T. Fukushima





1. Where are you from? (city name and country)
Please tell us about the good points of your city.

I’m from Worcester, England. Worcester is a town in the middle of the British countryside. The scenery was J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for The Shire in The Lord of the Rings, so I was very lucky to spend my highschool years in such a beautiful, natural area. Worcester is very old and historic with a huge cathedral, the grounds of which my school was located. Worcester is also renowned as the hometown of Worcester Sauce, although I have never actually tasted it!


2. Where is your recommended location in Japan?

Actually, I’ve only been to one place in Japan. During Golden Week (2019), I went on a two-day trip to Nagano prefecture. On the first day, we walked around the mountain and lake (Tateshina), and the next day we went to Daio Wasabi Farm and Matsumoto. It was a necessary break from Tokyo for myself and my partner, but I can’t say it’s my favorite place as there are many, many places I have yet to visit!


3. What are your interests or hobbies?
Now, I’m really into weight-training. I train at the gym at least four times a week, always pushing myself to lift heavier or more reps. I also go running a couple of times a week, sometimes with a colleague, sometimes by myself. I love nature, too, so hiking in the mountains or walking along the beach is another thing I love to do. I’ve also recently learned how to ride a bike, so whenever I get the chance I enjoy cycling to different places.
Now, most of my interests are fitness related, like eating clean foods and being active, but I actually used to be very musically inclined, playing piano and violin (and flute up until high school). Although I brought my violin to Japan, unfortunately I don’t have time in the day to practice! When I get a house or bigger apartment, my goal is to buy a piano and get back into music a bit more.


4. What is the weirdest thing for you in Japan?
This might be a strange answer, but maybe it’s the job hunting process that 3rd and 4th year university students go through. Not only is it bizarre, I also really don’t like the process or that no-one challenges it despite disagreeing with it. I haven’t experienced it yet personally, but people I’m close to are going through it, and I just feel so sorry for them. It’s something in Japan that I believe needs to be modernized and (in all honesty) gotten rid of because it doesn’t need to be conducted this way anymore. Other than that, however, I don’t notice anything odd in Japan.


5. What inspired you to study Japanese?
I think my first encounter with Japanese was through literature when I was seventeen years old. I’d gone into the local bookstore as usual and was casually browsing when I noticed a book in the best-sellers section with an illustrated cat on the cover. Being an enormous cat-lover, I picked it up and bought it. It was a very short novel called “The Guest Cat” 「客の猫」by Takashi Hiraide 平出隆, and it was a very unique reading experience for me. At the time, I was studying an A-level in English Literature, including Dickinson, Webster, Shakespeare, Shelley, Milton etc., but the style of prose and the plot was…. It was almost like looking at the scenery of a still lake. Nothing really happened, and yet there was so much to take in and consider. I wondered whether the effect was a result of the source text being in Japanese, and this made me curious. I didn’t start studying Japanese, however; it was simply food for thought at the time.


6. What are you expecting from this internship program?
My aim is to develop my knowledge about translation and develop skills in this area. I expect to be given tasks which make me reflect on and improve my own processes, and I also look forward to a personal umbrella-project which I can use to build up my professional portfolio.
Finally, my first few weeks at Export Japan have been not only fully engaging and educational, but also extremely fun. I am really looking forward to working with the EXJ team and learning more about being a working professional overall.


7. What are you studying at your university? Tell us about your dream?

I’m in the Liberal Arts Faculty, so there are a multitude of types of courses available. I started out studying international relations, combining this with literature and translation studies, then I moved on to finance and economics (some in English, some in Spanish), cell biology, Japanese literature etc. My favorite classes that I’m currently taking is an advanced lecture on Buddhism in Japan. It’s absolutely fascinating, and it’s odd as I never previously had any interest whatsoever in religion. The professor is excellent and always thoroughly engaging, so perhaps that’s why!
My dream is not so big or ambitious, and it isn’t directly work-oriented. I want to have my own family; to get married and have children, but of course to do that I need a good job which I enjoy. Being financially independent while studying full-time, working part-time and interning is a little challenging – I wish there were more hours in a day! – so another dream is to not worry about if I can afford (in terms of both tine and money) to buy a coffee at a cafe, for example. Regarding work, however, I’m still exploring career options; in fact, I’m still exploring industries and subjects through my university education!

私の夢はそれほど大きくも野心的でもなく、直接仕事にかかわるものでもありません。自分の 家族を持ちたいです。 結婚して子供をもうけるためにはもちろん、楽しくできる仕事が必要です。フルタイムで勉強し、アルバイトとインターンをしながら経済的に自立するのはちょっと大変です。一日がもっと長ければいいのに。なので、もう一つの夢は、例えば、時間とお金の両方の心配をすることなく、カフェでコーヒーを買える余裕のある生活でしょうか。仕事に関しては、私はまだキャリアの選択を模索中です。 実際、私はまだ大学過程で業種や職種を探っている最中です!