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Covid can’t stop us… but it can Delay things.

Hey everyone,

I’ve been so busy with househunting and youtube work that I have neglected you guys. No worries. I’m here for the updates. Someone or most of you saw or deduced that we postponed any ceremonial parties or gatherings for our nuptials because of a few reasons.

To recap them: no tourist can come into Japan, the economic situation makes it difficult for guests to come, and having anything here could be dangerous for all those present if one person happens to have Corona.

We are saddened by this, but we know that it’s a delay of one aspect of our joining— not a cancellation and not the end all be all. We are, of course, still getting hitched on 11/11/2020. Nothing would stop that.

Now for the fun stuff: we are sad that you can’t join us, but we did do a photoshoot for the wedding party and we want to share that with you. Of course social media is the easiest way, but we want to share something physical with you. So, to each of you we will be sending a photo with a recipe that we have enjoyed. Each of you (who want one) will get a special recipe- no two recipes are the same. Every one will be unique to you. We love cooking and that’s one of the ways we show our love. I hope you enjoy the meals and the pictures as much as we enjoyed making both. A link to a poll will be at the end of this post.

For more updates, I’ll be posting on YouTube , like new place, the process, and the actual day itself. But if you’re more of a reader—we definitely will have more for you here. Even after it’s all done. This site will turn into our life hub to keep you updated and informed about our events and when that party will be rescheduled.

We appreciate your support. If you want to support in a different way, you can go to the gift giving site. We already have each other, but no one ever objects to more icing on the cake. And of course fill out this poll for your picture and recipe: here

Talk to you soon!

肌の色が違う人と結婚するということ。

今年の11月に籍を入れる。

率直に言うと、アメリカ人、しかも黒人と結婚するなんて思ってもみなかった。行ったこともないし、まず国として大きすぎてイメージがわかない。

だからといって絶対に黒人はない!!って感じでもなかったけれど、なんとなく”わたしには合わないだろうな~”くらいの感じ。

私の中での黒人のステレオタイプっていうのはスポーツ万能、訛りのある英語、直感的、本能的。

こういう国別/人種別ステレオタイプ(いわゆる”あるある”ってやつ)の話をしだすと”差別だ!”って言う人が必ず少数でてくるんだけど、どうして”あ~わかる!あるある~”ですませられないのか。

その国のイメージっていうのは自分が関わった人から形成されるから偏ってしまうのは仕方のないことだと思う。

話題によって”聞く人を選ぶ”ということは必要だと思う。

こういうデリケートな内容は、聞き手がどんな人かを知った上で ”あ、この人はこの内容だったらユーモアとして受け取ってくれるな”っていうのをわかって話さなきゃいけない。もしくはお酒の席で場が盛り上がって笑って聞き流せるような時とか。

これだけSNSが発達して、誰もが自由に発言を許される現代社会では

“つぶやき”

という形で不特定多数の人に見られる発信をしている以上、突っかかってくる人もでてくる。売り言葉に買い言葉でどんどん燃え広がって思わぬところに飛び火するかもしれない。

ただ、そうやって差別を盾に言葉狩り、言論統制をしていくとじゃあもう誰も何も言うな、ってなことになってしまう。

〇〇は△△すべき!っていう強い言い方をすると同じだけの力で反発が起こると思う。だから、”あくまで自分はこう思う”くらいに止めておいたら良いんじゃないかな。

あとは反論するのが趣味の人は一定数いるのでそういう人とは距離をおくこと。又はディベートと割り切ってやること。

その人の意見は嫌っても良いけどその人が嫌いだからって痛めつけようとしないこと。

Instagram、Twitterとかで友達の発言について好きじゃないな、自分とは反対の考え方だなって思っても、その意見っていうのはその人の一部分でしかなくて全人格を否定するには至らない。あ、踏み込みすぎたなと思ったら一歩ひいてその話題には触れないようにする。

必要なら一旦ミュートする。自分が落ち着いたらまた戻せば良い。

このへんは最近出来るようになった自分の中での小さい成長。

差別

ジョージ・フロイドさんの一件から活発化したblack lives matter の活動は私にとって全く無関係ではない。

このあいだ、ブラックアウトチューズデーといって多くの人がインスタグラムに真っ黒な画像を載せていた。

最初は見ているだけだったけれど、日本人の友達もやっているのを見て

自分もやったほうがいいのかな?と思った

果たしてこの黒い画像を載っけると言うことが結果的に何か変えるのか?

