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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Assorted Bits of Semi-Useless Knowledge and the Evolution of a Maze
Well, to start off I figured I should do something I havenít yet done. I shall begin this post by summarizing all the useless facts and information that I have learned since arriving here in Japan, be it cultural or otherwise. I do this mainly for the odd assortment of items that I probably wonít be able to work into my posts. As I continue learning these sorts of things you will continue to be receiving those happy little ďJapanese Culture Tidbits.Ē Yet again, I am without pictures, so Iím hoping this shall make up for their absence.

ē Japan still has en Emperor! Call me stupid (or simply American), but this is something I wasnít aware of. The only person who ever makes it into the news is the Prime Minister, so I figured that was the highest governmental office. I assume that the Emperor probably holds a similar position to the Queen of England, a figurehead with little real power. But Iím not sure of that. This requires some digging.

ē The Emperorís wife is a Christian! In fact, she comes from a very wealthy Christian family here in Japan. They are the family that started the Cup Noodle company.

ē The creator of Pokemon is a Christian as well. Kelly-san knows the man pretty well and says he is a very nice Christian guy. This goes against my previous assumption that the man was insane. I mean, do you honestly think a sane man could come up with something like Pokemon? Heh heh! Apparently the man has been begging Kelly-san to let him come out here to visit, but since she had her baby, she doesnít have time to entertain guests, so the poor guy has been forced to wait. ^_^

ē There is an official climbing season for climbing Mt. Fuji (respectfully referred to as Fuji-san by the Japanese). I didnít think it was even possible to climb the thing. I knew that the Shinto religion viewed the mountain as a god of sorts and I figured for that reason it would be off-limits to climbers. This is not the case and in reality the mountain is a popular destination for many tourists. The official climbing season starts on July 1st and goes through August 27th every year. Any other time of the year, due to high winds, snow, and cold temperatures, the mountain is hazardous and even deadly to climb. The most popular climb is one that puts you at the mountainís summit by dawn so you can see the rising of the sun in the land of the rising sun. The morning view from Mt. Fuji is apparently breathtaking and thousands of people make the trek every year. Surprisingly though, only one percent of Japanese citizens have ever climbed the mountain.

ē The Japanese organize everything. From city planning to trash, everything has its place and everything should stay in its place. You donít just throw stuff in the trash can, you sort it into five different categories when you throw it out: recyclable plastic, aluminum, steel, burnables, and non-recyclable non-burnables. You have to go to a certain part of a city to find a certain item. If you want jewelry you to to the Ueno jewelry market, if you want to find trendy clothing you to to Harajuku, and if youíre a businessman you probably live in Ikebukuro or Shinjuku.

ē There is a song that plays over loudspeakers every workday at 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM to welcome home the hard workers. Itís a nice happy song with a very polite Japanese woman saying something that I assume is ďwelcome homeĒ or something of the sorts. Nobody has ever translated her speech to me, but that is my assumption.

ē The Shinto religion is viewed more as a piece of Japanese culture than an actual religion by most Japanese. They go to shrines to pray, worship the bodies and spirits of their deceased, and dedicate their children to shrines as a piece of tradition mostly. This is why it is very difficult for most Japanese to become Christians because turning their back on the Shinto religion is like turning their back on their culture, and if thereís one thing Iíve learned since Iíve been here, itís that the Japanese are very proud of their culture and heritage.

ē The Japanese and the Chinese are not on good relations. Now donít get yer panties in a wad, Iíve known this for some time, I just didnít know it was to the extent that it actually is. At the global day of prayer the first thing that was offered up for prayer was the reconciliation of Japan/China relations. The Chinese wouldnít even let a Japanese recovery team into the country to help with the rescue effort after the earthquake a couple weeks ago. This is amazing to me.

ē The Japanese are very honest and forthcoming. At least the ones Iíve had a chance to talk to for an extended period of time are. I had thought they were generally reserved and private people, but when Iíve sat down with Chieko-san or Kelly-san and actually talked, they spilled all sorts of personal information to extents that I felt uncomfortable sitting there listening to them. And they did it quite matter-of-factly. It was uncomfortable, but I do admire their honestly. I feel much closer to these women because of that, but canít say Iím ready to spill my guts. ^_^

As more information reveals itself to me Iíll continue to post it, but this is all I have for now.

Tuesday, May 27th
I woke up late today after I hit the wrong button on my cell phone. It was only 20 minutes later, but Iíve never even done that before. That set the tone for things to come. The day was full of work just like yesterday. The first part of the day I spent working on finishing the short stories for the activity book. My goal was to have them finished by lunch, but unfortunately I was running a bit behind my own schedule and ended up finishing them at about 3:30. I didnít take a break all morning except for lunch, so at 3:30 I took a short break before I began working on the maze again. I showed Kelly-san what I had been working on yesterday and she didnít like it much. She turned to me and said, ďI looks like youíre trying too hard. Youíre not having fun.Ē She was right. I had been trying very hard to create this maze and it was apparently showing in my drawing. I scrapped my first attempt completely. My second attempt was pretty bad as well. So, I spent the evening until dinner just contemplating how I could make this thing fun for kids and still have fun doing it. I didnít come up with anything. I ended up going to bed in a bit of a frustration.

I was also a bit of a klutz all day. To those who know me personally donít take that as much of a surprise, but today is the worst itís been in a while. I was sitting around breakfast and noticed Yoshi-san spill some of his tea. I thought to myself, ďthatís something I would do, Iím surprised I havenít done it yet.Ē Five minutes later I spilled my own tea and ended up making an even bigger mess than Yoshi-san. I laughed at myself and was thankful nobody noticed my spill. Later in the day as I was coming down for lunch and ended up almost breaking my neck falling down the staircase. The staircase is made of nice lacquered wood and is about as steep as a ladder with no hand rail. It is Japanese custom not to wear shoes in the house, so I am forced to walk up and down these things in my socks. Socks on slick wood donít have very much traction and Iím not surprised something of this sort didnít happen sooner, but as I was coming down the stairs I was looking at the painting hanging above them rather than down at my feel like I should have been. My foot slipped off the edge of one of the stairs and I rode down only barely staying upright. Kelly-san was coming down behind me with Luka-chan and about had a heart attack. The entire rest of the house heard the commotion and was thrown into a brief state of panic. They thought somebody actually fell. And if I had fallen it would have more than likely resulted in serious injury, because the edge of those wood stairs is quite sharp. Thankfully my pride (of which there remains very little) was the only thing injured in the incident.

Wednesday, May 28th
Today went much better than yesterday. I didnít have much to do today, the only thing left for me to do is finish the maze and I have a full two days to do it. I spent the morning talking with friends on audio chat over AIM while casually working on a maze concept. I made it a good way though the maze and decided to go and get Kelly-sanís input before proceeding further. I showed it to her and she seemed very pleased! Her exact words were, ďNow you understand!Ē That made me happy and I spent the day until after lunch finishing up the maze. I got it mostly finished by the time Kelly-san got back from a meeting she had with a local pastor. She got back at about 4:00, and when she returned I showed her my almost-complete maze. She seemed disappointed. She said it wasnít hard (which it wasnít, it was very easy) and that it didnít appeal to the right age of kids. Now, I am fine with constructive criticism, but when you give me a thumbs up at 10:00 AM and tell me to scrap it and do something different a mere six hours later, it irritates me. Whether I was irritated or not, I was forced to reconsider my concept. She drew out a quick sketch of what she wanted, something remarkably similar to what I had come up with last night, and sent me off. So, I went off what she sketched out and came up with something completely different than what I came up with earlier in the day. After dinner I had a rough concept down and showed it to her. She didnít seem overly enthusiastic, but she said it was good and that I should finish the maze. I made sure she understood where I was going with it and she still gave me the approval. So, if I finish this one and she has a problem with it, it isnít my fault. Below are the two mazes I made today. The one on the left is the one I did first, and the one on the right is the one that is (hopefully) going to be the final when it is finished.

