Austin Lahiff

I, Austin Lahiff, am an 18 year old Freshman currently attending The College of William and Mary. I am originally from Fairfax, Virginia and last year attended W.T. Woodson High School. I hope to enter the Mason School of Business here at The College, and aspire to study abroad for a semester or more.

I do not consider myself to be a traditional “Japanophile” by any means. Though I, like any Elementary School kid worth his salt from the late 90’s and early 00’s, was of course obsessed with Pokemon for a time, I do not have any pressing interest in any Japanese area of culture at the present. Rather, I am more curious as to how Japan was able to, so seamlessly, Americanize itself while Japanizing the West. We seem to have cultivated a mutually beneficial cultural relationship that has taken a firm foothold in each nation and stayed relevant for a half-century or longer.

I feel that through this intensive study of Japanese history and interaction with the West, I’ll better be able to understand the evolution of Japan beyond the lacking historical attention it is afforded. While ignorance may be expected or even encouraged of me as an American, I feel that it is my duty to combat this stereotype and better understand the world around me.