Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas party at Shiori's: Part 2 (the cake)

This blog chronicles our individual shots with the cake that Shiori, Kazu and Rino made from scratch :D
We were all so impressed!

Here's Faiz stuffing himself

me :P

Lookit at the strawberry Santa :D
Cute, isn't it?


Trisha about to devour Santa!

Tienchi is "allergic" to strawberries :D

Mafia Mike...

Evil-eye Zhao


Christmas party at Shiori's: Part 1 (random photos)

We were playing a game where we were supposed to guess the name of the celebrity assigned to us (written on a sheet taped to our ears)

So we went to Shiori's for an early Christmas party (December 23) and had a grand time with great food and good company!

Here's who came (from left): Yoichi (Shiori's husband), Shiori, Ai (Shiori's friend), Kazu (Shiori's brother), Rino (Shiori's sister), Yuna (Ai's daughter), Mike, Zhao (sadly covered by the wine... sorry about that), Faiz, Donican, Tienchi, me and Trisha

Look at all the food!
Shiori, Kazu and Rino spent part of the morning and all of the afternoon preparing all these from scratch. Thanks, Shiori!!!

So we were playing a game and I was trying to explain Tweety without being too obvious I drew this, LOL
I thought it was pretty good :P

Here's Shiori trying her best to come up with a name (Tweety) during our game :D

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Whoa 0o0

I just received this...

Dear Jenny,

Merry Christmas! Congratulations!!!

Thank you so much for sending us your lovely Haiku for the Anne of Green Gables Symposium December 7, 2008.

Your haiku was selected in the top 11 and was read aloud twice to an audience of about 800 people. Your "angel hair" haiku was also placed on display and many people enjoyed your imagery.


We will send you a certificate and a prize as soon as we can.

In March we will be putting together a haiku book to raise money for an orphan scholarship fund.

We will post some Haiku news as soon as we can on

Thank you so much for your haiku, Jenny.

Best wishes,

Yuka, Yo, Mayumi, and Craig
100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables Kyoto University of Foreign Studies Haiku Committee

Anne of Green Gables 100th Anniversary
Haiku Contest Special Award Winners

For Haiku in Japanese: The Hanako Muraoka Award


-朽木 久子

For Haiku from Canada: The Lucy Maud Montgomery Award

How close the moon
flowering apple trees

by Terry Ann Carter

For the International Award, from Romania: The President Tetsushi Horikawa Award

A girl dresses
her doll for the ball

by Vasile Moldovan

The Eight Other Winners of the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables Symposium Award:

These eight haiku are not ranked in order of merit. They are all given equal respect and appreciation.

- (青木 籌子, Japan)

More freely
I want to run like Anne
in wheat fields
- ( Asuka Takahashi, Japan)

- (西村 清美, Japan)

Chilly breeze
glides through angel hair
autumn clouds
(Jenny Ang Lu, Taiwan)

- (大井 亜紀, Japan))

Rising sun
Anne saw such a scene?
Morning cold
- (Ayaka Kimura, Japan)

- (梶原 由佳,Japan)

Wild rose
and apple scented geranium
"kindred spirits"
- (Terry Ann Carter, Canada)

Dear Kindred Spirit Hakuists,

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for entering the Anne of Green Gables 100th Anniversary Haiku Contest.

452 lovely lovely poems in Japanese and in English were received from seven nations by e-mail, fax, letter and postcard. As the Haiku were received, the poems were displayed in the entrance hall of the main building of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. The Haiku were placed on ovals of coloured paper and hung by red and green string on an Anne Christmas tree. Other Haiku ovals were displayed nearby on artists' easels with photographs which Anne Executive Committee students took while on an Anne of Green Gables Seminar on Prince Edward Island in September 2008. The haiku on display were changed every day.

The Haiku display was moved to Morita Hall for the December 7 Symposium. Following the symposium, the display was moved back to the main building until the end of classes in 2008. We will try to display all of the haiku we have received. Students and teachers gather every day to read the haiku on the way to and from classes. Thank you everyone!

The Anne of Green Gables Student Executive Committee selected their favourite Haiku. They showed these Haiku, and the complete set of all the entries, to the two poets who were our Judges, Professor David McMurray of Kagoshima International University and Professor Kishio Sakamoto of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. 11 Haiku were selected by the judges and were read aloud twice each during the Anne of Green Gables Symposium on December 7 to an audience of about 800 people. The applause was electrifying from this large gathering of enthusiasts.

Three special guest judges selected their favourite haiku, one from Japan, one from Anne's home - Canada, and one from Romania for three special awards - The Hanako Muraoka Award, The Lucy Maud Montgomery Award,and the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies President Tetsushi Horikawa Award.

The three special judges:
Miss Eri Muraoka, the granddaughter of the first Japanese translator of Anne of Green Gables, Hanako Muraoka.

Ms. Kate Macdonald Butler, the grandaughter of Anne of Green Gables author,Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Professor David McMurray,the author of the International Hakuist, an International Herald Tribune/Asahi Newspaper column.

