zen_monk: (Default)
Today was a damp 53 degree day in November, and might even rain too. Hopefully when I get down to Tokyo it won't rain on my way down to see a certain someone's wedding, especially when it's after a saturday class where parents and the PTA come down to one of my schools to observe us teach. Parents watching me flail while teaching! Yay! If the chilly weather today is of any indication, it's going to feel much worse in December for this Californian to adjust to. 

One thing I came to notice, and realize, last month was that when I say in my introduction that I am American, a lot of students thought that it means i am half-American, meaning one of my parents is American and the other Chinese. This comes from how in Japan, someone from mixed heritage can only be a Japanese citizen if their father is Japanese, and anyone else have special residency status (infamously, such as when Korean-Japanese are considered second-class citizens here). But there is some obvious smudging of that how mixed kids can be either Japanese citizens or not, so some mixed kids are considered "Japanese citizens" without having the paperwork for it to go through. How that is dealt with can be researched with depth from googling, but it comes under scrutiny for high-profile people such as Renho Murata, whose father is Taiwanese and her mother Japanese, and her eligibility for being elected leader of Japan's Democratic Party was being scrutinized. 

Needless to say, I had to clarify with some classes how American citizenship is obtained, which prompts some "ehhhhh?" From them. 

I didn't do much for Halloween, mostly just spending the weekend tutoring my regular students and also walking around Tokyo on the 30th. There are some people cosplaying and kids in costume, but I think because it was a Sunday there weren't many outside parties around. Then again, I kinda limited myself to just Shinjuku and Harajuku, and I think it's in Ikebukuro and Shibuya where the parties are at. But I also spent the weekend getting new clothes and buying some makeup so I can practice making myself look at awesome as possible. I think I came to a point this time where I want to try thinking about taking care of my body and how i want to present myself, and probably gain some semblance of control out of it. 

zen_monk: hiimdaisy persona 4 web video (let's get drunk)
It's already been half a year since I've been in Japan, and how does the time fly by so quickly? Sometimes it still feels like I'm still in the first four months of my time here, but now the weather actually got much cooler this week and trees are bare of leaves already. It really feels like yesterday that the weather was a sticky humid 80 degree hellscape of cicadas, but last night I pulled out the comforter for my futon and actually slept confortably in it last night.

It's actually nice that I've gotten into the swing of things at work, and i think it helps that at one school the English Teacher of the sixth grade teachers wanted me to observe him conducting the English lesson first and then teaching the other classes. I've also since looked for lesson plans online in Japanese, made by folks in the JET Programme, and just using their lessons and talking about it with the teachers in other schools.

I've also made new friends. Around last month, I met [personal profile] ser_pounce_alot and the fiancé in around Tokyo, and we went hiking at Otsuka with her other friends living in Japan. I'm looking forward to her wedding next month and meeting lots of other folks, too. It was also nice to talk about the education system in Japan and learning the ropes, so to speak. As well as what it is like to live in Japan and the trials that go with it.

Recently around two weeks ago, on October 1st, i was at the Tsuchiura Fireworks Festival and saw other ALTs from my company there. We caught up and talked a lot of new things that happened in the second semester, particularly the new batch of ALTs that came by for the fall term. I already met some of them over the summer when I ran into them in Tokyo, which the odds in doing so are so random that it almost seems like divine intervention, and I wasn't too impressed with some of them. One of them, largely, was someone who is more fluent in Japanese, but is also a type of know-it-all. Worse still, he acted as an authority on facts that are incorrect, and he raised my dander up when he interrupted me on my spiel on Yasukuni Shrine and implied that there weren't actually war criminals enshrined there and that it was the assertion by the US or whatever. Yeah, sure, that'll totally go well explaining it to a Chinese person whose family had had Japanese soldiers occupy their hometown, and then he had the gall to say that what happened in the past doesn't affect the present.

The worse of it tho, was what I found out during the fireworks festival when I caught up with the rest of the folks. I found out that they mostly distanced themselves from him, and in large part because he was stalking one of the new female ALTs, who happens to be Asian and that raises some red flags since there's the usual type of people who sign on as temporary workers in Japan, and also because he enjoys arguing his point of view to the verge of antagonizing everyone he meets. The fact that the place he is stationed at, Ishioka, makes it worse because the folks who work there told me that there's a lot of organized crime families there and general scofflawery that I think implies that he might be getting more attention attracted to him. Most outrageously, when he and some of the ALT friends I know went to a nearby city, he got in trouble with actual Yakuza who threatened him in a bathroom.

Not that I actively wish ill upon people who ran into dangerous crime families, but I wouldn't bat an eye if he really got into serious trouble.

March 2017



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