top of page
Kim_al happs.jpg

Many people ask what led me to Japan, and the answer is simple: a strong love for meeting new people

and traveling. I grew up in the southwestern desert region of the United States (Phoenix, Arizona, via my birthplace

of Las Vegas, Nevada!) and I have been interested in learning about other languages and cultures for as long as I can remember.

My first study abroad experience as a first-year university student was in Limoges, France, and my studies of the French language

provided the foundation for me to later learn both Portuguese and Spanish (or, as I am now more likely to be found speaking, Portuñol!).

I began learning Japanese in high school, and went on to major in East Asian Languages and Literature at Arizona State University.

My focus was Japanese, and also included studies of Mandarin Chinese (with which I can make my way around

as a tourist as long my trusty dictionary is on hand!).

I spent my fourth year of university as an exchange student in the Peace Studies department of Hiroshima Shudo University. This experience

was illustrative in shaping my strong conviction that we must always use our voices toward creating positive social change.

After getting my MA in sociocultural anthropology in 2000, I moved to Tokyo and began my freelance career as a multi-faceted

wordsmith. I also began co-organizing workshops during the early 2000s for the Peace Not War Japan cultural collective,

which used music and dance as portals through which to encourage young people to consider issues relating to

sustainability and non-violent conflict resolution.

My career has more recently allowed me to travel throughout the exquisitely gorgeous Japanese archipelago

for travel writing assignments, as well as to interview numerous fascinating individuals working in many different fields

for various online and print publications.

I can usually be found with my laptop writing feature articles or doing translation/editing work while drinking

coffee across the cafes of the metropolis, or at home putzing around in my garden. 

About Me: About Me
bottom of page