Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Rashomon thorugh the eyes of an Indian

Rashomon thorugh the eyes of an Indian:

Finally, I managed to watch the 1950s' Japanese movie Rashomon last month.

For a guy whose lived in Japan for 2+ years, and adimred their Skyscrappers, the Beerbots, the mobile technology, the game shows, etc..., Rashomon was a pleasant suprise.

Begin I continue further...just in case you haven't seen the movie yet, its a absolutely marvelous movie.
The movie just deals with one incident, a crime, and 4 different narrations of the crime from by people. The movie deals with idea 'Subjectivity of truth'
It has inspired so many movies in various languages including Virumaandi in my mother tounge Tamil.

It actually reminded me so much of life in present day Indian villages.
The court scene where the men squat and respond to questions in such a submissive manner, could very well be set in a village panchayat in India. (Katta panchayat).
Samurai Seppuku's core theme which puts Honor before death is analogous to many medieval warrior stories in Tamil literature.
The monk, robber, the lady could all be mistaken for some characters straight out of Indian village.

Anyway, it still amazes me that Akira Korosawa made such a movie way back in 1950!!!

Hoping to see more Akira Kurosawa movies soon :-)

P.S: The movie is available in youtube with english subtitles...legally!!!...have fun:-) and post your thoughts!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tokyo auto salon 2009 & the ultimate Bling-bling machine.

The ultimate Bling-bling machine!!

How can a blog about life in Japan be a complete one if it does not have an entry about cars!.
So, here we go....

I had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo auto salon 2009 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan a couple of days back.
It was my second visit to a motor show in Tokyo and needless to say it was great.
(I just love to see and take pictures next to cars I'll never get to own in my life!!).

One of the best (or the worst, depending on your taste) was the Mercedes-Benz SL600 - Luxury Crystal Benz which is studded with 300,000 Swarovski crystals.

The ultimate in bling-bling.

Here's one more pic.

and if you haven't had enough yet...

here's a small video of the same...

The price of a normal Mercedes Benz SL600 - 139,000 Dollars.
The price with the crystal accessories - Some hundred thousand Dollars.
Priceless - The way you will feel when a taxi/cab scratches your bling-bling machine on the road.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The lean sumo wrestler

My Favourite Sumo wrestler

Hey, this is the second and the last part of my two part series; and as promised before this is about a sumo wrestler called Ama (aka Harumafuji Kōhei ), the 'lean Sumo wrestler' from Mongolia.

For starters, he weighs 126 kg (280 lb) which makes him 'not so lean'. But hey, that still quite low by sumo standards. Most guys weigh 150+ and look much much bulkier than Ama.

But here's the part I like about him - While quite a few sumo wrestlers use their brutal body weight to push the opponent out of the ring, he almost never does this. He's got two really quick feet and really rapid moves and great technique which he uses to throw bulkier sumo wrestlers out of the ring.

(As seen here throwing out the Russian Wakanoho after being completely cornered and in the brink of defeat.)

He has been promoted to the second highest rank in sumo (Ozeki, immediately below Yokozuna). Wishing him a quick promotion and greater success in sumo.

Sumo fans will till you that sumo is much more than 'fat guys in diapers' and guys like Ama contribute much to the grandeur of sumo.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A Typical Sumo day - A Gaijin in ryougoku

I finally (siigh siiigh) managed to go to Sumo stadium (Ryougoku) in Tokyo to see the September 2008 Sumo Tournament last week.
Twas a really wonderful experience.
It has even managed to awaken me from the blogless slumber of six months :-)

The Tickets:
Well before getting to the Sumo day, I had purchased my tickets a month in advance.
Thanks to the official website and the helpful Lawson convenience store employees*.

I entered the Ryougoku just in time for the Ring entering ceremony 'Makuchi dohyō-iri' (3:30 PM approx) which is the ring entering ceremony for the 'Elite Sumo' wrestlers.

And btw this was my diiiiiiistant view from my 'B-Arena' ticket seat.

Far Far away in Ryougoku

The Makuchi ring entering ceremony was immediately followed by 'Yokozuna dohyou iri'.
This was supposed to be the high point of the day, but all i got to see was the big butt of the Yokozuna.

Yokozuna Asashoryu performing 'dohyou iri,' flanked by two junior wrestlers.
Shots of his okii butt.

The matches began from 4:00 PM. A typical sumo lasts less than a minute and is preceded by brief rituals. More info here

The 150 Kilo sumo wrestler (giving me a complex ;-) by lifting his feet this hiiiigh, and stomping the ground) is picture below during one of the rituals.

The day ended with a 'Bow dance ceremony' (Yumitori-shiki).

All in all it was a good experience.

