Photo Credit: Chempaka Aizim on Facebook
I’m Rebecca “Becky” Ilham, and welcome to Nihon no Monogatari!
I was originally trained as an engineer, but writing has always been a passion. I love literature particularly, and was first published in 2007 as a literary writer in my native Bahasa Melayu. I write short stories, essays and literature-related articles mostly, and since I travel, I also pen down my travel stories.
To be honest, as a traveler, I am actually a late bloomer. But once I tasted the joy of wanderlust, I didn’t look back. After all, I have moles on both feet, and in the Malay culture, they are said to be a sign I am meant to wander far and wide!
The same could be said about my fascination with everything Japanese. I was initially wasn’t really into Japan apart from the occasional anime and J-drama back during my childhood and teenage years.
Then I went to Japan for my graduation trip back in 2009, and let’s just say that I immediately fell in love with the people, the sights, the food, the sound, the smell and the language!
In 2014, I started learning Nihongo (Japanese language) formally, with the intention of taking up a research in contemporary Japanese literature for my PhD. I also graduated from my master program in Malay Literature that year, and celebrated by taking a trip to – well – Japan!
After a few year’s hiatus, the trip felt like a homecoming; it rekindled my fascination with the country and I decided to try visiting the country every year. I’ve been back every year since.
Travel writing in English is a natural course of event, really.
I have always enjoyed jotting down my travel stories for personal records and also for Malay publications, but eventually gathered the courage to send one to an English daily. To my surprise, it was accepted! That was the boost of confidence that I needed – that my perspectives, while personal, are still relevant to the public.
Thus far my stories have been published in the New Straits Times’ Travel Times, The Korea Times, Have Halal Will Travel, Zafigo and Air Asia’s Travel3Sixty.
That is also what I wanted to do here on Nihon no Monogatari (Stories of Japan). While this not a travel guide, I hope, at some point, it will give you ideas, tips and relevant information on traveling in Japan for your to find and create your own stories there.
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!