P and I checked out the Mingeikan, Japan Folks Crafts Museum. The house of the founder, Yanagi Souetsu, wasn't open, but the museum was. Lots of cool pottery, textiles, metal and glass works. Sweet building, too. It's in a quiet neighborhood just west of Shibuya; a delightful way to spend the morning.
After the museum we went back to Shibuya, had to 'Nam food for lunch, did some shopping, and came home.
Must have been something in the lunch, as I started feeling crappy, so took a nice nap. Then P and I committed a full assault on the crab that Momo sent us from Hokkaido. My stomach was fine by dinner, so we feasted.

ward office

Several weeks ago I went to the Minato Ward Office to renew my resident terrori-, I mean, permanent resident registration card. By law I am required to carried this photo id with me at all times. It used to be worse; when I first came to Japan I was finger-printed and my thumb print was on my card until a few years ago. I thought things were a bit Draconian in Japan, but the USA's recent post-9/11 antics make Japan look like a bastion of free democracy.
Anyway I made photos in the photo booth, filled out some paperwork, showed my passport, etc. I also had to show some supporting documentation for the kanji I use for my name, because my payslips from work get paid to my Japanese name and tax filing gets ugly if the names don't match.
And now three weeks later I come to pick up my card and...the kanji is wrong. It's correct on the form I filled out, and it's correct in my file, it's just wrong on the card. Oops.
So we take photos again, redo the paperwork, and I'll be back in another few weeks.
So much for Japanese perfection.


nate!, originally uploaded by renfield.

Nate's back in Japan, so we had another get-together of the old EBT crew from Morgan Stanley.


Showed up late for class on Monday as I had a conference call with London in an attempt to stop the hemmoraging of money from one of my trading desks due to some not-so-clever accounting. Accounting sucks. I have mad respect for accountants, because damn that looks like a totally miserable job.
So I got to class late and luckily missed the fun stuff at the beginning and joined in when we started various kicks. After class I felt guilty so I ran through the standard 3 rounds of sit-ups: 16 slow (4 count up, 4 count down), 16 medium (2 count up-down), and 32 wee little fast crunches as high as possible. Then I did some side crunches and Supermans (lie on your stomach, lift your left leg and right arm, alternate, fly like Superman!) before pounding on the heavy bag gloveless. Key to hitting the bag gloveless is to hit it properly; square on the first two knuckles, don't buckle the wrist, don't overpower with the arm, drive from the hips and it makes a really satisfying thump. Of course since I'm an idiot I've shredded most of the skin off of my knuckles in bad hits. But it still feels great to pummle a couple hundred kilos of sand.

Was late for class tonight as well; had to finish up some last-minute stuff and finally made it about 8. Only three in class, so we worked through four of the shintoryu kumitachi. I like working through paired forms nice and slow, working on distance, so it's good to work with some of the lower ranks.

After class I walked 40 minutes through Ginza to Shinbashi station and took the bus home. Nice breeze and not too hot and humid so walking through Ginza and checking out the first stirrings of the night is always good.


daisuke, originally uploaded by renfield.

Kairi wanted to go to the Azabu Jyuban Festival so she brought Daisuke and her parents over this afternoon. Daisuke spent most of the time drooling, gurgling, and sleeping. He's puffy like a fresh sausage, but smells generally better. We did the rounds and gathered armloads of food before heading home and feasting. Aki came over later and we sat around and played with Daisuke some more, then Kairi and I goofed off in the basement before they all went home. Good practice for my own daughter, though Kairi's mom and P agreed that after seeing me with Maya, Amy, Kairi, and Daisuke, consensus is that I'm going be a total pushover -- my daughter's gonna get whatever she wants outta me!

kyushu pork

kyushu pork, originally uploaded by renfield.

P and I went to Isetan in the morning to check out the twice-yearly Kyushu Sale and we loaded up on Quality Pig Products. There's a family farm down there that raises pigs and makes the best miso-marinated pork and sausages (and the grandparents raise chickens for meat and eggs.) Dad and his multiple (cute) daughters were selling, and they remembered us from last time so we got a choice selection of meats and some free eggs!