Tags: gaijin

Photography: Sakura

The Japan 30-day Meme: Day 12

It Gets Better: Cooking For My Boyfriend Inspired by Dan Savage's project, a chef explains how he cooked dinner for both his parents and his boyfriend's parents, something he never thought would happen.

More on Do-M and Japanese "masochism" in survey form

Japan Writers Conference Because I'm still thinking about it...

How To Write About Japan

Day 12 - Describe a fail!gaijin moment, where you did something wrong or completely misunderstood because you couldn't ~read the air~ or just plain had no idea what you were supposed to do because you weren't born and raised here. Describe a gaijin!smash moment, where your foreignness was to your benefit.

My first epic fail was during the second time I visited Japan. I was in -- I think -- Akihabara and I saw a big sign which said "doujinshi". I congratulated myself on knowing the kanji and went inside.

What I didn't know was that in doujin culture, the types of doujinshi have a very clear line between them and the type for men is the default. There's "doujinshi" (hentai) and "doujinshi for women" (yaoi). So basically I'd just walked into an anime-flavoured porn shop. It only sunk in when I picked up a book with Bridget from Guilty Gear on the cover.

On the same day, I was trying to find Animate (there was little English language information online in those days) and so I stopped off at a little wooden shack covered with posters of anime girls. It was -- can you guess? -- another porn shop. They were very helpful though and I visited my first Animate thanks to them.

I had another fail the other day when I was looking for the ENTA version of Lawson Ticket, which is a free magazine covering musicals and stage plays, and I could only find the LIVE version, covering concerts.

I took it up to the register, pointed to the section on the front where they mentioned the other version of the magazine. It was the first time I read the whole thing and it said, "ENTA and LIVE versions have... now been merged into one magazine!"

So it went something like this: "Sorry to bother you, but do you have the ENTA verssAARRRRGHHHAAFHDGETRE$##$#%#$%52fl@[; Sorry! There used to be two magazines, didn't there? Thank you!"

I was glad I'd already paid for my tickets.

Gaijin!smash is pretty much gaijin!fail from a different angle, when people step in because they think you're too stupid to deal with things yourself.

Some people see the extra openness some Japanese offer foreigners as a form of privilege -- they are more likely to touch us, stroke our hair or make comments about our bodies. This is a privilege I could do without, but a lot of people welcome it, are flattered by it or at the very least don't feel able to object strongly to it.

I guess one positive thing I can say is that performers are more likely to notice my friends and me at live events. For example, at Tenimyu, four foreigners standing amongst 4996 Japanese people will get a second look. Some seem happy to have overseas fans and have reacted more positively than I would've ever considered -- Matsuzaki Shigeru springs to mind. Others seemed like they were suffering from extreme meiwaku -- and I'm not naming names there.

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Chintsubu: Rabbit!

(no subject)

This was Sunday's "Season" column in the Asahi Newspaper. A poem by Kamo no Mabuchi (賀茂真淵).

橘のもとに道ふみゆきかへりもとつひとにもあひにけるかも

真淵は江戸時代半ば、今の静岡県浜松の人。四十歳にして郷里を出て江戸の人になった。この歌は久しぶりに帰郷したおりの歌のようだ。橘の花咲く道を行って帰り、また君と再会できた。香り高い橘の花は遠い昔から追憶を誘う花だった。

I thought the explanation was beautiful. I'm going to be going home (briefly) soon, where I will proceed to buy up all the Cadbury's Flakes and mead. That's where my flowering road leads.




I went to the butcher near our house for the first time today. I should have gone sooner, since the meat was really cheap and high quality. I just have a fear of smaller shops/restaurants just because I've had so many experiences of being thrown out of them in the past.




Kuroshitsuji news

In other news, Velvet Network radio looks like it's going on hiatus for a bit from the next episode.




Went to Machine Magic (monthly gothic-industrial event) and was surprised to see a clip from it up later at JGoth. I imagine the guy recording it was one of the people I was speaking to. Anyway, I saw Psydoll, Neurotic Doll and Custom Mummy.

Darkest Fest - June 13th
Club Walpurgis - June 19th
Goth Bar Heaven - June 25th
Midnight Mess - June 26th

I'm sure I won't be going to all of these though... Definitely Walpurgis though and one of either Midnight Mess or Goth Bar Heaven. Anyone else want to come?




I talked about the auditions earlier... looks like I made it! I was surprised so I didn't really hear the casting director's description of my character (I think he said the character was Phillip(s), so either a new character or I misheard). Pretty sure it's minor and non-speaking though and I guess more-or-less everyone got in. But still, I'm very excited about this!

Thank you very much to umbrellaofdoom for posting the audition details.