Journal 1

I was really looking forward to joining this program, and I am actually having a great time these days in Williamsburg. I have several reasons why I came here, but the biggest one is to make a chance for challenging new things in my university life.
After I entered to Keio, I got satisfied with the fact that I finished my exams for universities (it has a big meaning in Japan) and I was forgetting to try new things every moment, which I had done since I was at high school. That’s the point, I really want to change myself and I want to take in everything that I have learned here.
In the past couple of days, I’ve noticed 2 important points to think about a relationship between Japan and America.
First, about cityscape. Here, in Williamsburg, the word “colonial” will be a key to understand what happened to this place. The area called “Colonial Williamsburg” was founded in 1926, and this made Williamsburg more famous as a town for sightseeing. They changed this town like the time when Virginia was a colony of England. Usually Americans don’t want to focus on the past before they got independent, but Williamsburg is an exception for it. They did it on purpose to change the town to “a town for tourists” from an old small town, by themselves. In Japan, Kyoto looks like a same kind of town, but they’re just protecting the old buildings, not rebuilding or reforming. That’s the big difference between Kyoto and Williamsburg. Remaking the cityscape always must be with the lives of residents. I will study more about this town in lectures, and consider the connection between the lives of residents and the cityscape here.
Second, about religion. In my dialogue class, most people concluded that “America has religions a lot, but Japan doesn’t.” However, I think that idea doesn’t make sense because we have many different kinds of religions in Japan if we include the gods of nature. The meanings which religions have in a society is the biggest difference between our two countries. Japanese religions mostly do not relate to politics or some social events. That changes religion in Japan from what it looks like in America.
These 2 things are my findings in these 4 days at William and Mary. I will keep going to find more.
And last, I’m really glad to have Devon for my roommate! She took me to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning and I had a great experience there. And also we always talk in our rooms till night, and teach each other about our own countries, languages and also about our favorites. I’m sure we can have a good time as roommates, and I’m very very excited for the rest of the days of this program!!

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