Back in the Lou -- The Great Return from Japan

Deanna Stout
January 2, 2018

It's been a couple weeks since I've been back in the US, in my home city St. Louis, MO. Although it felt effortless to adjust to the holiday season with family, I've been feeling like a part of me is missing ever since I've left Japan.

Not only did I have incredible life-changing experiences while abroad, I made quality friendships while abroad, many sparked by IES Abroad and dozens more across the school I attended for a semester. 

I keep coming across the many things I acquired while abroad -- my commuter pass, yen in coins, keychains -- and feeling as if they are fragments of a dream I can't completely recall. Will it feel like this forever? Does a measely 6 months in a different environment really affect someone so much? Why do I feel heartbroken to be away from a country that wouldn't call me theirs?

Despite these heart-wretching thoughts, I am happy to be able to catch up with friends and spend time with my family and my dog. Unfortunately, I leave for school tomorrow morning...

"Why, hello there!" says an ice-sculptured snowman.


My little sister and our friend before some downtown ice-skating.

The Old Courthouse nesting under the St. Louis Arch.

My brother enjoying a sundae at The Fountain on Locust.


Though it was a short time seeing family and friends, it was nice to share the highlights of my experience abroad with people who missed me. Now, I'm off to write another chapter of my story...

またね! (See you later!)

Deanna Stout

<p>Kamishibai is a Japanese style of storytelling that was popular in the first half of the 20th century. These narrators were street performers of a sort -- they read a variety of stories from a series of illustrated paper boards, entertaining the commonfolk before the emergence of television. I will blog about my experiences in Japan through a modernized version of kamishibai, telling my stories through a series of photographs and their corresponding narrations that will be similar to a novel.</p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
Knox College
Saint Louis
International Studies
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