The theme, “The Study of Time and Sleep” (nemuri no jikan gaku 眠りの時間学) might sound a bit strange. What we’ll be discussing is sleep in connection to Japanese culture and society. It sounds like the presenters will be drawing on literary and historical texts, and I think one will even be drawing on historical medical texts in which sleep is referred to.
I think that in present day Japan there are mixed views on “sleep.” My experiences seem to show me that few students from middle school and on get enough sleep. Sleeping too long, even 8 hours, is viewed as being lazy. This includes workers, too. Also, students and workers showing signs that they are tired often causes them to be viewed as “not being up to the task” or “not fit enough.” Sleeping is like a sign of defeat rather than something that is essential to improving one’s performance.
I’ll be presenting in Japanese. It’ll be 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for Q&A. Normally I really enjoy public speaking, but for this I’ll be presenting in JAPANESE! ugh!
At Middlebury the teachers always encouraged us to write directly in Japanese, rather than write in English (or whatever the student’s mother tongue was) then translate into Japanese. I always try to do that, but this time I just can’t. So, I’ll be writing it out in English (about 2,000 words) then translating it into Japanese. I’m not sure what my characters-per-minute reading rate will be, but I’m estimating about 4,000 characters or so??