Friday, July 9, 2010


I haven't posted in sooooo long because so many things have been happening...But I've been too lazy to bring my camera so I don't really have any new pictures...The only one I do have is of my leg from about 3 weeks ago when I was on my bike and did a front flip down the steep hill going down from my school....

Other things happening.... This coming week there's a big festival that lasts for three days. One of those days is a fireworks festival where everyone wears a yukata and goes with their boyfriend/girlfriend..Since I last posted there's been a large amount of drama with these two boys from my school so we'll see what happens :P
I'll take pictures later! 2 days ago tons of decorations were put up near my house soo...

In the past month I have had so many extreme highs and lows but even in the most terrible low it's almost been enjoyable just because it's so different from home...
I'll post more laterr..

Koukou Soutai

Wow this happened sooooooo long ago but I haven't posted anything in so long. So koukou soutai, or just soutai, is this HUGE tournament for all of the high schools. Every sport plays against the other teams in the area. We actually get off of school an hour early JUST so that clubs can have more time to practice. It lasts for around 2-3 days and one of those days was Friday so we had no school. Even if you aren't on a team it is mandatory to show up at the sport of your choice. There were schools assigned to each sport throughout the entire prefecture... at our school everyone came to play volleyball but kyuudou, the club I'm in went to the nearby city. It was a really long weekend. Every day I had to be at the bus station by 6:45 and we didn't leave the tournament place until 5:30 and since it's a 40 minute bus ride not including getting home I was getting home at 8:00 pm every day. On the Thursday before it began we were all subjected to a Japanese high school pep rally. Get all thoughts of cheerleaders out of your head. The students sit in ranks and the people of the sports teams march in when called. In the case of the baseball team, I literally mean march. Pretty much the baseball team is all of the good boys and schools are usually pretty proud of their team since baseball is so big here. When the baseball team walks in they have a straight backed, synchronized march, down to their arms swinging the exact same way, just like military. When they get to the front the captain bows to the person in rank next to him and hands him his hat and then goes up to give a speech. All of the other teams do it similarly with the speech but not so much in military style as the baseball team. In fact, next came the basketball team, which is known for having all the punks and they just sort of slouched in.

Now, for about 2 weeks before all of this happened, everyday origami paper was handed out to every single student and we literally folded paper cranes all through school. I kid you not, I laugh to think how typical that sounds but boys and girls alike folded paper cranes constantly, only stopping to take a quick note during class. I later found out that we were making them because they were to later be strung together into this huge charm...each team was presented one at the pep rally and they were brought along to the tournaments. This is the kyudou one:
It was pretty cool watching floods of high school students in kyudou uniforms walking down the busy street carrying bows, tatami mats, and straw butts used for targets.

This is where we sat all day long with all the other high schools... The shooting area was right outside so anyone who wasn't doing a job or shooting just sat around in here....
....and played cards (toranpu)

Me kyudou friends :3

These are the boys from my school shooting...The last one in was the captain (after Soutai is over all of the 3rd years have to retire from the's really sad without them.)

A concussion waiting to happen

In Japan it's a tradition to throw mochi off of the roof of a house when it's under construction. It ensures good luck. So pretty much when the whole skeleton of the house is put up everyone in a 5 mile radius rushes over to stand next the construction site and catch the mochi. I can't remember if I explained what mochi is but it's pounded rice. It turns into a sort of doughy consistency. It gets pretty darn heavy, especially when it plummets to the ground from the roof of a house. There are three sizes of mochi they throw: tiny, regular, and HUGE. The huge mochi are about the size of your face and have to way like, 3 pounds.

The workers climb up to the very top with baskets of the stuff.They just throw them up in the air and everyone on the ground scrambles around trying to get as many as possible. My host brother was somewhere in the crowd and we ended up getting a huge bag of mochi which we ate as snacks for a few weeks after.

It's gotta be one of the best parts of being a construction worker because all of the workers have huge smiles on their faces in the pictures.

Here is one of the HUGE doesn't look so big but it was and if I recall everyone ran for cover except a middle aged guy who caught it like a sack of flour....a sack of flour from the sky that is...for those of you who don't know what that looks like he pretty much started to fall backwards because of the weight of the thing and almost tripped over the person behind him.