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Tidbits/Notes to self Japan

1) I am American, but don’t have the Japanese image of a typical american. According to Japanese people I am skinny and small (I weigh 118 and am 5 ft. 4 1/2 in.) which they found surprising as there is an image of americans eating McDonalds frequently and being fat. Don’t be offended.

2.) If female- wear a hat when going out in the sun. In the city its not such a big deal, but in the more rual areas there some form of understanding that darker skin is not good. Possibly, I do mean possibly, there is a historical association been farming women and noble women or non-working class women. In Japan being pale is good.

3.) No matter the gender take care with appearence, it means a lot.Women wear makeup and keep complextion clear.

4.) Bathing is important, do it at least every other day if not every day. However if at a homestay wait until you are invited to take the bath, there’s something along the lines of a hierarchal order. My current siuation is Father, Mother, then me unless invited to go before.

5.) Watch. Sounds strange but take time to watch and observe, a lot of things are done quietly in Japan, so sometimes the best way to learn is by watching and copying. Or by watching and later asking questions about whatever.

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theblindninja:

The Pirates Official Posters

http://www.hancinema.net/

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queenrhaenyra:

Q U E E N   C O N S O R T

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melkorwashere:

alpha-blaziken:

Good Guy Sauron

#work place equality everyone 

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Tidbits/Notes to Self in Japan

1.) The whole English and Japanese Language thing mentioned in an earlier post

2.) Sake is meant to be sipped and tasted, its flavor to be discussed and agreed upon like a fine wine. Do not drink it like vodka at a college party- unless other people who are above you in rank are doing it.

3.) Beer on the other hand can be gulped and drowned down, do not waste time on exclaiming over the beer unless it’s to say tastes good or that was good

4.) If you are in a home large enough, do not walk around eating or drinking, food stays at the table or in the kitchen, and unless it is being served it should not move around.

5.) If you are told to make yourself at home that does not equal “what is mine is yours" it actually means "you’re here, you’re not going anywhere so ok be comfortable"

6.) Stick to polite form unless you know for a fact that you are with friends or peers. I just made that mistake today- I must always end using desu, and desuka so long as I am talking to anyone older than me. Oops on my part :/

7:) Dress appropriately does not mean the american equivalent of decent. Appropriately equals (particularly with a family where the residents are older, mine are in their 70s, this is not necessarily true for younger families) Pants at least to the kness, arms covered to the elbows, and shirts that dont expose the body- meaning no tanktops unless covered by somthign else.

8:) If you hear ‘are you cold’ in some form or another that is a poliet way of saying wear something else/ cover up.

9:) Politics are confusing, therefore if you’re not versed in the subject matter don’t try and talk about it.

10.) This single most helpful phrase I have learned and used so far is otetsudaishimasuka (pronounced o-te-su-dai-shi-ma-s-ka) which means 'can I help?'
I have been told that it’s important that the question is sincerely asked and not done simply out of politeness. Somehow people can tell I guess???

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Travelling in Japan- Day 4

DAY FOUR- IN WHICH A SCHEDULE IS MADE AND THERE ARE SCISSORS

Today, June 9th, has passed rather quickly in my estimation, which is likely faulty in someway or another. 

I woke up at 5 am, (honestly have no idea why I’m wakeing up so early) finished Pride and Prejudice, got dressed, discovered that there is no way to charge my laptop (three pronged outlets don’t exist in the house :’( ), and paid my respects to the necessary persons and Kami. 

Mrs. S and I made breakfast and then we discussed my schedule for the summer. Saturday and Sunday are days of Japanese language study where I have to travel to a school in the city- I currently on the borderland between rual and suburban life.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are now reserved for Tea Ceremony, Mondays and some other day will be reserved for Naginata, again I will have to travell to get to the highschool where the Naginata practice is held. Ah… the things I do for martial arts and to get my ass handed to men by girls who are in middle school.
(Buchou, anyone in Kachimushi,  if you are reading this I hope you love me even more for my efforts in attempting to improve and all the notes I am going to bring back. Though you may actually dislike me for the notes I’m going to bring back)

Anyhow, whatever days or times that are left I will spend with bonsai or relaxing. I get to learn how to take train and bus…YAY! (instert uncertain excited expression here).

