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Archive for August, 2010

Jackie becomes Obi-Wan in the movie

August 31, 2010 14 comments

Being busy currently made me crazy, so I just wanted to relax by watching an action movie. ‘The Karate Kid’ was what I chose.

‘I hate this place!’ was what Dre Parker(Jaden Smith) felt from the bottom of his heart. He moved to China because her mother was transfered. His new life at first seemed exciting, however, his comical dance in front of a girl, Meiying(Wenwen Han), made a naughty boy, Cheng(Zhenwei Wang), stimulate. Cheng was a strong karate fighter. Since the first fight with Cheng, Dre’s life in China became blue.

Because of Dre’s tiny revenge, Cheng and his gangs surrounded Dre at the corner of the street. Cheng hit Dre on his face with strong fists, and kicked Dre on his stomach with strong legs. Suddenly, one hand grabbed Cheng’s hand tightly. It was Mr.Han’s(Jackie Chan), who was a caretaker of Dre’s apartment. He dodged Cheng and gang’s attacks like a butterfly, and finally knocked them down without Han’s own attacks. Dre was stunned and amazed with Han’s beautiful move, and asked him to teach kung hu.

Mr.Han refused his request, but grudgingly went together to the gym where Cheng trained so that he explained what happened and tried to make up their relationship. The master of the gym ignored what Han was trying to say and insisted to fight with Han or let Dre and Cheng fight each other. Mr.Han suggested Dre and Cheng had a match on a karate tournament instead of fighting. ‘I will teach you a real kung hu.’ Dre’s training had started.

Did Dre acquire the real kung hu? What did the result of the tournament go? Did Dre get his own pride back again?

Finally, Jackie Chan became a master, like a ‘Jedi Master’, Obi-Wan Kenobi. He used to act an apprentice in a lot of movies made in Hong Kong. The master whose nose was red drinking too much taught Jakie Chan in movies a lot of kinds of kung hu. I was so excited while watching Jakie’s movie.

I just recalled ‘Wakky,’ a Japanese comedian while looking at the enemy in this film.

I just dropped by the theater without any information. ‘Hey, Dre is…a boy? So cute, and looks like a girl. Besides, I think he is like someone…Will Smith, maybe?’ I just thought it. I was right. Cheng, a kid whom Dre had to fight, reminded me of Jet Li. Now that he is an actor in Hollywood, however, he also used to play a kung hu apprentice when he was young.

This ‘The Karate Kid’ was a revival of the same titled movie in 1984. If you are planning to go watching Jackie’s ‘The Karate Kid,’ please check this trailer and remember the scene they trying to catch a fly with chopsticks. Quite funny.

Thanks to the advance of movie techiniques and collaboration with a real(?) kung hu, The Karate Kid could get a new and astonishing taste and appear in front of you again.

I could enjoy the movie without thinking. The training scene by showing two actors’ shadows was so beautiful.

Categories: My diaries

Long and wiggly but nutrituious

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I posted this article before. I introduced grilled eels and rice in the article to you. I went eating hitsumabushi with my friends last week. This time, I’ll show you it.

hitsumabushi is originated in this region. hitsu of hitsumabushi means ‘bowl’ in an old way of Japanese, and mabushi means ‘blend’. una-don or una-juu, which I showed before, are grilled eels on a box of rice. On the contrary, you have to toss grilled eels and rice with something like rice paddle when eating hitsumabushi. One more thing, hitsumabushi has several procedures while you eat. There are three or four phases. I’ll show you them with pictures.

This is a very famous restaurant on hitsumabushi in Nagoya, Atsuta Houraiken. Look at the line. The restaurant had yet to open when I took this photo. It was so hot that I thought I could get heat stroke. We luckily found a cafe and had something cold to drink.
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This is the hitsumabushi before I start eating.
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I put off the lid of ohitsu(means ‘bowl’). You can see pieces of grilled eels topped on rice.
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At first, you have to divide grilled eels and rice in quarters, and then scoop a quarter into the smaller bowl. You must eat the small bowl of grilled eels and rice as it is.
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Second, scoop another quarter again and into the smaller bowl. After that, you top chopped leeks and chopped lavers. You can tell the difference on texture between the first bowl and the second one.
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Third, scoop another quarter and into the smaller bowl. After that, you top a nail-sized wasabi(horseradish) and pour Japanese hot tea.
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You can eat the last quarter in any ways you want.
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To eat eels look so strange and bizarre for people living in other countries. However, eel is very nutritious. Now that we can feel autumn is getting closer, but it’s still hot in daytime. Japanese eat eels and recover their energies lost in summer.