The last bit of fun stuff that happened today involved my bus ticket back to Hatoyama on Friday. Yoshi-san found the site with the bus schedule on it and asked me to pick what time I wanted to leave. There were only six buses running from Nyukawa to Shinjuku and only two of them were at times that were acceptable. One leaves at 8:17 AM and the other at 1:47 PM. Iíd love to take the one at 1:47, but that would mean me getting to Shinjuku at 7:00 PM only barely giving me enough time to get to Sakado before the last bus of the day leaves for Hatoyama. Itís safer for me to take the 8:17 bus, so that is what I shall do. Itís early, very early, but Iíll manage. Iím mostly disappointed for Kelly-san or whoever ends up transporting me to the bus station. Thatís earlier than they normally get out of the house. As I like to say, se la vie. At least Iíll be able to relax on Friday night once I get back to New Life League. ^_^ Is anyone else thinking about a movie or two? Heh heh!

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Monday, May 26, 2008


Boredom and Busyness
Itís a relatively short entry for the last couple of days (short in comparison to many of my recent posts). There hasnít been a whole lot that has happened that is extremely noteworthy, and I again donít have any pictures. There was only one occasion at which pictures were of any real interest, and on that occasion I was unlucky enough to have forgotten my camera. Se la vie.

Sunday, May 25th
Sunday was as I had expected it to be, very laid back. We didnít go to church today. Kelly-san never does. There are only three churches in the Nyukawa area and according to Kelly-san, ďtheyíre all crazy.Ē So, I really didnít end up doing very much today. I didnít do any work on the activity book, and since it was raining I couldnít really go walk around outside. But, since it was Saturday evening back in the U.S., many of my friends were online and I used the morning to get caught up with the goings on on the other side of the world. Not a whole lot of real interesting things happening, but it was good to get to catch up.

The rain cleared at about 2 PM at which point Kelly-san decided it was time for a walk. Mayumi-san was over again today so she came along. Unlike our normal walks, this one was quite long, and I hadnít expected it would be. All the other walks weíve been on have been basically around the rice paddies and back. I had already taken plenty of pictures of the rice paddies and didnít feel like doing it again. But, today Kelly-san decided she wanted to walk all the way around the entirety of Nyukawa. This was a full hour-long excursion, I think. It could have been shorter (but no shorter than a half hour). While we were out on the walk the sun broke through the clouds and revealed to me some of the most beautiful scenery Iíd ever seen. The landscape was about as green as it could have possibly been, the atmosphere was perfectly clear and I could see for miles, and the clouds were so beautifully scattered along the tops of the mountain ridges that I felt physical pain with the absence of my camera. Not that the camera would have done any of this scenery justice, it still would have been nice to have proof that God created something this beautiful. So far, being without my camera on that walk has been my one regret from this whole trip.

Kelly-san and Mayumi-san, one pushing a baby in a stroller and the other with a baby due in three weeks, werenít able to make it all the way around the town. They called Oka-san to come pick them up in the car. I had been put in charge of walking Wasshoi, and when the car came to pick us up, I could tell he wasnít ready to stop yet. So, for the last bit of the walk it was just Wasshoi and me. Now that was a sight to behold: a white guy with blonde hair and blue eyes walking a Japanese dog down a street in Nyukawa, Japan like he owned the place. I was quite the spectacle and got more than my fair share of stares from people passing by in cars, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Dinner was shortly after we returned from our walk and after dinner the Japanese volleyball team was having their last game of the tournament. They were playing the Serbians. I had fully expected the Japanese to win again, after all theyíd one every game they had played thus far. But, the Serbians turned out to be more of a match than anyone anticipated. The Japanese were up two sets to none and needed one more to win, but the Serbians pulled back up and won the last three sets in a row. Those women were beasts. The shortest member of their team had at least three inches on the tallest of the Japanese team. They kept blocking the Japanese attempts at spiking. They did it and made it look easy. The Japanese had to pull some tricky plays to try and win, and they almost did. The last set was supposed to end at 16 points, but you have to win by at least two points and the Japanese were not letting the Serbians get those two points. The game ended at 19 to 17 for the Serbians. It was a wonderful game, and I was disappointed the Japanese had lost. After the game I went upstairs and watched and episode of House to end the night.

Monday, May 26th
Unlike yesterday, today was full of work. I finished another word find this morning, spent the morning and afternoon making a layout for the activity book in InDesign (and doing it on a Japanese language interface no less), and spent the afternoon and evening creating a maze. Kelly-san doesnít want a regular maze, she requested I try and make a maze that looks like the city of Jerusalem to go along with the story. This is more than difficult and Iím having frustration with it. I finally gave up on it about half an hour before dinner time and decided not to touch it again until tomorrow.

It was a busy day for Kelly-san as well. She had a bit of shopping to do today and she also had to go to the hospital for a doctor visit. She was running around all morning. I could barely slow her down long enough to ask a question and eventually decided my questions werenít worth the effort. To make her morning even worse the doctorís office called and moved the appointment up half and hour. The poor woman had barely enough time to shove some lunch down her throat before she left.

When she returned to discover I hadnít moved from the place she left me, she asked if I wanted something to drink or if Iíd had enough already. I said I hadnít had anything all day and she got a surprised look on her face. She had thought Iíd been drinking out of her fridge. Why she would think that I donít know. I donít normally go scavenging through people refrigerators while theyíre gone. Anyway, she offered me a drink and I passed the whole event off as an interesting bit of miscommunication.

Dinner has always been a treat for me because the entire table speaks Japanese. I canít really take part in the conversations but enjoy listening to them none the less. Iím getting to the point where I can pick out words that I know and sometimes be able to determine what it is that is being discussed. I have also made a discovery that the Japanese donít have very many pronouns in their language because when theyíre talking about me, I know it. I keep hearing ďMakkunĒ being thrown around multiple times in a sentence and my ears perk up. Theyíve noticed this and Kelly-san is polite enough to translate whatever is being said about me or to me. A similar situation happened tonight at dinner. I started hearing my nickname being thrown around a lot amid giggles and laughter from the female end of the table, and at the end of a few exchanges of dialogue all three women burst into a chorus of ďkawaii!Ē ďKawaiiĒ is the Japanese word for ďcute,Ē and in light of this fact I was more than curious to know what had just been said. Kelly-san turned to me and said she told the other women that I hadnít had any drinks out of her fridge. Thatís all she told me before she turned back to her conversation. Now, there must be some cultural barrier here because I donít know what could possibly be funny or cute about me not helping myself to a few beverages. That would have felt awkward. I donít know. I was left in a state of confusion for the rest of the meal and I havenít completely recovered from it. Iíve been tempted to ask Kelly-san for further explanation, but I think Iíd rather just leave it alone. Itís not that important.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Saturday, May 24, 2008


My Weekend in Nyukawa
I finally got a length of time for my stay here in Nyukawa. Iíll be here for the rest of this week. On Friday Iíll head back to Hatoyama and Iíll spend the rest of my stay here in Japan working there with them in the design office. Iím glad I finally learned everyoneís names there. Heh heh! It took me a while, but I got it: Hayashi, Chihaya, Ai, and Yoshiko. Anyhoo. The rest of my time here in Nyukawa will be spent writing out the stories for the activity book Iím making and Iíll be making a few of the activities as well, four of them to be exact. The most difficult one will be the maze. Weíll see how that one works out.

