Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD NOVEMBER 19. 2021

Japanese-style kindergartens by Anne Corinne

Starting kindergarten is always a big step in a child’s life. Foreign parents may find it difficult to choose between an enrollment in a Japanese institution (幼稚園, “Youchien”) or an international one. Here are some points to keep in mind.

Unlike other countries like my native France, going to a preschool from 3 years old is not compulsory in the land of the rising sun. As a consequence, most Japanese kindergartens are private and don’t have to follow a curriculum on basic literacy and numeracy skills established by the Ministry of Education. Although the majority of children are already able (and implicitly expected) to read and write the Hiragana phonetic scripts when entering primary school, Gaijin parents should know that children who don’t study any Kana at all with their teachers often go to an after-school reading program to complement their learning and be at the same level as their future primary school classmates.

Instead of focusing on a strict curriculum, a Youchien rather gives a higher priority on the importance of building a group consciousness and socializing skills (wearing a uniform, singing the school anthem), traditions (making Origami, eating a Bento, celebrating Japanese festivals) and a smooth timetable adapted to the child’s fulfilment (usually 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), which may contrast with overseas institutions and their usually longer schedules that make it easier for moms to work.

Japanese educators are often the closest to the children and play nicely with them, just like friends. They accompany their pupils’ new songs every day, playing the classroom’s own piano, as music occupies a central place in local preschools.

The Parents Teacher Association also regularly calls on the parents to get involved and help enrich the quality of education through the children’s music and dance performances, festivals, sports events, arts exhibitions… The list goes on.

Last but not least, Japanese kindergartners have to provide a mop and clean the premises floor during their lunch break (a duty they will keep doing every day in primary school and above). This practice is sometimes controversial among the foreign community, who tends to consider it “demeaning”. But guess what? Japan is among the cleanest countries in the world, with hardly any graffiti, juvenile vandalism, nor garbage on the ground. Maybe this explains that, and such a priceless value legacy is definitely worth overcoming our cultural differences.

幼稚園入園は、子どもの人生での大きな一歩だ。外国人の親御さんは、日本の幼稚園に入園させるか、それとも海外の幼稚園にするかは悩ましい選択を迫られる。ここでは、気をつけておくべき点をご紹介しよう。

私の母国であるフランスのような他国とは異なり、日出ずる国では3歳からの幼稚園入園は義務づけられていない。そのため、日本の多くの幼稚園が私立であり、文部科学省によって定められた基本的な読み書き能力と計算能力に関するカリキュラムに従う必要はない。大多数の子どもたちは、小学校入学時にはすでにひらがなの読み書きができる(暗黙のうちに期待されている)が、外国人の親御さんは、カナの勉強をまったくしていない子供が、将来通う小学校でクラスメートとなる子供と同じレベルになるように、先生と一緒に放課後の読み聞かせプログラムで学習を補っていることを知っておくべきだろう。

幼稚園は、厳格なカリキュラムを重視するのではなく、集団意識や社会性の構築(制服の着用、校歌の斉唱)、伝統(折り紙、弁当、日本の祭り)、子どもの能力に合わせたスムーズな時間割(通常は午前9時から午後2時まで)などを重視しているのが特徴だ。

日本の先生は、子どもたちの身近にいて、友達のように接し仲良く遊んでいる。近所の幼稚園では、音楽が中心的な役割を果たしていて、先生は教室にあるピアノを弾いて、毎日、生徒たちに新しい歌を教えてくれ一緒に歌ってくれる。

また、PTAは定期的に保護者に呼びかけ、子どもたちの音楽やダンスのパフォーマンス、フェスティバル、スポーツイベント、アート展示会......などを通じて、教育の質を高めるために協力を求めている。

最後に、日本の幼稚園児は、昼休みにモップでもって園内の床を掃除しなければならない(小学校以上になると毎日行われる)。この習慣は、外国人コミュニティの間では「屈辱的だ」と物議を醸すことがあるが、本当に物議を醸す行為なのだろうか? 日本は世界でも類い稀な清潔な国であり、落書きや少年の破壊行為は滅多に見られないし、ゴミもほとんど落ちていない。このような連綿と受け継がれてきた遺産は、文化の違いを越えるべき貴重な価値があるといえるだろう。


Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD TNB Throwback: NOVEMBER 27. 2015

Raising a child in Japan by Yashadi Panditharathne

Japan, though it belongs to Asian category, sometimes I don't see a difference in Japan and a European country. I live in the heart of Japan, Tokyo, which is far different than other villages out here.

