William (genkischuldich) wrote,

So, on Saturday night, I went to my friend's birthday party in Naka-Meguro. I worked with both her and another man who was at the party, so naturally the conversation focussed on Nova and I got to hear about my boss' reaction to finding out the news. But best of all, because my friend left Nova about a week before it closed, she had been able to stay in contact with all the students she wanted. She's still able to talk to my three favourite students, so she'll pass on my contact details to them too. Those were the three I thought I would miss the most, including the one I got in trouble for approving her to take the test for the next textbook level. I thought she was awesome and my boss didn't agree. She passed the test, of course. :P

Anyway, we went to an Ethiopian restaurant in Naka-Meguro called "Queen Sheba". I have to say, that was the most delicious, most original food I've ever had in Japan. I really highly recommend it! First of all, the owner greets you as you walk in and shows you to your table. It's a really small place, with around seven or eight tables. The walls are covered with genuine-looking African paintings and crafts. Most importantly though, the food is amazing. It's served on this special kind of bread that's flat, grey and spongy. Everyone eats off the same plate with their hands, using the bread to hold the stew. We also ordered wild goat kebabs, which were incredible. They also have a wide range of beers from across Africa.

If you want to get there, just go to Naka-Meguro station (also a ten minute walk from Ebisu). From there, turn left out of the station and walk five or ten minutes. "Queen Sheba" is on the corner of an intersection, on the same side of the road, although you might have to look behind you because it's a little further back from the road.

kuroe and I rented "Ou no Otoko" (王の男 / The King's Men/Man), a Korean movie that was heavily advertised in Japan last year. We didn't know much about it, except it looked somewhat gay.

[Edit: And the English title is "The King and the Clown", thanks to strawberryjoy.]

Anyway, turns out that it's the story of two male performers, Kongiru and Chansen, who perform crude entertainment for villages in Korea about a ?hundred? years ago. However, they offend the King and so have to perform for him and make him smile in order to avoid execution. They do so, and their somewhat debauched sketches are a success... because the king is batshit insane.

He falls in love with Kongiru, the more feminine of the two (and occasional prostitute), and makes him perform in his bedroom at night so that the two can find enjoyment together. Sometimes he makes him use finger puppets. If you think I'm using an extreme form of euphemism, I'm really not! Perhaps the film is, though. The love the two performers have for each other is shown through touches and tenderness, never sex or even kisses. The king kisses Kongiru only once.

The movie becomes less funny and the feeling you had at the beginning about how it would end returns (Kongiru killed the theatre manager and they ran away to form a new troupe). Their performances become sadder, more introspective and, crucially, refer to the death of the King's mother.

At the same time, the king's concubine is angry about his feelings for Kongiru and hatches a plot to have him executed. She posts up flyers with Kongiru's handwriting decrying the king. However, Chansen steps in and claims that he wrote them. They are so close that their handwriting is like that of brothers. It is decided that he is the one to be executed.

It ends with Chansen on the verge of execution, being forced to perform his slack-rope act. Kongiru runs to him, accepting death too and together they relive their glory days as performers, using lines back when they worked in the villages. It may sound pathetic, but we were bawling by the time it ended. The dialogue (well, the Japanese translation) was beautiful. If you can read Japanese or understand Korean, you HAVE to see this! In many ways, it has a lot in common with films with tragic themes like Gohatto or anime like Ai no Kusabi.

Anyway, definitely recommended if you're in the mood for a m/m weepy. Oh, and apologies for butchering the character names. I don't speak a word of Korean and just transliterated the names I saw in the subs from katakana. Sorry. ^^ Obviously a Google search for "Ou no Otoko" isn't going to turn up anything.

I was on the Chuo line today and looked up and saw the end of a video advert for Tenimyu! It was on one of the busiest and biggest lines in Tokyo. I wonder what they paid for that?

I wonder WHY they paid for that?

Although they showed Shirota Yuu as Tezuka, it was directly advertising tickets for the latest show! And they have no more tickets left to sell. Not in Tokyo, anyway. It's offensive and stupid to be selling something with such a strong fanbase when you don't even have enough space to supply current fan demand. The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to raise potential sponsors' awareness and are aiming for a better venue next time. That can be the only reason.

But otherwise, MAJOR FAIL NELKE.

I have approximately 3000 words for my Nanowrimo novel and that's far behind schedule. Here's a link to an excerpt from the beginning. Mentions some issues relating to suicide, so watch out if that offends you.

And yes, it does have a plot. I'm just not saying what it is yet.
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