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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Freezing Cold Days in Seoul

Today and yesterday, in Seoul city, the top temperature is below 0°C, which means deadly cold. Even yesterday, the water pipe got frozen and we couldn't use hot water at that time... We had to warm the pipe with a hair drier and a towel soaked with boiled water... and today when we were using a laundry machine, the water couldn't flow out from the tank. He pulled off the drainpipe and put into the hot bath.

Well it's crazy extremely cold freezing dying days :( we're today stuck in the house~

旅行日記 その3

12月18日 (土)

Breakfastいざ、戦いの日であります。試験です。IELTS です。試験形式しらないよ、どうしよう。日本で IELTS なんて聞かないんだもん、仕方ないじゃん。今まで TOEFL しか受けたことありませんよ。

昨日調達した食料ととびっきり濃いコーヒーを持ってして、敵を制する・・・、今一つ説得力がありませんね。まぁそんなこともあります。なにしろ海外でテストを受ける上、試験対策を微塵もしていないバカはそうそういないでしょうね・・・、僕もそう思います。でも少なくとも大学生協にも駅の本屋にも東京駅に行っても IELTS と名の売った本がなかったのでどうしようもなかったんです。。。IELTS Exam当たって砕けよ! いや砕けるのは困りますが、でもそんな心意気でテストを受けました。

テスト自体はもちろん英語、主催は British Council なので、説明事項もすべて英語・・・だと思っていた僕がバカでした。なぜかブリーフィングが韓国語で行われるというトンデモ事態が発生です。最初、何が何だかわからなくて困りました。身分証明書をどうしろとか、筆記用具の注意だとか、答案用紙のマークの仕方とかを言っていたというのはあとから知ったこと。途中で完全にキョドってる僕に気づいたらしく、スタッフが個別に僕のところに来て英語で要所要所だけは教えてくれたので何とかなりました。そんなこんなで、冷や冷やながら、試験は乗り切りました。Lunch noodle

12 時半頃に試験が終わってからは、面倒を見てくれている彼に電話をかけて、家の近くのラーメン屋的なお店で昼ご飯を一緒に食べました。さすがにいろいろ面倒を見てもらっていたのでお昼ご飯は僕持ちにしました。彼がいなかったら試験も受けられてなかった気がします。何しろ韓国語という時点で壁が想像以上に大きかった。彼には本当に感謝しています。

City Hall

ご飯を食べてからは 17 時くらいまで、彼の家からソウル大学までの間を散歩して時間をつぶしました。もともとソウル大が来る前はすごく貧しい地域だったとのことで、町の面影もソウルの中心部とはかなり違っているとのことです。ほかにもいろいろ、普通に観光しているだけじゃ気づかないようなことも教えてくれて、とても興味深かったです。上の写真はソウル最南部の地域である冠岳区の区役所です。この建物はかなりモダンな造りなのですが、税金の無駄遣いをしたとかで、けっこう不評だったらしいです。

Hyundai Market (現代市場)

実際、散歩の帰り道に見た古い街並みはこんな感じでしたからね・・・。ソウルの中心部とはまた異なる顔を持っています。そう、この日の夜は、泊まらせてもらっている彼の家に、彼の祖父母、2 人の叔母と叔父、そして甥が来てかなりにぎやかな感じでした。韓国の家庭料理というものを食べる機会を持ててとても嬉しいです。辛いことをのぞけば、食べ物もおいしかったですよ。そんなこんなで、この日はテストを受けて終わりました。合唱団のみんなはコンサートうまくいったんでしょうか・・・聞きに行きたかった。

(関係ないけど唐辛子)

旅行日記 その2

(気づいてますがこのペースで日記を更新してると、確実に日本に帰った時に 4 日目くらいまでの分しかアップできない笑)

12月17日 (金)

Student Center前の晩に約束したのは、朝 6 時に彼を起こしてあげること。すこぶる彼は朝に弱いのにもかかわらず、二人で前日にアルコールを飲んで、しかも「朝早く起きて勉強する」っていって寝ちゃったので、まぁこんなことになったわけで。なんというか立派な死亡フラグですよね。まぁそのフラグをへし折るのが僕の役割だったわけでして、結局彼はそのあと 8 時ごろまで勉強したようです。僕はといえば、前日が忙しすぎたので、8 時半くらいまで寝てました。起きてからは「朝食は?」と聞いたら「朝食なにそれおいしいの」的な答えを返されてしまったので、すきっ腹のまま大学へ。ちなみにこの日はかなりの大雪でした。

