aparments and asakusa

Went with Hiroko to check out a "designer's apartment" as they're called. Certainly cool designs, but not actually the kind of place we could live in, and not for the ridiculous price they're asking. The details are cool, but the apartment in totality is kinda "huh?" Lots of space, lots of light, cool fixtures, but cheap floors, single-paned glass, and not enough storage space.
After checking out the apartment we went to Asakusa so that I could get tabi for Tony and everyone. We walked around for a while, had some agemanju, bought the best karinto, and came home.
By now we were pretty hungry so we headed up to Azabujyuban's Sankoen for some yakiniku. Meat. Meat. Meat. Barbeque Meat. Meat. Meat.
Not sure what it was, but after dinner I had a bit of an allergic reaction to something...maybe too much grilled garlic?


Cutting practice this morning in Akabane. Tried a couple of double-roll cuts -- not bad but not exactly inspirational. Did a few zagi-nukiuchi with no problem, including yu a couple of times. But Naganuma-sensei wasn't thrilled with my form and told me I get worse every time he sees me, because I must be practicing without thinking enough. He told me to THINK about what I'm doing, how I'm cutting, how I'm using my arms and hips, and he'll see if I've made any progress next month.


Old-school practice at Nihobbashi. A few hundred basic cuts and my right arm was about to fall off. Other than that, I continue to suck.
Then we had dinner at the sushi place above the supermarket, where none of the waitresses are Japanese, so finding a language in which to order is always interesting.


No practice at Iidabashi so I went to Yaesu, along with everyone else, and ended up teaching Harada-chan and Sekido-okusan. Kosaka-san had all us instructors take a couple of students each, so we worked in detail on only a couple of kata. And it was cold.


Yeah yeah yeah, it was an accident. Does anyone actually care?

bye-bye bystedt

A modest farewell gathering for Tomo, as this week he ends his Morgan Stanley career and starts soon at Titlest Japan. Dream job, actually, for a guy who absolutely loves and lives for golf. Best o' luck to him.
He and Mieko are busy trying to find a place to live that's reasonable for both of them to get to work, as she's still working in Ebisu while he'll be on the other side of Tokyo. They're looking around Sengakuji/Shirganetakanawa, so that'll put them in my neighborhood! Hope they find a place soon, as he's got a month to get out of his current place, and once he starts his new job he'll be pretty busy.


I love my dentist. He's awesome. He's probably the only dentist in Japan who so vehemently believes in twice-yearly preventative check-ups and cleaning. He even gives a discount if you pay for both appointments in advance (thus motivating you to actually keep the appointments.)
He's got a new ultrasonic cleaning thingy that uses an even higher frequency sonicWaterCleaningBeamThingy to destroy all the tooth nastiness that builds up. Those upper left teeth of mine that I've brushed too hard and therefore have a bit of receding gumline don't like the cold water spray too much, but other than that I love being able to see the spaces between my teeth again.
SO much better than getting cavities filled, that's for damn sure.
Now, if only Japanese national health insurance actually covered preventative medicince...


A light evening rain but a fair bunch came for class. Expected three folks to come check out class, but only two showed up (what happened to the Frenchman?), and one ended up signing up. Sekido-san and his wife came to help out; he took the beginners while I ran the others through all twenty forms. Always nice to have someone to help, even if I do enjoy teaching.

instructors' seminar

Freshly sore from boarding, I headed to Suidobashi for the instructors' seminar led by Niina-gosoke. At least Suidobashi is well air-conditioned. Too well, it turns out, as it soon became very hot after Niina-gosoke had us run through a couple hundred cuts for warm-up.
He then ran us through all twenty kata, picking out the specific points we have to be careful of ourselves when we teach.
Finally he took us through the okuden and naiden advanced kata, which I can still barely remember let alone do correctly.
He ended by decreeing that all members over 3dan are to wear a second; either a wakizashi (short sword), tanto (dagger), sensu (fan), or my personal favorite tessen (steel fan.) He explained that wearing two swords was the privilege of samurai, whereas yakuza and other criminals wore one sword. Back when iai started to become popular, and incidentally starting losing touch with its original effective intentions, practitioners stopped wearing a second because it was in the way.
But as we practice a traditional samurai art, and we are not yakuza, we will wear a second, so as to not lose touch of our origins.