Tuesday, November 17, 2009

おんがく 2。0

これは おもしろい おんがくと たのしい ビデオです。 きって ください。

(This first video has some mature content)


Friday, October 30, 2009



Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Other than the new background and title, I thought I'd share some of my favorite music from Japan with you. I'm not as familiar with the Japanese music scene as I'd like to be, but hopefully this will still be enjoyable. The first half is rock and the second is mostly pop, its kind of a haphazard mix so don't be too critical of it.

いま ねます。 じゃあ また。

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun with MS Paint

So since I was lacking in homework this week I decided to do something special for my blog. Therefore, I made a comic for you this week. Despite the poor quality this took me a little over 3 hours to make because it is just that hard to draw anything using a mouse. Hopefully you can still get some sort of a laugh out of this even if its just at my expense.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

せんしゅうの しゅうまつ

きょうは にちよえびです、 そして りょうで しゅくだいを します。 じゅいちじに おきました そして シャワを 。じゅうにじごろ ひるごはをたべました。 いまへやで しゅくだいを します そして テレビ みます。

きんようび にほんごと おんがくの じゅぎょうが ありました。そのあと りように かえりました そしてねました。 ごご しちじに ばんごはんを たべました そして えいがを みました。そのあと LaFortuneで いきました。 LaFortuneで ビリヤードをします。 ごぜん にじごろ ねました。

きのう ごご いちじにごろ おきました。 Subwayで ひるごはんを たべました。 ゆうじんの あぱーとで フットバーを みました。 ごぜん にじゅうじはんに へやに かえりました そして ねました。

しゅくだいを きらいです。

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


ごぜん はちじはんに おきます。 シャワーを あびます。あさごはんを たびません。ごぜん くじはんに クラスに いきます。 じゅえいちじに ひるごはんを たびます。つぎ べんきょえします。 クラスに いきます。ごご しちじに ばんごはんを たべます。うちに かえります。はちじに べんきょえしますと テレビを みます。じゅえにじはんに ねます。

Thursday, September 3, 2009

じこしょかい 2.0

はきめまして。 ボスクです。 どうぞ よろしく。

わたしの だいがくは Notre Dame(これは にほんごで なんと いいますか。)です。


せんこうは しんりがくです。


じゃあ また。

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rationalizing Existence with Shinji Ikari

Do you understand what it means to be human?
No, of course not.

Even if you had answer, it wouldn't take long to show the flaws in what you believe to be true. Sadly this is just the way things are, and our erratic attempts at coexistence more than adequately illustrates this point. What we ultimately lack is the knowledge to lead our own lives. In knowledge (or ignorance) of this fact, we must continue to live regardless. Because of this we escape into things, others, and (most importantly) ideas.

By now you must be asking yourself "WTF OMG wth does this have to do with Japan!?!" Well fortunately I decided to watch to watch an anime which ,to say the least, left me astonished. I am talking about the highly acclaimed 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン (Neon Genesis Evangelion or NGE for short).

I will try my best not to ramble, but I honestly could write for days ans still feel like I haven't said enough. I guess I should start of with some basic things to note about the show. Don't expect this to be a typical mecha (giant fighting robots
) anime, treating it as such will leave you wishing we hadn't wasted your time watching a 15 year old show with mediocre fight scenes. Also this show contains rather mature content at times, so if that bothers you it may not be best to watch this since its rather critical to understanding some of the major characters. The show has a deceptive start, the first 8 or so episodes focus mainly on setting up the plot, but after that you start getting more obvious hints at the underlying problems which is the true focus of the show. Also, for this series it is probably better to watch the dubbed version (gasp!). The reasoning for this is, in many cases, what is most important isn't what the character says, but how he says it. Subtle deviations in vocal inflection definately adds an important element to the series, and the English voice actors do an good job are preety good in this area. Also I've noticed several sub versions 'dumb down' or even censor what the characters say to make it more palatable which is definitely a bad thing. Lastly in order to get the "complete" story watch the 26 episode series then watch the movie called End of Evangelion, all of these are available on youtube.

While NGE has an involved and interesting story, what makes this anime so great is the characters. At several points in the show the narrative breaks down completely and we are shown a deep introspective of a particular character. The last two episodes are almost entirely shown from the viewpoint of the main character, Shinji Ikari. What we are left with atfer this fairly in-depth psychoanalysis of the main characters and a rather articulate account of how it is we can cope with our existence. The conclusions that Shinji comes to are not in anyway revolutionary, but what is important is how he came to this understanding and the questions that he had to ask himself.

I guess there is not much more I care to say since I don't really want to give away any spoilers. So I'll just say that NGE is arguably the most influential anime ever created. Many contemporary works allude to it in someway, and the anime Rah Xehphon is pretty much a less gloomy version of NGE. So if you like depressing abstract existentialist psychological works with a fair amount of religious imagery then NGE is the show for you!

Just to give you a look as to whether or you may be able to stand this anime here are two clips from the show. One is a small portion of the introspection of the main character and the other is from the craziest(maybe disturbing is a a better word) part of the show, so if you can stand this you can watch the show (don't worry about spoilers, you may not even understand this part even after watching the series).


