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History Lesson

The being, who came to be known in certain quarters as The StarWolf, was born in the town of Chicoutimi in the province of Québec (Canada) many years ago. Being blessed with bilingual parents, he learned French and English simultaneously. Shortly after his birth, the clan relocated to the outskirts of Québec city where he enjoyed some years of small-town existence until they moved again to Ontario (Canada) finally settling in Ottawa, the nation's capital, in 1970. Shifting from school system to school system and educational method to experimental educational method (enter New Math) left him barely able to add 2+2 and get 4.

Post secondary education never led to an actual degree but, rather, to university and college certificates in subjects ranging from APL programming to Massage Therapy, and from Business Management to Electronics. He loves learning for its own sake. Most recently, he took Beginner Japanese lessons at the Ottawa Japanese Language School in the class of the incomparable Fumiyo-san.

His interest in Japan <142Kb> began, unwittingly, in 1980, when he became hooked on "Goldorak", the French-language translation of the Japanese animated series "UFO Robo Grendaizer". Following up with "Lupin III", "Catseye", "Dirty Pair", "God Mars" et al, he developed contacts in Japan to keep his anime addiction well fed. These contacts grew into more than mere trading partners, though.

At the end of 1990, on the edge of a burn-out from a very demanding project he'd taken on in his capacity as computer consultant (a 'career' he came into almost by accident some years before), he decided he needed a break. At the end of the contract, in early March 1991, he took a leave of absence and took up his Japanese friends' repeated invitations. He fell in love with the country almost as soon as he stepped off the plane in Narita. Ostensibly living in Osaka, his journeys took him as far north as Noshiro (Akita pref.) and down to Ono-cho, south of Hiroshima.

The interest grew even when, duty calling, he eventually returned to Canada. Subsequent trips only made his interest stronger. Especially after another incentive was added. One of the pen pals he acquired out of the blue shortly after his first trip was Nakamura Ayami ("Aya-chan") living in a farm community in Shizuoka prefecture. Taking him completely by surprise, she announced, that she wanted to come meet him. In the course of that visit (see photo above), he and she became rather more than 'mere' pen pals. And thus began a long-distance relationship of the kind which makes phone and airline companies rich.

His most recent visit out there (Fall '98) netted another big surprise as long-time, very dear friends presented him with an amazing gift - their prized 'ningyou' (Japanese doll), Murasaki.

He still hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up.


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