I've noticed that quite often foreign bloggers in Japan comment on how difficult/impossible it is to make meaningful and close friendships with Japanese people. While I agree it can be difficult, days like the past few remind me just how possible and rewarding those friendships can be. Here are just two examples.
On the weekend I spent a few hours at a museum with a good friend from school. She is my sempai (student senior to me), having graduated last year, and was assigned as my tutor my first year at school. We became friends quickly, sharing a love of museums (duh, we're both in museum studies!). We both tend to spend far far FAR longer in any given exhibit than those we call "regular people." We are a good fit and have gotten to know each other really well. Her tendancy to be late drives me crazy on a regular basis, but I feel very lucky to have met her.
I recently met a different kind of somebody else. It is still very new and I don't know where it is going, but it has brought a smile to my face and a skip to my step. This is a bit of a change from the past few months when I have been rather frustrated and unhappy. Many of my friends have noticed both my uncharacteristic blues and my recent happiness. Today at work I had two close male Japanese friends tell me how happy and relieved they were to see me smiling again. I was touched by their evident concern and realized how lucky I am to have two big brothers to worry about me. Just like big brothers, however, they gleefully took every opportunity today to make fun of me and my goofy grin.
So there is my two cents...