Ruth McCreery, 76, originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has lived in Japan for 43 years. The translator and longtime Yokohama resident was recently honored as one of TELL Japan’s “Legends,” during the organization’s 50th anniversary event earlier this month.

1. When did you first get interested in Japan? Over 50 years ago (my husband) was doing his research in Taiwan, so we got married and went there. At that point, I was a graduate student in sociology and I thought I needed to get something out of this time there.... So I started studying Japanese in Taiwan.

2. You were honored as a “legend” by TELL last week. What does being a “legend” mean to you? I’d first heard of the idea last year because we had a TELL worker who had just died and had been incredibly dedicated. She was designated a TELL legend. I guess the idea was to honor people who had been involved and had contributed in a long way.