Halloween was so much fun…
Yes I am now one of those tw**s that takes a picture of themselves in the mirror!
Had a listening test today in Japanese. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (click here if you want to be) will have noticed already, heh! It went so very well but then I ran out of time! Damnations. I missed about 6 questions (out of 50?) but all of them that I did answer I think I got correct.
I find listening in Japanese so difficult. It’s ok when it’s written down and I can see what the vocab is, but when it is said (in super fast speed) I miss all of the important bits. Tomorrow I have Japanese conversation so I will get to practice some more!
I haven’t done my portfolio work yet and Sensei’s getting a bit miffed at me I think, so I better go and do that hey!
I’m going to a Halloween party tonight and I will be dressing up as my most favourite fictional person; Wednesday Addams
I was a little obsessed with her (and Christina Ricci) when I was younger and I pretty much own the same dress already (faux pas?)
So today’s Japanese lesson went really well actually. I nailed the vocab test and then actually understood most of the new grammar notes (causative form?) It’s getting a bit full on now so I must start living in the library again soon.
I’ve got half an hour to kill before my next lecture; Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching (yes, it is as boring as it sounds). It’s not that difficult, but so so loooong. The lecturer is a crazy cat-lady/hippy/extrovert and she repeats everything at least twice, sometimes three times. It kills me. And it’s 3 hours long. THREE HOURS GUYS. I stop concentrating after 20 minutes so you can imagine the joy I go through every Tuesday (I say every Tuesday but I’ve actually missed 4 lessons already… I just couldn’t cope okay!)
Tomorrow if I’m not too hungover I’m going to spend the WHOLE day doing work! I’ve got my first Japanese listening test on Thursday and then on Friday the Japanese exchange students will be visiting our class so that we get a chance to speak to them 🙂 I always get a bit nervous when speaking to actual Japanese people (mainly because my Japanese is excruciatingly terrible) but I want to try my best to at least impress them a little!
I still haven’t decided on a Japanese university but I think I’d like to go to Obirin… it may be a little far-fetched since they only allow 2 people in the year from our university, but a girl can dream right? I need info on Obirin please!
Other than that I hope everyone enjoys Halloween tomorrow. Halloween in Japan must be the funnest time of year.
My ass is back into gear! I’ve had a bit of time off but I’m ready to ROLL!!
So I’ll start with how the school year is going. It’s been nearly a month and I’ve learned… nothing! Joke.
Our modules are set out a little differently this year; I no longer have to do Japanese Reading and Writing because I was ahead last year (shwing!) and instead there is an extra module called Japanese Conversation (does what it says on the tin really) as well as the usual grammar lessons. Hopefully by the time I go to Japan next year my language skills will be SUPER AWESOME!
Other than that I am doing a semester of Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching, where we learn about how to teach foreign languages! I’m attending a seminar about the JET programme later today, for those of you who don’t know the JET programme is an exchange and teaching programme between Japan and other countries. It’s quite a big deal and very helpful if you manage to get in, it’s something I might consider when I finish my degree (‘when’ being the key word here!)
We’ve also got quite a few seminars about our year abroad (SO CLOSE NOW!!) which I am super excited about!
And of course I haven’t forgotten about the lovely team at Japan Cinema, occasionally I have to check out the ‘About’ section to make sure Marcello hasn’t gotten rid of me for being such an aweful team member! Now that university is back on my life has more structure and I can write again! And hopefully I will have more readers too!
Argh! It’s nearly time to go back to university! I am so excited!
I’ve had a really awful month, a lot of bad things have happened so I’m really ready to get back to life. I started by writing another review for Japan Cinema! Can’t wait until it’s up!
I also went for a run today (shock horror!) I couldn’t believed it, there was so much sweat!
And I’ve been learning Japanese too. I’m quite pleased with myself actually, I’ve been doing new vocabulary for September so that I can be a little ahead when I start. Luckily Sensei gave me the whole vocabulary list before I left so I figured I’d be an idiot not to use it!
Before I go back to uni though I have to move house, meh! I hate moving house, but this time at least I’m living with 3 wonderful girls and we have a dog! How exciting is that! I can’t wait to take him for walks (I’m so sad I know!)
Well it’s been a while, but hey summer seems to have finally arrived in jolly Old England, a girl’s gotta enjoy it while she can! I also went on holiday and in between I’ve had to show the shoe industry how to make money. Before all of this I wrote a new review and I haven’t even checked that it got put up! Obviously it did, here it is:
I promise to be back soon! I have to get back onto revising some Japanese!! September is so near now, it’s kinda freaking me out!
