Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello! My Introduction

I guess I'll start my blog off with an introduction and a little bit about me. As you can tell from the sidebar, I'm a junior at USC. I'm studying art and new media with the intention of going into a career in animation.

The first thing you should know is that I'm a Texas girl. I have lived in the same house in Dallas ever since I was born. I went to a summer camp in Burnett called "Camp Longhorn" and was dressed in cowgirl outfits by my mother in elementary school. Although my hair has been through most of the color spectrum, I think a subconscious yearning for Texas while at school has inspired me to settle on Bottle Blonde, a color sported by many native Dallas girls. Although I hope to make California my home one day, I'll always be a Texas girl at heart!

I've studied Japanese for a year now, and I'll be (hopefully, if the placement exam goes well!) entering level 3. They say that you advance 2 levels when studying abroad, and level 4 is technically fluency. So far, that is my main goal while in Japan! Nanzan's Center for Japanese Studies only accept 200 students worldwide per year, so I'm expecting classes to be very challenging. I really didn't expect to be accepted by the program, and I applied to Tokyo International University as a back-up. I'm very excited to be in Nagoya, though. I want to challenge myself as much as possible. Tokyo is only a two hour shinkansen (train) ride from Nagoya, so I'll be able to take weekend trips there. I'm very interested in Japanese street fashion, so I have many stores and districts that I want to visit in Tokyo.

See how close Nagoya and Tokyo are?

Something I'm very excited about is history. I'm very enchanted by Japanese folklore and legends, and apparently Nagoya is teeming with that. It is home to a castle that was built during the Edo period in 1612, which I am definitely going to see! Even more exciting than that is the Atsusa Shrine, which is said to be home to the legendary Kusanagi Sword, one of the three imperial treasures of Japan (the other two are a mirror and a gem.) These three treasures are part of Japanese legend and ancient religion, and they commonly appear in Japanese pop culture. For example, in the anime and manga Sailor Moon, Sailor Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto fight with a sword, a mirror, and jewel. I'm so excited to be in the presence of such an important and ancient relic!

The Kusanagi Sword, as it appears in one of my favorite video games, Okami

Other than experiencing it firsthand, I hope to be studying Japanese history and religion while I am at Nanzan. I feel like I know nothing about the country's history, and Shintooism is so interesting to me, I want to learn as much as I can!

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