Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 10. 2020

De-cluttering in the time of Corona by Rhian Yoshikawa

FED-UP with gorging on Netflix and cooking up a storm, I turned in desperation to my to-do list and decided to deal with the task screaming out at me in bold capitals near the bottom: CLEAN OUT CLOSETS!

It took some time to drum up the courage but, once I’d actually got stuck in, the process of freeing up so much space was incredibly energizing. However, reality struck when I turned around and was faced with a mountain of unwanted stuff piled high in the middle of the floor.

My place isn’t very big so I had to get ruthless quickly if I was going to have any space to lay out my futon. No time to get sentimental or search for ‘joy’; the situation called for drastic measures.

Anything broken, stained or incomplete went straight into a bin bag. Goodbye yellowed T-shirts, solid nail varnish and single socks. Goodbye presents from ex-boyfriends and group photos of people whose names I never really knew. Goodbye grungy underwear, broken alarm clocks and stretched-out scrunchies. This actually felt amazing!

I decided to up the feel-good factor and googled sites asking for donations. I found recipients for books, CDs, DVDs, sportswear, bags and even bras, which were duly packaged up and set aside for sending.

Normally, I’d take the remainder along to my local recycle shop to see what I could get for them, but in these difficult times a trip to anywhere rather than the local convenience store can be challenging. So I decided it was time to bite the bullet and sign on to an online flea market site. Granted, you need some Japanese ability to do this, but it proved a lot easier than I’d imagined.

Browsing through MERUCARI*, I could see that there is a market out there for almost anything in reasonable condition. I started listing books that I’d scarcely looked at, clothes I’d only worn once, shoes I’d never worn, and collectable figures that I’d forgotten I had. The possibilities seemed endless. I got quite carried away and had to stop before my room started looking like an advert for minimalistic living.

A few days later, I had a much cleaner room. The bin bags and donation packages were gone and I’d managed to sell a few items online, actually making a tidy profit from my purge. I still had a few boxes in the corner but opening my closet was now a source of pleasure rather than pain and I had discovered another way to exercise in self-isolation: online flea market surfing!

*MERUCARI is one of the most popular online flea market sites in Japan

Netflix を検索したり、自炊ざんまいの生活に飽き飽きした私は、切羽詰まって、自分のTODOリスト(やることリスト)を覗いた。リストの下の方にあった太字で書かれた「クローゼットの整理整頓!」という大文字が私に必死に呼びかけた。私はそれをやることに決めた。

勇気をを奮い立たせるのに少々時間はかかったが、一旦やる気モードに入ると、スペースを広々と空ける過程で活気が出てきた。しかし周囲を見渡すと、床の真ん中に積まれたいらない物の山という現実が私を襲った。

部屋はあまり大きくないから、布団を敷くスペースを確保するには、素早く冷酷にならねばならなかった。感傷的になったり、満足感を得ようとするような時間的余裕はなかった。強硬手段を必要とする状況だった。

壊れていたり、汚れていたり、不完全なものは直ちにゴミ袋行きにした。黄色くなったTシャツ、固形化したマニキュア、ひとつしかない靴下はさようなら。元彼からのプレゼント、名前を忘れた人たちが写っているグループ写真もさようなら。よれよれの下着、壊れた目覚まし時計、ゴムののびたシュシュもさようなら。実際、すがすがしい気持ち!

自分の気持ちを心地良くなるよう、寄贈品を募っている人を検索した。本、CD DVD、スポーツウエア、バッグ、そしてブラでさえ受取りたいという人たちを見つけた。しかるべく梱包して送付するばっかりにしてわきに置いた。

普段、残りは近所のリサイクルショップに持って行くのだが、緊急事態宣言の出た最近では、近くのコンビニ以外に足を運ぶのは勇気がいる。そこで、あえて困難に立ち向かい、オンラインフリーマーケットのサイトに登録した。たしかに、多少日本語の能力は必要だが、想像していたよりはずっと簡単だった。

「メルカリ*」をパラパラ閲覧しながら、そこそこの状態であれば、ありとあらゆるものが売買できる市場だと知った。ほとんど読まなかった本、一度しか着なかった洋服、一度も履かなかった靴、存在を忘れていたコレクション・フィギュアを売買リストに掲載した。可能性は無限大だった。どんどん掲載していったが、自分の部屋が、ミニマリスト(最小限主義者)の生活についての広告のようになってきたので止めた。

数日語、部屋はずいぶん片付いた。ゴミ袋と寄贈品の詰まった荷物はなかった。数点、オンラインで買手が見つかり少しばかり儲けることができた。部屋の片隅に箱が2、3個あるが、いまではクローゼットを開けるのが、痛みから喜びに変わった。そしてもうひとつ、自己隔離の方法が増えた。そう、オンライン、フリーマーケットサーフィンをすることだ!

