"Accomplished": RYAN HITOMI
Where Ryoga Hibiki is naive and shy, 29-year-old Ryan Hitomi is experienced and bold. It is because Hitomi has gone through many experiences in his life that he is the mature openly gay Korean-Japanese man that Hibiki quietly pines for and longs to become.
Hitomi's story is as eclectic as Ryoga's. He was born in San Francisco in the early 1960s. He graduated from the University of California, Davis as an English major and proceeded to try his hand at writing while working at a small local newspaper in Sacramento. Hitomi realized he was a better newspaper reporter than novelist so he went back to school and graduated from the Graduate School of Journalism in the University of California, Berkeley, where he was offered an internship with The Dallas Star. After living in Dallas, Hitomi moved eastward to The Chicago Tribune and finally, The Boston Globe . He worked at the Globe for fifteen years but his father's sudden illness forced him to relocate to San Francisco. Ryan transferred from The Boston Globe to The San Francisco Chronicle as an interim reporter and finally as a staff writer. Hitomi works on the Metro beat and follows the shady dealings of the city. In 2004, Hitomi also won the Association of Newspaper Editors award for Reporter of the Year when he revealed a political scandal between the mayor of San Francisco and an extremist Christian coalition.
But the focus of the novel is less on Hitomi's career and more on his personal life which was very nonexistant for a while. Hitomi's position as a journalist played a key factor in why he remains single all these years. Although he had several dalliances with men both long-term and short-term, Hitomi's boyfriends broke up with Hitomi because he was always worried about moving from one place to another, never settling down. In addition, Hitomi also has a bad habit of attracting and keeping younger men who are not at the relationship level that he is at. As a result, Hitomi's evenings are more often spent at home watching Queer As Folk or with his friends. Fortunately for Hitomi, he has a small circle of personal friends and a larger circle through San Francisco's Gay Asian Pacific American Association (GAPA) that he can depend on for company.
Another thing that keeps Ryan busy is his other part-time occupation as Japanese translator for the San Francisco International Airport on weekends. It was one day that he was working at the Airport when he discovered an unconscious pig that magically turned into the hottest young man that Ryan had ever seen- Ryoga Hibiki. Ryan was drawn to Ryoga by his naiveness, shyness and his excitement in starting over in a new country, as well as Ryoga's own homosexuality and his attractive body. However, pressure from Ryan's friends to date less men who are half his age keeps Ryan from pushing himself onto the attractive Hibiki. Ryan also knows that Ryoga is very new to the San Francisco scene. has never had a relationship before and at a different level from the man that would be ideal for Ryan's situation. The result leaves frustrated Ryan figuring out the kind of man that he wants in his life at that moment....and a confused Ryoga trying to read his mixed signals.
As Ryan prepares to turn thirty at the beginning of the novel, he reaches a milestone in his life. he needs to find someone "for the long run." He wants to be with a person that he can adopt children, or at least dogs, with. And his heterosexual friends marriages and gay friends' partnership ceremonies aren't helping his cause. But with the coaxing of friends and by believing in himself and taking pride in all his success, he may be able to find someone worthwhile for the long run....if he can successfully distract himself from the temptations of younger men first.
Ryan Hitomi's model is Song Seun Hun.