kara and i did some of the most satisfying purikura ever the other day. unlike the usual dazed looks we sport after emerging from a booth that shouts at you in japanese and flashes your picture at unexpected times, we both walked away going, "yeah! that was good." here's my favorite of the day.
i also decided it was high time for me to nerd up in the nerd army and become one of the thousands of other foreigners in japan who read manga. manga are graphic novels, in japanese, and they're ridiculously popular among high school students. i decided i would benefit in several ways. i'll be able to relate to my students better (that's a huge motivation, 'cause that's one of the best perks of my job), and it will improve my conversational japanese ('cause they write it how people talk, not how reference books talk). the illustrations are pretty incredible too. i dived in last night, armed with my pencil and kanji dictionary and made it deep into the third page. woo-HOO, i'm cruising now! yeah, i'm slow, but hey, it's laborious looking up 75% of the words on every page. imagine reading a book like that. but i'm stalwart when it involves art and language. here is the title page and an excerpt from my first ever manga: Ouran High Host Club.