It was awesome. Enough said! I took a billion pictures but I’ve tried to cut it down… see if you can recognize any of the characters, some of them were pretty badass.
This is it, the day before my last exam! Been up since 8am, it is now 10.20am and my brain has already shut down.
I’m just doing some reading comprehension (lame!) I think the exam will give me a bunch of Japanese texts with some Japanese questions about said texts which I then have to answer in Japanese? Either way I’m pretty screwed… and scared! So I need to practice my reading skills, which are shocking to say the least:
All the pretty Japanese writing is tainted with my inevitable doom!
The library is dead! It’s hard to believe that this time 2 weeks ago people were actually sleeping in here. Now it’s just me and some other guy exchanging glances of worry.
So once again I need lots of luck, I might even wish myself luck because I’m grasping at straws here!
Yes, revising has turned into taking photos of my own hand in an arty fashion. I HATE KANJI. Seriously, everything about learning Japanese would be made so much easier if Japan had just thought of its own writing system. BUT NOOOOO! Damn my life.
So let’s forget about that for a while and concentrate on how my last exam went: BRILLIANTLY. Working/sleeping/living in the library finally paid off. I mean sure, I didn’t know everything, but I managed to remember quite a lot, even got a bit cocky and left early. I am actually quite looking forward to results day now (well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!)
So the next few days will be revolving around my Kanji exam on Friday which I’m not feeling very confident about but then at least it will all be over after that. Schwing!
It’s been a while! Unfortunately I’ve been ill and stressed, all in all it’s not been going well (eg, I’m in the library, on my own… there is nobody else in uni except me I’m sure)
BUT, it is Easter Sunday tomorrow!
Not that Easter means much to any non-Christians… though from what I hear there are many Christians in Japan so I suppose you guys get what I’m talking about?
I have been an absolute let down on the film reviewing/article writing front (sorry guys!) There are not enough hours in the day (which is exactly why I’m in the Library on my only day off.. I’m actually quite annoyed that tomorrow is Easter because it means I can’t actually do any work.)
Doing my Kanji portfolio… I say ‘doing’ though all I’ve actually done is gathered the work that I need to start, probably won’t start it for another 2 days. What I really wanted to do is photocopy pages out of the books about Japanese lesbians, but NOOOOOO, the photocopier room is locked and the security guard won’t give me any change for the other photocopier, what a jib!
I’ve got another essay to write about Emperor Hirohito and his involvement in war crimes which is proving to be quite interesting actually, currently reading Herbert Bix’s autobiography, it’s controversial (so you know it’s good!)
That’s it for me today, I promise to be back on form next week, life is dragging me down so some nice loving words would be appreciated right about now!
Remembered all of today’s awful kanji in the nick of time! All disaster related (lovely!)
Can’t believe this semester’s nearly over, I feel like I have done the most ridiculous amount of work yet not actually learnt a single thing!
What I have done however, is produced a number of half-decest posts for Lingualift 🙂 Here’s my new one about Yayoi Kusama:
Currently working on two reviews for Marcello of JapanCinema 🙂 Probs should go and do that now…..
Loving life today..
Had a reasonably fun Japanese lesson; some sort of stereotypically cute Japanese trainee teacher taught us… I didn’t understand a word she said but she was nice to look at (looking back at this comment I realise that, combined with the fact that I’m doing an essay about lesbianism, I must appear inclined that way..) Anyway, it was fun let’s leave it at that.
Got an hour before Japanese Modern History (BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!) but now that that awful exam is over I can go back to not paying any attention which will undoubtedly lead to failing again next time. The joy.
I managed to write another post for Lingualift about Yayoi Kusama, she’s awesome, let’s all just look at how awesome she is:
She’s in her 80s, living in a mental institution (voluntarily) likes painting polka dots and is collaborating with Marc Jacobs for Loius Vuitton. Oh, she also likes to get people naked and cover them in polka dots…
Hopefully the post will be up on Lingualift soon because quite frankly, I’m not gonna repeat myself when I’ve already written a whole article about her!
I also watched another crrrazy Japanese film last night ‘Apartment 1303’. Verdict: Don’t watch it, but DO read my review (which I haven’t actually started yet… Sorry Marcello, you will have it by the end of the week!)
Right, history lesson time….
EPIC shift in uni today. 12 hours. TWELVE-FREAKIN-HOURS! Even more epic was that only 3 hours of it consisted of lectures. It was a hella day in the library but I feel so good now! Though I’m still not on top of all my work? How can that be? Hmph, it’ll be a miracle if I ever pass this course!
