Name: Jeffrey Jenkins
School: Dunbar High School
Zodiac sign: Libra/Year of the Gold Dragon
Video games, studying, reading manga, watching anime, physical education, Japanese studies, criminal justice, journalism, photography
I’m a huge Japanese fanatic and I’ve become an even bigger one since my trip to Japan with a program called TOMODACHI, which is directly related to Japanese Plus. I first found out about Japan through various animes that my uncle used to watch during the weekends. At first I didn’t even know those animations were made in Japan; heck, I didn’t even know what Japan was at the time, just that the shows I was watching were extremely entertaining for me at a young age. So, eventually I did find out that anime was made in Japan and what Japan was exactly, but I was still never interested/informed about anything else that happened in Japan.
Until I got in high school and my math teacher informed me about a program that allowed D.C students to travel to Japan for free! At first I was skeptical about if I would get accepted into the program, but when I did I was instantly filled with excitement. Since I had always seen Japan through a TV or computer monitor, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to travel to Japan and free at that!
Though it was for two weeks I learned that Japan was more than just a place that made anime on TV but rather it was a place of beauty and unity amongst its people, especially when I visited Minamisanriku, a town in the Tohoku region that was hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Honestly the community of that small town is what lit my passion for Japan, because although those people lost everything, they didn’t give up and leave thing as they were. Instead they stood up and inspired each other to help with the recovery of their home. Though the real heartwarming part for me was the hospitality that I was showed while I stayed there, it felt like I was a part of their family and that’s what really made me want to learn Japanese, so that I could communicate with the people of the community and help with the recovery of the Tohoku region if possible.
So, that’s my summary of how I got hooked on Japan in a nutshell and I’ll continue to expand my knowledge on the country for as long as I live! (P.S if you want the full story, feel free to contact me at one my social media outlets. I’d love to tell more!)
Jaa nai! ありごとうございます！
Facebook: Jeffrey Jenkins