I participated in the European Japanese Studies Seminar 2013, which was held in Alsace, France. It was an interdisciplinary seminar for early-stage scholars, and speakers’ topics covered many aspects of Japanese studies including politics, economy, history, society, literature, theatre, and art.
I presented about the Relative Weakening of the Post-Cold War Japan-U.S. alliance on the first day of the seminar, during which all presentations were on relatively serious topics like politics and economy. On the second day, however, researchers talked about social phenomenon, novels, movies, and animation. When the host asked each of us to give a short closing comment, I joked and said I would consider changing my research area to literature or animation, if I had a second chance to do my undergraduate or masters, as IR seemed to be a very painful subject to study, and everybody seemed serious and concerned on the first day of the seminar.
After the intense seminar, I spent one day in Paris, sightseeing. As I walked across exhibition rooms of the Louvre, an idea suddenly came to me that maybe researchers who study various subjects were trying to answer similar questions about the man kind and the world from different perspectives, and there must be serious and pressured moments as long as they thought and had hopes.