*メルカリは日本で人気のあるフリーマーケットサイトのひとつである。


Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD TNB Throwback: AUGUST 11. 2017

Manzai with the Mrs. by Dean Mejia

Manzai makes it easy for me to connect with my Japanese girlfriend. She is from Osaka. Her English is limited and my Japanese is also not too grand. Sure, we get along well in the romantic department (must be my Latino blood), but when the passion needs to take a 15-minute break, and we need to find something else we have in common, sometimes we hit a wall. Luckily, here comes Manzai to the rescue.

Manzai, at its core, requires me to know very little, to no Japanese language skills in order to appreciate it. Sure, I am not getting 100% of what the many random comedy duos (and there are A LOT of them) are trying to convey to the audience during their stand-up routines, but I am absorbing enough to make me chuckle. Simultaneously, my girl is by my side doing either A or B.
(A.) She is watching the television screen and enjoying the performance herself, OR
(B.) She is watching me and seeing if I comprehend the slapstick comedy routines that I am watching.
If the answer is B, then she’ll usually pull out a laptop and type in the name of a video file that will show me the best of what manzai has to offer. Her choices are usually great, and this brings joy to the both of us. She is from Osaka after all, and most of the performers are either from Osaka themselves or are very influenced by it during their performances.

The essential elements of a manzai team are pretty simple to understand. There needs to be one serious character, and there needs to be one funny or foolish character. The funny character usually does foolish things, makes funny noises, repeats incorrect acts even after he’s been corrected, and just generally symbolizes stupidity. The serious character usually slaps the fool with a harisen (a giant paper fan) while correcting and reprimanding him. It kind of looks like the serious character is bullying the fool, but then you remember that we are watching a comedic situation and one element of the duo couldn’t work without the other one.

Manzai is really popular during the end-of-the-year holiday season and families gather around the television to watch Manzai specials. Being with a girl from Osaka though, it’s manzai-time all the time, and I’m fine with that.

漫才は、僕と日本人のガールフレンドの距離を縮めてくれる。彼女の英語はたどたどしいし、僕の日本語は上手とは言えない。もちろん恋愛面では、(僕のラテンの血のせいか)すこぶるうまくいっている。でも高ぶる感情も15分間のブレイクは必要となる。時々、行き詰まりから、僕たちには何か共通の話題が必要だ。ありがたい事に漫才が僕たちを救ってくれた。

漫才は、本質的には何も知らなくてもいいし、日本語がしゃべれなくても楽しめる。もちろん、僕はさまざまな漫才デュオが芸を披露する間観客に何を訴えているか100%わからないが、ある程度理解してクスクス笑う。同時にガールフレンドは僕の隣りでAかBの行動をとる。
A. テレビを見て漫才を楽しむ。
B. 彼女は僕が見ている漫才を理解できたかを見守る。
Bの場合、PCを取り出し、ビデオの名前をタイプし漫才のベストな面白さを教えてくれる。そのチョイスはいつもすばらしく、僕たちは笑い転げる。彼女は大阪出身なのでよくわかっている。芸人の大半が大阪出身であるか大阪の漫才の影響を受けている。

漫才には役割があって簡単に理解できる。ボケとツッコミがいる。ボケ役はいつもばかばかしい事をする。おかしな音を出したり、間違った事をやらかし、訂正されたとしても、かまわず繰り返す。つまりおろかさを象徴する。つっこみ役は、でボケを訂正したり叱責したりして、ハリセンではたく。一見するとつっこみ役がボケ役をいじめているように思ってしまうが、実際観ているのはコメディであり、どちらの役割が欠けても漫才として成立しない。

漫才は、特に年末にはさまざまな番組で目にする。家族がテレビを囲み、スペシャル番組を楽しむ。大阪出身のバールフレンドといると、何かと言うと漫才タイムで、僕はそれを気に入っている。

 


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 JULY 10. 2020

Tokyo International Players

Tokyo International Player is offering the first episode of a new video series called Shakespeare from Home, in which TIP actors sharetheir favorite Shakespeare monologues from the comfort of their ownliving rooms (or kitchens, or backyards!) This month’s selection isfrom MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, one of the most loved comedies.
May 2020 production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA had to be postponed, but that didn’t stop their talented cast and crew from coming together for this wonderful selection of songs from the show. If you enjoyed the video (available for a limited time only), please support TIP through this tumultuous time! You can visit the donations page https://www.tokyoplayers.org/donate
You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel so you can continue to enjoy this series throughout the summer!