Friday, May 23rd
It was a slow start to the day today. After breakfast every day Kelly gives little Luka a bath and some food. Then, after that, the two of them and the dog, Wasshoi, will go on a walk for 15 minutes or so. Most of the time this whole process takes only about an hour, but today for some reason it took longer. We didnít really get started working until about 11. I didnít get much done before lunch, but I got enough done to call myself productive. After lunch we worked until dinner. This was unusual because Kelly is usually having to deal with Luka every few minutes. But Yoshiís sister, Mayumi, came over today and kept watch of Luka while we worked. Without the baby to interrupt us we got quite a bit of work done. I made it through another 4 stories and Kelly is rapidly getting the pencil work done on the drawings. She showed me what she has done already and itís impressive. Iíd show you, but I donít think sheíd appreciate me scanning her sketches so I can put them up here, but I would like to let you read one of the stories I wrote for the book. Like I said before, Iím having trouble writing at a level that would be considered appropriate for children. So, if you have any writing in your background and feel like offering any suggestions, Iíd be happy to accept them at caesar1280@hotmail.com. If you have my school address Iíll be checking that one too. So, here is what I wrote about the temptation of Jesus:

When Jesus was 30 years old he went to the Jordan river in Israel where he was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. As he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down from the heavens like a dove and a voice cried out, ďThis is my Son, in Him I am pleased.Ē

Immediately after his baptism, Jesus walked out into the wilderness for 40 days. During this time he didnít eat, but drank only water. At the end of the 40 days he was very hungry and the devil came to him and tempted him saying, ďIf you are really the Messiah you could tell the rocks to become bread.Ē Jesus answered saying, ďit is written that man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that God speaks.Ē Then the devil showed him all the cities and kingdoms of the world saying, ďthese are all mine to give to whoever I want. Bow down to me in worship and they can be yours.Ē To this Jesus replied, ďLeave me Satan! It is written that you are to worship and serve only the Lord your God.Ē

Now the devil was getting irritated, so he took Jesus to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem and said, ďIt is written that no harm will come to you and that angels protect your ever step. If you are really the messiah, jump off and the angels will save you.Ē To this Jesus replied, ďIt is also written that you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.Ē When Jesus said this the devil gave up and left Him.

After dinner this evening the Japanese volleyball team was playing in a tournament and the whole family sat down to watch. It was a momentous night for the team because after their win this evening, their 5th win in a row, they were one of the four teams to qualify for going to Olympics in Beijing. On top of that, it was a really awesome game! I didnít realize that volleyball was so fun to watch. These women are amazing athletes! Their organization, teamwork, and skill astounded me. I hope they play again while Iím here so I can watch.

Saturday, May 24th
Today was a VERY slow day. When I got up this morning I heard caughing coming from Kelly-sanís room. This worried me because Oka-san has had a cold since I got here and I was really hoping that nobody else in the family would catch it. When Kelly-san didnít come down for breakfast this morning, I assumed the worst. So, after breakfast I came up to my room and talked with friends from the states for a while. At around 9:30 Kelly-san came walking by and seemed to be feeling fine. I was relieved.

A little before lunch she came into my room and asked to speak with me. So, we went and sat down at a table and she showed me what she wanted me to do today. I have been given charge of completing four of the activities from the book: two word finds, a maze, and a Japanese game of sorts. She said not to rush myself, but to at least start on it today. So, I did. After lunch I started working on the word finds. I got one completed and started on a second.

Later in the evening we had to go shopping for some food. Oka-san had asked Kelly-san to pick up some things at the store and I had to go to a Lawson anyway. Lawson is basically a Japanese 7-11. Yes, they have 7-11ís here too, but Lawson is much more prevalent. I needed to go to Lawson because I had a ticket to buy. I plan on going to the Ghibli Museum sometime while Iím here in Japan and itís not an easy thing to do. The museum is so popluar that you have to book a ticket and entry time in advance. They only let people enter the museum four times a dayóat 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00. The only place to get tickets in Japan is at a Lawson station. They have a little kiosk in there, which is all in Japanese of course, where you can buy them. So, with the help of Kelly-san (who said it wasnít easy to buy even though she could read the machine), I now have a ticket to go to the Ghibli Museum on June 14th at 2:00.

Following our adventures at Lawson we went to a grocery store to pick up everything Oka-san had asked us to pick up. That went relatively smoothly, but they did have a hard time finding salt of all things. Go figure. In the entrance to this particular grocery store there was a donut shop called Mister Donut (I love that name ^_^). The donuts smelled good and I accidentally verbalized my olfactory pleasure as we exited. Now, Kelly-san has been asking me to give suggestions of things I want to eat while Iím here, but honestly I donít care. I want to try anything they feel like serving me. But, when she heard me mutter that I thought the donuts smelled good, she took that as meaning I wanted donuts. Truthfully I did, but I certainly didnít want her to buy me any. But the deed had been done and I no longer had any choice in the matter. She bought donuts. 10 of them. She bought them for the whole family though, not just me. That made me feel a little bit better. We ate them after dinner while drinking coffee (extremely good coffee) and watching another volleyball game. My wish came true! HAHA!

Japanese Culture Tidbit: It is polite, and in fact complimentary, to slurp. Whether it be noodles, soup, or tea slurping is how itís done. Apparently slurping is seen as symbolic of your enjoyment of something and it compliments the cook to hear you do it. I was instructed on the etiquette of slurping by one of my colleagues at New Life League but didnít have the chance to really put it into practice until Saturday night when they served noodles and soup. They told me that it was polite to slurp this dish and wanted to see me try. They seemed to know that westerners viewed slurping as rude. I mastered the skill with little effort and they were impressed. HAHA!

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Farming and the Sights
Iím starting to settle into the rhythm of this place. Kelly-san and her family have been very nice and accommodating. Granted, so far Iíve done more farming work than design work, but thatís changing. Iím not sure how long Iíll be staying here, but Iím certainly making the most of it.


Wednesday, May 21st
Kelly-san and Yoshi-san decided today they would take me sightseeing. The area around here is really beautiful and they found it would be worth it to let me see a bit of it. The sightseeing started early, at about 10:30 or so when Kelly-san took me up to their tomato fields to show me what they were working on after rice planting. I didnít do any real farming, but they did ask me to pick some strawberries. There werenít many ripe ones, but I picked all I could. After finishing there there wasnít enough time to do any real work, so Kelly-san decided to drive me around the area. She drove me up to see the ski resort where her husband and father-in-law work during the winter months while farming isnít possible. I looks like a very nice resort and I wish I could have been here during the winter so I could take a few runs down the slopes.

After lunch we went down to the main city in this area called Takayama. Takayama has been dubbed ďLittle KyotoĒ by the Japanese, and it is easy to see why. While there are no grand castles or shrines, the look and feel of Edo-era Japan has been incredibly well preserved. We walked around some of the streets where people had converted old Edo houses into shops. We walked into a few. Mostly it was just tourist goods, nothing of real interest, but some of the unique little crafts were quite impressive like these little magnetic birds made out of paper and feathers. I didnít buy any of them for fear that I would break them before they made it back to the U.S.. I also had the chance to get some ice cream while we were out. They made it using vanilla ice cream and mixing it with different things to create the flavor. A bit like Cold Stone Creamery, just without the flare. I enjoyed my ice cream and I enjoyed my time walking around Takayama.

After we got back they asked me to help out in the tomato fields a little bit. They were putting insecticide in the spots where the tomatoes were to be planted and wanted some help so they could finish by dinner time. They were able to. I had a hard time with it because with the wind it was hard to get the insecticide to land in the hole, but I managed.

The last bit of the day started after dinner when Kelly-san and I sat down to finish planning out our activity book. Again, it wasnít easy but with some creative thinking we got it finished by 11 or so. I went to bed pretty soon afterwards.

Thursday, May 22nd
Kelly-san tried to call Iwaoka-san today after breakfast to get the approval we needed to start our work on the activity book weíd finished planning the night before. As it turns out, he didnít come into the office until late in the afternoon, so the morning consisted of me helping out in the fields again. It was a bit harder work than the day before. Today they had me actually planting the tomato plants. Yoshi-san showed me how it was done. It took me a few tries before I was doing it right. I wasnít working long, only about an hour or so, but in that time I managed to acquire a blister. ^_^ I have such city hands. I donít normally do work like that. My poor hands didnít know what to think of it. HAHA! Anyhoo, I planted tomatoes until lunch time and shortly afterwards Kelly-san got the call from Iwaoka-san that we needed. We got our approval and the rest of the day was spent working on the activity book. Since Iím not doing any of the actual drawing, Iíve been placed in charge of writing out the stories and laying out the pages. Iím having to work hard to write in a style I think kids will understand, though I know whatever I write will probably be changed around a bit before it gets printed. Iím not too worried about that. Iím just glad to be doing actual work on the book.

