A theme from the movie we saw last night – Twillight Samurai
The morning started
With rains and rainbows
Mid-term of study.
In our nihongo class, Linda Fujikawa-san sensei introduced Iwasaki Hazuki, her teaching assistant, and a student at Kapi’olani Community College (KCC) in Korean and Chinese. Hazuki, whose name means August – leaf moon, Iwasaki means Stone Mountain Top, is prepared as a pilot and in the domestic arts, her sister is a flight attendant on the Japanese version of Air Force 1, and whose brother is also a student at KCC, as both of them escaped the uncertainty of radiation in Japan. She translated her name in Kanji, its spelling in Hiragana, and the use of Katakana for foreign names. The instructors will be writing our names in Hiragana for us. Hazuki, upon prompting, told us about her feelings of suicide when she held her flight school class back because she wasn’t as strong as the 59 other students – all male. Her group pulled her back from jumping off a building. She had wanted to be a fighter pilot but recognized that no woman has ever made it through that program.
Van Gessel lead us through a survey of modern (after the Meiji restoration) Japanese literature, with an emphasis on Mori Ogai’s Dancing Girl and Natsuma Soseki’s Kokoro. After lunch, we discussed Edogawa Rampo’s The Human Chair, Akutaga Ryunosuke’s Rashomon, Kobayashi Takiji‘s The Cannery Boat, war literature – tenko literature repudiations, A-bomb literature, postwar literature, Dazai Osamu’s No Longer Human, Ota Yoko – A-bomb survivor literature, Tanikzaki Jun’ichiro – writer of evil and setting, Makioka Sisters; Enchi Fumiko‘s Masks; Abe Kobo’s Woman in the Dunes; Mishima Yukio‘s modern no plays; Endo Shusaku’s Silence; Murakami Haruki’s Norwegian Wood; Yoshimoto Banana; Kawakami, Ogawa Yoko’s Housekeeper and the Professor , …
After class, Paula, Cara, Sara, and I went down to the beach. On the way back, I heard from John and was met by the canal by Narcis, Gary, and John and we went to the Japanese food court in the mall. They are soccer fathers – their sons play on a travelling team and practice in the field below the Tokay. After sharing a refreshing dinner, they dropped me off and I went back to Wakiki to catch up with our group as they were finishing a sushi dinner. We had some lycee ice cream and walked along the canal home. Here’s some souvenir photos —
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