Kaitlyn Smith

Hello! My name is Kaitlyn and I am a freshman at William and Mary. I am currently undeclared but my plan is to major in linguistics. I was raised on Nintendo games and Miyazaki films which kickstarted my interest in Japan and Japanese culture.  I recently began studying the Japanese language and I find it rather difficult, but also very interesting. I hope to one day become a competent speaker so that I might be able to visit Japan and have the ability to communicate with the people that I meet.flowers

Kathryn Plunkett


As a history major, culture has always been of interest to me. I am fascinated by everything from fashion to music to grass-roots social movements, and especially how all of these entities interact and adapt over time. For the most part, my cultural knowledge is limited to the United States and Europe, but this does not seem sufficient in our increasingly globalized world. My interest in Japan stems from this knowledge gap; it is a culture completely foreign to me, but also one that wields so much influence on a global scale. It is my hope that study of Japan will not only help me to understand this completely unique society, but also how to approach studies of culture in general. It is, ultimately, people and their cultures that are at the root of all political decisions and historical events.

Brooke LaRue

Hello! My name is Brooke LaRue and I am a junior at The College of William and Mary majoring in Film & Media Studies with a minor in Marketing. I am particularly interested in how the arts can be used to promote community engagement. Outside of class I intern at the Muscarelle Museum of Art and sit on the Editorial Board of ROCKET Magazine. My experience in Japanese culture is limited, but this past summer I had the incredible opportunity to work for the company that represents the Japanese fashion brand, Sacai. I am excited to look further into the influences of Japanese fashion. 10492158_737038246362225_1117356397316438900_n

Amanda Blair

My name is Mandy. I am a Junior Studying Psychology at the College of William and Mary. I also am a part of the W&M Women’s Rugby Club. I come from a military family background. My interest in Japanese Culture developed as a child due to the fact that I grew up in Okinawa, Japan. Ever since then I have been interested in Japanese culture, language, movies, and animation. I am currently studying Japanese with the hopes of one day being fluent and going abroad to Japan.

Sample Student Bio

I am a W&M student and am very interested in Japanese pop culture and koalas!Koala

Alice An


My name is Alice An and I am currently a senior at the College of William and Mary and will be graduating in May 2015 majoring in International Relations with my language focus on Japanese. I transferred to William and Mary my junior year from New York University. I’m interested in the Japanese culture and language because both my grandfather and mother can speak Japanese as well as Korean. My grandfather worked as  a diplomat in Japan for a few years and my mother spent some of her childhood growing up in Japan so as a young child, I also grew up with Hello Kitty and yakisoba being made in our home. I’m excited to learn more about aspects of Japanese culture that I never knew about!