Hi, my name is Hanako!
I am the artist for the comic blog, “The Days of Hanako” where I draw comics about my life living in Canada and being married to my Canadian husband.
I was born and raised in Aomori, Japan, and I have been living in Toronto, Canada for about 10 years now with my husband, Kevin. We met in Japan when he was working there as an English teacher (I was not his student, so there is no scandal).
Kevin hosted a pot luck party for some students and their friends, and I was invited. At the party, he asked for my phone number. I thought it was funny because he did not speak Japanese at all, and I spoke poor English. I wondered what we would do on the phone… but, we managed to communicate with 100% of my effort (language wise), and a lot of hand gestures from Kevin.
We became good friends first and discovered that we had the same strange sense of humour. This was our link, and now we have been together for many years.
On my blog, you can see the cartoon for “how we met” (it is my impression of how Kevin saw me for the first time).
I have always liked drawing, but did not draw for many years. I had forgotten my passion for drawing for a long time. I think I was just busy establishing myself in Canada, but one day Kevin gave me special cartoon papers and pens as a gift and that is how I started drawing cartoons.
If you like my cartoons, please check out my blog for more: “The Days of Hanako“
I feel that my life has given me a unique experience of living with someone with a different cultural background in two different countries.
I have a lot of funny stories to share to make people laugh! I have been through a lot of stages, from growing up in a small town in Japan and graduating from a university there, to meeting Kevin, moving to Toronto, working at a restaurant, going to a college in Halifax, living in Vancouver and getting married, working for a bank, buying a house, getting a dog, and it continues all the time!
I cherish all the memories I have, and I thought it would be great to record them as comics before I forget them. My dream as a child was to be a cartoonist and having my blog is a way for me to share my work with the world. I am focused on my cartoon blog and hope to publish a collection of my comics sometime in the future!
If I was to give any advice to a couple with different cultural back-grounds, I think having the same values about life is important. For example, it could be kindness, honesty, morality or value of money. In my case, an especially important thing we share is our sense of humour.
I think that if you can share your humour with someone, you will be able to deal with the difficult things life will put in your path. I believe these values are more critical than language or cultural differences.
But of course, we all have our moments when mis-communication happens and if you can look back and point out to others how funny it was, and also at yourself, you will be stronger together.