From Walking in Memphis to Walking Down the Streets of Ginza - Reflection of My Father's Journey Into Japanese Publishing

I occasionally re-read this article about my father, which was published in The Japan Times in June 2015. Whenever we catch up over coffee, we seem to cover everything - recent events, book ideas, travel plans and articles we read, just to name a few. But when I read this article, it makes me step back and say "Wow..." thinking about his journey up to this point.

Nowadays, people in Memphis, Tennessee (where my father lived) or anywhere else in the world can access Japanese culture and news through the internet and learn about Japan without coming here. I can't imagine what things looked like through my father's eyes as a young American in Nagoya in 1971, how he got around without access to the internet or translation devices and even wrote a guidebook by hitchhiking around the country. His journey started from being a college kid in Memphis to becoming a professor and author in Japan writing about Japanese cultural history, U.S. race relations, American roots music and Buddhism, to name a few. I know he has many stories to tell, as he has told Matthew, the author of this article, and me. I'm really looking forward to hearing more of these stories during our coffee catch-ups in the coming years.

Cultural historian James Vardaman reflects on his journey into Japanese publishing by Matthew Chozick (