Archive for September, 2005

Fumiaki and Yoshiko’s Wedding Party

Friday, September 30th, 2005

First, I must apologize for not posting for three days. I’m busy writing my mid-term assignment right now, plus due to new security measures on my server, I can’t use Gallery to upload picture albums anymore. So I had to switch to Coppermine, had to go to the painstaking process of installing new software I didn’t know existed a week ago, ran into plenty of problems doing so (these things never work the first time, WHY?), yaddi-yaddi-yadda! Anyway, last Sunday we were invited to my friend Fumiaki’s wedding party, right after he got married with his beautiful wife, Yoshiko. Congratulations, dudes! Off course, I was wearing a (well, almost) black suit and a white necktie, as it is the tradition here in Japan, and Man was wearing a Vietnamese áo dài (read: aoyai). Here is (finally!) the album

Even more big-ass bugs

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

This follows in the line of two of my previous posts: “Big-ass bugs” and “More big-ass bugs“. Maybe I should start a “Japanese Bug” series. Anyway, this one was on the floor of the men’s room at my school. I swear, when I opened the door and I saw it, I jumped and instinctively took a step back. I mean, the thing was moving and I’m pretty sure it was looking at me! I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but I have never seen such a big centipede back in Canada. Just to give you an idea, the pen is 15 cm (6 inches) long. Creepy!

Big-ass Centipede

Big-ass Centipede

Big-ass Centipede

Big-ass Centipede

Ainori #287

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In early August, upon checking my statistics, I noticed my referrers included a message board I had never been to. To my surprise, some non-Japanese fan of Ainori had posted a link to my blog indicating I was talking about each episode in English. Realizing that there must be many fans out there unable to understand Japanese, I decided to write a more detailed account of each episode, not to mention a translation of the weekly photo captions. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.





Hide was so funny this week, I swear he was like a kid. Hide who is usually so good at talking to others and help them solve their problems, couldn’t keep the conversation going with Aya. He was as nervous as when he joined the group months ago, and he even went back to his old habits, i.e. he kept saying long “aanoooo” (Japanese version of “eeerrr”), and he was going “ahem” all the time. He’s walking on a pink cloud of love, way above the reach of all mortals. So things are looking good, or so it seemed. Arashi started talking with Aya on the Bus, and he discovered they had some “affinities”. They like the same TV programs, have the same favorite movie, both have an idea to climb Mount Fuji one day, and Aya’s college apparently was in Arashi’s neighborhood. Trivial you say? Not in Japan. It’s enough to get a guy start thinking, and especially our national spaceman, Arashi. Ahhhhh, the plot is thickening…


In other news, it seems Takano will be on a variety show call “Sui 10″ this Wednesday night. Is she starting a new career? Naaaaah!

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

This month’s participants.

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts and Saiyaman

Special treat for non-Japanese speakers :-)

Autumnal Equinox

Friday, September 23rd, 2005


Today is the Autumnal Equinox, one of Japan’s national holidays. On this day, most Japanese go visit their familial grave, and hold family reunions. As it may seem conspicuous to make the equinox a holiday from a western point of view, the custom actually goes way back to the pre-Christian era, and is often associated with witchcraft in many western traditions. Also known as the Sabbat, or Mabon, for which some people “pay their respects to the impending dark, give thanks to the waning sunlight, honor the The Green Man (i.e.the God of the Forest), by offering libations to trees, offer ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer, celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.”

Me? Nothing that fancy. I’ll stay home and work on my mid-term assignment, and I’ll probably go out for a bite later tonight. Cheers.

I found Jérémie!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

After close to four years of not knowing where he was, I found my friend Jérémie thanks to a TESL conference he took part in. As a lecturer, he had left his email address on the conference web page. I met Jérémie when we were both studying at McGill University to get our TESL degree. We both applied for the JET Programme at the same time, and came to Japan together. In 2000, he moved from his apartment in Sapporo, Hokkaido, to another one. He changed his email address and phone number at the same time, and lost my contact information. When I found his email address a couple of months ago, I contacted him right away, and he gave me a phone call shortly. As if our last name being the same wasn’t enough of a coincidence, I found out that just like me, he was now working in a private school, had private students at night and on weekends, and was doing an MA in Applied linguistics online at an Australian university. For almost four years, we were both doing exactly the same thing, without knowing it. Weird or what?

Anyway, he came to visit us last weekend, and we laughed so much together my stomach is still numb. On the first day, we took him downtown Sendai, and showed him our favorite spots. The next day, I showed him Monjudo Temple, close to my apartment, and then we took him to the most famous Hachiman Shrine. Then we took him to the highest building in Sendai, called SS30, and at night my friend Aki joined us for drinks. On the last day, we went for a last walk downtown Sendai, and took him to the airport, where we said goodbye. Take a look at these five albums, there are quite a few priceless pictures if you’re interested in Japanese temples and shrines.