Monday, March 29, 2010

High school day in Japan : 9 School Parade

This happened back in February bit old. All the private schools in Aichi prefecture gathered for a big parade, but the going against something, kinda like a parade.
And that something is, my explanation maybe a little off but here I go~:

In Japan Public high schools are not free, but the cost is low compared to Private high schools which maybe 2 or 3< times the cost. But the Government of Japan supports parents by reducing the cost of Education {cost down name I came up with}, So Public high school costs become really low and Private high school costs also get lower but still leaves it high. The Government of Prefectures respectively also cost downs the cost of Education, in this case Aichi-ken=(prefecture). And the something is: The Government of Japan is increasing the funds on Cost down. So Private and Public schools become more affordable. But the problem is because of this Aichi prefecture is going to lower or pull back its cost down fund on Private high schools so not much change in Private high school costs. Thus all the private high schools do a parade to stop this. There you have it. I have video coverage. Got really cold with armor piercing wind gusts later. (get the music?)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Japan the strange country

I found this very interesting video thanks to about the Japan that you do not know of. You may like it or may not like it. But don't change your view on Japan just because of this. And it's not all about Japan a few lighting of the world is also shown. Anyway you'll understand if you just watch. oh and it was originally meant for Japanese I think.
I recommend you skip the love part of the video from around 8:42. just my advice

Japan-The Strange Country (English ver.) from Kenichi on Vimeo.

I do not own this no credit for me. I'm just sharing.
the originals are floating here:
Here is the blog of the maker Kenichi Tanaka

how did this make you feel positive or negative? or neutral?.....hehe
After watching this I still like Japan.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day in Japan play: 3 pottery

This time I went to make pottery which is something that I wanted to try doing. Apparently my host family knew an old man who runs a pottery class where he teaches how to make pottery and people can freely go in and make something.

And these are the rotating disks that they mold the clay Just like I saw them on television. It can be operated by either the foot via pedal and hand via lever.

Here is the Clay in it's first form Didn't quite catch the elements

Earth style: mud wall!!!!....anyway The clay is then put on the rotating disk and by using your wet hands you mold it (gets a bit messy though). First technique you have to learn was making the clay high and low(currently high). I had vision-experience in the past so it wasn't that hard.

Managed to make four cups with the help of teacher(i failed two times). Couldn't capture pictures while making hands were all muddy. After making the main shape you dry it for a bit with a dryer and then you sculpt the stand of the cup. kinda felt like peeling a potato only the potato is rotating.

the bottom side of one of the cups with a finished stand

And my creations with help of teacher. All that is left is the baking and coloring, but first you have to put it in some liquid element which I think fills all the small holes.

An old lady making some plates.

The Oven where the pottery transforms into it's fifth form. I think my cups will be done in about a month or so. Until then.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day in Japan play: 2 Short trip to Tokyo

Last Sunday had the 2nd meeting hosted by hippo (my exchange company) in Tokyo(東京) with all the other exchange students in Japan. Supposed to meet in Sunday and return back the night but I managed to prolong my stay until Wednesday thanks to my host family who knew someone near Tokyo that was willing to host me and let me stay, even when they were already hosting another exchange student. Shinkansen(新幹線)
Big thanks to them.
It is very important to have a good relationship with your host family as good things will happen your experience in Japan will become more fun and your opportunity will broaden.

A quick Shell. This is all the videos I took there piled up.

You can find vending machines everywhere in Japan. From 1212meter high mountain tops to inside shinkansen trains. This was inside the Shinkansen train.But they were expensive than normal of course.

Love these toilet flushers....?. You don't have to touch any handles or buttons with disinfectants, just hold your hand infront of the black sensor to flush the toilet. But currently this is not in every public toilet, there are the normal ones too.

press the buttons to open close the door. No use standing infront of the door waiting and shouting "Open Sesami!". The *hazardous waste release place* door inside shinkansen

My first day walked around Harajuku(原宿) with two other exchange students from Mexico. Started raining -_-*. And everyone whipped out their droplet protectors. Lots of colors. o_o

But there were people who are strong against droplets (including me X] )

Lot's of colors and but the see through one is the most popular as you can easily buy it from conbini's (convenience store) when you get caught by surprise.

