Thursday, 15 March 2012


Today’s been quite...nostalgic. I can’t tell whether or not that word sounds natural in English anymore. It’s one of those words I never said before learning Japanese, but you end up saying and hearing the Japanese equivalent - 懐かしい - a lot when you’re in Japan. The literal translation would be “nostalgic”, or more naturally, “brings back memories”.

Today’s been nostalgic for a few reasons. I bumped into an old friend from my Japanese class earlier and we had a good chat. Then to kill time before playing football tonight I thought I’d visit the Arts Tower as it’s been recently refurbished. That’s where I had all my Japanese classes in first and second year, and it hasn’t changed much, just looks a bit newer. The paternoster lift is back working again so I had a ride on that. And right now, to kill time again, I’m sat in Western Bank Library computer room, the very place where I wrote my application to JET in fourth year.

Learning Japanese at Sheffield Uni was always a lot of fun. The language itself is interesting and kind of obscure, but back in first and second year there was also our study-abroad in Japan to look forward to. It was always a great motivation to make sure we knew our stuff.

Lately I’ve been considering whether I want to go back to Japan after I’m finished with this masters course. I am enjoying life in the UK at the moment, but it does lack that excitement you get every day in Japan. By now the novelty factor with things like British food and football has mostly worn off, but I am still enjoying the things you miss out on when you’re not here. I’ve been enjoying British TV a lot lately, and I’m also going to loads of gigs. I only went to one during my year in Aomori.

Also, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom here in Sheffield. Again, this is something I would never even notice had I not been to Japan, but there it’s a really important time of year. To most British people the cherry blossom is just another tree, but when I see one it reminds of Japan.

I spend most of my time doing things that aren't related to Japan at all, but when the country has been such a big part of my life in the past, I think it's good to be reminded every now and then.

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