Some facts which I thought might interest you:

a) English commentary for Sumo matches is available inside the stadium.
I can already see you relieved and similing :-)
Make sure you purchase radio and earphones at the entrance.

b) The best matches of the day are near the end of the day. 6:00 PM roughly.
So plan your day accordingly.

c) Purchase Ring tickets if you want a very close view of the Sumo wrestlers/match.
Arena tickets give you a really good view (but not a close one). Refer the second picture in this blog; it was taken from my Arena B seat - without zoom.

d) Ring Tickets are costlier and also get sold out very fast. Esp on weekends.

e) A visit to Sumo is a must watch especially if you love Japan/Japanese culture.

f) Keep visiting my blog :-) (LOL). This has got nothing to do with Sumo, but you will find more stuff about Japan and may be a post about my favourite Sumo wrestler Ama in the near future. (LOL)

My second post on Sumo will follow in a weeks time.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

I got robbed!

First of all let me state this.
All that my weird (Reason follows below) robber deprived me of is just a washing machine load of clothes which I put out of my apartment for drying.

Okei, I was stupid enough to leave my clothes hanging outside to dry overnight.
But then, this was Japan I thought, the only developed country with astonishingly low crime rates.
( For the unacquainted , Japan experiences 1.3 robberies per 100,000 population, compared with 48.6 for West Germany, 65.8 for Great Britain,
and 233.0 for the United States says wiki).

But heres the funny part.
The weird or should I call him dumb thief
left 1 (NOT one pair but just 1) of my dark blue socks and 1 of my light blue socks.
What am I supposed to do with this one part??.

And what is he gonna do with the other part!.

Monday, 18 February 2008

If only it would snow at 20°C!

Winter arrived and I was really happy it came. After all, this is my first ever winter in my life!.
Yeah rite, I spent the first 24 years of my life in a city where the lowest temperature in
'winter' , if you could call it that, is 24deg. (Thats 75Deg Fahrenheit for the metric challenged :-))
So I was happy and eagerly awaiting for my first snow!!.
Snow came not once, but more than 5 times and it was a really good experience.
It was a wonderful sight to see the cars and the grass covered entirely with snow. It was really awesome.
I even got it recorded in my new Hybrid camera.

But here is the Sad part...

This almost freezing temperature is keeping me indoors in the comfort (read as 'artificially generated heat') of my apartment/Office.
And there is no fun to walk out side your apartment at 3:30 PM and see the sun going down. (What am I supposed to do the rest of my day??).
And the worst part is that I hate to dress up like an Eskimo every time I have to get out of my office/apartment.
(Sometimes even to go to a different building in my office!!)

The snow is good but the temperature is a drag.
And it seems there is no end in sight to winter at the moment!.

How great would be, if we had snow at a much warmer weather!!.
And for a change Chennai weather seems to be better.

I did learn that in my 5th grade that it can snow only when its 0 deg. But how great would it be if it were otherwise!!

Monday, 14 January 2008

My 'Twenty O seven' in pics

Twenty O Seven (mmm...thats how i like to put 2007) started with a bang. I landed in Japan, and spent the rest of the year here.
Had a bit of a 'culture stupefaction' ('Shock' sounded a bit violet and exaggerated, so Ill use stupefaction).
Was and amazed at the importance nihonjin (Japanese people) give to each small detail.
But the most surprising and amazing aspect was the hospitality and the beauty of the Japan.

Anyway...let me skip this part for now and get straight into my pics.

btw ...2007 also saw me move from a 'Mush+French beard' look to a 'Mushminusthefrench' look to the current 'Cleanshaven' look...Not that they have helped!!!:-(

Tokyo Tower - My first Tokyo trip.

Standing in the Midst of 4lac 80 tho Flowers - Sakura

Mt Fuji - View from Mt. Katchi Katchi.

Lake Kawaguchiko - View from above:

Whats Tokyo without 'Tokyo Motor show'.

and whats 'Tokyo Motor show' without girls.
Nice bike huh? ;-)

Kyoto Trip...breathtaking Temples and Gardens.

Narita-san temple - The three storeyed pagoda.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

A google Video which almost costs (me) Rs. 10,000

How far can a video u watch can take u?

Google Top 100 videos is one of the stuff I watch very often these days. (Probably it says how 'vetti' I am)
And a couple of weeks back I came across this very cute little video.

And as i watched it over and over again, I became a little curious about the 'Nintendo Wii' which was in the video.
The next couple of weeks were spent on the net learning about the gaming console, reading reviews, Blogs and watching videos about it.
(I've played a lot of computer games, but gaming consoles are whole new world for me, so I had to start with HSW)

And guess whats the result?
I am even thinking of buying the 'Nintendo Wii' shortly*.

