I'll use this space to briefly introduce myself to readers (who I imagine will initially consist of family and friends). I'm hoping that this whole blog will serve such a purpose in the future, so this will be short.
I am an undergraduate college student at a fairly large American university. I have only studied the Japanese language for about a year, which I am told is about enough to carry on a shallow conversation about the weather with someone from Tokyo. I plan to go on exchange to Kobe University starting mid-autumn to study the language, culture, and particularly the media of Japan.
What do I want to do with this time spent over there? Well, above all, I want to reach some moderate degree of fluency. What do I want to do with that? I have a few ideas, none of which I can really access at this point in my education or professional career. Secondly, as someone who hopes to plug in to the worldwide information scramble of today, I want to seek a worldwide perspective on modern events. To me, Asian and Afican countries in general represent the radical "Other" to the West. They have mostly been ignored or squelched by America until this point in world history, when economies and world politics have accelerated toward interdependence and confused conflict.
Japan is an entry point into Asian culture and thought for myself. I wish to one day travel throughout the continent- Korea, China, Vietnam, Russia, and India are all on my list of places to discover and report on. For now, I await Japan.