#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.

Like many of my age demographic, online communication and digital media played an important role in my upbringing. As a logical extension of my interest in the technical aspects of the internet and computing cultivated while growing up, I enrolled in an undergraduate program in Applied Informatics1 in 2011, graduating with a BA in 2014. Having reached the end of those studies and becoming more interested in matters of politics and society, however, I felt an increasing desire to develop and express myself beyond those technical skills. Admittedly under the internet-facilitated influence of Japanese pop-culture, I next enrolled in the Japanese Studies program at the Catholic University of Leuven, graduating with a BA in 2017 and MA in 2019.

During that period, I received the wonderful opportunity to spend three academic semesters in Japan as a MEXT-funded research student of the department of Socio-Informatics at Chuo University. No doubt a life-changing experience, my time at Chuo University also served as an important synthesis of both my former, technical interests and the interests I had developed in media, politics and cultural sociology during my time at KU Leuven. Entering 2020, I began my PhD studies at KU 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 am fairly passionate about music. I have spent the better part of my youth taking up music lessons or playing in bands, and although I had to make some sacrifices in order to pursue my academic ambitions, I enjoy spending free time on composing and playing piano.

#About Onoreto

This blog serves simultaneously as a kind of personal portfolio and as a creative outlet. That aside, I hope I am also able to provide some assistance to my fellow students (or anyone interested) regarding the technical aspects of learning Japanese or working academically on the topic of contemporary Japan.

Technically, his blog was built as a static site with a homemade template using the lightweight, python-based Pelican framework, and is hosted 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 writings (including graduate and undergraduate thesis, term papers and course notes) in the markdown syntax, and continue doing so with Pelican.



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

@Chuo University(の生活)

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant GSP2
  • Circle Activities3

@KU Leuven(の生活)

  • PAL-Coach4
  • CC Member5
  • Buddy Program member6
  • Co-organizer of the Japanese Reading Club7

@AP University College(の生活)

  • Participated in short-term foreign exchange projects @ Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg
  • Received 'Best Programmer' award at the 2014 graduation ceremony
  • Cultivated an attitude of curiosity and adaptiveness


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

  1. AP University College, 2011 - 2014 

  2. 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.  

  3. I used my period as student at Chuo University to not just further my academic ambitions, but to develop a local friend circle based on my personal hobbies. By joining a music circles, I fulfilled a personal dream of performing live music in Japan, 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. 

  4. ‘Peer Assisted Learning’. PAL coaches at Leuven University, usually second and third grade upper-class students, regularly assist first grade students 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. 

  5. The Japan Studies CC (Curriculum Commission) monitors and assesses the quality of the academic 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. 

  6. KU Leuven's buddy program 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. 

  7. 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.