Friday, March 30, 2007

kendo practice at Japanese Jr High

I walked around last week and took pics of my kids practicing with their after-school clubs. I also shot this short, 1-min vid of my kendo team working out. I'll try to post the pics to my Flickr site soon.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Graduation Day at TJH

Wednesday, March 14th, was Graduation Day at my Jr High - Taisha Chu.

We had a nice ceremony, even if it was way too cold in the gym, and I was able to snap a last few pics of my way-cool san nen sei before they left Taisha Chu for the last time.

Many of them had their cameras and I posed in a ton of pics this year, but I was able to ask them to take pics for me as well.

Click on this pic to see more at my Flickr site.

Also on the site are pics from the Shogakko (Elementary school) graduation I attended on Monday at Araki Sho. I have video of both grads that I'll post to my YouTube site soon.

Many of the pics have comments so I won't elaborate too much here. Suffice to say, that after being here almost three years now, this graduation was the most emotional - I'm really and truly going to miss the san nen sei that graduated this year - they were a great group of kids!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

7 minutes of Spider-Man 3 footage

Yeah - I'm a big geek - so what else is new?? :)

Go HERE for 7 minutes of footage from the upcoming Spider-Man film, which opens May 4th in both American and Japan! Yeah!

The footage of Peter battling the new Green Goblin is outstanding! Can't wait!!

The movie opens here in Japan during the "Golden Week" holidays - so I'll get to go on opening day. One of my favorite students, Hitoshi, who is now in HS, has a birthday that week, so I'm gonna offer to drive him and his brother the hour out to the best movie theater around - I hope he'll be able to go if he doesn't have kendo that week everyday.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

AJET Gangsters & Molls charity event

A bunch of JETs and Japanese people got together in Matsue recently for a fundraiser for the Shimane AJET scholarship fund. We had a "Gangsters and Molls" costume party, with food, music and the "King of Shimane" contest. Thanks to Gemma for all her hard work organizing this event.

Click on this pic to see all my pics from that night. It was a fun time, and I dressed up as a "Mob Boss" complete with nasty mustache that I grew for the event.


Sunday, March 11, 2007


This weekend I rented the Oliver Stone movie "World Trade Center." It has Nic Cage as a Port Authority officer who was trapped in the rubble of the collapsed towers on 9/11. It was a good film, but not quite as moving and interesting as "United 93" the docudrama by Paul Greengrass about the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.

By sheer coincidence, I was introduced to an article and blog about 9/11 and the people who feel that the terrorists weren't fully responsible for what happened that day - basically saying that the Bush administration needed something as drastic as a "new Pearl Harbor" to enact its plans to invade Iraq, etc. and therefore had a hand in the attacks on the Pentagon and the WTC.

I'm not going to give my opinion of it all here, but I found these sites to be very interesting - check them out if you have time:

a 90-minute documentary called Loose Change about the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11
This was very interesting.

interesting article with a Japanese perspective on the attacks and budding conspiracy

Japanese peace activist's blog
The top two videos, posted on March 10th, are interesting viewing - each takes about 8 minutes to watch, but they are worth it, save for the last one minute of the 2nd video, which includes some horrific imagery and is a little heavy-handed.

Anyway - interesting viewing and certainly made me think - which is always a good thing.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Yo Sen Kai movie - Taisha Chu

Here is a 7-minute film I made for my graduating 9th graders, who were 7th graders when I first arrived in Japan in 2004.
Two and a half years with these great kids distilled into a 7-min movie.
It was the time alloted to me for the farewell ceremony (Yo Sen Kai) we're having for them today at school.

I hope you enjoy the film, despite the poor picture quality that results from the compression needed to make the film small enough to upload to You Tube.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Farewell movie for my 6th graders

Here is a short movie I made for my graduating 6th graders at Taisha Sho. Took me about 5 hours last night to cobble it together and work out all the transitions and effects and editing it to the songs.
Turned out pretty good, and you'll see after I upload the longer film I made for my graduating 9th graders that I copied most of ideas from that project, which I'd been working on for about a week to get it just right.

Quality of the pics here are just so-so, and you can read more about that in my comments on the YouTube site.