Archive for October, 2005

What’s wrong with this picture?

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Every once in a while, you run into one of those things that make you go “Mmmmmm”…

Mineral water by Coca-Cola

Mineral water… sold by Coca-Cola!

Ainori #288

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

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

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

This month’s participants.

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

Ainori #288





OMG! I can’t believe this. Just as we all thought Hide would finally get a shot at romance, just as we all believed that there would be some sort of competition between him and Arashi, everything fell flat. Personally, I was looking forward to a friendly competition, some sort of a tension build up in the plot, but no. Apparently, Aya is falling for Arashi. Nothing is decided yet, but man, I pity Hide… I swear, he’s gonna be on Ainori forever. As a matter of fact, the group has also left Russia and is now in Ukraine. How many countries is that for him? Man, I lost count…




Talking about new developments, guess what? Mie started to like Suuzan, even though they are complete opposites. She even said so herself: if they weren’t on Ainori, this would never have happened. Too bad, I think TK and her would have made a nice couple.

Special treat for non-Japanese speakers :-)

Half the Earth…

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Today marks quite a landmark in the short history of my blog. Indeed, according to my Neocounter statistics, people from 96 different countries have visited my blog since last July (actually the counter says 98 countries, but this includes “unknown” and “Asia/Pacific Region”. No, it doesn’t count!). According to Wikipedia, there are currently 192 countries or states officially recognized by the UN. Divide this number by 2, and there you are. People from half the countries in the World have visited my blog.

The internet is truly a wonderful toy. Thanks to everyone who visited me. Cheers, peace and love to everybody!

Imonikai 2005

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Yesterday we had a yearly event held in the fall, typical of the Tohoku district, i.e. Japan’s North-Eastern area. For this event called “Imonikai”, people usually gather outside, preferably in natural surroundings, and make a kind of soup/stew as the main dish. “Imo” literally means potato, and “ni” comes from the Japanese verb “to boil”. The suffix “kai” is usually used for gatherings, hence “Imo-ni-kai”. Obviously, the main ingredients include sweet potatoes and other vegetables, but there are also local variations within the Tohoku area. For example, here in Miyagi prefecture the soup is miso based, and the meat is pork, which is called “tonjiru”(literally: pork soup). However, in Yamagata prefecture, the soup is shouyu based and they use beef instead of pork.

Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn’t very good, so we had the Imonikai party inside at a ski resort (in the winter, of course) called Spring Valley in Izumi ward. Although we decided to organize the party only last Wednesday, 17 people showed up, and we all took a shuttle bus provided by the ski resort. Thanks to Mashuku, the improvised “Imoni-Queen” (read: organizer), we had good food and good laughs. The rain even stopped in the afternoon so we went outside and played frisbee, badminton and even tried to slide down the grassy slopes on pieces of cardboard, although quite unsuccessfully. We really had a great time.

The “tonjiru”.

A bowl of “tonjiru”.

When the soup is almost finished, you can add some udon and really eat your fill.

We took tons of pictures, as usual. You can check them out here.

Miwa’s back!

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

My friend Miwa is back to Japan after 3 years in the US, where she studied English and worked as a kindergarten teacher. So last night, we had a little get together to celebrate her homecoming. Welcome back, Miwa Chan! Check out the photos!