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Archive for November, 2010

Take a look at films, people need to take a break

November 29, 2010 1 comment

I think that most of English learners in Japan are extremely modest and serious, but I must say that they are likely to be such a square sometimes. Maybe such habits come from the ways they think, as in “I’ll try too hard in order to pass the examinations or to obtain higher scores on the tests. Stay focus on the exams. There’s no time to be distracted. That’s the best way so that I become able to speak English”. Sometimes I feel it is bad to learn English without strong determination and discipline.

Wait a minute. Of course I know it is crucial for English learners to get on something educational. However, people need to take a rest periodically. Besides, we have many other ways to learn English and are able to obtain a bunch of chances to use English. Just drop by here and take a look at these several films. I guarantee you will laugh out loud.

I haven’t known such kinds of films before. We have similar films in Japan, but at least there’s no such songs films. Literal version videos, songs that editors have arraged their lyrics to literally describe the situations of the promotion films. There you go.

Making Love Out Of Nothing At All is my favorite. He is singing well. ‘making out in a magic photo… “Here’s a flower for you”… Groupies in the corridor…They’re bimbos…What are they singing for?…We don’t know…’ and ‘white guy afro’ made me down.

Separate Ways is so ridiculous. The original singer, Steve Perry, his serious face has turned into the comical one because of the funny arranged lyrics.
Check this.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart, actually I at first listened to WESTLIFE’s one. Ringo Starr is acting in the film as a special guest. lol I like the voice of this woman, by the way.
Check this.

Personally, I think this film would have been my most favorite if the editor had adjusted the volume effectively. The lyrics of this song are sooooo simple but really hilarious.

I hope you all took a break so much and felt better. Okay, now is the time to get back to study. I hope for your success.

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Categories: My diaries

Every little thing in my ordinary life 35

November 27, 2010 2 comments

A long day
I’m just home. Ummm, it was a extremely long day. Three meetings I had in a day.

Tomorrow’s English examination
My tough days haven’t finished yet. I have an English examination tomorrow. Last year, I obtained my highest score in the exam, however, I’ve recently become stuck in spite of my actual feelings that my English skills have gradually been getting better. I’m not saying I insist on my scores or results themselves. I know now is the time that I have to be patient.

Voice diaries
Actually, I was not so interested in SNS, such as FaceBook. One function, however, has made me change my mind; the function to record myself with webcam. Recently I’ve been recording two-minute voice diaries and uploading them on my page. It’s so fun.

Malicious attendees
I had an extraoridary grand assembly held yesterday, in which malevolent clients attended. I was on the side of the board, therefore I had to protect the members of the board from meaningless condemnations.

The first move he chose was to claim that the requirement to approve the bill was inadequate. As you know, the more serious matters bills include, the more votes you need in order to pass the bills. He demanded that, this time, we needed to adopt an extraordinary resolution for the bill that the board issued. He was completely wrong. He interpreted the law incorrectly. Even worse, he’s been thinking that he was totally right. Many people have been bothered before.

Umm, I think it becomes a long story. He said to the chairman in the end that he was going to file a defamation against the chairman and other executives. Oh, not again. I was the one against whom he used to say ‘I will sue you!’ a few years ago. ‘I already consulted with police officers, prosecutors, and other authorities’, with his words, former members of the board became under stress.

This time, how is he doing?

Categories: My diaries

Congrats, my friend

November 25, 2010 2 comments

I received a phone call from one of my friends whose wife is Philippina. He told me that he had finally obtained the certificate of status of residence. Two and a half years has passed, but he didn’t give up and made it.

Getting the certificate(we often call it visa in general) in Japan is becoming harder, especially for people coming from Southeast Asia. Additionally, his wife had a big problem, which meant that she used to overstay her visa and that she was arrested and that she was deported. The immigration law in Japan can prohibit foreigners who have violated laws from landing in Japan for at least five years. However, we are able to ask special permission for the Minister of Justice, depending the situation. With the permission, we are able to shorten the term. It sounds easy to obtain the permission, but it’s actually tough and difficult. This time, my friend had finally accomplished this extremely laborious and complicated issue. Now that his wife has lawfully become able to come to Japan.

His call made me so excited. Actually, I felt something welling in my eyes while talking with him. I know many people under the same situation came to give up. He didn’t. He has been keeping his feeling and standing tall, which shows he loves her. So has his wife.

I really want to celebrate him. I do know the difficulty. Congratulations, my friend.

Categories: My diaries

I have no editorial talent

November 23, 2010 4 comments

“Could you edit a film and give it to me?” one of my friends asked me. She teaches English and is planning to give her students some chance to copy dialogues in movies and play the roles.

My Neighbor Totoro was the one she chose. At first, I asked her to select the scenes that she wanted her students to play. Her directions said that I had to prepare several images and videos for the film. The students was going to narrate lines in the parts of the images and was going to simulate the dialogues in the part of the videos.

Looking at the directions, I connected my DVD player and my computer, and recorded several scenes that she wanted. You see there’s no motions in the photo, only a black screen in the middle of the image, but you are capable of recording any scenes you want with this software.
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After that, I pulled out the DVD from the player, and put it into my computer so that I was able to obtain several screenshots from the movie. They were all the images and videos before I started editing films.
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Dividing films into video pictures and sounds were the next step in order to edit the sounds. I always use “audacity”, the useful software to me. I deleted several sounds at which she wanted the students to speak and added some background music, sometimes amplified the volume. After adjusting the balance, I had to sychronize the video pictures and the sounds again. Incidentally, there are some differences between the wave shapes while speaking Japanese and the ones while speaking English.
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Finally, you have to boot ‘movie maker’ or other software, and start editing.
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I put images on the time line in accordance with her directions, and added several effects between images. After that, I installed each background music for each image. Her directions said that I had to add English subtitles in the videos. Actually, these subtitles became the most bothering task to me. I hadn’t known it yet at that time.