https://www.tokyoplayers.org/post/experience-the-music-of-cinderella

 

Tokyo Sinfonia

Tchaikovsky Serenade will bring a smile to your face, warm yourheart, and lift your spirit.
Hamlet
Tchaikovsky had first conceived of a work based onShakespeare’s play Hamlet, a fantasy-overture highlightingthe emotions which characterise the theatre. He set pen to paperfor a production which not to take place.
Mozartiana
Tchaikovsky regarded Mozart as his musical godfather, and held theopera Don Giovanni in greatest awe. His suite number 4,“Mozartiana," was composed for the 1887 centennial of theopera.
Les Saisons
A Saint Petersburg music magazine commissioned Tchaikovsky to write12 piano pieces, one for each month for the year. Simple in form,the 12 resulting movements are charming little masterpieces.

Date: July 15(Wed)19:00 @ Ginza Oji Hall
Programs: Hamlet Fantasy-Overture, Op. 67, Mozartiana, Op. 61, Les Saisons, Op. 37
https://www.tokyosinfonia.com/en/


What’s App With You?

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 10. 2020

Moodelizer:

Moodelizer is a one-trick pony − but it’s quite a trick. It enables you to add custom soundtracks to videos − and all you need is a single finger. You select a genre, and ‘rehearse’ playback by dragging your finger around the square viewfinder. Move up to increase the music’s intensity increases and move right to adjust variation. You can perform rehearsals using the viewfinder or with an existing video loaded from your Camera Roll. Just messing about with the audio alone is fun, but it all properly comes together when making a video. Now, when you’re shooting yet another clip of your cat being mildly amusing, Moodelizer can add much-needed excitement by way of rousing club music or head-banging guitar riffs.

sok-edit:

sok-edit is a collage app that doubles down on immediacy. Instead of neatly aligning photos to a grid, it’s the digital equivalent of hacking photos to bits with scissors, and sticking them on other photos for purposes of amusement and creativity. The app is tactile and noisy. You drag to cut out elements, which can then be rotated, resized, cloned and flipped. Most actions come with sound effects. It’s all a lot of fun. The only minor snag is if you have too much fun − in the sense of using three layers − you have to watch an advert to add another object, or plump for the ‘pro’ IAP. Mind you, even the latter is a mere US$0.99/99p/AU$1.49, which seems like a bargain for unlimited collage larks.

 

Tokyo Voice Column

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD TNB Throwback: NOVEMBER 10. 2017

My Thai dogs in Japan by Rose Miller

There is something to be said about the proverb the grass is always greener. Having lived in Japan for 6 years I finally felt I had lost my way a little, and I'm not sure when it happened, but my happy life in Japan felt it had been getting stale for a while. Family was calling me home after a long stint away, and I felt it was time to embark on a new adventure. I wasn't ready to go back home yet so I decided to immerse myself in a different culture, and ended up as a teacher in Bangkok. The differences in lifestyle were overwhelming at times and somehow along the way I adopted 2 dogs (I'm a sucker for animals in need).

Having taken myself away from Japan it was obvious to those closest to me how my time in Japan had rubbed off on me. I was shocked when things weren't structured, when people didn't queue up for things, and I automatically bowed my head when saying thank you, or goodbye to the amusement of my Thai coworkers. When I left Japan many people said to me I would be back, but I laughed and said "no way!" determined to eventually return to England.

After a year and a half in Bangkok I finally went back to England. It was the biggest culture shock of all to realize I didn't fit there anymore. I didn't know what to talk about to friends or family, who soon grew tired of hearing about Japan. I didn't understand that way of life anymore, and I struggled and easily got frustrated with simple daily things because it wasn't the Japanese way of doing it.

After a few months I had already found a new job in Japan, and booked a flight for me and my two dogs (it's really not easy bringing dogs into Japan). Maybe I don't fit in here completely, but it's good to be home.