Everyday I observe people, and it fascinates me all the time. As a typical Asian I feel that children parent relationship in Japan is quite poor when compared with other countries. For example in Asian countries like India , Srilanka even after marraige parents still worry and care as before about their children, whereas in westernized countries like USA, UK its quite different, Where parents let the child to live by their own but still the communication is more direct. Japanese shows a reflection from both where the affection is not often showed neither the communication is satisfactory. I have observed many parents in parks, restaurants, trains who give less attention to their children. Mom gives more intentness to the pet and the mobile than her own 2 year old child, although remarkably I have also seen exceptional scenarios like Dad carrying the child alone, taking care, giving kisses and showing love.

Japanese parents raise their children much more independent with less conversations. Where in our countries even after 20+ you can see parent still feed their children. In our countries the bond will be forever. For parents their child would be the same even after getting old. But this makes the child dependent, where in every situation child goes to the parent seeking for help and the ability of making self decisions gets impoverished.

So according to my point of view as a girl born and raised in an Asian country like Srilanka, raising a child independently is a requirement so that they can face the ups and downs in life by their own. We all came to this world alone and in the final day we will have to go alone too. Its a journey of us where we have to ride by our own. Hence Japan is one of the best countries, technology wise and educational wise where you can give your child the best for them to get build up by their own and to get highlighted in the world. And no matter where you live, your culture, your beliefs will be still on goin to future generation, because home is the foundation for all.

日本はアジア圏にあるが、時々、ヨーロッパの国々との違いがわからない。私は日本の中心、東京在住だが、そこは日本の村とはまるでちがう。

日々人間観察をしており、いつも驚かされる。典型的アジア人である私は日本の親子関係は他の国と比べて薄いと感じる。インドやスリランカのようなアジアの国々では結婚後も結婚前同様自分の子供達を心配する。一方アメリカやイギリスのような欧米の国々では、親は子供の自立を促すが密接な親子のコミュニケーションをとる。日本はふたつの文化圏の考え方がみてとれる。親子べったりでもないしコミュニケーションもほどほどだ。公園、レストラン、電車で多くの親を観察するが、子供の自由にさせている。母親は自分の2歳の子供より携帯やペットの方に関心がある一方、子供を抱いたり、世話をしたり、キスをして愛情をそそぐ父親のすばらしい光景を目にする。

日本人の親は会話は少なめで子供が自立するよう育てる。母国では20歳を過ぎても子供の生活の面倒を見る。母国では親子の絆は永遠で、子供が成長しても親にとっては子供だ。従って子供は親にたより、子供の自活を阻害する。

さてスリランカというアジアの国で生まれ育った女性として、子供が山あり谷ありの人生に立ち向かい、独り立ちできるように育てる事が大切だと思う。ひとりぽっちでこの世に生まれ、ひとりぼっちで死んでいくのだから、人生とは自分で切り開いていく旅だ。従って子供を育て世に送り出すには、産業、教育的にも一流である日本では、ベストな環境をあたえることができる。どこで生活していようとも、あなたの文化、心情は未来へと受け継がれていくだろう。なぜなら家庭こそが人にとっての拠り所なのだから。


Unfinished business

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 17. 2019

Farewell to a Japan Jazz Icon by David Gregory

The messages from all over Japan read aloud during the service helped us realize how widely Koyama-san touched lives and how many like us were feeling something newly missing from our worlds. But, although wonderful and sometimes saddening us, they did not trigger crying. That happened next.

