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Taylor Cazella

I was born in New Jersey, grew up in Wisconsin and currently live in the southern end of Mie Prefecture, Japan, where I work as an Assistant Language Teacher at a local high school. It was in my second year at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh that I became interested in Japanese language and culture. At the recommendation of a professor, I attended a summer seminar at Bodhi Manda Zen Center in New Mexico. It was there that I met Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a then 100-year-old Zen Master from Japan. Roshi didn't speak a word of English. Nonetheless, I found something in his approach to life extremely compelling. When I returned to school at the end of that summer, I began to take language study seriously. It occurred to me, then, that there are whole worlds of experience waiting behind the barrier of language. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Religious Studies, and a minor in Japanese Language and Culture. I also hold a masters degree from the University of Michigan's Center for Japanese Studies. My interests are extremely nebulous and difficult to describe. When I'm not working on translation projects, I play classic Japanese video games, write my own fiction and enjoy many of Japan's fabulous pubs.