Interviewed & written by Isao Tokuhashi
Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(She’s been in US since January 2001)
This is our 1st episode of Japanese who live in abroad.
Nana Hirsch left Japan to the United States about six years ago and she has worked really hard ever since to realize her dream. She looks like a little girl, but she is really tough. This is the special interview “My Eyes America”.
I can’t think about US easily like before
I arrived in the US on January 8, 2001. But I came back to Japan once and worked here for a year and a half. And I went back to the US in October, 2005. My dream was to be a sound engineer in the United States. That was my goal. That’s why I went to the United States.
When I went there for the first time, I went to a concert. I decided to go to the U.S. then. When I was 25, I got money and went to the US for studying to realize my dream.
If I wasn’t married and I got tired of being in the US, I could come back to Japan anytime. But after I married, or after I decided to marry this guy (Jeffry Hirsch), I can’t easily decide like that. I would have to think about my husband, too.
You have to try hard, or nobody comes to you
When I went to the US, I wanted to live there forever. I wanted to get a job there.
I went to school in US because I wanted to get a job there easily. If you see a lot of people who work for sound engineering and college professors who are doing the sound stuff, it would be easier to get a job. If I didn’t go to school, how could I get a job? I think it would be difficult. Even if you went to a club and asked a sound engineer to hire you, it would not be easy to get a job.
I met a lot of people because if you don’t do anything, nobody will give you a job. You have to call somebody. You have to ask people if they need someone. But I was lucky because I met my boss.
Before that, I was working at the “House of Blues”,one of the famous concert clubs in the US. My classmate was working there as a security guard. So he asked somebody if I could work there. And I got a job there. Also I met a guy who was married to a Japanese woman. He was a sound engineer, too. He gave me a business card. He told me to call him if I wanted a job. I called him and he introduced me to a lot of people. Then I met my boss. That sound engineer introduced her to me.
Everything was connected. A lot of people helped me when I was there. But basically you have to find a job by yourself in the US.
American people seem to enjoy their jobs
In US, you can enjoy live music everywhere. In the bars, coffee shops, or even museums. We can’t find those kinds of places in Japan.
I have working experiences both in the US and Japan but Americans work in a different way. They work slower. They bring more smiles and talk more. Of course they are serious, too, but not as serious as Japanese. Japanese always have to be on time. We have only a short time to finish our assignments. Bosses are really strict. So we always have to say sorry to them.
But if you work in Japan, you would be able to work in any country because we are trained very well. We don’ t have a lot of lazy people. If you go to a different country, you would be able to work better than other people, I think.
There is too much crime in the US. You can’t trust people. You can’t walk alone in the dark. It’s so dangerous. You can’t live there like you live in Japan.
Somebody had stolen my stuff from my car a long time ago. I had a station wagon at that time and I was going to move to a different place. When I was going to put all my stuff in my car, I found that somebody broke the windows and stole my stuff from my car. But my car was still there so I was lucky.
I was kind of shocked when I was eating sanma (a saury, or a pacific saury: a kind of fish which is popular in Japan, especially in autumn) next to him. He told me it’s disgusting because it had a face, tail and bones even though it was cooked. When I was a kid, my parents told me to eat fish which has a face, tail and bones for good health. That’s our good custom but he thought it’s disgusting. He looked really serious.
Nothing is almost impossible
If you want to do something and you want something to realize, just try. You will realize that someday if you try hard.
I can’t say nothing is impossible, but I would say “Nothing is almost impossible”. Try hard until you get it, or you give up. It’s OK to give up because I gave up once.
But I tried again. I gave up when I came back to Japan. I thought that I wouldn’t work for sound engineering any more. But I went back to the US again felt that I wanted to do that again.
What is America to you?
America was just my dream before, but now I’m living in there and working there. I want to succeed in the United States.