Victoria Montgomery fulfilled one of her childhood dreams by traveling to the city of Fukuoka in western Japan, where she studied Japanese at a language institute while staying with a host family. After attending classes, she would explore the city’s many winding streets full of Eastern and Western influences, from towering department stores to castle ruins and roadside food stalls, all while gaining insights on the culture by practicing her Japanese with people she met along the way. She enjoyed attending a Japanese church, where she taught children English through songs and dances, participating in a Japanese-English exchange program with local university students, and spending time with minority groups to learn about their experiences living in Japan. She also watched a traditional Kabuki theater program in Classical Japanese and stepped out of her comfort zone by going to a public bath. On weekends, she traveled to many different places, including a shrine where she observed people performing the rituals of Shinto prayer; Nagasaki, where she observed the sobering consequences of the atomic bombing at the Atomic Bomb Museum; and Kyoto, where she attended a lecture on rebuilding Japanese forests given by a foreign environmentalist who had become a Japanese citizen.
CEE Title: Speak Out! A Gender Issues and Awareness Student Film and Arts Festival