After that Mrs. S informed me that she was leaving and would be back some time tomorrow. There I was thinking, okay…yeah no problem I totally got this. I know how to cook and I have the general gist of living here that’s alright.

After changing clothes, (working outside= sunhat, long sleeves with poped collar and jeans) I had my first bonsai lesson. I learned that less equals more, flowers are not okay on that kind of tree, there is an ‘old style’ of bonsai, and to cut the light green and new bits not the brown and dark green bits.

Holy crap it was nerve-wrecking.

I sincerely hope that the sigh Mr. S gave was one of 'I'm not letting this foreigner touch my trees again' and not 'hmm….okay not bad though I need to fix it'.
If it’s the later then maybe I can not work with ity-bitty trees that are hundred of years old and instead work on handling cups that are worth hundred of dollars. Yes, hundred of dollars.

Sounds crazy you say? Why yes, but then again can anyone name a TRADITONAL art in which there is only a small ammount of money required? I can’t.

Lunch was at 1:30 and after eating it I learned that I was going to be on my own this evening as Mr. S has a massage appointment. My intial thought went along the lines of 'holy crap! It's a bit too soon for this don't you think?!' to 'why do people keep asking me if I'm going to be okay?'.

I am a little confused. Being alone in the house so soon I found to be a little startling certainly, but I simply don’t understand the numerous impressed looks that I get went I answer positivly about questions on whether or not I know how to cook and if I will be alright being on my own.

Does being a college student in Japan differ than in the U.S? Is it a female thing?I mean, there is certainly a difference between women the women of the house are expected to do verses the men, but surely its not all that werid?
Maybe it’s because I’m a gaijinn and an American.

Oh well, I will call on my patience and do my best to explain that yes I can cook, yes I know how to use the stove, and yes I am okay with being the only person in the house. Whatever.

P.S Please excuse spelling errors- I’m using a japanese keyboard, which is differently situated than US ones.

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Travelling in Japan- Days 1 and 2 AND 3

To Whomever Would Like To Know,

These past three days have been insane. Friggen insane, I’m wakeing up at werid hours, my bed is a semi-futon on a western bed thingy with springs, and I really just want to freak out for a moment so deal! Don’t get me wrong I tots love what I’m doing but I need a place and a moment to go WTF so this is where its at- don’t like it? Well then stop reading!
I honestly do get that what I am currently expirenceing is a wonderful opportunity and is probably something I will never get to do again (hurrah thousands of dollars of debt and college life), but at the moment I’m ready for things to start settling down. Below is an explaination, dozo.

DAY ONE- DOES THIS REALLY COUNT AS A DAY?
Three days ago I arrived in Japan and ate the best malboro tuna I have ever eaten in my life. Seriously, hole-in-the-wall places, while a little werid are great! Really fantastic. You can get a feel for the culture and eat well, though I would suggest going with an actual nihonjin (japanese person), especially if you speak limited to no japanese. That way you can be understood if you want to speak or have to answer questions, but there’s no obligation to make conversation with the cook. You can sit an enjoy the meal without worry.
I will admit it was lovely to sit down an eat after travelling for the entire day to get to where I’m living for the next few months, though I would not suggest immediatly diving into raw Japanese food the way I do if you are prone to Traveller’s Stomach or have other post-travelling dietary issues. It makes the following hours slightly less than comfortable.

DAY TWO- FIRST FULL DAY, AINT GOT NO TIME FER SHIT
As stated above, clearly had some restroom related issues that woke me up at the ungodly hour of 3 am, after going to bed at Mid-night. Need I say I was thrilled? Yes, I am being sarcastic.
I spent the rest of the early morning, between bathroom visitations, watch Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. Seriously, the best version EVER.
At a reasonable hour of the morning (8 am) I joined the normal human world where my hostess mentioned that not only would I be studying Tea Ceremony, Japanese, and Naginata, but I would also begin a study in Bonsai! You all can imagine my surprise when I was told that I was to have the rather dubious privelge of trimming and caring for tiny trees that are older than I am.

