By Key’Mari Thompson
Since about 5th or 6th grade, I have had a steadily growing interest in Japan, especially through its pop culture. Like many others, I love Japanese media, including anime, manga, and video games, and over time this interest was able to expand into other things, such as its fashion, scenery and folklore. I had developed so much of an interest in Japan that learning the language was the next logical step to take. When I heard about Japanese Tamago from my peers at school, I was immediately interested and decided to apply. The program overall was very fun, and I especially love that beyond the language, we were also able to learn about various aspects of Japan’s culture, such as information about various prefectures like Osaka, or foods like onigiri and okonomiyaki. I also loved hearing from our guest speakers about their experiences in Japan, which helped to further increase my desire to travel to the country. Despite having to deal with one of the most hectic school years of my life, I was still able to enjoy the program, as it ended up being a peaceful distraction from the stressful events happening around me. Overall, I think that starting to learn a new language can be very intimidating, but I feel as though Japanese Tamago was able to ease the process enough to the point where I feel more confident in continuing to study the language on my own once it ends. I believe that if you are as interested in Japan as me and my peers, this would be a great opportunity for you!