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Japan

There are [96] photos and [61] stories about Japan


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My favorite author is Milan Kundera. No, Kazuo Ishiguro! No, Milan Kundera!

Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 | Views [265]

On Thursday, we had a kanji test. Now, here’s the thing that’s probably going to screw me over in another few weeks: I have not yet had to study for any of the grammar, kanji, or vocabulary quizzes. I have opened up a book, glanced through ... Read more >

Tags: hats, japanese, kundera, literature, photos, studying, suicide


This should go without saying, but try to stay away from demons

Tuesday, 9 Feb 2016 | Views [196]

Wednesday was Setsubon, a day in Japan associated with demons. Specifically, a day associated with avoiding demons through eating or throwing beans. Since I hadn't gone to the Super before class on 3 February, the first indication I got ... Read more >

Tags: demons, japanese, math, pizza, sushi


Be Careful of Genies Too

Monday, 8 Feb 2016 | Views [258]

During Japanese class on Tuesday, we continued the pattern that had been established by Friday’s class. That is to say with Yamaguchi-sensei we continued to review grammar and the reading, then with Suzuki-sensei we talked some more so we could ... Read more >

Tags: grammar, japanese, reading, spirituality


Come for the pancakes, stay for everything else

Sunday, 7 Feb 2016 | Views [296]

Monday we had more kanji practice. I’ve stabilized into only doing the four sentences asked, but trying to work all of the kanji into those four sentences. Which means I need to use a lot of new kanji each sentence, which can be a challenge if ... Read more >

Tags: food, high schoolers, japanese, kanji, pancakes


Pens vs. Clothes: which is really more necessary?

Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 | Views [203]

Saturday, I caught a train to Umeda for lunch and some probably-needed clothes shopping. Even though I could have sworn I'd exited the train part the same way I had last week, I emerged somewhere completely different. Which kind of ruined my plan of ... Read more >

Tags: clothes, food, pens, shopping


Fridays are when people discover their dreams in life

Friday, 5 Feb 2016 | Views [247]

Class on Friday was for the reading and dialogue in Tobira . So, during the reading class, we went over new grammar points, took a vocabulary quiz, went over kanji, and read the first 10 sentences of the reading passage. All pretty formal, related ... Read more >

Tags: bread, communication, drinks, ghosts, japanese


How do you address the spirits of dead nobility?

Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 | Views [247]

On Thursday we actually started Tobira. Which meant I finally had a good reason to be carrying around 800+ pages of Japanese textbooks. The rest of the week must have just been for strength building or something like that. We’d all messed ... Read more >

Tags: ghosts, honorifics, japanese, spirituality


Japanese Language and Culture

Tuesday, 2 Feb 2016 | Views [290]

It’s not until you leave behind a place that you’re familiar with that you realize all of the small things you took for granted. Like, I’d always assumed that if you had a class that was being co-taught by two teachers, or taught by ... Read more >

Tags: champagne, japanese, new years, particles, passive


Causitive-Passive: Everyone's Favorite

Sunday, 31 Jan 2016 | Views [291]

A key difference between English and Japanese come with how you change verbs. In English, you conjugate depending on subject, and then add extra words depending on things like tense or if it’s active or passive. So for instance: I write a ... Read more >

Tags: causitive, grammar, japanese, meditation, passive, spirituality


Kanji and High Schools

Sunday, 31 Jan 2016 | Views [252]

Class on Monday had two parts. The first part had us review kanji, the second part had us meet with high schoolers and introduce ourselves. Both parts had homework. The homework for the kanji part was to write four sentences using kanji on pages ... Read more >

Tags: classes, high school, japanese, kanji


Kimono Wearing

Friday, 29 Jan 2016 | Views [278]

During orientation, they stressed several times that we should be checking our e-mails. That they would try and post signs on doors about important events, but we should be checking our e-mails to make sure we didn’t miss things. Naively, and ... Read more >

Tags: drum, hair, kimono, obi, yukata


Adventurer's Tea

Thursday, 28 Jan 2016 | Views [406]

On Saturday, I decided to take a train into Umeda. I’ve been talking a bit about “living in Osaka,” which is a slight exaggeration. Not quite as great as the exaggeration I make when I say I live in Chicago, but it is true for ... Read more >

Tags: city, doll, skyline, tea, train, umeda


Prepared for an Emergency

Tuesday, 26 Jan 2016 | Views [196]

Thursday we reviewed vocabulary and basic ideas that would be necessary in an emergency. (Basic idea that seems so counterintuitive to me: in an emergency, get outside. This works for earthquakes, since the building you're in might collapse. It works ... Read more >

Tags: earthquake, fire, moving in, safety


Let's Take a Train to Anywhere

Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 | Views [405]

Wednesday the first few hours were dedicated to train vocabulary. How to buy train tickets, how to buy shinkansen tickets, commuter passes, etc. After a little over an hour in the classroom, we headed out to one of the nearby train stations to get tickets ... Read more >

Tags: food, french, japanese, pens, river, train, transportation


Having Fun isn't Hard when you have your (hour-long informational library lecture | pointo kaado)

Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 | Views [170]

Tuesday’s Survival Japanese began with an hour of discussing travel plans. So I now had the vocabulary to explain why my phone was asking me questions like “Did you have a nice trip in Osaka? Are you ready to fly back to Paris?” (not ... Read more >

Tags: japanese, konbini, library, origami, shampoo, super


The Start of a Semester

Friday, 22 Jan 2016 | Views [179]

Monday marked the start of my first full week of Japanese class. We were with Suzuki-sensei the entire time (as we would be for most of the week). For this week, we’re in the “survival Japanese” phase, which mostly involves learning ... Read more >

Tags: classes, food, j-drama, japanese, mail


Sometimes I Walk Alone at 10 AM when Everybody Else is Sleeping

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016 | Views [428]

On Saturday, I woke up with the knowledge that I didn't need to do anything with the group until some time after 5 PM when we were meeting up to go bowling. After the two days before, it was beautiful knowledge. Since “alone time” joined ... Read more >

Tags: bowling, graph theory, ramen, rivers, walking


Diving Back into Japanese (wait... wasn't there something in French I needed to do?)

Sunday, 17 Jan 2016 | Views [204]

Our Japanese lessons began at 9:00 AM Friday morning. Our teacher, Yamaguchi-sensei, besides having one of the easiest to write Japanese names ever, (Yama- mountain and Guchi-mouth are both in the first 20 kanji you probably learn, more or less concurrent ... Read more >

Tags: food, japanese, language, proseminar


Orientation, Orientation, Orientation

Saturday, 16 Jan 2016 | Views [163]

At 8:35, the exchange students in my class all met up with a few roommates outside the building to head over to the international center building for our placement test. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the international center if you need to wait ... Read more >

Tags: academics, housing, introductions, orientation, tests


Photos: Japan

Friday, 15 Jan 2016 | Photo Gallery


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