月別アーカイブ: 2015年3月

Hmmm…. who is Jason Harumi Hammer?

Let’s start with my 3 passions – politics, music and education.  
それでは私の3つの情熱 – 政治と音楽、教育についてお話をしましょう。
Now, the image “politics” tends to conjure up is of corrupt politicians, complex or even trivial issues and ultimately, something we have no control over.
And although I’m interested in all of these things, what I’m really essentially interested in is power, and the distribution thereof throughout the world.
Since coming to Japan, politics has sort of taken the back seat but fortunately,
I have some students who are just as well interested and we discuss political issues in our lessons.
In university, I used to be very into political activism and I still believe it is possible to influence the political system – albeit, it takes a lot of work and perhaps most importantly, optimism and hope.


This is me, on the left, disguised as a secret service agent for a political demonstration in San Francisco.

What about music?
Well, it all started when I began taking piano lessons as a child. Honestly,
I hated it. But perhaps because of it, I am absolutely obsessed with music.
I can appreciate all sorts of genres but since I DJ in my spare time,
I listen to a lot of electronic dance music these days. In high school, I started playing guitar and bass guitar and throughout my late teens and early twenties, I was playing punk rock and ska in bands.
I don’t have many idols, but there is one guy who I admire for practically living out my fantasy – Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Feel free to ask me why!


This is me, on bass!


This is me, DJing in Busan, Korea!

And let’s talk about education!
Well, one of the reasons I came to Japan to teach English was to gain experience as a teacher.
When I first started, I would be pretty nervous trying to teach people I had just met for the first time, no less with materials I was still trying to get used to. But things are different now and perhaps it would be time to do what I had originally planned to do with all my experience – teach International Politics at the college level – however, when I went back to the States and had some wine and cheese at one of my professor’s house (she’s French!), I soon came to realize that if I were to pursue my original plan, it would be a long daunting uphill struggle.
So I’ve stayed in Japan, teaching English.
しかしながら、アメリカに戻って教授(フランス人の)の家でワインとチーズを食べていた時に、私はある考えに至ったのです-このまま当初の計画を追及しつづけると、気が遠くなるくらい長い間苦しみ続けることに- そして日本に滞在し英語を教えているのです。

Now, one of the questions every foreigner gets here in Japan is, “why Japan?”
And there are lots of reasons, really.
Perhaps the most influential though was the fact that I had visited Japan many times as a child because my mother was born in Kyushu. Because of my heritage, Japan has always been like a second home to me.
I have two cousins in Fukuoka City, an aunt and uncle in Dazaifu and my grandmother (who I love dearly) in Moji.


This is me, in Kyushu with my mother and grandmother!


My grandmother and I in 2001.

There’s certainly much more to say but I’ll leave it at this for now. Next time, I’ll talk more about three of the things I enjoy doing most in my spare time – music, movies and traveling.