I first came to Japan in 1983 participating at the 1983 NHK Trophy (held as the 1984 World Junior Figure Skating Championships) as a member of the German national team.
We placed 10th; solid, but not perfect. But more importantly, that stay in Sapporo formed the foundation of my wish to return to and live in Japan, which I did 16 years later.
There is no one motto that fits it all. “Don’t worry, be happy,” an old saying from Meher Baba and later sung by Bobby McFerrin, might fit best. As a notorious optimist, there is no reason to be sad, even in unfortunate circumstances.
This is easily said, but difficult in execution. A twist of another saying might reflect it even better: “The grass is always greener on ... my … side of the fence.”
I was always surrounded by passionate and committed colleagues. All achievements were always reached by the team, so I have nothing to be proud of.
If this counts, studying and being able to speak Japanese, having settled here in Tokyo are perhaps my proudest achievements in my professional life.
Since I became a father later than most — our daughter was just born two years ago — my ultimate goal is to stay healthy and fit to help her grow up and be there for her when she needs me.
By the time she gets married, I’ll probably be in my 80s, so I want to still be able to walk her down the aisle.
Nothing particularly related to Japan, but with a good set of manners and respect you will feel quite comfortable and accepted here. Never underestimate people with opposing beliefs just because they have different thoughts.