‘My Language my Identity’ Published

This updated version of an article I wrote last year was recently published by the University of Wolverhampton Student’s Union on their site. Since writing the original, my experiences have developed even more, and the little skill I have in Japanese given me amazing opportunities. After years of working and dreaming, I have now visited Japan not…

Kyoto Kinder and Garden Gran Kidnap

3rd day in Japan. 1st day of Youchien (Kindergarten). Can’t be that different from nursery, right? Well, I wasn’t right. Same age kids, sure, but a very different experience.     The first half an hour was…well, I don’t really know – I got told which class (white rabbit class), said ‘hi’ to the teacher,…

Falling in Love with Arashiyama

Finally, a decent sleep. After the previous 24 hours of travelling, it was sorely needed. I woke up with the anxieties of the previous night swallowed up in the excitement of simply waking up IN JAPAN! Invigorated by thoughts of how I would spend my first free day in Kyoto, the city of my dreams…

A Long Journey for a Dreary Welcome

1 BUS. To Birmingham New Street. 1 TRAIN. Birmingham New Street to International Station. 3 PLANES. 15 hours. Birmingham to Dusseldorf, to Tokyo, to Osaka. 1 COACH. Osaka Itami Airport to Kyoto Station. 1 MORE TRAIN. Kyoto Station to Enmachi Station. Kyoto: 20:30, 27th June 2016. Weather: heavy rain. I arrived at Kyoto Station late, with…

Song of the Kamogawa (鴨川の歌)

泣 Wide River chitters and trees chirp. Awake from thirteen year sleep long, Semi begin their one week summer song.                                                                                             Ringing. Crying. 歌 River’s stones bare children’s feet. Dancing, hot below sun’s summer face, Cool ‘gainst River’s fleeting embrace.                                                                                                Laughing. Singing. ため息 North hills look and bake. Bright greens fade to whites and…

The Cost of Dreams: My Top 5

The time I fly out to Japan (FINALLYYY) fast approaches. Just 12 DAYS to go! 12 days till I fly to Germany, to Tokyo, to Osaka, to do volunteer work in a Kyoto nursery and Kindergarten for 3 weeks, through ‘Workaway’. Since every dream requires at least some sacrifice to achieve, I thought it appropriate…

A Pen-Palling Adventure

The information age. Brilliant. Fast. Freeing. Captivating. (On one of its faces at least) It is thanks to the information age with all its advancements in technologies of communication that we are able to communicate in real-time, with virtually anyone (see what I did there?) in the world, providing they have access to the necessary…

My Language, My Identity

It’s been 8 years. 8 years since I first started learning Japanese. 8 years that I’ve spent obsessing over a country I’ve never been to nor come within sight of. …They say that when you learn a language, that language becomes a part of your identity. That to speak another language is to know another world,…

Practice Hiragana #2

TASK 1 Hand-write the following in Hiragana: a) pi, bo, ya, chi, mo, sa, ji, ge, bo, be, na, nu. b) tsu, ki, ne, to, ru, da, te, no, wa, yu, yo, so. c) cha, shu, kka, ppi, sho, tto, ke, ni, ri. *Try without help, then check if you made any mistakes using a…

Practice Your Hiragana #1

がばって!:) Use a Hiragana alphabet table while you practice if you’re struggling – you will still improve. Practice Task 1: I will write several sentences in Romaji. Try to write it out by hand in Hiragana. (answers will be at the bottom of the page) a) Konnichi wa, watashi no namae wa yamato desu. Kochirakoso douzo yoroshiku! b) Hontou…