However, that day (June 7) was a day of tea ceremony. From 10 am to about 7 on, I learned the first thirty seconds of tea ceremony (serious it’s hard), attempted to sit in seiza the entire time (you try it, getting up and down serveal times throughout- turst me it hurts!), and watched all of Master’s (my hostess) students perform. It was more tireing than I expected, but of course the day did not end there.

After things got cleaned up my hostess, some of her students, and I went to a kimono shop where the owner’s daughter was performing a…well I’m not entirely certain what it was- only that there was story telling (I think) and her acting was quite intense. After she finished we all ate together and then my hostess left to get a massage leaving me with her students.

At this point I feel obliged to note that when I mention her students these are men and women who are all over the age of 40, save two who are in their late twenties I believe. So there I was sitting in a room with about 10 people where I understood maybe every third-sixth word of a conversation. It was great, especially to my tired brain which had yet to recouperate from my flight (i had taken Air Canada) Mentally I was therfore translating everything I heard into english, french, and trying to get that to work with my basic understanding of the japanese language.

The store owner (who was the mother of the story telling actress person) then offered us a look at her wares and so at 11:30 at night I accompanied the group and looked at kimono, obi, abd yukata fabrics. Needless to say I tried to avoid looking too much since I knew that there was no chance in hell that I would have to $ to support a desire of having one. Once again hurrah debt and being a poor college student.

Later I found out that my hostess fell asleep during her massage, which was the reason why I and about 5 others remained at the store until after midnight. A few of the ladies and one of the gentlemen ordered kimonos/hakama for themselves, until (at last) my hostess returned. The rest of the party broke up and with full intent to return home Sudo-san and I got into the car. About a handful of minuets later I found myself trapped in the back of said car when the driver mentioned some ramen place we passed by that my hostess HAD to eat at. I swear on the gods I nearly proved to the world my fluency in Bad-English.

After figuring out how to escape from the car (a.k.a climbing over the seat because the key was gone so the buttons didn’t work) I managed to scrambble from the car and follow my hostess and her work partner who was also the driver. I still don’t know how I managed to not face plant into the bowl of ramen that was ordered for me, but I must say I am proud of myself for remaining aware enough after having woken up at that ungodly hour of the morning. At somepoint we made it back to the house and I crashed, telling my hostess that I would bathe in the morning.

My thoughts were almost zombie like, sluggish and single minded, as I miraculously managed to climb the flight of stairs that leads to my bedroom and crashed.

I highly recommed that, if you can, do not plan a busy day for yourself for the first full day that you are in another country. It’s friggen tireing and more often than not doesn’t help with the time change.

DAY THREE- IN WHICH THERE IS MUCH TEA. SO WOW

June 8th, began in a much more promising manner at 6:30 in the morning. Even as I type this I thinking holy crap what is my life.

Rather cheerfully I woke up and watched a bit of Pride and Prejudice, while I waited for it to be a more reasonable hour to shower. After quitting that lovely spray of water I dressed and faced the world of working with people older than me and speaking in a language I have a basic grasp on.
Also to save typeing time my hostess is now Mrs. S and her husband is Mr. S。
Mrs. S’s husband taught me how to pay my respects to his ancesters (there’s a family shrine in the house) and re-taught me how to pay my respects to the Kami, apprently the way I attempted to do it was wrong- I forgot one bow (again another shrine is in the house).

It was at the time that I was duly informed that as I was offically living with them instead of staying with them (there’s a rather large difference and it coincieds with speaking patterns and body language, etc) it was strongly recommended that I pay these respects everyday during my stay. Of course in a very Japanese way the ‘every day’ part and the ‘strongly recomended part’ came in the incredibly polite form of ‘please do so’. What made this particular request so string was the fact that Mr. S’s English is not as good as Mrs. S’s English, which is currently around what a 5 year old can speak. Thus you can infer that if the person you are talking to know that you speak Japanese and they are trying to say something in eglished there are a few options.

1- what they are trying to say is important
2- they dont think you will understand it if in Japanese
3- they really want to practice their English
4- Any combination of the above three

In that Mr. S’s English is not so good I ruled out the last and assumes it was a mix of one and two.

