1. Bento vs. Obento
I remember being confused when I first got to Japan on what the word for "box lunch" is (was?). The "o" is honorary.
Sasuke's not really polite...so I make him say "bento" vs. "obento" like Naruto, who's been brought up to appreciate
anything that anyone gives to him...including boxed lunches.
2. Minami Ko.
I don't remember if I've mentioned the name of their school before...it's "Minami Ko" or "South High" (And no,
I didn't go to South High...I don't even know if there is a south high in the town I was at...).
3. Trains, train stations, and train tickets
Trains come fairly often during busy times of the day-- like mornings. Kids have to go to school. Adults have to go to
work. But if you go at in-between times, no one's gonna come, so the wait will be much longer.
Train stations are cool. I like them. I'll see if I can find a pic of a station like Konoha's...with a bridge and three
places for trains to come in...it's based off of the station I used.
They don't let you keep your train tickets, believe me...I tried...but! I have a long-term ticket thing. You buy them
once every now and again-- it's much nicer than buying a little cheap thing every day and having to carry change.
But they're expensive. *Sweats*
|Weird...that kid has my old school's uniform...wait...not so weird. That's Noshiro. ^_^;
|From the same site as the above.
|You can see the stairs...follow the yellow bricks to the green mass.
4. Putting your hands in your pockets.
I don't remember why that's rude. I just remember being told not to do it...and I remember I broke my pockets
in my school jacket from keeping my hands in them and putting things like pencils or such in...*sweats* my host mom got mad
...in case you're new to anime/manga/fandom...
"Baka" means "idiot." I read in a book somewhere that it has to do with a sheep...? And an emperor...? I don't know.
6. Outsides of Japanese houses
They look pretty normal most of the time,
but Sasuke lives in an old fashioned type house vs. Naruto’s modern one. However, it’s not really a good idea
for modern houses to be without locks, so instead of the old sliding doors everywhere,
the Uchiha family has one set of regular doors…
7. Japanese houses (inside)
The walls are white with lotsa pretty scenery/pictures,
so that means Sasuke’s family is quite well off. Most people have prints.
are woven rice stalks. The Japanese are quite thrifty…they use every part of the rice that’s possible, so instead of carpets the post-WWII Japan would have tatami mats. Now, tatami seem to be considered quite elegant and kind of expensive. My host family had
two washitsu (traditional rooms with tatami, white wooden frames, white doors and
windows shuttered in white) in their house. This is unusual, and shows that they spent quite a bit on their home. Sasuke’s
family house is almost exclusively floored with tatami.
It’s not unusual for a Japanese family
to have a western style dining room…it is unusual that they have a room for dining…most Japanese houses seem to
do the “both this and that” room-style-thing. Naruto’s mostly surprised ‘cause he thought that the
Uchiha were completely immersed in Japanese culture—and therefore wouldn’t have any hardwood floors or high tables…
(Go here to look at washitsu (and shrines) angain)
8. The family crest/quote/saying (…what’s that word…?)
Itachi wrote it. Don’t make me try
to…I’d get really confused and stressed, probably. The kind of calligraphy they’re talking about is old. It’s basically descended from Chinese writing—there’s only kanji, no hiragana. This is studied in the Japanese “Kouten”
class. I failed miserably in there…too much kanji, so I just studied my vocab…
If I get enough money (…scrolls are
an average of $200…I don’t have that kinda money right now), I’ll get a trained calligrapher person to translate
my made-up saying and write it you. ^_^ I’ll probably bug the heck outta them doing so, too…sounds like fun. ^_^
In any case! Here’s an example of
the style of calligraphy Itachi might have used...and if I find a better example,
I'll use that. ^_^ ; ; use your imagination, though, if you've ever seen calligraphied kanji-- and let your mind create the
It’s an art. I happen to love it.
