Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Oscar goes to....?

Hello, everyone~!

The media in Japan are massively passionate about covering the news of the Japanese actress who have been nominated for the Academy Awards as best supporting actress. Her name is Rinko Kikuchi, and she appeared in a film called "BABEL" as a high school student student who communicated with sign language. I understand the fact that the Japanese actress got nominated for the awards is amazing and exciting.

However, if I could say a thing or two, the people in Japan like me haven't seen the film yet because the international release date for Japan has not come. So I'm a little confused about the fact that our media has been trying really hard to bring up the news of her to the viewers who have no idea about what the movie is like. I wish I would be able to see all the nominees on best pictures before the results come out, because it would help me watch movies somehow fairly and impartially. Going to a theater to watch movies labeled as "Oscar-winning" or "Oscar-nominated" is just too much information, I think... It'll definitely change the way I see movies intentionally or unintentionally.

Well, whatever I say about that, there's nothing I can do about it! So I'm looking forward to waiting "Oscar-winning" or "Oscar-nominating" movies to come here in Japan.

Alright, that's all for today.
See you soon~

Saturday, February 24, 2007

San Francisco

Hello, everyone~!

I hung out with a friend of mine from high school the other day, and she casually remarked that it would be fun to visit our friends who are studying in the US. We actually had 2 locations to choose from, which made us undecided. One of our friends study in Hawaii, and the other in California. Hmmm.... They both sound really good, don't they? Since we couldn't decide, we let the girls in the US decide where we go by asking their schedules in March. Then, California was selected! (I'm sorry it didn't happen to be Maryland!)

A friend of mine in the US studies in Foothill College. I found that the campus is located between San Francisco and San Jose.(But I also found they have 2 campuses, so I have to ask her which is the one.) I've already looked into what the place is like, and I've come to know about there a lot after I logged on to Google Map and I paid a visit to the website that contains plenty of information about the city.

Speaking of San Francisco, the name of the place does remind me of the very first trip I took to Colorado,Denver. I was a junior high student at the time, so the memory somehow have come to wither little by little, especially when it comes to the detail. However, one thing I certainly remember for good about the trip is that my baggage had been accidentally sent to San Francisco! Thanks to the kind assistance from my host family, I managed to go through the unexpectedly massive losses of my clothe and other things I brought from Japan for daily life. After that, thankfully my baggage safely flew back to where I was at the time, Denver.

So since then, I've wanted to visit that place for some reason. Something definitely attracted me after the incident. Though it was just my suitcase that flew to there, I was somehow envious of its trip! Well, as far as I see, it's likely to happen to me finally very soon!

Alright, that's all for today.
See you soon!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Amazing Woman

Hello, everyone~!

I've recently been fed up with the news about Anna Nicole Smith's death... Why do so many people find it fascinating? I just don't figure it out, and even the anchors of the shows I watched wondered why. The death itself was sad, indeed. However, there's so much more interesting, meaningful, inspirational to talk about, right? Moreover, I'm not particularly interested in where she'll be laid to rest. I should probably think about following headlines on the Internet and try as much as possible to go to an Anna Nicole Smith-free zone, shouldn't I?

Meanwhile, I've found an interesting video on YouTube. I originally happened to know about its existence on CNN. The woman in the video, Amanda Baggs, is 26 years old and diagnosed with autism.I've heard of the name of the disease even though I didn't know what the symptoms were very much. So this video helped me understand what the disease was, and I felt that there's a lot of things out there I don't know about or I even pay no attention to. Moreover, it made me want to rethink about the definition of communication. The way she communicates and intracts with things around her is fascinating, isn't it?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Part 2: Review of the lectures

Hello. everyone~!

I'll review the rest of the lectures that I couldn't cover yesterday.

