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19 February 2011 @ 11:47 am
FAQ (it's kinda like a long, ongoing meme, lol)  
I get asked questions by well-meaning people all over the world. It makes me really happy and flattered, to know that people feel like they can ask me for information and advice. =^-^= But, I don't have all that much time to answer, and I tend to get the same questions over and over. If I wrote back to everyone, I'd be answering questions all day long and have no time for work, friends, hobbies, and most importantly, love!

So therefore, an FAQ! =^-^= If you do have a question that's not answered here, then add a comment and I will add it to the FAQ as soon as I can! So.. here we go! =^-^=

About Me

What is your name? Jamie Lynn Lano.

What is your birthday? August 5, 1980. At the time of writing this, I am a young 30. :D

How tall are you? I am roughly 6 feet tall. I was 5'11" when I moved to Japan, but it seems I've grown a little. Erk! Incidentally, I have a 38-inch inseam (37 is alright), sleeves are always too short (even in America in "tall" shops), and I wear a size 10 or 10 1/2 shoes (American size). I won't tell you my weight or cup size. ^.~

Where are you from?/Where did you grow up/go to school? I was born in Washington state (USA). I grew up in Kennewick (WA) and Lancaster (CA). After graduating high school, I moved to Phoenix (AZ) to attend college.

What college did you go to? What was your degree in? I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in "Media Arts and Animation" from the Art Institute of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. I am happy that I went, because I made some of the best friends of my life there!

What is your favorite food? I guess I would have to choose cheese, milk, onions, chocolate, and raspberries. =^^= For group of food, I would probably choose Mexican food. I love burritos!

When did you start drawing? I have been drawing since the first time that I could hold a crayon. I can't ever remember not drawing. I've always loved it!

What are your hobbies? Reading the internet/blogging, reading, karaoke, drawing, stargazing, trying new foods, learning, art.

What are your favorite anime/manga? This changes depending on my mood, but I think that overall my favorite animes we Hunter x Hunter, Utena, and Sailor Moon. My overall favortie manga is without a doubt Nana. I also enjoy Bakuman and Kodomo no Jikan a lot these days, though I wouldn't say that they are all that.

Who are your inspirations? Art-wise, Yazawa Ai, Tanemura Arina, and Obata Takeshi are my inspirations! Character and story-wise, I also admire Yoshihiro Togashi.

What is your favorite book/movie/song? Forever-favorite books are The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, and White Fang by Jack London. I also am fond of the Harry Potter series of course. ^^ My favorite movie is Labyrinth, with Jennifer Connely and David Bowie. Do you remember it? I can say almost every line by heart. ^.~ My favorite song/singer changes like the wind. Currently I love Taylor Swift, but in general I'd say that I really love classic-rock-ish stuff sung by guys (Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, etc), instrumental music (classical, soundtracks, etc), and upbeat stuff with a strong melody (Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, etc). I do listen to Jpop, but I don't have a favorite. I am rather fond of some of SEAMO's songs, and Amuro Namie and Koda Kumi.

What did you want to be growing up? In grade school, I always wanted to be an animator or an archaeologist. For a while I wanted to be an astronaut. I still want to participate in a dig and live in outer space sometime!

Do you like yaoi/yuri? Yes. I like almost everything, especially romantic love stories. ^^

What do you do? I worked as Konomi Takeshi's assistant mangaka on "Shin Tennis no Oujisama" from Sept 2008~Jan 2010, but I quit in order to work on my own projects/manga/etc. From Spring 2009 I've been hosting the weekly show "Asahi Pop'n Press" here in Japan, and I write "Jamie on the Go" for the english-language newspaper Asahi Weekly once a month. If you can, check them all out! =^-^=

About Japan/Life in Japan

What is your favorite Japanese food? What Japanese food do you like? Hmm. At this point in time, my favorite Japanese food is probably steamed sweet chestnuts. I really eat almost anything, so I like most Japanese food. The only things that I can think of offhand that I will not eat are natto, umeboshi, shiokara, and anything tasting of vinegar (including mayonnaise).

Was the transistion from one culture to another difficult? When I first came to Japan, I lived much as I did in America (food, customs, etc), so it was a slow transition. What was difficult was learning how to get around without a car. I had never seen a commuter train and never used public transportation before, aside from the school bus. I am used to it now, but I still would rather use a car as it's much more convenient.

What first got you interested in Japan? I started watching Sailor Moon in high school, and from there branched out to other anime and finally manga. In college I was the president of my local anime club for a while. I loved anime, and from that I got interested in Japan.

Why did you move to Japan? On a whim. I was going to graduated from college soon but I didn't have any interest in working in my field of study anymore (animation). So I decided to find a job in Japan and move there for a year and decide during that time what I wanted to do. I felt like I just needed a change, and wanted to live in the land of anime for a while.

What was your first job in Japan? I worked for the biggest english conversation school at the time, NOVA. They went bankrupt less than 2 years after I came to Japan, but I had already quit working for them long before. I worked for them for 8 months, then moved on to other english teaching jobs for a few years.

