Greetings from Greg Peterson in Japan.
I post photos, audio recordings, movies, and words about nature and culture in rural Japan. I hope that my little contributions may help readers enjoy the beauty of nature and appreciate the natural world more deeply. Maybe a few people will take a little time to stop and listen, look more closely, and make an effort to protect the environment.
My home is in Shiga Prefecture, very close to Yasugawa (river), about 10 kilometers from Lake Biwa. Yasugawa and other beautiful rivers feed Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Millions of people in Japan’s Kansai Region depend on fresh water from these rivers, which also nourish a variety of wildlife and thriving suburban and rural communities.
On March 31, 2014, I retired as a full-time professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Kyoto Notre Dame University (KNDU), where I have been teaching English, communication, and media since 1977. I continue to teach part-time one day a week. You can find links to course information and some audio recordings on my site at the university.
Before coming to Japan I grew up on an apple orchard in North Central Washington State (USA), graduated from Tonasket High School (1968), received a BA in Psychology from the University of La Verne (1972), and began working as a San Francisco Sheriff’s Department volunteer and full-time civil servant (1972), and then as a parole officer (1973-1975) under Sheriff Richard Hongisto (obituary).
I received an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (now TESOL) at San Francisco State University (1975) and then taught English at the University of Benghazi, Libya [site in Arabic] (1975-1977).
I began to work at Kyoto Notre Dame University in 1977. As a full-time lecturer, associate professor, and professor, I had many roles and duties in addition to teaching. For many years I worked in university administration and leadership. I served on and chaired numerous committees, and I was responsible for international programs (2004-2008), English language education (2008-2010), and library & information services (2000-2004, 2010-2012). Many of my leadership roles were directly related to my interests in intercultural communication, computing, and information services.
I have been blessed with an interesting and rewarding career. I was fortunate to spend my formative years at a tough job in San Francisco, where I had to get along with all kinds of people. I learned to listen deeply to people’s stories and to challenge prejudices and stereotypes that inhibit the celebration of our common humanity. As an educator since 1975, I remain grateful to the many dedicated colleagues and wonderful students I have met over the years.