Part 4---"The Omnivore's Choices and the Corporation's Responsibilities" by Michael Pollan, Bob Langert

The first speaker, Micheal Pollan, talked about the complexities of our food choices. As he has traveled throughout the country's farms, slaughter houses and so on, he came to realize that it is actually hard for us to make right decisions about foods even though it looks like very simple. We have a lot more foods to choose from when it's compared to other creatures whose dietary patterns are plant or meat eating, and so on. He argued that what we eat should be not only good to eat but also good to think. His mention that we should go beyond "organic" let the audience rethink about the problems as a whole, and he also challenged the illusion that the term "organic" is the ultimate solution by noting the things about the energy we consume to buy organic and the people who are involved with the organic industry. The second speaker, Bob Langert, was actually a representative of McDonald's. I was glad that he attended the conference like this because these kinds of public meetings are likely to end up accusing the big companies like his, and never get responded from them. According to his presentation, the company has tried as much as it can to improve the condition of its animals and workers. However, it seemed to me that there's more they can do and I think they should be a leader to try to do so because the influences they have will be enormous. If the company can't change, then the industry itself won't change. I understand their struggle to make a profit to satisfy the shareholders, and to concern about the ethical and environmental issues while customers expect them to serve as cheaply as possible. But I think they need to realize the improvements they have to make as the most influential company in the US to let the others follow. After listening to his presentation, I pay a visit to his blog which he talks about the company's corporate social responsibility, and I surprisingly found there was a podcast to let people know how it contributes to the society!

Part 5---"Eating More Ethically at Princeton" by John Turenne, Stu Orefice, Bill Andersen, Katy Andersen, Anim Steel, Nathan Gregory

This lecture focused on the food choices that the students of Princeton have at the university. Moreover, it also mentioned how they made the whole operations at the dining hall profitable. It brought me to think about the dining hall at my university, AGU. I rarely thought about the foods it has because I don't go there very often, and I don't think the tastes are good.(Oops! I'm just saying my opinion!) Moreover, I was interested in what the other univesities in Japan serve at their dining halls. So I googled about it. What I've got from the quick research was that we didn't even care about that, which made me very sad. Though Japanese as a whole care about what K-12(especially, children at elementary schools) eat a lot, that doesn't lead us to consider rethining about what university students eat at their university. I understand the situation in Japan is somehow different from the one in the US, but it's a shame that we don't hear our own voices to act on the issue. I'm pretty sure that some of the Japanese do care about it, but the number of the people is not large enough to make an influence on what the dining halls of the universities in Japan serve. That's why quantity still matters a lot when it comes to the universities' dining halls here. Hmmm.... there seems to be something I can do about it though it probably won't have much impact. It's sad to see some of my friends who really care about the hunger, and the poverty in the world have no interest in making smart and ethical choices for their own meals, isn't it? It's as important as that, I think.

Alright! I finally finished reviewing the lectures, which leads me to think about what I'm going to post about next....

Anyway, goodbye for now!
See you soon~.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Review of the lectures

Hello, everyone~!

I've just finished listening to the last part of the lectures that I mentioned yesterday. So let me just review them here today.

*Part 1---"Moving Beyond Fast Food Nation" by Peter Singer, Eric Schlosser

It was this part that interested me in listening to the series of the lectures. The reason why I chose this was that, as I mentioned yesterday's post, I found that Eric Schlosser spoke about his field as a journalist who probed how the fast food industry in the US has really worked deeply. I actually read his book called "Fast Food Nation" and I was terrified of the contents of the book. After reading, I came to realize that we need to think about what we eat seriously. In the lecture, he mentioned how unsustainable it would be if we keep depending on the eating style that we have now by giving us the idea of continual impacts on the environment which keeps being harmed by the big food chains like McDonald's, other companies, and most importantly our choices. The other speaker, Peter Singer talked about how we should treat animals that we eat humanely even though they'll get killed one way or the other.

*Part 2---"Eating Well and Eating Locally" by Marion Nestle, Gary Nabhan

The first speaker, Marion Nestle, spoke about the need for consumers to have critical views against the choices which the companies offer. She also talked about the tactics that the supermarkets in the US have introduced to encourage customers to buy more by letting them see more products, which means people tend to eat more. What I found interesting about her presentation was that she argued that the signs on the products that said "healthy choice" or "smart choice" didn't mean that they are good for you at all. The second speaker, Gary Nabhan, talked about how we could eat locally. At first, I was surprised to hear that the prices of local foods are sometimes lower than those at the large supermarket chain. Moreover, the fact that the movements for the food issues have become bipartisan made me optimistic about improvements to be made in the future. Then, he finished his presentation by mentioning that we are all nourished by the place we belong to.

