My parents are both from Texas, but moved to Kansas for my dad’s job when I was a kid, so I grew up mostly in Kansas.  I actually consider myself a Kansan.

It’s interesting how the reputations of Kansas and Texas are so different.  Texas is one of the “big” states, like California, Florida, and New York, and possibly Illinois (due to Chicago.)   These states are the cool kids in the class.  The popular ones.  The ones that everybody admires, and perhaps envy.

Kansas, on the other, hand is that quiet kid who you don’t even notice.  So very quiet and modest and shy.  Nobody bothers to get to know that kid.  But if you do get to know that kid, you find that he’s actually pretty darn cool, in his own way.

We all know that the repuation of Kansas is that it’s so very boring.  Thank you, Wizard of Oz!  But the truth?  Yeah, okay, it’s not the most exciting place in the world.  But really it is very beautiful.  I miss the wide open blue sky.  That sky doesn’t exist in Japan.  It’s a sky that Japanese people would pay big money for, if they could get on the bullet train and arrive at such a place.

Kansas is a humble place.  And to be honest, it’s a really good place to raise kids and a good place to live.  It’s extremely underrated.

When Japanese people ask me where I am from, I usually say “Texas.”  It’s not a lie, because I was born there.  It’s just less confusing to say Texas than Kansas, because that’s where I visit during my vacations.  If I said, “Kansas” but then later say, “Oh, my vacation in Texas…” that would really confuse people here!  Plus, most Japanese people are not familiar with Kansas, but they all sort of know Texas.  (The name, anyway.)  So it’s just easier.   But honestly…I AM KANSAN!!!!!!