I finished editing the film and mailed it as a trial one to her. I received several points to change from her. Turning down the BGM slightly, etc. The tough time to me had begun. She asked me to make the time of each image longer, so I added one second for each image respectively and longthened the time. This work made me down. By making the time longer, the next images were forced to slide aside. On the contrary, the sounds or music would never move unless I operated them. As I said before, I had to synchronize the video pictures and the sounds. Additionally, the subtitles were what I had to synchronize as well. I was shocked that the motions of characters and the sounds and the subtitles definitely didn’t match. I felt that what I had done went down the drain. I started adjusting them from scratch. Finally, I added the end-title roll and finished. I hope that she would be glad and that she could use it effectively.

This is a film I made. Of course I omitted the roll. Maybe this YouTube film will be deleted by Studio Ghibli because Studio Ghibli is strict about copyrights.

Categories: My diaries

Tora-san indicates manners and customs of those days

November 20, 2010 2 comments

Last September, I went to Tora-san Museum, the museum in Katsushika ward, Tokyo.

Have you ever heard about the name, Tora-san, the famous movie character in Japan? The first movie was released in 1969 and the final one, the 48th movie, was released in 1997. Tora-san, the main character of these movies, fought with his father and left his home when he was young. He traveled a lot of places in Japan working as tekiya, the people selling products in front of famous facilities, such as temples or shrines. He was not a super man, didn’t shoot guns, just acted an ordinary(sometimes extraordinary) man. Famous and gorgeous actresses appeared in the movies, and Tora-san always fell in love with the actresses in the movies.

This is the movies’ opening. Actually, I don’t know about the movies a lot, but I’m sure most of Japanese easily remember this theme song.

The statue welcomes you as soon as you get off at Shibamata station.
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Oops, before the statue, another famous comic character, Ryou-san, welcomes you with his subordinates and friends.
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You enjoy shopping at the histrical shopping centers, Taishakuten-Sando.
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This is the famous restaurant, Toraya, which is Tora-san‘s home in the movies. Actors and actresses played their roles in the movies at the restaurant actually.
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In the movies, Tora-san said that he was baptized at this temple, Taishakuten. There is no such rituals in Buddhism like baptism, in fact. He was just trying to say that his parents washed his body with the holy water in the temple when he was born.
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The second statue welcome you right in front of the museum. Tora-san is nailing one of the signs of the museum. He is trying to work hard, but unfortunately, the letter is upside down.
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You can see how films were made or how the people in the movie spent their lives.
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I said that many actresses appeared in the movies. The famous actress, Sayuri Yoshinaga, also did.

Through the series of Tora-san movies, you can learn manners and customs of ordinary life at that time in Japan.

Categories: Japanese Culture

Harry Stamper at the festival

November 18, 2010 5 comments

One festival was held last Sunday. As I wrote at my previous journal, I went to Tokyo last Saturday. It was a bit tough, however, many children’s smiles at the festival blew off something exhausting my body.

The group of volunteer guides, the one I’ve been joining, had to run a booth at the festival. International cultural exchanges were one of themes of the festival. People who came to the city from a lot of countries, such as Indonesia, China, Australia, America, also had each booth. We, members of the guides, served several sorts of beverages for free at the booth. Both of customers and members had to speak English at our booth. It was quite exciting.

Attendees were able to enjoy an event called ‘stamp rally'(I’m sure there’s no such an expression in English) during the festival. ‘stamp rally’ was extremely simple; you just hold a piece of paper for the ‘stamp rally’ in your hand and visit each designated booth and obtain stamps on the paper.

I was a receptionist at our booth. Oops, let me take that back, it sounds too cool. I was a stamper(wow, sounded like a movie character, Harry Stamper in ARMAGEDDON). About 400 people holding the papers in their hands came to our booth. It was totally ‘keep stamping’. I greeted every customers and complimented them in English smiling at them. The people who ran each booth also visited our booth and enjoyed drinking and chatting.

I had a wonderful time.
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Categories: My diaries

RAKUGO lesson goes well

November 13, 2010 2 comments

I went to Tokyo today(I mean, Saturday), a one-day visit for a RAKUGO lesson. I had a session with my friends through the Internet right after I got back home. It was a tough day.

As I told you in my post before, this time, I have to arrange and add stories on the original draft. Not only have to lengthen the story but also have to make it funny. Before the lesson, I put two trivial topics into the draft. On the way to Tokyo, I was trying to remember the story. I just wondered if the added topics were a little bit lopsided and incomprehensible.

The lesson seemed to go well. Thankfully, other attendees laughed at the first topic that I put. The problem was that I needed talking rhythmically in order to make audiences laugh. The teacher pointed out it to me.

It was the second lesson this time. All the students have been preparing for the recital which is going to be held next year. Some students have yet to remember all of the scripts of their own play. Some students have already done. Some of them seem to play RAKUGO in Japanese regularly. Such students already know RAKUGO‘s traditional movements or manners. They received some advice about English itself, such as pronunciations or intonations, from the teacher. Me, most of the advice were about traditional movements or mannerisms that I should improve.

Checking my actions during the play and polishing the script. I have only several lessons to go. I’ll do my best.

Categories: My diaries
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