*Part 3---"Concerns for Oceans, Climate and Animal Welfare" by Becky Goldburg, Gidon Eshel, Paul Shapiro

All of the speakers in this lecture were concerned about the influences that we have on the environment, and they also have looked into the impacts of our choices in terms of eating ethically. Listening to one of the speaker, Becky Goldburg, talking about the problems that the fishery industry have was interesting for me because the term "organic" often brings me to think about agricultural fields. I've heard a lot about over fishing because Japan is a country whose people have eaten lots of fishes, but I've never heard of the issue that fishermen sometimes unintentionally end up catching animals or fishes which they don't intend to catch. It was a nice opportunity to know something new about the industry, and to realize that we need to make an approach toward the industry differently from the agricultural industry. Then, Paul Shapiro talked about his organization's campaign to improve the farm animal welfare by pushing retailers to produce battery cage free chickens and so on. I didn't know much of the issue, so almost everything he talked about was new to me. I'm sure that we have several organic stores that allow us to make smart choices for eggs, meats, and chickens. However, I think the awareness of the issue like this still needs to be built more in Japan because we are likely to focus only on the nutrition, especially when it comes to eggs. The third speaker, Gidon Eshel, spoke about the energy that we consume by making dietary choices, and how the differences of the choices affect the generation of the energy. It was a bit hard for me to understand because he used the words that I wasn't familiar with. However, I was surprised how thoroughly this whole lectures tried to cover all of the issues related to the theme, and it made me think about how far I could go to eat ethically.

Wow.... now you see how much I've learned literally a lot from the lectures? The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the title of the conference was that the problems could be solved if we all would eat organic foods. However, I've found that eating healthy and ethically as a whole is about changing the society that we live today. I came to know that I wouldn't be able to review all of them on this post. So let me leave it unfinished, and talk about it again tomorrow!

Okay, I'll finish here.
See you soon~!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Princeton at Home?!

Hello, everyone~!

Well, as you can see by the frequency of adding posts here, I'm now on the spring vacation. However, I still have a kind of school at home! Can you guess what it is? It's "Podcast". I don't know how many people have heard of this and actually used it, but I think it's simple and useful. It's one of the functions of the software called "iTunes".

The first thing I got through podcast was the news materials. One of the reasons I did so was that I thought it would be helpful for me to improve my listening skill of English by listening to them as much as possible on a daily basis. Another reason was that I hoped the fact that I've been able to get the news from countries other than Japan would help me develop different views of affairs which are taking place today. As far as I can see, it's been pretty successful.

Then, let me move on to the main point for today's topic. Yes, Princeton at Home. No wonder you're doubtful. Well, Princeton university launched the program for podcast, and now evryone who has iTunes and an access to the internet can download the lectures. Though each file of the lecture comes from the public seminars conducted at the university. So strictly speaking, they cannot be called "lectures". But still, it's quite interesting to be able to listen to them. Moreover, fortunately, some of the universities in the US like UC Berkeley have given us the audio files of the lectures, surprisingly for free!

I've recently found a series of public lecture meetings held by Princeton univerisity while I was looking around the education section of podcast on iTunes. The program was divided into 5 parts, and each of them was about an hour and half long. The theme was "Food, Ethics and the Environment". Sounds a bit academic and difficult, huh? Contrary to my first impression, however, it was worth listening and I've learned a lot about food. At first, I intended to listen to only the first part, which featured the author of the book I read last year called "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser. But I decided to listen to all of the parts after I began to feel the presentations get more and more interesting as they went on. Also, through the presentation given by speakers, I came to realize how complicated the food industry in the US has been, and that what we eat is about the same weight as a vote. To my surprise, one of the speakers was from McDonald's! He participated in one of the lecture meetings as a representative of the company. I've learned that the company now has a department for corporate social responsibility. I just can't imagine how tough it could be to attend this kind of meeting!

I think the issues about the food industry discussed in the US also reflects those of which the Japanese one has. Many people including me have started feeling that we have to make a commitment(*1) to educate not only children but also adults about where the foods come from and the choices we have to eat healthy and smartly.

I'm planning to add an additional post here about the lecture just for me to remember. In fact, I still have a lecture I'll work on it as soon as I have time to do so.

Alright, that's all for today!
See you soon~.

