you imagine your future in relation to Japan

I want to continue to liaise for community groups, musicians, producers, designers, artists, healers, environmental researchers, and filmmakers. Our countries have a lot to share and a lot to teach each other.

Tell us something memorable about your time in Japan.

One of my most precious memories is accidentally seeing fireflies for the first time while riding home through the Saigawa countryside. Saigawa was so amazing, with such raw nature literally at my back door! I saw Tanuki (Japanese racoon dog), foxes, wild boar, deer, owls, plus many colourful butterflies, dragonflies and birds. I love the neon buzz of the big cities, but the crickets and frogs of the countryside hold my heart.

Edited: May 2012