📍Silicon Valley, CA
Let me tell you a little bit about my journey.
I am Japanese and I grew up in Tokyo. When I was 26 years old, I came to the United States to fulfill my dream of becoming a cheerleader with the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers.
My cheerleading career started back in high school in Japan. I was a member of a club dance team during college. During my senior year, I became a cheerleader for a semi-pro American football team, IBM Big Blue, for 5 years (yes, there is American football in Japan!).
Throughout my cheerleading years in Japan, I was always aware of the origin of cheerleading culture in the US. I couldn’t speak any English and I had never considered living outside of Japan, but I eventually built up the conviction to challenge myself as a cheerleader in the US. In 2012, with just a suitcase and a backpack, I jumped on a plane and came to try out for the San Francisco 49ers.
Despite becoming a finalist, I did not make the team that year. My experience auditioning with my future teammates was a truly magical experience - it was like being with Disney princesses. My disappointment only reinforced how much I wanted to become a 49ers cheerleader. For the next year, I studied English and trained really hard in Japan. I quit my job and returned to audition the following year.
For the next 3 years, being a member of the 49ers Goldrush cheerleaders was a dream come true. It was and will always be an experience of a lifetime; however, it was also full of challenges living in a foreign country. I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who supported me throughout this amazing period in my life.
My blog is about my experience as a cheerleader in both countries, my life in America, my reflection on Japanese culture, and whatever else I think is fun to share. My goal is to do my best to pay it forward by inspiring others who want to chase their dreams. I am also always trying to improve my English!
Besides cheerleading, I have a nutritionist degree and a teaching license in home economics. I am also a black belt in Japanese martial arts swordsmanship called Kendo.
Thank you for your interest and I look forward to your comments and questions.