Those first few notes of the "'Round About Midnight" Miles Davis version, the cut Koyama-san always used to open Jazz Tonight, performed by a live piano and trumpet duo up front near the coffin, did it: Instant recognition, recollections, sighs around the room, eyes closed, arms crossed, heads dropped back or down, and tears, at least for me. How many times had we heard, after Miles breathed his somber opening, Koyama-san's low, raspy voice welcoming us into the studio with, "Minna-san, gokigen ikaga desho-ka everybody, how are you feeling?"?and never thought that someday we would hear him ask about us no more?

Koyama-san's widow, whom, like him, had never known me, stood alone at the coffin head and bowed in silence to everyone in turn after they placed flowers around his body as the duo continued with another slow number, the trumpet sounding so strong and crisp and unusual in a memorial service hall. After we placed our flowers, she responded to my hand on her shoulder, a touch just meant to console her, by immediately turning and reaching for me?a total stranger?burying her head in my chest, and breaking down. She needed that hug that everybody sometimes needs. She let go after her respite when she was ready to face the coffin and everyone else again, and returned to her position. Going to Kashiwa in a snowstorm was worth it just for those few moments when I could do something for her.

So our Kashiwa day was both sad and good. But, why did I even want to go a funeral for a man whom I only knew by voice, and who, although linked to jazz, was not even a musician?

Koyama-san and his Jazz Tonight program I listened to since at least the early 2000s. For more than sixteen years, while my life in Japan has been filled with huge uncertainties, he has been here Saturday nights on the radio, reliable, keeping me connected to the world's music and opening my ears to music from Japan I would not know without him. Listening to him always made me feel good, no matter what had happened in my life during the week or what was coming up in the weeks ahead. Koyama-san and Jazz Tonight were my respite. How well can I replace that comfort?

Koyama-san, thank you for helping this foreigner feel good in Japan. Please rest well in jazz heaven.

NHK Radio, thank you for giving Koyama-san a way to connect with us. Please encourage other DJs to continue doing what he did so well.

To Koyama-san's surviving family members: Please care well for yourselves now, and thank you for supporting and sharing Kiyoshi with us.

 

 

The Smallest Box by David Gregory

She came over to my table and asked if I remembered her.
“That’s my boyfriend over there.”
Their table hugged a pillar blocking the sunny Tokyo Bay view enjoyed by the other customers that afternoon in Chiba’s AquaRink ice skating facility café.
“Maybe we will marry next year.”

On my way out, I stopped to congratulate the potential groom to be. What I later heard happened with Hiromi and Hiroshi that night at another place also close to the bay sounded so too good to be true that I visited that place to confirm it really happened. It did.

Hiroshi had reserved for the course menu that night at OCEAN TABLE, next to Chiba Port, on the second floor, where tables sat by the huge windows facing Chiba Port Tower and Tokyo Bay. No view-blocking pillars there. And they had a wait, even with their reservation, because it was Christmas Eve, which in Japan matters much more than the following day; the Eve is the year’s couples’ night out, and single women without dates that night can feel their whole year was wasted.

Hiroshi had changed into a suit after skating, and had urged Hiromi, against her protests about overdressing, into a plaid one-piece, raising expectations. They had never come to a place this nice, one requiring reservations. Saizeriya was more their speed: fast faux-Italian, cheap, and everywhere.
The unexpected wait made Hiroshi antsy. He relaxed and all was perfect after they were seated.

They talked. They ate the Christmas Dinner courses. They ignored the soft Christmas background music. They admired the gleaming, golden Christmas Tree rising from the first-floor buffet area through the open center space across from their table. They could see outside the sparkling flashes and half the tree in Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination, and beyond, the lights from the ships on and facilities around Tokyo Bay, appearing almost twinkling. Perfect—but not for Hiromi.

