Where in Hyogo can these precocious primates be found?
Archive for January/February 2011
The owner of Basin Street, Mr. Tachihiko Kawasaki, once said during a concert that he didn’t really like the song after which he named his bar. “It’s too downbeat,” he said. “I wanted to name the bar after ‘Satin Doll,’ but there’s already a Satin Doll in Kobe.” He may be dissatisfied with the name, but he’s very satisfied with his job. He gets to own the bar, play guitar and drums, and hang out with jazz musicians all the time. If this is what a mid-life crisis gets you, sign me up.
It has come to my attention, after a year or so of hanging around Kobe’s jazz clubs on the weekend, that I hardly ever see other foreigners who aren’t performing. This is a disappointment. I’ve mentioned my jazz excursions to other ALTs, and they’ve complained that there’s a dearth of information on Kobe’s jazz clubs in English, which is true. With that in mind, I’m starting a new series of articles here at HT, spotlighting jazz clubs and events. I’ll also answer any questions you may have about visiting Kobe to see a live show.
It’s the dead of winter here in Hyogo, and you all know what that means: influenza! Teaching is one of the absolute worst professions to be in come flu season, as teachers are surrounded by sniffling, coughing, plaguebearing students. I usually interact with between 140 and 200 students a day, and with the added strain of capering back and forth like a dancing monkey for their edutainment, my immune system can always use a boost. So aside from eating a sack of mikans every day, what’s a health-conscious ALT to do?
About 65 years ago, a soldier coming home from the war returned to a Japan very different from the place he’d left in 1931. He had been in China during its occupation and had seen the Soviet invasion of Manchuria before making it home. He had witnessed the very worst of human nature.
My articles have created a rather disparaging image of Japanese men, and somewhat unfairly I think. After all, most of my friends in Yashiro are middle-aged men, and they’re not all that bad. I kind of like how many of them enjoy drinking, crack filthy jokes, and are generally easier to get along with than many women. The local men had been gathering every night at a nearby shrine to drunkenly prepare the mikoshi for the fall festival, so I decided to crack a few beers myself and hear them out.
Or don’t you know anymore? There’s been a lot of talk, this month, about the changes made to the circle of zodiac signs, the addition of a new sign, and displacement of birthdays into different astrological zones.