A Homesick Hawai‘i Student Find a Home Away From Home in Yokohama

Jackie Kojima
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

At 86 years of age, Kei Komuro may just be the busiest retiree in Yokohama. Between running his okonomiyaki shop and cooking up the savory Japanese pancake four days a week, swimming laps at a local sports club, visiting his great-grandchildren in Kamakura on weekends and making time to eat dinner with his girlfriend, Komuro rarely has a minute to spare.

I first met Kei Komura, whom I call “Ojisan,” in October 2016. Having dreamt of studying abroad since high school, I was thrilled to be spending my junior year as an exchange student at Keio University’s Mita Campus. I arrived in Tökyö in September and spent my first month exploring the city with new friends, attending school orientations and dorm welcome parties and settling into my exciting new life in Tökyö.

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