Monday, September 27, 2010

Japan's Obsession with Seattle

At the beginning of the new millennium, a baseball team in Seattle obtained the most famous baseball star in all of Japan. Nine years later, the player is still unmatched and destined to enter the Hall of Fame. Ichiro not only brought talent to a team but an interest in the city he plays in.

When Japanese people ask me where I'm from, I point my right hand towards an imaginary first base. Then I pull my left arm back like ready to launch an arrow out of a bow. I tell them 'the same place where Ichiro plays' with a smirk on my face. Of course I'm not from Seattle, but I proudly call Washington home. They then become highly interested in my homeland.

Ichiro did a lot to put more focus on an overlooked city in America. Personally, I think when most people think about visiting the US, they think about LA or NY. The area in between seems to disappear. There is a lot of natural wonder between those to cities and there are just as many cities with a more vibrant personality than either of the two. Seattle has a different vibe for sure. I have never been to NY but I am sure they are more genuine people you would find in LA. I never really liked that city.

I could easily see the appeal for the Japanese to visit NY. It's a sprawling metropolis like Tokyo with more diversity than any other city on the planet. Seattle? Well, it's stuck out much more in the last twenty or so years thanks to advancements in technology. Aside from that, it's been home to two musicians who changed the way we perceive music and a martial arts action star who broke the color barrier. It's an interesting city for sure. One I wouldn't mind living in. But it is a city I routinely suggest the Japanese to visit over any other.

Thanks Ichrio! You put an amazing city on the map in the eyes of your fellow countrymen!

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