J500 Media and the Environment

About Me: Sachiko Miyakawa by sachikom
February 19, 2008, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Society + Media

I’m a 21-year-old journalism student with reporting emphasis. This is my third year at KU and living in the U.S. I spent most of my life in Tokyo. Many people associate Tokyo with skyscrapers, overpopulation and Lost in Translation. But it’s a beautiful city, too, which has many parks, shrines and temples. Especially cherry blossoms in spring are very pretty!

I have also lived in Shanghai, China for three years because of my father’s job. It was an eye-opening experience in my life. At first, I found rejection to the different culture and shut myself in a small Japanese community. After a year or two, I realized I was missing out something important and decided to transfer to Chinese school. (technically international school but everybody spoke Chinese there) My Chinese level was like a five-year-old kid. I had a hard time communicating with people and lost 20 pounds from stress. Eventually I learned to speak some Chinese, got lifelong friends and learned to assimilate myself into a different environment.

Why I’m studying in an American college? Usually I just answer to study English or journalism. Well, there’s more than that. I wanted to see lives, values and decisions of ordinal Americans. When I was in Japan, I saw the U.S. through politics, economy and popular cultures. I had a mixed feeling toward America. I admired American pop culture and wealth. At the same time, I felt frustration and even anger at how America tried to reign over the world economy and politics, demonstrate its own justice and start war. My stereotypes about Americans were patriotic, aggressive, self-assertive, arrogant and ignorant. America’s influence over the world is huge after all. I wanted to see the country from inside. Now, I learned America, which I saw in the media, is not everything. I’ve met great people and learned values and wisdom which Japan could learn. From my experience of living in the three countries, I found some universal values. Things like meeting all of you who’re enthusiastic about the environment keep me update my view of America.

I’m interested in the environment partly from social-justice. But more than anything, it’s exciting. I feel thrilled at new technology, inventions and products that satisfy both environmentalists and businesses. If I were good at science, I’d be an architect and design green buildings.

I’m so happy to have chosen a journalism major. I still struggle with writing in English and meeting at deadlines. But I love to learn about new things, inform people and fill gaps between different cultures and values. Hopefully, I’ll be a foreign correspondent and get to travel around the world. 

Sachiko Miyakawa





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Very interesting background, Sachiko. You have a very unique perspective on how Chinese, Japanese, and Americans all relate to these important environmental issues that we’re always discussing.

I’d be interested to hear more about your experiences in China. I saw a documentary recently that hailed China as one of the leading nations in terms of developing solar energy. It would be interesting to hear whether you found that to be the case with everyday life.

Also, of course, I’d love to hear more about how you see these various cultures addressing the global climate issue. Do the Chinese and Japanese spend as much time as we do trying to “sell” the cause to people…do they frame it as job creation…I’d love to hear how they are tackling the issue.


Comment by rarab

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