My Japanese friend, who recently moved back to Japan, called me this weekend. Her kids are doing fine. Her husband is in the throes of work, and she is wondering how she can keep up with her English. As a person who fit well in the United States, her life back in Japan is taking some adjusting. She’s happy to reconnect with family and friends, but she’s missing here.
I promised to find her some Americans in Okayama where she is living. Okayama, a city past Kyoto, even further from Tokyo, is not exactly an expat hot spot. She’s been on a hunt for English speakers without much luck. I did a Web search after we hung up and, although I have yet to find any Americans for her, I think I found English speakers. There is a Toastmaster’s Club.
Most of the Okayama Toastmaster Club’s Web site is written in Japanese, but there is another site with information on Toastmaster Clubs in Japan with links to each of them. From what I can tell, the purpose of Toastmasters in Japan is to give people a venue for giving speeches in English and to help people improve their public speaking abilities in general.
Toastmasters International has clubs all over the world. If you’re in the need for some public speaking help and a place to meet people, here’s a suggestion.