(PICTURE: My Japanese name.)
While I was taking the calligraphy class I had an epiphany, "I should ask the teacher to write my Japanese name." You know, you always hear stories about people getting tattoos that they think mean one thing but really mean something totally different. i.e. A girl gets a "peace" character on her arm which really means "bimbo."
I figured I was in pretty safe hands getting my Japanese name from the 85-year-old school teacher. I told Masumi that I wanted to get the characters for my name and she quickly huddled with all of the volunteers. After a few minutes of everyone figuring out the Konji for Ben-Ja-Min, the teacher started to write my name on a piece of paper. He ended up giving me the paper which is now my coolest souvenir from Japan. So here is what my name translates to in Konji:
First character (the one on top) : Studies
Second character (middle one) : Green Tea
Third character (up, on bottom): Light
I am officially "Studies Green Tea Light." I'm told this is a very good name.