学校ついてからはまず学生センター内の銀行で外貨両替。両替した領収書を普通はくれると思ったのですが、どうも業務用のプリンタ内で紙がジャムったらしくて手書きで「いくらいくら~」って書いた紙だけが渡されました。ちょっとびっくり! これがカルチャー ショックってやつでしょうか、、、たぶん違うけど。BESETOHA finそのあと二人でソウル大学 合唱団の部室まで行きました。部室にいたのは 1 人だけ。しかもその彼は化学のレポートをやっていた模様。友達のほうはドイツ語の試験が 10 時からあるからと直後に消失。なんという気まずさであることかな! 「10 時になったらみんな来るから~」と言い残して彼は去って行ったのでした。まぁその予言通り、10 時を過ぎたころに一人、また一人と団員が来ました。

実は毎週行われる合唱団の執行部のミーティングがあったらしく、10 時半頃からぼちぼち会議が始まって、さらに僕は手持ち無沙汰な状態になったのでありました。もちろん韓国語の会議の内容が理解できるはずもなく、この間に僕は何をしていたかというと、部室の写真を撮ってみたり、そこらへんに転がってる楽譜を読んでみたり、あとは英単語帳を確認したり・・・、そんな感じで時間をつぶしたのでした。それにしても定期的に執行部がミーティングを行うなんて、なんてしっかりしてるんでしょう! でも人数が多い団体だと逆にそういう方法をとらないとうまく回らないんでしょうね。

ミーティング後は彼らと食堂でご飯を食べて、そのあと部室へ戻りました。Lunch at student cafe実はこの日、来年 3 月に入学してくる新入生向けオリエンテーションの演奏会あるとかで、13 時すぎから早々と別の教室にみなさん移動です。僕はとりあえず翌日の試験、韓国にきた最大の目的を達成すべく、、、試験会場がどこなのかネットで調べていました・・・ (というか最初から調べとくべきだった気がするんですが笑)。でもどこを見ても書いていないので、仕方ないから試験会場がどこなのか調べるのをあきらめて、みんなが練習している 3F の教室へ移動。

ほかの大学の練習風景を見るのはなかなか面白かったです。言葉こそわからないけど、先生が指示している内容は手に取るようにわかるし、Rehearsal歌っている彼らの表情が間近で感じられて、すごく貴重な体験になりました。演奏していた曲もクリスマス ソングだったので、見てるだけで楽しかったです! そして 15 時過ぎになって今度はいざ新入生たちが集うホールへ。Freshmen Orientation本当は席が足りないとかで在校生すら入れないくらいカツカツだったらしいのですが、友達がなんとかしてくれたっぽくて、端っこで新入生のフリして演奏を聴きました。すごくラッキー。演奏した 3 曲は Facebook に Upload してあります。
(YouTube は、韓国の国内法の影響でビデオのアップロードができませんでした・・・残念。帰国してからあげておきます)

演奏後はしばらくキャンパス内でぶらぶらして時間をつぶしていました。人文科学のビルが並んでいる近くのワッフルを友達がおごってくれたほか、彼が IELTS の試験会場の場所を突き止めてくれて、なんとか最悪の事態は免れました・・・感謝感謝感謝。そうこうしながら 17 時半。先ほどのホールへ戻ると、新入生たちのオリエンテーションは終わって、代わりにその余興が。韓国でかなり有名なバンドが来ているということで、そのライブをやっていました。これがまたすごい・・・、新入生は総立ちで、ステージ前にかたまってて、リズムに合わせて飛び跳ねている感じ。ライブ ハウスといわれても何の不思議もないほど。こちらも動画は Facebook でどうぞ。こっちは本当にかなりのカルチャー ショックです。

(ちなみにこれは余談ですが、ホールの外では学生たちがあつまってて、ソウル大の民営化反対運動をしていました。このほど国立大学を民営化する法案が国会で通ったそうで、それについてかなり激しく抗議しているんだとか。個人的には写真で見た昔の東大紛争を生で見てるような気分になりました・・・)

