Join 96,266 users already on read.cash

Nihon is home.

8 22
Avatar for rayselp
Written by   48
1 month ago

Do you like manga or anime?

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching Magic Knight Ray Earth, Doraemon, Mojacko, Ghost Fighter, Slam Dunk, Lupin III, Zenki, Flame of Recca, etc. I watched these Tagalog-dubbed anime, but, I did not become a super anime fan despite having watched all of the above-mentioned animes.

Some people are exposed to anime, manga, and the like, so they were also more exposed to the Japanese language, known as Nihongo. There are others who even pursue a degree in Japanese culture and arts "just because" of their experience in watching anime. When I was in college, I knew of a certain person who really likes J-rock. At first, I did not understand what's the fuss about it, because it's like singing without understanding what you're singing about. I did not get it at all. Sadly, I was too close-minded during those times.

I admit that I do not belong to this kind of "people". But, why did I apply for a scholarship in a place that is unfamiliar to me, with a language that is understandable because it's completely different from my own language?

Coming to Japan, I know I needed to have a connection to its popular and sometimes "quirky" culture.

But I have none...

So, why did I still pursue the scholarship? Well, let me tell you about my first experience visiting Japan in 2017.

My research paper presentation

In October of 2017, I came to Kobe, Japan to attend and present a paper at an educational conference. I was with 2 co-workers who also presented their research paper. It was a 4-day conference, but we were given the chance to stay here for a couple of days more.

To maximize our experience, what we did was to attend the conference, and during our free time, went to different tourist spots around the Kansai region, particularly in these prefectures: Hyogo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara.

Himeji Castle

What was unforgettable for me were two places - the Himeji Castle and Nara Park. I was really awestruck at how the Himeji Castle was preserved and taken care of. It's beauty is so calming and comforting for me, like, I can just stay there and look at its beauty. I was also able to climb the very same stairs until the viewdeck on the 7th floor. I heard that the story of Sadako in The Ring movie was inspired by the well that is found in the castle grounds. Creepy, but it was surely interesting.

The second place that was unforgettable for me was Nara, Japan. Although it was raining when we arrive, we were able to enjoy shopping and meeting the deers. The deers are also amazing to see and majestic as they bow down to you and you bow to them as well.

Soaking wet, but still smiling while meeting a Nara deer.

So, when I was interviewed, they asked me why do I want to study in Japan. I think I had an atypical reply. I told them that I lack knowledge in terms of language and also interest in the Japan's pop culture and its history, etc. The main reason why I wanted to stay here is to mesmerize its beauty and meet Japanese people who are known as kind and good-natured. Another important thing that I noted was the feeling of safety and security, that in this place, generally, I will feel safe and cared for even when other people don't know me.

Today, I have counted my 7th month of living in Japan. Surely, sometimes I feel homesick and I miss my loved ones, but whenever I reflect on certain days, I will sometimes pinch myself and say aloud that "I am really here." Who would have thought that in the future I can tell my kids, I've lived in Japan as a scholar of the Japanese government, I've lived in Japan and experience going to different temples to get the stamp (lol), visiting beautiful places, learning Nihongo, and meeting new friends.

Now, I can say, Nihon is home. And when I'm no longer living here, it will always be home to me. :)

4
$ 0.36
$ 0.33 from @TheRandomRewarder
$ 0.02 from @MoonTrader
$ 0.01 from @Unity
Avatar for rayselp
Written by   48
1 month ago
Enjoyed this article?  Earn Bitcoin Cash by sharing it! Explain
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.

Comments

Great! I also lived in Tokyo, Japan on a scholarship during 2000 - 2002. Long ago, though.

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Wow. That's nice to know. Are you a MEXT scholar too?

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Yes, then it was called Monbusho Scholarship.

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

That's the same scholarship that I have right now :)

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

It's a dream place for us an anime/manga geeks🥺 How I hope I could come when the times I could support myself

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Rooting for you! Good luck!

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Japan is one of the country that I dream to visit. Hopefully, soon❣️

$ 0.00
1 month ago

I really do hope it opens its borders more for DIY tours. Right now, it’s still a bit rigid.

$ 0.00
1 month ago