こんにちは。 私はマックスレイテです。My interest for Japanese language and culture was sparked in large part by my discovery of the anime series Naruto and Bleach roughly six years ago. I enjoyed watching the development and maturation of Uzumaki Naruto and Kurosaki Ichigo, while also enjoying the twisting and turning plotlines that always kept me coming back for more. At the same time, I connected musically (I am a classically trained pianist) with the shows’ opening and ending theme songs. I would, and still do, listen to the full versions of these songs, embracing the natural (as in about nature) themes that run through their lyrics. My interests in anime, manga, nature, and music were all coming together to shape my passion for Japan.
During high school, my fascination skyrocketed to include anything and everything Japanese. Academically, I applied for and was accepted to the 2008 Virginia Governor’s School Japanese Language Academy. There, I learned the basics of Hiragana and Katakana, read numerous literary selections from renowned Japanese authors, and immersed myself in a cultural experience I will never forget. I have studied the art of ancient and modern Japan through my AP Art History class. I have visited multiple Japanese Gardens, exposed myself to new foods and customs, and participated in an authentic Matsuri. Today, I am as passionate about the Japanese language and culture as ever before. I watch many anime series, most notably: Naruto, Naruto Shippuuden, Bleach, One Piece, Death Note, Claymore, Mai-HiME, Rosario + Vampire, Rosario + Vampire Capu2, and Hunter x Hunter. I also read such manga series as: Bleach, BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo, Buso Renkin, Claymore, D. Gray-Man, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Drive, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gestalt, Gun Blaze West, Hikaru no Go, Hoshin Engi, Hunter x Hunter, MAR, Naruto, One Piece, The Prince of Tennis, Ral & Grad, Rosario + Vampire, Rosario + Vampire Season II, Shaman King, Slam Dunk, Togari, Ultimate Muscle, WaqWaq, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Zatch Bell!, and Zombie Powder.
Right now, I am a first semester Freshman at The College of William & Mary. I am currently enrolled in Japanese 101 with Kitamura Sensei and Japanophilia with Professor DiNitto. I am planning on becoming a History major, with a focus in American history (an area which I am also deeply passionate about), and then advancing forward to Law School. However, I want to work in International Law, specifically, doing work associated with Japan. Someday, I wish to travel to Japan and experience, first-hand, its culture, landscape, and people.
Thank you for taking the time to read about me and my passion for Japan! I thought I would leave you with my eleven favorite Japanese songs. I hope they give you the same peace of mind they give me:
1.“Wind” = Akeboshi 2. “Soba ni Iru Kara” = Amadori 3. “Yura Yura” = Hearts Grow 4. “Blue Bird” = Ikimonogakari 5. “Closer” = Inoue Joe 6. “Kanashimi wo Yasashisa ni” = little by little 7. “Change” = Miwa 8. “Seishun Kyousoukyoku” = Sambomaster 9. “My Answer” = Seamo 10. “Utakata Hanabi” = Supercell 11. “D-tecnolife” = UVERworld