(*1)--The word I used here has been modified after Nina suggested changing it. Thanks!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Classical Book about Globalization

Hello, everyone~!

I'd like to talk about the book I've just finished reading today. The book is called "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization". I chose this because his latest book called "The World is Flat" really interested me, so I was interested in reading more of his works. Moreover, the way he describes something in English on the book is always easy to understand. It often makes me realize how many ways I've got to describe what I want to say by using the grammar of English that I learned in my junior high school. Of course, how many words I know still matters a lot. But at the same time, it's also important to be able to say what I want in a proper way.

Well, let's move on to my reflection of the book. I heard that the book is now regarded as a classical book that deals with globalization. I can even say that I wouldn't be surprised if it was on the shelf of history book. It's a bit funny to call the book a classical one, isn't it? However, it's still worth reading because it's happening right now and each of us should at least get some idea of what's happening and what will happen next. I don't like to admit that the technologies in this digital era will change everything fabulously, because while half of me has been benefited from the technologies that allows me to connect with a huge number of people, the other half still wants to count on something solid. Local communities, friends, and the culture that identifies myself, for example. Whatever I say, however, the trend doesn't seem to stop. So I'm going to try as much as I can to adopt myself to it in a way that I can keep myself from being lost!

Anyway, it was a good reading for me. I think you'll be able to enjoy the book if you want to grasp some ideas of globalization and how it affects us now and in the future.

Okay, that's all for today!
See you soon~!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Cyber Friend

Hello, everyone~!

Today I'd like to introduce a cyber friend of mine to you. Her name is Mayuko. The reason why I do so is that she created her own blog in English! She already had one but it was a team blog, and she did it as a part of her English class activity in Kansai University. This time, however, she indivually has started a new one!

I encourage you to visit her blog when you have time.

She lives in the region called "Kansai", which is the west side of Japan. Though I'm able to see the footage from there on TV, I have never been there before. So, I think it might be a great opportunity to share some sense of the region with people like me! But I have no idea what she posts about from now on, and that's why I'm excited about reading her blog. ^^

Meanwhile, this incident led me to the realization that the possibilities that we have to be able to do something that we've never thought of before on the internet are enormously high. The other day, I read the book in Japanese written by the man who have worked in Silicon Valley and the novelist. the Silicon Valley guy said that the differences between friends in real world and those on the internet have begun dissapearing. I just couldn't get it at that time because I hadn't experienced that kind of thing. However, I would definitely agree with him now after I encountered my very first cyber friend! After all, no matter how we come to know each other, the only thing that comes to my mind when I make friends with someone new is just "fun"! (So maybe I didn't even need to make a definition of a cyber friend, maybe.)

Alright, that's all for today.
See you soon~!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Something that we usually don't learn in a class room

Hello, everyone~!

Today I watched the TV show called "Eigo de shabera naito", which means that "You have to speak in English". As you can guess from the title, the show is about English. It's one of my favorite TV shows because it's so different from the shows I used to watch as a way to improve my English. What's so different is, I think, that the show really focuses on speaking. In Japan, people who learn English or teach English has tended to focus on grammer things. In result, they care about them so much that they don't try to communicate with people who speak English. Moreover, they can't feel the connection between the language they've learned and themselves. Even though the primary reason the Japanese people learn English is to communicate with people, sometimes the fear of making mistakes gets in the way. However, the situation has started to change after learners found the fact and the TV show like the one I mentioned here began.

On the show, a coach from the NBA league showed up and introduced technical terms and slangs used on live telecasts and by the players.

  1. "from downtown"
  2. "nothing but net (=whish) "
  3. "money"

The first one, "from downtown" is the term used when a player hits a shot from the middle of a court. The word "downtown" usually means the center of the city, and for basketball it means the center of a court.

The second is "nothing but net". Can you guess what it means? It's used when a player makes a shot without letting a ball touch a hoop. The host of the show encouraged the coach to try to do it and he did it! Yes, it was literally nothing but net.

The last one, "money" looks unfit in terms of basketball games, but it actually does. We normally use it at economic scenes like currency. However, when it's brought to the court it means "scoring point". Money is something secure in our daily life, so are scoring points on the court.

I found it interesting to know these terms because we don't usually learn them. Also, I've learned that the day of the NBA all star game is now on the corner. So I'll tune in to the game and see if these terms are used!