Dinner delivery18 時を過ぎて、彼は新入生たちとの飲み会へ行くというので、僕は部室へ戻りました。出前を取るらしかったので、僕はプルコギをいただきました。おいしかったです。このあとは、夜おそくまで翌日にある別の演奏会に向けた準備をしていました。僕も初めの数曲さんかしましたよ。Night Practice「俺たちはハンサムだぜ~ (우리들은 미낭이다)」とひたすらリピートしまくるシュールな曲を教えてもらって、僕は大満足です(笑) これ以外では、Girls Generation (少女時代) の Hoot という曲の合唱化したものを練習していました。演奏会で歌うんだそうですよ。

僕は 8 時過ぎに離脱、翌日の IELTS に備えて、Paris Baguette でサンドイッチを仕入れて帰宅しました。

Friday, December 24, 2010

旅行日記 その1

(post in Japanese... sorry~)

たまには日本語で日記も書きたくなるものです。というわけで、今日までの滞在の様子をおさらいしてみます。

12月16日 (木)

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel出発日をこの日に設定した理由は特にないです。しいて言えば、ほかの日には大韓航空の安いフライトが取れなくて、この日にしたらあった、というくらいです。午前中、スーツケースとかわさわさ取り出してきて、1 時間で荷造りしました。なんというか、前日までにやることが山積み過ぎて、直前の夜も 5 時まで起きて大学院の願書準備というハード スケジュールだったんです・・・。そんなわけで準備も満足にできないまま、そして年賀状も放置プレーでお昼過ぎに東京ディズニーランドホテルから成田空港への直行バスに乗りました。

バスが遅れたせいで空港に着いたのはフライト出発の 50 分前。とりあえず日本円でもいいから現金がないと向こうで困るので、銀行からお金をおろすだけして出国ゲートへ。あとは向こうで何とかなるだろいうといういい加減根性丸出しです笑。そしたら、はじめて搭乗の時になって係員に止められるという経験をしました。「預け荷物にライターが入っていたそうですが」・・・えっ、そんなもん入れてませんが。結局、リチウム イオン バッテリが引っかかってたらしくて、機内持ち込み荷物に戻したら通してくれました。こんな経験初めて。出国審査っていうか、預けがダメで手荷物 OK ってモノがあったなんて初めて知りました。

フライトは 2 時間半。アメリカに行くのに比べればちょろいもんです。離陸して、機内食たべて、コーヒー飲んで、入国カード書いて、現地の予定を確認したら到着というありさまです。というわけで、あっという間に到着して、入国も難なく完了。ここからがむしろ大変でした。まずは現地で受け入れてくれる友達に電話をしなくちゃいけないのですが、自分の携帯電話がバッテリ切れ、ウォンがないから公衆電話が使えない・・・、このままでは詰んでしまうので、仕方なくクレジット払いで現地の携帯電話を契約。とりあえず借りた電話を 30 分いじくりまわしてハングル表示から英語に言語を切り替えてやっとこさ電話をかけました。

ソウル中心部行きのバス停はてさて、電話でもらった指示はとりあえず、ソウル大学行きの 6003 バスに乗れということ。降りる場所は Bongcheon (奉天) というところだそうですが、まあ残念ながらわかるはずもなく、たまたま英語が話せた隣のおばさんに経緯を話し、たまたまちょうど友達からかかってきた電話を渡して、何とか解決しました。うう・・・ここまで冒険みたいな旅は初めて。テンションあがりまくり(笑) そしてバス停まで迎えに来てくれていた友達と夕飯にと饅頭を調達し、そしてやっぱりお酒飲もうかということで「백세주 (ペクセジュ)」 (漢字では百歳酒と書いて、飲んだら長生きできるらしい) というハーブがちょっと入っている感じのリキュールを買いました。そんなわけで結局寝たのは 2 時。彼は翌日、ドイツ語の期末試験だというのに。

Friday, December 17, 2010

SNU

Yesterday I settled down at my friends house, and I'll be staying there until Dec 29th. Actually, he really loves drinking. Yesterday we had some 饅頭 for dinner, but even at that time, we also had a bottole of Korean rice and herbal alcohol despite we have something really need to do, hahaha. The alcohol itself, I think, is kind of a liquor, but not so strong. It said approx 14%.

