#About me

Hello! I’m Stevie, a Belgian PhD student enrolled at the Catholic University of Leuven. Through this page I will briefly introduce myself as well as summarize the intent of my blog.

Born and raised in a financially disadvantaged region during the 90’s, the ongoing socio-economic transformation of the landscape I called home—as well as a frequent confrontation with various forms of discrimination—have no doubt formed an important cornerstone in developing both my current world-views and my ongoing interest in the notion of (national) identity. Simultaneously, as I found myself increasingly engaging in online communication, so too became digital media an important element of my formative years. During my undergraduate studies in Applied Informatics,1 this expressed itself through a growing desire of developing myself beyond purely technical skills. It is after graduation, then, that admittedly under the Internet-facilitated influence of Japanese pop-culture, I enrolled in the Japanese Studies program at the Catholic University of Leuven, graduating with an MA in 2019.

Furthermore, I had, during my studies, the wonderful opportunity to spend one year and a half in Tokyo, Japan as a MEXT-funded research student at Chuo University (中央大学)’s department of Socio-Informatics (社会情報学科). As a synthesis of both my former studies and my studies at Leuven, I took both theoretical courses related to Media & Communication Studies, and technical courses pertaining to digital humanities. Entering 2020, I began my PhD studies at Leuven, working on the topics of grassroots political usage of social media in Japan and political propaganda in subcultural online spaces.

On a personal note, I’m fairly passionate about music. I’ve spent the better part of my youth picking up music lessons or playing in bands, and although I’ve made some sacrifices in order to pursue my academic ambitions, I enjoy spending free time on composing and playing piano.

#About Onoreto

This blog-site serves simultaneously as a kind of personal portfolio and as a technical or creative outlet. That aside, I hope I’ll be able to provide some assistance to my fellow students (or anyone interested) on technical aspects related to academic studies, or on Japanese Studies and the Japanese language.

From a technical side, I designed and built this blog as a static site using the lightweight, python-based Pelican framework, hosting my generated pages on GitHub’s free web hosting service GitHub Pages. Due to its ease and sustainability, I have for the past half decade written most of my content in the markdown syntax, and do so using Pelican as well.



  • Stevie Poppe
  • PhD student @ KU Leuven
  • MEXT Research student @ Chuo University
  • MA Japanese Studies @ KULeuven
  • BA Applied Informatics @ AP University College
  • Hobbyist musician

@Chuo University(の生活)

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant GSP6
  • Circle Activities7

@KU Leuven(の生活)

  • PAL-Coach2
  • CC Member3
  • Buddy Program member4
  • Co-organizer of the Japanese Reading Club5

@AP University College(の生活)

  • Participated in short-term foreign exchange projects @ Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg
  • Trained leadership skills through various successful projects
  • Cultivated an attitude of curiosity and adaptiveness


  • Music: piano, band-activities (keyboard), composing
  • Sports: Strength Training
  • Others: Avid reader and film-enthusiast

  1. AP University College, 2011 - 2014 

  2. ‘Peer Assisted Learning’. PAL coaches at Leuven University, usually second and third grade upper-class students, assist first grade students regularly on topics ranging from efficient studying, preparing for certain classes, networking or feeling at home. I took on the role of PAL coach in my second and third year. 

  3. The Japan Studies CC (Curriculum Commission) monitors and assesses the quality of the Japan Studies program and consists of both faculty members and students representing their respective years. Topics include matters as programming, form and evaluation of courses amongst others. I served as CC member from my first to my third at Leuven University. 

  4. KU Leuven's buddy programme is meant to ease the integration of new international students or researchers by connecting them to locals. These local 'buddies' help with things like finding one's way around town, adapting to one's new lifestyle, expending one's network, etc. 

  5. We follow the principle of Guided Reading: weekly reading sessions as a group of about six students accompanied by a teacher serving as our mentor. In our second year, we finished our first book: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女) over the course of one semester. 

  6. For one academic year, I've assisted Dr. Prof. Nomiya Daishiro as teaching assistant in his Global Sociology Program, a course designed to teach undergraduate students the necessary skills to tackle academic research in the English language. This is done through both extensively handling academic literature on global issues in the field of Sociology (both in English and Japanese), as well as learn methodology through group projects. The students' intensive work lead to several presentations at an international conference held in Tokyo, March, 2019.  

  7. I've used my period as student at Chuo University to not just further my academic ambitions, but take some of my personal hobbies to a next level. By joining two music circles, I've fulfilled somewhat of a dream of performing live in Japan. I joined two bands and performed about six times throughout my time there, including at Chuo University's school festival. finally, I was a member of the piano circle, and often spent time at one of the movie-circles to extend my knowledge of Japanese cinema.