The organization Gaijin Group was founded by Amya Miller.
Let me introduce myself and why I started the Gaijin Group.
I'm Amya (ah-mee-ya).
I was born and raised in Japan and spent 18 years there as a child. I attended Japanese schools from K-7 and then went to international schools until graduating from high school. My return to the US after spending the bulk of my life away from "home" was one of the most gut-wrenchingly horrible experiences of my life. I honestly do not know how I would have survived if it had not been for my "gaijin" friends, many of whom lived within two hours of me.
As an adult, I worked as an interpreter for 20 years traveling back and forth between the US and Japan, Europe and Asia. I own my own interpretation and consultation company called Lupine and Co. (www.lupineandco.com) The older I become and the longer I stay away from Japan, I miss the connection I have/had with like-minded people who understand my quirks. I get truly excited about a good bowl of ramen. I will ride the Yamanote-sen for an hour just because. I walk through Tokyo to relax. I miss crowds. I miss my favorite stores where 100 yen would get me my perfect snack of the day.
I decided to found the Gaijin Group so that others like me might find each other easier. Gaijins live all over the world. We cover multiple generations. We are different nationalities, religions, races, have different professions, interests and beliefs but we all share a common experience in being an "outsider" in Japan. I wanted to find these people and connect with them.
The gaijins I have met over the years feel like a long-lost uncle, aunt or cousin. We are essentially total strangers. When we find that *thing* we have in common--an absolute need for punctuality, travel, really good food, or simply missing Japan--an instant connection is formed. It's a beautiful thing and I've experienced it over and over.
I'm happy to help. I'm happy to make introductions. I'm happy to help you find people. I'm happy to hear your thoughs and suggestions. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.