He has a German exam today, so I came to Seoul National University (SNU) with him. He brought me to SNU Choir's Club Room. I'm staying there now and he left for his classroom, taking the exam... poor him :P

By the way, the city in Seoul is snowing today. Before I left Japan, I heard it already snowed in Korea. The scenery here looks similar to the northern city of Japan. The landscape in SNU drastically changed since the last visit. I'm seeing the same place, but it's really different. Look all around, and white! white! white!! Oh my gosh...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Busy days :)

Okay, I’m alive. Some of you guys might think I disappeared after the looong silence here, hahaha. I was more than busy last several weeks, preparing my application things for the graduate career outside Japan. And it is the season for us to write our graduation thesis, since the school year in Japan ends at March. It’s almost the time we put a period on our 4 years education in university! Busy is not a bad thing, anyway.

So just now, I’m in the aircraft flying from Tokyo to Seoul. Remaining 20mins to arrive at ICN! Now I have to switch off the computer, see you later~


Following photo is added later (19:18)
Arrival lobby

Korea Again!

Last several weeks were deadly busy for me... and I couldn't post any of my updates haha. Actually, I'm still in Japan but today I'm going to South Korea in afternoon flight! Now I'm leaving home~! Exciting!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

School festival

There are two school festivals in the UT. One is in May, called May Festival. The other one is in Nov, Komaba Festival. These take place in the different places, and the former one is in Hongo campus, which locates in the central district of Tokyo. The latter one is, as the name shows, in Komaba campus near Shibuya.

Entrance to the Komaba Festival

In last three days from Sunday to today, the Labor Thanksgiving Day (national holiday in Japan), we had Komaba festival. Every year, we the music club run the chorus cafeteria named Tutti. We sing and sell cakes, tea, and coffee. The ordinary classroom turns to the small concert stage, and people enjoy our performance. Ah, at least for us you know, it is very tough to sing for several hours for three days in a row. But still, we try hard to give a good performance all the time, haha… Here I uploaded a video of the performance, enjoy :)

In the school festival, there are also other things to see. The people in the swimming club marches in the campus, which looks very cold. Many pop music bands give their performance in classrooms or on the stage outside. There are also some serious exhibitions and booths, like the model UN. Along the Gingko road in the campus, you can enjoy hotdogs, sausages, curry, and whatever… I saw the people selling Korean foods! You know, all the things in the festival are arranged by only students.

After the festival ended, I felt somewhat strange, because this will be the final school festival for me in the UT, as I’m thinking of going out somewhere for my grad school career. Ummm, I now a bit miss the festival mood in our campus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sushi

Sushi, my lunch today. I bought this at the supermarket near my house. Apparently these all not only for mine, but with my father, haha. We Love Sushi :D

Sushi

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The day

I go to school by train every day. It takes an hour totally from home to school, but most of the time is actually walking. From my home to the station, changing the train to the train, and from the station to school. And because it's very boring to walk in the same way, time to time, I take a different course on my way home without any thought. Today was also that kind.

I use Tokyo station, which locates at the very center Tokyo obviously. There are so many office buildings (of big and famous companies) and shopping stores (of famous brands imported from overseas). You know what I mean? It's very modern and sophisticated district of Tokyo. Of course I have nothing to do there, and I can't afford to buy anything. But still, just hanging around is very interesting. Especially in November and December, the roads are illuminated beautifully. And you can see Christmas trees at some places.

Marunouchi (丸の内) districtChristmas tree~!

Ah, so today was the 3rd Thursday of November. You know what the day is? It's the day that Beaujolais Nouveau get released on sale. I saw the interesting thing at the convention center near the station.

Looks like a party? There is nothing here usually.

The one night event - the drinking party. It is like the pub outside. Despite I feel a bit cold in the air, people are cheerful in talking. Perhaps they are the people working at the office buildings I saw on the way, and maybe now talking about the day, their work life, or even making fun of their bosses, haha.

Someone singing in a live concert.Yeah, people buying bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau

Did I ought to invite some classmates to enjoy this party, too? mmm... I like to drink wine, but I shouldn't with my classmates :P cuz last time, they drank too much and were almost dying, hahaha. I'll enjoy it at home someday~.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

United Nations MDGs

Have you ever heard about the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (UN MDGs)? They are 8 big objectives that, although all of them are really tough, needs to be accomplished to make the world better. For example, the population suffered from poverty should decrease by half by 2015 compared to 2000. However in the actual situation, still a billion of people all around the world are able to afford to spend only less than $2.5 a day.

