Summer break is here.

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1 year ago

Hello everyone!

How are you? I hope you're all doing fine in whatever it is that you're doing. I intended to post something but don't have any ideas or thoughts to share. So, I just thought maybe to give you an update on how's my life lately in Japan.

The Spring semester had just ended for me. The last class that I attended was last July 28th, yet we still had a day trip to Osaka to visit the Osaka-Ukiyoe Museum and watch Bunraku.

According to,"Ukiyo-e" is a painting depicting customs drawn from the Edo period to the Taisho period ." Each of us actually made our own print of a mask on paper. What we did was to put a paint on the "mold" and then flatten it out on paper, and then proceed to the next layer with a different "mold" and do the same thing, and then another.. until the image is printed out on paper.

It was enjoyable, however, I got a few stains on my artwork.

The Ukiyoe was originally intended to end at 12:00 but we were early so we had more time to eat lunch. Thus, after the Ukiyoe activity, my friends and I went to a "tabehodai" or all-you-can-eat place called Kushiya Monogatari in Namba Parks. I ate a lot, but not quite... I did not really enjoy it because it was too oily.  According to, "kushikatsu is a dish of meat or vegetables that has been cut in mouthful portions, skewered, battered and deep fried ."

I tried to get a lot of vegetables to compensate for the oiliness of the deep-fried foods, but they actually did not compensate at all because they were cooked deep-fried too. Well, at least I get to experience this.

Afterwards, we walk to the National Bunraku Theatre, also in Osaka where we get to experience another Japanese tradition which is to watch a bunraku or puppet drama. According to the National Bunraku Theatre website, it was opened in April of 1984 as a "base to preserve, develop and pass on the traditional art forms of the Kamigata (Osaka-Kyoto) area, especially the art of ningyo joruri Bunraku, or puppet drama." Before the show, we went to a museum that showed how these puppets and other props were made, and how are they used by the puppeteer. The show began at 1:30 and is expected to end at 17:20. It was really long. My thoughts? Hmm, it was nice, but I really fought hard not to sleep. Honestly, I lost. I slept, and so did the other students with me. But during the times that I tried to be awake, I was really in awe of the voice of the narrator, as we as the puppeteers who control the puppets. Each puppet operated by three performers: a principal operator and two assistants. The puppet is not operated by strings but rather by the performers' hands. The principal operator can be seen but the two assistants were wearing black masks. I was not able to take a photo of the performers as it was prohibited in the theatre to take photos or videos. But to give you an idea, here's a photo from the internet.

Bunraku is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage, along with "noh" and "kabuki". I want to watch kabuki in the future if given a chance.

So there you go fellas, I started my long summer break by knowing something new about the Japanese culture. I wanted to travel because I know I enjoy traveling so much, but the problem is, I don't have enough funds to be going around and staying away from where I live at the moment. I was also a bit surprised that the summer break is really long. I just wish that I get to have a part-time job, something that can keep me busy during the summer and even beyond that. I also plan to work on my research as I need to do data gathering at the beginning of the fall semester. So, wish me luck!


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1 year ago