Kelly-san and I worked until Yoshi-san got home from the tomato fields. When he got back he got out the Nintendo Wii and started playing balance games. I watched him do it for a while and eventually he asked me if Iíd like to try. I figured I would. It was much harder than it looked! Yoshi-sanís favorite game was one where you play as a soccer player head butting soccer balls as theyíre kicked towards you by little Miis. You shift your weight back and forth on the sensor pad to aim the little guyís head where it needs to be to hit the ball. Of course, itís not that simple, the Miis also kick shoes and panda dolls at you that hurt when you try to head butt them. A very challenging yet simple game. We played the Wii until dinner and after dinner I retreated to my room, watched a Family Guy episode, talked to my mom on AIM and then went to bed.

Japanese Culture Tidbit: In the summer following the birth of a new baby boy, a Japanese family will raise something called a ďkoi no bori.Ē A koi no bori is a grouping of four wind socks shaped like fish. They do this because of an ancient story that the first dragon was a fish that learned to fly. So, they raise the fish symbolically saying that they want their boy to grow into a strong dragon. The fish on top is the one representing the family and has the family crest on it, the second one down represents the father, and the one after it the mother. The one on the bottom is the one representing the boy who is being lead into the heavens by the combined spirits of his family and ancestors. I was lucky enough to get to see the raising of Luca-chanís koi no bori.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Introduction to Rural Japan
So now for all who were curious about why it is that I was on a bus a couple days ago. ^_^


Monday, May 19th
I didnít have anything to do today. Thatís right. I woke up at the regular hour of 7:00 AM, took a shower, got all ready for the day, went to devotional, and then turned around and went right back to my room. Why is this? It is because today I am going out to a small town called Nyukawa in the Gifu prefecture. I am going out there to live with a manga artist named Kelly Shinozawa for a week or so to create an activity book for kids that uses the characters from Manga Messiah and/or Manga Metamorphosis.

I left New Life League at about 11:30 AM to catch a 12:19 train to Ikebukuro. In Ikebukuro I switched lines and went to Shinjuku where I caught a highway bus to Nyukawa. It was a relatively simple process, but Chieko-san was very concerned. She had me on a train that was about 45 minutes too early. I got to Shinjuku with a full hour of extra time. So, I wandered down the street to a Starbucks and had myself a frappuccino. That didnít eat up too much time, but it made the next 30 minutes of waiting a little more bearable.

As with everything else in Japan, the bus was running right on time. We left at exactly 14:30, had our scheduled break stop at precisely the right time, and finally arrived in Nyukawa with perfect timing as well. I was impressed by the perfection of it.

Kelly-san and her father in-law (from here on out to be referred to as Oto-san) met me at the bust stop in Nyukawa and ferried me the last few kilometers to the Shinozawa household. Upon arrival I was introduced to the whole family. As I might have mentioned before, Kelly-san lives with her husbands entire familyóhis grandmother (Obaa-san), grandfather (Ojii-san), mother (Oka-san), Oto-san, and their little 4-month-old boy Luke (Luka-chan). They are all very nice people and even had dinner prepared and waiting for me on the table when I arrived. Kelly-san can speak English fairly well but has asked that I help her with her vocabulary, her husband, Yoshi-san (affectionately referred to as Yoshibi by Kelly-san) can speak enough English to get across what he is trying to say without actually being able to say it completely, and Oto-san can speak about as much English as I can speak Japanese. Oto-san and I exchanged small words and phrases most of the evening while sitting around their heated table watching a political commentary program. When I got tired of creating the smallest of small talk imaginable, I excused myself and went to bed.

Tuesday, May 20th
This morning I had the chance to look around the house a bit after the 8:00 AM breakfast. It was an exceptional breakfast and the house is even more exceptional. Itís very old and made in traditional Japanese style with the sliding doors and wood floors and all. The exterior is even more impressive than the interior. Precisely pruned gardens, trickling water down into a fish pond where they have a few trout swimming around, and its all on the side of a very steep hill that leads down towards the rice fields. They have a greenhouse out back where there grow the rice seedlings to get ready to plant. I was lucky enough to arrive the day before they planted the rice. Though I couldnít be of much assistance, I was more than happy to help out in any way I could. This mostly included helping out with transporting the rice seedlings down to the fields. It took four trips and about an hour and a half to complete, but they said it would have taken much longer without me. I canít imagine it taking too much longer. ^_^ I wasnít the most efficient worker.

Earlier in the day before I helped out with the rice transportation, Kelly-san and I began our work on the activity book. This ended up being much more difficult than I originally assumed it would be. We figured out what we wanted to do with it, and even picked the layout and the biblical stories we wanted to use, but when it came to figuring out how to translate those stories into an activity form I was stumped, and Kelly-san was confused. Weíve made progress, but are still only about halfway done with the planning stage at this point. We have to finish by the end of tomorrow so we can pitch the idea to Iwaoka-san on Thursday. We worked on it from 10:00 until lunch. I helped with the rice planting from lunch until about 2. At two Kelly-san took a nap with Luka-chan for a few hours. I took that time to explore around the house and go watch the rice planting. After Kelly-san woke up she took me on a walk around the area, showing me the sights and neighbors. Dinner was at about 6:00 and then from 7:00 until about 10:00 we worked on the activity book some more. As you can see, itís a much more laid back schedule around here in comparison to the one at New Life League. Iím not sure if I like it more or less, but I do find I feel useless with too much time on my hands.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The First Weekend
To start off, I am typing this post while sitting on a bus from Shinjuku Tokyo to Nyukawa, a small town in the prefecture of Gifu. Why Iím on this bus youíll learn later. Anyhoo, the scenery has been amazing and now that it is dusk I can hardly see a thing, so I figured it was time to write out a journal entry/post. After all, itís been a few days since Iíve done so and Iím sure everyone who has been reading my journaling on a regular basis is just dying to know how my weekend went. Well, Iím dying to tell you.


Friday, May 16th
Today was a heck of a workday. It is the best day of work Iíve had all week. The reason is simple and it has to do with my task for the day. Ya see, the entire rest of the week Iíve been given rather menial and boring tasks. The other designers have all repeatedly said that I came at the right time. They havenít just said it to me, either. Theyíve said ti to other members of the staff as well, so I know theyíre not just being polite. Apparently their work load was a bit too much recently with the Arabic edition of their Manga Messiah as well as the English edition of their newest completed manga, Manga Metamorphosis, the story of the book of Acts.. They hadnít gotten around to some of the smaller yet time consuming tasks. Thatís where Iíve been of assistance. I was given those tasks that they didnít want to do. I expected as much and donít hold against them at all, but when Iím given a task that is of a more interesting nature it makes me all the more excited. My task for the day was to go into the character profiles pages of Metamorphosis and add the English text over where the Japanese text had been. Doesnít sound that difficult, but when you think that Japanese sentences and type are not the same size as that of English, you quickly realize that fitting the required information into the space allotted is much easier said than done. As it turns out, to type something in English takes many more characters and much more space than typing the relatively same information in Japanese. I had a hard time making it all work, but with some creative rearranging and lots of thought, I got it looking okay. I admit it could be better, but Tsusumi-san, the art director, seemed satisfied with my work. For once my work took most of the day to finish. I only went and helped out with the mailers for about an hour or so.

During my time helping out with mailers I was approached by Chieko-san, the woman who has been placed in charge of making sure my stay in Japan is as comfortable as possible. Sheís an extremely nice woman and Iíve enjoyed the time Iím getting to spend with her. Anyhoo, she invited me out to go eat sushi and I was more than happy to oblige. I hadnít had sushi from a sushi bar yet and figured it was about as good a time as any. We went to one of those types of sushi bars that has the sushi on separate plates which circle the restaurant on a conveyor belt. You pick up the pieces you want and pay according to the color of plate. A pretty good idea if you ask me. It was a wonderful experience and I have to say it was the BEST sushi Iíve ever had. I ate squid, octopus, tuna, eel, salmon, and fish eggs. I also ate a fish whose name Chieko-san could not remember and whose description didnít sound like anything I'm familiar with. I still have no idea what meat it was. But, to give you an idea of what it might be, she said it had many legs, was small, and lived off the coast of Japan. The meat was actually purple! It tasted good and had a similar consistency to that of squidókinda spongy and chewy. I loved the experience and did a wonderful job of making a fool of myself. Remember how I said I had been complimented on my chopstick usage? Well, they clearly had not seen my try to eat sushi. It was awful. I was physically laughing at myself by the end of the meal. Chieko-san politely giggled. ^_^

Japanese culture tidbit: Roll sushi is typically reserved for kids. Adults eat the kind of sushi that is basically a sliver of meat on top of a portion of rice. There is no seaweed wrap. It is done much more elaborately with different types of topping such as mayonnaise, lightly pan fried onion, bamboo shoots, and fish eggs. It tastes much much better than roll sushi, but is considerably more difficult to eat.