Why did I start to talk about this in this blog? In fact, I participated in the meeting yesterday that an UN officer in Tokyo gave a lecture to students. There I learned MDGs are the important goals for the United Nations. He told us, before the MDGs are established, many UN organizations and NPOs worked independently for their own goals. In that situation, big projects were difficult to be arranged since there were no cooperation among them. Therefore, the UN established the common goals as MDGs so that more and more communications and cooperations shall be made.

Originally, that meeting was set by Microsoft, related to Imagine Cup, the competition for students. There are several different track provided such as Game Design and Digital Media, but the main track is Software Design. This track has been open since the very first time of Imagine Cup in 2003. Here, we think of the idea, design the service, construct the business model, and evaluate the whole project, using ICT (Information Communication Technology) that goes with the theme of the year. And this year's theme is:

Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.

So? I think the UN MDGs are really good start for me to compete in Imagine Cup. And not only for that, but it's also a good motivation for me to take the world problems seriously into consideration for my future.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two drinking parties for two days in a row

I'm drinking wine :)

I think most of the readers of this blog can easily guess that what happened to my life during my visit to Seoul last week. There’s nothing to hide for me. As I said before, I got the Chinese girlfriend, who is a senior student at the Peking University (PKU). You know, it is not usual at all in Japan to get either your boyfriend or girlfriend who lives in the different country than you. Yeah, we also think the same way; in the other words, we are kind of special.

In fact, our friends at school celebrated me for that yesterday and today. お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki)The party I had yesterday was with my old classmates, who spent our 1st and 2nd grade together. From very beginning to the end, we totally talked about me and her, even they let me to tell a hundred things that I like her for, I mean her good points. Amazingly, I came up with so much, more than I expected for the first. Now I’m very proud of looking for the good points of the person :D

And about today’s party, even more gathered in one place, mostly my current classmates, but also some of my coworkers at Google Internship in the last summer. Surprisingly, the teacher who is responsible for instructing my graduation thesis was also coming to the party. It was really a big party with eventually 22 people participating. I didn’t expect that much came to the party!! I really felt that I was being celebrated :)

Gathered at our building entrance.Drinking is very fun

One thing very funny today was that who arranged this party asked me which to drink I prefer. Then “wine”, I answered. So in today’s party, only bottles of red and white wine are served. No other drinks like beer, orange juice or any… As a result for that, some of who followed me to drink the same amount of wine went really badly on alcohol, even feeling like throwing up. Then I got to know I am really strong against alcohol as Japanese. I emptied one and a half bottles of wine at last. Later I heard that we as a whole, drank 19 bottles of wine by 22 people…

Anyway, finally I really thought that we were the best wished couple ever… the situation of me is really described as crazy for someone, maybe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Visiting a funny company

Yesterday I cut the classes at school, and instead I went to visit the office of the company named KAYAC Inc. Before continuing, I should note they are very funny. Yes, funny. I'm very serious that they are FUNNY. I got to know this company in a certain conference when I was working in Google. They were exhibiting their products at the event, and when I saw their booth with the signboard saying 「面白法人カヤック」 (saying “Funny Corporation, KAYAC”), it totally surprised me very much.

They deal with literally ‘everything’, for example, creating the mobile game applications, building social web sites, selling painting artworks and other various services; even they run the Donburi restaurant. Let me show some photos I took at the office today.

There are so many interesting (and even unbelievable) systems in the company. The first one is “Dice Salary” Can you guess what it means? It is the system that each employee throws a dice in front of all employees and you get a certain amount of your monthly pay based on the number you got on the dice. It’s totally random. No cheating – only up to the God. Another one is that for sometimes, people change their seats in the office to encourage the communication among. It sounds not so strange, but when you hear the seats is decided not by which team you are in, but by how tall you are, it's totally crazy, I think.

鶴岡八幡宮 (Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū)with my best friend

After we visited KAYAC, we also enjoyed the short trip around Kamakura. Since it's very far from my house, around 2 hours by train, it's my second time to see old temples around there. Ummm, it was a nice day even I did nothing on my school stuffs... :P

大仏

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Studying abroad

Last several days, I’m seriously thinking about studying abroad for my graduate school. Actually it’s not so common and not easy to obtain an admission from the grad school overseas, but it’s very exciting for me to try anyway.

