羽之助の帝紀

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Descent of Winter 冬の降下

The snow continues to fall in Ichinoseki. Last week, partly due to my head still not fully recovered from my illness, I went to the wrong school. Thankfully the staff kindly pointed out my mistake and I went to the correct school by taxi, but unfortunately I made a class of fifth-graders wait until I showed up. At least it's never happened before, right? Right? Uh ... Well anyway I managed to get this great shot from the hills.
一関で雪がまだ降ってゐる。多分頭がまだ病気から治ってなかったので先週は間違え學校に行ってしまっ た。職員達が優しく朕の間違えをすぐ指したけどさ。其 れからは速くタクシーで正しい學校に行ったけど、五年生の生達を待たせてしまった。ま、初めてだったから大丈夫でしょう?でしょう?えーと・・・まいや、 岡からこの素晴らしい写真が撮れた。

Heh, even the spider webs had frost on them!
はは、蜘蛛の巣も霜が掛かってあった!

As you may or may not know, there have been a LOT of child killings in Japan over the past few weeks. Little girl strangled, little girl stabbed, little girl stabbed by own teacher. I believe this has something to do with the tradition of making kids walk to school. I'm talking about making a 6 year old girl walk 40 minutes through snow-covered mountain roads to get home. The Japanese, or rather the social system, believes that this makes kids tough. As we see, in practical terms it makes kids dead. At least they are recognizing the problem, as we see in this poster warning kids to basically not believe any of the stuff people may make up to kidnap them.
皆が知っているかどうか分からぬけ ど、最近は日本で子供殺しの事件がイッパイ起こった。女子絞殺、女子刺殺、自分の先生に女子刺殺。此れは學校まで子供を 歩かせる習慣と関係あると思ふ。朕は雪一杯降った山路で六歳の女子を卌分位歩かせる習慣について話してゐる。日本人、即ち日本の社会制度が、この制度で子 供達が強くなると信ず。実際は死体に成るそうです。でも、問題を認めると嬉しいどす。この看板をご覧下さい。誘拐する為に其々な犯人の嘘を信じない様に注 意をしなさい事が書いてある。

At one of my schools I was meeting the second graders for the first time, so I revved up my Canada presentation and showed the flag. The thing that most impressed them was the picture of the beaver.
或る学校で初めて二年生に会ったので、カナダの画像発表を準備して国旗を示した。でも、一番感心された時はビーバーの写真を見る事だ。

On the weekend there was an event called, basically, "Let's Be Friendly With Foreigners", part of a campaign by the educated elite to impart the message that the foreign community is not a pack of raving wild dogs. Part of it included the mandatory Dress Them In Kimono part, although these two manage to pull it off rather well, don't you think?
外国人が狂っている犬ではない情報を広げる為に一関市の教育された精鋭者が週末は「外国人と仲良しになろう」みたいな会を組織した。一つの分は強制的な「着物を着させる」だったが、この二人が上手く出来たでしょうね。

The highlight of the day was making mochi, of course. It's sooo gooood ... One interesting thing we learned is that the hollowed out tree stump that you use to pound the mochi in is written the way it looks - . Variants of this can be found in characters like 兒 (traditional variant of 児, child, which is a head on legs). It's also the basis for the traditional form of 学, learn, which is 學. On the top we have 臼 with X's in it representing knowledge, and on the bottom we have 子, child. Like making mochi, learning consists of pounding knowledge into children's heads.
今日の呼び物は勿論餅つきだった!うま~い!面白い習った事はうすの字はうすみたいの形:臼。この部首は児の旧字の兒で見える。学の 旧字の學の基準も入っ ている。上は子供の頭を指している臼、そして知識事はXに代表されている。下に子がある。餅つきみたいに学びは子供の頭に知識を猛攻撃する事と一緒。

Do not let the older men near the 臼。I have a video of it that I will post as soon as I figure out how.
年上の男性の方は臼に来るのは許さぬ!ビデオがあるけどどうやって見せるかわからん。

We were also treated to a shamisen performance. I wonder if anyone bothers to write modern songs that people will like using these. Probably not.
三味線の演奏を聴いていただいた。三味線を使って誰かが現代曲みたいな歌を書いているかな?多分やってないね。

