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Kim Lacey '13 - Japanese Essay Contest organized by the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston

Story posted May 13, 2013

Kim Lacey '13 won the 3rd place in the Annual Japanese Essay Contest organized by the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston in March, 2013. Kim competed for the Advanced Division by the given theme of “私にとって日本とは,”(What Japan means to me.) Kim’s essay was titled, “私の心を支える日本”(My Heart’s Support, Japan)

In the essay, Kim looks back on her life and notices how her perception of Japan changed over time with her unique personal background. She especially focuses on her experience with Japanese language at Bowdoin, and while she was studying abroad in Russia, as she gives several example of moral support she received from Japan in times of troubles. Towards the end of her essay, she reflects on the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake. While visiting Japan during the summer of the following year, Kim witnessed a strong bond among Japanese people and the warmth and passion of the community for revival. To Kim, this was not merely a vacation but an important opportunity to reexamine her life, which motivated her to pursue her dream as a diplomat in the future.

When Kim decided to apply for the essay contest, her first drafts were lacking her own unique voice. With insightful feedback from her teacher, Professor Numata, she went on revising her essay more than ten times to reach the final form. The essay shows Kim’s desire to move forward after graduation as she will be working as a CIR for the JET program in Japan.