The 11 winners will soon be receiving certificates and prizes from the Anne Haiku Contest Committee.

Each of the 452 entries has been read, appreciated, and is being displayed. Thank you, everyone. Thank you! Thank you! We are truly kindred spirits!

Best wishes from the Anne 100th Anniversary at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies Team

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The age factor

I noticed that people in Japan like asking other people their age. I wouldn't say it's annoying but I think it's a bit weird, Like one time I met a Japanese guy and no one was making introductions and so I said, "Hi, I'm Jenny."

Just a bow; no response.

"What's your name?" I prodded.
"My name is XXX. How old are you?"

What the...?

Baffled, I tried looking for the logic behind the manical affixation the Japanese have for age.
One couldn't quite explain himself; another said that way he can decide how to address and talk to the person he meets (formal, casual, polite, etc)

Okay, that makes sense.

Although I'm still trying to memorize how to say, "I'm whatever age you want me to be" in Japanese.


More print club... :D

Today was Tienchi's birthday and a bunch of us went to lunch together at Nonobudou (Wild Grapes, same place we went to for the afterparty for the Nov 8 event). After lunch (actually it was about 3.30), we went for another round of Purikura (Print Club, which basically means photo stickers). Since there were 9 of us, we weren't able to get everyone to fit in one picture.

On the picture above, starting with me and going clockwise: Trisha, Tienchi, Erina (Japan), Zhao, Donican (Australia), Shinichi, and Mike (middle)

That leaves one more...

nope not here, either...

scroll further down...
(this is my favorite shot, by the way :D)


oh there he is, top right - Mako (Japan)

I'm starting to get the hang of this, haha

Been thinking lately...

Society has a way of imposing pressure on people. The society we live in dictates what kind of life we should lead; at what age we should get married and have kids and so on.

I want to break free from these restrictions. First I need to really know myself, who I am and what I really want in life.

Then I'll go from there.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A little bit of fun :)

So I was walking to school last Friday and along the road I saw the sign to Kumon, a cram school for kids, along the way.

Then I saw this on the ground (I swear I didn't put that rock there)
First I just walked past it, thinking to myself how interesting it is for the rock to have landed there

Then I couldn't help but double back and take a picture of it, lol

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kinpouzan Trip Part 4: Week 2 Udon Soba Shop

Yay! I love big crowds these days!
This crowd in particular is different from the others I hang out with
First of all, I met this guys not because they wanted to learn a foreign language (most other acquaintances I make start out from that intention)
So basically I get to listen to and speak a lot of Japanese
and we just hang out, the bunch of us!

Free oranges!

Maple leaves! They're really pretty, aren't they?

Same path from the week before, but with more people :D

This time I tried another type of dango

These guys are really tight cuz they've been having classes together for quite some time now. If I'm not mistaken, the 13 of them hang out quite a lot. They're graduating in April, so they're all busy looking for jobs (in Japan, they start looking for jobs during their junior year and pretty much have a job by the time they graduate) and studying for their certificate test (January 25 and 26... you go, guys!) After that, they might go out together on a trip or something and I hope I can tag along, LOL

Kinpouzan Trip Part 3: Kinrori Odango

This store is called Kinrori Odango
See last picture to learn what a dango is, the picture is self-explanatory :P
This building is shaped like a dango, too!

The cute little entrance to the shop

I got myself an assortment of dangos
They were all pretty good
pretty chewy too LOL

Kinpouzan Trip Part 2: Kinpou Dam

After lunch that day (two Wednesdays ago), we went to Kinpou Dam just to chill

It has a really great view, doesn't it?

Our shadows blended nicely with the view

The guys couldn't resist going near the water

Their laughter convinced me to go down for a look too :D

The sights here are unbelievably nice and I found that it was very relaxing just staring at the water and the surrounding mountains. I'm really glad I went. I wouldn't have been able to get here by myself because you'd have to have a car in order to travel this far. :D

Kinpouzan Trip Part 1: Udon Soba Shop!

Here's the sign that announces the Udon Soba (names of noodles) shop
Lookit the clouds!

The scenery on the way to the shop
This is in Minami-Satsuma City
...very breathtaking

The path that leads to the shop
pretty neat, huh?

Voila! The shop itself
very homey and very charming

A cicada! ...or something

I ordered Tonkotsu Ramen

This is what it looks like just outside the shop
it's very very serene and very very pretty :D

That, my friend, is the bathroom LOL

Posing for pictures after a very satisfying meal

That's Ryosuke, me, and Hiromitsu
they're both from the department of social welfare


So we drove (actually, they did -- Ayumi, Ryosuke, and Hiromitsu each took turns at the wheel) for 30 minutes to get to this shop. And it was well worth it! I'll post more pictures on the shop. We went there for two straight Wednesdays, with more people on the second trip. I'll also post pictures on the sights that we passed through to and from this destination!