It snowed again on the weekend and as I made my way to the Board on Monday I was treated to blowing snow. Didn't stop some girls from not wearing anything under their skirt except underwear, though. Now, some schools forbid the girls from wearing anything but a skirt in the dead of winter, because they are Uniform Nazis. I don't have a school like that as I teach elementary and we are allowed to put on snow pants and go jump in the snow. But if I did have say a junior high school then I would wear shorts every day in protest. Or a kilt. A kilt would be nice, actually, but it would defeat the purpose of protesting because kilts are warm and heavy.
週末は雪が又降った。月曜日は教育委員会に行く時、超寒い温度だったのにスカートの下に下着 しか履いていない女子学生を見た。彼女は馬鹿わけないけど;或 る学校の職員は制服ナチスだから女子学生はスカート以外を着るを禁ず。朕が小学校で教えるのでそんな学校に居ない。朕は生徒と一緒に雪ズボンに入って雪で 遊べる。但し、もしスカート以外禁止の厳しい学校に行ったら、抵抗する為に毎日ショートパンツに入る。それともキルト。キルトならいいな・・・でも、重くて暖かいから目的を無効するね。

Here is a picture of the snow-covered rocks of the rapids of Genbikei, from way upstream. It's quite the tourist attraction when the weather is warm. I need to take a better camera though; the keitai just doesn't cut it. Someone should Hokusai this picture though (new verb!).
雪が立つ厳美渓の岩の写真だ(川上から撮った)。天気が暖かいと観光者が一杯来る。携帯で撮るのは満足できない;もっといいカメラを持っていかなくちゃ。誰かがこの写真を北斎してくれる?わ~い、新しい動詞!

Ask dusk fell, I waited on the road for the bus.
段々宵に成った。朕は、田舎の路でバスに待っていた。

Across the road the bus stop was gradually covered with more snow.
向こう側にバス停留所が雪に隠れた。

Mailed a letter this morning. < calvin> Bugs are dying by the truckload! Hahaha, good riddance to them all!< /calvin>.
今朝は手紙を送った。< calvin>虫殺しだ!あはは、さよなら!!< /calvin>

In anticipation of my Hong Kong trip next month, I have bought a practice book. It's good and has a CD included so I can pronounce words correctly, but it's a bit lacking in grammar explanations, and the Hong Kong/Canton only characters are throwing my head for a loop. At least now I know where the hell the word 'yumcha' comes from - it means 'drink tea' and is apparantly used as a normal greeting.
来月は香港に行くので、練習本を買った。CDが付いているから正しく発音が繰り返せるけど、文法の説明はあまりないし香港・広東だけで使う漢字はちょっと分かりにくいな。まいや、ヤムチャ(飲茶)の意味が結局分かるようになってよかった。

Oh yeah, and I checked out Environment Canada to see what the temperature was like in my home town. The Ichinoseki people are complaining that the temperature is reaching -8. Ahahaha, fools!
あ、そしてカナダ環境局のサイトを調べて出身の温度を見た。こっちの温度が-8°になっているので一関の市民が文句と言っている。あははは、何を考えている、庶民?

And here's our new winter banner.
そして我々の新しい冬の長看板だ。

5 Comments 論評:

  • Brrr.......bah that's not too bad at home in hick-ville. But alas, that is where I am going next week. It's colder here in Sudbury......-30 at night for the last few nights. Oh well, send me an email Patrick.

    theguitar_girl@hotmail.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/14/2005 6:11 AM  

  • What do you mean yumcha is a normal greeting? Do you mean greeting in the way that Chinese kids say "eat cooked rice" to everybody at the dinner table at the start of a meal?

    By Anonymous Charlene, at 12/14/2005 11:56 AM  

  • I meant more in the sense of 'have you eaten yet' or 'have you drunk tea yet' kind of greeting. Yum jo cha meih ah?

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 12/14/2005 5:41 PM  

  • DUDe that old guy in the mochi pictures looks just like my uncle...Damn, I would be surprise if he is teaching at a high school...LMAO

    By Anonymous Alex, at 12/15/2005 11:48 AM  

  • You mean the guy in the sweater? Hah! He's a mean mochi maker too man. Watch out.

    Where is your uncle anyway? Is he in Japan or did he move somewhere?

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 12/15/2005 7:20 PM  

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