One day until Halloween

October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

halloween01

“On Halloween, the parents sent their kids out looking like me.” Rodney Dangerfield

Bizarre Japan – Otaku Queen

October 27, 2015 § 1 Comment

In America, otakus are enthusiasts of all things Japanese. They read manga, watch Japanese animation and collect figurines of their favorite characters. They often show up at conventions wearing cosplay costumes. Most Americans are not against this group. In Japan, where the term originated, otakus are social outcasts. A typical otaku is one who rarely venture outside of his room, spending most of his time on his hobby (e.g. video game, anime, manga, idol stalking). Otakus are easy to spot on the streets, since they usually don’t make an attempt to hide their personality or obsession. Due to high-profile incidents associated with otakus, some Japanese find otakus suspicious and potentially dangerous.

Although Japanese otakus do not go outside often, they do meet in groups. Most otaku groups are predominantly male. They typically only admit one girl into their group and call her “Queen”. Being the only female in a group of male otakus is certainly risky and there have been unfortunate “incidents”. In recent years, the stigma of being an otaku has worn off somewhat but it is still a pejorative term.

Next -> Train Wreck

Sword of Fury – Chapter III, Part 2

October 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

The person who just spoke was a Mansi native named Daichin. He was a bearded young man with bulky built and ape-like arms. He was wearing a thick coat and a large shooting bow on his back. Daichin was known in the area as Great Dai for his enormous strength and wrestling prowess. When he was just 11 years of age, he defeated Mansi’s top wrestler and had been undefeated since. Daichin and Boju had known each other since they were young kids, playing on the vast grasslands of Mansi.

Due to his father’s severe restrictions on his social life, Boju had very few friends. One by one, his friends distanced themselves from him not wanting to incur his father’s wrath. Daichin was the only one who remained friend with Boju through all this time. When Daichin learned that his best friend was about to leave on a journey to avenge his family, he wanted to tag along to assist him. Knowing that Boju’s adopted father would disapprove of it, the two agreed to meet up here.

Sword of Fury – Chapter III, Part 1

October 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

When Cha Boju reached the age of 18, his adopted father Jung summoned him to his presence and gave him permission to begin his quest to avenge his family. During the 18 years, Jung had hired the best teachers of every subject to teach Boju. The young man was fully immersed in the classics, practical medicine and swordplay.

“My son, I have done everything to prepare you for this day. Be brave and never waver. I will be waiting for good news from you.”

After Boju bid farewell to his adopted father, he hopped onto his horse and headed southward. As he was reaching the southern boundary of Mansi, he was greeted by a familiar sight.

“How long are you going to keep me waiting?”

Bizarre Japan – Senior Recreation

October 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Japan has one of the largest elderly populations in the world. It is estimated that up to one third of the country’s population is older than 60 years of age. While Japan is an affluent country, not every senior citizen is able to retire properly. Most Japanese retirees can’t afford the expensive travels or the luxury of opulent community living. They have to resort to creative ways to pass time. One of the more popular recreational activities for Japanese seniors is to visit the hospital, and it has nothing with medical care.

They visit the hospital daily to socialize. Day after day, the same people show up at the hospital to see their doctors. After their daily check-up, these seniors gather to talk and gossip. Health care workers at hospitals and medical clinics know the true reason behind these daily visits, but tend to play along. One of the main topics of gossip is with regards to those who missed their daily visit. People often speculate on why their social friends did not show up at the hospital on that day. Did something happen to them? Did they pass away? The gossiping is a little mean, but it is a popular way to pass time.

Next -> Idol

Sword of Fury – Chapter II, Part 9

October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

Jung would spend the next two months in Dosi, scouring the areas in and around Dosi for the baby as well as investigating the circumstances behind the attack on Cha’s mansion. Finally, there was good news. A paid searcher informed him that an old couple who lived in the mountain four kis from the forest recently adopted a baby, who was left on their front porch.

Immediately upon hearing the news, Jung rushed to the couple’s house to see the baby and verify his identity. Although he had never seen his friend’s baby before, he recognized right away that this was Cha’s son. The child strikingly resembled his dear friend. An examination of the towels wrapped around the child found an embroidered family emblem. Jung recognized the emblem as belonging to the Chas. The child was indeed his friend’s son and had somehow survived the tragic ordeal.

Jung adopted the baby afterwards and named him Cha Boju (the avenger). To protect the child from possible pursuers, the silk trader moved to the remote border town Mansi.

Poetry: Two Sisters

October 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Two sisters, two beauties.
One has white crane’s grace,
The other swallow’s fervor.

The younger is full of youthfulness.
Her shape’s elegant, her face’s comely.
When she speaks, songbirds stop and listen.
When she smiles, proud flowers turn green with envy.

The elder is charming and understanding.
Her radiant cheeks inspire blossoms to bloom.
Her shining eyes are not unlike dazzling pearls.
Her brilliant face puts even the moon to shame.

Truly, there are no greater beauties.

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