With that my day ended for the most part. I spent the last few hours of the day preparing for my trip to Tokyo on Saturday.

Saturday, May 17th Ė My First Trip to Tokyo
Yes, it was Saturday that was the day I had been looking forward to all week. I was going to get to go into Tokyo for the first time. Iíd already seen it from afar on my bus ride from the airport out to Hatoyama, but getting to actually go is something Iíve wanted to do for a while. It should come as no surprise to you that Akihabara was what I was looking forward to the most. ^_^ I couldnít wait to see what it was like.

Anyway, before I could get to Tokyo, I first had to travel there. That is a bit of a challenge in and of itself. It takes a bus and two trains to get to Akihabara. So, I didnít set that as my first destination. The first train stops at the train station in Ikebukuro. The Ikebukuro station is the second largest bus and train station in the world, and also the second largest in Tokyo. It is a literal maze of halls, department stores, banks, and restaurants. Combine that with the people and itís easy to get disoriented. I made it there fine though. My first destination when I arrived in Ikebukuro was the Animate main store. Animate is a chain of Japanese anime and manga stores and the main and largest of which is in Ikebukuro. Itís 9 stories tall and is the largest anime and manga store in the world. This sounded like something I couldnít miss. It was a blast! Though I didnít purchase anything, looking around in it was a treat all itís own. Each floor is designated to a different category of merchandise. Manga on one floor, dojinshi and posters on another, followed by music, anime, novelty goods, etc.. I didnít stick around long considering I wasnít really looking for anything to buy. But it was very fun anyway.

My next stop after that was Akihabara, but I ran into complications on the way. When I got back to Ikebukuro station, I noticed that I had no more cash. All I had was about 150 yen worth of coins in my pocket, thatís not enough to do anything with. Unfortunately, the Japanese donít really use cards, so everything is done in cash. This meant that I had to find an ATM with which to withdraw funds so I could continue with my day. This task proved much more difficult than it should have been. Every ATM I went to refused to accept my debit card! Without cash I was stuck, and I had no way of getting any. I wandered around for at least an hour (probably more like two hours) searching for an ATM that worked. Eventually I gave up and was heading back to the station where I was going to call someone from the office and ask them to pick me up. But, on the way I found an ATM for a bank I hadnít used yet. I figured it was worth a shot so I tried it. Lo and behold, it worked! I was able to withdraw funds and therefore continue with my day. Unfortunately because of the long delay I was not able to make it to the Edo museum like I had hoped to, but such is life. Iíll have to go another time. But suffice it to say that JP Bank will forever have a special place in my heart.

So, I finally made it to Akihabara. As I exited the train station I was accosted by a group of girls dressed in maid outfits handing out advertisements. I thought, ďwow, so this is how itís gonna be.Ē But it wasnít as frilly and nerdy as I had anticipated, though the male to female ratio tipped drastically in favor of the male in comparison to Ikebukuro. Rather, it was more of an electronics area. Its birth was in electronics. After World War II it became a shopping area for electronics parts and pieces. It never grew up out of that. There were electronics stores all up and down the main street. The only addition since WWII was the anime and manga portion of the town and there werenít as many of those stores as I had been expecting, but there were still quite a few. It was hard for me to tell what store sold what sort of merchandise and where things were located. The buildings are all both above ground and below with many floors. So, to make things easier on myself I just started walking into places. I soon discovered that that isnít a very good idea in Akihabara. There is NO borderline between pornography and normal anime and manga. Iíd be looking at a wall of posters and there would be a nice poster of a cute girl sitting on a bench below a cherry tree, completely innocent, and right next to it there would be a fully nude woman with a guy sucking on her boob. NO BORDERLINE! It was awkward. I figured out that when the atmosphere around me started to take on a general aura of pink, I was entering into the porn section. I stayed away from pink places. ^_^

Anyhoo, I didnít buy anything the whole day, but rather just wandered around like a blind man without his cane. Around 4:30 my wandering had started to wear me out and I was feeling a bit peckish. I figured Iíd take advantage of one of those advertisements the maids had given me and actually try to find a maid cafť. They were harder to find than I had thought they would be. I followed one of the advertisements to a place called Cafť Vierge. I was standing out front attempting to make sense of the sign to figure out the prices they charged for food. I didnít want to get in there, find it to be too expensive, and walk out again. Thatíd be rude. As I was studying the sign, a couple Japanese guys walked by me, laughed, and said, ďMaido cafť. You like?Ē I attempted to say I had never been, but they didnít get it. They just smiled and said, ďokay, byeĒ and walked down the stairs to the entrance. I figured I might as well go for it, so I followed them. They turned around with very surprised looks on their faces, chuckled, and walked inside ahead of me. I had expected that reaction. I became the spectacle of the entire place. But, like I said, I didn't mind. Inside was actually quite classy. It was all Victorian in style with Mucha prints hanging on the walls and maids dressed in classy long dresses of a deep redish maroon color. They were polite, soft spoken, and very good waitresses. Their food was exceptional as well. I enjoyed the experience and wished I could have taken pictures, but they had a sign saying no cameras, so I figured Iíd respect their wishes.

After leaving I realized that I no longer had time to get to the Edo museum like Iíd hoped to, so I just continued my wandering. I wandered myself into another neighborhood called Ueno. That is where the Tokyo National Museum is located as well as a few shopping centers. I discovered the Ueno jewelry market and found my way on to a backstreet market of sorts. They were selling everything you could think of from shoes to fresh cuts of fish. It was extremely crowded as well. I concentrated hard on making sure my wallet stayed in my pocket. ^_^

After Ueno I decided I wanted to see Akihabara at night, and walked back the way I came. On my 20-minute trek back I had an odd craving for something sweet and at just that moment I passed another maid cafť, this one called Merry Hearts. Convenient, because maid cafťs are known for their desserts. The sign out front was MUCH more... what I would have expected it to look like. It was all frilly and happy looking and there were little anime chibi drawings of maids with hearts around their heads. I just had to go inside. So, I went into Tokyo expecting that I might go to one maid cafť, and left having gone to two. LOL! The second one was much more interesting than the first. It wasnít that classy at all, but instead felt very trendy. The maids werenít wearing matching outfits, but rather each one had a completely unique outfit and wild hair style. I was greeted by a high-pitched chorus of ďIrashaimase, goshujin-sama!Ē Which when translated means ďwelcome home, master!Ē I was directed towards a table by a very cute and peppy maid in an orange and white outfit. She handed me a menu in a very cute and polite way and gave me a cup of water. I decided to get their chocolate cake and a cappuccino. The cake was amazing, it was sprinkled with a cherry sauce and came with a small helping of fresh fruit and whipped cream. The cappuccino was extremely sweet as well. The maid who served me, this one wearing green and black, asked me cutely if I wanted any sugar. I couldnít help myself but say yes. ^_^ She put in the sugar cube and stirred it for me. I enjoyed my food and enjoyed watching the people around me. A couple girls to my right decided to pay the extra 500 yen to go into a back room and dress up like maids. They came out about ten minutes later, fully decked out, and posed for pictures in front of the crowd in the cafť. I wanted to get pictures in this cafť much more than the other one, but again was thwarted by polite signs asking me to refrain. Alas, only my memories will serve as proof that I was there, that and the massive amount of money that is no longer in my wallet. The cappuccino and cake was 1200 yen, but worth every bit of it.

I left the maid cafť with a merry heart (LOL) and a spring in my step. Iím still not sure if that was due to the fact that I had had a good time or that I had just consumed massive amounts of sugar and caffeine. Either way, I left feeling better than when I went in. I then wandered back through Akihabara, took a few more pictures, and got on the train to go back to Hatoyama.

