Initially, Masako couldn’t feel the joy of life in Taitung. Not being able to accustom herself to the local food, coupled with the language barrier, it was then when Masako’s husband encouraged her to teach classical ballet to the kids in Chenggong. Miraculously, it was her group of students that opened her heart. “In the beginning, there were problems, such as the language barrier and my closed mind. My husband would help me translate sentence by sentence, and that is how we started.” she recalls. What started with a reluctant mind gradually turned into a pleasant atmosphere with the children. The support and recognition from the kids and their parents made her feel better. Masako even held a classical ballet premiere every year for the students, which gave them a perfect stage to express their achievements. “That was the affirmation of the children. The shows were combined with the costumes, stage design, sound control etc. I was also very moved that all parents who took part in it were also very helpful!”
As if seeing the dawn, Masako even feels that the purpose of coming to Chenggong was to meet these kids. From this point of view, the hard work of adapting to Taitung over the past 10 years doesn’t seem to bother her anymore. “ I couldn’t really accept the people of Taiwan in the beginning, I couldn’t get used to their hospitality. But I’ve changed a lot.” In Japanese culture, visitors will first inform the host before they visit. However, it seems not to be the case in the warm countryside of Taitung. Neighbors will come by and chat whenever they want to. She struggled to adapt to their hospitality and enthusiasism for a long time.