Sunday, April 3, 2011

motivation, inspiration, and just plain pure love.

Its been almost two years since I fell head over heels for a seven man Japanese idol group by the name of Kanjani8. These crazy Kansaijin have Obachan Rocked their way into my heart and they aren't going anywhere for a long time. 

Kanjani8 has become a huge part of my life in these past two years. What can I say? Once you get into an idol group its like accepting a whole new culture into your life, and really seeing as this group is Japanese its like accepting TWO different cultures. Following this group has become somewhat of a lifestyle, and through this lifestyle and I have been able to meet and interact with some really awesome people, I've picked up more Japanese than I could have in the classroom alone, and I've learned a lot about Japanese culture and their social interactions. You could say that by digging myself so deep into this fandom, I've created for myself a little Japan within Kansas. You haven't seen a Kanjani8 paradise until you've seen my room. 

For those of you who are not familiar with Kanjani8, look them up on Wikipedia for starters. Kanjani8 as well as those of us who are fans of Kanjani8 are all called Eighters, and we carry our title proudly. We don the colors of our favorite member(s), energetically sing and dance to Zukkoke Otokomichi, and laugh ourselves silly at every funny thing they come up with. 

What's great about Kanjani8, though, is that not only can they be funny, crazy, and light-hearted. They also come with a sentimental, inspirational, and motivational super package that keeps a nice balance between bright and happy and deep and emotional. Themes that are common in Kanjani8 music are friendship, positive thinking, and just plain getting through life. 

I think if it weren't for Kanjani8, I would have quit learning Japanese two years ago. I wouldn't have experienced some of the things that I did while I was in Japan. I wouldn't have had the courage to go off to a strange country by myself and be truly independent for the first time in my life. I wouldn't have ventured out alone, I wouldn't have met the awesome people that I've met, and I wouldn't be this person I am now. 

Its truly amazing to think how a manufactured group of idols could somehow change the way you are, the way you see your world, and even the languages you speak.

I've been going through a rough semester, most of my issues stemming from the Japanese class that I am taking this semester. At this point I am only taking to course so that I can pass it and be done with my language requirement and graduate from college on time. My Japanese teacher is harsh, to put it lightly, and brought me to the point where I have started to HATE learning Japanese. 

But as I'm talking with Japanese Kanjani8 fans and listening to Kanjani8 music and watching TV programs with Kanjani8, I realize that I can't give up on this language. I just can't. I have to keep trying, I have to keep learning. I have to keep going. 

  • "Human beings can always stop and stand still, and you can always start walking again at your own pace. Don't give up, don't stop. Continuing is something that's important." -Shibutani Subaru (Kanjani8 member)

  • "The important thing is to continue. It's easy to quit. You can do that any time." - Yokoyama You (Kanjani8 member)

Kanjani8 truly is my motivation, my inspiration, and just plain pure love.


Anonymous said...

this is just a great post about your passion. it made me a little sad remembering what japan has recently gone through with the earthquake and all that. i'll look up everything you mentioned and get back to you! Carmen (thomascl28 swapbot)

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