Descending into Tokyo-Narita airport, I noticed how the crops, grass, roads, apartments and houses are all terraced just so. I thought of a video game, Katamari Damacy, in which you roll up everything that you can see with a sticky ball. At that moment, I wanted to roll up everything I could see to capture my first view of Japan.
What I found in a 15-day trip this summer to Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyoto and Hiroshima were the influences that video games, like Katamari Damacy, and other Japanese products have had on me — how they have shaped me even before my first visit to the country. I envisioned a mix of “Enter the Void” and “Lost in Translation,” two movies set in Tokyo.
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Rodríguez, 19, is a sophomore at Austin Community College.