Admission Letter for UT Grad School

At this time, as same as other classmates, I’ve been already admitted to the graduate school of the University of Tokyo, but I don’t feel like to advance. One reason is, my professor-in-charge is leaving school soon due to his retirement age, and no longer accepting any students further for his lab. In fact, I want to continue my research on information security theory (especially about declassification mechanism), but besides him, no other professors are studying in those field. The other reason is that I really want to broaden my vision to see the ‘world’. As long as you study only in Japan, you cannot know how competitive the researchers are doing all over the world.

So, the only way out is looking for a laboratory in other country. In fact it’s going to be, I think, a good idea not only for my academic career, but also for my personal experience. In Japan, school year starts in April and ends in March, which is different from the US system. So I’m graduating next March, and there will be 5 months of freedom, until the US school starts in September. What now I’m thinking of is taking part in the Facebook internship for 12 weeks. They offered me taking an interview for the intern, and actually I’m interested in that. So my plan for the next year going to be very busy, I guess LOL

Anyway, to be successful in my plan, I firstly have to complete my graduation thesis for my current degree.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The food in Japan

No one can stop the time passing by. Now that I get back to the normal school days, I really have to think about the school staff despite I’m still like dreaming in Korea. Anyway, I confess that I took the wrong train heading for the opposite direction in the morning, and I was late for the morning class, making me so reluctant to listen to the lecture. After all I was being on the facebook for an hour…

So, actually I was a bit surprised that a school cafeteria in Seoul National University (SNU) was very similar to ours! You purchase a food ticket first, get the tray, pick up dishes, and go take a seat. The only difference here might be that there were no Kimchi pots on the table.

Cafeteria 鮭親子丼

Today I had 鮭親子丼 (Shake Oyako Don), which has salmon (鮭, Shake) slices and the roe eggs (イクラ, Ikura) on top of the rice in the bowl. We call those style 丼 (Donburi). So you can easily guess I had a seafood dish today.

During the meal, I talked with my classmates about my memory in Seoul. It was much fun to think back to the time in Korea. In addition, they were so interested in that I got the Chinese girlfriend. They asked me so many things :P

Now so far, I’ll write many thanks emails to the guys in Seoul and Beijing. I totally miss my friends and I’m very eager to stay connected with them. It’s really a nice age that we can keep in touch via Facebook, IM or some other things. Don’t you think so? I’m looking forward to their reply :D :D

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Arriving at the airport in Japan

Finally, I got arrived in Japan. The two hours of flight – quite short. So now I’m taking a transportation bus to get back home. In fact, when we say the last farewell to the SNU choir members, I was a little bit crying again, as I was like in the concert. It’s always hard to say see you.

So the visit to Seoul was really short, like a moment of the shooting star twinkles. But anyway, the 5th BESETOHA Choral Festival was really really successful I think. I found there is no border in the music language so we can unite in one atmosphere under the harmony. I remember the words like “In order to make a harmony, no matter what your cultural background is, you firstly have to listen to others.” said some VIP (actually I didn’t remember whose words was that. Might be a conductor or an OB of SNU Choir), and I strongly agree to that. In that meaning, I’m always respectful to the people with different sense of things than me. This time of BESETOHA, not only as a concert, but also as a place to exchange ideas among SNU, PKU and UT, went over with a great success.

Also as a personal success (?) during the event, I got two best chingu (meaning friends in Korean) and the yeoja chingu (haha, a girlfriend!), who I’ve met in the previous BESETOHA! So yesterday we all the chorus members had a big farewell party, and all of us drank too much beer until very late night, even barrels of beer. We chingu shared a lot of talks and our contacts so that even after the event we can keep in touch. I felt like there be no border among us because we’re totally one at that time! Also during that party, she and me were like in a mood to talk about the feeling we share. That is the moment we’ve found we fell in love. I won’t talk anymore about it here, but we talked a lot about many things. Very sweet memory, hehehe… Oh, also many guys of PKU sent many congratulations to us, and that I feel so happy (although a little bit embarrassing for me LOL).

Anyway, now that I get back to Japan, I’ll wrap things up and upload the photos I took.

The final minutes in Korea

I'm now at the Incheon airport now, and I'll soon be leaving Korea. It's funny though that the next post of the kick off is actually the leaving post. I didn't have any free time to post on my blogs here. To confess the truth, not only I exchanged with the students in Seoul and Beijing, but also I did make a girlfriend of Chinese. So sweet and I love her~, hehehe

Okay, now I have to leave. The boarding process started, see you bye~

Friday, October 29, 2010

5th BESETOHA kickoff!

