April 19, 2006


'Tis a lovely day and I'm sat on my balcony as I type this, but it's getting a bit nippy and I might go back inside in a bit, as my feet are cold. As I;m sure you can tell there's not much to report really...I'll do something interesting one of these days, promise!

Course is going well, still. My ability with numbers has increased since we've studied it (I can usually make out what they're charging me in the shops now). Some good news - we learnt that the week beginning May 1st is known as the "goruden uiiku" (golden week) as it contains 3 consecutive public holidays on the 3rd, 4th and 5th (Constitution Memorial Day, Nation's Day, and Children's Day, to be specific), followed by the weekend. Rock 'n' roll! (I have to go in for the 3rd tho)

About the most interesting thing I've done today was to go to a local second-hand book store after school. It appears that second-hand books are big business here, hardly suprising in a country where 60% of the population regulary reads manga (I'm pulling this statistic from a dusty corner of my memory, so it's probably wrong). This page gives a few other reasons. Again, if you don't know what manga is, the ubiquitous Wikipedia is ever on hand...

This particular store was seemingly run by a couple of middle-aged ladies who seem to spend most of the day sitting at the counter watching soap-operas. It's deceptively large, and there are huge amounts of manga books, magazines, regular books and a really quite considerable amount of porn/hentai (including DVDs for your more technologically-minded pervert) stacked on shelves right up to the ceiling. I spent a good 45 mins to an hour wandering about the place, and I know very little about manga/anime but recognised a few titles. I felt I really ought to buy something after spending so long there, so I left with Chibi Maruko-chan Book 1 (I like the more child-oriented manga as it tends to be more decipherable) and an Osamu Tezuka best-of thing. There was a set of early Crayon Shin-chan books that I was tempted by but I figured I have better things to spend £20 on than a stack of books I can barely read anyways.


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