Sunday, September 26, 2010

Leaving our kids. I'm so sad.

Chico, Wakako, and Tedo
Benjamin Franklin was proved wrong by a few days, but not so many.  Almost three weeks with six of us in Ted and Wako's small but comfortable house has tested each of us, but everyone has done so well.  That being said, not a one of us isn't ready to settle home. 

Off to a long work week for our favorite couple, and off to our long travels for us.  We will leave here at noon today, that is noon in Kyoto, and arrive home at dinner time.  (Funny.  Leave noon on Monday, travel for 23 hours, and arrive in Chico at 6 pm on Monday, exhausted.  How is this NOT time travel?)

Update today,  9/27.  Took a full 36 hours door to door.  So why do I dread doing this again?

Update today, 10/ 3.  Still jetlagged.  WTF.  I hate this.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Osaka Human Rights Museum and Human Rights in Japan.

Ripped illegally from some website: Burakumin were
in charge of dealing with corpses.
Learned a lot after a visit to the Osaka Human Rights Museum today.  Many of the same discrimination issues we face in the states are paralleled here in Japan, including gender bias, gay/lesbian rights, and the rights of those afflicted with HIV.  Equally interesting was the discrimination against Okinawans- who many be compared to our Hawaiians, the Aian's from northern island Hokkiado- who live similarly to our indiginous Alaskans and the Koreans and Taiwanese, who were brought to Japan years ago, used as cheap labor, and are today discriminated against in many ways.

Most fascinating was the chapter about the Burakumin.  For this I could find no parallel in the U.S.  In the early 1600 s Japan established a caste system of four classes, and the Buraku were below the lowest, the outcasts,  being those who dealt with death- undertakers, butchers, executioners, and leather workers.  Although this feudal system was eliminated in 1871, those labeled as buraku have not been able to thwart the stigma placed on them by an extremely class conscious society.  Do read more HERE if you're interested.  This is fascinating stuff particularly in that is so prominent today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kyoto has KILLER humidity.

I am ready for California Valley DRY.  Arghh.

Take me out to the Ball Game, in JAPAN!!!!!!!!!

Ted decides the whole family should go to the Hanshin Tigers
vs the Tokyo Giants game in Osaka. 
Dad wants to wear his SF Giants hat; that gets vetoed big time.
The tickets Wako and Ted got required a purchase to a meal at an Osaka hotel, so we are forced to eat at a Chinese full course dining room.  Each meal probably cost $85.  That, times all six of us?-  $510 holy crap.  It was hard to believe we were stuffed- each plate was so small- but there were 6 courses.  Unbelievable meal!  And so much fun!  Thank God for Wako who could tell us what we were eating! (oh. The tickets weren't nearly that expensive.  Puhleeze.)
In the train station.
I love the random graphics everywhere...
CRAZY fans!  95% of the whole crowd wore Tigers jerseys,
hats, towels, hand bands and had the plastic clackers. 
OMG so over the top, but such a blast.
 Each section had a cheerleader, trumpets, and every one in the crowd
 knew all the songs and chants. 
We were SUCH gaijins!

Right fielder from the U.S.
Matt Murton, who looks almost exactly like Ted,
or Ted looks like him, hits a home run. 
Could have been Ted with the response
he got from our portion of the stands.

Seventh inning stretch.  No one sang no dumb "Take me out to the ballgame." 
Every single person in the stands blew up balloons. 
Again, SO over the top, and ridiculously fun!

Some fans dressed up for the occasion. 

Those with these wide "Japanese worker" pants
were the MOST  avid fans of all.

In spite of the fact that the Tigers lost,
Murton had a good game, so Ted and Hobie (aka Matt Murton)
were the stars of the exiting crowd. 
We knew none of these people, but they all wanted photos with our two "Murtons." 
Our jaws were hurting from way too much laughing.

Japan is SO Japan!

Thursday, September 9, 2010