Interaction with the Sea



I wrote an essay for a competition in late September about what it’s like to be a foreigner in Toyama.  The essay had to be in Japanese, so I wrote every sentence intentionally simple because I am still in the early stages of studying the language. My friends Adam and Yoshimi kindly helped me fix a plethora of grammar mistakes I had made. I didn’t win, but I am still proud of it.  I thought I would share it with you all.  An English translation follows the Japanese version.  Please forgive any grammatical errors with the Japanese! I am still learning.

-Sheila Burt シーラ バート






また、私の家の近くには海があります 。しばしば、私は海のそばを散歩します。大きく息をすると海の香りがします。それが大好きです。波が上がったり下がったりする動きは、まるで人生のようです。



富山に来る前は、私は人見知りしていました。 でも今は、私は一人ではありません。

Interaction with the sea

In Toyama, there is the sea and the mountains. I love this.

I came to Japan in July. I have been to Japan once before, but this my first time in Toyama.

I live in Namekawa. I love it here. I’m from Chicago, in the Midwest of America. Chicago is a beautiful, but there are no mountains in Chicago.

I teach middle school and junior high school. I love that I can see the mountains from the windows of my school.

In August, I climbed Mt. Tateyama. This was the first large mountain I climbed. In the winter, I will try skiing for the first time.

I was a journalist in Chicago. I wanted a new experience, so I came to Japan.  I think Namerikawa and Toyama are beautiful places.

Also, I have a house near the sea. Often, I walk by the sea. I love the smell of the sea. Waves move up and down, much like the motions of life.

The Sea speaks to me.  I hear its voice, and it teaches me about life.

I see a baby with her mother.   They are happy; I am happy.

I see a student studying.  He learns; I  learn.

I see an athlete working hard.  He works hard; I will work hard.

I see a woman. She thinks about life; I think about life.

I see an old man standing alone.  He regrets; I regret.

I see a widow.  She remembers; I remember.

Before coming to Toyama, I was a little shy. But now, I’m not.

I speak to the Sea, and it listens to me.

Author: Sheila Burt


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s