Read about the Japan Journeys of JSB's staff and interns
Ian Malloy - JSB Intern (2021)
My Japan Journey started when I was 4 years old. The first movie I ever remember seeing is King Kong vs. Godzilla from 1962. I would watch it so many times that my VHS copy of it would start to wear out. Watching that film lead me to rent so many more entries from the Godzilla series from my local Blockbuster.
As I got older, I started to delve into the history of Godzilla and how it started as a series, which then lead me to the history of Japan as a society. I studied World War II throughout middle school and high school which then lead me to study East Asian history in college. My years of studying Japanese history has lead me to take in several other aspects of the culture such as anime, cuisine, Kurosawa films, and tea.
Now that I am graduated from college, I will take the next step in my Japan Journey by living in working in Japan through the JET program. Although I've studied Japan's history and culture for a massive amount of my life, I'm aware I still know very little and that my journey is only just beginning.
Christopher Ellars - JSB Intern (2021)
I was first introduced to Japan at the tender age of 5, when my father introduced me to one of his favorite characters, Godzilla, with the movie Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster (三大怪獣、地球最大の決戦) from 1964. Since I was an expert on dragons and dinosaurs, he decided that Godzilla would be a natural progression in my adoration. To this day, I am still a huge Godzilla fan, but I am eternally grateful that my passion for Godzilla also sparked my interest in the country behind the big grey monster. In the 5th grade, I started spending less time in my devotion of Godzilla, and spending more time on learning about Japan itself. The more I learned about Japan, the more I fell in love with the country and its culture, language, history, everything. When I decided that I wanted to major in Japanese in college, my father sent me to Japan for three weeks so that I could experience the country and culture first hand, just to make sure that this was what I really wanted to do with my life. For three weeks in the summer of 2018 I lived in Fukuoka, studying Japanese at the GenkiJACS School of Japanese Language and Culture. I made some wonderful friends, and gained incredible memories. This trip was not only one of the best experiences of my life, but is what solidified the choice I made long before - to secure Japan a primary position in my future.