I write about 3 things I was interested in during the program, comparing with my experiences in Japan.
First, many things of the U.S. is exceeding the moderate line, I thought. Foods are mostly very big, served in large amount and most of them contain much sugar and fats. As to health foods, they are so “healthy” that it isn’t able to say that they are really delicious. Air-conditioning is also set in extremely cold at the many place. At first, I was bewildered by these things. But, I’m convinced through the viewpoint of liberty in the U.S. People in America prepare many choices, and other people choose them which are suited for them. And then, people prepare not only aspect of variety but also quantity. Hosts serve large amount of food and guests eat them to their stomach’s content, referring their principle. If they are full, they can use the box for taking out. It is a rare incident in Japan. And as to air-conditioning, if they are feeling cold, they can adjust themselves to the environment by putting something to wear on. Therefore there is no problem. In Japan, the style of serving is opposite to the U.S. The existence of variety is the same, but there is difference in quantity. Most of Japanese restaurants serve small dishes at first, then guests order next several dishes if they need. The size of each foods is generally small or moderate. There are also some traditional style of dishes which divide the various foods into small squares in Japan. Summarizing these former texts simply, it is possible to say that In America, foods are served in large amount at first and people choose and eat the best quantity for them. In Japan, foods are served in moderate amount and people can order some dishes if they need. For example of foods. I thought there are backgrounds about difference in self-support ratio of foods or diversity of culture and principles.
Second, I was interested in religious difference between both countries. In the lecture of religion in America, the professor said unaffiliated and atheist are increasing among the younger generation. It seems interesting for me because I had thought America is the land of pious Christianity. I also heard from some PAs that they don’t have much interest in their religion even if their parents are devout Christian. I don’t have faith especially too, so I had sympathy with it. Although Japan is the land of Buddhism and Shinto, people don’t believe them genuinely as well. And the tendency is remarkable in younger age group. It seems the custom rather than the faith. When I had been W&M, I hardly met somebody who had enthusiasm in his faith, yet I heard from my Japanese friend who went to university in America that he experienced an invitation from a religious circle. I was impressed to hear that because I thought as if I could see one of the various aspects of the U.S. In Japan, there are few circle declare in public that we are religious because people look the group on dangerous because of the past incidents of cult group. Therefore the existence and activities of such circles run by students is strange and sounds interesting for me. I cannot image to be religious in our age.
Finally, the thing I was interested in is the plants. The plants, especially the trees in the U.S. are obviously different from the Japanese one. There were the trees branching out in many ways from its roots (looks like Acacia of Africa), piling up the leaves in layers, bearing many unknown blue fruits. Most of them weren’t found in Japan and so beautiful. When I saw them, I wished I could have identify these names or classification, and it would be enjoyable if I recognize them. I took many pictures of those plants with my injured iPhone camera. I would like to study about botany or study again the simple classification I learned in my childhood and acquire the knowledge for the culture. They evoked my curiosity.
Thank you everyone who met in this program, for everything. May the happiness be with you.