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Peyton Goodman - Oita (2017-2019)

Where were you in Japan as a JET and when?

I was a JET in Hita City, Oita Prefecture from 2017 to 2019. 

What sparked your interest in applying for the JET program?

During college, I became friends with a few upperclassmen who encouraged me to study abroad in Yamaguchi, Japan due to their positive experiences. I greatly enjoyed my time and was eager to find an opportunity that would allow me to go back. Thankfully, my friends also became JETs and their advice was very valuable during the application phase and when I was preparing to move to Japan. 

What are some of the things your prefecture is known for? e.g. food, hotspots, etc.

For people that know Oita prefecture, the first thing that comes to mind are onsen (hot springs). Regarding Hita city specifically, many of my Japanese colleagues were proud that during the summer Hita would frequently be named the hottest city in Japan. 

Did you pick up any of the regional dialects? What are some of your favorite words or phrases?

Not really, haha. The one word I picked up was achi, a play on the word atsui (hot) in Hita-ben. 

If you were to return to live in Japan, would you choose to live in that same prefecture?

Yes! Nothing beats the beautiful mountains of Oita prefecture. 

How has your connection in relation to Japan changed since living in Japan?

My connection to Japan has grown deeper. A special part of my JET experience was that I was a marching band coach at one of my elementary schools. It was a lot of hard work but I am so thankful for that experience. I not only became closer with my students but also all of the teachers at the school and some of the parents of my students. It really helped me feel a sense of community and it’s something I still hold dear in my heart. Last year, I returned to Hita for the first time since finishing JET. I remember feeling nervous, wondering how things had changed. However, as I walked around and caught up with old friends, it reminded me that Hita will always be a home that I can return to.

Thank you, Peyton, for sharing your JET story!

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