隣の芝生は青く見えるという表現がある。日本に住んで6年になり、いつ頃なのか覚えていないが、なんとなく自分を見失しなった。理由ははっきりしないが、日本での楽しい生活は気の抜けたものとなっていた。家族は、長期間国を離れている私に戻って来いと言ったが、新しい冒険にチャレンジしたい気分だった。まだ家には戻りたくない。異なる文化に身をおく事に決め、バンコクで教師をすることにした。異なる生活環境で、時には打ちのめされた。やがて2匹の犬をもらい飼った。

日本を去って以降、私から日本で過ごした時間がこすり落とされていくのを親しい友人たちは実感していた。物事が合理的でないことに、人が列をつくって並ばないことに私は驚いた。タイの同僚にありがとう、さようならと言って私は自然とおじぎした。日本を去る時にみんながまた日本に戻って来ると言ったが、笑って「それはない”」と言った。結局は英国に帰ると心は決まっていた。

1年半バンコクに滞在した後英国に帰国した私には大きなカルッチャーショックが待ち受けていた。そしてそこには居場所がないとさとった。日本について話しても退屈する家族や友人に何を話せばいいのかわからなかった。単純な物事にすぐいらいらする自分自身に悪戦苦闘した。なぜなら日本のやり方とはちがっているからだ。

数ヶ月後、日本での新しい仕事を見つけて、自分と2匹の犬のフライトを予約した(日本に犬をつれてくるのは本当に大変だった)。
おそらく、日本に完全に適応することはないけれど、自分にとってわが家と呼ぶにはふさわしい場所だ。


MUSEUM -What's Going on?-

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MARCH 20. 2020

In Situ Pierre-Elie de Pibrac Exhibition


The ballet dancers who enchant audiences with their brilliant performances upon the world’s greatest stage at the Paris Opera. Pierre-Elie de Pibrac captures the almost mythical beauty of these dancers in his series of photographs, In Situ. In order to create this work, he entered into the lives of the corps de ballet, starring their experiences backstage at the Palaos Garner and Ope´ra Bastille, and the photographs that resulted from this possess a unique beauty that is equal to that of the Paris Opera and the dancers themselves.
The grandson of the photographer Paul de Cordon, Pierre-Elie de Pibrac was born in Paris in 1983. He began to work in reportage in 2007, photographing in Cuba and Myanmar. After graduating from a prestigious business school in 2009, he devoted himself to photography. Moving to New York in 2010, Pierre-Elie produced his first major project, American Showcase and then in 2012 Real Life Super Heroes. He spent 8 months from 2016 living in Cuba where he produced the Desmemoria series featuring the Azucareros people who work in the sugar industry. This was published in October 2019 by Editions Xavier Barral.

(C) Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

This exhibition will present carefully selected works from among the three-part In Situ series.
“First, I would like to say that the idea of this project is the idea of my wife. In 2009, I took Olivia, who would become my wife later, to the Palais Garnier to see “Le Parc” by Angelin Preljocaj. She inspired me to create a photographic work around dance to give to her as a beautiful gift. For the researches, I watched at lots of movies, documentaries and photo projects. The one that taught me the most was the movie L’a^ge heureux, one of my wife favorite movies when she was young. I really enjoyed it and it was the movie that led me taking the picture on the roof of the Palais Garnier! - by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac”

Period: - April 5, 2020
Venue: CHANEL NEXUS HALL
Hours: 12:00 - 19:30 Open daily
Admission: FREE

For more information, please visit

https://chanelnexushall.jp/en/program/2020/operadeparis/

 

Philippe Parreno Exhibition

A Key Artist Of His Generation, Philippe Parreno Has Radically Redefined The Exhibition Experience By Taking It As A Medium, Placing Its Construction At The Heart Of His Process. Working In A Diverse Range Of Media Including Film, Sculpture, Drawing, And Text, Parreno Conceives His Exhibitions As A Scripted Space Where A Series Of Events Unfold. He Seeks To Transform The Exhibition Visit Into A Singular Experience That Plays With Spatial And Temporal Boundaries And The Sensory Experience Of The Visitor. For The Artist, The Exhibition Is Less A Total Work Of Art Than A Necessary Interdependence That Offers An Ongoing Series Of Open Possibilities.
In This Exhibition, You May Encount His Masterpieces Including Marquee Made Of Lightbulbs And Neons Flickering, And Speech Bubbles Which Is Balloon Work Stuck To A Ceiling. And Also Ice Man Exhibited In Ripples Across The Water In 1995, A Exhibition By WATARI-UM Collaborated With A Legendary Curator Jan Hoet, Shall Get Renewed And Reappear.

