This is for memory's sake.

Recently I spoke with a dear friend, and asked her what she does when she finds herself falling into actions she is not proud of. I asked her what solidifies her will; what pushes her towards change?
She said,
"There is always something better."

I'm finding that in order to solidify my spirit, I have to change a lot of my actions up to this point.

I too often rely on my past actions (referring to the point before I came to this country), and upon having come here I feel as though through this combination of independence and new experiences I have given everything the mindset that it is only half-real. As though my actions are in a state of relativity at this point, and "justifiably" so, because I have allowed everything else to maintain a state of relativity, as though this is a "time-out", so to speak, in life. And although my conscious mind would not wholly admit that, my subconscious seems to.
Yet, I am in control of my life, but not in the totalistic sense that I constantly wish I were.
I linger on about how I could, or would, change if things were not so thrown up in the air, forgetting that I am the one that is doing the throwing, because as I have already mentioned, the one in control of my life is me.
So I stumble around non-chalantly, waiting for some reason good enough to make me face facts.
In the midst of excuses, lethargy, and the like, I maintain the idea of "if only someone was here to show me how to do otherwise", forgetting that the simple fact that you (dear friend) exist is the kick in the ass that I have been asking for,
because you are not here physically, but you are here in every other way.
It is your existence in these other ways that I find you softly repeating that "there is something better", as you boldly face the day.
And so becomes this odd mixture of me wishing to be in control of my life, and simultaneously wishing that someone could help me be in a state where I could not have to depend on only myself.
The realization is that both these things have just happened at exactly the same time, and similarily have always been happening.

Therefore I find my resolve, and my control at the same time.

Dear friend, thank you so much.


Title Change.

As the header states, my blog has undergone a change of name.
No other re-vamps have been made.

The new URL is jinseibenkyo.blogspot.com

The blog title is in Kanji, and so you may find it difficult to read.
Although it would seem like it, this is not an effort to be pretentious, rather it is a matter of translation, or to be specific, the difficulty in the translation.
Therefore it will not appear in English, as there is no English appearance which I am happy with.
I also feel this to be a personal reward for my studies of this new language, and am happy to be able to begin to view and understand images without the mathematics of a more specific language.
(ie. c + a + t = cat)
If all could be translated perfectly, what need would there be for the knowledge of additional language except for the convenience of communication?
No, if George Orwell taught me anything, it is that expansion equals expansion, limitation equates to itself also, and that this idea is as broad as you allow your thoughts to be.

I recently found a man named Robert Lawlor to describe in a single paragraph what I have been trying to put into words for almost a year now.

"Thus the symbol is a material representation of immaterial qualities and functions. It is an objectification of things subjective in us and subliminal in nature, awakening us to a perception of the world which may make us aware of a knowledge contained in our soul."

There is something intricately revealing in the most complex functions of our senses which I do not believe we must stay far away from.

Phonectics: Jyin-say Beng-kyo
Romanji: Jinsei Benkyo
Hiragana: じんせいべんきょう
Katakana: ジンセイベンキョウ
Kanji: 人生勉強

Early Shane.

I found this piece when I first came to this country.
I'm glad to finally post it.

This man is Shane L. Koyczan.
He is one of the two people who made me both love and hate the pen, but to never be indifferent.


The Business of Business Trips.

Tomorrow morning, I shall make my way to the nearest internet provider put in a reservation for a modem, and then I will make my way to Kanoya by bus, finish "World of Wonders", and stay until Saturday in my usual hotel, at which I will begin reading "The Chrysanthemum and The Sword".
From there I will have two days off, which I will use to sip tea and renew my Visa for another six months.
Hopefully everything runs smoothly regarding the Visa, because although I miss many of you immensely, I would hate to see you as a result of deportation. Plus, it's not my time to see you yet.
After my days off from there, I will head to Kumamoto (see: Hot Pussy) for a second week-long business trip. Which I will stay in another hotel, hopefully on the fresh pages of another book, and spend my remaining time with a fantastic man named Ian and his Japanese girlfriend who says "fuck you" better than any native English-speaker I've ever met.
After the business trips are complete, I will have a monthly Staff Meeting in Kumamoto, go to a Kagoshima+Kumamoto Peppy Area Combination Party (or "2-PAC", for short), return to Kokubu for a day off, and have yet another Staff Meeting the day after in Kagoshima.
After these shenanigans are complete, I will return to my humble abode which is getting more bamboo aesthetically added to it by the day, teach a class with my second (and secret) English-teaching job and wait for a few more days to pass, whereupon I will have finally conquered the battle of getting the internet just in time for Winter Holidays, which the company gives to all of us Peppy Teachers, because I guess some foreigners care about celebrating Christmas.

I'll just be happy for some time off, as well as the ability to Skype.