I helped Mrs.S make breakfast and then put on my practice uniform for tea ceremony (yes that’s actually a thing- think yukata sans sleeves) and participated in/helped/watched two forms of tea ceremony. Did anyone know that there are multiple forms of tea ceremony in the Jpanese tradition? I mean I have seen different tea ceremonies from China, Vietnam, and Korea so I know that there is variation between countries, but I feel rather stupid now for thinking that there was only one form of tea ceremony in the Japanese tradition.

The first couple were ones that I had seen before and of the form that likely many people have seen; the last four were of an older and more formal style, which I gathered from my horrible attempta in broken Japanese, that it dated back to before Sen no Rikyu, one of the most influential people in the world of Japanese Tea Ceremony. That form was about twice as long, with a formal aproach towards the tea making area (think Iaido walking/moving in a seiza-esque crouch if you’re fortunate enough to be wearing hakama- if your in kimono it’s more like an inchworm wiggle), treatment of the customers or the people being served, formation of speaking, and the method and footwork of a person’s entry and leaving. I honestly wish I could describe it better, but I know little of the Art of Tea yet so for now that will have to do. That took up most of the day and was incredibly interesting. Mrs.S went out with the students that are sensei but not (?? idk the situation but they performed the ceremonies for customers) and I helped make dinner for her husband. Going to bed around 8:30 was a relief.

Overall thoughts- tea ceremony is sincerely intersting and I look forward to learning more, though my feet and legs are so not looking forwards to sitting in seiza.

P.S Please excuse spelling errors- I’m using a japanese keyboard, which is differently situated than US ones.

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Travelling In Japan- Announcement

On June 5th (U.S time) I left the States to begin a summer of living in Japan to study the language and culture, and (of course) take a lot of bad selfies allong the way. Yay point and shoot camera (not excited voice here).
Today I being my blogging about it- why? Because I can so there :P
For those of you who really don’t care in the least either ignore or feel free to unfollow me out of sheer boredum.

JA MATTA NE!

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danikaftw:

protodan:

casspeach:

uberniftacular:

batmanisagatewaydrug:

We really need to talk about this scene a lot, because holy wow. The MCU movies have definitely been getting a little darker since the Avengers, but scenes like this? This is pure optimism. Tony is told he can save 4 out of 13, and then he saves all 13 of them anyway, because these people can work together and help Tony save them. 

If a similar scenario had happened in the Dark Knight Saga or Man of Steel, you know damn well 9 out of those 13 people would have been dead. Hell, Bruce or Clark would have been lucky to even save the 4, because DC movies have gone down a route of unrelenting grtty realism that makes good old super heroics virtually impossible. Bruce can’t save the city without faking his own death; Clark can’t save the world without becoming a murderer.

But even in the darkest hours of the Marvel Universe, Tony Stark can damn well save 13 people plummeting to their certain death. Is it realistic? Hell no. But it was an awesome victory that both Tony and the audience needed at this point in the story, and by god it was heroic.

kittenskysong’s tags:

Reblogging for those tags. Because yes. Heroic is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, even when it’s impossibly hard.

This is one of my favorite scenes ever in the entire MCU and it’s because of the work that went into creating this scene. It was not just a shitload of CGI. They got the Red Bull skydiving team to do this insane jump. Their parachutes were built into these costumes that they wore which made them look like normal people who’d just been on the plane.

The making-of for this scene blew my fucking mind.

http://youtu.be/pyYOirZ30Is

But yeah. All of the above is cool to think about, too. I just like the scene!

(Source: tomhazeldine, via anki-of-beleriand)

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mudsblood:

Happy Birthday, Draco Malfoy - June 5, 1980

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albinwonderland:

bisexual-community:

Xena: Warrior Princess

justice league writers: study up

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pandamani:

Wing!AU doodle for Cherik

pandamani:

Wing!AU doodle for Cherik

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jonghyuns-flat-ass:

kingjohnkat:

Fuck death note gimme this shit.

Fuck Kiss note, where the fuck is Fuck note at?

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sea-tidesofthesoul:

Darcy is kind of the best.

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