Duong admires Japanese culture, plans future in country


Photo Used with Permission from Kristi Duong

Freshman Kristi Duong stands around cherry blossom trees, a plant that carries significance and symbolism in Japanese culture. Duong one day hopes to move to Japan, and she believes others should learn more about Japanese culture. “I really encourage everyone to take part in this beautiful culture and learn a few unique things from it,” Duong said.

Freshman Kristi Duong has her future after high school planned out. She’s currently planning to pursue her goals of going to Japan and getting involved with the fine arts world. 

“I really want to go to college and either pursue music or study Japanese and move to Japan,” Duong said. 

Duong has been invested in Japanese culture for about eight months now and has been studying the language every day. She spends 30-45 minutes a day learning Japanese which helps her brain comprehend the different language. She has most of the basics down, but she still isn’t certain she could hold a conversation with someone in Japanese. 

“For right now, I’m using YouTube, the popular app Duolingo and this app called Hiragana which practices the writing of Japanese,” Duong said. 

Duong is enthused by how quiet Japanese people are compared to American people.  

“Japan is much more quiet and respectful which is something that I really want to learn about,” Duong said. 

She feels that this practice attracts her more to Japan’s culture and makes her want to learn more about and experience their culture. Something Duong would love to experience is wearing kimono dresses, which are worn during special occasions in Japan. 

“Kimono dresses are an attire worn to be formal in Japan. I would really like to take part in this cultural way of appreciating Japanese culture,” Duong said.

Duong would love to go to college in America, but once she’s ready to move, Duong sees herself being an English teacher or being involved with music in Japan.  

“I’ve heard that being an English teacher in Japan is very easy. For example, they give you free tuition and discounts on basic things such as transits and buses, so I think I would like to be a teacher,” Duong said.

Duong has been passionate about music ever since she was young. Music helps her cope when she’s stressed, which is one reason she also sees herself being involved with music in Japan.  

“I’m in concert band and participate in choir and musicals,” Duong said. “Music can help give you ways to escape reality and is also really fun to hear and play. When I’m singing, I feel like I can escape from our current world.” 

While she does want to move to Japan, Duong is deciding whether to live on the urban or rural side of Japan.

“I would [like to live] somewhere in the middle. I don’t want it to be too loud or too quiet,” Duong said. 

Duong claims to be very independent, which she feels is a skill that will help her while living in Japan. 

“I feel like I can do a lot of things on my own, and I feel like I’m smart enough to get around,” Duong said. 

Duong’s day to day life in Japan might consist of working, exploring and living the Japanese experience. She also would enjoy going to convenience stores and making new friends.

“On a regular day, I feel like I would go to work and explore the amusements of Japan. I would love to go to convenient stores and make new friends along the way,” Duong said.  

She also feels like adjusting to Japan would not be easy, and it may take her some time. She is aware that she may feel homesick but still looks forward to moving to Japan. 

“I’ve been living in America my whole life, so I would definitely have to adjust to Japan. Simple things that I think are respectful could be disrespectful in Japan, so I really think that would impact how I live,” Duong said.  

Duong’s friends and family are very important to her, so she plans on coming back to visit them once in a while. 

“I would miss my friends and family a lot because, if I were to move to Japan, I would have to make new friends and encounter a lot of people,” Duong said.

Even though she’s Asian, Duong feels like she would be treated differently in Japan since she is a foreigner. 

“I feel like I would be treated differently even though I’m Asian, but I also feel like Japanese people have gotten used to having foreigners throughout the years,” Duong said.

Duong hopes her goal and dream of moving to Japan becomes true, but if it doesn’t, she would also just love to visit Japan. She encourages people to learn more about Japanese culture and get invested in this lifestyle. 

“I really encourage everyone to take part in this beautiful culture and learn a few unique things from it,” Duong said. 


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