My last mistake of the day was getting off at a bus stop one too far, which resulted in a half-hour walk. I didnít realize which direction to go, so I called Chieko-san with the phone that Nishizawa-san had given me. She wasnít sure how far it actually was, so she drove out to get me. On her way she realized that it was a very short walk. I could have gotten back myself with another 10 minutes of walking. But, she was okay with it. Iím glad I had the cell phone, though. I would have made it back anyway, but it would have been much more stressful.

Sunday, May 18th
I went to church in the morning just like last week. The service was very nice, but this time sans the tongue-speaking. Pastor Stan taught out of the book of Daniel and taught us the way to pray like Jesus said we should. It was a good service. After the service they had something called ďCovered Dish Sunday.Ē In American terms, they had a pot-luck lunch. Many good foods including takoyaki balls, fried squid, Malaysian curry, fried chicken, and taco salad. I enjoyed it all very much.

My day after church was another trip into Tokyo, this time with Chieko-san. She took me to Harajuku. We started off by going to the Meiji shrine, which was beautiful. Itís a large area which includes gardens and other such things. The long gravel path to the shrine itself was lined mostly by trees, but there were other things along the side such as a line of sake barrels that had been committed to the shrine for good luck and blessing. The shrine itself was a large open courtyard with two adjacent smaller courtyards where you could buy good luck charms and the like. While there I saw a priest and priestess procession to go bless the wall of wishes (not the technical name, but itís the wall where people would hang wishes to get blessed by the priests), and I saw two wedding parties getting pictures taken.

After the shrine she took me to a famous street in Harajuku called Takeshi-dori if I recall correctly. It was a haven for the hip and cool youth of Tokyo. There were trendy shops which included many clothing stores ranging in style from ultra-slutty to punk-rocker, a store for just socks, a couple underwear stores, and even a store for fashionable doggie attire. I had a blast looking through it all.

Our last stop was a streetside kimono flea market. I had expected to see something of this sort but was EXTREMELY surprised by the prices they were asking. Most of the kimonos were in good condition and the average price was about 3000 yen (approximately $30). I was blown away. I feel ashamed now. I paid WAY too much for my mens kimono. Iím not sure if Iíll buy anything there, but the price is so good I just might. Unfortunately I forgot my camera for this entire trip, so Iím going to go back to Harajuku briefly during the rest of my stay so as to take pictures of the places I just told you about.

I need to get this post up ASAP, so why Iím going out to the middle of Japan will be explained later.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Minor Panic
An interesting day, today was...yes. It began with me having nothing to do. As I said, I finished my work sooner than expected yesterday and had to find other ways of occupying myself for an hour or so. So, when I got in today there was nothing for me to do and my supervisor, Tsutsumi-san, was 2 hours late in showing up, for a perfectly legitimate reason. So... to fill the time I did a bit of research into an error we've been experiencing with InDesign. It's a plug-in error that just says "ME Enabler.framework." I'd never seen anything like it and thus had a tough job ahead of me to figure out what it was talking about. Apparently it's an error that is unique to the European version of the Adobe Creative Suite. Why they have a European version I'm not quite sure, but I figured out how to fix the problem... in a way. It's actually a way to go around the problem rather than a solution to it. But, it ended up not working anyway, so my research was in vain, but at least we now know there's nothing we can really do about it. heh heh! So, mission accomplished.

Once Tsutsumi-san showed up she gave me my next task of slightly altering and renaming a few files. It wasn't interesting OR challenging and didn't take me very long to do. I had most of it finished by the time lunch rolled around.

After lunch we had our devotional time. On Thursdays the entire company has a devotional time together rather than the usual departmental devotional in the morning. I again introduced myself to the group, this time doing it formally up on stage. I was glad to have it over with. Heh heh!

Following the devotional I was invited to take part in a business meeting with a representative from a Japanese novelty product company. They create little trinkets like magnets, book covers, and cell phone appendages on which companies can place their logo for advertisement. New Life League is thinking about publicizing Manga Messiah in this way and wanted an American opinion on what would make a good promotional tool. My suggestions didn't really seem to be headed, but I think the real reason I was there was to learn about Japanese business practices. So, the fact that my suggestions were bad didn't really bother me much. I was proud of myself for even having the guts to suggest something in the first place. ^_^

Again, I finished my day's work far ahead of time and thus ended up making newsletter packets again. I ended up talking to Hiroaki-san for a while while doing this. He asked me of my plans for the weekend and I informed him I planned on going into Tokyo on Saturday. "AW! Sugoi!" is one of two responses I keep getting to this statement. The other is "Why don't you just go to Kawagoe. It's closer." It's true, Kawagoe is closer and is very similar to the atmosphere of Tokyo (so I'm told), but what kind of person would I be if I let travel time and a little money stop me from going to Tokyo? Heh heh! Well, Hiroaki-san gave me the former of those two responses and was happy to make a few suggestions for me. Apparently Ueno is a good place to find museums. Tokyo National Museum is located there and is a place I do plan on going to before I leave. But, it's something I need to spend a whole day doing, so for this particular trip I'll limit my exploration to Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Harajuku, and Shinjuku. Hiroaki-san told me that I needed to go to a maid cafe in Akihabara, but I'm not quite sure about it. I'm not going to discount the idea. I figure I probably will, but it all depends on price. If it's really expensive, it's not worth it to me. My actual plan isn't really set in stone and I'll probably end up getting lost anyway, but that is the plan for the weekend. I look forward to it.

The day ended with an in depth explanation of what I'm expected to do next week with Shinozawa-san. While there I will be producing no less than three items of my own creation. One is an activity book featuring characters from Manga Messiah. WIth the others I will be creating publicity products. That is an open-ended thing for me. I can create anything from trading cards to t-shirts, notebooks to calendars. When he informed me that I had to come up with these ideas from scratch and that they would actually get made and printed for use in the U.S. I had a minor panic attack, but upon discussion of the issue with the design department I feel confident now that I can do it. In fact, I think it would be quite cool to get something of my own creation published. HAHA! ^_^ What was once panic has been transformed into great anticipation. I leave monday afternoon and I look forward to my stay with Shinozawa-san.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Movin' With the Rhythm


Wednesday, May 14th
Iím starting to settle into the rhythm of things over here. This is a good thing. I havenít made any more mistakes in my work, my jet lag has completely subsided (I managed to sleep through the whole night last night), and Iím actually having conversations without that nasty awkward feeling that comes with talking to people I donít know very well. Iím really starting to enjoy myself and it is quite a relief, let me tell you. Before leaving I was a bit concerned that I might come to hate it here. That maybe the culture would be a turn-off or maybe I would be too far out of my comfort zone to be able to function. Thankfully neither of those are the case. From what Iíve learned of the culture so far, I like it! As the Japanese say, ďsuki dayo!Ē Imagine that, the American otaku likes Japanese culture. HAHA! YeahÖ there was never anything to be worried about, but if you havenít noticed already, I worry more than I should. So, in my new level of comfort, Iíve decided to break out the little Japanese that I actually know and start using it in conversation. My first few attempts at this, with words like ďarigato (thank you)Ē and ďhai (yes),Ē have been met with chuckling. They seem to find my attempts amusing, but apparently enjoy the fact that Iím trying it. They correct my pronunciation, smile, and congratulate me. Heh heh! Itís a bit awkward, but Iím going to continue. Iím hoping that eventually theyíll start teaching me a little more of the language.

