Less than Genki

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A sneaking suspicion

I suspect that my interest in this blog is waning which is lucky as in three weeks time I will no longer live in Japan.

The reasons why I haven't been updating are as follows:

1) I am addicted to MP3 blogs.
2) I am addicted to the gym much to Kerry's annoyance.
3) Kerry's blog is much better than mine so check it out.

I will post some photo's of our final trip in Japan, sometime soon, but don't hold your breath!

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Taste of Culture

After the first month in Japan I cockily proclaimed that I knew all about Japanese society and the people. One year later, I know that I really don't know anything about Japan. Today I got a glimpse of Japaneseness.

The first was from an older Japanese man who talked about the secret world of Bonsai. Bonsai crazies (his words, not mine) form secretive societies around their hobby, understandably as these small trees can cost upwards of ten million yen.

Then he told me that often old people collect and grow bonsai's and their families are sometimes unaware of the value. When a bonsai crazy shuffles from the mortal coil their "friends" come to the funeral with a large donation and then they ask for a keepsake, of course, they want the bonsai collection.

The second was about Sakura and Bushido spirit, the lady in question also mentioned Samurai, Hari kiri and Kamikaze pilots.

Sakura is cherry blossom and it fits into bushido (which was badly translated as Japanese spirit) a good definition is here. She couldn't quite explain what She wanted to say so I have been looking at the internet to fill in the details. I found this quote about Sakura on the above link:

Is, then, this flower, so sweet and evanescent, blown whithersoever the wind listeth, and, shedding a puff of perfume, ready to vanish forever, is this flower the type of the Yamato-spirit? Is the soul of Japan so frailly mortal?


Today was further proof I will never understand Japan, but I've known this for a while.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Big News!

Kerry is going to School! Very exciting news although it's still sinking in.

In other news, we bought Paper Tigers by The Caesars, which has been listened to almost three times and I can safely say its great, it includes the ipod shuffle song "Jerk it out."

Spring is most definitely here and we are in better moods! We spent today lazily shopping. As well as the CD I also got an "Engrish" T-shirt it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.

4 Weeks/160 lessons left at work! Its coming around so quick! I'm happy and scared at exactly the same time!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Is the Lack of a Logo a Logo?

So the particular item that brought this idea to me is the Ad-buster blacksopt sneaker. There are two points here, the first is that these shoes are produced in such a way that the people who make them get a fair wage and that the product is sustainable. I agree that this is something novel and quite exciting. However it's the no-logo chic this product is generating, when it clearly has a logo!

We live in a world of logos, ads, banners, stencils, jingles this is just another that stands against the afore mentioned. Why not make it truly revolutionary? Ditch the logo!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

It's easy once you know how it's done......

Jerk It Out by Caeser's Palace is blaring out of the laptop speakers (a little tinny, but after 12 months without a stereo it's sounding great).

Kerry and I have joined our community gym, I suspect that the initial momentum will keep us going there until the end of our time in Japan, whether or not its a permanent fixture will remain to be seen. Although I would like to keep fit without pounding away on the treadmill for hours, well elliptical cross trainer for minutes.

We are in the final throws of our time in Japan we have had a lot of paperwork to sort out, Kerry got her wedding visa meaning that the marriage is still on! We are both grateful that this weight is off our minds. This means that there is only one thing left to worry about.... Grad. School. Hopefully Kerry will find out soon and she can start sleeping easier at night.

Easter is coming and the chocolate is looking too good!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Where's the fun gone?

The idea that culture especially video games and films, directly leads to anti-social and violent behaviour is not a new one. Its been in the news again, due to games such as Grand Theft Auto, which reward and glamourise violent criminal acts. The court cases that have tried to demonise these games have only succeeded in increasing their popularity and sales.

It's more fun when its notorious.

Sitting in front of a video game does have an effect on your personality and video games should be regulated more than they are at the moment. Although this isn't really the issue, the point here for me is that games have changed. Now the aim is to maim/kill/destroy. Creativity is dead, where is the unusual or fun?

The answer- its on the web. It's not a backlash but it could be a start, as the last thing the world needs is something like this.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Comic Genius

Today one of the below mentioned co-workers tried so hard to avoid speaking or looking at Kerry he actually walked into a wall.