She went to the toilet. Still he had not asked. The day was done. The reservation system only allowed them two hours there. They had been together all day. He had remembered her birthday-just by coincidence, also that day-with a necklace at AquaRink. Nice, but was that all? He had pestered her since early December about what Christmas present she wanted until she had finally exploded with, “Nothing! Don’t you know I just want a proposal?!” And had added she wanted it to be a surprise. Here he had the perfect chance, and he was wasting it.

She could try enjoying what was left of the evening. Dessert was next. At least here was better than Saizeriya….She was still stuck when she returned to the table, and had no chance to do or say anything, anyway. It was his toilet turn.

Their desserts came. Hiromi sat and waited and pondered the future. Outside, the tower stood alone against the dark sky and Tokyo Bay’s inky darkness.

Their desserts waited. Maybe his tooth was bothering him again. Maybe he was just tolerating it to make the night go well. Maybe for her. Maybe she should go to check on him. Wait-maybe she just heard his voice across the room.

No, only Santa Claus, posing for photographs with diners at the far table. He then started circling the room, giving a small present from his big sack at each table. She could check after he was done.

Hiroshi still had not returned to his seat when Santa reached their table. He handed Hiromi a big, red stocking, by far the room’s largest gift, accompanied by a squeaky, “Atari! You’re a lucky one!” Yeah. She set it aside and Santa moved on. What was he still doing in the toilet?

Santa finished his round, returned to Hiromi, and pointed at her unopened stocking with squeaky, “Un! Un!” grunts. The other diners had opened their presents. She forced a smile and said she was waiting for her boyfriend to return. “Un! Un!”

When Hiromi still resisted, Santa took the stocking in his white-gloved hands and opened it himself. Out first came a big, pink box, heart shaped. He opened that and pulled out another heart-shaped box, and then, from inside that, another heart-shaped box. Another smaller, heart-shaped box followed. He removed from that an even smaller heart-shaped box, and thrust it to Hiromi with one more squeaky, “Un!”

Still gone. Well, he’d miss it. Hiromi obeyed Santa this time and opened it, the smallest box in the room …and her mind and face went blank.

After that frozen moment passed, Hiromi looked at Santa. The second shock hit, and more followed. Santa Claus had ripped off his gloves, furry hat, sunglasses, and huge, flowing beard. He took the box from her?she was still speechless?dropped onto one knee, held the open box out and up to her in both stretching hands, and said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Hiromi-san, boku-to kekkon shite kudasai! Hiromi, please marry me!”

Outside, to anybody looking, Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination still flashed, and the lights on and around Tokyo Bay still appeared almost twinkling. Inside OCEAN TABLE, on the second floor, everything was happening so fast that Hiromi just did not know which was more difficult to believe: Hiroshi and the ring he first tried slipping onto the finger on her right hand, the one he had taken in his before she held out her left hand, or the following PAN! and PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! and PAN! PAN! and PAN! explosions ripping and ribbons shooting around the room as diners at the floor’s other tables popped the party crackers they had found with the notes in their presents from Santa Claus.

Copyright © 2018 David L. Gregory All rights reserved.

 

I Did It! by David Gregory

She had been here before. But, those were tour-guided or hand-held visits. After living most of her life in white-bread suburban USA, driving everywhere, shopping in giant malls and supermarkets, and needing only one currency and one language, my mother ventured out on her own, within and beyond Chiba, during one trip to Japan. From her notes, here are Dorothy's...

ADVENTURES IN JAPAN
Grocery Shopping in Neighborhood―Walk five blocks...buy only one bag...walk five blocks back. Survived it!

Shopping in City Center―Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus fifteen minutes. Arrive at stores. Walk around. Look. Decide: cookies.

Buying: “Ikura desu-ka how much?” Hmm. “Kakimasu kudasai write please.”

Paying options: give large bill, let clerk figure change, or open change purse, let clerk take out correct amount. Decide to just give some cash.

