Hanako Lowry in Tokyo- First term rolls to a close… February 2021



秋学期の終わりに私のアドバイザーと話して、似た分野の知り合いの博士課程の学生を紹介してもらいました。彼女は、フィリピン残留日本人の歴史と今について展示会をひらいていたので、それに参加しました。最近自分のナショナルアイデンティティやビロンギングを考えます。- 最初にあった人は、みんな自分がどこ生まれか聞くからです! – なので、展示会はとても面白かったです。彼女と今度オフィスでコーヒーをする約束をしました。

ナショナルアイデンティティといえば、コースメイトと会ってくつろぎながら、今学期についてしゃべりました。どういうわけか、アフタヌーンティーに行くことを決めました。東京に来てアフタヌーンティーをするとは思いませんでした!次は抹茶と和菓子 にしようかなと思います。

IMG_4692Good evening from Tokyo! It’s Hana. Since my last post, I have finished up my university term and my spring break has just begun as, in Japan, the new academic year begins in April. I have to get used to this different academic calendar! As a graduate student, there were many final papers and exams to complete as the term rolled to a close. I also had the added complication of my laptop breaking with only a few weeks (and all my final deadlines) to go! Luckily I was able to get it fixed quite quickly.

I am quite relieved to be done with all my work in the first term of my master’s. When I stop to think of all the different classes I took, I am quite proud of all the work I managed to complete. But my current task is working out how I am going to spend all this free time I have all of a sudden! Japanese graduate school has more contact hours than I am used to, especially as a humanities student, so I really want to make the most of time outside of term time to really explore the city and use my Japanese outside of university settings. I live in a very nice, laid-back area and it has been nice to go around and chat with the owners of various independent shops here. On my evening walk today, I came across a second-hand bookshop that I had never seen before with a selection of Japanese and English language books.

Towards the end of term I also met with my potential adviser and he introduced me to a PhD student with similar research interests to me. I was able to attend an exhibition she was involved in about war-displaced individuals of Japanese descent in the Philippines. I have been thinking a lot about questions of national identity and belonging recently – probably because the first thing people always ask me here is where I am from! – and I found it to be a very interesting exhibition. We agreed to meet up in her campus office for a coffee later on in the month.

Speaking of national identity, a fellow coursemate and I met up to unwind and reflect on the term we just completed. Somehow, we ended up deciding to go for some afternoon tea. I didn’t imagine I would come all the way to Tokyo from the UK to have afternoon tea! Maybe next time we can go have some matcha and wagashi.












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