Alright, that's all for today!
Have a nice weekend! ^^
See you soon~

Friday, February 16, 2007


Hello, everyone~!

Recently, I've seen a lot of reports on TV about training camps of professional baseball teams in Japan. Because of that my mother likes to watch baseball games on TV, I gradually became a fan of the team which she's liked since she was a junior high school student. Both of us is getting more and more excited as the beginning day of the season approaches!

In doing so, what has struck me the most is the fact that lots of the Japanese baseball players have gone to America to play with the players from MLB. I just can't count how many of them joined the teams in the US. These days, the player who has made headlines both in Japan and the US is Matsuzaka Daisuke. Have you heard of him? Maybe some of you have because he came in to pitch when the World Baseball Classic took place in the US. Though I was not a fan of the team he used to belong to, he has been one of my favorite players since he made a debut in 1997.

He is now in Florida to participate the training camp of Boston Red SoX. After I heard that he decided to go to MLB, half of me was really sad because we would lose one of the most talented players in Japanese baseball. However, the other half of me was glad because he finally had a chance to show his talent to the world. When he and his team's general manager had the press conference, he said that he knew he would be there because it was a part of his plan. So for him, it was not a dream. In this kind of situation, most people would say "It's my dream come true!". But he didn't describe it like that, and he could see what to come by believing himself and keeping to practice. Watching him say it in front of a lot of reporters from the US and Japan was so inspiring. I think that's why I like him so much even though he fought against my favorite team.

I just can't wait to see him play in Boston! I also heard that there's a possibility that he would have a game between his team and New York Yankees, which means he will meet Matsui-san in games!! That's so exciting!

That's all for today.
See you soon~

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine!

Hello, everyone~!

As you may know already from the title, it's Valentine's day! I planned to talk about it on my page on a social net-woking website called "mixi", but the day is actually over in here due to the difference of time. However, I found that I still have a chance to do so on my blog!

The day of Valentine reminds me of the memories in my high school. I used to make some sweets by myself for friends of mine in my class, and so did friends of mine. It sounds a bit strange because girls exchange sweets they made each other!(The concept of Valentine's day comes from Western, and it became popular in Japan because the Japanese chocolate company introduced it as a day for lovers. Traditionally, giving chocolate to men from women is common.) I remember being excited about the coming of the day because each of the sweet was so delicious, and it was a nice opportunity to find that my friends were really good at cooking! Hahaha...

After graduating from the school, that ritual no longer takes place since each of my friends from high school has gone to different schools. So now I've just recalled it as this time of year came along. Honestly, I miss it soooo much!

This year, I'm not in the mood to take part in series of the things happen on the day, because I don't have girls to share sweets with anymore. Moreover, I don't feel like watching the day be commercialized too much by becoming a part of it.

Anyway, I hope all of you have a happy Valentine's day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Hello, everyone~!

On Sunday, I went to the theater in Roppongi to see the movie called "An Inconvenient Truth". I don't think I need to explain it to you in detail because you've heard a lot about it already. In short, it's about global warming.

Even though I thought I knew about the problem a lot as a person in the country which accepted "Kyoto Protocol", I was terrified of the fact that the situation is getting worse day by day. It was much more than expected. At the same time, I felt relieved to know that each of the state in the US has already started to act. It doesn't matter whether or not what each of us can do has an impact to change the situation. I think what's important is that each of us understands that our planet is at stake, and that trying to be hopeful by start thinking about the problem and acting something for the earth.

Also, I was impressed by how Al Gore interpreted the data that he had collected over the years in a way which everyone can understand. The reason why I think so is that to show the date to every generation in comprehensible and sometimes enjoyable way is much harder than to collect them. So his way of showing them in the presentation was something I could learn from.

The picture on the left side is the poster which provided the information about the electoricity used in the theater to play the movie. I was surprised at the fact that there was a term "green energy". I also found that there was a company which made certifications for companies' efforts to be eco-conscious. Then, the theater was approved by the company, and has been given the certification. It meant that the power consumed for playing the movie was produced by natural sunlight and wind. I found this interesting because I've never thought about the energy used in a theater. Also, most importantly, it's nice for us to be able not only to see the movie that mentioned global warming, but also to care about the energy that we consume to play the movie, isn't it? I hope the number of the theaters that introduce the system will start to get growing.