Clerk shakes her head (“NO! MORE!”), then counts out correct amount needed from register and shows me. I mimic her action from my change purse. Smiles! Deep bows with many, “Arigato gozaimasu thank you very much!”-es.
(My error: thought there was decimal point in Yen price....)

Open cookies, expecting pirouettes with chocolate centers. Instead, peanut butter waffle rolls, no chocolate. No wonder, now I see peanut sketch on package. “Shoganai can’t be changed,” I did it to myself. It could have been worse!
~~~
Travelling to Visit Friend’s Family on Other Side of Chiba―Walk ten blocks to train. Purchase ticket. Electronic lady on ticket machine screen says, “Arigato gozaimasu” and bows. Ride train twenty minutes, watching for correct stop, get off, walk seven blocks to house. I did it myself!

Visiting Hisae Overnight―My Japanese study partner in USA returned to Japan, now lives on other side of Tokyo Bay.

Take large purse and large tote bag with jacket, nightie, toothbrush, cosmetics. Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus to train station. Ride train eighty minutes to Yokohama. Find correct exit from station. EASY. Did not even look at note in pocket explaining route and Japanese signs. And, look! Hisae and three-year old Kei are waiting! “Hello!” they say! Many hugs!

I did it!

Then, still more travel: train together fifteen minutes, short taxi uphill to lovely apartment, sunny and bright.

Returning to Chiba, just reverse process. Next time, we can meet at a station halfway in between. I can do it.
I can do it!

Copyright (C) 2015 David Gregory. All rights reserved. Chiba, Japan

Book Review

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 11 2018

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014,
291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

Reviewed by Randy Swank

video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, but for some strange twist of fate you will find very little information on this book. You can’t even buy it on Amazon. This is a shame because Cherry Blossoms... is a beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking book.

These 11 essays, some of them autobiographical, see Ventura travelling back and forth between the Philippines and Japan, his adopted country, often portraying the many ways Filipino lives have been shaped and affected by their rich quasi-neighbor. Like in "A Suitable Donor," where the young men who live in the Manila slum of Banseco tell of how they came to "donate" a kidney or another organ to help a rich person in need − often from Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami
by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014, 291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

In "Miniskirts and Stilettos" we meet Ginto, a young lady who comes to Japan dreaming of making it big as a singer and entertainer but has to deal instead with a much darker reality; while "Mr. Suzuki Tries Again" and "Into the Snow Country" are tragicomic tales of arranged marriages where the dreams and expectations of bride-starved farmers from Japan's Deep North clash with those of young Filipino women who want to escape their poverty and go into marriage "as a girl goes into a convent." Ventura tells these stories with a great eye for detail and manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest corners, or poetry in the midst of a nuclear disaster.

The book's first essay is called "The Slow Boat to Manila" and indeed, slowness is the first word that comes to mind when considering Ventura's approach to writing. Everything Ventura does is slow. He is no magazine reporter after all, and will spend days or even months getting to know a person he wants to write about. That's the kind of personal commitment and deep connection with his subject that one feels when reading his essays.

 


Tokyo Fab

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD NOVEMBER 19. 2021

USO Yokosuka: Family Thanksgiving Dinner

Join the USO for Thanksgiving Dinner! USO will be serving dinner from 1600-1800 at the Fleet Recreation Center, 5th floor next to the USO.
USO will be serving a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with all the fixings! Bring your family and let them do the cooking! This event will be held in the Fleet Recreation Center located next to the USO building on the 5th floor, Group exercise Room A.
