Hey everyone! The past two weeks have been so much fun, and educational at the same time.
So first the educational stuff. For my history class I was assigned to visit a temple and do a report on it. This temple was called the Tsukiji Hongan-ji temple and the history on it was interesting in terms of how many times it was destroyed until it was finally secure. In short, it took three tries for this temple to finally be permanent without it being destroyed by a natural disaster of some sort. The other interesting part about this temple is its architecture style. The architecture style is a mix of India, Western and Japanese style architecture all in one building. I really enjoyed this assignment because not only was it educational, but the interactive aspect made the information more enjoyable to learn because one is able to see what was lectured in real time.
Okay, now the really fun stuff. I was also able to attend a culture event hosted by Meiji Gakuin University. This culture event was mind blowing to say the least. To start, when I and the other exchange students got to where the event was held, we were greeted by teachers in kimonos that told us what we would be doing throughout the day. The first thing we did was the classical Japanese tea ceremony. The tea ceremony was so much fun and provided a deeper insight into classical Japanese culture. After the tea ceremony, we partook in the classical Japanese flower arrangement in which one organizes flowers in a very specific way. What was really cool about making this flower arrangement, was how you have to cut the flowers in order to get them to stay in position. After making the flower arrangement we learned the art of calligraphy. What was really cool about the calligraphy segment was we were able to pick a Kanji we wanted to write. I ended up picking the Kanji I was assigned when I came to Japan which is the Kanji for rainforest. After calligraphy, we made Japanese style boxes which was not only fun but challenging in a good way. The cool thing about these boxes is that they are very versatile in terms of there uses. After creating boxes, we were then able to were kimonos. Kimonos are a lot more complex than one might think. There are many layers to a kimono and they are also very warm. It was awesome to not only were a kimono, but I, and the other exchange students, were able to walk around in them. Being able to walk around in a kimono was not only an awesome culture shock, but I was able to finally achieve another dream of mine which was to were an authentic Japanese kimono.
After wearing kimonos, I and the other exchange students went home. I haven’t uploaded photos to my Instagram, @isaacxmaes yet, but I will do so soon. If you decide to study abroad, and there is a culture event like the one I have described, I highly recommend partaking in it. Not only is it fun, but it allows you to have a deeper appreciation for the culture you are studying. I will be uploading the few photos I took to my Instagram in the next few days.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this blog and have a wonderful rest of your day. And remember to follow @unmstudyabroad on Instagram and Facebook.