Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pecha Kucha

I guess it was alright. It got a little long towards the end, though some of the ideas were pretty cool. There was a group that designed different things for lightbulbs, like a little chandalier attachment. They also had plans to build a desk/fish tank, which looked like a cool idea from the illustration, though I doubt it could work in reality. Don't fish tanks need to be cleaned or have air circulation or something? I don't know. But, another good part of the show was the part with the patterns made by keeping the shutter of the camera open when taking a picture. They made an awesome show out of it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I put off work totally on Monday, which was a bit of a mistake I'll admit. (Well, you can basically read the title of my blog to get the basic idea of why I put it off.) But I had just gotten back to Ontakesan, and I started reading Harry Potter, and I apparently couldn't stop. So, on Tuesday I woke up early and got to work.

I'm working on a board game about Salarymen and my block is the area around Tamachi station. It's been pretty difficult thinking up rules that incorporate my block and salarymen and are interesting enough and aren't too complicated. I started by looking up some games that I had played as a kid - Sorry, Enchanted Forest, Payday, Chutes and Ladders.

And, my first idea was pretty linear, in that it followed the day of a salaryman (home, work, lunch, work, going out, home) This seemed to simple and didn't have enough incentive to play the game, so today I tried to iron those things out. I thought a little bit about the rules and added a lot of elements of Sorry into it. I also designed my gameboard roughly. I need to take some better photos because some of mine are fuzzy. Plus, I only formated the image to 200 dpi, when apparently printing should be 300. Woops. It's the kind of mistake I'm not surprised I made because I've never printed something out for professional use before. But, it's pretty easily remedied if I just rework the image a bit....hopefully.

Making the board didn't go to well, either. I made the mistake of folding the board when I placed the image on it, so when I opened it back up again, the board wouldn't fold flat. So, I cut it in the middle. Hopefully it will be good enough for crit. And that's what trying these things out is for, isn't it?

Monday, May 28, 2007


So, this weekend we went to Kyoto and the first day was nice and we walked around some temples up in the mountains where our inn was located. Our inn had a hotspring, which wasn't nearly as nice as the one I got to go to last summer, but it was nice anyway, although slightly too hot for me. Friday was very rainy, so it wasn't too fun. Saturday, I went to Nara and fed deer ricecrackers. I was kind of attacked and it was a little scary. They were everywhere, like squirrels.

My favorite part of the trip was the fact that I stayed an extra day in Kyoto (in a youth hostel, which I don't think I'll be doing again, and I didn't have a guide book with me, so I kind of hapharzdly went around on buses following the bus map for important things to see. Plus, figuring out buses was a bit of a chore. Subways I get easy, but buses took one try where I wanted to go back to Kyoto Station, but I ended up going to the Golden Pavilion instead. Anyway, I still really enjoyed going around the city by myself and figuring things out. The Golden Pavilion was a bit of a let down, but Nijo Castle was pretty interesting. At least, the sound everyone made as all the tourists walked around on nightingale floorboards iss something that I probably won't be hearing again anytime soon. If finally ended up on the outskirts of town, just because there was a picture of a mountain with monkeys on it. I placed all my hope in that picture that there would be monkeys, and I was right. (I probably could have asked someone and saved myself the trouble.) But, I got to see monkeys, one of my goals being in Japan.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tokyo Collage

The Donald Richie readings just enforced what I'd already been learning from our walk around Azabujuban with Ron and the architecture history lecture. Basically Tokyo is an ecclectic collection of buildings because that is what fits it best economically. The Japanese don't feel much connection to their buildings because they will be torn down or become billboards for advertising. Wabi sabi (the Japanese term for subtle beauty in art) doesn't apply to Tokyo streets or Japanese homes. According to Richie, they prefer to cram as much as possible into the small space. Places can become multifunctional, or, more importantly, many spaces are used for the different purposes people want to acheive. The ecclectic essence of Tokyo has anything and everything available, and the city visually exaggerates that characterisitc.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Beginning Research

I'm already having trouble with this whole blog thing. I had too many windows open and Safari quit on me, deleting my new post. If only I hadn't been looking for an Ouran High School Host Club picture....but it had to be done.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Is it so wrong that I'd like this to happen to me? Maybe. (Click on it to learn more about the show!)

Perhaps I should start at the beginning of my research and not skip right to the flashy anime picture. On Saturday I finally decided to face the daunting task of picking an aspect of Japanese culture to do my project on. So, I went to the library, checked out some books on japanese culture, and skimmed the about three chapters that I deemed interesting (none of which actually pertained to my final pick.)

And my choices are…
1. the night life of salarymen

2. Host Clubs

Anyway, I’m also considering yaoi culture and Japanese school girls, but I’m not sure what kind of hot spots there would be for that in Minato-ku. My two choices, however, have great potential for me to do some exploring in Roppongi. These might be some perhaps dangerous (and definitely expensive) adventures in Japan indeed.