September 28, 2012

Some exciting news... Kizuna Project

I miss Japan so much. The other day it was cold, and I was wearing a jacket I haven't worn in months. I put my hands in the pockets, and what should I find? A map of the Tokyo subway. I remember exactly how it got there, too. First week in Japan, first time using the subway. We were stuck in some random station, trying to make sense of the Japanese map. A kind man came up to us and, with a wink, gave us this English-language version. It was our bible for the rest of the week, but would soon be replaced by maps of the Osaka subway. The Tokyo one has apparently lived in my pocket ever since.
Map of the Tokyo Subway... I'm keeping this forever.
I apologise for the lack of updates recently, I have been frantically working on my final papers so I can obtain my degree in Japanese at the end of the year. I'm also attempting to sort out my post-university life. I haven't really talked about what I do - except for visiting Sailor Moon cafes and eating far too much - but I want to be a journalist, and I'm currently in the process of applying for journalism school. I have an interview coming up next week, so cross your fingers for me, おねがいします。

Over the next few months I will have a lot more to write about, because... I'm going back to Japan! I've been selected along with 9 other students from my university (and about 100 other students from New Zealand and Australia), to travel to Japan to learn about the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the reconstruction efforts. From December 9-18, our group will spend time in the disaster areas in the Tohoku region, visiting local schools, taking part in volunteer activities, and staying with local families.

The programme is called the Kizuna (Bond) Project, and has been implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Centre. Over the next few years they expect more than 10,000 students from 41 countries to be involved in this programme - so if you're a high school or university student, check it out. Its goal is to promote global understanding about Japan's recovery efforts. Participants are to act as messengers to inform people about the state of post-quake Japan - which, as we know, has had a bit of a rough time in the global press.

It looks like I'm about to embark on a whole new adventure as The Only Blonde in Tohoku... stay posted!


  1. I feel blogging and journalism are very similar in many respects. Those who are good at blogging should do well in journalism, although the amount of research needed is far higher for a competent journalist. ^^

    The Kizuna project sounds great. Hope you enjoy it. I haven't been up there since before the earthquake but I can imagine they still need a lot of help. I look forward to reading about it in the future. May inspire me to go up there if I ever get the time.

    1. Thank you! =) I've never been to that area before, so I'm excited to see a new part of Japan.

  2. Congrats on being selected for the Kizuna Project! That's fantastic!