Thanks to the financial support from the Edward G. Seidensticker Japan Summer Research Grant, I was able to join the summer Japanese language program Princeton in Ishikawa, which lasted from June 11 to August 6 in 2021. Through its intermediatory course covering the textbooks Nakama 2: Japanese Communication, Culture, Context, and Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese, I received adequate training and practice in grammar in order to enhance my level in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This enables me to roughly understand academic writings in Japanese and include Japanese scholarship into the research of my thesis, which is mainly focused on the worship of the Goddess of Mount Tai and female agency in late imperial China. Thanks to this program’s preparation and my advisor’s recommendation, I am also lucky to join an informal seminar Japanese for Sinologists in 2021 fall to continue to explore Japanese academic reading and translation. I highly appreciate the Seidensticker Scholarship and Center for Asian Studies’ generous help for me to study more about the Japanese language and culture, which I believe will greatly facilitate my Ph.D. application in 2021 fall and future endeavors in the studies of Chinese religions and Asian studies.
Zhujun Ma is a Dual MA student in Religious Studies and Asian Language and Civilizations. Her research mainly focuses on Chinese religions and gender.