Japanese Club- Fall 2017

Here to round out the list, and prevent all my loyal and dedicated readers from getting overwhelmed with film discussion, is back-to-the-basics talk about Japanese club. Japanese club this semester has been a lot more popular than anytime in the past. So much so that we actually got to rent out a room for our movie screening, instead of just… Read more →

The Shiranui Sea

Last but not least, I would like to talk about The Shiranui Sea, the fourth documentary about Minamata disease by Noriaki Tsuchimoto. A bit of background: Minamata disease is a condition named after residents of Minamata, Japan started showing strange symptoms, including loss of motor control and difficulty with speech. It was discovered that the condition was caused from ingesting mercury, which had been… Read more →

4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days

Next on our list of movies to discuss is 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. This is the most well known of the 3 movies I watched, being critically acclaimed and listed in many best movies of 2007 lists. The film follows Otilia and Gabriela, two university roommates in Romania, as they try and procure a doctor to perform an abortion for Gabriela. In 1987… Read more →

Back to Cuba

The first in today’s movie discussion extravaganza is also the one I saw most recently. Back to Cuba is a documentary that was shown at the GEF movie night last Friday. It follows a Cuban citizen who has recently moved back to the country after living in Italy with her husband for some years. While the main story is her attempts to… Read more →

Go (game)

Yesterday in Japanese club I was able to play some of a game of Go. I say some because the game can take several hours, and when you have a bunch of novices who are unsure of the rules the turns can understandably take a while. Still, I appreciated Professor Frydman bringing the board and letting us play. Playing made… Read more →

Start of Japanese club

Japanese club is timed a little unfortunately this year. It starts during my Japanese history class, but at least i am able to head over there right after class and get some club time in. It seems more organized this year, with announcements every meeting, talks about the JLPT, and developing communication with OSU’s Japanese club. Bonus: they had food the… Read more →

Zao Onsen-surprise

So Japan has a week long break called golden week, during which I thought it would be a great idea to work at a hot spring close to Yamagata. The weirdness of the experience starts with the ease at which the job was attained: I called the number on the card I picked up when my culture class visited the… Read more →


Language classes are similar here in Japan, but with a more high school-lean. Generally, we meet once a week to take a quiz and learn new grammar/vocabulary, then get homework to turn in the next week. Lessons are almost entirely in Japanese, which is nice, but the actual content is pretty simple so it doesn’t feel like I am learning… Read more →

Still want to do

One downside of the way school works here in Japan, and which is particularly relevant in a secluded place like Yamagata, is that there are not very many breaks. Aside from golden week, the devouring of which deserves its own post, the first holiday will be the 17th of July. Most days of class are not too intensive, but the… Read more →

Starting to acclimate

In recent weeks, it appears I have finally started to settle in to Yamagata. Classes have fallen into a regular pattern, weekends have become less hectic, and favorite spots have been established. Top of the last list is Yamonosuke, a ramen shop another exchange student took me to. It is far and away the best ramen I have eaten in… Read more →