Andreas’s Japan journeys

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bride dresses, Swedish meatballs and dust inspections

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 2:45 pm

Today I was asked by the teacher if I wouldn’t marry her. But I think it was because I said I had a lot of money… what a hoax! For now, I’m going for the younger ones! Not teachers that is, the younger girls…

Yesterday night there was a show on Japanese TV that showed a Japanese guy travelling Sweden. He tried meatballs with some sweet sause (after interviewing one of the teachers at school who saw it I finally figured out that it was actually most likely lingonberry jam). I didn’t see it myself unfortunately but I sure wish it would be a re-run someday soon.

All I’m doing now is waiting for the cleaning inspection of our room. Once a month the school will inspect their property so that the students aren’t abusing the facilities. I hope we pass. I’ve cleaned it moderately well, but I still have books lying about on both the bed and table, and papers cover all kinds of spaces. It’s just so hard to keep it clean with the few places we can put stuff. The wardrobe is already packed by my room mate’s and my bags and clothes, and the small compartments in the desk aren’t good for much except the books. So the rest is just lying about. Guess I’ll find out of the inspector sees it my way too once s/he arrives.

I’ve also asked the school about the uniform. There is no enforced dress code at school, and so most foreigners use their normal clothes as they do at home. You’ve seen what I wear and the reason for that is the trashy appearance of some other students. But a plain shirt and a tie isn’t much when comparing to many other (Japanese) persons that I see when walking to school. School children, employees, everyone is dressing in a quite formal way. I thought I’d improve my appearance a bit more by wearing a insignia of the school, to show I’m just not some tourist running around. I was disappointed though to hear from school administration that no such thing existed since they don’t have the dress code. If I wanted, I could create my own though, using the Hattori Foundation sign. Sweet, I thought, and now I just got to figure out how to make a pin with that one on it. As long as it doesn’t cost much, I’m going for it. Or perhaps I could have it sewn into the clothes instead.

P.S. Just like to inform that my pictures from Nara are now online and showing, take a look further down D.S. 

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Today’s word is seishikinaformal (as in appropriate)


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Video Japan II

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 1:08 pm

Today I went out for books again. I have written a list of manga that I wish to buy and I found just the store for it. Book-off it’s called and it has a lot of used books, though they sell new books as well. The Japanese are crazy about selling what they do not want or need, books no exception. They handle the books so carefully so they can be sold back to the store again, and despite their good quality, that is what make these second-hand mangas so cheap. I just bought the whole “X” 18 book set. I thought it would cost me 1,200, because the first 15 books were in a set for 900 and the 3 last ones were separate for 100 each. But when I paid the cost only went up to 730 En. 1,000 En is 65 SEK so you do the math. Back in Sweden I would’ve probably had to pay about 40,000 En for the same thing, so I think I made a pretty good deal. Now I just got to get good enough to read them too…


I must also promote this video that I found on YouTube when searching for Ys. It’s frustratingly good and I was positively surprised when I heard that the song played was one I already had in my music list. The song is called Endless History (from Ys IV) and is based on the song The Morning Grow (from Ys I – the one I have in my list).

For those of you who do not know what Ys is I suggest you visit Ys is a RPG much in the same way as the “Tales of”-games in sense of mobility, and “Secret of”-games in sense of combat. They are amongst the most popular RPGs in Japan and they have (to my knowledge) not been released outside of Japan – edit; it has. The games have also been made into several animes – which I am trying desperately to get my hands on – and this video clip is from just one of those animes with the Ys IV theme song with it.

And here are the lyrics!!

When I take the truth                                             When I take the truth
When I take the dream                                          When I take the dream
Sorawo someru asayake                                       The dawn, painting the sky
Make me try again                                                  Make me try again
Make me fly again                                                   Make me fly again
Tooi tokino tabibito                                                A traveller from a distant age

Kazeno nakani ukabiagaru                                   You goddess who float on
Megami yo                                                               The winds
Maboroshi demo sorewa                                      You may be an illusion, but
Shinjitsuno yasuragi darou                                   The peace is real

Oikakete kizutsuite                                                 Wounded, I set out in chase
Inochi kakete tsukanda                                          Risking my life for that I which I desired

Hitowa itsumo yumeno tameni                            People are always ready to die
Shineru yo                                                                For their dreams
Kizudarakeno udeno nakani                                 Now, in your wounded arms
Ima aiwo kanjiru                                                     I feel love

Yomigaeru kiokuno chiheini                                 In this field of resurrected memories
Atarashii rekishiwo kizamu                                   I shall rewrite history

Kazeno nakani ukabiagaru                                    You goddess who float on
Megami yo                                                                The winds
Maboroshi demo sorewa eienno                          You may be an illusion, but
Yasuragi darou                                                        The peace is eternal

Hitowa itsumo yumeno tameni                            People are always living for
Ikiteru                                                                       Their dreams
Kizudarakeno udeno nakani                                 Now, in your wounded arms
Ima aiwo kanjiru                                                     I feel love

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Today’s word is okaidokuhinbargain

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Video Japan

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 5:37 pm

I found two videos that I thought I just had to share. And I wanted to try out the feature to link the video into my blog to see if and how it worked. I also bought some Japanese comics – manga. Now, before you unleash your wrath at me, just let me tell you this (’cause I know what you’re thinking); “no they are not“. Actually, they could not be any more casual than any other piece of bread, or manga for that matter either. It’s just the way 90% of all manga covers look like in Japan. Yes… even the ones that women are authors of. Especially those. You’d be surprised.


