Monday, February 02, 2004

It's been several days again since I last wrote. Nearly a week in fact. I had a game of poker on Friday night with three other guys. Apart from the fact that I lost over 40 quid, it was quite an enjoyable evening. I went skiing at the Owani ski area the following day with some of the teachers from Owani high school. It was a good day considering I didn't pay for a thing, apart from lunch. I got a free pass (which they've let me keep for the next two weeks) and I've been invited to the ski school day that they are having for the students. In the afternoon I met up with some of the other JETs and I got my snowboard out instead. I'm picking it up quite nicely now, and should soon be ready for a trip to Hakkouda. I'm starting to miss the place actually, I haven't been for about two weeks now.

I went out to the pictures with Aki yesterday. We went to watch The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. It was a good flick about the last days of the Bushido creed under Emperor Meiji of Japan. Meiji is always glorified by the west as the man who brought Japan into the twentieth century, but little is considered as to what he trashed for the sake of modernisation. Watching the film made me realise that I still know too little about Japan's history, and that I should really be gleaning the facts from sources outside of Hollywood. I recommend anybody to go and see it though, if just for the final battle scene and the harikiri scene at the beginning - what a glorious way to go; ) (Harikiri is the age old Japanese custom of redeeming your shame through a gruesome suicide ritual where you yourself cut your abdomen out and then your friend slices your head off with a cold steel blade - don't forget that suicide in Japan is still regarded as the respectable way to redeem yourself if you have done something wrong; facing up to your problems and dealing with them constructively is for pussies).

And then, after the pictures we went to a family onsen for a good scrub and soak. Going skiing again this week at some point. It's going to snow heavily on Wednesday, so I might go up after school.