April 05, 2005

Little pig, little pig, let me in


I have a VISA. Its official, Japan has opened its doors to me. (And in traditional Japanese homemaking now means that I'm in a neat entryway and there is certain second threshold I need to cross before I actually am inside the house - so called "permission for entry" upon landing in the country).

I am labelled oddly as a "Specialist in Humanities/International Service", which is dandy. I loev the sound of "Specialist", its like a few steps from Doctor, or Professor, but you actually sound like you do something important. (Oh yes, I am in giddy schoolgirl mode). I wonder if I could officially change my title from Mr to Specialist. Though its probably a contradiction, as I'm a self-confessed generalist when it comes to anything - know too much and you don't think you can learn anything.

The Naked Man Festival in Okayama (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE) happens around February but was oddly on Compass tonight. The gist I got was that originating as Imperial decree for the city to purge plague, sin and evil from the peoples, this ceremony sees a man chosen by monks (thes days a volunteer), put in a sumo nappy and thrown amongst a seething mass of other men in sumo nappies - which is made interesting by ropes, a podium, and firemen/police dousing them with frigid water to keep the "hot crowds calm", he is finally rescued by the monks through a "cross between bungee jumping and crowd surfing", taken to a mountain top and put through some final rigors of endurance jogging and being pelted with paper. Man, Matsuri (traditional Japanese festivals) are out there.
Our local festival here in yeppoon involves floats, advertising, lollies and water balloons (oh and pineapples).

Also, on Sunday a nice earthquake hit the Ibaraki-Fukushima area. Nice. Seafood, and earthquakes - must overcome.

after edit: i spelt earthquake without an "r" three times in this, WTF?


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