My name is Gibson Haynes, and I am a sophomore majoring in Linguistics and, prospectively, Asian and Middle East Studies. My first interaction with Japanese export was that ubiquitous commercial phenomenon Pokemon, which hooked me from the beginning. I found the films of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli soon after, and life thereafter contained on-again off-again touches of popular Japanese exports (Final Fantasy, Naruto, etc.).
Most of my experience in the study of East Asia has revolved around Chinese, however, and I have always heretofore studied Japan through the lens of China. Considering I have no extensive knowledge of Japanese culture, but plenty of interest in acquiring it, I signed up for the course. I hope to gain a stronger understanding of Japan as it presents itself to the world.