日本

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Archive for January, 2010

Ustream, I stream, we all…well, you get it

First of all an apology to the readers coming back and seeing nothing but twitter updates. With my Japanese class beginning 8th of Feb, I’ve been studying even more in earnest (and not just in my insomniac hours!) and staying up to date with my ever-increasing news reader. Speaking of which – *ahem* – “How do you solve a problem like Ozawa? How do you hold several million yen in your haaand?” Oh, will the scandals never cease.

Anyway, my travels on Twitter took me to Jason Gray’s (@jgtokyo) new live broadcasts on Ustream and from there I did a quick search for similar videos. It’s not easy for a newbie like me to navigate, but I happened upon xojapan’s stream. It’s done by an adorable duo who want to bring Japanese culture and perspective to the rest of the world, from a native point of view. The vivacious Kaoru’s personality alternates pretty seamlessly between speaking Japanese and English. Mr. Idee is the quiet man behind the concept who represents the non-English speaking Japanese person who still wants to communicate his culture to the outside world. I haven’t come across many of his kind so far: generally, the blogs that I can read (as my Japanese is still that of a 1 year-old) are by foreigners fluent in Japanese. The live translation between Kaoru and Mr. Idee is much more personal and friendly than those you see at international film premiers and such, so the pilot video was a very interesting.

For other newbies to Japanese out there, check this episode out for some excellent ‘Real Japanese’ vocab and grammar tips, as well as real-time translation with a genuinely compatible translator and speaker. There promises to be many more topics covered like fashion, otaku, trends, etc.

The show is very new, so I hope they carry on with it!

Japan Exhibition at NYC’s American Museum of Natural History

On one of the coldest days this winter in NYC, my husband and I crossed an icy Central Park to visit the Natural History Museum (yes, the one where Ben Stiller worked). We both share a fanaticism for museums, and ended up staying for 5 and a half hours with only a 15 minute break for lunch in the cafe. We missed some reptiles on Floor 3, but covered most of the exhibits. The walk back was bitterly cold and exhausting (we forgot about the 79th street bus and had to basically double our journey) but well worth it.

The Hall of Asian Peoples especially got my attention of course, and I snapped more pictures of the Japanese artefacts than the Japanese tourists. Well, seemed like it. Here is a little selection of my favourite pieces. The lighting in most of the museum is almost pitch black, so I had to use my digi cam on pretty grainy settings. Click them for larger sizes – apologies ahead of time for the quality, but I had to share.

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