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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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:: Monday, November 28, 2005 ::

And Finals Approach



...and they are very scary. My afternoon classes (Youth in Japan and Ceramics) should be fine, it's the Japanese language I have to worry about, especially my kanji class. They set the bar to get into the next level quite high, and if you miss it you aren't allowed to take any kind of kanji class next semester. How awful is that? So yeah, I'm going to be spending more time in the library than the computer lab for the next week, so don't expect too many updates in the meantime.

Take care everyone, and I'll be back before too long ^_^

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 7:54 AM [+] ::
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I am sure you are going to do well, but just in case, GOOD LUCK on your finals. I'll be thinking of ya!
 
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:: Thursday, November 24, 2005 ::

Proof of Friends



Which is needed now and then to reassure the mom. ~huge wink~ Actually, this is just a chance to show off random pictures, yea!

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My host family! Well, half of them. From left to right--Otousan (Dad), Okaasan (Mom), Yuki (21 year old sister)

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Friends around a table when we visited the elementary school. Serjio (sorry I don't know the spelling of your name!), Robbie, and Kato.

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The gang! Well, one of the gangs. -_^ Clockwise from bottom right--Matt, Vanessa, Casey, Bill, and... someone I need to remember the name of.

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My denki jisho, literally, electronic dictionary. This thing makes my life soooo much easier. It only cost $150, which is half what I was prepared to pay (thanks to the host family for directing me towards an awesome deal!). This screen is for looking up kanji, or characters used for writing Japanese. There are some 2,000 you have to know in order to read a newspaper. This character is said ai, and means "love". ^_^

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This region of Japan is actually called the "Kinki" region, as in a place name. It makes for some interesting names... there's even a popular J-Pop duo called the Kinki Kids. Go fig, huh? ^_^

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:26 PM [+] ::
:: ... 3 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
I'm sooo going to be a 2nd grader...

KARLA LIVES IN KINKI-VILLE!!!

Keep having fun. I love to live vicariously through my friends!

btw, are you spending a whole year there, or just a semester?
-E
 
Unless I missed it, how was it you were able to visit the school kids? I would love to hear some of the differences between here and there when it comes to school for them.

Kinki, is there a translation to english for that word? :)
 
Elizabeth--Kinkiville, hehehe. ^_^ I'm here until May--9 months, a full year of study.

Karri--sorry, I never properly explained it! My Japanese speaking class went as a group to this elementary school. The University is really big on outreach and stuff, so all of the international students get to visit an elementary school. I think that every year a dozen or so get visited. When I have time I would ~love~ to tell you guys about the differences--really really really interesting. ^_^

As for Kinki, there's no real translation because it's a place name. Kind of like trying to translate "Pittsburgh" -_^ Kinki isn't a city though, but a region. Probably like NY's Capital Region in size.
 
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:: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 ::

Back to School



Got to visit an elementary school today--the kids were so cute! I'm just going to post the pictures for now, and I'll add commentary later if I can. Japanese and American schools are really really different, and it can't be summed up in the fifteen minutes I have. :P

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Cheese! Getting ready for lunch.

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Is there anything cuter than a big strong foreigner losing to a fourth grader?

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Dance lesson!

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And yea for modern technology. ^_^

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Popular guy! He got the kids doing whole bunches of "yeas!" for next to no reason, hehehe.

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Piggyback ride.

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Beware of the kids with peace signs! They attack! -_^

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...ditto.

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Bai bai.

All of the non-Japanese people you see are people taking spoken Japanese with me. The Japanese kids are mostly fourth graders, san-gumi (section three). We were all cuted out beyond belief--I'm definately not going to forget it. ^_^

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:25 PM [+] ::
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Very Creative!
 
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Takarazuka!



What is that you ask? The short answer is theatre that's performed entirely by girls--they do the guy parts, too. They've done Broadway shows as well as plays adapted from novels like Gone with the Wind and The Great Gatsby. I actually don't have too many pictures from the show (can't take any during it), so here are some pictures from their website to give you an idea of the aesthetic:

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This is the show I saw--it's actually a play (Palermo Shines in the Setting Sun) and a song and dance revue (Asian Winds).

The stars of the show are really the male players. In fact, only those who play males can become "top stars", or headliners. The Takarazuka theatre has five troupes--star, moon, wind, cosmos, and flower, each with its own top star. After two years that star is required to retire, letting the next top star rise to the top.

...having a hard time finding decent pics online, sorry about that. But trust me, it was really cool. ^_^ And I bought a program to bring home--sorry I can't scan those in. It was a fun time though ^_^

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:15 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, November 07, 2005 ::

Bunkasai!



Last week, from Thursday through Sunday, the school had its annual Bunkasai, or Cultural/School Festival. It's so much fun! So much good food to eat and things to see... so, pictures! ^_^

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So much effort goes into the festival, and the entire thing is run by students. Even the banners are crazy awesome. ^_^

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Part of the festival from the fourth floor girls' lav in the CIE (Center for International Education). The booths are all for food--and this isn't even half of them. There were two spaces near this field that were used for "lives", or live performances by musical groups and other clubs.

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Our cheerleaders are insane. They won the national cheerleading championships a few years ago, and it shows. I took a video of their whole routine, so I'm afraid I don't have any more stills of the jumps and things they did.

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Got to see these drummers perform... got some video, too. When they drum it's almost like a dance--really something to see. These performers used background music that they accompanied.

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...you can't pose under a paper arch in a boring pose, after all.

The whole thing was a blast... too bad there isn't one next semester. -_-

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:: Kazen @ Always Doing 9:10 PM [+] ::
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Comments:
you provide such wonderful distractions! keep having fun!
 
aI'm learning so much about the culture of Japan. I had no idea. Never a dull moment, waiting for the next. Love
 
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