The Japanese pride themselves in not getting angry. But they are excellent at holding grudges. In fact by holding back anger so much, grudges are unconsciously customary. I made that observation to Miyako-san today, because she kept going on about how the Japanese are so well at holding back anger. But the reason why is tied into the inevitable all-controlling, all-limiting culture of tradition and manners. The reason why we rotate our cup of matcha twice and the reason why we say certain polite phrases for a myriad of occasions also ties into the way we present- and control ourselves. It really frustrated me when I came to Japan. You are unable to confront another. I think this is wrong. For Japanese, it's just something you don't do.
The Japanese have a fetish for bathing and cleanliness. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the Japanese are super gods! They bathe daily, if not twice. They carry a towel with them to wipe sweat and a handkerchief to wipe their hands. The bathrooms are immaculate, the houses are spotless and cleaned regularly with fury. Even my hygiene has bumped up a scale due to the customs surrounding me. I did not know people could be so clean until I came to Japan!
The Japanese are the cleanest people on earth that I have observed. They are so clean! Daily they wash their clothes, and never wear something that has been worn without washing. they take their shoes off before they enter the house. They wipe their plates clean with napkins after eating.
On my new jobs:
I have one :(. I am not in Japan long enough to obtain an ordinary job so I am teaching English to two people daily, excluding the weekend. Ordinarily you are supposed to charge 10,000 yen per lesson ($100), but I charge much cheaper since this is my first time and I don't have any prior experience or training. My dad tells me that I am charging pennies. It's okay. The only thing I need money for is this, that, and bus tickets to Hiroshima and later Yokohama.
I will post on Japanese food later. But here are some pictures taken at a cake/coffee shop:
Emiko-san!Japanese percolators in action:
in resting state:
preparing the food:
Here are some more of Emiko-san, her daughter, and I sightseeing at a castle:
Last night I went to a temple that was halfway between Matsue and Izumo. The concert was long so I left after an hour and a half. The band playing was a group from Jawa (Java?). It was Thai stylish music. But it seemed like the same song was going on for an hour and a half! Besides I was tired from biking 65+ km to the lake and back again. (See pictures below.) Ochi returned my jacket and gave me shot glasses for a birthday present. I'll have to use them sometime soon. Unfortunately I didn't stay long enough to meet up with Tanaka-san. There is some new music I want to give her.
Here are some bands I've been listening to:
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Chemical Brothers
MGMT (I can't get enough of this hot stuff!)
Over the Rhine
Pete Bjorn and John
Ministry of Sound Dance mixes
Buddha Lounge Mix music
and finally, the classic Chris Tomlin
here are some pictures: (see post below)