I came back from the Welcome Party held in the Engineer House in Seoul National University. It was a big welcoming event, that I talked to many people. In addition, I also recognized several faces that we've met in the 4th BESETOHA 2yrs ago! Most of them remembered me, and I also remembered them :) That was quite impressive reunion!


View BESETOHA 2010 in a larger map

For the days now on, I'm keeping track myself on my location here, with sometimes uploading photos.

First blogging in Korea

Phew... the long way. We finally moved to the accomodation of Seoul National University called Hoam Faculty House. Due to the delay of PKU students' flight from Beijing, it tooks much time than expected. I feel sorry for SNU students because they looks a bit nervous for managing the schedule. But thanks for welcoming us to Seoul!

Now we're going to participate in the Welcome Party at the Engineer building inside SNU.

Leaving Japan!

Okay, I'm now leaving home! This might be the last I update my location in Japan. See you in Seoul~ :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Location Badge

Where is your friend now? At home, or at school? But when you wanna know where am I, you can easily find me on the right panel of this blog. It’s the location badge.

As the information society grows in a rapid pace these years, not only “what” and “when” of the information are important, but “where” is also getting popular. For example, my visit to Las Vegas, NV two weeks ago, I added the location information where they were taken to some of the photos (like this).

Location Badge

That information is called “geo tag” and consists of the latitude and longitude (or just “LatLng”). It’s not only the photo that you can geotag. For example, you can tweet something with your location like this. Or you can find many services like foursquare and such that use your location.

This time, what I want to mention is Google Latitude. This is the service that keeps track of your location, and let your friends know where you’re now. Also you can know your friends location at the same time. Of course due to the privacy reason, you can strictly limit who can see that; otherwise like me, you also can publish your location badge.

Google Latitude also enables you to see how you spent your time, where you visited or even which airport you used. The dashboard still needs improvements but it's now interesting and eventually the Geo trend will bring you more convenient some day soon.

Dashboard of Google Latitude

Namecard

As I said in the other day, I’m going to Seoul, Korea from this Friday. The main purpose is just to participate in a choral festival, but we have many side events that our friends in Seoul National University (SNU) are preparing. Actually, I’m also looking forward to exchange many stories among the guys in SNU, PKU (Peking University) and UT (The University of Tokyo).

So today, I worked all the day long to create my name card. Usually when I make a name card or a business contact card, I’d rather simply design the whole things. Maybe I need contact address or phone numbers on them in those formal situation. But this time, I also enjoyed creating my card – uh… you can easily guess how I enjoyed if you see this:

Designing namecard

During the class, even my friends sitting on my back were chuckling to look into my screen. Anyway I’m really looking forward to the days that I give these cards to new friends :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Writing academic papers in English

Academic Paper: It's the essential material with which you start and end your research. Normally, the students (yes, including me) in universities have to read bunch of papers before getting started and write a graduation paper to finish the school. Some of them introduces new views and methods, and others may wrap up the current trends in the fields such as survey articles.

As you easily imagine, most of them are usually written in English, which is a little bit hard for Japanese students. Actually, in just right now, I'm taking the class named "Writing technical papers in English" the compulsory subject for me. In this class, we learn how to analyze your research subject and compile it into an academic paper, based on the published papers as examples.

Here the difficulties for Japanese people to deal with English papers is much more obvious when writing. At least most students can read the English text using a dictionary or a machine translation. But when it comes to writing it, the students are really reluctant to use English. The great language barrier. Writing is much more difficult to non-native.

So what do we need to cope with this situation? Very easy. Write English in usual daylife, like me blogging in English! Okay, me back to the class now :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Start of a new week


By the way, my afternoon sweet :)

The time flies so quickly. Even I thought it was still summer several weeks ago, but it gets colder every day and week. And now already the end of fall!

In this week I’m going to Seoul, Korea for the music club trip. Actually we gonna have a concert on Sunday with Seoul National University (SNU) and Peking University (PKU). It is a tied-up event with the BESETOHA Forum where the principals from 4 universities discuss on the education topic among the Asia-Pacific. The choral festival itself, or to say just concert, takes place every 2 year, and this time in Seoul.