^_^ the things that you need (according to Takenami Yoko) are “the four treasures” (19). The brush, ink, ink stone,
|From the same as the above
“Traditionally, ink. . .is produced
in solid sticks made by combining soot, glue, and water. The type of soot defines the ink. Sticks made with the soot from
the natural oil of rape seed…gives a warm black, and when diluted with water, it gives a brown shade. . .[Ink sticks
made from pine soot] makes a cooler color, and when diluted with water, it turns a purplish shade” (22). The ink stick
that I have is blue when you add to much water…I have no idea what kind of soot it is. But I love it! ^_^
“Ink behaves like a living creature
to the artist: its real effect cannot be appreciated until it is applied to paper…you are not wasting time [rubbing
your ink stick on your ink stone]. . .you are taking a few moments to achieve the calmness necessary for fine calligraphy”
(23). So, Naruto needs to slow down…then his calligraphy would be better.
Caring for the brush…
Sasuke’s right. You need to use cold,
clean water immediately after use, and leave the brush to dry completely.
Ink stones are beautiful…a lot of
the time. They’re quite nice, too.
10. “Prod the bush, and a snake will come out.”
The place I found this proverb on
said “poke the bush” but I can’t say that without laughing, so I changed it…
The kanji: 薮をつついて蛇を出す
11. Katakana vs. hiragana vs. Kanji
Katakana ( カタカナ) is
supposedly used only for foreign names and countries and such. This is a very good thing to tell a learning student. However,
katakana is used in some places like italics, in Japanese…it’s used to emphasize a word. (It gets the Japanese
people’s attention really quickly if they see ヒト (hito, katakana) rather than 人 (hito, kaji), you know?).
Hiragana ( ひらがな ) is
used for verb endings and haiku (sometimes…I’m not sure if it’s tradional to use hiragana only, but it seems that way…). Hiragana was developed in the Heian period by female courtiers who wrote beautifully…I don’t recall why.
the things that most westerners love to brag about knowing. ^_^ I know a pitiable amount of kanji…learning the silly
things takes forever, for me. I prefer writing hiragana calligraphy to the kanji calligraphy…but most people don’t
see it that way.
Kanji is (most of the time) imported Chinese
characters. Since the Japanese started using the Chinese writing system, though, they’ve developed their own kanji, though.
12. The cooking pit
My family had one of these…they had
a hook, too, and it had a fish on it!! I loved it; it’s cool looking and makes a nice little table…
The Uchiha’s pit thing is built in the floor, though…my family’s was a moveable one (and oh, that surprised me…when we did New Year’s cleaning…? We moved everything. It was amazingly hard, and amazingly fun to see the house
with nothing in it (…er, if you ignored the packed-to-the-gills washitsu…)).
This is considerably old fashioned, because most of the Japanese houses have quit using the cooking pits…it’s
more conventional to have a microwave and heaters. I consider it a statement of belief, that the Uchiha have such an old fashioned
thing…sort of, “The Uchiha Clan will not change. We will be here forever.” Or something along those lines,
It's not uncommon to put vegetables in curry. I imagine tomato curry would be quite good-- curry's nice and spicy, and
tomato's kind of sweet. I think it's a good idea...
Curry was originally an Indian food (meaning it's from India, not food made by Native American Indians...).
The Japanese decided to eat it with rice.
Oh, and my host mom added ketchup to her curry...and I saw on Prince of Tennis someone (...one of the 1st years...) adding
instant coffee once. ^_^ The thought amused me. Here are some yummy pics of oh-so-lovely curry...
|Go to that site: it gives a nice recepie for curry!
|From: http://www.angelfire.com...(click on pic)
|Doesn't it look nice? Go to the site to see a good recpie!
14. The picture Naruto drew...and an extra one...
I was bored. ^_^ I had a pencil in the breakroom...and then we went to target, and I drew while Taise bought stuff.
Maybe eventually I'll color it. Don't kill my proportions or anything, hmm? I'll make "better" ones later.
|Folded, even. ^_^ in half-- three times.
|Stupid Sasuke. ^_^
|I folded this one in half-- 3x-- just because.
|Naruto, the weird one.
