[Interview] Start Your Journey to Japan from Venice with Agnese
Japan is always a place where it captures people heart whether its culture, language, people or anime. It has a reason there. People often look for opportunities to come to Japan and plan their life here. Agnese, who came from Venice so inspired me, is currently living in Tokyo, Japan and shared her story with us today.
Could you tell us about your background briefly? What are you currently doing in Tokyo? Are you studying or working in Tokyo?
My name is Agnese, I came from Venice, Italy, and I gained a Master’s Degree in Japanese Language and Culture at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Now I am doing an internship at SivanS Ltd, a fantastic international advertising agency based in Tokyo.
From Venice to Japan: The Journey
Could you tell us about your Japanese learning experience from the beginning?
I started to study Japanese in 2007 (11 years ago! It seemed yesterday) as a Bachelor student at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.
How did you end up in Tokyo? What was the progress?
I have been to Japan in 2009 and 2010 as a student, but this year’s experience is an entirely different story. At the end of summer, I decided to get a month in Tokyo to look for a job because my first goal of 2018 was to move to Japan permanently.
What makes you so dedicated to Japanese language and culture?
That’s a question that people ask me pretty frequently.
It’s a love that started when I was a child: like a lot of people of my generation, I loved to watch Japanese anime, and I was fascinated by all those cultural differences that make Japan so different from Italy: school uniforms, food, religions, cultural traditions… Then, at twelve years old, I become a young karateka, so I focused my interest on Japanese Buddhism (especially, Zen). One year later I turned 13, and I already knew I would study Japanese at the university.
Could you share your daily routine in Tokyo?
I wake up every day at 7:30 am (I am VERY slow in the morning, and I prefer to take my time instead of run); then I get on the train, and I arrive close to my workplace at 9:30 am. I usually have breakfast at Starbucks, where I carve out a little bit of time to write (I plan to open a blog very soon) and to check my daily tasks. So I start to work at 10:00am, and I officially end at 6 pm, but I often last later because of many things to finish or made up. Finally, I come back home around 8 pm, and I have some time to relax before going to bed.
This, of course, is my weekly routine; during the weekend I spend my time with friends and visiting many amazing places!
As you mentioned on your IG, “My everyday life in this spot of the world that is “home” to me.” Could you explain this to our readers?
I always say that the first time I got off the plane in Japan I had a “Welcome BACK” feeling instead of a “Welcome” one. I felt like I have always known all those places, those smells, those faces, and coming to Japan, I felt like everything went back where it was. It is a deep love that makes me feel grateful to life every day.
I know that you speak Japanese, Italian, and English. Do you think speaking more than one language helps you to learn another foreign language? Yes or No? Why?
I think that two things are helpful to learn languages: starting early and being constant.
What is your advice for people who are learning on and off, can’t find the motivation to stay consistent with their study?
They have to think that speaking foreign languages allows you to communicate with people you wouldn’t ever think of to interact with. I am deeply convinced that one of the keys to live better in this world is to connect with people and to be more empathic.
What are the cultural differences between your home country and Japan?
Italy and Japan are different in several things, but I think they have many points of connection as well. I believe that when you come in contact with a lot of people with different cultures, you realize that, despite those differences, we human beings are pretty similar to each other!