Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I Learned In Japan 1: Yatte shimau koto

So here is my other series, so I'm not always writing about the same thing.
It's entitled "Things I Learned In Japan" and I'm not sure how many parts it'll be, but this way, when I think of something I learned, I can post it here instead of boring everyone I know about it.

So, without further delay, lets begin!


Yatte shimau koto(やってしまう事)
Yay for Japanese lesson!!
The -te verb ending "shimau" in Japanese means, literally, to do something so thoroughly it has a negative effect. In informal Japanese, it's the -chau ending.
The verb "yaru" means "to do", in a very colloquial sense.
And "koto" means "thing".
........Put it all together and you get: "Things that you do so thoroughly it has a negative effect".

In other words, "mistakes". (note: this is NOT the actual word or words for mistakes, but simply a way of expressing it.)

During my stay in Japan, I realized that there are different ways people deal with problems, particularly with how they react when people do things that upset or hurt them.


For example, your husband has an affair. Instead of accusing him of betraying you, some Japanese women will ask themselves what they could have done to cause him to want to have an affair. They may blame it on their lack of skill in cooking, housework, etc.
Now, to an American, this sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? Well, true story, I was told that unless I learned how to cook fish and all the Japanese meals and "got better" at doing housework, if I married a Japanese man, he'd definitely leave me for another woman or cheat on me.

Also, when things go wrong with friends, it's a more Japanese way to think about what you could have done wrong rather than jump in blaming everything on your friend.

They also have a tendency to apologize for EVERYTHING first. You bump into someone on the train, within half a second, they will say "sumimasen" or "gomen nasai".

I think this is really an effective way to deal with things, personally, and I've started applying it to my own life. I've been told by many people that I'm much, much more considerate than I used to be and that I seem to be much more peaceful.

I now usually say sorry whenever I make a mistake doing ANYTHING, and since I've just started at Dunkin Donuts, I've been making a lot lately (just a fun fact, we put the flavor in first, sugar second, cream third, and THEN the coffee. If it's not in that order, we don't sell it.). I quickly respond "I'm so sorry" and everyone says, "no worries" or something like that, but I can tell they appreciate that.

They have a word that's often translated as "opponent" called "aite"(the kanji is 相手 "inter, mutual, together" and "hand"), but it literally is "the other person". My last host dad taught me a lot about Japanese culture and the way things are done in Japan. He always told me that I should always always always put aite no kimochi (the other person's feelings) first.

It's a deeper concept than karma, which is usually based out of a fear for the repercussions and a selfish desire to be treated fairly, but instead, based out of a mutual desire to maintain peace. If everyone considers others feelings when making decisions, the best decision for everyone can be made. It's also partially just "one of the things you do" in Japanese culture, which probably doesn't make much sense to most people.


HOWEVER, this desire to seem unselfish also can lead to company workers being bullied and not voicing their opinions for fear against repercussions for going against the grain. Oh Japan, there's just so much to talk about...


So, any questions? comments? I'd be happy to discuss more about this if asked. Let me know.
Next post in this series: For a country that wants everyone to be the same, they sure do like ranking themselves, and everything else.(maybe the title will actually be shorter, but you get the gist)



Side note: New photos post coming soon. My charger crapped out on me so I have to convince my dad to let me borrow his again.


Thanks to all the new commenters and everyone who views this!! I hope I can continue to post more interesting stuff in the future. If I haven't responded to you yet, don't fret! I will try to get on tomorrow :]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Around the town...

Today's post is about my town, but it's mainly for my Japanese host brother, so it's primarily going to be in just Japanese, sorry!

I'm writing a new post and working on finding good pictures for my new series. I'm also planning to add a new series too.

Also, any suggestions for the "About Me" page? I might try to do a survey or something to make it more fun. let me know if you have any ideas! :]

So, from here on (until the end of the post), 日本語でしましょう

今日、私の町に散歩しました。二人の姪っ子、アレクシスとエイブリーとお兄さんの彼女と一緒に行って来ました。
リンダのアイデアでした。

行って良かったです♪

 最初はエイブリーの写真です。


毎日もっともっと大きくなるみたいです。


ずっと赤ちゃんで生きれば良かったのに・・(笑)







このチャーチは子供頃に行ったのチャーチです。

United Methodist Churchです。(http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%A1%E3%82%BD%E3%82%B8%E3%82%B9%E3%83%88)


今は、神様にあまり信じないですけれでも、Agnosticismに信じています。実は、何かに信じますが、世界をよく分かりませんので、どっちの宗教に信じれば良いって本当に分かりません。(日本語でAgnosticismの意味





イロハモミジです。



英語でJapanese Mapleと言います!


懐かしいですね。

早く戻りたいなぁ~









アレクシスの遊びの写真です。

子供頃にそれと同じ風に遊びました。
楽しかったんです。









ペンシルバニアの紅葉です。



美しかったんです。



 秋がとても好きです。
きれいなシーズンですね。






あぁ、もうすぐハロウィーンですよ!
友達がパーティーをするんですよ。楽しみしています♫

このブログをチェックしてくれてありがとうございます。

今日も、頑張ろう!
それでは、またね!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remembering my school life in Japan: Part 1(VERY PIC HEAVY)

I'm introducing my new series! It will be divided into a few parts and will be about my high school exchange in Japan!