Lastly, though I saw lots of terrifying facts in the movie, the phrases of the credits made me feel hopeful for the future. My favorites are"Pray that people will have the strength to change." and "When you pray, move your feet."(I've learned that the latter comes from the African old saying.)

Alright, that's all for today!
If you have a chance, I recommend you watch this movie! ^^

See you soon~

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Flavor of Life

Hello, everyone~!
Today, I would like to introduce you the song that I've listened to a lot recently.

I happened to find that she has officially released her new song's video when I visited her official website. Her name is Utada Hikaru. I guess some of you remember her because I mentioned her on the previous post about her show in Yoyogi. I've been a big fan of her since I was a junior high student. She is so famous in Japan that she even made a debut in the US. What I like about her most is her choices of words in her lyrics. She happened to be born in New York due to parents' job, and it turns out that she became fluent both in Japanese and English. So I think that's why she always fascinates me about how she descibes something in a way that I've never thought of. I sometimes imagine that she may have a kind of different way to describe what she want to say in Japanese. Her new song is called "The flavor of Life". In order for all of you to understand what she sings about, I translated the lyrics.

"The Flavor of Life"

ありがとうと君に言われると 何だか切ない

(When you say "Thank you" to me, heartache just begins for some reason)

さようならの後も解けぬ魔法 淡くほろ苦い

(A magic that lasts even after goodbye, it's slightly bittersweet)

The flavor of life The flavor of life

(The flavor of life The flavor of life)


(In an uncertain relationship, neither friends nor lovers)

収穫の日を夢見てる 青いフルーツ

(Unripe fruit that waits for the day to be harvested)


(Because it's unable to move forward)

じれったいのなんのって Baby

(It makes me frustrated)

ありがとうと君に言われると 何だか切ない

(When you say "Thank you" to me, heartache begins for some reason)

さようならの後も解けぬ魔法 淡くほろ苦い

(A magic that lasts after goodbye, it's slightly bittersweet)

The flavor of life The flavor of life

(The flavor of life The flavor of life)

甘いだけの誘い文句 味気のないトーク

(The phrases which sound just sweet, the talks that bore me)


(I have no interest in those things)


(Even when life doesn't go the way you want it to)


(Life is not that bad)

どうしたのと急に聞かれると ううん何でもない

(When I hear you say "What's wrong with you?" suddenly, I say "No, nothing")

さようならの後に消える笑顔 私らしくない

(The smile that disappears after goodbye, this isn't like me)

信じたいと願えば願うほど 何だか切ない

(The more I hope to believe, it hurt my heart slightly with bitterness)


(Saying "I like you" is very you, not "I love you")

The flavor of life

(The flavor of life)


(The scent of the person who I seem to start forgetting)


(The scent comes back to me out of nowhere)


(The whiteness of the snow that lies thick on the ground)


(Wanting to be gladder honestly about the color of the snow)

ダイヤモンドよりもやわらかくて 温かな未来

(The future that looks warmer and somoother than diamond)

手にしたいよ 限りある時間を君と過ごしたい

(That's what I want, I'd love to spend time with you even though time is limited)

ありがとうと君に言われると 何だか切ない

(When you say "Thank you" to me, heartache somehow begins)

さようならの後も解けぬ魔法 淡くほろ苦い

(A magic that lasts after goodbye, it's slightly bittersweet)

The flavor of life The flavor of life

(The flavor of life The flavor of life)


That's all for today! See you soon~

Monday, February 05, 2007


Hello, everyone~!

I'm glad to be able to add something new here again. I'd love to tell you something interesting almost everyday because so many things happened since the vacation started.
Anyway, let me start with what I did with one of AGU in America mates, Yuki.

Yuki and I went to Roppongi today. I once talked to you about Roppongi the other day. Roppongi is one of the famous cities in Tokyo, and a lot of people from other countries live there. So you might see signs written in both Japanese and English if you visit here. Today, we watched the movie called "Dororo". This movie was based on the comic books written by Osamu Tezuka.

