David Chart's Japan Diary

October 9th 2004

As I write this, rain is sheeting down outside. Yes, yet another typhoon has hit Japan. This is number 22 overall, and I think the ninth to actually strike the Japanese islands this year. Mie-ken, the next prefecture over to the west, has a strong wind alert, but so far we don't seem to be having much in the way of wind; the rain is falling pretty much straight down. We had another noticeable earthquake on Tuesday morning, too, although this was quite short. I may have mentioned before that, much as I like Japan, I think it's a really silly place to put a country.

The new quarter started on Wednesday. Our main teacher this quarter is Nakane-sensei, and our other teachers are Kuroda Sayumi sensei, Hara-sensei, Kondou-sensei, and Haruki-sensei. I've been taught by all of them before, and they're all good, so this looks like being a good term. There are 13 people in the class, of whom 3 are men and 10 are women. The teachers are all women. Apparently the staff deliberately moved a couple of men up from C and D classes, because they thought they could cope and otherwise I would have been the only man in the class.

My class includes quite a lot of people I've studied with before, and a couple of completely new people, Kevin, from America, who was in D class or something last quarter, and Vicky, from England, who's genuinely new this quarter. So far it seems like quite a good class, and fairly majime (serious, hard-working, but the Japanese word is better), but this was our start-out three day week, so we'll see.

Next week is only a four day week, because Monday is Physical Education Day. The typhoon will probably have passed by then, so I might even get some exercise, most likely walking up to the Aeon shopping centre. I bought new shoes last week, discovering the greatest benefit of having relatively small feet for my height: I can find shoes that fit in Japanese shoe shops. Admittedly, it's the largest size they normally carry, but that's OK. They do normally carry it. My next quest is for a new pair of jeans, which preliminary reconnaissance suggests will not, in fact, be impossible, despite the fact that I don't have short legs for my height. We'll see. I did go to look before, but the local baseball team (the Chuunichi Dragons) had just won something important, so there were 'victory sales' on.

Freelancing and teaching are both going fairly well. I've found a couple of new English students this last week, and I'm getting started on a new writing project, which should keep me occupied for the next six weeks or so. I'm still looking for the writing project after that, though. And at some point I'd like to find space to write up the idea I have for an RPG that's not designed to appeal to people who play Dungeons & Dragons. But I think that, like the novel, might have to wait for me to finish learning Japanese, so that I have a bit more free time.

That's about it, I think. Not a huge amount to report this week.