I got into teaching in 1996 after I retired from the United Nations at the age of 61. This new career was one that came looking for me rather than me looking for it. I had planned after retirement to start, in partnership with my older son, a small book publishing company focusing on various aspects of Japanese culture. However, this dream was disrupted when a very good friend, now deceased, pressed me to accept a position at a new university headed by a friend of his. She was looking for someone with experiences like mine in international affairs. Although I knew almost nothing about teaching, I grudgingly accepted the position. Much to my surprise and great delight I soon grew to love being a teacher. The main reason for this, in spite of the grueling schedule and many demands upon a teacher, was every year, without fail, I got to meet incoming fresh 18-year-olds and other young people. So, even though I continued to get older each year, the students were always a new, young crop. This annual cycle grew to become a wonderful elixir that help prevent some of the unwanted side effects of aging. Where else but at a university could an aging person like me find a reputable invigorating environment with young people.
As the years passed and education in Japan underwent changes, the work became even more enjoyable because more and more young people from other countries are coming to study in Japan. As of 2017, I’ve had students from China, Korea, The Philippines, Guam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Uyghur, Nepal, Mongolia, United States, Canada, Norway, Brazil, Ukraine, Netherlands, Poland, and France. Here below are some photos from over the years showing some of those young people.