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Showing posts from 2016

Wabi_Sabi Wrapping it Up!

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Wabi_Sabi What a ride! The last two and a half months have been a roller coaster ride to remember. As Wabi_Sabi's drummer, I'll be wrapping up the year with a collaborative live show in Hadano (秦野) AEON mall. The performance will feature Wabi_Sabi and another up and coming jazz pianist, Jacob. 
So far we have played 18 live shows, traveled over a 1000km all the way from Niigata in the west to Hamatsu in southern Shizuoka and as far north as Sendai. We stayed in hotels, campers, manga cafes, cars, you name it. We played gigs in front of 100's of people on the street, and live shows in front of empty seats. So goes the life of a performer.
While there have been a lot of things I've taken  from this experience, there are two things in particular I'll write about in this post. First is my Japanese, and second is my personal growth as a foreigner in Japan.
Being with Benny and Hiro on the road for days at a time has given me an opportunity to grow as an individual in ways I…

A New Chapter: Wabi_Sabi

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Wabi_Sabi I have been given an extremely rare opportunity to be a part of a project that I can honestly say not many foreigners have had. Starting this month I will be touring with a professional band all over Japan as a their drummer. I'm super excited for this opportunity and because of the rarity of the situation I thought it would be an interesting topic to share with you all. With this shift in blogging I'll get a chance to publicize my band overseas and also give some of you who may be interested in playing in a band in Japan an inside look at the industry.
Last month I accepted an offer to play with Wabi_Sabi, a band that's been active all around Honshu, Japan for the last 5 years. You can visit the website here and listen to our music and find out where we are playing. We are currently working on an English page which should be available soon. If you can't read Japanese and want to come see us live then go ahead and friend me on Facebook and you can get event inf…

How to Improve Your Japanese: Survival Situations

I was in the hospital attending to my father-in-law who, at the time, was suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). By this time, my father had lost the ability to speak and was on a life-supporting respirator machine. One morning I walked into his room to check on him and saw a panicked look on his face. I could hear wheezing from the tube providing oxygen to his lungs, and his faced started turing red. I noticed there was a nurse in the room attending to another patient, but I wasn't quite sure what to say or do so I just started speaking anything and everything I knew in Japanese. It got her attention and she quickly attend to my father by clearing out the obstruction in his breathing tube and the situation was under control.

Again, I was in a hospital at midnight with my wife who had been suffering from a high fever for almost a week. In the moments before heading to the hospital she began to lose feeling in the right half of her body, and I immediately starting thinking …

Batman V Superman: Comic Book Hipsters

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This has nothing to do with Japan by the way...

*Spoilers ahead*

I'm gonna just get it out from the get go: Is anyone else sick and tired of the completely ridiculous reviews of hero movies by folks who read comics religiously? They remind me of the hipster culture who thinks they can crash anyone's party just because they know better. Or more pointedly, they remind me of the comic book guy from the Simpsons.

Daredevil is a great example of a failed production. It was fairly criticized by both the comic book reading population and movie critics for it's lack of character development and terrible acting (Ben Affleck at his worst). That said, I watch Batman V. Superman and I really liked it. Okay, I understand there are quite a few storylines that go astray from the comics, but this is to be completely expected, which is why I can't understand why all these comic fans have their feathers in bunch about it. As a movie, it wasn't that bad (rotten tomatoes 29% and fall…

Language and Culture: Part II

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*Be sure to read part I to get the whole picture.

I once heard from a linguist professor, "Language is culture, and culture is language." They are intertwined so beautifully, like an intricate mandala spread out across the floor. Early humans viewed the world around them and constructed culture and language almost simultaneously based on what they valued, feared, and desired. What they valued, feared, and desired was largely impacted by their environment. If they lived in an area where natural disasters were prominent, then the language of that particular region would reflect that in a multitude of ways. Japanese is a language vastly different from English because it developed in a very different part of the world; a very simple conclusion, indeed. But what are the roots of this? I'd like to examine this below.

*Please understand that this is not an academic paper, just an accumulation of many discussions I've had with friends and colleagues in conjunction with book…

Language and Culture: Part I

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This is a topic I have been pondering for quite some time and I'd like to break it up into a few posts. It is my hope that what I write will compel you, the reader, to venture beyond the comfort of your own world, be it your culture, neighborhood, family, etc. Not just for curiosity's sake but to dive deeper into places, dare I say, that will change the very core of your understanding of the world we live in. For me, Japan, its culture, people, and language have been that place, and I'd like to share that experience with you. 

*As you've probably noticed by now, I'm not the best writer and I have surely lost whatever I learned in my college years having lived in Japan and spoken the language for as long as I have. If you bare with me for a while, maybe my writing will slowly make a come back.*

This post has been on the back burner for years. I have made some attempts to start it but failed at each try, mostly because life either got way to insane to handle or I didn&…