Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Classes Have Begun

     It has been a few days, but the time has come to update, accordingly. Classes have started here for me. And, although not too difficult (yet, I imagine) the structure and experiences are ever so complicated. As of now I have only taken my Japanese language courses. A majority of the other courses meet only once a week, and in some cases less frequently than that. Classes that I am planning to take at this time, in addition to Japanese language, conversation and kanji, are as follows: "Traditional Performing Arts of Japan," "Cross-Cultural Ideas," "Culture Clashes," "Cultural Social Psychology of the Japanese," and "Introduction to Japanese Music: Playing Shakuhachi."

     I might also look into taking a field course, "Geography of Japan: Historical Landscape of Yokohama and Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture." This field course appears to basically be a series of field trips around the area. History and travel both work for me. I am somewhat saddened that I cannot take a Judo class being offered, or a modern/contemporary culture class, due to my Japanese language studies. But, the overall reason for my trip is to strengthen my Japanese speaking ability.

     My walk to the Gakugei campus takes roughly 30 minutes, and affords a very beautiful series of views. I'll work at taking and posting more photos of the changing scenery here. Speaking of which, in Japan it is the time associated with cherry blossoms. Many trees are in bloom and as summer approaches, they are dropping cherry blossom petals, almost a reminder of fallen snow. On the "PHOTOS" page I have included a handful of images of the cherry blossoms, or sakura. The sakura shape is very distinct, and has become, to a certain degree, an identity for Japanese beauty, and certainly a symbolic concept.

Sakura no Hanami

     On this past Saturday, I went to a hanami,  or "flower viewing" party. Deep down, I know the flower viewing was important, but people here at the Hitotsubashi Village really enjoy partying. I was able to speak a great deal with other students from all over Asia (Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, China and of course, Japan). The best part being, sometimes the only common language we would have would be Japanese. And, with any party, drinks were provided. And, with drinks, I become much more talkative. It was a good time that ended with me sleeping really hard and resting well through the night (of my own accord, in my own bed... thank you).

     The most difficult part about living in Japan, currently, is that I want to eat something from every shop I walk past, and stop in for a treat at every convenience store. I could spend my entire time here eating. The difficult part arises when I realize that I have no where near that kind of money. We'll see how things play out, but I'm sure that learning how to cook traditional Japanese food will remain a priority. In fact, I think they have a club for that...

     For now, I need to return to studying, responding to emails, and working out time slots for practicing Aikido. Perhaps I mentioned it, but TGU has an Aikido club, although of a slightly different style. I plan to investigate. Also, there is a local dojo (that is not an hour away like Hombu is, sadly) that I would like to learn more about. I'm thinking that when I find a place for Aikido practice, I will make a tab at the top of the page for "AIKIDO" so as not to bore some of you non-practioners with my aiki-lingo.

1 comment:

  1. Oh... the Shakuhachi. Aren't you glad that you are already to lesson three?? :)