Hi all, my name is Blitz Ono, a current finalist of the translation master´s program of the Faculty of Letters, University of Coimbra. I grew up in a Buddhist monastery in Gunma prefecture, where the magnificent mountain range, so called Japan Alps begins running along the northern Japan. They say that anywhere in Gunma prefecture, you dig down the ground, streams of hot spring will be found. Growing up on such land, I spent a lot of time of my childhood, running up and down the mountains, swimming across the rivers and bathing in those hot springs rich in minerals.  As a son of a historian Buddhist priest, history and religious studies were always two subjects which stimulated my intellectual curiosities. Along with my older brothers, I was ordained into the priesthood and practiced in my youth.  After I graduated from high school, I participated in a volunteer program in Nepal, helping to found a school for traditional Nepalese scripts for locals. I turned 20 years old in Nepal with an experience in relating to people from different livelihood and cultural backgrounds. Majoring in International Development Studies at the University of California, Berkeley further developed my commitment to exposure to different cultures, which has been building on my desires that I first had experienced in Nepal over a decade ago.

Now, as time has passed 10 years in the United States, 1 year traveling through the Latin American countries and 3 years in Portugal, my passion for acquiring linguistic skills expanded to Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and so has my belief in non-formal and experimental education for the future generation. I began learning Portuguese from singing songs and playing Capoiera with kids in Cochabamba, Bolivia where I was a teaching intern at a women’s shelter in 2006. I found such joy in interpreting those Portuguese songs into other languages and in finding the depth of cultural contexts in the lyrics. This joy of interpretation transformed to a realization of making my personal curiosities into a more professional one that I could pursue; connecting my background in history and religious studies and my passion for intercultural relations and value-driven exchange of the knowledge and skills.

Focusing on gaining communication and organizational skills through my work in various professional fields: as an interpreter, a youth worker, a sushi chef, a project coordinator, a sake sommelier and an education organizer, so as through my translation studies, in the last several years I have been encountering eye-opening experiences.  As an intern for GIAN-Giò, I hope to share those of my experiences and to acquire a new set of learning experiences in living the values of respect, solidarity, equality, sustainability, and love and care for nature.

Blitz Ono

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