My work today was a little more thought inducing than the work of the previous couple days. My task was to erase little title banners from the Japanese manga pages and replace them with new ones of a more sophisticated nature. Theyíre currently working on producing an English version of their new manga of the book of Acts called Manga Metamorphosis. Iím not much a fan of the title, but I do look forward to reading it. I finished that work sooner than they expected I would and had nothing else for me to do for the last two hours of the day. So, I was sent next door to help put together this monthís newsletter packets. This process seems to me like a Japanese business equivalent of a sewing circle. There were six people in the room talking, laughing, and carrying on like a drunk man in a karaoke bar. It was hilarious! I couldnít help but smile. They noticed my smile and figured it best I know what they were talking about, so the man next to me, Hiroyuki-san, explained the general subject matter of their conversation. It had to do with one of the womenís attempts at finding a husband. But I didnít care much, it was just entertaining to listen to them. Ignorance of the subject matter made it funnier. ^_^

I ran out of food last night. So, after work I walked down the street to a small 7-11 type of store called Lawson. I wandered around for a few minutes before eventually deciding on instant rice and microwavable curry. I got three days worth of that, some bottles of water, a can of ice coffee, and a package of rice cakes for snacking. After some deductive reasoning and inquisition of a colleague, I figured out how to prepare the curry and rice. It tasted fine but cheap, but thatís fine because Iím a cheapskate. Iíll try and get some real Japanese curry before I leave anyway. For now, the instant stuff will satisfy my dinner requirement.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The Birth of Makkun

Monday, May 12th Ė First Day of Work
I was beyond nervous when I woke up at 7:00 AM today. I had no idea what to expect at all. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. What if I screw up? What if I do something to insult somebody? Will I be able to communicate? Just simple nervous thoughts, but they made the first couple hours of the day much more difficult than they had to be. It was all for naught anyway because today went perfectly... almost .

Every morning they have a devotional time that starts at 8:25. I was expected to participate, but not knowing any Japanese makes participating rather difficult. The hymnals were all in Japanese as well, so I couldnít even sing along. So, my personal task for the week is to learn as much hiragana as possible. This way I can at least try to participate in the devotional time by singing along in the hymnal, because it just feels awkward sitting there and not being able to do anything but look happy.

Apart from the devotional time everything was spectacular! I got the chance to talk to Iwaoka-san after devotionals today. He gave me a vague run through my schedule while Iím here. For the first two weeks Iíll be working and living here at the New Life League main office. Iíll be doing whatever the design department has for me to do. After that Iíll go out to a city north of Tokyo to live with the manga artist for Manga Messiah, Kelly Shinozawa, and her family (Kelly is just her pen name, her real name is Kozumi). Shinozawa-san has one child, a young one, and her husband is a farmer. So, Iíll be living on her farm in a relatively remote location by Japanese standards. My job while Iím there is to help her with her drawing. Iíll be making a childrenís activity book using characters from Manga Messiah and other parts of the bible as well. Apparently Shinozawa-san will be drawing the actual characters and Iíll be expected to draw the backgrounds. Weíre also going to be making a series of trading cards for various biblical characters. This is where my computer skills should come in handy. So, Iím a bit nervous that I wonít be able to draw that well (because I honestly donít think Iím that good at drawing), but my dad has encouraged me to think positively, so Iíll try.

After my short meeting with Iwaoka-san I went to the design department where I was thankful to receive a second round of introductions. I was proud of myself because I managed to actually remember two of their names: Ai-san and Hayashi-san. Neither of them can speak English very well. Well, I donít think that Hayashi-san can. He hasnít spoken a word to me since I got here. He seems to be the kind of guy that goes to work to get the work done and nothing else. He doesnít talk to the other designers either except for business reasons. The other designers are quite talkative though. All three of them are women and I wouldnít place anyone in the entire room as over 35. The women love to try to talk to me. They ask me questions about the U.S. and my perceptions of Japan. They explain their culture to me, and it seems to be a goal of theirs to introduce me to every kind of Japanese snack food imaginable. The most difficult thing for them to do when it comes to communication is pronounce my name. The ďthĒ sound isnít one that Japanese people can say. It comes out sounding like an ďs.Ē So, they decided to give me a nickname. From now on in Japan I shall be referred to as Makkun (pronounced mahk-koon).

My first task as an intern was working on the Arabic version of their Manga Messiah book. It was menial work, but even menial work is fun when youíre doing it in a foreign culture. My job was to go into the print version of all 280 pages to trim out the crop marks and flip them horizontally so they can be read right to left. Like I said, not a hard job, just boring and repetitive. But, it was a bit of a challenge at first. Ya see, the interface on the computer is in Japanese. And, as stated before, I can neither speak nor read Japanese. It was quite the test of my Photoshop knowledge to be able to figure out how to do everything I wanted to. Surprisingly, I was able to function well. The tools all look the same but the menus are the difficult thing. Mostly I tried to use all the hotkeys I could remember. I remembered quite a few. Some of them Iíd never even used before. I honestly donít know why I knew them. I equate this experience to high school Spanish. Ya learn it and never use it, but when youíre thrown into a situation when itís actually needed for a change it comes back to you in a remarkable amount. Itís all in there somewhere. ^_^

Lunch was a venture. I ordered a bento (lunch box) from the most soft-spoken woman Iíve ever met. Her name is Sayako-san and Iím not sure if her voice can manage anything but the highest pitched whisper a human is capable of. She never stops smiling and does everything in a half-bowed position. She is by all accounts the most Japanese person Iíve ever met. But, alas, Iíve strayed from the point. Lunch was a bento of mostly vegetables prepared in various ways. It comes with a box of steamed rice and a bowl of miso soup. There were two pieces of meat, one was a fish cake and the other was a portion of chicken breast. All of it was quite good. I have to say that Iíve been highly impressed by the food here. Itís all quite good. As far as Asian cuisine goes I think I have to say I like Chinese and Thai better than Japanese, but I still havenít found any Japanese food that I didnít like. While Iíve been here Iíve been privileged enough to have tried sushi, udon noodles, gyoza (Japanese dumplings), various tempura, some form of vegetable pudding, miso soup, and ramen with tree mushrooms. The ramen has been my favorite so far. I thought the noodles would be different than the stuff we get in little packages in the U.S., but it wasnít. It tasted much much better, but the basic noodle wasnít any different than the Maruchan variety. I need to get a lot more of that stuff before I leave. On a bit of a side note, my ability to handle chopsticks has been praised by no less than six people. They say I use them like an Asian. I highly doubt that Iím quite up to Asian standards, but it was nice to receive a compliment on my first day of work, even if it is for something as small as chopstick usage.

The last bit of Japanese culture that I managed to glean from the day involved their work ethic. They really are quite laid back in a way, but still maintain a tight schedule. Everything starts on time. When they say devotionals start at 8:25 AM, they mean it. The entire schedule of the day is determined by the ringing of a bell. It goes off at 8:25 to signal the beginning of devotionals, goes off again at 8:45 to signal the beginning of the work day, at 12:00 it signals the beginning of lunch and the end of lunch is signaled at 12:45, there is a 15-minute break that is signaled at 3:00 and 3:15, and the bell that ends the day rings at 5:30 by playing a melody that I think is the Japanese national anthem, though I need to ask somebody to find out for sure. Like I said, though, the work ethic is rather laid back. They get things done, but a small escape from the work of the day (such as a short conversation) isnít frowned upon. The mood is light, but you are expected to work all day. The four designers, Iíve heard, typically stay late. They were here tonight until past 8:30, though I am not expected to stay that late and probably wonít unless there is something that needs to get done. But, I donít think anything theyíre giving me is going to be something of a time sensitive nature.

Tuesday, May 13th
I'm almost over my jet lag. I keep waking up at 5:00 AM for no reason at all, but it's starting to get easier to go back to sleep afterwards. Maybe by the end of the week I'll be able to have a full night of sleep with no interruption.

I finished the task assigned to me faster than expected yesterday, so they checked my work last night and discovered that I had in fact messed up a bit. It took only about 45 minutes to fix my mistake, but it was still embarrassing. What a way to start the day. Iíve decided to be much more careful from this time on. I am triple-checking everything I do in order to prevent screw-ups. My task for the day was to lay out the pages of the manga in InDesign to get ready for print. It was nothing special. Again, it was repetitive and slightly boring, but I love graphic work and didnít find it the least bit difficult to get through the day.

The design team asked to see my portfolio today. I thought they had all already seen it, but was glad to show it to them. They all seemed quite impressed. As I was afraid would happen, Iíve now been labeled an otaku after they saw my Anime Night poster. They say itís not a bad thing, but it is still something I was trying to avoid. That word has a lot of connotations both negative and positive, and staying away from it seemed best. But, I guess it was bound to happen. Heck, I made it almost four days. Iíd say thatís pretty good.

