JET Program: ALT
Participated: Tonda Japanese Bunraku
Hello Everyone! My name is Zachary Repman, but please call me Zak.
I graduated from the University of Texas in Fall 2013.
When I began college at UT, my first major was chemical engineering, but after two years, my interest in engineering declined. At the time, the department required that students take foreign language classes. When I was in high school I studied Spanish, so I chose Japanese on a whim. From the first course I took with Tanaka-sensei, my interest gradually increased and one day I saw my future become clear. I decided to switch my major to Japanese and East Asian Studies. I studied Japanese culture, history, and customs and thought to myself 'matter what I have to do, I want to go to Japan!!'. I studied Japanese at university for three years, and during my last year I applied for a Japanese puppetry (Bunraku) culture exchange program (photos below). In the summer of 2013, I came to Japan for the first time, and stayed with a host family in Shiga ken for about two months. During that time I studied Bunraku and often went traveling in the Kansai area. We visited Kyoto during the Gion Festival and saw lots of amazing temples and shrines. We also visited Osaka and Nara, and many of us traveled to Tokyo after the program officially ended to do some more sightseeing. Japanese puppetry practice was quite difficult, but the other foreign students and I did our best. Thanks to that experience, my love of Japan grew stronger. After returning to America, I soon after applied for the JET program. Kyushu and Texas have similar climates, so I chose to be placed in this area.
I am currently teaching at a few different high schools in Kumamoto prefecture, which is probably best known for its adorable black bear mascot, Kumamon. It is also proud to offer raw horse meat to anyone brave enough to try it! I think it is quite delicious! The students have a strong interest in American culture and many of them are very eager to learn English from a native speaker.
If you have an interest in Japan, I highly recommend applying for the annual summer Bunraku program in Shiga-ken! It is open to all foreigners who are interested in Japanese culture and is a great experience for anyone interested in applying for the JET program after graduation! If you have any questions about what to expect on the Bunraku program, applying for JET, or just about life in Japan in general I would be happy to talk with you! You can get my contact information through Suito-sensei or Cather-sensei.
初めまして！レプマン ザッカリーと申します。ザックと呼んでください。 ２０１３の秋、テキサス大学を卒業しました。