I found this video of a dog at YouTube. Some Japanese had recorded it and I thought what the heck. Too cute to be ignored =)

This is the video to the song Clubbed to death. It’s supposed to be part of the Matrix 1 soundtrack, but I have never heard it. My room-mate and I figure if it may be a part of the ending credits

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Today’s second word is futekitounanaughty (as in improper)

The modest art

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 9:50 am

Today I’m going to start with an excerpt from one of my favourite bands; Machinae Supremacy. I found after listening to one of their songs how good the lyrics suited me in my visit here in Japan.

as I hunt through-out the night
I walk alone
can’t help but feel at home
I’m where I belong

– – –

Yesterday and the day before yesterday held some quite interesting lessons. Nothing that I’ve ever had so far in Sweden during my entire school career. Two special dating classes were scheduled. At first we thought it was some kind of a joke, but it turned out to be the real thing. I have no idea why – perhaps because Japan’s population is suffering from a huge deficit of child births – but the school seem intent on teaching us how to pick up girls and go on a date with them. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m telling you it’s for real.

First we had to choose a Japanese movie-star and then we got an assignment to plan for a date using the expressions we’ve learned so far. What we’re supposed to do, where and when to meet, etc. Bit of an unorthodox lesson really, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, especially the teachers….. I ended up dating a 50-year-old via a blind-date. To celebrate our newly acquired information on how to pick up girls, my friends and I went to an okonomiyaki place to feast on this very original Japanese dish. It’s like a pizza pancake with a slight touch of omelette. But it has vegetables in it instead, no cheeze, and is fried on both sides instead of prepared in the oven. Unfortunately you get a huge pile of mayo on the side. We thought it was butter and one of my friends was unlucky enough to be the first to try. At least I was saved from the horrible doom.

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Today’s word is koukiopportunity

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

“Aiwa asobija nakkute”

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 5:53 pm

Today was a busy day indeed. Tests, games, and kisses… Much to keep in the head. First, between 9 and 12, there were two tests. One listening test and then a writing test. I performed quite well acutally, much better than anticipated. I thought I would get a moderate result, as I got on Monday, but it went good, really. I missed one point at the listening test but otherwise got them all I’m pretty sure. The writing test went well too and if I didn’t make any stupid mistakes I think I got about 95% or more on it. So that felt good.

The lesson before lunch was a practice for katakana (カタカナ). We were divided and had notes with single katakanas before us. With them we were supposed to pick the necessary ones up to form the word that Nie-sensei told us. Like fork. Then we picked up fu, o, and ku – fooku. Easy. I was the winner! Ha! But Nie-sensei didn’t have any reward for me, so she gave me a kiss instead (woho!). It’s no wonder since everyone is clearly mad about me here.

 I was invited to a Taiwanese girl’s appartment too, just two days ago. Talk some Japanese and stuff. Was talking to my friend Higaru-san from Taiwan, and his friend came by during the break to say hello. So after talking a bit she thought I should join her and her friends for some Japanese conversation practice. Didn’t really work out that day, so she came over yesterday evening instead. It’s amazing how different Asians are compared to the European scum over here. I met one of the two German girls that followed on the trip to Nara this morning, but when I said hello she wouldn’t even respond. She just looked at me with that artistocratic superior look that she’s always wearing, giving me one glance then totally ignoring me. Same at the store after school. Both girls were present, but only miss Aristocratic was looking my way. Gave them a wave, but I wasn’t really suprised when she did not return it. Just gave me another one of those looks, then began inspecting a very interesting dirt spot on her bluse, continuing her conversation with her friend. Reminds me why I don’t fancy European girls… Lucky me I’m in Japan, and not surrounded by them 24/7 at least as was the case in Sweden. [Removed].

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Today’s word is hoshigaruto covet

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 5:29 pm

Greetings all and welcome to my new Andreas’s Japan journeys here on WordPress. I am hoping that this blogserver will prove better than my last one on Blogger. Be sure to add this new one to your favourites in the browser! *thumbs up*

Monday, October 23, 2006

r0x0rd teh x0xxor

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 8:29 am

I’m just updating now to tell you all that Blogger – the server that is hosting my blog – totally sucks, and I am going to change as soon as possible to another. That means you’ll have to remember a new Internet address to type into the browser if you want to read my coming updates.

This is because in Blogger, all dates, all times, all updates, are totally wrong and I am sick of editing them afterwards. It says I am updating at 10 AM when I’m in school… I don’t know why because I’ve changed the time-zone to +9 Japanese time, so it should register as 5 PM, but no.

