People from all over the world come to Japan and find new lives here, and they often even play a role in supporting Japanese culture and traditions.
Here we introduce their stories and their voices. We learn why they came to Japan, what captured their heart, and the words and phrases they love the most.
The words they share with us are persuasive and truly rich in meaning.
Listen to their favorite Japanese words and learn about the treasures valued in this country.

Todd Sappington

Name: Todd Sappington

Nationality: USA

Activity: Festival leader

Residency in Japan: 12 years

Now living in Fukuoka

Favorite phrase: “Mekubari, Kikubari”

Mekubari, Kikubari

The kanji 目 (me) means “eye.” 気 (ki) means “attention.” And 配り(kubari) means “deliver.” In other words, this phrase refers to turning or “delivering” your eyes and attention to something you need to be aware of. Let’s watch the video clip and see how Todd “delivers his eyes and attention” to those around him.

Favorite place: “Yatai”


“Yatai” is a mobile food stall with a roof. The typical Asian stall has simple stools and a table, so you can eat there on the spot. Since Fukuoka is a port town facing other Asian countries, it has became famous for its food-stall culture. Along with yakitori and ramen, you’ll find some surprises such as authentic cocktails served at Western-style bar stalls.