Interesting roof it has. I think it is a clothe store didn't check it out close. was right beside a tall building.

A Union church. I don't know well about churches but the design of this building was interesting. I

In some backstreets of Harajuku looking for the main street the Takeshita Dori =(street).Said to be the symbol of Harajuku and birthplace of some fashion trends.Now you know were to start if your a starting fashion designer. And we knew we were close we could feel it.

Closer. I remember watching NHK in Mongolia a fashion program was showing Harajuku and there were two rabbits making clothe designs, this might be that store because there are 2 rabbit masks showing and it had a 2 in it. G2?

One of the Exchange students was here before and said she knows the place. But sooner I ended up asking for directions.

Found the Back entrance to Takeshita Dori. No mistakes about it as you can see...

A narrow street packed with people and stores. There was also a lot of gaijin=(foreigner). Girl:Boy balance was about 70%:30%. rain stopped 5 minutes ago.

Inside one of the stores. The store layout was very different, kinda liked it though. Ask the Shop attendants first when you're capturing a picture inside. In some shops they forbid it.

Now if the shop attendants are dressed up fashionable like this it is hard for you to tell them apart from customers. luckily they yell Irashhyaimase!=(Welcome) when they see cutomers

This yellow mannequin is in fact a robot that moves when people enter or exit.Then again this mannequin of a robot is in fact a human that does robot dance so skillful that you can easily mistake it for a mannequin of a robot. It/He also poses when capturing a picture.

This is how the backs of stores and buildings look like.

Plenty of clothe, accessory and underwear stores.
Note* Never go to Harajuku with girls as you know what they will shop for. I'm not that interested in shopping for clothes .I separated from the girls after setting up a meeting point.

DEMO=(BUT!) then again clothes are at times interesting right @.@ .....

At the end of Takeshita Dori or the beginning, this is the entrance near Harajuku station which is right behind me. Harajuku Takeshita Dori is packed with clothe stores almost 90% of the stores are for clothes. If you're shopping for clothes then you can find some unique clothes here if you look carefully recommended

Some hotel or motel or stop by sign. Can't read the kanji on the top, but the second kanji is for occhya=(tea) also read as chya. Can't read the first one. This place has a powder room for the lady's it says.

Harajuku station. Didn't quite catch which exit this was gomen=(short version sorry)

Sometimes I bump into people wearing Kimono very nice. I'm guessing they're returning from a wedding ceremony or something. Kimonos are worn only on special occasions they said. Kimono(着物) literally means ki(着)=wear+mono(物)=thing> wearing thing, thing to wear.

I was on my way to Otsuka searching for a place. And on the way I found this lost stormtrooper being a mascot for this game, network, CG, anime, manga, web school. I am guessing he crash landed on earth and to survive in this hostile environment started doing arubaito=(part time job). Hope He understood when I tried telling him his comrade is in somewhere around Akihabara, Shinagawa or Meguro.

Found the place I was looking for in Otsuko. Now I'm in Iidabashi looking for another place.

Iidabashi kinda felt like San Francisco with streets going up. Interestingly there were a lot of French people going up'n'about here.

A big Private elementary school judging by the bag and seifuku=(sailor uniform or school unifrom) I'd like to go to a high school version school like that. If you get what I mean >.>

Now in Shibuya again looking for a place. Around in Shibuya stations North exit I think. Bad weather not so pretty. by the way found the place in Iidabashi.

Near Aoyama dori I think. Notice the baby's walking up the wall and alienlike statue. Don't exactly know what that building is but maybe something artistic.

You know when you're in Akihabara(秋葉原) when you have pillars with ads like these not only anime, the poster like images actually change every 5 secs showing the high-tech electric town part of Akihabara.

I traveled alone in Tokyo (except the harajuku part). and When the Train lines are like a cobweb It's quite hard for you to go from place to place. And all the places are written in Kanji.

Thankfully my host family saved me by printing out this English version of the cobweb. A few words of advice and my road was clear to me.
Again A good relationship with your host family is best. They could have ignored me but they helped they even lent my their pasmo train pass(a card you charge with money to easily enter/exit stations in Tokyo.)

