I came across a couple of interesting new words for me at work yesterday.
U-turn, J-turn and I-turn… The UJI-turn phenomenon. They wanted me to translate it for a small button for their webpage and as you can imagine, I had no idea what this was all about. The thing about Japan, and the Japanese language is that this country is very happy with adapting certain foreign ideas for their own, and then claiming that they are originally Japanese. Very proud if it in fact. And sometimes, they’d take a Japanese idea or process, give it a foreign word or name and after a while, many just simply believe that it was originally a foreign idea. Trust me, it’s not just confusing for you and me. It gets most of the locals here in Japan as well.

Well for starters, lets begin with where this whole UJI-turn thing came from. Back in 1957… naw,.. I’m just making that up. In anycase, the term U-turn… or actually yet, U-turn people, or U-turn citizen is a term that was created to decribe the movement of people within the urban/rural population. A big concern for rural areas where the general population has been dwindling for a over a decade, but the remaining population is getting older and older.
*By the way, the examples will be based on Canada.

U-turn = A person whom grew up in the countryside, but after highschool, (or whatever age) left for the big city. Tried life inthe big city, but after a while returns home to where they originally grew up. Reasons being many things like, couldn’t make it in the big cheese, or keep up with the rat race, taking on the family business, wanting to be closer to home, family friends to family sorta forcing you home. A great phenomenon for the countryside as the person tends to return with valuable city life experience and the small & medium sized businesses of the rural area have less to worry about going out of business or not having to worry about the next generation of farmers/fishermen etc.
ie: A person from Mabou, NS goes to Halifax, NS but returns back to Mabou.

J-turn = A person whom grew up in the countryside, went off to the big city and once again similar to a U-turn person… after a while leaves the big city. But instead of heading back home, they end up settling down somewhere else. Reasons being transfered due to work, settling down where the person’s spouse grew up etc, or settling down in the region of their childhood home but not exactly home.
ie1: A person from St. Catherines, ON heads off to Toronto but ends up settling down in Niagara.
ie2: A person from Tofino (Vancouver Island), BC heads off to Vancouver but settles down in Victoria (Vancouver Island)

I-turn = A person whom moves to an area which is unrelated to their childhood home. Reasons being anything from work placement, drawn to the city/countryside, nature, citylife, etc. Most reasons is due to employment and financial reward. A harsh reality for the rural area as many do not find farming, forestry, fishing and other agricultural work very appealing.
ie: A person from Hamilton, ON moves to Montreal, PQ.

I wonder what I should classify myself as. A W-turn phenomenon? Since I move about everywhere?