Today was our last day in Japan. I can not believe the 4 weeks are over already. I think it went much faster than the China Practicum program last year – granted this one was much, much better. Japan is definately a place I could live for a time, China is not.

We did our presentations today and I believe that mine went fairly well. Apparently I said the following (according to Luke): “Now, there’s some controversy about this, but basically in 1492 Columbus went to the New World and brought back syphilis.” This was in regard to my discussion of Japanese microbiologist Noguchi Hideyo who discovered the agent responsible for the syphilis disease.

After class we had to clean up our rooms and get packed by 3pm, in order to be ready for room check. I am now pretty much packed, though I still have my laptop (obviously) and a few odds and ends. We then went to Sakae (for one last time *whimper*), and to a department store where I was finally able to find two pairs of Loose Socks for both Luke and I to give to respective persons. I am glad I got them. We then went to our last group dinner at an Izakaya and finished off the night by going to a karaoke. At the karaoke I sang “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne and “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles, the first with Kelsey the second with Winston-sensei. Luke and I tried to sing a GOLLBETTY song but it was too difficult being all in hirigana and kanji. It was fun. This trip was excellent.

On Monday I spent most of the day working on my presentation and paper for the conclusion of our class. During the day I worked and wrote my paper until the evening. In the evening we went to a suhi and takoyaki making party hosted by Nanzan students. It was fun. I enjoyed making sushi and trying (although not very well) to make takoyaki. Both were delicious. I’ve really grown to like takoyaki here in Japan, the first time I had it was in Washington, DC two years ago at the Cherry Blossom Festival.

After the party Winston-sensei and a group of us headed off to the Book Off and ate dinner at a fastfood-esque Chinese restaurant. I had ramen and the all-you-can-drink soft drink bar. They had frozen ice tea, it was delicious. After that we went to the Book Off, but I didn’t get anything because I couldn’t find anything I was really interested in. I think I’ve bought enough stuff in Japan to last me for a while. Tomorrow is my last day in Japan. I can hardly believe it.

Today we didn’t go anywhere and instead I did research for my paper, which I’ve decided to do on Japanese bacteriologist Noguchi Hideyo. Noguchi replaced famous Japanese author Natsume Soseki on the 1000yen bill in 2004. I figured he must be pretty damn important to be put on this, because it is definately the most common bill, like our $1 since they have no paper currency lower. After researching a bit, I discovered that Noguchi was a doctor who discovered the agent that was the cause of syphilis. He also studied and worked in the United States, specifically at the University of Pennsylvania, which I thought was particularly interesting.

After working on my paper a bit, I finished my book Snow Crash and we all went to eat dinner for the last time at Pastel. Oh Pastel, how I will miss thee. It was delicious as usual. I picked up a Chuhai at the konbini on the way back for the big England vs. Ecuador World Cup game. (I honestly don’t know why we watch some of these games, they can be so boring!). And then we went to he Book Off were I actually bought some manga for the purpose of trying to read something in Japanese, and it didn’t look as difficult as a book. I also got a Japanese release of an Avril Lavigne CD which has two bonus tracks no available in the US. Oh yeah.

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