In School today I learnt about two very interesting aspects of modern Japanese culture: 1) in downtown Tokyo you can pay to have a young Japanese girl clean your ears with a Q-tip; 2) the reason why my camera always makes a noise when I take a picture (even when on silent mode) is because it has to be by law. This is because a number of Japanese men were caught taking indecent pictures of young ladies. I can’t help but think that the two are somehow connected.
This afternoon we paid a visit to the National Noh theatre, and were treated to guided tour from what must have been half of the staff. We were taken into the changing rooms, given the opportunity to try on different costumes and masks, and even allowed onto the stage itself; it was a truly wonderful experience. One of the highlights was when I was given a short lesson in how to use a traditional Japanese drum. The only slight drawback to this was that in keeping with custom this had to be done in a kneeling position, with our legs tucked underneath us. After about 5 minutes I lost all feeling in the lower part of my body, but not wanting to cause offence I continued in (silent) agony. It was somewhat difficult trying to disguise the fact that I could not walk for the next twenty minutes or so, but the uniqueness of the opportunity meant that it was a pain that was well worth bearing.