My Japanese Neighbour

Discovering about Japan's culture straight from Humber College.

A dreary afternoon became a marvellous evening as the hosts of My International Neighbour interviewed their first subject in their kick-off episode. To start things off right, Mari Belham and Paul Schubert took to talking to Tomoko Abe - an international student studying the Bachelor of Music program here at Humber College. A native of Hokkaido Island in Japan, Abe was asked questions relating to her upbringing in her home town Sapporo, international curiosities between Canada and her home country. With topics that ranged from language differences and cultural differences to her motivations for studying music in Canada, Abe’s answers are sure to make one hour fun.

As the interview went on, Abe, Schubert, and Belham each had the ability to go deeper into other topics. Does Canada have truly Japanese food? Are the characters in movies wearing their kimonos right? How did Japanese people get taught about World War II in schools? What social pressures do Japanese people face? And what are the meanings behind their non-verbal gestures? All that and so much more were discussed here at the round table during the first episode of this awesome show!

We asked Abe about a series of cultural icons. As we neared the end of the episode, we chose to do a segment where we played a little game with our interview guest. Do you want to know what that hand gesture in the picture means? Well, you must watch the video to find out.

Finally, Abe talks about her life goals and some doubts about where her future might take her.

This episode is the first of many cool episodes of this new show. With different international guests each week, we plan to delve deep into a variety of interesting, yet relevant topics regarding their home countries, and their comparisons to Canada. All of that said, welcome to My International Neighbour.