> 1. the garb i have was made by using the folk wear patterns, are these
> period? also, is there anyone out there who makes japanese garb to sell?
I'll others with more knowledge than I answer this...
> 2. any recommendations on where i can look to choose a name?
Solveig-sensei, is your book available again? If so, Carl, this would
be an excellent source...
> 3. i've already recieved my AOA, but it was for my previous persona.
> what is done to switch this to the new name and device? is it even
> possible to do this?
The award is given to the person, not the persona. You will have that
AoA regardless of what you call yourself. Actually, for Nihonjin, it is
less of a problem, since titles of respect do not change as much with
changes in rank.
> 4. i've been toying with the idea of making my persona a buddhist monk,
> perhaps one of the sohei. does anyone know where i can look for
> information on garb for a persona like these? i am a practicing zen
> buddhist, but i don't have access to a zendo (other than online) to get
> robe information.
Again, I'll let others handle this. Edward-dono?
> 5. any recommendations on a study at home japanese language course?
> many thanks.
> in gassho,
Yep. My advice is to study at home every night after your classes at a
university. Seriously. I never made much progress until I enrolled in
classes. If, however, you simply can not follow this option, then I
suggest a series of multiple programs and books. The software program,
Power Japanese, is good, as is the kana version of _Japanese for Busy
People_. The book series used in my class is _Japanese for College
Students_. It's intended for class use, but you might find it valuable
for even home study. Regardless, start learning the kanji and especially
the kana as soon as possible.