Japan & Me

Tiarne Tran

Occupation: Student
Age: 18

Tell us about a place you like in Japan.
We visited many different cities in Japan during our Japan trip with Brighton Secondary School. If I had to choose between Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima, I would say that I enjoyed staying in Tokyo the most. My host family took me to many places around Tokyo, such as Shibuya and Harajuku. I was able to experience Japanese culture first-hand in the form of authentic foods and traditions, and by attending Kokubunji High School.

What did you do when you stayed in Japan
During the first week of our stay in Japan, we were in Tokyo and stayed with our host families. We attended Kokubunji High School with our host students, and we were involved in activities such as flower arranging, tea ceremony, 'karuta' (a game where we all raced to touch the card corresponding with the poem that was being read), cooking and so on. Outside of school, our host families would take us to do things such as sightseeing or visiting their extended families.

How is life in Japan different to life in Adelaide
After staying in Japan for two weeks, I felt that life in Japan was very different from life in Adelaide. In Japan, there were a large number of people wherever we went. It seemed that one location could hold up to the whole population of Adelaide. In Japanese schools, most subjects are compulsory and they have club activities after school.

How do you imagine your future in relation to Japan
If I manage to successfully get into the course I applied for at University, one of the courses I will be studying is Japanese. I hope to become a translator sometime in the future and visit Japan again soon.

How does Japan influence your life at present
Being a huge fan of anime (Japanese animation), manga (graphic novels) and video games, Japan influences me a lot at present. Since returning from Japan, I have been craving Japanese food such as onigiri, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, ramen and so on.

Can you tell us something memorable about your time in Japan
I think our visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was one of the most memorable times. While we were in the museum, I felt that time was passing quickly as we were all absorbed in the text panels and displays about the atomic bombing. I was shocked to see the remnants and learn about the effects of the atomic bomb, and I wished that we had time to look at it more carefully.

Edited: March 2013