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There is an economic and there is a spiritual exile. There are those who left her to seek the bread by which men live and there are others, nay, her most favoured children, who left her to seek in other lands that food of the spirit by which a nation of human beings is sustained in life.
James Joyce, Exiles
The hearts that would have given their blood like water,
Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar.
Fair these broad meads - these hoary woods are grand:
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.
Canadian Boat Song
I am a Kentish man, born in a town called Gillingham, two English miles from Rochester, one mile from Chatham, where the King's ships do lie: from the age of twelve years old, I was brought up in Limehouse near London, being Apprentice twelve years to Master Nicholas Diggins; and myself have served for Master and Pilot in her Majesty's ships; and about eleven or twelve years have served the Worshipfull Company of the Barbary Merchants, until the Indish traffic from Holland began, in which Indish traffic I was desirous to make a little experience of the small knowledge which God had given me. So, in the year of our Lord 1598, I was hired for Pilot Major of a fleet of five sails, which was made ready by the Dutch Indish Company.
William Adams, the only foreign samurai
You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing's sake, back home to aestheticism, to one's youthful idea of the artist and the all-sufficiency of art and beauty and love, back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time - back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.
Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again
Oh the sun is on the harbour, love,
And I wish that I could remain,
For I know that it will be a long, long time,
Before I see you again
The Pogues, The Leaving of Liverpool
Most Japanese miss miso soup. In Japan I didn't drink miso soup.
Seiichi Sugano, 8 dan Aikikai, aikido teacher
In fact, Hombu dojo didn't send us out, particularly. It was sort of a contagious disease, you know, like a flu, that spread from one to the other. One left, then the next left. I wanted to come to New York, and I hated the idea of going to England, because I had heard a lot of stuff about bad food, bad weather and stiff lips.
T K Chiba, 8 dan Aikikai, aikido teacher
There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware
Rupert Brooke, The Soldier
Dead, too, in exile!
George Gissing, Born in Exile
These are the names of a few foreigners who lived and died in Japan.
William Adams arrived in Japan in 1600, the first Englishman in Japan. He became the first and only foreign samurai. His Japanese name was Miura Anjin 三浦按針. He was an important advisor to shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. He had a family in England but he was not allowed to leave Japan. He died in Japan in 1620 after living there for 20 years. Shogun by James Clavell was based on his story.
I've talked about Lafcadio Hearn before. He was half-Irish and half-Greek. He died in Japan in 1904 after living there for fourteen years.
Thomas Glover was called the Scottish samurai. He lived in Nagasaki and was influential in the early history of Mitsubishi and other companies. He died in Japan in 1911 after living there for more than fifty years.
And then I think of the generation of young aikido teachers who left Japan in the nineteen-sixties. Most of them were in their twenties and early thirties. They went off to strange countries to start new lives. Nobody told them what to do. They just did their best.