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New YouTube Video!!!!

WOW! So cool! You can see how OLD I’ve gotten since my last video


Please submit your questions to me!!

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Quick Update

I am a horrible blogger! AH! Why do I have a life that distracts me from you, readers? I miss you all so much!

Update with me:

I’m moving to LA.

I’m single. (Feel free to submit applications)

I’m still lazy.

Peace!

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Hello wonderful people,

First – thanks to the 147 people who voted! I’m surprised there are so many of you out there who voted…but why don’t you comment more?? Haha.

As for the results~

The overwhelming favorite was ‘More posts about Constantine’s personal/everyday life.’ DAMMIT, really?? Why must you force me to be interesting and do interesting things? Everyone knows I just like to sit at home and watch movies. Soooo, yesterday I had a stomach ache for 12 hours because I ate too much Indian food too quickly. FUN TIMES!

Both ‘Japanese film reviews’ and ‘YouTube videos’ tied for 2nd with ‘Cosplay’ coming in after that.

Pretty much no one really wants non-Japanese film reviews (racists!) and a few interesting straggles wrote in ‘JapanCinema Reviews’ and ‘Book Reviews’ (cool! a literate!).

I’m going to process this information a bit and think about new or interesting things I’d like to do with this blog. One idea that I’ve been mulling over is the idea of having a movie night where I could live-stream myself while watching a movie (that viewers should watch simulatenously) and having an ongoing discussion on it. Not sure of the logistics yet though and I’m wondering if that is sort of narcissistic. Thoughts?

Also, I believe I am only one or two posts away from having 100, so I will run a contest soon. A very lucky person could win some of the junk I have! Score!

There is also a new ‘cosplay-ish’ picture on the side bar. I was trying to go for that whole doe-eyed thing Asian girls do it photos, but I’m really too snarky to pull it off right.

Finally, thanks for all of the caring comments and emails about my father. It really made me feel a bit better to read them. =)

That’s all for now! Ja matta ne~~

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I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t had quite as much time to post as I’d like. But I’ve been working on several things and here’s what you can expect from this blog in the near future:

  • Japan-related book reviews!
  • More Japanese film reviews!
  • Several essays about modern Japan and Japanese history, woo-hoo!
  • Several JET-related posts and videos!

Until then, take a look at the newest vlog on the ConstantineInTokyo YouTube page:

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The cast of Gossip Girl, barely recognizable through the multiple layers of airbrushing

As I’ve mentioned before, last school year the Korean foreign exchange student would visit my desk at least once a week to practice her English conversation (which was exponentially greater than the English abilities of the Japanese students). What this really meant is that every week for one or two hours I had to talk about the latest developments in her favorite TV show: Gossip Girl.

Now, I am not a fan of Gossip Girl. The latest reincarnation of Beverly Hills 90210/Melrose Place/The OC (which are all essentially the exact same show), Gossip Girl has the ability to immediately fill me with rage and frustration within the first 10 minutes of the show. Even the clothing and the fashion (which is very cool, I admit) is not enough to justify putting myself through the torture that is Gossip Girl. I’m fairly confident that I would enjoy self-flagellation more than watching this show.

So this is why American television induces vomiting...

However, when my student walked up to my desk and asked me how old I was when I lost my virginity, it was immediately clear that I was going to need to watch this show if I wanted to be able to talk about its representation of American culture without accidentally crossing over some invisible boundary of what constitutes an acceptable teacher/student relationship. At the very least, watching each week’s episode would help me anticipate the wacky questions that she would ask me. So, dear readers, when you picture me watching Gossip Girl alone in my apartment on my computer, I would like you to imagine a scenario similar to Malcolm McDowell’s behavioral-conditioning scene in A Clockwork Orange.

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I recently read the article posted by Steven D. Levitt (author of Freakonomics) on his New York Time’s blog. Entitled Tattoonomics, Part I (presumably there will be a Part II), Levitt raises the question, “Why get a tattoo?”

I have tattoos and I get asked this question all the time. I fondly remember getting caught in a surprise pincer attack on the subject of tattoos last April by both my father and my boyfriend’s parents while we drank coffee at a restaurant in Osaka. Apparently, my boyfriend casually mentioned to his mother that he was thinking about getting another tattoo during a Skype conversation a few weeks earlier. He probably didn’t think much of it, unaware that even mentioning a hypothetical future tattoo to his mother was the equivalent of dropping an A-bomb right in the middle of their dining room. (And, no, that metaphor wasn’t meant to express any insensitivity towards the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

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As a part of the ‘Japan YouTube community’ (though somewhat reluctantly) I’ve encountered a lot of the videos that people have posted about racism in Japan. I don’t really agree or approve of a lot of these videos, because they are almost always very negative and extremely one-sided. Personally, I haven’t experienced much racism while living in Japan. While many Japanese people do seem to be somewhat shy and nervous around gaijin, I don’t consider this racism. As someone who grew up in the United States of America and in a family that is very interested in different cultures, it is not always easy to try and understand the perspectives of people who have spent their entire lives in one of the most homogeneous countries in the world.

Japan always seems to get a lot of criticism for it’s ‘insular mindset’ and inability or unwillingness to try and relate to foreigners. The JET Program itself was created as an attempt to address these criticisms, criticisms that I often find unfair. Many of the Japanese people that I have had the pleasure of meeting are very open to learning about different cultures and different people. Most of the time, Japanese people consider me strange not because of my own culture, but because I am so interested and invested in learning about Japanese culture.

Of course it is difficult to live in a rural area of Japan around people who do not speak the same language and have not traveled outside of the country. It is also very difficult to be the one person who looks different from everyone else. At least for me, it has been very hard to adapt to being stared at all the time – it makes me feel like I am living my life underneath a microscope. This is not necessarily racism and it is not necessarily a bad thing.

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