By some miracle I managed to wake up early enough to go to Ando-sensei's practice at 10am (ok I got there late but whatever.) He had his video camera and taped me running through some kata. Really no fun to watch ones' self on tape, but it definitely helps to see what I'm doing wrong. Only one other student was there, so we practiced on our own for a couple of hours. Someone showed up to check out class (she ended up signing up) so Ando-sensei was explaining to her what's what. I remembered that we had a cutting target left over, so I cut it up to make it small enough to throw away.

After practice I came home and Hiroko and I had ramen at Doraichi. They gave us an extra hard-boiled egg, so I ate half of it. Then we went to National Azabu for some grocery shopping, picked up Hiroko's boots from the shoe repair place, and had some tea and dessert at the cool tea place.

By the time we got home, I had a small allergic reaction to something. Probably the half-egg; fairly mild, which is why it took so long to show up. Or maybe it was the dessert? It had mascarpone cheese in it, so maybe I'm not just lactose intolerant (I can take Lactaid for that) but also allergic to milk? Very complicated, this whole food allergy thing. I think I'll go get an allergy blood test again as the last one I had was 3 years ago.

When we got home we finished off season one of 24 -- It was Nina! Love it! But come one, how many friggin' times are Kimmy and mom gonna get kidnapped, tied up, and rescued? Anyway, the DVD had an alternative ending where mom doesn't die, but I don't buy it. Nina was ordered to leave no traces to Germany, so mom got popped, end of story. I sure hope they keep Nina around; she'll probably be a really cool character as a baddie. Not sure about Kimmy becoming a CTU agent though. She should go back to wearing low-cut baby t-shirts.

For dinner, Masa came over with her selection of Amway pots and pans and cooked a feast. I'm impressed. Who would have thought the whiny teen-ager who moved in with me just 7 years ago would actually grow up into someone who can cook decent food on her own? She's still got a ways to go to support herself selling Amway stuff alone, but she's really motivated and trying hard.

tokyo journal

Had a kind of Tokyo Journal reunion. Tony and Sophia, Yuki, Jun the Photographer, and the old editor Gregg Star. We had some Thai food and talked smack for a few hours. Damn, those where the days. I still have all the old TJ websites we made; I gotta pull them off disk and put them up. We did stuff back in 1995 that nobody could even touch, especially in Japan.
And then that bastard Brad Barts (or something like that) came in, bought the magazine, Gregg and all the editorial staff quit, sued, won, and that was the end of it.
Tokyo Journal is still around, a shell of it's former self, but back in the mid '90s it was THE English rag in Tokyo; a great read, a great resource. All those who know it surely miss it.


Niina-gosoke is still sick and recovering from stressing out over the Honbu Dojo Opening, so Kiyokawa and I went to Honbu Dojo and worked out by ourselves. Ando-sensei came by after work and ended up hanging out giving me help on walking. Yup, I cannot walk. Specifically, I'm trying to use nanba-aruki, where the left and right sides of the body move together, with the left and right hips acting as two separate but joined pivot points. Ando-sensei always says "split your butt." To practice the motion, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front on you. Put you hands on your thighs, and using only your left and right butt alternatively, move yourself forward.
Now do that standing up, while drawing and cutting with a sword. Seems kind of unnatural, but when it's mastered it's incredibly natural, smooth, and effortless. Needless to say I have much work to do!


A full class tonight for Sanno-sensei: five including me, three of whom are named Kosaka (father, daughter, and unrelated female.)

Came home and realized I still hadn't set up my Gmail account. So I did. Feel free to email me. Gmail is blocked from work, so I can only check it when I'm not at work (duh.)
Looks like it's all in UTF-8, but Japanese doesn't seem to work. Bummer.

appleseed soundtrack

Gotta love! Got the Appleseed Soundtrack and, as expected, it thumps mightily.


Got to Honbu early in an attempt to set-up the PC, but wasn't having much luck without the appropriate drivers. Of course the drivers from the Compaq homepage are over 5 megs -- how the hell am I supposed to put those on a floppy? So I guess I'll have to download them at home, burn a CD, and install from that. Brilliant idea, putting the ethernet adapter drivers online for easy download. That's like "call us if you have problems with your phone."
So Tanaka-sensei showed up about 7:15 and it was just the two of us. We worked through a few kata, nitpicking details that have turned into bad habits I'm having a hard time fixing, especially keeping my upper body upright (not leading with the shoulders) and keeping my grip steady. Tanaka-sensei made a really good, albeit scary, point: he said that as you progress farther and farther, you get taught less and less, and therefore have to be able to see your own mistakes and correct yourself, or you'll stop progressing. I think that's definitely my biggest problem: I know I'm not perfect, but I'm not really sure exactly what it is I'm doing wrong, or even worse how to fix it even if I do know what's wrong. Sometimes just being told the simplest things, like use both hands in a more balanced way, is all I need to make improvement. But figuring that out on my own is a whole nother issue, and I'm just no good at it. I guess I should spend more time practicing in front of the mirror.


Practice with Naganuma-sensei. Haven't had him teach me in forever. His big theme is taisabaki: body mechanics. Specifically; moving from the hips, keeping one central balance point and moving the body as one, not using arm strength, staying upright and balanced, minimizing swing and tilt.
Needless to say, he moves the way he does because up until he was 12 he wore geta not shoes, and he practiced old-school karate since he was 17.
We trained one-on-one for the first hour, and then Sano-sensei joined in so the three of us worked through various basics, Naganuma-sensei giving us pointers and corrections throughout.
His basic comment was: "You've gotten considerably worse since I last taught you a couple years ago."
To which I replied: "Cause and effect."
So hopefully he'll be able to teach on Tuesdays regularly, and I will be able to attend regularly.

colonel and brown girl

Z is back in North Carolina, doing that living-in-America thing with Kevin.
Here's some photos from her going away party.

men without jobs

Cousin Dave's latest film Men Without Jobs is opening at the Tribeca Film Festival. Go see it!


Hiroko and I went with Roland and Anthea to see Appleseed. We originally wanted to see Innocence but it stopped playing the night before. But it doesn't matter: Appleseed was excellent! I've never read the manga so I didn't know the story, but it was a pretty cool plot, excellent battle and fighting scenes, and really amazing animation. The backround scenery is so realistic and 3-D, but the characters are definitely anime, though not flat. Really cool camera work, too, adding lots of depth and it's just great to watch. Also need the soundtrack, as there's some ripping tracks from BoomBoomSatellites and Paul Oakenfold.