I graduated from Northwestern College in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2006 with a degree in Intercultural Studies. During my time there, I was able to learn from World Venture missionaries Dr. Garry Morgan and Dr. John Easterling. I also took some classes with Dr. Gaylan Mathiesen and Dr. Russ Lunak, whom you may know. Currently, I am working towards my Master's in Ethnomusicology through Music in World Cultures, which is headed by Dr. John Benham and is currently stationed at Bethel University in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I am also a member of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists.
Six weeks ago, I moved to Tomioka, Fukushima, where I teach English at Zion Language Institute, a school connected with Rev. Akira Sato's church. Prior to coming here, I also taught English for a year in Daegu, South Korea.
I am looking forward to writing for this blog. Paul and I have been in communication for about 18 months now, and have come to respect and value one another. We share a common vision, which is to partner with our Japanese neighbors in order to use arts to creatively reach out to this country. That being said, we sometimes have differing opinions, so be sure to read the comments sections from now on in order to get the whole picture!
I have many ideas for posts in mind, which you will hopefully get to read in the next few months. I will be bringing some ideas to the table, including...
1) Reviews of certain anime/manga series, how they relate to the Japanese and Christian worldviews alike, and how we can use them creatively in our outreach
2) Ideas of how the words "scanlation", "fansub", and "short-term missions" can fit together
3) Academic looks into Japanese music trends and their possible effects on Christian Worship
So, hopefully we can generate some interesting, meaningful, and God-honoring discussion that can lead to new perspectives for all of us.