My destiny was determined from the moment that my parents fell in love. Their unique marriage of Eastern and Western cultures fuels my drive as a "Jinsei no Gakusei" – a Student of Life.
Like many children raised in bicultural families, I often felt like I didn't fit in with the outside world. Layered on top of that was the transient lifestyle of a military family. Relationships felt temporary because our families would inevitably be transferred to another Air Force base.
I struggled for years with my identity and yearned for stability and a feeling of belonging. Moving through life's hardships and the tremendous support of strangers and friends led me to understand that acceptance comes from within. Each of us belongs everywhere, and love continues to live in us forever. Even if we move away, love never goes away.
I created PureJūnLife as a bridge to share my life experiences and lessons, as well as my resources to help others like me, who sometimes need another voice guiding them, supporting them, and saying, "You're going to be OK."
It is my sincere hope that PureJūnLife makes a difference and is of service to you.
Before there was June, there was Toshiko Watanabe and Jim Johnston. Toshiko and Jim met as co-workers at the Army Unit Hospital Dental Clinic during post-WWII Japan; they fell in love and married in Toshiko's hometown of Sendai.
Their first child, June, lived in Japan as a young child. Toshiko and Jim intentionally chose her name (June and "Jūn", which in Japanese means "pure") to fit both cultures. Young June moved effortlessly through Japanese society, captivating the locals with her fluent Japanese and big smile.
When the Johnston family transferred to the United States, June embraced all things American. Toshiko's cooking and attention to Japanese traditions and rituals in the home ensured that June and her brother's Japanese heritage remained engaged and alive.
The Johnstons later moved back to Japan, where June attended high school on the island of Okinawa. Oji-san (grandfather) and Oba-san (grandmother) were thrilled to reunite with Toshiko, Jim, and their American grandchildren.
While attending college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, June gravitated towards Eastern teachings. While her friends were studying business, economics, and political science, June was taking classes in Eastern religions, Japanese language, and Asian history. June was one of four people in the 30,000 student population to earn a degree in East Asian Studies.
June leveraged her knowledge of the Japanese language to land her first job in the technology industry and never looked back. She attributes the success of her 40-year technology career to the discipline and work ethic instilled by her 'father's military standards for excellence and to her mother's conviction in women's independence and Gambatte "("do your best"!") Spirit.