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Study Abroad - From the world to WASEDA -

From Hong-Kong to Waseda

Mr.Raphael Chan
March 2009 Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I

Unknown possibilities exist constantly in literature!

Mr. Chan with his mentor Professor Anthony Martin (Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

Mr. Chan began studying Japanese as a sort of hobby upon an invitation from a high school friend in Hong Kong. Before he realized it, he was studying Japanese seriously at a Japanese language school in Tokyo. At the time of his entrance into Waseda University in the spring of 2005, only two and a half years had passed since he began to study Japanese.

Due to his father's work as an elementary and junior high school English instructor, Mr. Chan had many opportunities to learn the English language from the time that he was a small child. As a result, he utilized his strong English ability and participated as a volunteer English interpreter for the activities of this journal starting from 2006. In addition to his native language of Cantonese, he can speak freely in Japanese, English, and Mandarin, and he truly possesses great talent as a linguist.

Since Mr. Chan came to Japan in autumn of 2003, he has constantly focused of a genre of literature which is unique to Japan. His attention was particularly attracted by "light novels", a genre which is always full of fresh ideas. "My personality is such that I always want to take on new challenges. So, I hope to create works which can only be expressed through digital mediums such as the internet. As long as I continue to consider matters using a flexible way of thinking and without being constrained by existing forms, I believe that I will eventually arrive in a place that is unknown in the world of literature." When Mr. Chan speaks regarding his views on literature, there is strong conviction behind his refreshing smile and gaze.

Until now, Mr. Chan has released works which deal with themes such as "the universe" and "fantasy worlds". However, he says that he wants to focus on sports-related novels. "I have read many Chinese and English works, but I have never encountered anything like the sports-related novels of Japan. In a certain meaning, I believe that the unique nuances of these novels are directly linked to the superior-inferior culture of human relations in Japan." We are looking forward to Mr. Chan's next work.

Waseda X Freedom

Mr. Chan always has an insatiable desire towards new themes. His inspiration towards literature was cultivated by developing sensitivity to occurrences in everyday life and in society. "It may sound as if I am boasting, but I am confident that I will absolutely never forget any work that I have read or seen," laughs Mr. Chan. In particular, his style of narrative and sentence construction was greatly influenced by Atsuko Asano's hit novel "Battery" and Miyuki Miyabe's "ICO-The Castle of Mist".

Mr. Chan, who encountered a new sensation in Japanese literature, has always felt that the literary world of Hong Kong is very conservative. As a result he says that "I always felt strongly about searching for new ways of expression rather than being bound by existing structures or adherence to conventional themes." Mr. Chan reflects upon his fulfilling academic life by saying "In the classes of Professor Tomoyuki Hoshino (former Visiting Associate Professor in the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences) and Professor Minami Aoyama (Professor in the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences), emphasis was placed on finding and implementing a creative style through the reading of many foreign works." Mr. Chan, who seeks to break free from convention by using new literary methods, happily states that "Waseda's atmosphere of respecting individuality is great".

Dream = Future

Mr. Chan has a specific dream for the future: "I want to establish a production and publishing company for digital contents and make the internet into the next generation of literary medium." He is currently working hard to emulate role models such as Apple President Steve Jobs and computer journalist Paul Thurrott.

When witnessing the passion of Mr. Chan, one can imagine him fulfilling the dual roles of literary scholar and businessman in the future, traveling between Hong Kong and Japan.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)