Aaaand here's the second setup page! This covers a pretty big period of time, actually. Training in Tokyo lasted a few days, and was mostly to get us in the right mindset to communicate slowly and clearly with kids that couldn't understand English yet. Lotsa people have asked how I could go teach there with no Japanese skills, but the idea is to focus on immersion. I absolutely still ended up using Japanese in the classroom as I learned it, but the Theoretical Idea is for you to completely immerse them in English. That's just for elementary school though; in JHS and HS, there's a Japanese Teacher of English (JET) in the classroom to handle the technical explanations.
Kurihara is rural as far as Japan goes, but it still had everything you'd need to get by, and is an hour's bus ride away from Sendai. It used to be 10 seperate towns, and still kinda functions that way. My town (Tsukidate), was conveniently the relative center of things, with a lot of stores. So even though it was a "small country town", I could walk to most anything I needed. It's also got an English wiki page! I miss ya already, Kurihara~~
People have also asked me about the exact size of my apartment, so I finally looked it up! It's 23 square meters, which is about 250 square feet.
Which really was about all I needed, but suffice to say it makes my current 1 bedroom apartment in the States seem incredibly luxurious!
I started out working at 4 schools, visiting each about once a week (with the biggest school twice), but one of the schools was so small it got shut down after a year and merged with another.
Phew! Lotsa talking! But there's a surprising amount of basic stuff that people get curious about, but never really came up in the comic itself. Back to working on the book!!