自転車で地域&人づくり
Tomorrow, I leave France for Japan
Tomorrow, I leave France for Japan

Tomorrow, I leave France for Japan

Actually, the take off is not on tomorrow but on the day after. I’m already in the starting blocks though. I take a while for drawing a quick panorama of the questions I am always asked for, which will lead you to understand better the major change I have undertaken.

La ville de Hachioji et le mont Takao (高尾山)
The city of Hachioji and the Mount Takao (高尾山)

Why leaving France ?

My departure is not lead by the willingness of leaving France. I love France, and I estimate myself as extremely fortunate to be born in such a country. But it also have its limits. A country is a viewpoint on the world, incomplete and hence wrong in essence. We realize it as long as we begin to put a foot abroad, and then the other one. Around this decision, there is the assessment of the poverty of the current French mainstream thinking in particular, which I feel myself quite irrelevant with. To me, experiencing this statement sounds like an unavoidable step for whoever yearns for having a lucid gaze on one’s existence.

Why Japan ?

Why not ? It is I country I have always felt close to, through culture, arts or literature. Sometimes even closer to France. I is an intriguing enough assessment for my interest to be piqued, and for that I feel like looking deeper on it. I reckon that several reasons uncounciously lead me to this country. Its culture is very far to mine, as much as its history, but its development has occured in a more or less similar way, more or less at the same time. So it appears as a perfect counterpart. Of course, I do not leave for discovering an “other France”, but a totally different territory. it is both this unexplainable closeness and this uncountable distance that explains my strong interest for it.

What are you going to do, there ?

At the beginning, I expected to leave with my triple academic-sportive-literary project in the hands. But my professionnal experience with Tusnad Cycling has accelerated the move. I let the sports project aside, which will not provide me much anymore. Today, I leave with 1. an academic project, to get my graduation of literature at the end of the year ; 2. a cultural/linguistic project, to learn Japanese culture and language ; 3. an initiatory project, to travel among east Asia ; 4. A literary project, to find an editor for my first novel and to keep on working on the upcoming one.

You wanna learn the language ? Are you crazy ? I heard that 7 years of studying were necessary to start understanding Japanese.

No, I’m not crazy, and indeed, the learning of Japanese is a very difficult task for a Westerner. But even if I don’t communicate a lot about it – as well as for my wrinting works, that kind of represent my underground face -, I dedicate a lot of time and effort to this for two years. I work with a lot of organisation on it, as well as on many other stuff. 1. I started by learning the grammar basis, and by getting a minimum knowledge of oral Japanese thanks to the listening of movies/animes/radio podcasts. 2. I learnt the kanas, the two basic syllabaries of japanese language. 3. I dealt with grammar and vocabulary in-depth, by following a four-month courses and by working on it several hours a week, even during the cycling season. 4. I started the learning of Kanjis, and i currently know between 200 and 250 of it. An average Japanese man knows approximately 3000 of it, so I still actually have a lot to do.

What will you study at the university ?

The academic side is the main thing of this project, since I leave as part of the exchange program of Lyon 2 university, where I followed the two first years of my literary degree, and the agreements with Chuo University (中央大学), that will welcome me in Hachioji (八王子市), in the suburbs of Tokyo. Hachioji is a small city of the Tokyo metropolis, bigger than Lyon ; and Chuo one of the most prestigious universities of the country, notably known for its law faculty. I will be linked to the faculty of letters, and my academic plan will be divided into two parts : language and culture, that both will necessitate around 10 hours of courses per week.

Where will you live ?

I will live in a student residence in Hino (日野市), the neighboor city, located approximately mid-way to the Tokyo Metropolis. I will share my appartment with two other students. For the trainings, I will be 15km far to the bottom of the first hills in the countryside, while remaining 35km far to the city center of Tokyo, which is as a reminder, the largest metropolis of the world with 52 millions of inhabitants, meaning the same amount of people living in france excepting Paris.

Then, cycling is over ?

No. I contacted the cycling club of my university (contrary to France, universitary clubs are extremely developed and important for Japanese universities). I also plan to find a team for racing a bit of the amateur season, which will only affect the second semester. But above all, my big cycling project from now is the one of travelling. I want to open a breach between the racers world and the travellers world, by wandering a part of Asia on my racing bike during the winter holidays. I will also take advantage of the (short) mid-year holidays for travelling across Japan.

This blog will keep on existing ?

Of course it will, and will make sense even more, since I don’t want to limit myself at the only sports matters, as well as it was the case by the past. Sorry for the purists ; for whoever other subjects can possibly interest, I invite you to keep on coming there sometimes, and to feed the debates, the stories and the anecdotes I will offer there. Only a few articles will be traduced in English, else it costs me a huge amount of time, but I will try my best to supply both of the two sections of the website.