So? I’m a little bit reluctant to do away with my school stuffs this week. Reading upcoming papers? It takes more than a week. Weekly research meeting? Never care, cuz I’m not in the school anyway. English homework…? Ah, I have to do it. The class is tomorrow, still I’m in Japan. *sigh*

I’m really looking forward to flying to Korea~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Launched a new blog.

Yet another blog. I thought I have to create one for a personal use because I'm not one of a kind who maintain their web site regularly. In a sense, blogging is much an easer way for me to write something random, yet not much short for posting on twitter. So? Here is a new blog!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Tap Day 2011

今日は、ナショナルタップディ (NTD) というイベントに行ってきました。いわば、年に一度行われる国内のタップ ダンサー向けの発表会みたいなもので、国内のタップの巨匠たちが出演するようなところです。地震の影響もあって、一時は中止になるかというところまで行ったらしいのですが、幸い開催にこぎ着けたようです。ただ、ゲネプロを船橋の公民館でやる予定が、公民館側の都合でダメになったとかで、照明合わせとかは出来なかったらしいです。まあ開催できただけ良かったです。

それで、30 近い出演団体のうち、今回もあいかわらず JTSP (日本タップダンス奨学生制度) と、東京リズムボーイズ・デラックス、それから Higuchi Dance Studio はクオリティが群を抜いて高かったと思います。全体的には・・・前回の NTD のほうが感動したかなあ、という感じでほんのちょっと残念でしたけど。ステップが聞こえづらかったのは、会場 (メルパルクホール) のせいですね。吊り下げマイクじゃなくて、仮床を設営して集音マイクを床下に設置すれば良いのに。あと、ネタが丸かぶりした団体があって・・・なんかかわいそうでした。

JTSP は、BGM 抜きで、代わりにシューズで作るビートだけで、ダンサーが掛け合いを行うところがカッコよかったです。以前の NTD でも同じようなパフォーマンスを見ましたけど、息が合っててビートが正確だとすっごく気持ちいいです。ああいう風に、純粋にステップだけで踊れるようになれたらなぁ。東京リズムボーイズは、いつも通りトレードマークのマリンバの演奏も素敵で、今回も面白かったです。あれでこそエンターティナーな感じです。しかもマレットの代わりにステッキを使うとか、振り付け (?) から何からよく出来てました。何の曲かわからなかったのがちょっと悔しい。Higuchi Dance Studio のは、例のごとく HIDEBOH の振り付けだそうです。まず人数がチート。次に BGM のボリュームがチート。あれは迫力があって当然・・・。でも技術力も並じゃないです。センターでリードしてた子供がめちゃくちゃ上手で、言葉もないです。でも Thriller の子役だった子、女の子に見えたのは気のせい??? いやはや、第一部のトリを毎年まかされるのも頷けるほどです。

これ以外のグループで、いいな、って思ったのが BEAT座Club や、Space J-Cats など。和太鼓とタップって案外あうかもしれない・・・けど、和風衣装に黒いタップ シューズはちょっと合わないですね。願わくば下駄を履いてほしかったけど、下駄でタップするのってすごく難しいんですって。あとこれは音響側の問題だけど、太鼓の音とステップの音のバランスをもう少し整えてほしかったと思います。Space J-Cats は、選曲と振り付けがうまくかみ合っていて、なかなか格好よかったです。踊りにキレがあったのと、バランスが整っていたのが綺麗に見えるカギだったのかもしれないです。

個人的にはタップ ダンスというと、パフォーマンスとしての見せ方をかなり選ぶと思うんです。たとえば、すごくクラシックな感じにタキシードを着こなして、キザっぽささえ匂わせるようなのとか、もしくは完全にカジュアルな格好で、ニコリともせずさりげない感じで非常にテクニカルなステップを踏むような感じとか。少なくとも、最近よく見るような、ドレスやワンピースみたいな衣装で踊るとなると、シチュエーションが限られる気がします。それから、男女比がおかしい。ダンス人口の問題だとおもうけど、圧倒的に女性が多いような気がします。もっと男性ダンサーが多いとバランスが整うと思うんですけどねえ。あとは音楽。ジャズっぽいものか、もしくはアップテンポのビートが強い曲が踊る側としても見る側としても良いような気がします。もちろん、僕のすごい偏見ですが :P

ともかく、いつかあそこまで踊れるような技術がほしいな。