Cassie Etter-Wenzel is a 2013 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She majored in History and International Relations with a minor in Asian Studies. This upcoming year she is teaching English in northwest Japan through the JET Program. Though she knew nothing about Japan before starting at UNC, she quickly became interested in all aspects of Japanese studies: the language, history, and culture.
Cassie became more interested in Japan when she realized there was a significant pedagogical difference between the way Japanese and American schools treat history. Specifically, how the two systems look at teaching World War II and the atomic disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Discussions with friends in Japan about the different narratives provided by each, prompted her to explore this era in Japanese History further. Questions about how history is created and who the actors are in creating that history propelled her Honors Thesis project forward.
After graduation, Cassie is continuing her engagement with Japan by moving to the country to teach English. Though she doesn’t know if she will pursuing Japanese studies in the future, her explorations of Japan, both physical and academic, have broadened her horizons and challenged her. This will continue to influence her perspective of the world through anything she chooses to do.
Produced by Wilson Sayre for the Triangle Center for Japanese Studies
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