Julia Hibarger

Julia Hibarger is a Japanese American who grew up far away from any Japanese American community in Minnesota. Julia's interest in Japan was sparked by a trip there with her Japanese grandmother during college. She later spent four years in Japan, living and teaching in a rural area on the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program(me) (JET), and working at Nissho Iwai in Tokyo. Julia holds an MA in International Economics and Japan Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BS in Mathematics & Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While Julia does not aspire to be a writer, she does hope to share her cultural heritage and teach younger generations about Japan and "being Japanese" on both sides of the Pacific.

Updated February 2008

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Dreaming in Japanese

"You’ll know you have arrived when you start dreaming in Japanese." Grandma’s voice on the other end of the line was so reassuring – in a Nisei, sage-like sort of way – that I decided to pay closer attention to my dreams and less attention to my legs, which were falling asleep from sitting cross-legged on the tatami of my cramped roku-jo1 apartment. It was Sports Day at my school and I didn’t really have much time, but I could never turn down one of Grandma’s early morning calls. With two years of college Japanese and a ...

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