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As if an Introduction Could Suffice

Let me start off with some Japanese:


The point of that wasn't show off how awesome it is to be able to type in another language (which coincidentally happens to be the case), but rather to preemptively apologize for however few reading this will feel after reading the wall of text that is about to ensue. I feel the need to write so much because of two things: 1.Writing comes somewhat naturally to me 2. As I begin to earnestly incorporate more Japanese into this blog I am bound to temporarily lose whatever semblance of communicative ability that this blog could provide in favor of the Japanese equivalent of "See Spot run."

Why should I do this?

For many people this question provides little difficulty. The answer is simple, you do this to help learn a language. And on this point I have no contention, but to continue down this line of thought I must answer the question "Why Japanese?"

Again for most people the answer is simple. You choose to study a language/culture that you like, something that has some sort of worth to you. Because of this I'm certain that most of my classmates have had some exposure to something worthwhile that is Japanese. I assume this is now an appropriate time to examine what it is that I value about Japanese language/culture.

My first exposure to Japan came in elementary school when my teacher's sister came to talk to us about her recent trip to the country. Despite the fact that she spoke to us for nearly a whoile day, the only clear memory that I have of that day was us making すし (I couldn't resist it's surprisingly amusing) and eating them with wasabi sauce. Being the narrow minded brat that I was, I wasn't too impressed by the display but I did find a deep-seated love for sushi that day.

Like most boys my age who had cable growing up, I was a huge fan off Toonami, which was Cartoon Network's afternoon block of programing which featured almost exclusively anime out of Japan. Even now I have friends who claim that Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing were the best things ever created. While I disagree with that, I do owe a lot of my current interest in things Japanese to these shows, because anime was and still is a major source of enjoyment for me.

If imported cultural images were all that interested me about Japan it would be hard for me to justify myself devoting the effort towards this class instead of say Spanish (which I am much more comfortable with, both linguistically and culturally). Fortunately this is not the case. In the 7th grade my school received a transfer student from Japan named Toshiki Kato. Toshiki and I only had one class together, and that was Mrs. Jones's art class. If there is only thing you need to know about that class was that the amount of time we spent doing work was roughly equal to the amount of Japanese used in this post. We became friends because during one class I opened his Japanese-English dictionary and started looking up words to make fun of other people in the class (yes. I that is mean), which Toshiki found rather amusing and by the ending of the class we were nealry falling out of our chairs laughing because no one could understand us. Luckily we had more incommon than and secretly cursing others. For one we both like anime, he had seen many of this shows that I had, and I even remember him coming over to my house to watch an anime moive, but we had to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles so we could both understand what was being said. But what really drove us together was our mutual love for soccer. We had both played since we were little and we even shared the same favorite team. I would have to admit that the reason why I am taking this course is because of my friendship with Toshiki and all the things I learned about Japan from him. Unfortunatley, because Toshiki's dad worked for a Japanese company, he moved every couple years, and after his most recent move I lost contact with him. However, this is not the end of my infatuation with Japan.

In high school, I focused almost exlcusively on the U.S. and Latin America both culturally and linguisitically. I had abandoned any hopes of studying Japanese and had even stopped watching anime. However, two things happened just before senior year which revived my interests . Our Spanish department replaced the teacher of the uppers levels of the language with someone who made learning the language cumbersome and uninteresting. Since my school also offered Japanese, I jumped at the opportunity to explore an old interest. Secondly I started watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network again, which reinvigorated my interest in anime. One important change to note is that my attitude at this point had become much more philosophical (it had been my original intent to make this apparent through the post itself but this is getting long enough as is), so I could no longer in good conscience watch shows like Naruto or Bleach, but luckily for me I was able to watch a great psychological thriller like Death Note and even a classic like Cowboy Bebop. For some reason unknown to me some anime has this unbelievable ability to really approach and cover a topic in ways that you just can't replicate with contemporary American television.

Taking a year of Japanese in high school really solidified my interest in Japan. While my teacher was not a native speaker, she was raised in Japan and had visited several times since returning to America. Because of this she was able to give us some significant insights as to what the country and its people are about. One thing in particular that caught my attention was how Japan and America culturally overlap in many ways when it comes to contemporary society. Futhermore this cultural connection is intriguing because of how one sided it is. In Japan you are likely to hear music and television in English as well as advertisements with English or featuring American-born celebrities. However, Japanese influence in America is no where near what I just described, and thus my interest in Japan acts as a way for me to personally reduce that inequality (one of the things I remember most about my friendship with Toshiki was that he was more interested in learning about America than I was learning about Japan).

Even as write this I have to wonder if even with all that I've experienced, if that's worthwhile enough to devote myself to learning this language, or if my reasoning is nothing more than a glorification of simple envy. As if I would want to become something that I'm not; Japanese. This kind of reminds me of one of my all time favorite movies Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (its a little to hard to summarize how this is relevant so please watch it, it is nothing like you would imagine infering from the title), in that it speaks to the very heart of the notion of cross-culturalism, which I not only as an American, but as an American of mixed race decent can appreciate very much.

I assume that is enough for the first post. I would almost gurantee one will never be this long again, but you never know.

So until next time, じゃあ また (<- too cool)