Here's how I plan on dividing it up:

Part 1 - Introduction to my school and 2年2組 - My first homeroom

Part 2 - 2年3組 - My second homeroom
Part 3 - Events at school/daily life/being a gaikokujin seito
Part 4 - Relationships in Japanese High Schools
Part 5 - Public vs. Private High Schools
Part 6 - Random Memories

I may be adding more if I feel more ambitious, hah!

I've been having mood swings lately and I've decided to start by blogging about my exchange as a way to channel all this change of thought so the loneliness doesn't kill me. I miss Japan too much.



Part 1 - Introduction to my school & 2年2組, my first homeroom
I was a one-year exchange student at 清真学園高等学校(Seishin Gakuen Koutou Gakkou, link).
It's a private Junior/Senior High School located in Kashima, Ibaraki. Students from as far north as Mito, Ibaraki and as far south as Narita, Chiba come to this school.

It's considered one of the top schools in the area and has a strong Rugby team and Shorenjikempo club. In 2007, it was selected to be a "Super Science High School" meaning, for 3 years, they would get special funding, textbooks, and money for trips to further their school's studies all while relating it to science. Even our English textbooks were primarily about science.

There is about 1,000 students school-wide and has over 100 teachers. Two are Americans, both from Washington State and teach English. Many of the teachers are graduates of Tokyo University, Meiji, and other top Japanese universities, making it a very prestigious school.

I attended Seishin with the exchange student from Thailand. We were the first year-long exchange students in over ten years, so it was a very new concept at Seishin.
Even with three other foreigners, I was the ONLY person with light hair that wasn't grey, which made for some funny looks, but some great laughs.

The 11 months I spent there was amazing and I made tons of friends and tons of memories. So hopefully I can share some of that with my readers (if there are any, hah!)



My first homeroom was 2年2組 or 2nd year, 2nd class(same as 11th grade in America). There were 41 people + 1 gaijin.



 Class picture - from my LAST Long Home Room (where we had assemblies, played games, had study time, etc) as a 2-2er but it was so much fun!


I will always have a lot of love for this class because they put up with me when I couldn't speak Japanese at all.






(should go under memories, but time appropriate)
From Halloween last year. This was from a Halloween cookie container. It turned into a pumpkin mask.

We had a "Halloween Party" during lunch, but that just meant they MADE cookies. Stupid American me went out and made treat bags for my main friends and brought in candy for everyone else.

.......Halloween in Japan is not Halloween in America.
My friends and I all got matching back-packs from Uniqlo.

We took pictures of us all together, and then we vowed never to use them on the same day because it was too embarrassing (so they said).

I gave mine to my last host sister because I couldn't fit it in my suitcases :[ But I will always have this lovely picture to remember them by♥


This is the one-week exchange student we had . She was staying in Tokyo originally but came to visit us for a week and she was SO COOL!

She helped me with my Japanese some, which I'm really thankful for.






Random picture from lunch. This girl became my BEST friend from this class.

She and I sang anime theme songs in karaoke... a few times! haha. She was a secret otaku.
 My shadow buddy!
She had to show me around a lot during my first month.

We, sadly, didn't stay very close at all. She became tired of having to "take care" of me, I think. Would someone like a blog about the pressures of being an exchange student vs being an exchange student's friend vs being a host family? I think it's a very interesting topic that I'd LIKE to write about.



 My group of friends at our bbq!


me and my two friends in our horribleeee winter uniforms. DEFINITELY not meant for white girls.


it started SNOWING but we still had the bbq.



The boys, hiding under umbrellas, and all trying to "sneak" into my shots without making it obvious. They were so cute.







The people in this class were very, very, very shy. The boys would run up and "test their English skills", sometimes ignore, and made my gaydar go off many times before I realized it was just a difference in culture. The girls were sweet, but since they were very rich, were pretty into labels.


I had 7 girls in this class who I ate lunch with, had all my classes with, and relied on for a long time. However, I think they had some issues between them that, due to my lack of Japanese cultural awareness/lack of language ability, were never explained to me and I'm not really sure why we kind of "split up" right before spring break. Sometimes I think it might have had something to do with me..... *sigh*


Do YOU guys have any questions about this class? Or any questions about Japanese high schools in general? I'm willing to answer anything so feel free to ask, ask away~! Maybe I'll add in a Q&A page for this series?


I'll try to update tomorrow as well, hopefully with a coordinate post as well. :]

Sara Mari's Cat Naming Contest!

I recently entered Sara Mari's Cat Naming Contest!
I entered with the name "Momiji" because "who doesn't love the leaves changing for fall? Also, your birthday is in the fall and you got her in the fall and she's orange. Anddd what Japan lover doesn't want a japanese name for their pet?"


annnnddddd I won 3rd place! (link)
I'm very excited and I highly recommend that anyone who reads this check out HER awesome blog which is full of fun Gyaru-kei stuff.


