Personal Statment – not finished yet…. (first draft)

26 Sep

`What made you want to study Japanese?` has to be the most frequent question that I have ever been asked, aside from my name. However the answer to this question was not clear to even myself, until recently.
From a young age I began taking an avid interest in Japanese animation. This progressed into a love affair with Japanese film, music, cuisine, culture and finally language. I found that Japan is a country apart from any other. Moreover it is a country focused on the cultivation and preservation of tradition, manners and a hard work ethic.
It has become my firm belief that, just as one could never understand black or grey without ever having seen white, one can never fully understand ones own culture, or for that matter the world, without experiencing and coming to appreciate other cultures that are as far from ones own as possible. Thus is the reason for which I am applying to study this course.

With regard to my past educational attainment, the focus throughout was on Art. I have always had a deep love and appriciation for Art and took great delight in creating my own. Studying art has allowed myself to fully understand the amount of effort, self-disapline and perfectionism that goes into creating pieces that are astetically astounding. Furthermore, pieces full of deep meaning and expression that reflect, not only the artist herself, but the time and place in which they were created. However, it wasn’t untill I attended college that I discovered other subjects that I could use to express the self.
Studying Philosophy and Theatre studies, as well as Art, at A-level gave me skills that have proven invaluable. Philosophy provided me with the education and tools necissary for me to learn how to view things from an objective standpoint, thus via logical, non-bias thinking processs taught me how to come to my own conclusions. Theatre Studies, although I did not excell in at it, gave me much needed confidence in public speaking and in working with people of all walks of life.
In my final year of college I made the decicion to self-study Japanese and take my AS level exam for it in June 2007. After achieving an A grade in this exam I gained further affirmation that Japanese was what I wanted to study at University but to make myself 100% sure in November 2007 I set out to Japan on a Gap year.

For the first 8 months spent in Japan, I lived and worked in the mountains of the prefecture of Gunma at the Manza Onsen Hotel. The work ethic and strictness was, at times crippling and the hours were long but it taught me much needed self-disapline and self-motivation. The staff were unable to speak much English and so it became imperitive that I learnt the language if I was to stay. During my time at Manza I experienced many wonderfull things as well, including the opportunity to be the personal waitress to Prince Akishino of the Japanese imperial family.
At the end of June 2008 I moved to Tokyo to gain experience working as an English teacher for adults and children. This required unlimited patience and a firm confidence in my grasp of the Japanese language as well as in English.
The time I spent in Japan proved to be more difficult and yet more wonderfull than I could have ever imagined and I am now certain that I wish to study the Japanese languge further at University..

Aside from my interest in the Japanese Language, Art and Philosophy my main interests lie in Literature, Human Psychology, World Cuisine and Design of all subjects, ranging from fashion to architecture. I also have a great love for Music of all genres and untill last year I was taking lessons for an exam in Grade 5 classical singing.


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