Saturday, April 1, 2000

Japan 2000

Me as seen by Japanese 6 year old - note big eyes!

Kana, my girlfriend. Kodak put this sticker on - I think the technician was looking at the highlight in her hair rather than making a racist comment! The highlights in her hair were dyed brown, so they probably thought it was yellow from a light bulb. Kana's favorite things were Kakigouri (flavoured shaved ice), chocolate, Hello Kitty and Disneyland. Her favorite place was a toy store in Hirakata City. She made her own teddy bear, which she named Jason after the Friday the 13th monster because it was kind of lopsided.
Jason. She had lived in Africa for a while too.
foot remedy - she had broken her foot earlier and this was a therapy... it was a high voltage current and the wand her mother is holding would light up. She also took these blueberry pills that Japanese believe give better eyesight.

This is at the famous Kinkakuji or Golden Temple in Kyoto. You can see it on live cam here:

Kinkakuji live web cam - the trees haven't grown at all - I guess the gardeners keep them trimmed like giant bonsais!

Kana was Zen, like this temple, but Soto rather than Rinzai. She taught me the meaning of the koan "What is the sound of one hand clapping?". It's just a metaphor meaning you need more than one person to do some things, like the saying "It takes two to tango". Soto doesn't use Koans for meditation, as Rinzai does, just as aphorisms, so Koans have meaning in this tradition.

Hardworking lads. Note the artificial tans, very popular with Japanese youth in 2000.
On a lighter note...... this is Osaka Castle....

Osaka Castle

Me in front of Gate in Kyoto - Nijō Castle (二条城, Nijō-jō) 

Itty Bitty Dolls.... popular in Japan really.. there is even a Doll Day.....

Sushi a gogo - you pick what you want off the conveyor belt that goes round and you pay for the number of plates you have left on the table.....

Celine Dion hawking a course for English, something she'd never do here....also saw Meg Ryan on a TV commercial.....

Yes, I love Japlish... get a nice claup??? They also like using other languages - I saw a whole sign in German -- even cafes in small towns have 'Good Morning' written in hand on the sidewalk menu.. also there's this TV commercial for a cell phone that has a camera inside that lets you send pics to another phone..... guy's trying to pick up a girl in a bar.... she gives him the cold shoulder and he sends her his pic with 'Sorry' written on it....
Temple or Shrine in Kyoto with elephant head on pillar - only time I saw an elephant in sacred art in Japan. The complicated wood structure at the top of the pillar is supposed to act as a shock absorber during earthquakes.

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