近海る (Kin Kairu)

JET, Japan, Journalism and other J words

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

RPM: Koe no Katachi/A Silent Voice vol. 1

Whew, it’s been way too long since I’ve done one of these. This is mainly due to, well, not really finding anything in particular to talk about. When I originally decided to do this, I wanted to pick up books that were a little more obscure. Possible to obtain, but really trying to avoid any “HEY HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS LITTLE THING CALLED ONE PIECE.” But between a high volume of manga now being translated and legally released online, combined with not really finding anything that clicked with me, the task was a bit harder than I imagined. I also didn’t want to fall into a slump of “here’s just an average book, I guess” every time I wrote.

With that, I will try to write any future “Randomly Picked Manga” when I do find something that lights a spark, rather than just any ol’ thing I find. Since I frequent my local comic shop more than I should, there’s no doubt I will find something. Not too long ago, after hearing a good amount of buzz, I decided to pick up the first volume of Koe no Katachi and, luckily enough, it was the exact thing I was looking for.

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Tokyo Takedown

Despite how much I try to travel around Japan, I have to say I have overly neglected the eastern part of the country. Sure, I spent a couple days in Tokyo during the initial JET orientation, but I can’t say I really count those as we barely had enough time to get out of the hotel and explore. Last weekend, I decided to change that and finally give Tokyo a chance.

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Spring Cleaning

Late post, I know, but I didn’t feel comfortable finishing this until events last night.

Amongst the surprise I get that, yes, Americans also have a traditional spring cleanup ritual, I’ve been in a flurry of cleaning between my two schools. Sure, in my middle school days we just had to clean out our lockers, but here the daily “10 minute cleaning time” is extended to “a couple hours cleaning time.”

But the Japanese office system also likes cleaning up their roster, transferring members to other sectors or locations. In the case with my Board of Education, that could mean getting a new supervisor. The more common change is teachers switching schools within a district. It’s usually guaranteed they’ll still be in the same area, but it is possible for a teacher to be transferred from one side of the island to another, as is the case with one of the teachers I work with.

While none of the Japanese Teachers of English I work with are leaving this year, two teachers that I have gotten closer with are: the two Judo instructors.

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Tokushima Temple Walk: Next Steps

I want to show you something.

Wooden Monk

I received this Monk “puzzle” from the art teacher at my big school, who also happened to complete the pilgrimage. When I returned to the office, and he found out where I had been, we had lengthy conversations about the trail and our experiences. He would pull out his map book (which I guess he just had at his desk??) to show me what would be in store for the next prefecture, which is a lot more lengthy than Tokushima to say the least. While he drove the entire trail, it still didn’t take away his accomplishment. After overhearing our talks, the school secretary mentioned he also used to work at one of the numbered temples in Ehime. As the word spread, I was also asked to give presentations to the third and second year students about my trip.

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