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When I watched Dragon Ball Z for the first time, I was hooked. Toonami became my favorite block of television, as Cartoon Network exposed me to my first taste of anime as a child. I would turn on the TV every afternoon at four to watch my favorite show. On Tuesdays, when I had Hebrew School, I would tape the episode and watch as soon as I got home. It was a ritual. My best friend and I spent every day at recess playing Dragon Ball Z, miming kamehameha blasts and making up our own super moves. Later, my brother came home from college with my first anime that featured subtitles instead of dubbed voices and I was all in. Suddenly, I wanted to know more about Japanese culture more than ever and I wanted to learn the language that my favorite characters were speaking.
Luckily, I happened to be in a school that was trying to be forward-thinking and the first year I was able to take a language, they started teaching Japanese. It would be the only year that they offered it to first year language students, which gave me the chance to immerse myself in a culture that I was obsessed with. My sensei is one of the best Japanese teachers in the country, a heavy contributor to writing the national Japanese AP exam, and a highly connected woman in Japan. Every three years, she arranged a trip for her students to Japan that occasionally featured a dinner with the prime minister because she is friends with his wife. When Daisuke Matsuzaka left the Japanese baseball league to join the MLB, we joked that we would probably find out that she was his godmother, she was just that connected.
That kind of experience only exists in one school in the country, but many high school students are not even afforded the option of learning Japanese in school. Maybe the reason that the stereotype that Japanophiles in the US are loners is that they struggle to find a community around them that appreciates Japanese culture the same way. Connecting over a mutual respect for the culture makes a huge difference and that is what you can get with private Japanese tutors.
I recently heard a story from an Uber driver who had just come back from the vacation of his life in Mexico. He talked about how he felt like an outsider for a while because he was just a country boy from North Carolina with a big personality and he felt like he had a very different culture than that of Mexico. Then, he met someone in Mexico that liked Naruto as much as he did. The person barely spoke English, but they spent hours together talking about their favorite moments from Naruto. Japanese culture has spread all around the world, in a lot of ways because of the unique entertainment that comes from Japan.
The US is clearly the media king, as Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world, but there are distinct styles of film and TV that are unique to certain regions. Japan is just a small nation, but the culture of anime makes them into a powerhouse around the world. Compare anime to Bollywood and Japan to India. India has over a billion people and produces around 2000 films per year, around 350 of which are Bollywood movies. Yet, Bollywood’s international appeal does not even hold a candle to anime’s.
For those that have fallen under the spell of the great storytelling of anime and want to learn more about the language (which is not like Chinese), so they do not need to focus on all the subtitles all the time, search for Japanese tutors near me.
One of the reasons that anime still has a bad reputation is the vocal minority of toxic fans. There is a community out there that will relentlessly compare shows, criticize people that do not watch the shows they watch, or hold a smug sense of entitlement over certain shows that they think their support is vital to. It contributes to what seems like a very uninviting community. The best anime fans are inclusive and get excited by sharing new things with people, but the worst make you feel ashamed for enjoying shows your own way because it does not fit the community’s narrow reasons for admiring the same work.
The thing about anime, and Japanese culture in general, is that a lot of people only see a narrow view of it. Anime is not all energy blasts and powering up. It is like saying you do not like movies because you think that comedies are stupid. There are plenty of other genres of movies that you can’t reduce the whole medium to any one genre. In the same way, Japan has so many different aspects that make it interesting. This has been heavily about anime culture, but you can avoid that altogether and still find a niche for you. Many people fall in love with the fashion industry of Japan, which features a lot of unique styles.
In finding private Japanese tutoring, you want to get someone that is able to cater things in a way that is interesting to you. In my Japanese class, I was definitely engaged when we watched anime, but we also got to learn about a lot of aspects of the culture. Japanese art has a lot of unique styles, from the intricate brushwork, awesome woodblock prints, flower arrangements, or origami. On the fashion side, kimonos are the obviously unique traditional form of clothing, but there are also a lot of very interesting modern styles, like in the Harajuku district, that look almost futuristic. The Harajuku culture is especially fun because it highlights individual expression and allows people to experiment on their look with bursts of color and mixing and matching like you have never seen before.
The unbridled expression is what allows for so much cool variance and that is what you should find when searching for Japanese tutoring near me. If you are into anime, there should be a tutor who can help guide you through it. If you want to learn about the food of Japan, Jiro dreams of good tutors in your area. If you want the fashion, the manners, or anything else about the great nation of Japan, we want tutors that have unique expertise.
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