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I met with my new advisor today, a genial gentleman in his mid forties with a passion for Kobo Abe who took a shine to me. He said I “obviously possess a formidable intelligence”, had “remarkable speaking abilities” and recommended me for the honours program in Pacific and Asian Studies. What a compliment!

While I was talking with him, I discussed my interest in possibly taking on a minor in Social Justice Studies, which is a relatively new program which I feel could greatly enhance my understanding of what issues would need my attention in International Law. He said I should test the waters this semester before I go on into that program, and see how well I like Pacific and Asian Studies on its own. That’s fair enough.

I believe that I will ultimately go with that minor though. I am interested in learning about the history and mechanics of social justice movements worldwide. I feel that will not only enrich my knowledge of the world as it is now, but it will also aid in building a viable bridge from where we are now to a more positive future for all. It’s a continuation of my interest in pursuing Tzedek (Justice) and Tikkun Olam (Righting the wrongs of the world and perfecting it to the best of our ability)

Close to the end of my meeting with my advisor, we talked about Japanese literature’s role in social justice and political movements in Japan, such as the anti-nuclear proliferation movement, women’s rights, and attitudes towards marginalized people in Japan, such as Burakumin, the Ainu, Koreans in Japan, and Ryukyuan/Okinawans.

I’m really glad I chose UVic now.

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