Hi, I’m Jaci, and this is my blog, jaci.moe (ja ki mo ay). jaci.moe was established in April 2016 to serve as an archive for the things I have done on my trips to Japan to both share and look back on and remember, as well as provide inspiration for living an otona kawaii lifestyle. Read on for more about what that means!
I started watching anime around the same time as everyone else my age did, when Pokémon catapulted to success in the 90s. When more and more anime started to be introduced to network stations, I found myself really connecting to the more dynamic stories of Cardcaptors and Digimon Adventure. To this day, Cardcaptor Sakura (yes, I eventually watched the uncut sub!) is my all-time favorite series. At the ripe age of 12 years old, I self-taught myself PHP to enable myself to build a Hamtaro fansite – it was my first foray into web design, and it was what made me realize it was what I wanted to do for a living.
Unfortunately, my interest in anime and manga disappeared through high school and was nonexistent through college, but the eagerness to consume Japanese culture never waned. Pursuing design and art history in college, my studies constantly meshed with Japan’s rich art and design culture, and I constantly sought inspiration from Japanese design greats in my own work. After graduating at the top of my class and finding a web design job straight out of college, I started to feel empty. Now that I was done with school, it felt like I had no real “interests” anymore.
It took some self-exploration, but now that I was ‘adulting’ in the real world, I realized there were so many things I could do now that I was making money and didn’t have to study anymore. That’s when I decided to cross off my ultimate bucket list item: go to Tokyo.
Making it to Japan
The first time I went to Japan was in March 2016. I went by myself for a weeklong jaunt through Tokyo and completely fell in love. I am very sensitive to the idea of making any country sound like a utopia, because such a place does not exist. But I was taken aback by the beauty and cleanliness of Tokyo, and what a cultural wonderland it turned out to be. There was so much to explore, and I booked a trip back a few months later.
Now with multiple trips to Tokyo under my belt, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable exploring and learning. My trips tend to be off the beaten path, and with that comes a lot of learning about cultural exchange and gaining confidence in situations that seem intimidating at first. My travel has helped me to understand myself better; how I act, what I like, what is important to me.
That brings me to where I am now. Though I am an adult, I remain interested in the aspects of my youth. I prefer ruffles and skirts, ribbons in my hair, and cartoony cat designs on virtually everything I own. But I am still proud of being an adult woman with talents of my own, and a career that blesses me with the opportunity to do what I want. Having felt like I was drifting between childhood and adulthood for so long, it was in Japan where I learned about 大人かわいい – read as otona (adult) kawaii (cute). It seemed to answer the question to what I was struggling with: you can like what you like, and it can still be done with femininity and grace and not look overtly childish.
While otona kawaii exists originally as a branch of fashion and beauty in Japan, I’ve adopted otona kawaii into my everyday lifestyle, and I have Tokyo to thank for the inspiration to be completely myself.
My goal with jaci.moe is to reflect and share. While moe has multiple meanings in Japanese, my preferred meaning is 萌え, to sprout. I intend for my little blog to serve as measurement for how I grow and change over the years. It’s pretty self-indulgent, isn’t it? I suppose most blogs are. All the same, I hope that you enjoy your stay here and find some information that is helpful to you.