Wow, just amazing to think that all this was triggered by watching an unrelated video!!.

And btw just like any good thing in Video gaming, it comes from Japan!!.

On a totally different note,
Sometimes I wonder if in today whether the generation and lifestyle changes with amlost every year or two.
For E.g.
My brother plays the same games which I play using my Keyboard but he uses a Joystick!!
He somehow prefers the Joystick while I still stuck to my old Keyboard.

Official Video Trailer...WOW!!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Rickshaw is from Japan!!!

Surprise, surprise!!!
Guess what this vehicle is called in Japanese?

Its called a - 'Rickshaw'.
Learn't that the word and the vehicle came from Japan.
Wiki says its a Japanese name. So I get to agree.

And we though only Suzuki, Nissan, Honda and Toyota came from Japan.

And guess what ...How much does it take to get a ride in this.....
8000 Yen for a 10 minute ride!! (Thats roughly Rs. 2700!!!!!)

Now you know its a picture of me standing beside it and NOT riding on it ;-)

Some Gyaan:
The word "rickshaw" originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha
(jin = human, riki = strength, sha = vehicle), which literally means "human-powered vehicle."

Click here in case you are wondering what a rickshaw looks like in India.

Well, not much of any entry I guess, but anyway i was pleasantly surprised to learn this.
btw the guy in the picture is me :-), if you didnt get it yet.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Of Japanese Temples and Indian Palaces (and vice versa)

Coming from India you are not expected to be surprised by places of worship in other countries.
More so - being surprised about places of worship in Japan is not what I expected.
Japan was about Cars, latest gadgets, computer games, comics (manga ;-) - if you know what I mean) and the other Hi fi stuff. (Thats what my Indian Media told me).

What strikes you about Japanese Buddhist temples and the the numerous
Shrines is the grandeur, the amazing campuses surrounding it , the tradition which is still preserved and the amazing gardens.
Almost every temple has an atmosphere which is simply breathtaking,
be it the 50feet+ tall trees which line up the Hein shrine in Mt. Fuji
(a Temple built to appease the Volcano Mt. Fuji - I heard that the Gods were'nt impressed by the temple .. Mt Fuji had its biggest eruption almost immed after the temple was built in the 8th century and has never had that big an eruption till date;-)).

Or be it the amazing terrace gardens in Kiyomizudera temple o

Or the garden in Narita-san temple

Or the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion, Made :Largely of gold)

And well here is the twist...

The Japanese Palaces (The Nijo Castle - Home of Shoguns for E.g.) pale in comparison with the Japanese Temples
(and any comparison with the Indian Palaces, make the Japanese Palaces even more smaller in stature).
I dont mean it as an Insult, but to be honest it looks like the Japanese rulers had a very ordinary life (at least in terms of buildings) when compared to their Indian counter parts.

and come to think of it,

Its the exact opposite of what can be said about Indian Temples and the Indian Palaces.
Indian Palaces are biiiigg, luxurious, absolutely breathtaking but the Indian temples
(most of them, at least) start and end at almost at the same Place.

Come to think of it (again ;-)).

This probably speaks about the Indian and Japanese way of life.

While the Japanese Kings/Rulers were content building good palaces (good but not necessarily breathtaking), they just built and preserved amazing places of worship and others places for the common man.

The Indian rulers on the other hand built amazing palaces and other stuff for themselves but hardly did built anything for the conman man.
(Of course in a country as big as India, there are gonna be some exceptions to this rule, but then they remain that - 'exceptions!!').

and come to think of it....(ok,ok, for the last time!!).

Things haven't changed.

(Or has it..... Yes, it has says my mind ... the Kings have become Cabinet ministers and MP's now!!;-))

Now, thats a BIG change (sarcastically!!)

Irashaimase! (Welcome in Japanese)

So you have finally landed here!!!, so let me say it again 'Irashaimase'.
Let me begin by asking questions you probably have on your mind. (Well to be be honest they are actually questions which I have on my mind when I read other blogs!!).

Who am i?
Well, I'm a typical Indian guy , cricket/sports crazy and laAzy currently learning the nuances of life in Japan.

And more importantly what u gonna find here??
Just a few scribbles about hows life being a 'Indojin' (Indian) in Japan and the pleasant surprises Japanese life brings along with it.
You will probably find me singing praises of Japan in this blog quite frequently.
The Tourist places, the wonderfully helpful people of Japan and ofcourse the cars, robots which affect my life.
I have travel fetish so expect a few scribbles about places I visited in Japan.

The extra 'A' in the url is not astrological!!!...its just that somebody already took the name 'Lazyme' before i could.
Probably it also says im more laAzy than lazy can be.