I have come to the realization that my daughter will, at some point in her life, live in Japan or other Asian country for a lengthy period of time. Those of you who know Destiny know of her love for anime and manga. She draws it nonstop, day and night. But it’s more than that. She is enthralled with the culture. Nearly every aspect of it. From the food to the clothes to the television shows. I really have no idea where she came to love the asian culture so much. Tevis nor myself have ever had any interest in it. We gave her no exposure to fuel the love of it. What I have come to learn, is that it was God who placed that seed in her heart and it is our job, as her parents, to nurture that seed. I have to admit though, I feel as though we have been failures so far with that job. Fear has been a huge factor in that. I don’t understand the culture so I don’t know how to shield her from the negative influences. It’s just been easier to heavily limit what she is exposed to than to take the time to learn.
I broke down the other day and sat with her and watched one her shows that she added on Netflix. I want to be supportive. It was a Korean television show. I have to say that I LOVED it. Yes, I had to read the subtitles, but I was hooked and ended up finishing the whole series (2 seasons). I continued to watch even after she was tired of watching it. She told me that it was based on one of her graphic novels she had read. Anyway, something clicked. I found an appreciation for it. I can see why she is so enthralled with it. So, my quest for the last 2 days has been “What can I do to help her?” Obviously, we are going to have to study this. I am looking in to Summer programs she can take abroad. How I’m going to get her there I haven’t figured out yet, but I know that I want her to be able to go and be immersed in it and learn what she isn’t able to learn by being stateside. I found one program that I am seriously considering. It’s geared toward the Anime and Manga. This is an overview of the month-long program:
ORIENTATION IN TOKYO
Spend your first few days exploring the world’s most populous city. Working with Japanese college students and your group leader, delve into the world of Japanese language and culture. Check out the latest gadgets in Akihabara, wander through seafood auctions at Tsukiji fish market, ride the escalators at Ginza’s skyscraping department stores, and consult the oracle at Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo.
HOMESTAY IN HOKKAIDO
From Tokyo, you and your group fly to the northern island of Hokkaido. Japan’s largest prefecture, Hokkaido is home to gorgeous national parks, dense forests, soaring mountains, and the Ainu culture. During your 10-day homestay, you become a member of a Japanese family. Whether it’s enjoying a meal of miso ramen with your host brother, going to a Buddhist temple with your host parents, or canoeing on picturesque lakes, you learn about Japanese culture as the newest member of your host family and community.
Sample host communities: Muroran, Ishikari, Nanae
LANGUAGE TRAINING AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Take part in small-group language classes with Japanese teachers to gain confidence in your language skills and build the vocabulary you’ll need at the anime studio in Tokyo. Put your new language skills to use as you participate in fun, interesting cultural activities.
Sample activities: Visit a local high school and spend the day with Japanese students; relax in a traditional hot spring; hike through national parks; participate in a Japanese tea ceremony; try on a colorful kimono.
ANIME AND MANGA
Travel back to Tokyo to explore Japanese culture through the art of anime and manga. For two weeks, you work with professional artists and Japanese student animators at the Yoyogi Animation Gakuin, a famous anime school in Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya neighborhood. Learn techniques in character development, drawing, animation, and voice-overs. You also visit anime production companies, manga studios, and neighborhoods famous for contemporary art. By the end of your stay, you have developed the vocabulary and skills to design and animate your own character and animated clip.
Enjoy a day trip to see the temples and shrines of Kamakura; explore the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka; see the biggest fireworks festival in Japan.
What an experience it could be for her! I showed her and she was excited. Of course, once we looked deeper, she knew all the places and such that it mentioned in its itenerary. So, my focus now needs to be more in supporting her, helping her to learn and develop the gifts that God has given her and is planning for her to use, and saving up the money that she will need to be able to take this trip. How he wants her to use them, I have no idea. I just know that my daughter will be in another country at some point in her life and God is going to use her in a way that I cannot fathom.
So, Lord, what steps do you want me to take in raising her up to be that servant? What do I need to do to help her develop those gifts that you will be using? What groundwork are you laying now that I’m not paying attention to? Who are the people you are placing on her path that I need to listen to? I thank you for her and what you want to do in her life. Guide me in helping her make that flight. I want her to soar! =) Be Blessed!