What a Trump Presidency Means for US-Japan-China Relations

Two Chinese girls looking out at Tokyo with a faux statue of liberty. The US-China-Japan all in one photo.

It’s only been one day and we are already starting to see the damage.  The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The disappearance of the Climate Change page on whitehouse.org.  Re-negotiations of NAFTA.  It’s all really happening.

Yesterday, in a truly humbling event, scores of Women’s Marches were held around the world. Women (and those who support women and diversity) stood in solidarity for equality, love, and women’s rights.  I was rooting for all of you.

Although these marches spanned the globe, they mostly represented a fight for U.S. domestic policies.  Planned Parenthood, immigration, education, healthcare–Americans turned out in record numbers to fight for these rights.

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Hiroshima City: 70 Years After The Bombing

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When I lived in Japan, the most fascinating stories I heard were from none other than the grannies and grandpas.  They held no reservations and talked openly and freely about their memories, their thoughts, and their opinions. And since I was an American, they often told me stories about World War II.  They weren’t negative or hateful stories, but merely tales told from the depths of their memories.  Memories from a time long past.  A Japan that no longer existed.

“I remember listening to the radio with my family, about possible air raids from America and instructions for going to the shelters,” one of my adopted grandmothers said as she set up dinner for us, a feast of Japanese oden, tempura, miso soup and fish.  “I was so scared!”

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Why Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends

Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends!

After discovering the tactics for landing dates in Asia, I had romances all across Asia and my dating life was… well, let’s say diverse.

And from my (very small) pool of dating research at this time, I found that the most satisfactory, fun, and long-lasting dates were with none other than Chinese men.

Now, after many hits and misses in the dating scene, I finally found my perfect match: Richard (and surprise!  he’s Chinese!).

Here are some reasons why my boyfriend is simply amazing; and coincidentally, why Chinese men make really darn good boyfriends.

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5 Ways Travel Has Changed My Personality

Changin' through Travel

Changin’ through Travel

I know.  I disappeared for a month.

I wish I could say that I did something cool, like randomly bought a one way ticket to Iceland and partied in Reykjavik for 30 days straight–but alas, my life is not that exciting.  The last month was mostly sucked up by a web design class that taught me little, but did force me to build a website (I actually constructed a website for the boyfriend that should be up soon).  I also spruced up The Ruby Ronin a bit in hopes that it will inspire and motivate me to write on a regular basis.

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Learning Kung Fu in China: The Real Story

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Since I am now acquainted with so many amazing people that have stories from Japan, China and Asia in general, I wanted to start a “My Asia” guest post/interview series every every other Monday where readers and fellow friends can share their fascinating adventures. 

I would like to start with a story that involves China and the journey of an American man going to discover the path of martial arts.

With a few years of tai-chi practice and teaching under his belt, my good friend Cory was convinced that the final step to mastery would be training on Mt. Wudang in China—the birthplace of Tai-Chi itself.

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The Cherry Blossoms of Japan’s Snow Country, Niigata

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The harsh, cruel winter had come to a calm end. The roaring winds from the sea of Japan quieted to a whisper, and the walls of snow melted down into the nearby Shinano River, flowing along the rice fields and out into the open sea. The locals opened their windows to welcome in the fresh air of a spring long awaited, the sun a welcome sight from the months of grey skies and winter storms. In yukiguni—or snow country, as Niigata prefecture is famously known thanks to the Nobel prize winning book of the same name—winters can bring up to seven feet of snow fall.

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Why I Travel

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There’s a scene in the movie Wild that stuck with me.

The protagonist is on the road.  She’s exhausted.  She has only taken the first few footsteps into her journey, but already she feels the weight of the road.  Can I do this?  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?  Have I gone crazy?

And then she stoops down, pulls some sagebrush from the road, rubs it in her fingers, closes her eyes and deeply inhales the scent.

The scent of the Earth.  The scent of the journey.  The scent of the world itself.

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How to Get An Asian Boyfriend in China and Japan

See, I got one!

See, I got one!

I’ve dated men all across Asia—Korea, Japan, China, and even Vietnam. Although I was told that western women weren’t the rage in Asia, I proved the non-believers wrong. With just three easy steps, I was able to score a slew of dates, a few boyfriends and even two proposals.

A Little Background…

In a village far, far away...

In a village far, far away…

I was living abroad for the first time ever in Japan at the ripe age of 22, newly single and ready to try the dating scene in Asia. The appeal of dating a local not only for the cultural and language benefits, but also for the novelty, was exciting. What would my friends and family say if I dated a Japanese person—or, better yet, married one?

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Escape to Jeju Island

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The wind pummeled us relentless, but we didn’t care. The dark blue waves screamed in protest as they crashed violently against the lava formed rock formation we stood upon. Although the dark, unknowing waters of Jeju looked unwelcoming, the fresh and cleansing breeze of the Korean countryside and its pastel, blue sky was more than enough to keep me here. After relentless days of smog and apocalyptic skies of dust and toxic matter in China, the coast of Jeju was like medicine.

The wind whipping my hair across my face, the sprays of fresh, seawater splashing across my open toed sandals, a fresh paint of blue sky:

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Ten Years After High School

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Last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion.

But I didn’t go.

It’s not like I didn’t want to go–actually, I was curious to see what everyone from my small, coal-mining town was up to in the big world.  I knew that most were married and still living in Utah, but I’m sure a few anomalies from my class were doing some really amazing things.

It would have been nice to visit my small hometown after 7 years of absence and catch up with the class of ’08, but due to distance and finances it just wasn’t feasibly possible.

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