David Ranzini

David RanziniAs a bookish kid in suburban Virginia, I grew up surrounded by the enduring influence of exported Japanese culture– albeit the 19th century Japan of ukiyo-e and samurai that had inspired Western artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as part of what might now be called a “First Wave” of Japanese National Cool. A reproduction of Mary Cassatt’s The Letter used to hang outside my room, and I recall my mother explaining the visible influence of bijin-ga woodblock prints, imported to Paris as the “cool decorative accessory” of their day, on the flattened picture plane and the stylized pose of Cassatt’s sitter.

At the library I read Japanese history, daydreamed about samurai, and occasionally turned in haiku for literature-class poetry assignments (motivated as much by their fleeting, transparent profundity as the form’s appealingly brief length).  Meanwhile, through friends willing to lend me their Game Boys on the bus ride to elementary school, I gradually began to become familiar with another Japan– notable, as it had been in the 19th century, primarily as a source  of New Things That Were Extremely Cool- chief among them the Nintendo 64 and the Tamagotchi. [Read more…]

Olivia Time!

Japanese English |

Olivia Close

My name is Olivia M. Roberts, and I’m a senior this year! I’m majoring in International Relations with a minor in Economics. I’m hoping to go to UVA law school following graduation, but I have yet to take the LSATS (end of September!!), so we shall see…

I have always found the Japanese language to be very pretty and interesting, since I first heard it watching anime when I was 12 years old. I was estatic to be able to learn Japanese when entering college, and last semester I was finally able to study abroad in Japan! It was such a blast! I can’t wait to go back again!

When I’m not studying, I like to watch movies, read, play Shockwave games, and cook!! Thanks for reading my bio!

Chris Bubb

English | Japanese

Hello all,

My name is Chris Bubb, and I’m a senior majoring in East Asian Studies at the College of William and Mary.  At the time I entered this grand institution, I had no idea that Japanese would have such an impact on my life, but I began at the beginning of the Japanese language curriculum.

As time went on, my interest in all things Japanese grew, and I decided to study abroad in Osaka, Japan, where I studied at Momoyama Gakuin University, in the tiny little town of Izumi, Osaka, Japan, during the summer of 2009.  I had all sorts of wonderful experiences, and ever since I’ve returned to the States, I’ve been longing to make a return trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.


私21歳ウィリアム・アンド・メアリ大学で経済を勉強しているキム・ヘンリーです。日本語は3年前に始めました。日本語は中国語やスペイン語よりやさしいと思って 勉強を始めましたが、思ったより難しいです。特に漢字のところが難しいです。私はずっとアメリカで育ちましたから、漢字のことを習う必要がありませんでし た。でも、頑張っています。


English | 日本語

Sarah Taylor

English | Japanese


Sarah in her kimono

My name is Sarah Taylor, and I am a senior here at William and Mary majoring in East Asian Studies and minoring in Japanese.  I spent my junior year in Japan, specifically Chigasaki, commuting to Tokyo everyday for school.  Chigasaki, you ask?  Well, it happens to be the heart of the area known as Shounan, aka BEACH TOWN.  So as you can guess, after being an avid swimmer for more than ten years, I naturally took to the local sport of bodyboarding and am actively looking to continue it now that I am back in the states.

I plan to return to Japan after graduation to work in education, and possibly work on my masters in Japanese.  In the meantime, I am just enjoying my last year of undergraduate life by having fun with friends, traveling across the country, reading for class and for fun, cooking, and hanging with my chinchilla, Nami.