***Please be sure to include the number of people in your party when signing up. One sign up per family please***
For over 77 years, the USO has been the nation’s leading organization to serve the men and women in the U.S. military, and their families, throughout their time in uniform. From the moment they join, through their assignments and deployments, and as they transition back to their communities, the USO is always by their side.


Date:Thu, 11/25, 2021 Time: 4:00pm − 6:00pm
Venue: @ USO (UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATION)

https://japan.uso.org/events/1583

 

Thanksgiving in One Hour: FREE Virtual Cooking Class

Free Online Cooking Class ~ Homemade Thanksgiving in One Hour, with our Friends at SCANPAN & GLOBAL Cutlery!
Homemade hosts epic personalized virtual cooking events for groups of any size, led by the most engaging chefs in America! Co-founders Joel Gamoran and Ben Rosenfeld saw a need for people to be able to gather safely with families, friends, and colleagues around food, and so, Homemade was born. At Homemade, we're making lasting memories in kitchens and bringing people together through highly interactive cooking experiences. We are dedicated to doing the most good for our clients and committed to being mindful of our food footprint as we cook together. With that mission in mind, Homemade has teamed up with a charitable partner, The Nature Conservancy, to support the protection of our planet.


Date:Tue, November 23, 2021 Time: 9:00am − 10:00am
Venue: via Online

https://withhomemade.com/products/thanksgiving-in-one-hour-november-22


What’s App With You?

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD NOVEMBER 19. 2021

Thanksgiving Keyboard:

How about having a keyboard that’s bright and refreshing as the spirit around Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving Keyboard is a complete keyboard solution for your Android smartphone. It comes with all the features that you’d expect from a keyboard, including word prediction, suggestion, and correction, gesture typing, and clipboard and search functionality.
The app comes with its own set of icons as well as GIFs and emojis. You also get support for multiple keyboard types and languages, including English, Arabic, Dutch, German, French, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and many more. Thanksgiving Keyboard is a part of the “My Photo Keyboard” app and doesn’t collect any personal data.

 

Thanksgiving Day:

Thanksgiving is all about showing love and affection towards friends, families, and everyone else. And what’s better than sending them greeting cards and wishes, and thanking them for standing by your side through all ups and downs. Thanksgiving Day is the app that will help you with that. This app lets you design your own greeting cards by adding pictures to existing frames. You can select from various frames and effects, and add stickers or some text as well. You can also create a collage of multiple images. Thanksgiving Day also offers dozens of neatly designed cards that you can download on your phone or directly send to your loved ones.

 

Tokyo Voice Column

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD TNB Throwback: SEPTEMBER 28. 2018

"Cool Japan" by Jake Akino

I live in the Philippines and my mother is Japanese and she would bring me to Japan twice a year when I was growing up, earliest I remember was 5 years old until age 20. She might have done it as an obligation but I think my Japanese grandfather wanted to see his “half” grandkid and would sponsor my visits to Japan. Either way, it became a tradition for me to be in Japan during Spring and Winter for a week or two. I would meet family, friends and other people we usually meet in Japan and there was both language barrier and culture shock for me when interacting with them but that didn’t stop me from learning something new, getting cultured and having fun.

When I was a teenager, hanging out in one of the major cities in the world was so cool. For anyone reading this who didn’t get to experience 90’s in Tokyo, you don’t know what you missed out on. 90’s in Tokyo was cool (I think 90’s anywhere was cool!). Now, it’s more conservative and very international. It has lost many things that made it a one of a kind place. Tokyo now reminds me of Hong Kong, a place I’ve been to a bunch of times, just being honest here, that’s not a good thing. When something reminds me of something else, it is usually becomes or because of a lower quality. I do not mean to offend anyone by mentioning this.

