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!)
IT’S EXAM DAY!!!
This is not an overreaction of my feelings!
I am so scared you cant imagine! BUT to take my mind off these awful events I HAVE A NEW REVIEW! It’s literally been months! So here you go guys enjoy… I’m off to face inevitable doom.
Well, after much demand I’m back for another post! 🙂
And today’s topic is…. Suicide in Japan. Such folly (this is obviously a joke let’s not take my idiotic humour seriosuly for this post guys.)
As per usual this is for research, more specifically for a presentation that I’m doing next week with my new friend (hello!) and some other guy… don’t know his name, I’m a bad person.
People may remember that after I posted a review on Suicide Club for JapanCinema.net I recieved a rather informative comment about suicide being a serious problem in Japan (If you don’t know what I’m on about then you obviously didn’t read my review, get a grip and read it now… Suicide Club Review)
OH MY GOD my new review is up… sorry, getting sidetracked, I’ll get back to that..
So yeah, suicide… as in all countries reasons such as depression and unemployement are main factors, but Japan also has the whole issue of social pressures; school grades, doing well in a business etc. AND THEN there’s stuff like ‘double-suicides’ (forbidden lovers and all that) and honourable suicide within war, covering pretty much all reasons why anyone would want to kill themselves, ever. A quick Googling bring up ‘suicide apartments’, the ‘suicide forest’ (Aoikigahara – the world’s second most popular suicide location. If you must know number 1 is the Golden Gate Bridge, there was a documentary made about that, I saw it and it freaked the crap outta me, you actually saw people die… I’m getting sidetracked again.) There was also apparently a rise in suicides int he area after the Fukushima disaster. So it’s all quite intense and rather disturbing from what I can see.
I haven’t looked that much into it yet and our presentation is next week so any help would be nice 🙂
NOW my new review, also rather apt if you ask me, READ:
Aw man, I’ve just bought a muffin with fruit in it! That’s not cool! It cost me like £2! Still gonna eat it, obviously.
Just finished my review for Japan Cinema… though I’ve left half of it at home so I can’t even send it off, frustrating! The rest of today will be spent learning Japanese? I’m in the middle of doing some sort of oral test which I haven’t actually started yet, it includes putting on an awful headset and recording yourself reciting a poem for a member of my class to then listen to and JUDGE! These are things that I do not like. (I’ve gotten muffin all into the gaps on this keyboard… I guess that’s why we’re not allowed to eat in the library!)
Possibly gonna do some work on this Gender essay? I have 2 essential books from the library for a limited time only so I might as well make the most of it!
I hate Mondays.
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….
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?
I’ve been LAZY today, instead of doing work like a good little girl I’ve been shopping for clothes. Beautiful clothes! Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and all I’ve gotta be keeping up those appearances!
And luckily, here in the UK we get chocolates and presents, yay! I know that in Japan it’s customary for the women to give chocolate to men and then you have a sort of ‘reply day’ a month later? But from what I’ve read the women get back about 3 times what they gave so that can’t be bad! To be honest, Valentine’s Day is a bit of a jib really, all this commercialism is enough to make me wanna throw up! And literally all the shops turn pink and fluffy, it’s a bit too much (Japanese shops are probably pink, fluffy and kawaii all year round so it wouldn’t be that bad!)
I’ve just eaten out of date houmous. Ew.
In other non-Valentine’s news, I got myself a post for a wonderful blog; Lingualift.com 🙂 The site is aimed at those wanting to learn Japanese but they also have a brilliant blog section with all sorts of articles about Japanese culture, food, fashion etc. It seemed apt that I start out writing a post on a Top 5 must-see Japanese films sooooo GO:
All this blogging and review writing gets me really excited 🙂 Anyway, on with my Japanese studies, I’ve been a bit naughty and neglected it! Happy Valentines Day Everyone..
Not the most pleasant picture I’ve featured, but hey, we all need a bit of shock from time to time! Click the picture and read my review on Suicide Club. I’m sure most of you will have seen it, it is quite grim but definitely worth the watch. I should also mention that suicide is a real issue in Japan, the movie and its review are for entertainment purposes (I received a comment on the review… which you will see if you read it!)
If Marcello reads this THANK YOU! You really cheered me up 🙂 I’ve been having a pretty stressful week, too much work, too little time etc. So now I’m gonna do some reading for my next lecture and write a little report on a documentary called Dream Girls which is about the Takarazuka Revue. It’s slightly odd for western women to imagine that women in other parts of the world have the view that the girls in this film do. I don’t think I fully understand Japanese women and why they feel subordinate to men… do they even feel like this? That’s the impression I got from watching the documentary. IOf you have seen it let me know what you think.
So, the last 24 hours have been pretty awesome! Not only will I have my little report on Hikikomori done in a wonderfully correct way (many thanks again to @itsmeElly on Twitter) but ALSO, my love for watching Japanese films and writing about crap has possibly been combined into one massive awesome ball of awesomeness. That is to say I am very nearly a writer for http://japancinema.net/ SHWING!
I very ruthlessly replied to one of their tweets (@JapanCinema) and seemingly got the job. I’ve already written my first review, so now I’m just waiting for Mr CEO to tell me it wasn’t a load of rubbish and that he will publish it.
I am so happy I could explode… but instead I will revise some more kanji… boo!
Today I must concentrate on Contemporary Japanese Cinema, this is one of the modules I have to do for my course and on Thursday we have an exam on the subject! 神経!
The exam will mostly be on names and dates of films, and although it is called CONTEMPORARY Japanese Cinema, most of the films are on the Jidaigeki 時代劇 which is basically their equivalent of a Costume Drama (Pride and Prejudice etc) but based in Edo Japan and more than likely to contain some sort of awesome Samurai fight… rather than boring English acting. Though it is important to remember that they are contemporary… I just don’t consider historical pieces to be contemporary, no matter when the film was made (although Pirates of the Caribbean is a costume drama… mmm Johnny Depp).
But I am just complaining for no reason, admittedly I enjoy complaining, almost as much as I enjoy doing nothing on my days off rather than STUPID REVISION! I wish I could remember things after the first time of reading them, alas, I am no Albert Einstein.
Does anybody have any favourite Japanese films? I would be really interested in watching some other than the generic titles that we’ve all seen (Battle Royale, Casshern etc). Suggestions are very welcome! Also, are there any Japanese Christmas films? I know Japanese people aren’t Christian, but from what I know quite a lot of people celebrate Christmas in Japan. I’m really in the mood for Christmas films at the moment, but I think I’ve exhausted Home Alone more than my boyfriend would like! Another thing I’m interested in is a good comedy, my boyfriend doesn’t really enjoy watching Japanese films but I think I can change his mind with some sort of awesome comedy.
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).