~~~summer in japan~~~

Pictured above: Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island.

Excuse the digression from the general content of this blog. However, thanks to the incredible generosity of the Richard Light Fellowship I am able to spend the summer studying Japanese in the beautiful city of Ishikawa. I’ll be keeping a weekly blog during my time here–so far it’s been a blast.

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A terrible picture I took of my host family’s house

After a placement test on Monday and a lot of orientation-related things, class kicked off this past Tuesday. It’s incredibly fast paced and I was already behind the rest of the class on my characters (漢字). Fortunately I already knew a decent amount of the grammar we’re learning so the adjustment hasn’t been terrible.

I’m staying with a host family here in Kanazawa, the Takayama family–two lovely and kind Japanese grandparents whose kids and grandkids are off in Kyoto. I call them mom and dad (お母さん、お父さん) and they absolutely refuse my help with ANYTHING, any time I offer. Can I help with the dishes? Nope. Can I help make dinner? Nope. My next plan is to ask to help them with their little garden.

They live a 40 minute bus ride out of Kanazawa center in a quiet neighborhood. The house is quite nice–a cool mix between western and Japanese style, with tatami rooms, sliding doors, a Western-style kitchen, and a single rocking chair. Oh, and TV. Lots of TV.

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Kenrokuen Garden. Took a visit with my class on Tuesday 

Digression: Japanese TV is pretty awesome. My favorite program is an old Japanese couplethat  just walks around and talks to random people on the street. Somehow I was nearly dying of laughter the entire half hour of this program, even though I only understood 1 out of every 5 jokes. They just held hands and cracked jokes nonstop and chatted up strangers. Really endearing. 

Other highlight of the week was seeing TRICOT, one of my favorite Japanese bands. A band called Cinema Staff opened. Both were great. Tricot really showed off their incredible musical talent, and put on a good show. The crowd was more hype than I thought it would be–when “Pool” came on, the moshing was real.

This weekend I get to participate in the Hyakumangoku Festival (百万石通り)and do some sort of dance. It’ll probably be a disaster (dancing wise), but I’ve never even seen a Japanese festival before, so I’m really excited.

The sensee (先生) are great, and class is very enjoyable. It’s getting late here so I need to sign off, but maybe I should update more than once a week because I’m leaving quite a lot out!

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View from 19th floor of the Ishikawa Prefecture Government building, taken on courtesy visit with the regional government.

Looking forward to updating you throughout the summer! I hope to develop other content for this blog as well; I’m currently (kinda) working on revising an old historical fantasy that I wrote a draft of about 1.5 years ago.

Mata!  (また!Until next time!)

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