Sunday, December 25, 2005

Quiet Christmas

Although not Christian, every year on Christmas eve, we have a little special dinner and look back what have happened in the year. This year we had a precious and quiet time together one day behind. To our regret, our daughter couldn't join us due to her work schedule.
The year of 2005 will hand the time baton to 2006 in a week. I have to clean the whole house and my mind as well to welcome a new year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Season's Greetings

Even in Japan, shops' windows are illuminated with Christmas lights at this time of the year, and writing season's greetings, I think of people overseas whom I haven't seen for a long time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


American movie based on the novel "Memoirs of Geisha" written by Arthur Golden. I haven't read the novel, but as far as I saw the movie, Rob Marshall researched and studied on Japan enthusiastically. No wonder he selected Zhang Ziyi as Sayuri, the leading roll. I admit none of the current Japanese actresses can play as she, considering her dancing talent, English skills, and beauty. In addition she is an actress with a strong spirit. I admire how much she devoted herself to be a Japanese Geisha.
However I still felt something incongruous throughout the movie. Maybe because all the players spoke English. Maybe because the story itself was a bit loose. Maybe because most lighting was somewhat dusky and it reminds me of Bunraku "lovers' suicide" world rather than gorgeous Gion, a pleasure district where Geisha belongs to.
And yet at the same time I was very impressed with each player's performance. Besides Zhang Ziyi from China, Gong Li also from China, Michell Yeoh from Malaysia, Youki Kudo, Suzuka Ohgo, Koji Yakusho from Japan, were just wonderful!
I don't know how deep ordinary Americans understand this unique Japanese culture. Hopefully at least it may be a small gate to lead them to a mysterious oriental world observed by Rob Marshall.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Japanese Sweets

Mom-in-low went to Kyoto the other day and brought back Japanese traditional sweets for me. On the lid you can read "Jakko-in," in Chinese Characters, the name of the temple she visited. Those dry sweets, some of them are made with sugar, are very delicate and beautiful. Chrysanthemum is the family crest of the imperial family.