Like many others in this world I happened to develop an interest for a very specific subject; Japan. Realizing this about seven years ago I desperately sought for things that satisfied my interest in this extraordinary country. In every bookstore my eyes unconsciously searched for Japanese books, every video I watched on the internet turned out to be about Japan, and all the dishes I so miserably failed to prepare came from Japanese cookbooks. I wanted to ‘’do something’’ with Japan so badly, but what? Where do you start?
My name is Bas Verweij, 24 years old and from the 5th of October I started an Internship at Studio HB.
The purpose of my post is to inform you that from today I will be posting informative blog posts and articles revolving around Japan and its culture. I will also be keeping you up to date with the latest news on Deshima AIR (artist in residents) and events.
Me and Japan:
Before I start of writing several blog posts about Japan it might be good to know about my experience. Quickly after realizing my obsession for Japan I began sharing my findings with my friends. Me and three of my best friends decided that after high school we wanted to travel to japan and see the beauty with our own eyes.
February the 22nd we left for a three month magical, unorganized, life changing journey to the land of the rising sun. We travelled from Tokyo all the way to Kyushu stopping at almost every major city on the way. We finalized our trip working in a guest house in the hot spring town capital called Beppu. My eyes were opened, I found my passion, It was time to learn more about Japan.
The three month journey was truly magical, and inspired me start studying Japanese language at the Zuyd University of Applied sciences, Maastricht in 2016. This where I first found out how hard it was to learn the Japanese language, with its 6000 Kanji characters that looked like little aliens to me.
After three years of discipline, hard work and lots of coffee I managed to receive all my points necessary to go on a student exchange to one of six Japanese Universities. Having visited Japan before I wanted to go to a cultural, more authentic city and I was very happy to hear I became eligible for an exchange to the Kyoto University of Foreign studies.
The Student exchange allowed me to experience Japan from the perspective of a resident instead of a traveler. It taught me that studying in Japan requires lots of dedication, coffee, and hard work. Luckily the Izakaya (Japanese bar/restaurant) was always there to provide me with the right food and beverages when the stress reached its maximum.
This internship is the final chapter of my university studies, with the help of Studio HB I hope to discover what it is that keeps me fascinated about Japan. During my seven years of studies on Japan I have discovered several things I love, but also opened my eyes and realized Japan is not in every aspect the dreamland I thought it was. I plan to write more about this in the future.
I hope you are interested in reading my posts and got to know me a bit better. Please keep reading up on our activities as there will be much going on in the near future. Thank you for your attention and as the Japanese say ‘’Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!’’ (Please be kind to me)