Monday, November 7, 2011

Explosions, Disney princess hair, and edible kami buttocks

Today's ode of praise goes to the staff of the Nanzan Institute for Religion Studies.  They are the coolest.  Also, if you go wandering around there and start talking to people, they'll introduce you to people who will introduce you to people who will introduce you to people.  SO MANY PEOPLE.  Today's shout out goes to Professor White, who is a nice guy and told me stories about his neighborhood association and the local shrine and introduced me to a bunch of people.  Also, he has a sign on his door which reads:
"Let's eat grandma!
Let's eat, grandma!
Punctuation saves lives."
(Speaking of, SO MANY EDITORS in the institute, which means SO MANY EDITOR JOKES.  Being an editor myself, I AM SO DOWN WITH THIS.)

Also, my English is getting really rusty.  I type in English all the time, but I only speak in English when I Skype home.  Speaking in English today was really weird.  I didn't recognize my own voice for a second there.

A couple of the girls from my Japanese class made me promise (under pain of death) at the nomikai that I would bring pictures of my boyfriend into class, so I did that today.*  Since the only pictures I have of the two of us together are from the Tech House semi-formal, I then got to explain what Tech House is.**  I think they sort of got it, 'cause they started calling it "the otaku dorm."***  I also got to use the word for explosion a lot.  (I was talking about Stuff Not to Microwave.  They then became convinced that it was a house for people who liked dangerous things, so I had to explain that we had people in the house who Knew Science and kept everything safe.  I don't think they were convinced.)

Also, apparently the best way to impress people is to unbraid my hair.  As we were heading home from class, the other girls were asking me about how long I've been growing my hair out (17 years now).  Then they asked me why I had been growing it out so long, and I said that it was easier to take care of this way, because it's really fluffy.  They weren't convinced, so I unbraided my hair to show them.  Cue several minutes of squealing and petting my hair and saying I looked like a Disney princess.

On a final note, I've been reading the children's book Nakano-san lent me, and, DANG, I had forgotten how...creative some of the stories in the Kojiki are.  For example, Tsukiyomi (the moon kami) goes to visit Ukemochinokami (the food kami), and Ukemochinokami starts vomiting up food for Tsukiyomi's dinner.  Tsukiyomi is so grossed out by this that he stabs Ukemochinokami to death, and then goes to rant to his sister, Amaterasu, about the incident.  Amaterasu is (pretty understandably) horrified by Tsukiyomi's behavior, and tells him that she never wants to see him again (which is why there is night and day).  Meanwhile, all the different parts of Ukemochinokami's corpse turn into different food stuffs, which Amaterasu then gives to humanity!  So next time you eat soy beans, remember you are actually eating kami buttocks.  The more you know!

*He was pronounced "kind looking" and then they made me promise to bring him to meet them when he visits.  Sorry, Nick.  You have no say in the matter.

**If you don't know what Tech House is, it's Technology House, Inc.

***Note that the English meaning of otaku and the Japanese meaning are different. In Japanese it's much closer to "geek" and doesn't only refer to someone obsessed with anime and manga.

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