About Matt Rouge

Matt with daughter Eleanor looking at the White River

Born in 1971 in Indianapolis, Indiana, I am a writer now very happily living in the city of my birth. One of the big themes of my life, however, is my eight years in Japan; the language, culture, and people of that country have had a tremendous influence on my perspective on life, relationships, spirituality, and art.

They have also given me my career. I am near-native fluent in Japanese, and my writing (Japanese to English as well as original English) is regularly used by a certain major Japanese automaker in print and online. I have also written for a wide variety of other Japanese companies in many different industries.

Although my Japanese abilities are what immediately capture people’s attention, I consider myself a writer first and a Japanese translator and speaker second. I do advertising and PR work regularly for companies here in the US, too; and I write novels, short fiction, poetry, and–of course–blog posts.

As early as I can remember, I have always been a thinker. People say I am intense, and perhaps the content of this website will validate that opinion. In college I majored in philosophy and minored in theology, and I spend a lot of time thinking about philosophical and spiritual matters. It is no exaggeration to say that a good part of my day consists of cogitation and rumination.

I love people, and I enjoy pondering the theory and practice of relationships. In my life I have been blessed with many great relationships, including great friends and family, and I feel very grateful for all that people have given me. All, however, has not been sunlight: I have also had some relationships characterized by abuse and betrayal, and I have also failed others in my life. Since returning to Indianapolis from Japan in 2004, life and relationships have been very rich chocolate to me and have given me much to think and write about.

Spirituality is a big part of my life. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic junior high school, high school, and university. Somewhat early in life, however, my views diverted from those of the Church, and now I feel the best label for me is “New Age.” I take my views from many sources and have great respect for Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, paganism, monism, pantheism, and many other religions and philosophies. I believe in a higher power, an afterlife, and the law of karma.

Art (in the broad sense of that word) is very important to me. I would say the single greatest influence on my own art of writing is not a writer but the composer Arnold Schoenberg; more than anyone else, he has taught me the true meaning of beauty, order, creativity, and originality. My writing mentors include William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Olive Wendell Holmes, Kenneth Koch, Robert Sheckley, Vance Packard, and Peter Drucker. Music, poetry, painting, film–so many artists in these fields have taught me and influenced me, and I hope to have something insightful to say when I write about them and their works here.

That is what this blog is about: my perspective on life, relationships, spirituality, and art. If from time to time I can provide readers a little edification or entertainment, I will consider my work here a success!

I explore my biography from a different angle on my company site.

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