My second year at Leiden university studying Japanstudies is finished (has been since the 19th of June when I had my one and only resit) and everything this year went surprisingly well. Like, really surprisingly well.
I have gotten quite a lot of high grades and passing ones for all my exams – papers were no exceptions. In fact, most of my highest grades were for my papers. I already wrote a bit of a report on my first semester, though I must say the second semester was a lot more fun but also a lot more trying.
My electives this semester were Film in Japan, Gaming Culture of Japan and Art and Literature of China. I got high grades for all of them, though only the latter also had an exam and that was also my resit. My memory isn’t the best and it was a lot of fact and knowledge questions with a lot of data to remember, so I failed the first time. Got it right the second time though! I enjoyed the first two electives a lot – Art and Literature of China not so much; especially the literary sections were boring in my opinion, but what can you do? – and enjoyed doing my papers for those two.
I did a paper called ‘Japanese actresses: faces of modernism’ and one dissecting the movie Ghost in the Shell for Film in Japan. For Gaming Culture, we had to present on a Japanese game and certain aspects of it that interested us. I did mine on the lack of realistic representations of female characters in Tekken. Later we had to write a paper on the same subject, but with more research. I broadened my scale – fighting games – and incorporated quotes from a survey I did.
I also still had my translation and conversation classes, though the way we went about them were different. During translation class we were reading texts sometimes 8 pages long and focusing more on summaries and answering questions than actually translating the sentences into proper Dutch. For the conversation class we had a separate element where we had to practice writing. We had two writing assignments – both on the subject we had to do a presentation about during conversation class which was supposed to lead to a discussion – the first one was to write down our arguments exactly how we would present it, and the second one was to take that text and convert it to writing style Japanese.
I did well on those assignments, the exams and my presentation too.
All in all, once again, a good year of Japanstudies.