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Is this Japanese sentence alright or completely unnatural?

erichan

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Hi people,
I got a question for you!
Whenever I am doing my introduction in Japanese I'm often asked why I begun studying Japanese and such.

Now, I want to say that I've been interested in different Asian cultures from a young age, but that my interest for Japanese culture grew during my high school years.

Is there a good way to say that my interest for Japanese grew in high school?
At first I thought it might something like:
高校生のときから日本文化の興味がおおきくなりました。
However, this literarily translates to "my interest became bigger". I wonder if that is better than using the verb 増す, increase, grow:
高校生のときから日本文化の興味が増しました。

Which sentence do you guys think sounds the most natural in Japanese? None of them might be correct so please tell me if you've got any other suggestions. I would really appreciate the help! x
 

Hoge

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増しました is better but I would say
興味が強くなりました。
In Japanese your interest can be strong but not big.
 

erichan

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増しました is better but I would say
興味が強くなりました。
In Japanese your interest can be strong but not big.
Thanks for the reply! I knew it was a good idea to check with someone who is fluent!
 
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