At the start of the new academic year in Japan, early April, I joined a music circle and formed several bands with other members of the circle. During the summer break, one of my band’s members invited me to join his class’ study trip to Fukushima; gaining first hand experience at methods Fukushima’s civilians are employing to revitalize Fukushima’s tourist industry after the 2011 earthquake.... Continue →

Last April, I had the pleasure to my professor from KU Leuven on a study-trip to Matsumoto, accompanied by several KU Leuven schoolmates also present in Japan, as well as a Japanese historian and professor at Matsumoto’s Shinshū University, and his seminar students. On our study-trip, we would first visit the Old System Matsumoto High School Museum (Kyūsei Matsumoto kōkō kinenkan 旧制松本高校記念館)... Continue →

During this year’s golden week in Japan, I joined several of my friends for a short trip to Okinawa Island, the main island of the Okinawa prefecture. Due its pleasant tropic weather and beautiful beaches at this time of the year, Okinawa is one of the more popular destinations during Golden Week, and for us too a good occasion to finally visit Japan’s tropics. Brief history One of 47 of... Continue →

As an undergraduate student at my Belgian university, I took several courses related to the Korean language and Korean history, which in turn made me quite eager to visit the country, given that I’d be living relatively close for the next year and a half. During my first semester studying in Japan, I was fortunate enough to make several good friends from South Korea. One of them had already... Continue →

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my last blog, and while I’ve had some ideas on new posts, I had to prioritize schoolwork, including finishing my graduation thesis and preparing my cultural exchange. Courtesy of my university I received the opportunity to study and live in Tokyo for a year and half at Chuo University with MEXT scholarship, as part of my Master degree in Japanese Studies.... Continue →

Having finished the final exams for my undergraduate degree in Japan Studies, we decided to spend some time off by visiting a close friend doing an internship in Seville, Spain. We used our time there to get a glimpse of beautiful Andalusia and were not disappointed by the stunning beauty of its architecture and nature, its fascinating history and, importantly, its wonderful culinary... Continue →

During a course on classical Japanese (kobun 古文) last semester, we were introduced to a particularly well-known Heian-era poem titled Iroha – famous for using all characters of the Japanese syllabary exactly once. Attributed to Kūkai (founder of the Japanese Esoteric sect of Buddhism), the layered meaning of the poem (and the fact we had to be able to recite it for my exam) struck a chord with... Continue →

私は先週、ブリュッセルで行われた日本語のスピーチコンテストに参加して、「ベルギー・日本友好150周年」のために歴史的なスピーチを発表する機会をいただきました。すると、参加者の他者が非常に高いレベルにあったし、質疑応答もやや恥ずかしくなっても、何とか第三位に入賞しました。このブログのエントリーは私が書いたスピーチの原稿です。 スピーチ... Continue →

For this year’s Japanese Speech Contest in Brussels, I had the pleasure to prepare and hold a speech in honor of Belgium and Japan’s 150th year of mutual friendship. Despite some hickups and an incredibly high level amongst the other candidates (meeting all these excellent Japanese learners was both an extremely humbling experience as well as a perfect motivation booster for the coming years)... Continue →

This weekend the NHK Culture Center and the Embassy of Japan in Belgium organized the 30th edition of the Japan Cultural Festival, held in Antwerp in celebration of 150 years of friendship between our two nations. Together with a few classmates and upper class students I had the honor and pleasure of joining this event’s staff of interpreter volunteers, spending my last 3 days assisting two... Continue →