I can feel the kiss

I recorded this video clip in Vanuatu 2010.
The true beginning…as every day is a beginning.
I just wasn’t aware of it then, that the trip to Vanuatu
was going to set-off a chain reaction of events,
that lead from this moment in Vanuatu,
to my ‘new life’ in Japan just a year later.

The amount of accumulated special moments since then
until this present moment, is huge!
So what I am doing, is to spread them out on my
enormous time line.
I have divided the time-line spanning from little before this
video in Vanuatu until today, and on it I add photos.
To each photo I add a note with event name,
for example “Live gig at Meguro Live Station with xxx band”.

Under the line I also add notes like departure times for
flights, visits from abroad, and everything else.
Just to keep track of all the places I’ve been…
is a task in itself
During the years I cover (about 6-7 years), besides my life in Japan,
I lived in or visited (not in order and many I visited several times):
USA: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico,  Texas,
Utah, and Washington
UK including London and Wales, Sweden, Germany, Laos, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan
Vanuatu, Mexico, Canada, Singapore
…. and more
and in Japan, I traveled a total of 6 weeks with Japan Rail Pass.
From northern Tohoku to Kyushu and a lot of it in between.

The program I use for this purpose is called ‘Scapple’
and it’s really invaluable to my book writing project.

In the photo below I combined two screen shots.
In the upper half,
one can see one year (of approximately 7 years total)
In the lower half one can see
how it looks closer up.
I still need to add more notes about each event,
for example names of band members at a live,
or who was with me at a certain bar and so on.

scapple

It is however time-consuming!
Often I find my mind wandering off.
A photo generate an intense feeling of
actually being there.
I can smell the flowers.
I can hear the music.
I can feel the kiss on my lips.
I can hear arguments and conflicts.
I can sense the love
It’s all embedded in this time line.
And the questions arise.
Why?  Why did we meet?
Why did I choose this or that?
It is also time consuming by the whole
metod in itself,
but in the end, I’m sure this is the best way!

Memories, but also a future.
My future.
Our future.
I have no doubt that even if I’m writing my book
about the past, it is not finished.
My story is not finished.
Friendship, and relationships,
continue in to the future.
My book is a snippet of this
continuum!
It really has no true beginning,
nor is it by any means
over yet!

Anna

 

A little later, a little shakier…

Sakura House International FRIENDSHIP Party !
a little later, a little shakier…
but you get an idea of the vast amount of nations represented ….

 

 

Happy Party People

Sakura House Friendship Party December 19 , 2011

People and happy faces!!
Photos of a few guests but also a photo of Sakura House sweet
staff Lim-san.
She was actually trying to be as customer friendly as always, and
worked while we all were enjoying ourselves!
and… yeah…
….this was….later… after sake and beer …so photo quality is
accordingly ha ha ha

 

 


Above: Lim-san, staff at Sakura House, Shinjuku office

 

 

 

 

International Friendship Party

Sakura House Friendship Party

December 19th 2011 in Shinjuku.

First of all the staff who work at Sakura house are amazing.
They are so kind, so knowledgeable, and well I just love them all!
Here is a mini video from last night’s friendship party.
At my table here first, we see people from Canada, USA, Germany,
Philippines and Japan. Then the camera is swaying out over
the room and you can probably see that the world is represented.
Sakura house has about 1500 tenants, give or take a few depending
on time of year etc.  from ~80 countries.
You can read more about them here:
http://www.sakura-house.com/en/
If you ever come to Japan for visit this is the place to stay.
If you stay less than a month, they have their own hotel and hostel.

 

 

 

 

 

Really Japan… It’s 2011

Japanese Gender packaging –

Teasing in a short mini skirt or all wrapped up in tons of fabric…

The world is going global, at least when it comes to consumption
and pollution of the planet.
Entertainment and music is global, I mean people here in Japan
listen to Lady Gaga as do people in Europe, Africa, Australia…
well you get the idea!

BUT is Japan really included here?
In the same world I live in…. surely.
In the same decade? Not so sure….