A Tip for people getting lost in Tokyo: If your lost or think your getting lost find a Softbank or any big Electronics store near, just try walking around chances are high that you will bump into one. Go to the Cell phone part and find the iPhone that you can fiddle with usually they have a few for customers to play with. Use the iPhone map application and check your position etc.. This is how I found my way around Tokyo after reaching the train stations I also asked the local conbini's for direction.
If you have no Japanese skills then try to learn how to change the language on the iPhone before you start your journey.

This ends my 4 day 3 night trip in Tokyo. Weather and a few things were against me. It rained and snowed when I was there and cleared on my last day -_-* .I guess I used up my LP(Luck power) when I prolonged my stay here. It's gradually charging now.

Can't go back empty handed now can I. Muahahaha


Friday, March 19, 2010

Day in Japan play: 1

It's not a High school day so thought of a different name. Anyway Today I watched Sherlock Holmes with 2 of my classmates and took a video.
Still learning to edit videos. >.>

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

High school day in Japan Day 190

Today instead of photos I took a video. Thinking of also doing a video blog after watching youtube Bloggers.

Ok this is just a test.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trip to the land of Ninjas(忍者) Iga-Ueno

In February went to Ueno-city in Mie-prefecture Famous for the Iga-style Ninja clan. In the past It was a real ninja village with a ninja school and is the birthplace of the Iga-style ninjutsu.

The culture of Ninjutsu is said to have existed around 4000 BC. They said that ancient Indian culture exported its brand of spirituality into continental China, and from there it was introduced to Japan through the Korean peninsula in the 6th century, and then it was developed into a military discipline known as Ninjutsu (the "Nin{忍}" means endurance,patience )
Iga Ueno is also famous for the Ueno castle, and a museum on Ueno's Tenjin Matsuri a festival were Oni=(demons) walk the streets!.

Here is a map of the famous places in Ueno . Including The Ninja museum, Ueno castle, and the Tenjin festival hall.

In the Ninja Museum you will find all sorts of tools and weapons used by the Ninja all are authentic. These are some lock picking tools. They really rushed my through the museum couldn't make any decent captures, couldn't even read the descriptions. Sorry

Grappling hooks and ladders to jump high walls. I wonder what the grappling hooks nowadays look like. Maybe like in the movies.

Shikoro= double edged saws used to cut through hedges,open bolted doors and poke holes in fences. the small ones ere hidden and used to break jails.

If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can read the description. They were also used as weapons. They were a bit different than what I imagined ...naruto...

Portable stationary set. The main tools needed to perform the jutsu Chouji Giga, sumigasumi no jutsu and other ink jutsus

Rare Ninja clothe Inside seen for the first time O_O. As expected lots of inside pockets. All the white parts are pockets and the arm guards also have long narrow pockets for kunai's. But some of the pockets had metal plates inserted for protection like around the heart area and back.

A boy ninja suited up. It can slightly be seen on the previous photo but the mask used to hide your face is not actually a mask it is a long cloth of about 2 meter's in length and 20 cm in width. When needed it is used to wrap wounds and carry the wounded

The Shuriken. Lots of types of shurikens. But They said that the shapes doesn't really have any meanings. In the back is the throwing needle it was also junction-ed with poison for status attacks. Every shuriken does 250 damage .I like the normal 4 pointed ones which do you prefer?

More weapons Ninja swords, daggers and Ninja cat claws. Used to scratch your enemy and to climb on roofs.

Some authentic ninja armor I think. and Ninja pole weapons. I thinks they're the ones that split in to pieces and bend

Don't know why there is a gun there but the middle red things are dynamites. and the big thing is a cannon. Couldn't read in depth so can't explain well. I never heard of ninjas using cannons

More weapons. The top left ones are "Makibishi" used by running away ninjas throw on the ground and run.
The top right ones are "Fundo tsubute" throwing waits. used for putting nails and throwing.
The bottom right one is a flute for shooting poison darts. (poison dart shooters are really popular eh?)


Some posters of Ninja movies. I like the female ninja.

Here comes the Hand seals. A different style of what I expected though. The slashes are just a warm up. After going through other parts of the museum learned that the air writing is a technique that they thought of to remember messages and stuff. Ninjas also gathered information so it was important for them to remember all the info. sometimes they even write on themselves with sharp objects.