Categories: Japanese Culture

Rakugo in English will be the next step on my way

August 27, 2010 5 comments

I’ve finally posted this article.

I’ve been a member of one English learners’ group for over one year. We have an annual assembly in summer and somehow show how we grew for the past year by doing something new. Last summer, I arranged Martin Luther King’s legendary speech and demostrated it. This summer, I tried rakugo, which is a Japanese traditional storytelling.

I joined a workshop held in July and I learned what rakugo in English there. Katsura Sunshine was our teacher at the workshop. He is only one certified foregin rakugo storyteller in Japan, who came from Canada over ten years ago. He is also an apprentice of Katsura Sanshi, who is one of the most famous rakugo storytellers. All apprentices of Katsura Sanshi must be under strict rules. No girlfriends, no alcohol, no going out except requests related to rakugo with permissions of the master. Now that the relationship between apprentices and masters of rakugo are like the one between ‘Jedi Padawan’ and ‘Jedi Knight’ of STAR WARS.

Although I’ve watched rakugo in Japanese on TV before, I totally didn’t know what exactly it was and its rules were. Katsura Sunshine, now that he is a master to me, taught us a lot of things about rakugo.

rakugo storytellers have to play a few roles alone. By changing the angles to face, you can tell the storytellers act a few characters. At first, you have to know kami and shimo, which are two sides of directions. On your right side, it is called kami, and on your left side, it is called shimo. For example, you act a superior or a mentor and try to talk in kami direction, and you act a subordinate and try to talk in shimo direction.

makura is also an interesting word. Literally, makura is ‘pillow’ in English, however, makura in the rakugo world, it’s rather adequate…’icebreaker, icebreaking.’ ochi is also one of Japanese words which you often find on TV. It means ‘punch line.’ ‘The punch line of the story is not so good’ means ochi ga yowai in Japanese.

My master Sunshine showed us the shorter version topic of which the title is ‘THE ZOO.’ There are at least five charcters in the topic. I started memorizing all the lines of the topic and copying my master’s play as much as possible. Thank God. I made it at the annual meeting without forgetting lines or stammering.

Thanks to Sunshine, I got so interested in rakugo in English. Next time, I think I should try ‘Turtles and Flamengos.’ It’s more difficult and longer one.

Unfortunately, I forgot to record my rakugo play, so I can’t upload the film on my YouTube channel. Someday, I’ll try it.

Categories: Japanese Culture

Funny Dreams Chapter 10…”Why didn’t you tell me?”

August 19, 2010 2 comments

(These articles in this category are just a fictional story I had in my dream. The character, H.P., indicates me.)

H.P. and his friend were at ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila city, in the Philippines. He and his friend came to see their friend, with whom H.P. often chatted on the Internet.

Something had changed. There was no hint of her after the right time had come. Instead, People, like photographers or journalists gathered in front of the entrance of the airport. “What happens?” H.P. asked a journalist holding a pen and memos. “The president is coming back.” the journalist said. That’s why the entrance was swamped with many people. The voices of journalists signaled the president coming.

“W…what???” H.P. felt his heart pounding and rising up from his mouth. The woman striding across the journalists was his friend.

“Hey! It’s me! H.P.! Hey!” H.P.’s shout was blended with other journalists’ ones. The President was escorted by SP and got in a car without any glance at H.P. “Excuse me. Could you tell me the president’s schedule?” H.P. panted and asked a journalist as if he finished running. “She is going to go to educational facilities to check the current education system.” asked the journalist. “Let’s get there!” H.P. said to his friend and headed for the facilities.

There were already many people around the facilities. Many security guards surrounded the premises with machine guns in their hands. They kept gazing people, including H.P. and his friend, like they would shoot if anyone stepped inside.

A black, large car had come in front of the facilities after the military truck. Once the door of the car was open, the shutter tones rang and covered the president and her staff. “Hey, can you hear me? It’s H.P.! I came here to see you! Why didn’t you tell me you are the president?” H.P. shouted again and again even though he knew his voice could not reach her.

One of journalists chuckled ironically and said, “Hey, buddy, you haven’t known who she is? Oh, come on, no ways to check news on the Internet or something? You’re living in the deserted island or somewhere?”

The funny dream was just finished with his laughing.

Categories: Funny Dreams

Every little thing in my ordinary life 26

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Two days in yukata
I wrote about yukata, one casual type of kimono, at my article before. My student knows how to wear yukata. Thanks to her exact instructions, I can now put on yukata alone.