I have been visiting and eating with people in rural villages
in the outer Islands of Vanuatu.
I have been sitting meditating with monks, nuns and laypeople in Taiwan.
I have worked in a Lutheran Congregation in Southern Germany.
I have hitchhiked in Sicily and the Eolic Islands.
I have gone to Art school and College in New jersey, as well as
grad school in New Mexico.
I have partied in Pereira, Colombia, South America,
and so on ….
You get the idea here….
…and yes,there are different social rules around the globe,
but,
for the most part the human species seems to follow the social principle that skin and touching and hugging and sex is fun
and something we long to do.
Here in Japan, I’m not so sure what is going on?!
I have read many articles online and in academic literature,
as well as I AM HERE in the middle of it all!;
and they might be on to something in these texts, but no one really
gives  any insights as to why it is so persistent ..
it is ongoing NOW…and when the world is going one direction…
Japan to a certain degree at least does not follow.

Some of this male gender packaging of women, objectification rather,
was part of Europe too, ….about 40 years or so ago.
Yes, yes, I know it still exists! However, there are huge differences.
Something has happened, feminism and what not
and change is constant…. everywhere
BUT  here…
Did Japan miss the 60s and 70s all together.. ?
Were they too busy producing stuff for their huge  financial
come-back post WW2?
Why, why, why, is this rule following behavior so persevering,
when it seems to break away sooner and later everywhere else
(including in China).
If only 50% of the population enjoys a system how can it survive?
This is just a very shallow observation I have noticed over my time
here, and I certainly haven’t been here long enough … yet!
But this theme will definitely be worth digging in to some more

When across the world everyone makes their own local version
‘Idol’ or ‘America’s Top Model’,
Japanese men read manga and watches anime,
but most are super shy and scared approaching real women.
No pleasure for the sake of pleasure without commitment,
unless it is with certain women (or men) for that specific purpose.
A mistress on the side is common…
They have a big sex industry yet the are in the very bottom,
when it comes to having sex within relationships.
All these MUSTs and PRESSURES must be so difficult to carry
and yet stoically they do it even when their own women leave
them for more freedom and pleasures with foreign men!

Please take a note here that I do NOT EVALUATE either path…
I’m definitely NOT saying this is better or worse or crazy…at least
not the no-sex part, the objectification of women is a bit
harder to digest.
No I’m just saying that Japan seems to be of a very different kind.
Somehow CHANGE and DANGER must have been mixed up
in their vocabulary.
and yet they are such eager adopters of products and STUFF…
just not behavior.
Or are they really? The longer I’m here the more I come to notice
that this was a pre-conceived notion I had about the Japanese.
Most of the Japanese that has come closer to me, become friends,
are not at all early adopters, partially because there is
not much to adopt… cash is king, and automatization is not
the Japanese way for the general population.

It is not because they are Asian. China has gone from very few
English speakers to plenty, but Japan does NOT have a young
generation of English speakers. As a matter of fact, if I try to find
an English speaker here, I usually try with an older woman first!
There seems to be a huge bump with people under 35-40 years old
being the ones who speak the least English.
There must be something political motivation here.
A population who don’t speak English, won’t question, won’t know,
won’t learn, won’t understand….. the world today.
Hence, they are way easier to control in a world that has
Facebook, twitter, instagram… all things social media…
it’s danger for anyone in power… who wants to remain in power,
until life is over.

Just sayin’ – No evaluation!
Just curious…Haven’t been here long enough…
Now, I think I need to return to this topic, because it is very interesting,
but also very sensitive.
I have been thinking that it is difficult to be a Gaijin Woman here,
but oh my at least I do NOT have the pressure to live up to an ideal
like Japanese women and men do…
IDEALS NO ONE QUESTIONS…..ever…
Question Authority must be equal to death penalty in Japan.

and here maybe we are getting closer to the true core…
Question Authority is not something you just go ahead and do if
Confucius’ principles are ingrained in your blood, and socialized
since your diaperhood

Japan…. Will you Stay unique and preserve your own values,
or change and go with the flow… In the end it is a lot more complex
than these few lines!

  ڿڰۣ(̆̃̃  to be continued … … for sure!!…..(̆̃̃ڿڰۣ