Journals from Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan
2012-10-28 Only in Japan
My first lesson in taiko!
It’s well into October now, and the weather is finally beginning to change. It’s slowly transitioning to sweater weather now. There aren’t as many typhoons, but when it rains, it certainly pours.
I’ve become more accustomed to my semi-erratic schedule. I particularly enjoy my Japanese Culture & Society class. We’ve taken a number of field trips and had guest speakers teach us about various aspects of Japanese culture. One of the most notable guest speakers was Ikki Hino, a world-famous taiko instructor. Our class had a great time learning about taiko and practicing playing the different kinds of drums.
Recently, my class went to a nearby ramen festival. Ramen shops from all around Japan came to sell their specialty ramen. I enjoyed some beef ramen from the Tottori Prefecture. It was truly delicious.
I originally thought I was coming to Japan with the main purpose of improving my Japanese language skills. While that is still a very important goal, I’m beginning to discover that really getting to know the culture is important, too. From there, it’s not even just the Japanese culture I’m getting to know. I’ve made friends with a lot of the other exchange students. I love trying to pronounce Russian words with the Russian students, making dumplings with the girls from China, and joke about kangaroo boxing with the Australian student. I love to tease the English students about their accent as they tease me about the American spellings and pronunciations of words.
I think this is why it’s so important to study abroad; you really can’t get to know the culture and the language truly unless you go out there and experience things from the source. There are so many opportunities that I have here that I just don’t have in America. I’m really excited to see what other exciting experiences Japan has in store for me.