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.

Kristy Naito

Name: Kristy Naito

Nationality: U.S.A.

Occupation: Judoka

Years in Japan: 14

Current place of residence: Ashikaga, Tochigi

Favorite phrase: “Shiki”


Shiki means “the four seasons.” In Japan, there’s a clear distinction between the seasons, unlike in Hawaii, which has a fairly warm temperature year round. Kristy was touched by the various expressions of the shiki of Japan throughout the year.

Favorite phrase: “Kiai”


Kiai is the momentum of concentrating one's feelings in order to do something. Kristy says she uses kiai to continue to do judo despite her busy lifestyle. On a daily basis, she builds her kiai before her job and her housework.