First Month in Kanazawa

Time has passed in a blink of an eye, and before I knew it has been a month since I first met my host family, my teachers, and my classmates. I have learned and experienced so much, and yet I know there is so much more I need to learn.

My host family is a couple of slightly older age and have had a long history of hosting students just like me. More surprisingly, my host mum use to teach at the same place that I am taking lessons now. My host family has taken me in like family, which I am beyond grateful about and let me be participate in their everyday activities such as cooking and grocery shopping. They were also patient in teaching me everything I did not understand. My host father took me out to his garden and showed me the variety of different vegetables that he plants. He also let me harvest the zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and potatoes. My host mother taught me how to make Japanese hand-rolled sushi, which I dearly hope I can remember by the time I return home.

Although there is barely any free time, I am glad that the program is keeping me busy. On a weekday, I am usually finishing up homework or studying for a quiz the next day. On a weekend, I am either meeting students from Kanazawa University, or participating in cultural activities that the program provides us. By far I have participated in the making of Wagashi (Japanese sweets), Shodo (the art of writing) and Kado (the art of flower arrangement), all of which were challenging but extremely interesting to do. These traditional arts are very intricate and bear with it a cultural significance that reflects Japanese traditional thought, which I found challenging to understand but very interesting to know. Here are pictures of my attempt at these traditional arts:

I just finished my first semester and took the final exam last week. The exam was quite challenging, but tight now, I am very excited about the next semester. Apparently we will be learning Japanese from a storybook called Spirited Away. As an avid reader of fictional novels, I am very glad to finally get to read one in Japanese.