Today was yet another day packed full of learning essential Japanese. If I ever get a pen pal I will firstly be able to acknowledge that they are indeed a pen pal, before going on to ask if they have any books on medieval literature that I could borrow. I could then ask them if they had drawn up a personal budget for the next fiscal year, and if they were aware of what the main crop in their local area was. Now that I have the lexicon to deal with the age old dilemma of: ‘If I got a Japanese pen pal how could I ask him seemingly intelligent but in actual fact banal questions?’ I will certainly be sleeping easy tonight.
We’re currently in the middle of matsuri (festival) season here in Japan, which means that you can’t walk more than 100m without being confronted by reams of purple banners and hanging paper lanterns. However, I remain skeptical that all of these sites actually host festival related events (the sheer number just seems incredulous), and so the cynic in me is convinced that a lot of advertising is put up to say that there will be something going on in that area, whilst in reality no such thing is actually planned to transpire. As with most suspicious sets of circumstances I suspect tax breaks to be heavily involved, well either that or I’ve just been misreading advertisements for the latest mass-marketed soft drink to take Japan by storm for a couple of weeks before fading into obscurity.