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“Hey, even if you surround yourself with so many books about Japan, it will never reach the actual happiness when you experience Japan yourself,” my team leader told me. An enticing invitation to visit Japan to experience the country itself. A country that until today, exists only in my imagination.
I have been self-studying the Japanese language for a decade or so—I can read a novel in the original Nihongo and absorb more or less its plot. My pronunciation had actually been praised by a Japanese journalist. It was too good, he said. I can also explain some language-related stuff but never once in my entire “Japanese experience” have I set my foot on the country.


Julius Mañalac (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is pursuing his master’s degree in Asian Studies, majoring in Japan at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Article Information

Type of Manuscript: Travel Narrative
Volume, Issue, Year: Volume 58, Issue 1, Year 2022
Pages: 178–182

Back to Asian Studies 58 (1): 2022