Just when I think that I am starting to get to grips with one or two small aspects of Japanese, along comes another metaphorical slap in the face to bring me back to reality. Today I found out that the reason that I had been marked down on a recent test was because I had failed to take into account the fact that our time here on Earth is preordained, and is not something that we have any control over. By failing to acknowledge our subjugation in such matters I ended up picking the wrong grammatical structure, thereby giving the impression that we have control over our own mortality. Whilst such transcendent debates are interesting, it still doesn’t help me in ordering a pint of coke, or recalling the days of the week.
This afternoon Richard and I visited the National Theatre where we met up with one of the Kabuki actors that we saw the other week. This meeting had been organized for us by a mutual friend, and was made even more impressive by the fact that it took place as the actor was getting into costume mid-way through this afternoon’s performance! He was incredibly accommodating, let us take lots of photographs, answered all of our questions, and was just generally a thoroughly nice chap. Even when I asked him ‘Is touching okay?’ he simply smiled and allowed me to have a good feel of his costume. However, I could tell that he was grateful that I had saved this particular line of questioning until after he was dressed.