At Home in Japan
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Module 1
The Cultural Child
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Going to live abroad confronts one with surprises. . .
 
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  . . . and the most disconcerting surprise is that you are suddenly inept and awkward in speaking a new language, finding your way around, and even relating to people in ordinary situations.  
 
 
  Losing your familiar moorings makes you feel like a child. But the second time around, childhood is not physical, it's cultural—you've turned into a "cultural child". The goal of this tutorial is to help prepare the cultural child to "grow up" in Japanese society.  
We set the tutorial in a context, a homestay, where the "cultural child" enters as a longterm guest. But the site is not just about homestays. It is about learning the basic dimensions of Japanese society— the things all "adults" are presumed to understand and intuit.
 

  The "growing up" process occurs as the cultural child manages a gradual shift from an "outsider", to a position more "inside" the family. This shifting process allows the homestay guests (and you the reader) to grasp distinctions between outside and inside that are fundamental in all Japanese communication, from spoken and body language, to "inner" feelings and "face". Based on this, the tutorial focuses on giving you a "roadmap" for navigating Japanese language and social life.  
The tutorial is useful whether or not you're on a homestay—or even in Japan. The first two parts offer you a crash course on the essentials that Japanese assume "everybody knows". The heart of the site, Part 3, is a series of 14 homestay cases that shows you the "growing up" process. This gives you the "roadmap". But to grasp this roadmap, you need to do the rest of the site first!

 

 
 
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