My last day in Japan started with some mundane dormitory check-out and a Tadao Ando Lecture… which was pretty funny because it seems like this major slap on the face because even though I have been living in Japan for a year, all I understood in that lecture was about 10%...hahaha… well granted architecture lectures are not the most easiest thing to understand… it also did not help that he was speaking in a different Japanese-ben [dialect] and was speaking really fast to cram as much information in a single lecture… then after that is just more goodbyes, including to one of my favorite trees in Fukuoka.
It is my 3rd day back in Los Angeles. I’m jet-lagged and struggling to correct it... 5th year of Architecture School is about to start in less than a week and I still have to move to a house I’m sharing with 3 other friends next to school and say hello to the people I haven’t seen in a year… But before the craziness of 5th year thesis starts + trying to look and apply for grad schools that I can afford and has an interesting program, I feel that I should write a summary of Japan…
So for the past year these are the things I have done…
_Learned Japanese (not fluently but enough to get by, communicate with friends and work)
_Took 9 Classes in Japanese and T.A.-ed in 2 more…
_Worked for the Yamaguchi Prefecture Cultural and Historical Preservation Department as an Architecture Researcher which will result in a published book.
_Worked for a Japanese Atelier and helped designed an Inexpensive Eco-House for a 28 year old couple in Munakata, Japan
_Visited 13 prefectures in Japan and 6 Asian Countries not including Japan.
_Still translating a thesis paper from Japanese to English for another publication.
_Participated in 6 summer festivals, 3 of which I embarrassed myself and danced in public…
_ Took 227 photos of my camera phone + another 9666 from my camera
_Taught 9 Japanese professionals casual and formal English.
_Presented a lecture for 1hr and 45 min in Japanese.
_Not very proud of this but 2 binge drinking accidents one of which also involved a bicycle
_Rode the Shinkansen (bullet train) 5 times and 1 “real” weekend road trip with friends.
_And most importantly, met countless amounts of people from different walks of life like: different kinds of Artists, Professors, Students, Business men, Grand Parents, etc and had conversations with them.
mail box: double "T" means telephone + telegram
Favorite Museum: Museum of Contemporary Arts Tokyo
Random Class: Splitting A Log 101
1st lesson learned: The simple but profound story behind Hagi Yaki...
Another random thing: Peach-flavored Strawberry
Taoue = Rice Planting!
Air Acordian Solo in my Air Band...
My local train station = Ijiri Eki
Abandoned theme park called Navelland
In a rush hour train in Fukuoka... in Tokyo and Osaka, its even worst...
Under my tree!
Kitchen powered by Hot Springs... so it gets hotter here than a regular kitchen not to mention the pungent sulfuric scent from the hot springs...
Inside a Japanese Costco
Lucky No. 7th Inning in a baseball game!
And for these amazing experiences I would like to thank the following:
Kyushu University, Ohashi Campus for accepting me in the program.
Kenichi Tanoue Sensei and his Laboratory for taking me back to my birth place!
KyuDai Professors whose classes I took and their T.A’s, for the interesting classes and patience you guys gave me.
KyuDai Students for all the help for both school and non-school related things…
People from Hita, Oita and Amakusa, Kumamoto for all the warm welcomes and fun times!
My Chinese crew for really random experiences…
Keiyo Fujihara Sensei and our laboratory members (official and honorary) for treating me like family and the myriad of unforgettable memories!
And most of all, my Family for all the support and making my year abroad possible!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.... ほんとに ありがとう ございます！