Saturday, 24 September 2011

..of Kangaroos and Kickin' Tunes 1-II - Dazzle Vision LIVE

I was thrilled to recently catch a Dazzle Vision gig at the Nagoyan live house, TIGHT ROPE. The night went for about 5 hours with a lengthy line-up of bands. The supporting line-up featured an eclectic mix of bands who played punk, metal, and one, some sort of angry hip hop-screamo hybrid. Much to my amusement I experienced two firsts.

The first one was that there were children in the drinking establishment!! So, this is allowed? Yep. In Australia, kids at a licensed venue is a big no no. It was a surprise to me indeed, but later I realised that it is no big deal in Japan. Whether it be in a live house, an izakaya, or at Hanami, alcohol and children can hang out together, as long as they're just hanging out. I have since seen kids in izakayas both as customers and as staff of family-run businesses. Anyway, yeah, these kids at the live house belonged to the owners it seemed. One of the kids who I'm guessing was 4 years old, had the cutest little Slipknot shirt on. Little man, metal horns to you \.../ Amazingly, the little dude slept through the angry hip-hop performance and practically half of the Dazzle Vision performance.

The second first (?) for me was the Japanese mosh pit!!! Haha, it is a rough and tumble love-in, really. They are pretty high energy and some of the participants like to run around a little and really get a human whirlpool thing going. One of the most metal things I have ever seen was this 4ft-something woman get accidentally clotheslined, decked like the proverbial mofo (not actually a proverb), and promptly get back up, reciprocally bow twice to apology-san and resume her headbanging.

In between sets I spied a girl that I thought could of been Maiko from DV, but wasn't sure. I took a chance and went over and said hi and sure enough, it was her!! I got to have a chat with her which was awesome, such a lucky guy! I also got a photo with her too!! Winning! She was really cool. She was really excited about the band's latest album and also the reception to it. She said later on (if I understood the Japanese correctly), that they had been experiencing full capacity at their gigs in some quite respectable Tokyo clubs/live houses. Great news for them indeed, they deserve to make it big.

Their show was superb. The music was great, effects were used really well and thankfully, Maiko's voice really delivers live. All of the members really get into it too with the guitarists jumping around, standing on speakers and all that, and Maiko ritually jumping around, headbanging and also claiming some speaker-top territory of her own. I especially like the photo of her saluting the crowd. Witnessing her operatic-screamo style live is so much fun. It never ceases to amaze me how she can switch from the throat abrasion of screamo to the meliflous tones of her singing voice. The set was a good length, featuring mostly the new stuff. A great show and I can't wait to see them again!!

I really look forward to prospecting for more interesting bands in the live houses of Japan. Until next time guys, rock on :D

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Word of the day 差し込む. Brought to you by naughty 1年生

Oh brother! Those bloody junior high boys. I had a funny interchange with a little group of 1年生 boys in between classes. It went something like this (translated because I love you):

Boys: Uuwah, Danieru sensei. Haroo.
Me: Hello there. What are you up to?
Leader boy: Nothing. Oh! Come, come.
Me: Where? (suspiciously)
Leader boy: To the joseiben! (Girls' toilet)+(Probably thinking, heh heh, doubt he knows that word)
Me: No chance! Bad! Danger!
Leader boy: Haha (damn he knew it), come on! It'll be grand.
Me: No chance, mischief maker (I am fond of using the word 悪戯者・いたずらもの which can mean prankster, mischief maker--> be careful, it can also mean loose woman--> mental note to use this only to males, haha)
Me: So what's your next class?
Boys: Science!
Leader boy: Sashikomi, sashikomi!
Me: Huh? What's this sashikomi mean?
Leader boy: Mwuhaha, SASHIKOMI, SASHIKOMI!! Haha.
Me: (takes out electronic dictionary) Sashikomi, eh? Surely this is a dirty joke (下ネタ).
Boys: HahahahHAhHAhaha. He knows 下ネタ!
Me: Insertion. さすが (just as expected)
Boys: **ROFLing at my disappointed (but slightly amused) face**

So 差込 or 差し込む meaning to insert, "thrust in" etc. So to all my fellow ALTs on the frontlines, if you hear sashikomi, get ready to ask, 下ネタですか (shimoneta desu ka?). Little buggers will get a kick out of it, and so should you, seeing their reactions.

Haha, until next time!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Word of the day じんじん(と)

Hey! So whenever I hear a word that is new to me at school or otherwise, I'm going to start noting it down here so that I (and you diligent learners of Japanese) can come back and reference them.

So without further ado:

じんじん A "と adverb" (an adverb that must be followed with と+verb)
Meaning: tingling sensation, painful tingle, throb etc. ALSO ringing of the ears

So today, one of the students came into the school office complaining of an injured arm. The school nurse asked her something like:
どういうふうに痛むか? --> Literally: In what style does it hurt?  --> Most naturally: What sort of pain are you feeling?
The response by the student was じんじんとする!痛いよ~

So there we go. In my formative (and shamefully, in my not so formative) clubbing years, I could certainly have used this expression to express the state of my poor ears following the many drum n bass, techno etc. parties I have been to. So, invest in ear plugs otherwise 耳がまさに、じんじんと痛むよ~

Cheers and study hard!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Nice moments in Japan

When you come to visit or live in Japan, you will enjoy many nice moments. Sure, there may be some bad moments too like any other country on the globe, but you can put big money on you having mostly nice, put-a-big-smile-on-your-face kinda moments. Let me share one I had tonight.

It stems from a simple enough gesture, but nevertheless, reminded me of my gratefulness to be here. So, I was out with my fellow Podunk JETs tonight at a yakitori izakaya/restaurant. We enjoyed our meal and were just about to leave when one of my mate's students recognised him. The student came over and we were having fun talking with him and his grandmother and brother who were on their way out when the chance meeting occurred. And here it is. The 'mama' (name for the chief hostess of an izakaya) spots the exchange taking place, and soon enough had organised 3 cups of on-the-house tea for our new friends.

Now I said it was a simple gesture, but mama had really impressed me by organising this. It is like they really approved and wanted to facilitate the interaction of us with the nice little Japanese family. So with the tea served, we indulged a bit longer in our conversation with our new friends.

Nice form mama. Nice form Japan.