The story was really complicated, so I'll try as much as I can to simplify. It was about the battle between Samurai and monsters. The main character, Hyakkimaru, was a human. But he was abondoned by his parents when he was a baby, and an old man picked it up when he floated down the river. Then, the old man found that there was something wrong about the baby. So he tried to fix it by replacing the baby's body parts with the body parts which he got from dead soldiers. So for the baby(who grew into Hyakkimaru), almost all of his body parts were fake. Then, when he became mature enough to fight, he started a journey to look for his own body parts by fighting against monsters who changed their appearances like humans to deceive Hyakkimaru and to protect themselves. He had 48 parts to take back. It may sound strange to you, and I felt the same way before I saw it. After I saw it, I found it really fascinating to watch a movie like this because the way the original comic artist tried to tell me was thought-provoking. You can go to the offcial website by clicking this banner. On the website, you can watch the trailer.

Moreover, I witnessed the Japanese traditional event there. It's called "Okihiki". According to the handout I got there, "Okihiki is one of the traditional events in the ancient Shiki-nen-sengu rites of the Ise Grand Shrines held every 20 years. Okihiki is the traditional procession of the transportation of the sacred logs for reconstruction of the shrines. For the first time in the 1300-year history of this event, the tradtiton comes to Tokyo, and Roppongi Hills has been honored as the venue." At first, I had no idea what was going on at the scene. However, all I could thought of at the time was to take some pictures of the event so that I would be able to talk about it. Also, I found the website that has the footage of the event. I hope it'll help you understand this traditional event. I was surprised at the fact that this kind of event being held in Roppongi because the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about the place is "modern". Anyway, I think it adds the attractiveness to the place, Roppongi.
In additon, Yuki and I looked around the shops and ate lunch together.
It was really fun!
Okay....I'll finish here.
See you soon~

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Marie Antoinette

Hello everyone~!

Today I want to talk about the movie I saw on Feb 1st. I went to the theater with one of my best friends. Her name is Mina. We've known each other for a long time. I never recall my childhood without thinking about the time we played together. We became separated when she went to a professional school, and I went to my university. However, we try to spend time together sometimes.

The movie I saw on the day was "Marie Antoinette". You might think of this movie as a historical one. But the director of the movie, Sofia Coppola made a different approach to this legendary woman who had ups and downs. If you remember your history's class, Marie Antoinette is famous for her wasteful spending. At the time, many people even called her "The queen of debt". But in this movie, the director tried to describe her as an ordinary girl whom we all can be related to. She liked to dance, stay up all night, gamble a lot, and so on. I was surprised at the fact that she was just 14 years old when she got married to her husband, Louis XVI. It was regarded as an alliance between France and Austria. Everyone at the Palace of Versailles anticipated the birth of their baby because whether or not they could have a son mattered a lot at the time, and they always tried to let her down by asking if they had a baby when they passed her by. So there was a lot of pressure on her, and she had no one to turn to.

Sofia Coppola is one of my favorite directors because the way she interprets something foreign always fascinates me. I've been a fan of her since I watched "Lost in Translation". So I was so excited that her new movie came out here finally! After I read the reviews, I found that some people didn't like the language that was used in the movie. The people in the movie rarely spoke French actually, they spoke English almost all the time. The words they said in French was "Au revoir.(Goodbye.)", "Merci.(Thank you.)", and so on. The French audience responded to the movie in the same way when it arrived in France. However, I thought it was okay! I thought that you might miss something important if you focused too much on the language. Admittedly, it looked strange at first. But I got used to it as the movie went on. I even liked the fact that they decided to make this movie almost all in English because it added a kind of unique taste in it. Hearing the casts make conversations in English at the Palace of Versailles made me feel like as if I was lost in somewhere. Also, the dresses were so beautiful that I wish that I was born in that century! Hehehe~.

Then, she gave me a souvenir from her trip to Osaka, the west part of Japan. She went to Universal Studio Japan there with friends of her. Listening to what she saw and did definitely made me want to go there! The picture on the left side is Spider-Man faced body wash. It made me laugh because it was cute and funny. Anyway, her choice is brilliant because I love taking bath. (I'm sure she knew it!)

I really had a good time watching the movie, chatting a lot, eating dinner. Also, I want to see "Lost in Translation" again. So I'll see it again at home.
Okay~ , that's all for today.
See you soon.