Fast forward to 2018. I’ve been going to Tokyo by myself, I still don’t speak Japanese and now hangout with more of the international crowd and trying to find a balance between doing the touristy stuff and the more local/cultural stuff. In a nutshell, it’s like never being satisfied with anything too Japanese or too Not-Japanese but the somewhat balance I found for this was accepting that Japanese culture is not for everyone so I think less of that and settle more for things I think I’d enjoy.

The Tokyo I remember is gone, it’s now become a very touristy place and an international city and there's nothing wrong with this but it washes away a lot of what makes it unique. When they oversell their culture for tourism and make things more “international”, it cheapens the experience of what it’s really like. I don’t like “Cool Japan” and the wave of things that made it what it is so I hope it’s just a bland phase. If I ever wanted to “be turning Japanese” or make believe that Katy Perry discovered Harajuku some years ago, all I have to do is watch “Lost in Translation” and head down to Taco Bell after walking pass the “crazy” Shibuya Crossing. This version of Tokyo is not for me.

フィリピンで暮らしていたが、母が日本人だったので物心ついた5歳から20歳まで、年に2回日本に連れてきてもらった。母は義務としてやっていたが、私が思うに日本のおじいちゃんが「ハーフ」の孫に会いたかったら、旅の費用を出してくれた。いづれにしろ、私にとって、春と冬の1、2週間を日本で過ごすことは習慣だった。日本では家族、友達やいつも会う人と再会し、言葉の壁やカルシャーショックがあったが、つねに新しい事を学び、文化を知り、楽しかった。

10代になると、世界でも有数な大都市で遊ぶのは素晴らしかった。これを読んでいて90年代の東京がどんなにすてきだったかピンとこない人は、何が変わったかわからないだろう。90年代の東京は素晴らしかった(どこにいても90年代は素敵だったが!)今は、以前より保守的で国際的だ。東京らしさがたくさん失われた。今の東京は香港のような感じがする。何度も訪れて知っているが、正直に言うと、いい事ではない。他のものを思い浮かべるのは、質が悪くなったからだ。誰かを傷つける気持ちでいっているのではないが。

さて2018年になり、一人で東京にやってきた。まだ日本語は話せないし、どちらかというと日本人以外の人との付き合いが多いが、観光と日本文化を楽しむようバランスをうまくとるよう努力している。要するに、日本人になりきろうとしても、日本人になろうとしなくても満足いかない。日本文化は万人向けではないことを受けいれてバランスをとるようにしている。そうすると日本文化を少しだけ取り入れ、楽しめる物だけを選ぶとしっくりいく。

私が覚えている在りし日の東京はない。現在の東京は観光客の多い国際的都市だ。それが悪い訳ではないが、東京たらんとしていた独特な個性がたくさん失われた。観光事業のため日本文化を売り込み、「国際化」を優先させるため、本来あるべき日本文化体験を安っぽくさせる。私は、『くーる・じゃぱん』が嫌いだ。そうした流れに乗って物事が動くが、穏やかであたりさわりのないよう願っている。万が一、私が日本人になりたくなったり、ケイティー・ペリーが数年前に原宿を見い出した事を信じこむようになったら、私がすべきことは『ロスト・イン・トランスレーション』を見て渋谷のスクランブル交差点を横断し、タコベルへと向かわなくてはならない。こういうタイプの東京は、私好みではない。


MUSEUM -What's Going on?-

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD NOVEMBER 19. 2021

KIMETSU NO YAIBA GOTOGE KOYOHARU EXHIBITION

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃), "Blade of Demon Destruction" is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge. It follows teenage Tanjiro Kamado, who strives to become a demon slayer after his family was slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko turned into a demon. It was serialized in Shueisha's sh?nen manga magazine Weekly Sh?nen Jump from February 2016 to May 2020, with its chapters collected in twenty-three volumes. It has been published in English by Viz Media and simultaneously published by Shueisha on their Manga Plus platform. A 26-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Ufotable aired in Japan from April to September 2019.

*

A sequel film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba − The Movie: Mugen Train, was released in October 2020 and became the highest-grossing anime film and Japanese film of all time. A second season of the anime series, readapting the "Mugen Train" arc seen in the film and covering the "Entertainment District" arc from the manga, premiered in October 2021. As of February 2021, the manga had over 150 million copies in circulation, including digital versions, making it the eighth best-selling manga series of all time. The anime series has received critical acclaim, with critics praising the animation and fight sequences. It has received numerous awards and is considered one of the best anime of the 2010s. As of December 2020, the Demon Slayer franchise is estimated to have generated total sales of at least ¥1 trillion ($8.75 billion) in Japan and becoming one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
This exhibition will display number of original handwritten drawings filled with the soul and mind of Koyoharu Gotouge, and will invite you to his mystic and wonderous world that keeps grasping people's hearts even after the series ended. Don't miss this invitation to his wonderland.

Period: - December 12 (Sun), 2021
Venue: Mori Arts Center Gallery
