Born In: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Sharla in Japan and Sharmeleon are online aliases of Japan-based Canadian YouTuber Sharla Katalin Hinskens who is known for her YouTube channels of the same names with 614K and 744K subscribers, respectively. She has been living primarily in Japan for over 15 years and makes videos about experiencing the food, culture, people and travel destinations in both her channels, even though she started to focus livestreaming on the former. Sharla, who taught English and served as a translator previously, has also translated subtitles for films like Shin Godzilla and Terra Formars. Furthermore, she has worked with local governments and organizations to promote local specialties. She has collaborated with her boyfriend on his Journey Across Japan series. She started the “Neko Neko Post” service in September 2020 to sell fancy Japanese stationery.
Also Known As: Sharla Katalin Hinskens
Born Country: Canada
While attending university in Tokyo, Sharla in Japan was requested to keep a blog of her experiences in Japan as a homework project, but because she was “absolutely horrible at writing”, she decided to make videos instead. She initially filmed “boring” videos of herself talking about her life as a student and other interesting things through her laptop webcam. She created the YouTube channel now known as Sharla in Japan in December 2010 and uploaded her first video, University Exchange in Japan, on September 8, 2011. She spoke Japanese in the video to practice speaking the language, but later started making videos in English. She was surprised to see that her videos were attracting the attention of strangers, which encouraged her to step up the quality of her videos and share more about culture, food, and travel in Japan through her videos. In May 2013, she created another channel called Sharmander, which later became known as Sharmeleon after surpassing 500K subscribers. It eventually became her primary channel for sharing videos about her life in Japan, including food, toys, travel and beauty, while her original channel is now used for livestream content.
Sharla in Japan was born as Sharla Katalin Hinskens on April 23, 1986 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She is from a small family and has Dutch and Hungarian grandparents. She has a sister who has appeared in her vlogs. She chose Japanese as a third language in school and visited Japan for the first time for a two-week exchange program between the sister cities Victoria and Morioka at the age of 17. Two years later, while in the middle of her business degree in Canada, she got bored and returned to Japan to make use of her knowledge of the language. For three years, she taught English and had several side-jobs before going back to Canada in 2010 to finish university. However, she became so worried about her friends back in Japan after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake hit that she decided to quit university and move back to Japan. She was able to get into an exchange program and was pursuing her bachelor's degree in International Communication and Languages at a university in Tokyo, Japan when she started uploading on YouTube in 2011. She had taken a job after graduation, but left it six months later to focus fulltime on YouTube. While she has lived in Tokyo and Chiba briefly, she prefers to live in Morioka in Iwate prefecture, but recently bought a house in Tokyo. She has also lived in South Korea and the UK. She has vitiligo and recently got a tumor removed from her thyroid gland. Even though she was brought up as a vegetarian, she ate fish at her grandparents’ place, and recently started eating meat stating that her strict diet made her unattractive to collaborators.
Sharla in Japan was in a long-term relationship with a Korean man, an alumnus of Japan University, referred to as Keyboard-san in her videos, for seven years but opened up about it to her fans after five years. He was uncomfortable about showing his face in her pictures and videos, but did appear in several of her videos. She revealed in a Q&A video from July 2017 that they were already married legally, but were yet to host a ceremony. She later announced their marriage on June 18, 2018, following which they moved to his home city Seoul, but the marriage broke down months later, which she addressed in a video from March 5, 2019 in which she mentioned moving back to Japan. Sharla, who spent a lot of time in the UK during COVID-19 lockdowns, often collaborated with English YouTuber Chris Broad, known for his channel Abroad in Japan, which prompted her fans to ask if they were dating. She acknowledged their relationship in a “juicy” Q&A video on July 17, 2022, and they both made separate videos on their respective channels to announce it in August.
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