Maya Kanatani


Lives of the Nikkei scholarship ‘Dream Come True Project’ students~Maya Kanatani

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

Japan is a country with high levels of science and technology and is a developed country in terms of economy. Also, Japanese language and culture have uniqueness. I decided to study abroad in Japan in the belief that doing so would allow me to not only acquire advanced and specialized knowledge but also deepen my understanding of my own country and its language, as well as the understanding of the world, by mastering Japanese language and understanding Japanese culture. Studying deeply about my parents’ history and culture was also one of my objectives.
My dream was to study abroad in Japan, Nippon Foundation, my family, and the people around me made my dreams come true.

How was your life in Japan?

One of the good things about living in Japan was that I could interact with Japanese people. Japanese people are always polite and they keep good manners. Thanks to Japanese people and teachers/professors in my university, I not only learned Japanese from kind Japanese people but also learned about life and culture in Japan.
As there were many students from abroad in my university, I could also learn about different cultures and English which I enjoyed every day.
The good thing about the Nikkei scholarship and NFSA was that they invited students from different countries so I could learn many things including their cultures and languages. As they gave me chances of having activities and trainings with NFSA, I could make good memories and I believe they have become valuable experience in my life.

Tell us about your past study or research.

Although currently I am not studying or doing research specifically, I am utilizing the knowledge I learned in Japan in my work.

Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?

As I experienced various things while I was studying in Japan, I could feel my Nikkei identity deeply. Although I was born in Brazil, my parents are Japanese and my life is deeply connected to Japan. People always identified me as a Japanese person in Brazil; nevertheless, in Japan, I am regarded as a Nikkei from Brazil. It is a subtle difference, but it is still a difficult problem for many Nikkei persons.
Even though one has a deep connection with a country which is different from one’s home country, I believe that one’s real identity belongs to a country in which one was born and grown up.
During my stay in Japan, I clearly understood that I am a Nikkei in Brazil.
I believe that many good aspects of my personality are based on this identity and I will have various opportunities, taking advantage of the many good effects that the progress of globalization may have.

Tell us about your plan after graduation.

Recently, I work at a Brazilian oil company and I have been able to utilize my knowledge I learned in Japan.

Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.

If you are going to study in a graduate school, I believe you would better clarify your research subject and also understand the professor’s viewpoint and even the methodology in that research area before you start studying abroad. Your research subject will be an important basis for your decision when you decide where to study abroad and also you will be able to study positively when you actually start studying abroad when you know the research method.
The best time to study abroad will be different depending on the person. When you think now is the best time to study abroad, you should challenge. Also, I would like you to prepare as much as possible and enjoy your studying in Japan. I am so grateful that I could study in Japan. I could not study in Japan without the help of the people around me including the Japan Foundation, those who supported me, and my family. In Japan, you will have the chances of not only studying but also gaining deeper knowledge, learning Japanese culture and history, experiencing various things, and growing as a human being.