Learnt my 50 kanji for tomorrow, yesh! We have to learn how to write them from memory now, something which is harder than it seems! So many strokes in certain orders. TOO MANY RULES.
(I’m currently trying to open a pot of tiramisu with little luck… I will be back)
Mmmm, tiramisu!!! Oh my god I totally have an iPhone now so I can show you (I have recently converted to the dark side… late I know!)
Haha that looks so pathetic! You can even see my ancient laptop! Shame on me! So yeah, just got myself an iPhone!!! (Well, I found one in a taxi and claimed it!) Still don’t really know how to use this thing and to be honest I don’t really love it, I used to have an awesome LG which I loved with all my heart… alas gone it is!
Anyway.. don’t really know what that tangent was about! And now I’m way too tired to carry on writing! So goodnight!
I was well into researching Japanese history when this absolutely mad girl comes BARGING into the computer room, slams all of her stuff all over the desks and starts ranting in some foreign dialect, completely putting me off!?? Rage!
Luckily I’d already done quite a bit of work for my presentation, which I’m very kindly going to share with you now!
Firstly I’ve done a bit about Japan’s Twenty-one Demands to China in 1915. So, the rest of the world was so preoccupied with WWI that Japan took advantage and got aggressive all over China, demanding certain privileges, knowing that nobody was around to bail them out. (I ramble on about this for a few pages!)
Next comes Japan’s Peace Preservation Law of 1925. They basically denied about 200,000 people the right to vote with a little loophole, and then, to stop people having a response to this awful bill they enacted a law saying that people basically didn’t have the right to oppose the political party in ANY WAY – very George Orwell/Totalitarianism.
And last, but by no means least, the March 1st Movement in 1919 where Korea decided they’d had enough of Japan’s crap, drew themselves up a Declaration of Independence and then strolled though the cities in protest, wanting to be independent of Japan.
It all looks a lot more impressive that this… So, I’m in need of help please, what do these 3 factors have in common? I need a little summary 🙂
It’s a wonderful day! I’ve had another post put up for Lingualift! Yesh! It’s about the Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara. He’s pretty awesome and a bit obsessed with the concept of time and existence, it’s deep stuff! Check it out yo!
I’m currently working on another little art-related article for the wonderful people of Lingualift BUT I mustn’t neglect Japancinema.net so tonight I’m gonna watch another explicit movie and see what everyone has to say about it!
Until all of that however I have a lot of uni work to do (it never ends!) Today I’m focusing on 2 (TWO!) presentations that I have next week! One is a Japanese speaking test, I’ve gotta describe a photo, I’ve decided to use one of me and my friends on holiday in Italy… I’ll show you it:
Ahhh, my beautiful long hair *sniff*
I figure that there’s quite a lot to talk about in this picture so it should make for a good presentation.
My next presentation is about… Hmmm… I don’t actually know! That doesn’t help… Let me see…
The history of Japan – The Twenty-one Demands (don’t know what that is?) The Peace Preservation Law (again, what?) and The March First Movement! So all in all, I’m pretty screwed for that! Sounds as boring as it gets doesn’t it really? Any takers?
Done absolutely loads of work today! Mostly reading on the gender roles of women in Japan. There was one part in particular about Bento boxes and how the more pleasing to the eye they are, the better mother you are? If you gave your child a tuna sandwich and a packet of crisp the school would probably drag your sorry backside into school for a meeting about the child’s welfare. So let’s have a look at some beautiful Obento…
How good do they look? They look like they would take about 14 hours to make, how do these women have time for housework? Unfortunately, my western indoctrination doesn’t really allow me to see the nice point of view in women’s subordination. I mean, I totally agree that different sexes are good at different things (women nurture and men go to war!) We have different roles and although I’m all for equal rights and what not, sometimes we have to just sit down and think about what our gender says about us, our instincts as men or women and what we know about each sex. HOWEVER I would like to stress that although I think different sexes suit different roles, I DON’T think that one role is more important than the other!!! The world needs men to go out and fight, hunt and build for our survival, but it needs women to raise future fighters/hunters/builders and to look after her husband and their home so that he has anything to even fight/hunt/build for, without the emotional, nurturing and logical support that a woman provides, men wouldn’t be able to do all of those manly tasks that they are so proud of… and vice versa.
Eat that men of the world.
I really shouldn’t be writing for two websites, have a part-time job AND go to university. But hey, it’s fun (if just a bit stressful!) I am constantly writing, reading, learning and listening.
