‘I was a TV director and producer’

Jacques van der Merwe artist. Immigrant Portrai Japan
Jacques van der Merwe. Artworks of refugees and immigrants into Australia.

D.O.B. // 05-09-1955
DATE INTERVIEWED // 29-11-2012
COUNTRY OF BIRTH // JAPAN
COUNTRIES LIVED IN // JAPAN, EGYPT, AUSTRALIA
DATE OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA // 1998
KIND OF ENTRANCE // IMMIGRANT

Kosuke was born in Nagasaki, Japan, but grew up in Kyoto. He lost his career as television director and producer to immigrate to Australia with his Australian wife in 1998. He finds the lifestyle relaxed compared to Japan.

I came to Australia fourteen years ago from Japan. I was born in Nagasaki and I grow up in Kyoto. I don’t think my childhood was happy. I lost my mother when I was four years old and my father was psychologically damaged about that. So my father did a very good job, but I still kind of feeling the loss.

I met my wife in Japan almost twenty years ago. My wife was teaching English in Tokyo. She wanted to come back here to live, but I was working in my favorite industry there. But I would lose my career. She would come back here so I just tried to keep her; one year, two years and three years and she couldn’t stand more than that, so I came back here.

I was a TV director and producer. Now here I am doing several things.  I am doing Eco Tour Guiding.  I think that nature is really fantastic here so I love Australian nature. Really wild, I love the wilderness so I prefer going around in the forest. I want to explore more.

The first time I came here, we struggled to find a job and stuff. But people are so relaxed here.  The country is sort of relaxed so you don’t have to feel threatened to find something immediately to set up your life.

If I was in Japan, if I didn’t do anything, you would have to think about what people think about you all the time. It is such a small country and quite a tight society. Australia is so many diverse. Many people, many different type of people. You don’t care what other people are doing. But the problem, you know, that the English say, that next-door’s garden is gooder than yours. That kind of stuff. Japan has the same things.

Japan has getting into what they are doing next door. In Australia I can more relax. If somebody asks if I am going back to Japan or if I stay in Australia, I prefer staying in Australia rather than going back to Japan because I prefer the lifestyle here.