As a senior at the College of William and Mary studying Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Japan, it’s hard to imagine a time when I wasn’t surrounded by items or symbols from Japanese culture. Like many people, I grew up playing video games on Nintendo systems, listened to many a song on a Sony Walkman, and fell asleep in the backseats of my family’s Toyota brand cars.
However, it wasn’t until my father showed my child self an episode of Astro Boy recorded on a VHS tape that I finally caught the Japan bug that influences my academics to this day. My research interests are in Japanese “new media” which include such forms as video games and anime and how they are so easily consumed by worldwide audiences despite Japan-specific cultural references or imagery. I can’t wait to share some of my research findings with you all and I hope it’s as interesting to each of you as it is to me!