Hey all, I’m Dylan Reilly in case you missed the title for some reason, and I’m a freshman here at W&M. As far as majors and such go, I’m looking into Global Studies, concentrating on East Asian and Hispanic Studies.
So…this would be where you all get to learn how Japan has influenced my life. Well, it’s definitely influenced it a lot. Like many, my first entry into Japanese culture would be through Pokemon at the age of 6; from then I was hooked. I watched many of the popular Japanese shows brought to the US, like Digimon and Yugioh, and played video games throughout my childhood, the majority of which were – you guessed it – Japanese. As I grew older, I discovered manga and the sheer multitude of anime that existed at the time, and my fascination only grew. Soon, however, I developed an interest in the language, food, and some of the culture of Japan. By age 13, I had learned katakana and hiragana as well as becoming more or less addicted to sushi. I would also find myself doodling characters in an anime style to the best of my eighth-grade ability.
I’d still say a lot of that interest has stayed with me – I still read manga, and watch the occasional anime, and certainly play games, but I’ve found myself more interested in the pop culture in general, some of its music, its food, and of course the language. I’d find it safe to say Japan doesn’t dominate my life as it may have in the past — but regardless, it’s continued to shape me in some ways even today.