それは本当の意味での黒人達へのサポートになっているのか?

ちょっとニュアンスは違うけど、

絵踏みたいだなと感じた。

自分のなかで、もちろん彼らの力にならなければ、と言う気持ちもあったけど、中途半端に大衆迎合したくなかった。問題の根深さを知らないまま足を踏み入れたくなかった。本気でその現場でプロテスタントしている人達の気持ちを軽視しているんじゃないのかなって。

もやもやしてきたのでダンテに直接聞いた。

“ね、黒い画面のやつ、やったほうが良いのかな?募金とかしたらいいのかな。何も発信しないってことは協力してないのと同じだよね。”

“これはさ、君の問題じゃないから、プレッシャーを感じてそういうことをする必要はないんだよ。募金だってしてもいいと思うけど、僕らが欲しいのはお金じゃない。

今起きていることが重要なんだ。黒人と白人が一緒になってレイシズムは間違っていると伝えること。

もし君が出来ることがあるとすれば、それは僕を1人の人間として面倒を見ることだよ。

それに、将来の話をすれば僕らの子供は無関係じゃなくなる。そうなったらどうしたってこの問題に足を踏み入れることになるんだから。”

もしそのうち子供ができて

その子供が成人して国籍を選ぶ時、

今もおんなじ状況だったら正直アメリカ国籍は選んで欲しくないと思う。

肌の色が違うという理由だけで

ふつうに買い物しているのに警備員に目をつけられたり、ポケットから手を出すときに構えられたり、銃を突きつけられたり、警官に家に押し入られたり、車から引きずり下ろされてボッコボコにされたり、抵抗もしていないのに窒息死させられたりして欲しくないから。

ここで私が強調したいのは、

これはアメリカで起きている黒人と白人差別問題であるということ。

差別という大きなテーマが持ち上がっているからかな、一部の人は”全ての人が平等であるべき””アジア人の中でも差別はある” “日本人でも一歩外に出れば有色人種として差別をうける” “遠くの国より国内の差別に目を向けるべき”などの問題提起をしているけど

事の大きさのレベルが違うでしょう。

私も海外に行っている時にあったのは

外のテラスで茶しばいてるときに通りすがりの現地人に”このくそビッチが!!” って言われたり,職探してるときにレジュメを触ってももらえず断られたり(バイト募集の張り紙はあった),クレジットカード投げ渡されたりはした。