15. Mochi icecream
It's probably the best kind of icecream ever...if you have it available to you, try it. It's nice and chewy
outside with soft, soft inside, and it's just lovely. ^_^
|This isn't my pic...but it's the kinda ice that Naruto wanted.
Interesting article on mochi... here
16. "Tomato flavored ice cream...'s almost as bad as wasabi flavored ice cream."
There is wasabi flavored ice cream. It's the "new flavor" for the month of July in Maggie Moo's ice cream shop...
|From: www.dinewaldorf.com/ MaggieMoos.htm
|I love this store's ice cream...but they recalled my favorite flavor...sad.
It'd make me really happy if someone illustrated Ai. As in, drew pictures for all the symbolism that I'm putting
in...like the cups...and the kitty...but that's pro'lly just 'cause I love seeing how other people see things. I
love getting a glimpse into another person's head...
So! In case you don't know what dandelions look like...
|A dandelion flower.
This means that a dream sequence is going on. Hope you didn't forget!
^_^ This time around, it's not a PoV switch 'cause...well, I have an actual reason, but I'm not telling you. You
can guess all you want, though *says cheerfully* so, have fun!
19. Long lines, cashiers and annoying customers
...just remember that I am a cashier. And it's not nice
to bombard them, okay? ^_^ be nice. Pick up after yourself, don't try and critique them-- they have managers for that-- and
make friendly conversation. If you do have suggestions for their behavior, talk to their manager, not to the clerk/cashier/person.
Your cashiers will love you better. Thanks!
20. First year students
They'd be 15 years old. Most of the 15-year-old Japanese girls seemed to me to be around 12. It was...odd...they still
love plushies, holding hands and skipping, and speak in incredibly high registers (i.e. they have "high pitched" voices).
They're cute. I love to talk to them, but they don't act 15-- for the most part.
Technically speaking, they should have been more polite to Naruto, as a second year student. But Naruto gets overlooked
'cause he seems just as immature as they do. ^^ ; ; ; poor dear.
21. School uniforms
Naturally, different schools have different uniforms. If you've ever watched an anime where schools compete,
you see that all the time. The traditional kind is the black one with a high colar, gold buttons.
The different uniforms makes it very easy to tell who's from what school, and when a "foreign"
student is crossing into "home territory."
(Note: where most small towns have only one high school, Japan has several, and the surrounding small
towns send their kids to those schools-- meaning there are kids riding trains for an hour or more to get to school
every morning. Naruto's lucky enough to be within walking/bike-riding distance. Taise, however, rode his bike for 35 minutes
to school, an hour from school (Hatsukaichi is full of hills), or if it was raining-- took a bus, train,
and walked. Don't ride your bike when it's raining; it's not safe).
Funny note: in middle school (grades 7-9 in America, ages 12-14, in case you're curious), girls have lo~ng skirts.
Then they get shorter, either by the girls rolling them up so they're an inch around thick-- like having a cloth
belt underneath your shirt-- and showing off their pretty little legs. *Rolls eyes* and no one buttons up their shirt
unless the teacher is yelling at them...in my school...Taise's was strict, though...they made him practice bowing, saying
"Good morning" and "Thank you" and all sorts of weird things...but yeah, the "unkept" look of a school uniform is thought
to be...cool...in Japan. Don't ask me why.
Other kinds of "suit" uniforms are adopted. Here are some examples!
|Borrowed from a school website...click on the pic
|Same school as the above.
|Winter, Fall, and Spring Uniform.
|Borrowed from school website. Click to see.
22. The name of the original chara
It's Nanaha Keisuke. You don’t find that out ‘till much later, though, but I like
his name…and knew a very pretty boy who shares his first name. Taise made up his last name (“Nana” is “seven,”
while “ha” is short for “happa” or “leaf.” (like in Konoha)). Someone wanna draw me a
pic of silly Keisuke-kun? I’d love to see one…
Very important introduction of an original character…and
thus, foreshadowing. Have fun. Make guesses. Tell me what’cha think of our newest “pretty boy.”
Read Chapter Seven