Why did I live in Japan?
Japan has traditionally been both a geographically and politically isolated place, especially from Western influence (it never experienced an invasion of foreign power until WWII).
The Edo period (1603-1868) separated Japan from the rest of the world by limiting the number of foreigners entering the country, alongside the eradication of Christianity, primarily adopted by the peasant classes, perceived to be part of a first wave to military conquest by European powers.
In part due to these reasons, Japan has an enormous sense of solidarity and a generally homogeneous population and has developed a markedly different culture and national psyche; especially when compared to the highly cross-pollinated cultures of Europe.
From this has spawned a unique view of the world that in turn goes on to form incredibly divergent solutions to problems – socially and in terms of graphical and product design.
As part of my on-going mission of international exposure; to develop my thinking as a designer – combined with burning curiosity of Japan; sparked by a passionate teacher when I was 16 – I chose to live and work in Japan for a year and half as a High School English Teacher.