My name is Tatsuru Arimura. I was born on February 3rd at 1:00 am in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, the southernmost part of Japan. Kagoshima is the place that produced many revolutionaries of the Meiji Restoration. Currently, my family members consist of three: my mother, younger sister, and myself. My father passed away from stomach cancer when I was 12 years old.
Several months after I was born, I moved to Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture because of my father’s job. I was there until I was 4 years old. Now, I think about the past and realize that we lived in a place that was not suitable for us to grow up in. There were a lot of gas tanks, garbage and such. What I remembered of my father was his strict ways and being hit on the head by him. Also, I remembered he tickling me and I was laughing so hard, I could not breathe, but I did not know how to tell him. This was such a traumatic experience that it haunted my dreams until I was 15 years old. However, now, it is not as traumatic as it used to be.
When I became 5 years old, we moved to Takarazuka City. This city is famous for operas performed by only females because females were better able to express the beauty and elegance of the characters in the opera.
I then attended Takarazuka City, Nogami kindergarten for two years. When I think about those days and graduation day, I didn’t want to leave my teacher. Thus, even though I was very little, I had a crush on my teacher.
When I entered Elementary School, I began to get taller. I was also picked on by other kids because of my shy personality. I did not hate going to school because the other kids picked on me-I knew they will get punished some day. So, I did not confront them.
Towards the end of my 6th grade, I began having more experiences so that my calm existence up till then seemed like a lie. For example, I became popular in class as a leader because I use to play Sumo which became popular in school. Thus, I felt good about myself where I did not before. When I was participating in Sumo, I fell down and hit my elbow joint and it got dislocated. When I think back, it was the first time I was in rehabilitation. I got help from a therapist. Thus, I could not do much because I was very stiff and could only move my arm 60 degrees. However, through massage and heating therapy, I got better and I was impressed.
When I was in Boy Scouts, I broked my leg while I was camping. Although it was not a complicated break, I was in a cast and had to use a cane to walk around for a month.
The fourth thing that happened in my life was the death of my father. In April, when I was in the sixth grade, my father who was 37 years old at the time, developed symptoms. In May, he was hospitalized. He then passed away on August 15, 1985. At that time in Japan, it was not a custom for doctors to tell their patients what is wrong with them, but will tell family members. So, mother did not tell father what was wrong with him. My father started thinking that this was strange. My father asked my mother to tell him the truth. At the same time, I appreciated mother because she had to help both of us. So, in the coming months, everything happened all at once and then passed like a storm. I graduated in March of the next year.
I then entered Intermediate school. I started playing with a rubber baseball and plastic bat near my house and when I think back it was quite childish. I continued through my second year in high school because I was very good at the game and my batting average was high. It is not an exaggeration to say that I put all of myself into the game. I was the leading hitter and the “King of Home Run” once during the game.
When I was in the third grade of Junior High, we got together and won a soccer competition. I was the goalkeeper. I was about 7 feet tall. So, my school days were fruitful.
Also, I started to ride trains and travel by myself. Thus, I became an expert at traveling in trains. As a result, I really like traveling in trains.
As for my family, my mother got her driver’s license when she was 37 years old. She started to work at the subsidiary company where my late father had worked; this was part of the main company in order to raise my sister and I. So, I respect my mother very much because she worked, took care of our home and raised us. Thus, I appreciate her and I am very proud of her.
I cannot express my feelings to my mother about how much she has done for me so the only way I know how to repay her is to become one of the best Speech Therapist in the world. This is my weak point in that I cannot express my true feelings about how I feel about her and all she has done for me. I think, I would like to say, “Mother, thank you so much I appreciate you from all my heart”.
As for my high school years, it was the most unfruitful years of my life. However, I was not a delinquent, but I was also not very productive either. This time of my life I could have been defiant, but I knew my mother was going through a rough time so I did not want to make any trouble. There was only one thing I was productive in doing and that was traveling by train. Even though it was a small world, I traveled to many places and took many pictures, relaxing in the hot springs and talking as well as getting along with many of the local people along the way, etc. In Japan, there is an old saying , “If you love your child, send your child on a journey”. Through this journey, I had many kinds of experiences and I matured a lot. I survived two-thirds of Japan except Tohoku, Hokkaido and Okinawa.
It’s difficult to enter the university right away especially since I was in the second wave of the “Baby Boomers”. I did not pass the examination into the university; therefore, I had to wait another year. In those days, I was not clear as to what I wanted to become, I liked Biology and English so I put my energy into those subjects. The next year, I was able to enter Koonan University, Department of Science with a major in Biology.
Since I entered the University, little by little, I made many friends at the university and we formed a league to play and participate in the city baseball games. This was our first formal debut. During my four years at college, besides studying, I played baseball, traveled and worked part-time. Since I got my driver’s license, I now had a new means of traveling. So I traveled through the mountain roads by car which took me to places that were not part of the main roads. It was filled with adventure and places many people may not have ever seen.
After halfway through my college years, I started putting all my energy into positive things such as making a DTM by using my computer. I had a perfect pitch that was helpful in making the DTM. I had challenged many things and had many experiences. As a result, my college years were very fruitful. On the other hand, I spent some time everyday on a part-time job as well as play. So, to tell you the truth, I was not a very dedicated student nor was I eager to work in the field of Biology.
After I worked for three years, gradually, I was beginning to understand the true meaning of what a job really is about. One customer, who had a speech disability, tried very hard to express what she needed by using sign language and body language to communicate. So, we tried to respond by writing it out and made an effort to get the items she needed. Then I started thinking, there must be more I can do to help disabled people with their communication. This was a period of changes in the 21rst Century and my three careers. I started reevaluating my thoughts about this career – is this career for me or not? I thought about this very seriously and as a result I decided to change my career and become a Speech Therapist.
Kentucky Fried Chicken was a good experience for me and it meant a lot. Also, fortunately, I was blessed by good bosses. I was wondering whether or not I should quit and start from the beginning and change my career. However, to tell you the truth, Japan is now becoming an Aging Society of elderly people. When I look towards the future, with the elderly people increasing, I couldn’t see the long term vision of being successful with the Kentucky Fried Chicken business. Even in the future, strategically or in developing the product the mannerism, consternation and thinking of this back forth, I was worried about the future of KFC. After much thought about KFC and it’s future, as well as it’s past, I decided it would be best to change my career. I quit KFC where I worked for three years. I studied for one year and took the entrance exam once again. Then I entered Hiroshima Prefecture – Health Science Department. So, when I look back on my life, I would like to express to my mother appreciation by repaying her back as a dutiful son should do. Also, I have met many wonderful people through work and school life and because of those people I have become the person I am now.