Marquee, 2016
Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin
Photo (C) Andrea Rossetti

Through These Colorless And Transparent Works, We May Witness A Neo-Futuristic Landscape In Parreno's Eyes. This Is A Cutting-Edge But Also Nostalgic, Mysterious World Of Parreno, Which Is Here Today And Gone Tomorrow.
This Is A Presentation Or A Re-Presentation Of Objects That Appeared Between 1994 And 2006.
The Title Is Made Out Of The Superposition Of All Those Dates Starting In 1994 (The Speaking Stone) Or 1995 (The Ice Man In Reality Park That Was Made For A Group Exposition Called 《Ripples Across The Water》 Curated By Jan Hoet That Took In WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum Of Contemporary Art) And Finishing With The First Marquee Appearance In 2007. An Over Exposure Of Dates Produced This Motif. This Motif Gives The Title A Manifestation.
There Is No Synopsis To This.
There Is No Beginning And No End To It.
Here Objects Enter Into A Dialogue Between Each Others. Each Of These Object Sees (Through A Camera) The Other Connected, And Is Sensible Enough (They Have Access To Data About Atmospheric Pressure And The Wind Direction In Shibuya) To React To Some Precise Events. They All React To Air Variations, To Air Exchanges. All Together They Produces Scenes That Will Occurred Between November 1st 2019 And The Completion Of This Series Of Manifestations On March 22nd, 2020. (Philippe Parreno)

 

Period: - March 22, 2020
Venue: WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
Hours: 11:00 - 19:00, - 21:00 on Wednesdays
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays
Admission: ¥1,000 / Student (under 25 years) ¥800 / Elementary and Junior-high school student ¥500

For more information, please visit

http://www.watarium.co.jp/exhibition/1910pareno/index.html


Strange but True

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 10. 2020

7 Simple Tips to Tackle Working from Home

A shocking new model has revealed the worrying effects that working from home could be having on your body. DirectlyApply has developed a model called Susan, to show what working from home could do to you in just 25 years. Hunched shoulders, digital eye strain, hair loss, as well as pale and dull skin with increased wrinkles due to a lack of Vitamin D… working from home could have worrying effects on your body. If you’re working from home, there are several things you can do to ensure you don’t end up looking like Susan. The NHS has several key tips to make working from home easier.
1. Establish your own routine
Try to follow your normal sleep and work patterns where you can, and stay consistent.
2. Make a dedicated workspace
Get everything you need in one place, before you start work − chargers, pens, paper and anything else − and shut the door if you can. Even in a small or shared space, try to designate an area as your work space.
3. Give yourself a break
Making time for breaks is important to help manage feelings of stress − try to take lunch and regular screen breaks.
4. Stay connected
In and out of work, human interaction matters. Schedule video calls and pick up the phone instead of emailing.
5. But set boundaries
Setting boundaries with other members of your household and work is key to mental wellbeing while working at home. It's easier to stay logged on when your home is your office, but try to switch off from work when the day is over and enjoy time with family at home.
6. Start thinking longer term
You may be continuing to work from home for a while, so think about ways you could improve how you work while at home.
7. Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you might not be as productive as you usually would be.

*

*

 

Links

Guesthouse Tokyo

10 minutes to Ikebukuro.

Interhouse

safe and accessible solution for your accommodation needs in Tokyo.

Sakura House

1830 monthly furnished rooms at 204 locations in Tokyo.

BAUHOUSE

Private furnished rooms in Roppongi, Akasaka, Azabu-Juban etc.


J&F Plaza

Furnished & unfurnished guesthouses and apartments in Tokyo.

May Flower House

Tokyo furnished apartments. Ginza, Roppongi, Yotsuya and more.

TenTen Guesthouse

33,000yen/30 days for working holiday students.

GOOD ROOM TOKYO

Share room, Private room, under 50,000yen

MOVE JAPAN

Private furnished rooms in Tokyo with free internet. Call us first or call us last!

Tokyomove.com

Hassle free moving starts from 6000yen.

Tokyo Helping Hands

Very flexible working hours to effectly help you with moving, deliveries, disposal, storage and more!

AirNet Travel

We'll cut you the best air ticket deals anywhere.

Fun Travel

Discount air travel & package tours 2min from Roppongi Stn.

No.1 Travel

We go the extra mile for you. International air tickets and hotels.

JR Tokai Tours

Top-value travel to Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya from Tokyo by Shinkansen.

Matsuda Legal Office

All kinds of Visa, Immigration & Naturalization, International Marriage etc.

Futaba Visa Office

Licensed immigration lawyer & certified public tax consultant.

American Pharmacy

English speaking pharmacy since 1950.

Tokyo Skin Clinic

EU-licensed multi lingual doctors.

Tax-free AKKY

Japanese Appliance, Watch, Souvenirs

Tokyo Speed Dating

1st Sat. & 3rd Sun. at Bari n Roppongi ETC.

Tokyo Spontaneous

Picnic, Parties, Language exchange

TMA

Japanese women & Western men.

50 Shades of Yikess