Published 12/04/2012 by

The joy of studying Japanology ~

As I'm writing this entry I'm eating a Maki Sushi and watching a J-Dorama. Since the video (I'm watching it on Tudou with Chinese subtitles and it keeps stopping and buffering every 10 minutes) is progressing slowly I take breaks and practice some parts of the J-Dorama we have to learn by heart for the next exam (you know, writing from dictation and stuff). I'm also trying to learn the Japanese "melody" by repeating the dialogues. I feel kinda Wapanese but I truly like it.

After more than 1 year of Japanese studies I've finally started to actually enjoy it. I've made friends and I'm surrounded by helpful people who let me copy their notes. I study regularly with one classmate and her Japanese friend and I have assignments with other classmates and hang out with them. Student life is nice. Cramming for exams with classmates is fun.
This is my final year and I'm really really busy but I'm happy that I've started to enjoy Uni life once again. It reminds me of my old Sinology days when I was looking forward to every morning to go to class. ^_^

Anyway, I've felt like a traitor for studying Japanology since I don't really have a passion for the language and am only slightly interested in Japan. I skipped way too many classes and didn't do home assignments and concentrated on my part-time job and always felt left out at class (obviously if you show up randomly and never hang out after class you don't really make friends). Not having classmates/friends to rely on is even harder if you miss many classes. In the end you don't even dare to show up in class again because you have no idea about the teaching subject. 
You also don't dare to approach classmates and ask them for help because you are not close enough and you convince yourself that you'll self-study at home but in the end it's 1-2 weeks before exams and though you have collected all subject material you have no idea where to start and you get exam anxiety. Ah, not to forget is the social anxiety that comes when you don't see your class for 1 week well knowing that they're all going to class and you're not. You feel bad. In the last 2 years I think I've really come to understand social anxiety and the Hikikomori phenomenon. 

For some people entering a class room full of people you see occasionally but don't really know (, feeling judged by them because you skip too often) and smilingly say 'hello' can be a tough job. Sometimes it seems super easy and I'm super sociable and friendly and sometimes I seem arrogant or secluded because I don't make eye-contact nor greet anyone. I don't know if it's just a 'mood' or if it's my 'social muscle' that needs more training.

Getting back to the topic: I felt like a traitor for studying Japanology because I remember when I was a teenager and the Visual Kei wave was super popular in Germany/Switzerland and all those kiddies in my community where dreaming of studying Japanese or going to Japan or marrying a Japanese dude or whatever and I thought wtf -.- but now I'm kinda living their dream but don't really make the most out of it since it used to be more like a "task".
I'm a lucky girl. Everything I get to study is my own choice.
Chinese has been my passion since I was small and Japan (specially Manga but also the aesthetics and culture) has influenced me in more ways than I could ever think and I'm rejoicing in my interest in Psychology that started around 5 years ago. Being able to 'study' your hobbies is a privilege.

The answer to my mediocre interest in Japanese has been answered: It's because I didn't give myself time to enjoy my studies. I was too busy with life and forgot that my main 'job' is to study well. My interest in Japanese has been growing since I started to deal with Japanese grammar and culture. Now I can finally stop feeling unworthy about studying Japanology, I enjoy it and I deserve studying it, even though I still suck at Japanese.
The J-Dorama I have to watch for Japanese class is about a plain Biology teacher dealing with life and death issues after finding out he only has 1 more year left to live (the title is: Boku no ikiru michi). The whole topic and his "awakening" and choosing to live a life without regrets and to his fullest is touching and encouraging. Other interesting subjects I'm studying includes Dôgen Studies, which means reading studies about Zen texts dealing with life, time and how to attain enlightenment (these texts are really insightful and I think they can be applied to our daily life) and the other subject is about cultural studies in Japan and I'm preparing a presentation about Zainichi (Korean-Japanese) and their national quest. I also have to write a seminar paper for these two topics and looking forward to it!) 
Each of these topics is exciting and interesting. My friend is taking a class about ethnonationalism and stuff and I'm even interested in that... why can't I take that class, too? T_T'' 
To sum it up: Life at my university is exciting! I'm eager to learn more and more! (*≧▽≦)♪
Ok, I blabla'ed for too long now I have something to announce!

I'm going to Osaka in January 2013!
Enough for today! Details are following in my next post! ~ ♡