Skip to main content

Birthday and School

Hey everyone! First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes, whether I recieved a letter in the mail, or an email, or a facebook post. It means a lot to me that everyone was thinking of me. (Sorry, wanted to get the mushy bit out of the way first.)

My birthday was pretty nice. It was the day before school started, so I pretty much just chilled out. Midday, my grandmother called me up to her apartment, where one of her friends presented me with this:
They hadn't meant to give it to me on my birthday, so it was really just a very lucky coincidence. It's a beautiful kimono, and I'm really lucky.

That was the cake I had for my little family celebration. Much as I would have, I didn't eat them all: I had the shortcake, my mother had the mont blanc and my grandmother had the chocolate (Ayuko was in Osaka, so it was just the three of us.)

Then here's the picture you (might) have been waiting for: *drumroll*
TADA! Summer school uniform! It's a navy pleated skirt, white socks, loafers, and the sailor-ish shirt. There's a sweater you can put over it, but it's so ridiculously hot I didn't bother. The navy bag is the school's bag too. Girl's definitely get the short end of the stick for uniforms: a guy's uniform just looks like dress pants and a nice white shirt, which isn't such a bad thing, but girls get the whole long-skirt shebang. But I have to admit, it's kinda fun to wear (no, I didn't just say that).

Today was just the opening ceremony, so I met my homeroom teacher and class, and then had to go to this Buddist temple-place where the principal was going to talk to the whole school via wireless TV (like they have at Payton) and then I had to get up and give my little speech thing, which went well. Everyone in my class is so LOUD! It seems like my all-girl's school life is going to be energetic. Classes start tomorrow; and here's a list of what I'm taking (but first, pity me people, I have school on Saturday's too since it's a private school!)
Math (unspecified)
Science (unspecified)
Home E.C (aparently I'm sewing a yukata...ulp!)
and there's some Self-Study periods thrown in there as well. Which is what "Reading" and PC (computer studies) will be.


  1. First off, that uniform is awesome, and you wear it well.

    Second of all, CAKE!

    Third, you have 10 classes...10. That's a lot.

    Fourth, give me your goddam email, woman.

    Fifth, miss you.

  2. I love the uniform -- I think you look great in it.

  3. I haven't been on FB & didn't know it was your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!...late.

    Gotta say, you look darling in that uniform! I'm sure you'll get to wear jeans during down time.

    We start youth group next Tuesday. We'll miss you but, boy what an adventure to hear about now & later.

    Love to you, Clare

  4. Happy Birthday again, you're awesome, kimono and uniform both super cool, miss you, you rock that uniform :-D
    Lauren :-D

  5. CUT THE SKIRT CUT THE SKIRT! and you look amazing in your kimono :) wish you were here at Payton cause it feels like our little group is incomplete without you :'(

  6. I'm with Josie on that one! It's so weird! I can't wait to have you in my lunch period (6th?)...

  7. Claire,
    Happy belated Birthday! Your kimono is beautiful and you look beautiful in it!
    Your host family seems quite lovely and it's nice to see faces to go with the names. I am glad that you like them!
    Your school uniform is cute! If the skirt was shorter and you had on knee-high socks....well you know!
    I have so enjoyed reading about your adventure. Thank you for taking the time to share the experience with us. I have been reading since the start, but now I can post to you! Yeah me!
    We miss seeing your smiling face at church! I look forward to reading your next entry. Take care, and don't work too hard (that class schedule looks like a lot of work!),
    Sharon (White)

  8. That cake looks really delicious! Haha and it's so awesome that your birthday is the day before school starts. Time to super chill. :) Cute uniform by the way. :D


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.

The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Final Touring Excursions

Tomorrow is my last day. It felt strange to write that sentence, knowing that I've been gone six weeks, which feels like both no time at all but also forever. Even though this is my fifth time coming to Japan (and the fourth for an protracted trip), the coming-and-going is something I don't get used to. Just as I start getting over my "ugh, I just want to go home" hump and settling in, well, it actually IS time to go home.

What have I done the past few days?

Well, on Sunday my host family and I took a drive to Yamanashi prefecture (re: near Mount Fuji) to visit the Oshino Hakkai, the Eight Sacred Ponds of Oshino. According to the signage, when people used to hike up Mount Fuji for pilgrimages, they would purify themselves in the ponds before starting their journey. And having stuck my hand in an (acceptable) corner of the main pond, Wakuike, it was FREEZING. Some other ponds have specific purposes, however. One was for people who wanted a good marriage, for instance.