I put down Shizuoka, Sendai, and Nagoya. My reasoning was that they all seemed to be culturally significant (though I am sure that nearly every Japanese city is culturally significant). If I get the interview, I am definitely going to be looking more into these cities.
eFred wrote:Why do I want to go?
I'm a poet. (Sometimes). Someone on Myspace ragged me out about being a writer who "haven't been anywhere" and "haven't done anything" which made me sad. I want to go in order to selfishly and unashamedly use the experience to bulk up my poetry portfolio (I'm applying for my MFA in Creative Writing in the next 2 years or so). Also (again like many of you) I have an interest in Japanese culture - by that I mean samurai's and ninja's with the occasional tea ceremony. I've been wanting to be a samurai warrior for ages and ages and would have taken up sword lessons too (couldn't stomach fencing as a substitute, it's so.... French) but I couldn't find any such thing in Cape Town (Land of Everything Backward) so I did archery instead (which I sucked at but loved because aiming is for sissies anyway). In short short, I want to go because I want to write about Japan and secretly become a samurai who gets captured and then retrained as a ninja then gets sent on a high level mission to infiltrate a foreign government -the Russians- in order to stop them from becoming the next super power... it's a long story, but very exciting. Lots of danger, terror and forbidden chocolate.
Be careful about mentioning samurai and ninja in the same breath. I'm not sure about other kendo instructors and I'm not sure how serious you are being about them, but my sensei would not have approved you comparing samurai and ninja. There have been many a time where a naive beginning student asked about ninja, and just as many tirades about ninja. Then again, I've never been to Japan, so I can't say what a Japanese kendo sensei would say (mine was white).
eFred wrote:Where did you request to be placed and why?
I KNOW THIS IS CONSIDERED A BIG "Pfft they will so kill you in the interview" but I requested Kyoto and only Kyoto. No second or third choices. The reason I wrote in my app was something along the lines of "Arthur Golden's book (Memoirs of a Geisha) embarrassingly enough is the reason I put down Kyoto - it made it seem romantic" or something like that. I can't remember and stupidly never made a copy for myself.
So that's it. I expect to get crucified a little. On the up side... I'm really small but really scary. (This is very true)
You can obtain a copy of your application. Just go back to where you filled it out and print it. And good luck with getting Kyoto. From what I've read by lurking around in the forums, you should be prepared to defend yourself in the interview.