Hours: 10:00 − 20:00 (last admission 30 minutes before? closing )
Admission: Adults & University and college students ¥2,000 / High school and Junior high students ¥1,500 / Elementary school students ¥1,000
*All tickets are designated by date and time. Advanced booking required

For more information, please visit

https://kimetsuten.com/

 

HIDEAKI ANNO EXHIBTION

Anno Hideaki ’s latest film Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, which he directed, was a blockbuster success with a box office of over 10 billion yen. This exhibition showcases the director’s past works, including those he was involved in during his time as an animator. It also includes his latest works as a director and producer, and delves into the secrets of his creative processes. The exhibition showcases for the first time, a wide variety of Anno’s production materials − valuable original drawings and miniatures of anime and tokusatsu works, which were the origin of his work, as well as original notes and illustrations, scripts, settings, image sketches, storyboards, layouts and key animation from his early years to the present.

Neon Genesis Evangelion
Aired on 1995
(C)Color/Project Eva.

[Past] The Origins of Hideaki Anno and the Works He Admires Exhibits a collection of precious paraphernalia from manga, anime and special effects movies such as Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Space Battleship Yamato and Mobile Suit Gundam, which Hideaki Anno has loved and admired since his early days. Here you will also vicariously experience the works made by Hideaki Anno, as he revisits the visual works that he loves and admires, through a gigantic 10 ft tall by 49 ft wide LED screen.
[Present] Tracing the Steps from His Amateur Years to the Present Follows the trajectory from his obscure amateur
years to his sweeping the world with Neon Genesis Evangelion and his record-setting Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, which garnished a box office of over 10 billion yen. It also retraces several decades of his creative work through never-before-seen materials, reaching at what Hideaki Anno envisioned and gave life to, and explores the zeal which he poured into making his movies and the trial-and-error processes involved.
[Future] Archive for Future Generations Showcases projects started by Hideaki Anno for future generations to take on, such as Anime Tokusatsu Archive Centre (ATAC), based on his wish that anime and special effects movies should continue even after the demise of the current torchbearers. It also introduces his latest works including Shin Godzilla, Shin Ultraman and Shin Kamen Rider, through larger-than-life statues and other arts.

 

Period: − December 19 (Sun.), 2021
Venue: The National Art, Center, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00-18:00 / -20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays (last admission 30 minutes before? closing )
Closed: Tuesdays (Except 11/23)
Admission: Adults ¥2,100 / College students ¥1,400 / High school students ¥1,000 / Junior high school students or younger Free
*Advanced booking recommended

For more information, please visit

https://www.annohideakiten.jp/


Strange but True

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD NOVEMBER 19. 2021

Cutie pie

Thanksgiving was at my aunt’s house and I had promised to bring two pies―but not my new puppy. (Slugger was six months old.) Determined to impress, I baked a magnificent pumpkin pie with delicate pastry leaves embellishing the crust, and a blueberry one with a buttery woven lattice. I triple wrapped the pies in foil and headed out for a run. I returned home to find half-eaten pies―and a purple puppy.
―Submitted by Tina Koenig of Hollywood, Florida.

When two heads aren’t better than one

Days before my wife and I got married, I was invited to my future in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. We all brought something, and I volunteered to bring a Caesar salad. I called a restaurant, and they actually gave me their recipe. It called for 5 cloves of garlic but, at the time, I didn’t know the difference between a clove of garlic and the entire head. I’ll never forget the look on my future father-in-law’s face when he tried to eat that “thing” I created. “Wow…that’s tart!” he said.
―Submitted by John Certuse of Attleboro, Massachusetts.

 

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