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About Me

Name Aaron R. Chmielowiec
Birthdate June 2, 1976
Birthplace Brantford, Ontario (Canada)
Blood Type A
Height 183cm (according to Driver's license)
Languages Understood English, Japanese, French (basic), Korean (basic),
Mandarin Chinese (basic), Spanish (basic)
Kevin Bacon Number 5
Me -> Kyle Morris (Lord of the Dance Machine) -> Paul O'Grady (Paul O'Grady Show) -> Ciaran McMenamin (County Kilburn) -> Robert Lee (To End All Wars) -> Kevin Bacon (Murder in the First)

Aaron's (not so) F.A.Q.

1. So where did *you* come from?

A long, long time ago, I came from a city (pop. 82001) called Brantford (Ontario, Canada). I went to Prince Charles Elementary school in Brantford, to North Park Collegiate Vocational School later, and then finished off a 5-year Math/CS degree at the University of Waterloo before settling in Japan.

2. What brought you to Japan?

Apart from Northwest Airlines (if you ride economy class you may know it as Northworst), in my third year at UW, I received an offer for a 1-year internship with Seiko-EPSON near Shiojiri city, Nagano-ken. During this time I was an engineer with the printer division.

3. How did you end up living (and staying) in Japan?

Despite the fun times, including a sudden interest in Karate and Rhythm games, I eventually had to return to Canada to finish up my degree, but I then took a job with the JET programme (an international exchange program designed for utilizing foreigners to teach english to Japanese school children (junior/senior high). After my contract expired, I received a job with Hitachi in Yokohama. After 3 years of technical translation, I moved to work at a Nursery school (yes, you read that right) in Saitama, and after my term there expired, I took a position with Right Weight Process, located near Shibuya (Tokyo). After that, I worked as the CTO for a dictionary research company before becoming the Regional IT Manager at an international media corporation.

4. So, what's this about seeing your name connected with "Dance Dance Revolution"?

Back in the Fall of 1998, I noticed a rather novel game in the arcades that involved stepping on a platform to music akin to the classic memory game "Simon". At this time, I thought I would be the only one to like it, but after a few years, it caught on in other countries, and my section devoted to the game grew massively based on requests and suggestions/input by others around the world interesting/amused by the game. One of the biggest catalysts of the site was the "AAA Page" in which there are now thousands of photos of a perfect score for pretty much every song in the series. When I uploaded my first few batches of photos, people were in complete disbelief, seeing as it was ages old in Japan yet relatively young in other countries (and don't think I didn't get all kinds of harassing mail and comments crying 'fake'). Over time, more and more photos were submitted from other countries (Canada, U.S.A., Japan, Columbia, Singapore, China, Sweden, the U.K., Taiwan, Australia, etc.), and eventually finally silencing the naysayers of AAAs by means of countless photos and videos. Having access to the test location versions of the newest versions, and placing fairly high on Konami's own Internet Ranking lists also lead a few DDR-fans to this site.

This has led to additional recognition in the forms of my appearance at the London MCM Expo 2005 and my input on the Kodansha-published book "Arcade Mania" (in the Rhythm Games Chapter; Chapter 3), which may also be another reason you found me here (my URL was published in the book).

5. Can you (speak/read/write) Japanese then?

After 10 years of regular use, including professionaly as a translator and interpreter, I would like to think that I am at least somewhat proficient at Japanese. My grammar is not perfect, and as such, any native speaker knows I am not native (as if my appearance didn't give it away fast enough), but for the most part I have not been in a conversation where it has grinded to a halt due to an inability to understand. I also have written various levels of the Kanji Kentei (passed 5th grade) and the National Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (passed 1st grade) as well as the JIPTA Interpreter's Exam (lowest level, mind you), so I can at least say that I am not terrible, or rather I have some sort of paperwork saying I don't completely suck.