The power of images

When we look at pictures do we all see the story or meaning it wants us to see? I don’t think so. The way images are seen are different from one person to another. Why? Well, its because none of us have the same exact experience or life as anyone else.

Different ads in Times Square

Different ads in Times Square

According to Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright in the book, “Practices of looking”, it states that the way we interpret or view an image is different according to our experiences or the setting in which we see that image. This is similar to what we view as beautiful and what we do not. These aesthetics are different according to culture and can also change our taste. So, what it is saying is that nobody can understand the initial meaning the producer connected to the image because everyone who sees it has lived a different life than others.

Stop smoking gum ad part 1

Stop smoking gum ad part 1

Stop smoking gum part 2

Stop smoking gum part 2

 

 

 

 

 

For example these 2 different ads from the same company, Nicomild chewing gum, shows a picture of gum trying to stick together the two things we need when we smoke a cigarette, our fingers and a lighter. Although I do not smoke, I can see that these images are referring to smoking. However when someone who has not seen anyone smoking or does not know what these two pictures are related to, they cannot make the same interpretation that I made. These differences occur because of our different life experiences. Even though I interpreted the picture as the gum holding together the finger and the lighter so people can quit smoking use their gum, the creator of the image may have put a different meaning in it. We never know.

There is never a right or wrong answer when we see an image. The way one individual sees an image will be different from someone else. Like the saying, a picture paints a thousand words, the power a picture has to tell a story is incredible.

United States University v.s. Japanese University

University. I am pretty sure we all wish to experience life as a university student. The campus life, meeting new people, having the freedom, learning what you love, whatever the case may be, we all dream of attending a university at some time of our lives.

The exciting campus life that everyone looks forward too. Photo Credit: Tapshield

The exciting campus life that everyone looks forward too. Photo Credit: Tapshield

Well, does that experience change according to the country? Heck yea it does! How do I know? Well, I am a Japanese student who goes to a university in Japan, AND a university in the United States. I am an exchange student studying in the United States for a year, and after attending school in the United States for about 6 months I can tell you, its different than Japan.  First, let me tell you about the 2 schools I go to.

Furman University

A beautiful view of the lake on Furman University

A beautiful view of the lake on Furman University. Photo Credit: fineartamerica

I am currently attending Furman University in South Carolina. It was ranked 2nd in the United States as the most rigorous school and it is also said to have one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States. Pretty cool, right? Well, I am fortunate enough to spend a year here as an exchange student. There are more and more Japanese students studying abroad recently. You can check more of it here!I already breezed through half of it and noticed some differences here and back in my home university. Let me tell you a little about my university back home.

Waseda University

The famous statue of Waseda University founder, Ookuma Shigenobu. Photo Credit: Jewishbusinessnews

The famous statue of Waseda University founder, Ookuma Shigenobu. Photo Credit: Jewishbusinessnews

Waseda University. Located in the middle of Tokyo, Japan, it is considered as the top private universities in Japan. I am attending the School of International Liberal Studies department in Waseda University. Oh yea, thats one quick difference compared to Furman, we have to pick our majors before entering the university. We choose what we want to major and enter the department beforehand. So, if you wanted to major in political science, you would have to be accepted by the political science department of Waseda university. Thats just one small difference.

Here is a little slideshow showing a little of both life in Waseda and Furman! Check it out!

After experiencing a little life on both universities there are BIG differences and small differences that I want to share with you guys so be posted!!

Learn more about studying in Japan here!