Explanation of the Ninja sword. Ninja swords are straight unlike Samurai swords which are curved. It is meant for stabbing and not slashing. Also the sheath's end is pointed

There is a long rope attached to it, The "Tsuba" Hand guard is big and square. Ninja swords has many uses example below.

In radar mode the sword was used like a radar in the middle of the dark night. Kinda like a touch sensor with a big radius.

The show was also funny at times. The kid won a free ticket to throw shurikens for taking the sword out of his bottom.

The throwing needles you see well in ninja movies but it's more like a surgeons knife(forgot the word). They said that if it hit the head it can pierce straight through the skull. In action below

He is left handed.

Shurikens in spinning action. I like the last throw. I also wanted to see the windmill shuriken but it wasn't shown.

The Ninja sickles used for close combat and can be thrown for a ranged attack. This Ninja was majored in sickles I believe. Throwing action below

The sickles had a wristband not to drop it in battles like the Wii remote. It also allowed the user to flicker it like a nunchuk. Preview below

Thick ropes were also used as a weapon by Ninjas. They were easy to take along and could be used for many other things. The ends are split for a whip like action.


Can also be used to leash captured enemy ninja pets.

This place was also honored by the sumos. The middle one is Akebono Taro I think.
What do you think Ninja Vs Sumo...naah. Kinda like Ganryu Vs Raven.

Ninjas also had bento boxes (Japanese lunch boxes). They had curves inward from the inside so that it would fit around the hip area and take less space.

Ancient ninja scroll for the Kawarimi no Jutsu. But this part wasn't the actual instructions

I saw these a lot in movies with ninjas. A sickle with a long chain attached tipped with either a metal weight or a claw. This one has a hand guard.

At the Ninja souveneir store you can buy Ninja suits, strangely there wasn't any manly ones. There were also rubber shurikens (which I bought), scrolls rubber kunai, T-shirts etc.

At Lunch had the Tsukimi soba=Moon view soba It's named like this because of the egg in the middle resembling a moon. Tsukimi is also a term for viewing the moon and there is also a festival in Autumn called Tsukimi. restored 20% of my energy

From here on It's about the Ueno catsle. This is a man powered cart were the priceses and rich people used. It can only fit about one person the red one maybe two.
Unfortunately The castle was being fixed and the outside was covered with construction nets.

Samurai Kabuto=(helmet). Unicorn Kabuto. Kabutos have many types of shapes and designs on them. Originally it didn't have any big designs like horns, faces, and symbols. 1985 i s when these kabutos became popular they were called kawari kabuto.

Kabuto with with flame like design. They had these extravagant designs for a number of reasons . One is that a strong or famous leader would wear it to make his presence in the battlefield visible. It would make the enemy soldiers fearful.

A picture of the Castle made by sticking stamps together. Yes they're stamps.

The Kinshachi symbol which is also on top of Nagoya Castle but is gold colored. The Kinshachi is a dolphin with a tiger head, but to me looks more like a dragon head. It was a talisman for preventing fires. At the time because of WWII a number of castles got burnt down by air raids. Nagoya castle was burnt down in 1945 May 14 but got reconstructed.

Parents picking up their children from the Ninja academy here.

Senior students who just got back from training in the mountains, and shopping.

Ninja dog trainer training three new dogs soon to be Ninja hounds, maybe they'll even talk. This place is also well packed with vending machines.

Natural walkway refreshing.

Inside the Danjin museum were Oni=(demon,ogre) are displayed. Oni's like these march through the streets in Oni-gyoretsu=(Demon Procession) parade. some carrying huge bells on their back. I was rushed sorry.

Should have chosen black. In the end we tried suiting up, but this Ninja suit and the previous are different this is merely for show. This is the family that showed me this place Thank you all.

The Crimson Ninja will one day steal your tamashii=(spirit) and keep it in a bottle. And destroy your trap cards.

Some snacks while heading back to HQ. The left one is wrapped in fried egg(I had that one) Sausages on sticks here are called "Frank" for some reason. Do they call it Frank in Germany?.
Police car up close. they had a car stopped and was inspecting. The officer was looking straight at me didn't notice when capturing it.
It says on the car Aichi-ken kei meaning Aichi prefecture police. Police is keisatsu, in the picture it only has the kei kanji So I guessed it means police.

I also recommend this channel on Ninjas on youtube Jump

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