でも外見のせいで命に関わるような不都合を感じた事は無かった。し、”私がこの国にお邪魔してる側だからそりゃこういう人も一部いるよな、しょうがない”と思えた。

でも、この黒人白人差別はその国の同じ国民同士で起こっている問題。肌の色は選べないし、大半の人はアメリカ人として生まれた。

だから、”みんな形はどうあれ差別は感じてる”とか”All lives matter” みたいなのは私は好きじゃない。今じゃないでしょ。

✴︎

1人の日本人という立場からみたこの黒人白人差別はこの世に神を信じる人と信じない人がいるように、永遠に解決されることは無いと思う。

昔の日本の神話みたいにみんな血縁になっちゃうとかすれば違うかもしれないけれど。

少なくとも、その時がきたら私も、自分と友達と家族のために戦わないといけなくなるだろうなと思う。その時なんて来なければ良いとおもうけど。

でも、急激な変化は反発を生むし犠牲が大きくなると思うから、少しずつ自分とまわりの人の意識から変わっていけたら良いと思う。

肌の色や国籍関係なく、1人のひととして存在が平等に扱われる。それが普通の世の中にならないといけない。

✴︎

“風の谷のナウシカ”と、手塚治虫の”火の鳥”を全人類が読んだら世界平和になる!と半分本気で思ってるし、

難しいことを考え始めるとすごくネガティブになって“地球に人間がいることが諸悪の根源じゃん。全部なくなってしまえば万事解決!”という極論に達してしまう。

できれば今日の夜ご飯どうしよっかなぁくらいのことしか考えたくないのだけど

これについてはどうしても一言二言いっとかないとなと思いました。

これから自分の人生の一部になるからね。

自分と全くバックグラウンドが違う人と結婚することがこんなに1つのことを掘り下げて考えることになるとは想像つかなかった。

ダンテが絶対にアメリカには帰りたくないと言っていた理由も理解できた。

人は自分自身の問題にならない限り興味を持って行動できないと思う。だからこうやって物事をいろんな角度から見て、当事者の隣にいて声を聞くことができてよかった。

自分の考え方のくせがわかったり、感情的になってしまう自分を少し俯瞰で見られるようになったのは、一つひとつ忍耐強く丁寧に説明して、話してくれるダンテのおかげ。

違って当たり前、が前提の付き合いはおもしろい。

Ruka

Engaged Engagement

I think being engaged is probably the oddest status of all relationship statuses. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. The titles are great, too! Fiancé/Fiancée. Sounds fancy. Anyway, I think that a lot of people treat engagements as a time to plan the wedding. A way of just saying that “I have a reservation for her heart on a certain date”. That is, of course, a part of it, but I think that it is a lot more than that.

Ruka and I have really tried to stay engaged while engaged. What does this mean? We are taking this time as a chance to explore the things that make us tick. No one is getting dissected, I promise. However, we are very different people. I’m more boisterous and expressive. She’s more reserved and passive. So, I am learning how not to be obnoxious when communicating. And she’s working on giving me some warning signs when I’m teetering on the edge of my doom—for example. This is just a small part.

With Corona being a thing (and there will be more on that later), I wanted to take the chance while I was working from home to take on all of the house management and responsibilities. Surprisingly, I love it. Doing all of these things makes me feel like I am taking care of her in a direct way because I know that there is less stress to do things after work—for both of us. While working from home, I’ve been cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry more. I was doing it before, but Ruka definitely beat me to the lion share of things. I have learned a lot and want to continue taking on that responsibility. It has been a learning experience for both of us. She has had to learn to be okay depending on me doing things. Her fierce independence had to give way to a little bit of dependence on me— if only when I won Rock Paper Scissors. I won a lot this month. (I’m not rubbing it in, I promise.)

Lastly, we have spent so many nights talking about the future. I know every couple does this. However, discussing the possibilities that exist, being honest about what we don’t want in an open and candid way, and setting the foundation for resolving and maneuvering any disagreements that we might have in the future has been so much fun. Everything isn’t going to be the same as it is now— in engagement. Things will get harder at some point. We are going to miscommunicate because we are a relationship of two languages. No longer being engaged doesn’t mean that we can’t still be “engaged” in our marriage. I believe that is something that I’m learning more and more as we chart the path forward.

This post was a bit meta. And I promise the next one will be more about the planning of the wedding, but I think there is more to planning a wedding than picking colors, food, and location. You have to plan to succeed after it. Anyway, we will talk to you soon. Thank you for the support!

174 days to go!

Planning a Wedding, Pt. 2 Dress Decisions

The most important decision had been made pretty early on. That decision was the kind of wedding. Ruka didn’t want the traditional shrine ceremony. She found it to be a little much for our families. Whereas, I definitely didn’t want the Japanese idea of a western ceremony because I thought it was overly expensive masquerade of a wedding for the sole purpose of showing off. No offense: I just don’t think spending 3,000,000 Yen ($30,000) is a great bargain for one day. It feels like an unnecessary flex. We made the decision to find another way. More on that another time. The decision that we are talking about today is the decision on what to wear. That’s right. We are talking about the dress.

I interviewed Ruka for this post because I kind of knew how she felt about it. Ruka is a strong casual woman that loves cute things, but is kind of utilitarian when it comes to fashion. I actually like that about her.

“No.”

