Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Son of Zambian Freedom Fighter Makes His Home in Japan


It has been brought to my attention that Black Eye has been fairly African-American-centered. Time to rectify that! A review of the articles I've written over the past two years reveals that, while I have tackled Jamaicans in Japan fairly extensively, and once a British woman of African descent, the rest of the people I've profiled have indeed been American. I have covered a range of activities that has diversified the view of what people of African descent engage in here, but I focused on what these people were doing more so than where they were from. So, moving forward I will endeavor to share with you guys people from more diverse beginnings, beginning with this month's profile: Axson Chalikulima, a gentleman from the Nation of Zambia.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

  In 1984, on Summer vacation following his freshman year at University, Axson made his first trip to Japan. “I had no interest in Japan, mind you,” Axson said. “I didn’t know anything about Japan, so I came here with an open mind and an open heart. And Japan blew my mind! When I'd gone to America, I thought I had seen The World, as far as advancement and technology are concerned, but first thought was 'what is going on here??'” Axson ran off a list of observations that awed him, like highways that were actually above the streets, and unchained, unguarded vending machines that offered alcoholic beverages. By the time he returned to Connecticut, so taken was he with his summer in Japan that America lost its appeal. So he decided to alter the trajectory of his life once again. “I was intrigued by Japan, and I became really inquisitive. I wanted to know more, and decided I needed to be at ground zero. I've lived around the world and when you live in another country or another culture, you have to become a child again because only then can you learn without judging.”  This approach allowed him to see things about Japan that he feels some non-Japanese people who live here tend to miss.  For more on the valuable life lessons learned living in Japan and around the world, as well as the philosophy he developed to navigate life in Japan:


After 30 years in Japan, teacher from Zambia is still learning

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