The Uji Chapters
Nov14

The Uji Chapters

Of all the unread books on my shelf back home, none is more intimidating than Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji. The translation I own, the 1926 translation by Arthur Waley, lands at over a 1000 pages. (The Tale of Genji taking up a large amount of space on my Japanese Literature shelf in Birmingham, AL) Murasaki, a lady of Japan’s Heian court, wrote Genji roughly a thousand years ago, with the novel itself tracing the...

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Sending Love from My Happy Place
Nov13

Sending Love from My Happy Place

Hi, my name is Lauren Phillips and for the past 3 months I’ve been studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. These last few months have gone by so quickly, and I’ve been having so much fun here that I’ve barely had time to write about my experiences! Now that I’ve found myself in a quiet café with a chai latte and some free time, I can finally reflect on everything that’s happened so far. I’ll start by explaining...

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Home Sweet Home
Aug08

Home Sweet Home

When you study abroad, people talk about how hard it is to adjust to your host country. They don’t talk about getting back, and it is exhausting. I spent 32 hours in transit from Sydney, Australia, back to Alabama and I’m still worn out five days later! I wasn’t quite ready to leave Australia, if I’m honest. After five weeks, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing! That being said, I’m relieve to be...

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The Final Days
Jul30

The Final Days

It’s almost time for my study abroad journey here in Japan to end, and I must say that I’m rather sad about it. I’ve made plenty of friends here over the year, and though a lot of them are going to leave while I’m spending the week in Tokyo, somehow I feel it might be better not to see them off. I know I’ll end up crying if I do. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty hot here in Japan at the moment....

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Riding out the Heat Wave
Jul30

Riding out the Heat Wave

It seems like lately there’s been one thing after another in Japan. After the earthquake in Osaka that cancelled classes, we ended up with rain that lasted for about a week. It made it pretty difficult over the weekend since all the rivers had filled up and were beginning to overflow. But on the bright side, I was able to see some cute videos of giant salamanders coming out of the rivers. I’ve heard from a friend that they...

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Sakura, Sakura
Jul30

Sakura, Sakura

  Perhaps one of the best times to be in Japan is spring; right around the time the new school semester started, we were able to see the cherry blossoms begin to bloom around Kyoto. Though I was sad to have to start school again after getting to spend so much time under the kotatsu and traveling, getting to see all the flowers on campus bloom at once was very fun. It made everything super pink for about two weeks! Even near the...

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