I can’t believe it’s been two months since I last posted on the Long Countdown. I even missed the last Japan Blog Matsuri about Favorite Places in Japan, which was a shame because this place would certainly qualify:
This is one of many beautiful, sandy beaches at the foot of Shizuoka prefecture’s Izu Peninsula. We went down there in Golden Week, and it was Rikuto’s first time ever to see the sea and play in the sand.
Ricky wasn’t scared at all of the crashing waves… in fact, he quite enjoyed splashing around in the water.
You can tell by his trousers in the last part of the video below that he got wet to the waist when he inevitably fell on his bum as one wave caught him by surprise.
We had a great time, thanks to the beautiful weather and wonderful hosts at EigoHomestay.com.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been for the last two months, I’ve actually been very active on the net, most recently blogging on the JapanSoc blog and BloggerTools.net. I’ve also racked up over a thousand posts on Twitter if you’d like to follow me there.
I just heard that my poor dad tripped on the pavement while running for the bus and knocked his two front teeth out. I do hope he gets well soon. In the meantime, here’s a little ditty to cheer him up:
Life for a Japanese teenager is supposedly harder than for anyone else. The pressure to study hard has driven many people over the edge, as demonstrated a couple of years ago when there were a spate of suicides among junior high school students in Japan.
The Japan broadcasting corporation, NHK, has an educational channel filled with children’s programming every evening. Currently they are playing a song by Angela Aki which is clearly targeted at junior high school kids. It’s about a 15 year old student struggling with life who writes a letter to his/her future self to ask for guidance… and gets a reassuring letter back.
There are two animated videos that NHK shows – one with a boy and one with a girl, but I’ve picked the official video to show you instead. It’s called “Tegami” (letter) and really is a beautiful song, one of those anthem-type tracks like Celine Dion’s Titanic offering. Just don’t cry, ok?
Do you think Japanese junior high school students have it harder than their peers in other countries?
Over on the Daily J, our friend Tori is working hard to bring Japan’s community of bloggers together. As well as projects such as Nipponster and Japanopedia, he is regularly giving exposure to blogs and community-driven websites such as JapanSoc.
The JapanSoc social bookmarking button is a textual or graphical link at the bottom of a blog post that when clicked, automatically submits an article to JapanSoc. Here’s my first attempt at a video tutorial, a 9 minute overview, stealthily avoiding all the details and focusing only on WordPress.org blogs.
I was just looking around at the Japanese videos on youtube.com, and came across the following ‘English lesson’. I know we talk about using role-play to teach English, and how chants are a good way to remember phrases, but come on! This is just silly! I must confess that I’ve never seen anything quite like this on Japanese TV, but I guess it must exist. Maybe I’m not up early enough to join in the morning TV English aerobics sessions.
If you can’t view the video, you can see it here at youtube.com.