|Jan. 19th, 2011 04:26 am Cards from Yukari|
Just thought that I would share a couple of cards that my fabulous friend Yukari has sent me from Japan:
Yukari recently sent me this pop-up Xmas village card for Xmas. Even though I took a bajillion pictures of it, the best one still doesn't capture how truly awesome it is.
Yukari sent me this card during the summer. As I understand it, it is customary to send out late summer cards. Can you believe it? How many of you find it to be a monumental task to send out your Xmas cards? Imagine doing that in the summer as well as in the winter.
This card, which is also a pop-up, depicts something that I have seen in lots of anime series. It is the goldfish scooping game which seems to be a staple of the o-bon festivals in Japan. You have the chance to keep any goldfish that you catch. However, you have to use a very flimsy device to try and catch the fish. In anime, it is common for the main character to be amazing at catching fish, to the point where the booth has to shut down.
This might be a good point for me to announce my new Japan-related goal. But first the old Japan-related goal that I think I have given up on:
*ahem* Two years ago, I set myself the goal of traveling to Japan for one year. I imagined that during that year I would be working as an English teacher. I was not able to go at the time due to serious obstacles related to money and to my health.
Well, it turns out that it's good that I was not able to jump into that plan. You see, I made that plan while wearing rose-coloured glasses. I had an unrealistic idea of what it would be like to live in Japan. Since then, I have read many accounts from people who have spent time in Japan. Many of these accounts gave a positive review of Japan, but many did not. Many people wrote about hardships and challenges that had never occurred to me; and I have to admit, I have a hard enough time dealing with the ordinary everyday challenges of life. I don't think I could handle dealing with all of that in addition to a language and cultural barrier.
Normally when I write about Japan, I write about things that are fun, or bizarre, or cool. But honestly, that country, like any country I suppose, is facing some serious issues. For many years Japan has had the highest suicide rate of any county in the world. The reasons for that are beyond the scope of this little corner of the Internet.
I have to be honest with myself - I'm not up to it.
Besides, there is so much Japanese stuff here in Vancouver that it probably makes a lot more sense for me to enjoy Japan from the safety and comfort of my home city.
Anyways - my new Japan-related plan: *ahem* I want to be ready to visit Japan for a two week period in August!! I will probably be able to catch an O-bon festival at that time and try to scoop some goldfish!
Now, whether or not I will actually go is a secondary issue. But that is what I am hoping to achieve. And I'm
fairlysomewhat optimistic about it. Even though I still face serious health concerns, I think that I now know enough of the language and culture to be able to brave the land of the rising sun for fourteen days.
In my daydream, my vacation will revolve around taking my friend Yukari to Tokyo Disney Sea. She was such a good friend to me when she lived in Vancouver; I would love to pay her back a little bit. I would love to be able to win a goldfish for her.
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