25% of my posts begin with “One of my favorite things about Japan is…” and/or are about posters, and this one is no exception. This time around, it is these free movie flyers that the theaters give out here. They are printed on high quality paper and almost always feature cool alternate artwork, making for great mini posters or gifts to people back in America. The ones I got for Control might be the raddest to date, but these are nice too:

p1000119p1000120I especially liked this:p1000124If you want one, let me know soon! They tend to go pretty quickly. As always, I know the pics suck. Deal with it.

The Power of Imagination

February 8, 2009

I really love this comedy group ピース (Peace). As soon as I learn how to use this subtitling program, I think I’ll translate this! For now, here’s the Japanese only version.

Spidey Lives Large

February 3, 2009

Best Web-Slinging Access in Metropolitan Tokyo

Best Web-Slinging Access in Metropolitan Tokyo

That’s right all you true believers, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has sold out traded in his Manhattan apartment for richer digs here in Tokyo!

These ads have been in the subways here for a while now. They are advertising Shibaura Island Bloom Tower, a new luxury high rise in Minato-ku. It’s message is simple: “Spider-Man Leases at Bloom Tower”. I am not really sure how effective the campaign is, but it’s kind of cool to see Spidey posted everywhere.

The pic was taken from a moving train, hence the poor quality and blinding glare. Thanks for taking it for me, Yumi!

Japanese School Bummer

February 2, 2009

After Broadway, I went to a Japanese school in Iidabashi for a trial lesson. From the moment I walked in the place, I was a little disappointed. The office was located in a residential building and was tiny. Even though I had an appointment, they weren’t prepared when I came in. After about 10 minutes or so of waiting, a lady came in to explain how they run things and ask me what I wanted to study. There was something about her that I just didn’t care for, a kind of snobbish attitude or something, I don’t know. She performed a ‘level check’ on me and went off to get a teacher, who I spent the next 50 minutes talking with. We talked about movies, American Indians, philosophy and my life in Japan among other things. It was hardly a lesson, but I really enjoyed it. She was intelligent, fun and had opinions about stuff. At the end, she told me to save my money and just find more interesting people to talk to because she didn’t think they could offer me much at the school unless I took private lessons. I appreciated her honesty, but I doubt the manager did because naturally I didn’t sign up. She was so cool that I am lightly considering taking private lessons with her, but I doubt I will.

What she said about just finding people who are interesting to talk to really registered with me. In the year and a half that I have been here, I have hardly met anyone outside of work (my co-workers and students are all cool) and even less that I actually want to talk to. I really need to find a way to make new friends, especially those that can discuss stuff other than shopping and their relationships, however I have no idea how to go about meeting people without getting the usual English leeches or gaijin hunters. Any ideas? I hate to say it, but I am getting desperate.

PS I really want to start/join a study night. Anyone in the Saitama/Tokyo area that might be interested, let me know! I am studying for JLPT level 1 now.

Translation Project

January 27, 2009

I have been doing a lot of-for lack of a better word- soul searching lately and I figure that among other things it is high time I get serious about studying Japanese again. It seems to be the key to realizing many of the other goals that I have set for myself. This may sound absurd, but since moving to Japan I have really let my skills go down the toilet. Why? I work with people who speak better English than I do Japanese, I only speak English to my students for their sake and in general I don’t really do much of anything that requires any improvement beyond conversational ability are all convincing excuses that I have told myself for over a year now. The real reason, however, is a deadly cocktail of complacency and laziness.

I have several plans to get myself back on track, one of them being this post. I am going to translate a book called “The Fiend with 20 Faces: The Bronze Demon” and post it, along with the original Japanese, here on my blog. Check the page listed next to home near the top. I figure I will do one chapter a week. I would love to get comments, questions or constructive criticism about the translation from anyone that is into Japanese. I tend to be really loose with my word selections as to convey the nuance rather than the literal meanings. I already expect someone to challenge my use of demon in the title. Hey, even if you don’t give a crap about Japanese, just enjoy the story, which is the main reason that I am taking the time to do this in addition to my hellish work, gym and study schedule.

Thanks to Dr. Senbei for this post!