My next post will be about my high school in Japan, so please check back in like an hour, haha.

Friday, October 08, 2010

大切にしている人

今はもう午前の一時になってしまった。ヤベェー!
眠くないですけど・・・


私の部屋はピンクです。
前にLexiがこの部屋を遊びのところとして使っていましたから。

本当に子供っぽいですね!

お姉さん系じゃないなぁ~(笑)






Averyが大好きです。
まだ赤ちゃんですが、私の事をよく知っています。

毎日一緒に遊んでいます。
その時はすごく楽しくて自分の子供を生まれたまで楽しみしています。

今から十年の後で家族を作りたいんですが。(笑)


 
 Averyの目色は青いです。
母親と一緒。

私の目色は母親と一緒。


 Averyの笑顔はステキなと思います。
Averyは良い女の子になれる気がします。








Avery,良い顔で!!良い顔で!とお願いしました(笑)











ナイトメアー・ビフォア・クリスマス』のシャツです!!!!
三歳頃から一番好きな映画です!!

2番は『ファイト・クラブ』です!
日本で、私の三番目ホストファミリーの二人の息子さんと一緒に見ました。
若い息子さんがあまり分かっていませんでしたが、玄ちゃんが分かったらしいです。

良かった、良かった。
もし玄ちゃんが分かれば、嬉しいです。


 その話はこの写真と関係ないですね(笑)


 Alexis!
ニックネームはLexiです。

今は四歳です。
毎日、学校から帰って来たら、私の部屋へ走って私に挨拶しています。
"Hi Aunt Stacy!"


可愛いなぁ~







この日はLexiが私に「変な服を着よう!」と言いました。

二人が変な格好で遊びました。
楽しかったです。


私は楽しい叔母さんです(笑)


 Lexiが日本語でご挨拶が出来ます。
 天才ですね!





 最後に、Averyの写真です。













 写真でこの二人の姪っ子育てば良いんですね。

もう少し大きくなったら、日本の事を紹介したいです。

I love my niece more than anything.

今から、もう寝ます!お休みなさい!

Monday, October 04, 2010

today's coordinate!

I started to make a header last night but noooo Gimp had to screw up my layers and my two hours of work meant nothing. I want to come up with a definitive title for my blog.

I guess I'm getting serious about it (笑)

so, here is today's coordinate~


Skirt: Charlotte Russe










 

Black Leggings: Charlotte Russe


they're now currently all covered in lint, hah.








Shirt(or dress on Japanese girls >_<): Paul Royal

This shirt I absolutely adoreeee. I got it on sale at my local Jusco in Kashima, Ibaraki last fall. For those who don't know, Jusco is like Japan's mini-shopping mall with like a Wal*mart in it.
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

This shirt is definitely some knock-off brand, but I love it just the same&hearts;


Boots: who knows!

I saw these as a 1000円 sale in a Jusco(hah I'm a loser) in Chiba!
I love love love them sooo much. They are soft on the inside and were the LAST pair of LLs so it was like fate.





Put it all together and......

Okay, so it's not ALL together because I'm wearing my slippers, but I'm going job-hunting later and that's when I'll be putting my boots on.


It's cold and rainy and blahhhh.
I was going to be nice and erase all the distractions from this photo but meh, you can enjoy wondering what the heck it all is. :]

(my room here is VERY small. and I have LOTS of things. >_<)







So yeah, today I am going job hunting. I WILL find a job, I WILL find a job, I will! I will!
I just need to keep positive and keep working!



日本語の更新は夜でします!その時まで待って下さい^^

Sunday, October 03, 2010

new nails!! twitter!! and some information!

I'm sick still, so I haven't responded to the emails that have piled up. >_<
今週はずっと風邪が引いて送ってくれたメールに返事しなかったんです。ごめんなさい、みんな~

but, Lynda's friend Melissa came down tonight and did my nails!
今夜、Lyndaの友達がうちに来ました。私にデコネイルを作ってくれました!!嬉しいですよ!
彼女がとても上手いなと思っています。
check them out:
チェックして下さい!


















Twitterについて、最近Twitterをやっています。
皆さんがTwitterと言うサイトを知っていると思いますので、紹介しなくてもいいですね。
もし良かったら、フォローして下さい!

Recently I've begun using Twitter. I'm pretty sure we all know what Twitter is, so I'm not going to do a big introduction to it butttt if you use it, please follow me! :]

http://twitter.com/stacywahh

Originally, I had only updated in Japanese, but I think I may start posting sometimes in English and sometimes Japanese, depending on what I have to say.
最初に、日本語だけで更新するはずでしたが、最近の思いで「時々英語に更新した方が良いかな」って思っていました。何ヶ月日本語を勉強しても、英語で話したい事があります。逆に、日本に住んだ事がありますから、日本語で話したい事もあります。

これからもよろしくお願いします!


今日疲れましたので、もう寝ます!
お休みなさい!!