So this is my first blog post! I’m so excited and I have so many things that I want documented. The first of them being that I’ve booked all of my flights to and from Japan! Luckily, my school (the University of Denver) has a wonderful scholarship program that pays for visas and plane tickets. It’s called the Cherrington Global Scholarship, and as previously stated, is the reason why I can afford (kind of) to go abroad.
Just a little background: I’ve been studying Japanese since I was 10 years old. What first inspired me to learn this language was a manga that my sister purchased: D.N. Angel. I remember being fascinated by the “backwards” orientation of the comic and by the unique character names that I had never seen before and didn’t know how to pronounce. From then on, I’ve been so enamored by Japan’s vivid culture, which is why I started teaching myself at such a young age.
By age 11, I was able to read and write in ひらがな (hiragana) and カタカナ (katakana). Until high school, I would have my mom buy me Japanese dictionaries, textbooks, and workbooks. Obviously, this wasn’t enough to get by, so by the time I entered high school, I started taking online Japanese classes. I took two years in high school and eventually lost my passion by the time I was a junior.
I distinctly remember entering college and trying to decide on what language I should take since DU requires one year of language studies. My thoughts were scattered everywhere: should I take Japanese again since I already studied it for two years in high school? Or should I study a different language and learn about a different culture? Maybe French? German? Eventually, I decided to take Japanese again, mainly because I thought that it would be easy and I would get my year of language studies studying something that I already knew. I had no idea that this would reignite a passion that I had long forgot about: my love for Japanese culture.
Currently, I’m in DU’s third-year Japanese class called Conversation and Composition (JAPN 2600). I’m also on the executive board of the デンバー大学の日本文化会 (University of Denver Japanese Culture Club), where we hold events teaching our members about Japanese culture, eat Japanese food, and actively participate in Japanese traditions such as 書き初め (first writing of the year). So, as one can imagine, I’m excessively excited to be travelling to the country I’ve been fascinated with since I was ten.
From here on out, I will be documenting my experiences pre-study abroad, during study abroad, and post-study abroad. I’m thinking that the majority of my posts will be similar to diary entries, and some may be formatted like a story. I will also be attempting to write some blog posts in Japanese, but I’ll provide the English translation as an amendment at the end of my posts. However this goes, I can’t wait to log everything that I go through, and I’m so excited for everyone to read my posts!