CDM/MLA 675: Tokyo: Collective Identity, Mediated Selves, and the Built Environment
January 24, 2020
I’ve repeatedly delayed writing the final blog post because I did not want to recognize that trip was actually over, but the final is over and it’s time. So we took our final day to tour around Kichijoji where one of Carthage’s Japanese language assistants, Iwamoto-sensei, lives.
The day began slowly as we all recognized what the day meant. Then we started our train trip. As with the overall experience of public transport, it is really difficult to understand what the trains are actually going to do on the fringes of their routes. So after a few wrong turns, we were finally on the right track.
Kichijoji’s neighbor, Mitaka, hosts the Ghibli Museum. It’s full of information surrounding the studio’s films and the most beautiful displays of animation. The museum is notoriously difficult to get into, but Iwamoto made sure to get us in using her hometown’s ticket advantage. Although my experience with Ghibli’s work is limited, it brought me to tears multiple times.
We then moved back to Kichijoji to enjoy a group lunch together. It was the perfect start to a calm afternoon shopping and enjoying this slice of Tokyo suburbia. My friends and I rented swan boats and raced each other on the local pond. There was an adorable sticker shop full of unique designs. And I finally bought the perfect jean jacket that I’ve been looking for! The afternoon really tied up any loose ends that we had.
After that uniting experience, we closed out the night with another group meal. It featured plenty of raw fish and fried delicacies! There was nothing like it in our trip so far, but we enjoyed being able to hang out with everyone for our final evening.
I was really skeptical going into this trip about being able to enjoy it. I had never been overseas, and was terrified I wouldn’t have any friends. While I didn’t, I made so many more than I could’ve ever imagined. They made the trip all the fun it was, and I can’t believe how lucky I am. This trip inspired me to go on another J-Term (hopefully), and be more aware of what is happening in my life. I can’t wait to go explore the world again with my newfound confidence! See ya later!
About the Japan Study Tour
THE TRAVEL DATES
Jan. 10-25, 2020
Modern Languages Prof. Darwin Tsen
Students will get to explore and experience Tokyo, Japan, through several activities. As they are guided through the city, students will be examining the several works of art there and the multicultural and multimedia products they offer, such as literature, cinema, television, and digital design. With an emphasis on historical contexts, students will come to understand the social and cultural fundamentals that lead to modern ideas of Tokyo, the environment, and the people.