Messing about in boats/language update

On the weekend I went on a boat trip on the Hozu River with some friends. We were taken from Kameoka to Arashiyama, just outide Kyoto, by a group of (very tough) boatmen who rowed our wide wooden boat downstream through occasional rapids:

Cue lots of screaming from impressionable girls every time we got splashed. It was good fun, and to do it at this time of year with the sakura in bloom along the banks was very beautiful.

Currently writing some begging letters aimed at securing both my research project and my place in Japan once term ends. The fact that I have to make up an original composition in Japanese that says what I want it to say is doing wonders for my language skills. In Level 4, there are so many tests, homework assignments and the like that you have no time to actually do anything with the language beyond the class schedule. Make of that what you will.

I have a rare week where the workload has slackened, so I’m going home to try and read a Japanese magazine article. I used to do it with French magazines all the time, so getting through an article (however laboriously) will be a milestone of sorts.

UPDATE: I found the IMDB entry for the sumo film I mentioned at the end of an earlier post. It’s actually rather good, in a laid-back, droll, charming kind of way. It was done by the same guy who did “Shall We Dance?” which was a huge hit in Japan and eventually got its own American remake. And the strange dance of Japan-U.S. relations goes round and round, oblivious to cack-handed attempts to write it off…


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