How did you get your job? I applied for an interview with NOVA while I was in college and was interviewed in Phoenix. I was offered the job and they helped arrange for my flight (though I paid). When I moved to Japan, they met me and several other new employees at the airport and helped us get to our company apartments. When a coworker told me of another job opportunity, I left NOVA (I hated them) and worked for that company as an ALT for three years. During that time, another friend offered me a part-time job at another english school, which I took. It became a full-time job when I quit the ALT work, and I worked there until I got the job with Konomi-sensei.

How can I find a job as an english teacher? How do I find an apartment in Japan? How much Japanese do I need to know? (etc) I answered all of these questions here as best I can: http://hinoai.livejournal.com/783744.html ^^

How often do you visit your family in America? I've only visited them once since I moved to Japan, and that was roughly 5 years ago. I would go more often if I had a larger income. I visited one other time about three years ago, but only went to California to attend Anime Expo.

How much Japanese do you know? When I came to Japan I knew basically no Japanese. Now I am at a low-advanced level, I think. My speaking is better than my reading. I learned by studying by myself (with books), and through interacting with people in Japanese in real life. I've never really went to a school to study Japanese, though I would like to sometime. The only reason that I haven't is that they are fairly expensive.

Have you ever been discriminated against as a foreigner living in Japan? By complete coincidence I'm a tall, thin, white American girl, which is generally seen as an ideal in Japan. So I get a lot of stares and compliments, but not a whole lot of racism. I guess I am lucky. There is the occasional oddball of course. I also get hit on by creepy old men and sketchy playboys probably more than some others. But in general I haven't had much in the way of offensive things happen to me. The big two places I've experienced racism personally is, 1) men who want to sleep with you (because you're exotic) but aren't interested in a permanent relationship if you're not japanese, or only want a relationship/friendship in order to learn english; and 2) finding a good place to rent. As it's 100% legal to turn someone down just based on the color of their skin, the times I searched for apartments, I was turned down repeatedly by landlords I had never even met or talked to. It wouldn't be nearly as bad, except that the best places (ie, good large, new apartments with cheap rent) are not often available to foreigners. If you have a lot of money or don't care so much about the state of your apartment this is not an issue, though. I think things are getting a little bit better recently, but still.

Do you ever commit cultural faux paus? I'm sure I do, and I don't always understand the Japanese way of thinking. But even if I was in America I'm sure that I would have issues once in a while. I'm generally a quiet person who keeps to myself while at home, so I am a good neighbor either way, I think.

Does Japan have wireless internet? In Japan, if you want to use internet and do not have it at home/school/your hotel, then your best bet is to go find and go to a net cafe. There are usually several within 5 minutes of any large train station.

Where do you shop in Japan? I most often shop for clothes at Shibuya 109 and Forever 21. I wear a size 10 shoes, which are not really sold, so my only options are buying online (shipping is expensive though) or Forever 21 (whose shoes I don't like but at least they carry my size). If you are anything up to a US size 8 you should be able to find shoes that fit you in most stores. Obviously I can't buy pants that are long enough for me here, so I either: 1) buy and add some different fabric to the bottom to make them longer, or 2) buy them anyways and hide the shortness under long boots, 3) make them myself, or 4) buy online from America or some other place. I fit Japanese skirts and shorts fine most of the time, and for shirts I just pick the ones that I like. Some fit and some don't, but you will find in Japan that most Japanese girls do not wear shirts that fit well on them to start with. So if you don't find something that fits you will just blend in! Think of it that way! ^^

Getting a job in anime/manga

See my How to become a mangaka (in Japan) series and it should answer all of your questions!
http://hinoai.livejournal.com/tag/☆ Wanna be a mangaka?

Why did you want to become a mangaka? Well, for a long time I thought that it would be great to work as a comic artist (independently, as I didn't want to draw someone else's story). But I didn't know Japanese so I didn't even think being a mangaka was possible. But one of my students when I first moved to Japan was a manga assistant, and she suggested that I think about becoming a mangaka. That's the first time that I thought about it!! Way back in 2005. I didn't really think about it seriously until much later, but now I think that it seems perfect for me!

Can you recommend me a good college to learn how to make manga? Not really. Sorry! ^^; The college that I went to was unrelated to manga. In fact, most of the teachers discouraged anyone to draw in manga style. They really seemed like they hated it for the most part. If you are thinking of going to a college for that, I suggest you ask your guidance counselor in high school or in the college that you're currently enrolled in. I'm sorry, but I can't be of much help. If all else fails, there is always google!

The End!! If you have any more questions, add them to the list below!! =^-^=
ナルルdgm_allenwalker on February 19th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
I have a question to ask if that's all right? :0

Where do you mostly do grocery shopping?! (like Costco, 7-11...)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 19th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
I do 99% of my grocery shopping at local stores. Whenever I want something I can't find there, I order it online or go to an import store.

