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I Finally Get My Welcome Party

So. 6.5 weeks into my internship, there's finally enough time for the society section to throw a small "kangeikai" or "welcome party" for me. So in the early evening, the society section chief, who we refer to as "buchou," and the reporters I spend most of my time with all went out for yakitori.

The man making the weird face is Buchou, next to him is Kitamura, who I often go out with, then me (obviously) and finally Morita, who is in charge of my schedule (and therefore my life).

It was really nice to feel like a true part of the company and the society section. They made me go around and say what animal each person reminded me of (which put me on the spot to make sure nothing I said was bad) and just generally had a good time. They said that next week (probably Thursday) they'll have my "Going Away Party," so I apparently get two parties in short-succession.

In other news (and I'll have another post tonight or tomorrow filled with other suggestions of things to update people on courtesy of my mom), my host mother and I went to see Inside Out in theaters. In a questionable re-titling, the movie is called Inside Head here...

The plot of the movie was essentially unchanged (the only difference I noticed was they changed the main character's hated vegetable from broccoli to green peppers). I understood everything that was said, which thrilled me to no end, and my host mom and I bonded over our mutual tears. So if any of you readers haven't seen this ADORABLE (and quite thought-provoking, actually) movie I highly recommend it.

Finally, I went to see a calligraphy exhibit the other day:

I felt vindicated in that no Japanese people can read what's written either. At some level they all blur into rows and rows of black squiggles and in such large amounts it's hard to find any that jump out at me, but there's still something very elegant about calligraphy here.

Here is one calligraphy sensei in front of his work, and I got to ask him about the essential components of Japanese calligraphy:
1. The lines of text themselves. There's two ways people go about them--either they have one (or several) very event rows or they have rows of different lengths and widths. Either is fine.
2. The white space BETWEEN the text is equally, if not more important, than the characters themselves because it's what provides balance to the composition
3. The focus character of the composition. There's usually one line, or one character, that's the "main character" and where the eye should be drawn.

Looking at all the calligraphy made me slightly nostalgic for the brief six months when I got to take a calligraphy class during my study abroad. Of course I was nowhere NEAR this level of competence, but it still brought out a desire to give it another shot.

OK. Expect another post shortly with photos of me in a yukata and of my more recent articles and a translation.
T-9 days...


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