Japanese personal statement
My initial contact with Japanese came through literature. When I first read the short stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa I was moved, since even when translated, the picture of Japanese society was remarkable in its richness and diversity. As was the portrayal of the Japanese people themselves; the vivid works with both moral and psychological themes, against the backdrop of Akutagawa's vision of feudal Japan. Inspired by this experience, I began to read the books of Haruki Murakami. Now, no matter what part of the society I look at; language, arts, history, I feel drawn to this remarkable culture. Thus, I have chosen a Japanese degree as it will give me the opportunity to study further a subject to which I have become a devotee. I have begun teaching myself both the language and script, and I am now at the point where I wish to take my self-motivated study much further. Learning the Japanese language in an academic environment would enable me to gain a more in-depth understanding of the society as a whole, thus giving me the grounding required to work in Japan. After graduating, I would hope to be accepted onto the JET scheme and pursue a professional career in Japan.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all my A Level subjects. During my first year, I have developed a wealth of generic skills which I can apply to my graduate studies. Chemistry is an intellectually challenging subject that requires a rigorously analytical approach which demands constant application of core knowledge in relation to interpreting data and information. In contrast, Critical Thinking has provided me with a chance to construct reasoned arguments both in a written form and in the more challenging environment of debate.
At college, I am completing the Extended Project Qualification which will allow me to combine my academic studies with my main extra-curricular interest, Buddhism. As a practitioner, I have come to learn a great deal about the history of the numerous traditions and my reading has led me to the prevalent philosophical schools in Japan. Having attended classes for over a year now my understanding and appreciation for Japan's rich, diverse religious traditions has increased dramatically. My involvement in and genuine passion for this way of life made it an obvious choice for my provisional dissertation title of 'Buddhism and the West'. I hope to gain from this a more individual approach to study and research that I can carry through with me into university and the world of work, not to mention a much more thorough understanding of my topic of choice.
Aside from my interest in literature and studies at college, my time is occupied by social work, combat sports and reading. I have been volunteering once-a-week at the local hospice which has provided me with a wealth of new and demanding experiences, requiring empathy alongside clear thinking. Within the hospice, the ability to communicate clearly is of the utmost importance. Having developed these valuable life skills they will undoubtedly assist in the learning of a new language, in a new environment.
My chosen course will enable me to fulfil my ambition to live and study in Japan, and allow me to immerse myself in a culture which I love, as well as learning a new language. I recognise the demanding nature of this subject but as a hard working, conscientious student I enjoy the challenge of academic study. I am committed to reaching my full potential in my future endeavours and look forward to taking advantage of the vast opportunities university life provides.
This personal statement was written by chanologykilled/b/ for application in 2010.
I remeber how hard it was writing my statement, and there is extra difficulty with doing a subject as 'out there' as Japanese, so I thought I'd do my bit to help any budding Japanologists with theirs.
I was never keen on this statement, and it is very 'me' orientated so you'll have to reinterpret it quite a bit if you think it will help. Saying that though, this got me into Oxford, so I hope you can gain something from it!
Remember; DON'T COPY, and it's meant to be PERSONAL.
Peace and love dudes, good luck.