So, when it came to dresses her first thought was. “Ugh” or in Japanese, “めんどくさい”. Why? Because she had to go into Tokyo for the dress shopping, and it’s expensive. Every trip made it more annoying. Her first trip was to Nippori at a popular dress shop. After trying on 4 dresses. Nope. There was a limitation as to how many dresses that she could try on due to the dress shop standards. She didn’t like the process, nor the dresses. After a day of that, I knew that she would only get more and more annoyed as the process went on. And an annoyed Ruka is not something that you want.

She was also worried about what style would work for her. I think that everyone has a image in their mind of what they want or what looks good on them, but this is usually disconnected from reality when it comes to costume items, such as wedding dresses or traditional garb. You know you want to look a certain way though, and you don’t really know what that is until you try things on.

After that first shopping experience, I figured we should change things up. I decided to forego the tradition of not seeing the bride in the dress to help her through the process. I love fashion and I’m pretty good at navigating the pressure that can comes with big decisions like this, and I knew that if I went along that it would be a fun adventure.

Fun, it was! The dress warehouse was huge and packed with dresses. I couldn’t take pictures inside on this one. However, it was filled to the brim. Ruka had a budget of 50,000 yen ($500) in mind. This was kind of ambitious, honestly. Outside of ridiculous looking dresses and just whatever dresses, finding a wedding dress at that price would be nearly impossible. However, this warehouse had dresses that were owned by rental companies, but were now being sold. Ruka and I, both, are about fashion regardless of brand and location. If it looks good, it’s good. So, this was perfect for us.

This is what relief looks like. Mission Accomplished!

Seeing Ruka trying on dresses… Man, I almost cried. I was smiling from ear to ear, but really I wanted to cry. It wasn’t that she was beautiful— of course, she is. It was about the fact that this woman was agreeing to forever, and an engagement is the chrysalis of the relationship. You’re going from one phase to another in beautiful transition. I got a glimpse of the butterfly on the other side.

Can’t wait for y’all to see it. I can’t wait to see her in all her glory on that day!

Have any dress shopping questions? Drop a comment and we’ll reply!

Planning a Wedding for Dummies Pt. 1

Dummies is me. I’m the dummie.

So, the moment that Ruka said yes to the big question, I knew that was the beginning of the big countdown. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a planner. I plan plans. I plan for plans that I may not have planned. And I always am looking at the big picture facts. People will be coming from overseas. Ruka’s family and my family are wildly different. More friends than family will be coming from my side. And we wanted something SMALL. The makings of a great plan is identifying the necessities, the desires, and the goal.

For us the necessity was just a celebration. We don’t care about having a church house or temple wedding. Though, I still would like a temple something, but I don’t think I’m gonna win that battle. We need a place to host friends and family that suits us. More on this later.

The Desire was pretty simple, too. Traditional elements in a casual setting, while showing our personality. We are both very non-traditional people, but we are aware of tradition and desire to preserve some of them. Ruka didn’t want to wear kimono and stressed simplicity.

Which leaves the goal…

Our goal is to celebrate the beginning of a lifelong partnership with those that are responsible for making it this far… and not destroy our bank accounts 😂😅. We will see how that goes. This is only the Introduction.

Let the fun begin.

Engaged

Well, for those of you who don’t know: yep. We’re engaged. This is Tai writing by the way. I will be doing most of the writing… probably. Ruka will come in time to time to talk about her part in this journey. I’m hoping that she’ll drop some knowledge in Japanese. If not, you always have me here to show you the behind the scenes of the Neshiro-Huskey union.

Why do this?

Good question! I think that there are a lot of people that here that we’re getting married and wonder “ooooh! What is that like? What is the process? What is the tradition?” And of course, we wanted to share those answers, our decisions, and the journey to the fusion of our two houses from two completely different cultures into one with you.

Also, we aren’t rich. There are plenty of examples of rich or reckless spending for weddings here in Japan. Google it! We are going to talk about our journey of creating a classy comfortable union without putting ourselves in needless debt.

“I have more questions!”

I thought you might! So, here’s what you can do. On the top page of this website there is a question box. Write your questions there (Japanese or English okay), and we will answer them in a follow up post.

Thanks for supporting us and following along with us on this journey. We couldn’t be more thrilled to share this with you.

Ruka and Dontae