Also I am unable to upload more than one picture at a time, making it annyoing to write my Nara-school trip update since I took more than 120 pictures. I just don’t have the patience to upload 120 pictures one by one. So all in all, Blogger totally sucks. And I don’t get the support needed either. So I am going to pause my updates until I’ve found a good server, which might take a week or so. Until then!

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Today’s word is sugokku okkotteirutotally fucking angry

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Chopsticks on fire

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 12:11 pm

Today I asked Nie-sensei out on a date. It didn’t turn out that great. She dismissed by attempt at the very beginning by saying that I was asking too rudely (I wasn’t using the -masenka form, gasp!) and that I was a bit too young for her. Shimatta

Instead, I had to be satisfied with a date with my room-mate Toni. Together, we cooked our first meal in the appartment instead of going out at a restaurant. It was a dai-seiko! We had bought some meatballs the other day so we fried that and tried to figure out how to use the rice-cooker. In the end, it tasted just like it were supposed to. I had been le Cheffe and chopped the vegetables while Toni fried them together with the meatballs.

Toni the master-meatball-roller-with-chopsticks is rolling his meatballs. With chopsticks

My plate of food. Bought it 3 hours before we started cooking. Plate itself, one bowl for rice, one for the food, a pair of chopsticks. I also have a larger bowl for soup stuffed above the sink

I can also proudly announce that I have tied my first necktie via Internet instructions! So now instead of using the former necktie I had which was a fake one, using a elastic band around the neck, now I can wear a real one on Monday. It’s really nice one, with a material that looks like silk (obviously fake since the tie cost 6,50 Swedish crowns), and it runs smoothly along my fingers. And it’s just the right lenght too.

– – –

Today’s word is ryouri suruto cook

Friday, October 20, 2006

Test of courage – chocolate and kanji

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 10:12 am

I went to the supermarket today to buy some food. I’ve been living pretty extravagantly these 3 weeks because I thought that I’d be moving to my host family. As I’ve mentioned my host family is no longer ready to receive me, so now I must begin to think a bit more about my finances. So instead of eating at a restaurant (which is still cheap compared to Swedish standards) I figured that something had to be done, else I would spend my life savings on food alone. So there I was, at the supermarket, when suddenly there was an apparition. A vision; a red box I knew I wouldn’t be able to see in any other country than Japan. Or maybe I would, but not in Sweden at least, and thus never except in Japan… well, I just had to buy it concidering my bad luck with the Japanese candy I bought the other day.

POCKY!!!! Waaaah! *begins to hum on “Love a Riddle”* And then we have my dinner to the right…

Speaking of buying things. Today I got my other two books that I had ordered from school. The self-study-only kanji books. I jus hope that I will be able to study some of them at the side from my ordinary studies so I will progress in the writing part as well. Guess we’ll see about that once we move a bit further.

Minna no nihongo kanji books, let’s just hope I get some use from them

Next wednesday we have our first real test. Chapters 1-6. I think I’m prepared for 1-4 but I’ve got to study more on 5 and 6. Only problem is I’ve signed up for a school trip on Saturday so that whole day is gone. Instead I’m hoping to take some great pictures, so if I have the time on Sunday you can expect a long account of my journey. So where am I going then? I’m going to the city of Nara to visit one of the oldest temples in Japan and see one of Japan’s biggest statues of Buddah; 14 metres high and carved into the mountian I believe. I’m hoping to take some great photos of it.

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Today’s word is yuukibravery

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Genki genki!

Filed under: My blog — Andreas @ 6:15 pm

Nie-sensei started today’s first lesson by asking us if we felt genki. Healthy that is. It can also mean high in spirits, as in “you ready to study until you bleed??!?! huryeeeeeeah!” or something like that. I think she meant the latter. But the fact is that we were supposed to feel very genki too, since today was the health examination for most students on campus. The Japanese are extremely picky about health and cleanliness (as I’ve shown in earlier installments with the hand-washing at restaurants). They are not allowing foreigners to donate blood because it might be contaminated by something that hasn’t been discovered by the doctors in whatever country you come from. It doesn’t matter that I’ve donated blood for the past 4 years, my blood just isn’t good enough. So that’s one income that I won’t be able to account for.

Today though, it wasn’t my blood they were after; it was my body. I swear, the doctor wanted me. No one had to take their shirt off but me. I guess he wanted to see my manly torso. Anyway, into the buss I go (yeah, they’ve got mobile x-ray centres) and it’s done in a jiffy. They were checking for tubercelocis(?). I wouldn’t be surprised if I had actually got it even though I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life, because in Japan people smoke as if their face is on fire. You don’t see it because of the smoke they constantly breathe out. Puah puah, even high school students smoke if they can get their hands on cigarettes. Good thing they wear school uniforms so you see if it’s a boy or a girl. Wouldn’t want to make a mistake when I pull out my flash-cards extraodrinaire

One bus each. Only male doctors in ours though…

Nie-sensei. At 2 o’clock she’s still genki. She actually works until 5;30 then studies English from 8-10

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Today’s word is shinsatsumedical examination

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