I got the chance to meet my number one contact in Japan this morning, and man named Roald. He is the man who gave me the job and is the one who has helped to organize my stay. He is an extremely nice man. We had a 15-minute conversation after devotionals. He seems like a fascinating guy and I wish that he was going to be sticking around longer so I could try to get to know him better. Unfortunately, heís going on an extremely long, multi-continental business trip starting this weekend. He told me that before the end of his trip he will have been on 22 different planes. Thatís a hell of a trip. Heís praying he can get upgraded from coach, but says he doesnít think itís going to happen. I feel for him. If I was going to be on that many flights Iíd be praying for business class as well.

Lunch was more interesting than yesterday. The vegetables tasted better and there were some meatballs today as well. The most interesting thing at lunch was the portion of fish. It was about the most whole Iíve ever eaten a fish. All they did was chop off the head and tail and call it done. I was a bit cautious at first and seriously considered leaving it on my plate. I didnít though. I tried it, and loved it. It was very tender meatóso tender I was able to filet the thing using only my chopsticks! Getting around the bones was easy, but they were really small and I was afraid I might eat one, but I didnítÖ at least not to my knowledge.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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Monday, May 12, 2008


The Beginning
Greetings All! For those of you who didn't catch my last post, what follows is the beginning of my account of my internship in Japan. I am using this blog as my journal and will be posting posts such as this as often as possible. A post every day is preferable, but knowing me not to be expected. Enjoy!

Friday, May 9th - Arrival Day
After a very long day of flying I finally made it to Narita International Airport in Japan. My plane landed at around 3:30 in the afternoon, but my body thought it was 2:00 in the morning. Well, to be more precise, my body had no real idea what time it thought it was and thus decided to complain until I decided to do something about it. Feeling groggy but hyper after a couple cups of coffee I attempted to make my way through immigration, baggage claim, and customs. Thankfully there were no major complications in immigration or customs, and my bag was one of the first ones off the plane for a change. The trip was actually getting off to a great start.

My next task was what ended up being the most difficult thing I had attempted to do since finals week: using a Japanese pay phone. Truthfully it wasn't that complicated at all. The directions were in english and they walked me through every step quite clearly. But, when your whole body function is 14 hours out of sync any small task becomes equivalent to dividing by zero. Thus said, it took me three or four tries to get it right. But, when I was finally able to talk to Iwaoka-san, my contact at my internship, it was all the more and impressive thing.

So, riding on the high of successfully using the pay phone, I walked up to the wrong counter to buy my bus ticket. The nice woman behind the counter pointed me to the correct one. I then left and walked to another counter which was not the one she pointed at and was therefore the wrong one again. I was again pointed to the correct counter, this time getting it right. My bus fare was •3,500, the equivalent of around $35. An expensive bus ride, but it was a whole two-and-a-half hour trip through the winding streets of Tokyo suburbs. So, it was worth it. I enjoyed the scenery and listened to my music to keep myself from falling asleep. I feared that if I fell asleep I might not wake up to get off the bus. I sleep hard. This was, of course, a completely irrational fear because my stop, Sakado station, was the last stop on the bus and the driver would have roused me. Still, it was best for me to stay awake on the bus ride in order to get my body into the rhythm of Japanese time.

I was greeted at the bus station by the 75-year-old chauffeur, errand ďboyĒ and janitor for New Life League, the organization I will be spending the next six weeks working for. Iíd say the gentlemanís name but it escapes me at the moment. And that brings to the surface what is probably going to be the most difficult thing about my stay here in Japan, the names. There are so many people working here and all of their names sound very similar to my western ears. Names have always been an issue of mine and the foreignness of these names isnít making it remembering them any easier. Anyway, He-who-shall-be-named-later took me out to eat and to the supermarket before taking me to the New Life League offices where I would be staying. This was very kind of him considering I hadnít had a real meal in over 24 hours. The kindest thing was that he would not allow me to pay for any of it. I tried, but my tries were in vain.

Once I arrived at the New Life League I finally met Iwaoka-san in person, and was introduced to Chieko-san, one of the New Life League administrators and one of very few other people in the office who speaks English. Chieko-san is an extremely nice person and her first task was to give me a tour around the facilities. She showed me the printing shop, the binding room, chapel, design center, kitchen, and various other locations. She also introduced me to my co-workers in the design center and I then promptly forgot every one of their names. I was introduced to four or five other people that evening including Mimi-chan, a rather large puppy that the New Life League is taking care of for the time being. At the end of it all I went back to my room, which was much larger than I had expected it to be, and crashed for the evening.

Saturday, May 10th
It rained all day. I mostly sat in my room and read books to pass the time. There wasnít much else for me to do. At around 11:30 I went out to explore the area despite the rain, but only lasted about an hour before I was cold and soaked. I got an idea for the area though. Itís mostly houses out here. There are businesses that line the higher traffic areas, but itís pretty rural for the most part. Well, as rural as a suburb of Tokyo can be. Most of the houses have a small garden next to them where they grow produce. After shopping at the convenience store the night before I can understand why. Everything here is much more expensive than in the states. Even a small meal at an local restaurant can run you upwards of •1,400. That said, I didnít purchase anything while I was roaming about. I had planned on trying to find a plug converter for my computer cord so I could use my laptop, but wasnít able to even find an electronics shop. Thus, I spent the rest of the day after my walk watching Japanese television and reading books.

Sunday, May 11th
I woke up at 7:00 AM to get ready to go to church with a man I met on Friday night. His name is David and he works in the print shop on the first floor. Heís an American who came over to Japan over 25 years ago to teach English short term but then never left. Heís not a terribly talkative fellow. Riding in the car with him to church felt a bit awkward because I was forcing the conversation the entire way. I eventually gave up and decided to just sit back in his brand new car and enjoy the scenery. There is one thing Iíll give the people in this area of the world credit for, and that is utilizing every inch of their space. They really pack everything in here.

Church was fun. David goes to church with 3 other people from New Life League: Iwaoka-san, Chieko-san, and a man name Demalla (not sure of that spelling). Demalla is a man from Uganda who also works in the print shop. They all go to an international church about half an hour from the office. It was a very cool experience. The worship was in both English and Japanese, but the sermon was in English only for the most part. All the bible readings were done in both English and Japanese. There were more than 5 different nationalities present, and worshipping among them all like that was a very cool experience. The most amazing thing happened at the end of the service. The pastor was getting ready to say the closing prayer when the elderly Norwegian man sitting next to me shot up and started screaming at the top of his lungs in a language Iíd never heard before. He went on for about 2 minutes before he stopped. There was dead silence. Nobody seemed to know what had just happened. A few seconds later the man said a few things in English and sat back down again. The pastor, not really knowing what else to do, went ahead and closed with a prayer. I went out to lunch with him, his two sons, a kid named Joel whose parents are missionaries up north in Sapporo, and David. At lunch we discussed what the Norwegian man had done and came to the conclusion we thought he was just speaking a heartfelt prayer in Norwegian. I talked to the pastor later in the day and he informed me that he had learned through another member of the church that the man had actually spoken in tongues. Because if it wasnít toungues it definitely wasnít Norwegian.

Following lunch, David took me back to the church where he had gospel choir practice for a few hours. That was entertaining. Apparently there are some gospel performers from the U.S. coming over to Japan in a few weeks to do a concert and there are about 300 people form different Japanese churches who are preparing to sing with them in the choir. Sounds kinda fun. I stumbled my way through the practice. Iím not going to perform with them, but I figured why just sit to the side when I can sing along.

From there, David, the pastor, and I ducked out early to go prepare for the Global Day of Prayer meeting at a community center about 15 minutes away. On Pentacost Sunday every year there are prayer meetings all over the world that meet. Itís the largest single organized prayer meeting in the world. Davidís church was taking part in it and was running the meeting for the Tokyo area. The meeting consisted of people from more than 10 countries doing individual prayers with a group prayer at the end. It was a blast. Iíd never taken part in anything of that sort before and it was quite amazing. I donít really know how else to describe it. I gotta say, this was the most culture Iíve ever experienced in one day.

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- FLCL
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- FLCL
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7


Manga I Haven't Completed


- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang


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