Today I have revised some of the kanji that we now have to learn to write from memory. EEK. Fortunately they are really easy this week, stuff like 石、川、兄、分、上 etc, which I can do already anyway. Then next week we are tested on a a few more complicated kanji: 雨､音 and then harder ones for the next 5 weeks. There will be 50 each week, so that 250 in 5 weeks. Seems a bit daunting.
At least my grammar lessons are going swimmingly…
Other than that I have got a hell load of boring, long readings to do for Japanese History and Gender in Japan. BOOORING!!!
So, it’s been a while! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly did, as I received this undoubted awesomeness:
Of course it’s not ALL about the presents! I had a wonderful time with my family and then my boyfriend’s family too! I’m now back in Oxford, all alone! Meh!
I had a customer yesterday and she was buying a HUGE pair of snow boots so I asked her if she was going anywhere (to wear said snow boots) and she replied that yes, she was going skiing, when I asked where she said Japan.
HOLD THE PHONE!! You can ski in Japan?? I vaguely remember someone telling me this and I was like ‘NAH!’ Surely a joke. I only thought you could ski in Italy..Canada…Sweden and Aspen (the latter is what I have learnt from the movie Dumb and Dumber) admittedly, I know nothing about skiing, I have never been, never really wanted to, though my Iranian friend says she frequently goes skiing in Iran (??!!) So what’s the deal there? Do a lot of people do this? Why have I never heard of this being an activity?
I got to talking to the customer, telling her I was studying Japanese etc and then she was all ‘Oh yeah I studied Japanese!’ WOAH. This is crazy! I’ve never met anyone else from the outside world that has studied it. Obviously she studied it in the real Oxford University and not the dumbass Oxford Brookes like me, but hey, it gives me hope! She told me that after she finished her degree she practically walking into a job for a Japanese bank and hey presto, now she’s going on expensive ski holidays in the Japanese Alps or whatever they are!
I haven’t really decided what I want to do after my degree, I always wanted to move to Japan and work in a coffee shop (really) but now I feel like I should maybe go for something a bit more ambitious. Are there a lot of foreigners working in Japan? Or is there anyone else reading this blog studying/has studied Japanese and would like to tell me about their job prospects?
Anyway, I’m gonna carry on getting fat on all the left over chocolate.
So today I’ve spent most of the afternoon replying to my Japanese pen pals. I’m not sure if one uses the words ‘pen pal’ for friends you write to via email… but I’m gonna! If you’re learning Japanese and you don’t have an email pal then I suggest you find yourself one right away. There are millions! Just type it into Google and see what you find. Writing to others in Japanese really helps with grammar and vocabulary and usually gives you a chance to teach English too. My method is to have them write to me in English, I reply in Japanese and then we correct each other with explanations, it’s really good practice and sometimes they can make more sense to me about my mistakes than my teachers at uni! One email can take the best of an hour though so it is pretty time consuming!
Other than that I’ve just been cleaning the bathroom, gross, and I also bought some advent calendars for my boyfriend and I, as well as little Christmas tree for out room 🙂 I’m quite sad like that!
I didn’t go to my Japanese reading and writing lesson on Friday since it was my birthday, so now I’m probably a bit behind and not really sure of what I have to learn for this Friday. We have a Kanji review test at the beginning of next semester so I better get my butt into gear and start revising!!
I’ve decided to start work on my second Japanese Cinema essay instead of doing my kanji.
My essay is going to be on the sexual content of the film A Snake of June (Rokugatsu no Hebi). I haven’t actually seen the film… but I’ve done a lot of reading on it! We don’t get to choose any film we want, we’re offered a list of films and a list of questions which we then mix and match ourselves. My first essay was about Throne of Blood and its comparisons to Macbeth. For those of you that haven’t seen it, I suggest you do it right now. It’s a bit old school (skool?) but its Japanese Theatre (Noh) influences are pretty heavy and a bit creepy so I recommend it if you are a fan of Noh theatre.
From what I’ve read, A Snake of June is quite high in its sadomasochistic sexual content (a so called ‘Pink Film’) so I figure if I am allowed to write about graphic sex, then I’m gonna! The above image is taken from a scene in which the main protagonist has been pleasuring herself. Outside. In the rain.
My first choice of film essay topic was Daremo Shirinai (Nobody Knows). An incredibly touching film about a mother who abandons her 4 children in Tokyo (based on actual events). If you’re into Japanese family culture and the ie then that is a film worth watching as it shows you how the unconventional family in Japan is seen.
I’ll let you know how this pink film/ blue movie goes (the whole film has even been tinted in blue… dedication to the genre if I ever saw it).