Recently I have been having trouble with my Japanese families, in a strictly grammatical sense. Whilst I am pretty certain that I can now identify one’s immediate relations, once we get outside of the nuclear unit things start to get a little tricky. It doesn’t help that a lot of the words sound very similar, with Obasan (Aunt/middle aged women) and Obaasan (Grandmother/ senior citizen) a particularly difficult hurdle to tackle. I think that the teacher was genuinely offended when I said that a stereotypical view of a Japanese grandmother was that they had a back shaped like that of a prawn. Although in hindsight he was probably more shocked that I considered his aunt to possess such an appearance.
This evening Richard and I went to see a production of ‘Blood Wedding’ by the Japanese director Ninagawa. The first thing to note was that it was expensive, bloody expensive, coming in at a cool ¥8000 (approximately £60) for 100 minutes of what amounted to gibberish, although I believe that they prefer to call it Japanese. However, the set was very impressive, with an indoor rain shower dominating proceedings, and lasting for almost the whole production. Also, some of the scenes looked very interesting, and I was able to conjure many interesting images in my head about what may or may not have been going on. Yes I could have stayed in my apartment, staring at a wall and visualising other interesting images, and yes it would have been a darn sight cheaper than ¥8000, but would it have been as beneficial for my Japanese as sitting through over an hour and a half of high-concept drama?