Last week, I was out, fooling around with yukata. Fortunately, there were a lot of displays of fireworks. So I looked natural even though I was at a restaurant.

At first, I felt something strange as I was walking. Wearing yukata or kimono is like you wrap yourself in cloth and gird yourself with another cloth like a belt. That made me walk hardly. I just understood how women feel while putting on their skirt.

I’ll put on yukata in this weekend again and show someone something.

I hope she makes it
I have a student, who is going to America next week. Although she is an independent and reputable beautician and many people admire her skills, she is not so good at English on the contrary. That’s why I teach her.

However, there is one problem on English classes. I definitely don’t know technical words on cosmetics. First, I learned such technical words, such as mascara, curling tongs and what she wanted to tell models in Japanese. After that, I checked them on the Internet and learned them from YouTube.

I prepared for a class learning how to make up and played a role as a model in the class. Ummm…it’s pretty difficult. lol

A lot of things to write
At the beginning of this month, I went to Tokyo. Meiji jingu shrine was one of places I visited. I’m trying to have an opportunity to write about the shrine. I’m wondering if I will be able to do it within this week.

Everytime I feel something when I go to Tokyo. It means that prices of commodities are higher than the ones in my region. And people in Tokyo walk too much. What a healthy life they have! I think I should walk.

Categories: My diaries

She is an enemy? Or not?

August 14, 2010 6 comments

Last Thursday, I went watching a movie, “Salt.”

There was a lady who was tortured under suspicion of a spy in North Korea. Her name was Evelyn Salt(Angelina Jolie). With her boyfriend’s help, she was released. Salt and her boyfriend got married after the tragedy. Her boyfriend understood what she was and married her. She was an actual spy working for CIA.

Two years later, one man came to her office when she was about to leave her office for her marriage anniversary dinner. His name was Orlov, a Russian. “A Russian agent is going to kill the President of Russia. The agent’s name was Evelyn Salt.” The very first concern for her was her husband but someone already took him. With Orlov’s confession, Salt had to flee from her colleagues as she had to manage her missions. What are these missions for her? Who is she?

“INCEPTION” was quite difficult to understand the flow of the story. By contrast, this movie “Salt” was easy, rhythmical. Angelina Jolie is gorgeous but good for action movies, such as “TUMB RAIDER” and “Mr.& Mrs. Smith.” This movie will be in a line of her pronouns as well. It would be good for you when you enjoy a movie without thinking deeply.

Unfortunately, the story was so simple and traditional for action movies that I could understand what would happen next.

By the way, the advance of techniques has now reached one imagination which you can check with something like MRI if suspects tell the truth. You used to check it from suspects’ pulse through the instruments pinching their fingers.

Categories: My diaries

Convert your frustration into your power

August 13, 2010 4 comments

Some English learners in Japan seek chances to talk with foreginers who can speak English. Some people go to English conversation schools, some people go to ones on the Internet. Teachers there always smile at you because they have to entertain you as professional teachers. Being enjoyable is one of the most important secrets that people learn something, I know. However, I think your frustration can also become the ones of the lights indicating the road ahead of you.

Everybody does not always keep smiling. Everyone does not always tranquilize you. Sometimes people can get irritated or angry with a tidbit of thing. Maybe you become the one who might make someone exasperated. Of course I might do the one, either. Maybe you have to stand in front of someone malicious and must fight against them with your shabby English skills. Maybe you can’t let any words throw toward them. You must feel the frustration from your bottom of your heart at that time. So, do I. I always think that’s the chance to improve my own skills to express what I think or how I feel deeply.

Luckily, I had several friends who came from other countries. I gained a lot of chances to know there are big differences on a lot of things between their styles and mine. I sometimes talked with each other, discussed, argued with each other, retorted, and raged. Naturally, they did to me as well. However, as long as you keep holding other’s one hand and something violent never happenes, I believe it would be no problem even though such situations occur. Thanks to such fights, I could understand what made the person got angry or how the person felt. And I knew the differences, which were even such trivial things, betweeen us. Now that I have friends who come to this blog and leave their comments. I have a lot of things to communicate with you all and always feel frustrated because I can’t say what I want to say fluently. Such feelings can help me improve my English.

Ask yourself what you really want to say to someone in English, and in order to express it, you can know which way to go, what to say and what you should learn from a lot of things, such as textbooks.

Don’t be afraid.

Categories: My ideas
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