Pictured: Shikoku U
Last week’s entry was about what a typical week is like for me as a Monbusho Research Scholar in the Calligraphy Department of Shikoku University in Tokushima, Japan. This week I want to write about the people I’ve meet here, and about my surroundings.
Continue reading The People and Places of Tokushima
Pictured: Me interperting an ancient text
At the beginning of April, I came to Japan on a Monbusho Scholarship to study Japanese Calligraphy at Shikoku University. Previous blog entries about exactly what the Monbusho Scholarship is and how I got involved in it can be found here.
Now that I’ve been here in Japan for almost two months now, I think I have enough of a sense of what the experience is shaping up to be to write an overview of what a typical week is like.
Continue reading A Week in the Life of a Calligraphy Student
This blog entry is about my trip to Japan at the beginning of April, to study calligraphy at Shikoku University as a Monbusho scholar. At that point my ankle was on the mend from an injury sustained in January, and I could put weight on it and get around with a cane. But it was still quite tender.
It was a long trip; I flew from Minneapolis to Chicago via American Airlines, then Chicago to Tokyo via Japan Airlines, and finally flew from Tokyo to Osaka. I spent the night in Osaka, and then took a bus to Tokushima, where my school is located. Continue reading My Journey to Japan
Welcome to the fourth and final entry in a series about my successful application for a Monbusho Research Scholarship. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading parts one, two, and three first. This final entry deals with the interview process.
In June 2007 I received word that I had passed the initial application stage and had been selected to for an interview and a series of language proficiency exams. Continue reading How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 4 of 4)
Welcome to the third in a four part series of entries about my successful application for a Monbusho Research Scholarship. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading parts one and two. This entry deals with my process for filling out the application and contacting professors.
Filling out the Application
The majority of the application is pretty straightforward; names, addresses, dates, that sort of thing. You can write it in English or Japanese; I went with English. Just go over the application guidelines and follow them to the letter.
Make your application look as pretty as possible. Since I have graphic design training, I was able to import the Monbusho PDF application into Adobe Illustrator and fill in the information there, so everything had a nice, typeset look to it. If that’s not possible for you, I recommend finding a typewriter and typing up your application. Failing that, write as neatly as possible with a black pen. Proofread everything carefully to make sure you don’t have any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Print out clean laser copies of the application on a good quality paper. Separate the different copies in clearly labeled, brand new folders. Again, every aspect of your application should exude earnestness and professionalism.
Continue reading How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 3 of 4)
Welcome to the second in a four part series of entries about my successful application for a Monbusho Research Scholarship. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the first part (in particular, the disclaimers contained therein). This entry deals with my process for putting my research proposal together.
The Monbusho Research Scholarship appealed to me for a number of reasons when I first heard about it. On a personal level, I love Japan. I had lived there for three years prior to my application for the Monbusho Scholarship, and have a keen interest in the culture, language, art, food and people.
On a professional/academic level, the idea of studying in Japan appealed to me because of its rich history in the realm of comic books. I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist since I was a kid, and have long believed that the medium of comics are just as capable as film or prose of creating powerful work of real artistic value. It is towards this ideal of creating “literary” comics that I aspire, and I felt confident that studying in Japan would help me in that regard.
Add into the mix that a Monbusho Scholarship would allow me to pursue my research without going severely into debt, and that cemented my desire to go for it.
So when I first resolved to apply for the Monbusho Scholarship, that’s where I stood: I had the vague idea that my research would be geared towards improving the quality of my comics, but exactly how I would spend my time was still very much up in the air.
Continue reading How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 2 of 4)