Costco is very far, so I only go there a few times per year. 7-11 is just a convenience store. ^^
alldreamsdie85alldreamsdie85 on February 19th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
Jamie, we have the same birthday! Happy Birthday to us! I was born in 88 though.
超ちゃ人chochajin on February 19th, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
Although I basically already know all of what you've written it was a joy to read. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down :D
Firsa Asahiasahifirsa on February 19th, 2011 01:17 pm (UTC)
The first time I've seen someone who rates "The Mysterious Island" and "White Fang" among their all time favorites :) Labyrinth is definitely among my favorite movies, but Jaws and JP3 are pretty much equals :)
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 22nd, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
The keyboards are almost the same as American, with a few differences. The same with phones. If you're really interested, I think that you can probably find some good images of them on google or wikipedia ^^
tanaka_kieran on February 20th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
A Question for your meme!
Jamie San, my questions for you are: what was your favorite memory or part of working as an assistant for Konomi Takeshi Sensei?

Also, what was the atmosphere like in his studio?

Thank You for your inspiring blog! (^__^)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 22nd, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
Re: A Question for your meme!
Oh my. Well, it really depended on the day and time. Sometimes it was really busy, and there was lots of rushing and working hard, sometimes it was really quiet and slow, so much so that you wanted to fall asleep. Some days there was lots of laughing and conversation, and other days there were mainly annoyed voices. It really depends, but basically, everybody was working as hard as they could to put out a product that they were proud of, and everyone were friends. ^^

Oh my, a favorite memory, I will have to get back to you on that! It would take a lot of thought.. But if you're interested in the meantime, I often wrote in my blog from work, so if you check the archives for that period of time there is plenty to read. ^^
tanaka_kieran on February 22nd, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
Re: A Question for your meme!
Ah I see, it sounds like even harder work to be an assistant then an actual mangaka! Haha (^__^) thank you for answering my question, I'll be sure to check the archives for that, ありがとうございます!!!Also good luck on your quest to becoming a Mangaka! (^__^)
kate_fireflykate_firefly on February 21st, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
i have a question...
this was interesting to read, there were some things i didn't know about you yet. ^^

my question is why do you use layouts where the userpic of ppl who comment don't show up? cuz i think it'd be nice to see everyones' different userpics in the comments. ^^
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 22nd, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Re: i have a question...
Oh, there are a few reasons:

1) I don't like that comments from people who don't have accounts don't get icons too, so it's fair for everybody to be icon-less :3

2) This blog is kind of professional in a way, and I think that it looks unprofessional to have icons all over.

3) Some people use inappropriate (adult, etc) icons, or icons of copyrighted materials, so I can't have them appear on a professional blog, just in case ^^

Number 1 is the most important, of course ^^
kate_fireflykate_firefly on February 23rd, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Re: i have a question...
that makes sense. thanks 4 replying!
genkanai on February 23rd, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
burritos in Tokyo
Have you been to Frijoles in Azabu Juban? I'd love to hear your take on their burrito.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 23rd, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
Re: burritos in Tokyo
I've never heard of it, but I looked it up and thank you! I will go sometime soon!
genkanai on February 23rd, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
Re: burritos in Tokyo
Frijoles has a new Roppongi store opening up on Feb. 28th, near Roppongi Hills. I assume the website has details.
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 5th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, at first I thought it would be a good idea, but people kept asking me the same questions, and a lot of questions that already had answers on the internet (like about visas), so I decided to close it down. ^^;
(Deleted comment)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 5th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, it was too bad. I'm really busy, but I took the time to write the answers. I didn't have time to always write the answers again and again, unfortunately ^^;
尹麗蓮yinlilian on May 25th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
Hello xD
So, my friend and I wish to share an apartment together in Japan sometime after we graduate high school and uni (around 10 years, gah). How much money would you say we would need in our bank accounts to survive off of once the time comes to migrate? That is until we get jobs o_o LOL.
尹麗蓮yinlilian on May 25th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. And is it wiser to rent an apartment or house? :S

Cheers big ears 8D
kittycat64kittycat64 on June 12th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)

I just found your awesome blog today, and was wondering if you wouldn't mind me asking a question. Are you open to accepting orders/commissions for buying stuff like manga or doujinshi?
Ali ElAli El on July 17th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Art College
Hi Jamie Lynn Lano,

How are you? I believe its great decision you have made to stay in Japan. ME i would love to live there as well. But to attain that would be difficult unless i hold a degree or i am very good in something.

i am 29 and confused normally what to do next in my life. I have entered IT then left it, worked in a bad job for 3 years. Decided to go to Ireland to study a short course in fitness because i got sick & tired working as a office assistant.

Been trying to find a Job but no luck since i need to have some experience.

Now my father is asking me what if i take up a degree in something I like.

I am thinking. Whether to go back to IT and finish it or take a course in ART.

I love ART because of Japanese animation. There is a college in Japan that teaches manga art but to live in Japan is expensive + the language.

I am thinking to take up a course which help me to attain skills in drawing and would as well help me get a proper job + have the skills that will enable me drawing characters / backrounds etc like in manga.

I have no basic skills in drawing. I have been sending questions to people asking weather i need to have some basic skills in drawing before entering a art college.

Can you help me in deciding which path of art i should choose and the requirement to enter a college art.