I have made promises to the day,
and have broken them nearly every chance I've been given,
and scraped by by some fortune I seem to have been given also, but not respected.
I have known that my life comes with responsibility,
and the waste I have made of it so far.
Regret, the inaudible word of definition, may have been closer to the tip of my tongue than I wanted to admit.
Going against all I've known, I am complacent to my actions speaking the loudest.
Yet I curse myself when actions are failed,
and forget them within the hour.
Continue to forget,
continue to fail,
continue to forget my failures,
until they show up again.
And even then I hold no specifics, only the weight of regrets which I've secretely passed to my subconscious, so that when the next day comes I wake with heaviness which I can never quite place.
In the lack of my own clarity I have misplaced near everything.
I constantly promise to take responsibility the next day, when every day previous I understand that the next day will be too late.
Self-berating has shown no promise
the same way positivity has fallen short.
A clear mind may hold the answer,
though my mind usually feels empty,
and the two are sometimes hard to differentiate.
But I suppose it's really not all that empty;
Ay, there's a fog.

Cold Park.

I want to escape to my own
ideas of beauty.
Believing that Beauty treads further
than the eyesight of the beholder,
I accept my selfishness
and want what my own eyes see clearest.
The feeling will pass
in twenty minutes,
when I see
how she sees
the beauty I can't.

I will wish for her beauties also
to improve my vision,
and probably forget
it's my selfishness
impairing my sight.


Kumamoto Castle.

Black or White
is never quite what it is.
Castles of old sync up
with skyscrapers right beside.
Electric lights light up
what the Moon used to.
But the Moon maintains
its selfish side;
divides into glass
and rivers,
to keep itself
the only light you really see.


Last Blog at The Current Hotel.

Last night I discussed Spirals, Agnosticism and Absolute Truth.
This morning I woke up to a message which continued the conversation.

10 minutes later I blew smoke rings without touching my lips to a filter,
and sat back to watch the galaxies I had created.

They lasted only seconds.
I wonder how special they thought they were,
and if they used the time that they had,
to quarrel over it.


2nd Blog of the Evening.

I'm currently reading "Red Dust".
It is written in a similar style to my two favourite dystopian novels: "1984", and "We".
It is, in itself, also a dystopian novel. The difference is that it is not fiction.

A Chinese man named Ma Jian is under constant surveillance in Beijing by police for having been feared as a bourgeouis-type; a spiritual pollutant.
This is during "The Campain Against Spiritual Pollution" which happened during 1980's China.
Beginning to lose his mind, depressed, and unsure of who he is, he forges some documents and secretly embarks on a journey throughout China, hoping to discovery his country and himself.
He is a painter and a poet, and his records are so beautifully written that by the thirtieth page, I found myself in tears on the long bus-ride to Kanoya from a single paragraph noting his love for someone whom he now fears for having done so and been betrayed.
He explains a twitch he sees on her lip.

The twitch on her lip brought me to tears on a bus.

I am realizing the poor quality of my writing.

I am realizing that independence can make you a coward just as easily as it can make you a hero.

I am realizing what I was sure I knew before.


I am currently SO happy for one specific reason.
Jamison, aka, The Tremulance, has finished his album "The Breaks", and what's more,
you can download it for FREE!
Go here.

Jamison makes fantastic beats, among other things, and his mom once made me a delicious brunch way back in Abbotsford. After said delicious brunch, we watched Seinfeld and, if memory serves, Star Trek: TNG.

Memories, memories.


Notes on Drinking.

Where to start...

The week previous to this one was basically not much more than a drinking fest, and I suppose that is what I will tell of in part.
Us foreign teachers here in Kagoshima had a Teacher Seminar in Kumamoto (which, if you were from Kenya, translates exactly as, "hot pussy" [no joke], and therefore I feel compelled to do my Kenyan neighbour a favour and translate it as such from here on in).

So come last Wednesday I headed to a new part of Japan to give a lecture on 'Japanese Culture and Societal Ethics' to other foreign teachers.
I met some great new people; surprisingly really awesome, and thankfully my presentation was on the first day, so that I didn't have to try to do it while being dreadfully hagard the next day.
Unfortunately for other teachers giving presentations on Day 2 of this meeting, they could not help but try to fight their hang-overs.
While in (Hot Pussy), I met the guy who oversees things in that area for our company, named Dominic Walker, who continually made references to himself in the third person as D.W.
Example (after someone took a photo which he was also in): "Oy! Look at Dee Dubyah in this one! Fuckin' handsome bloke, that one!"
This is the man who will be filling in as P.S. for Kagoshima when our current P.S. (who is awesome) leaves.
As if it all wasn't enough to make one want to drink everything inaudible, he also had a thick British accent that became increasingly difficult to understand, and much more vulgar.
There's really something to be said for the vulgar capabilities the British have.
He also called me J-Dawg in-between his rants about how awesome Dee Dubyah is, so if any religious folk are about to judge me for the Sin of (alchohol-related) Gluttony, the plus side is that I didn't knock him out.
I can't remember which Sin is more deadly, Anger or Gluttony.
Probably Gluttony, which would explain my physical state of being the next day.

Anyway, aside from D.W., (Hot Pussy) was fantastic.
On the second day a couple of us walked up to the top of (Hot Pussy) Castle with a bottle of wine and sat on the grass in the cold fall/winter breeze and discussed everything from Japanese politics to "what the leaves say when they're rustling".
I voted that the leaves are saying "shhhhhhhhh", that is, if they're speaking English.
Terrible puns aside, it was a great two days in (Hot Pussy).

I returned to Kagoshima in perfect concordance with お原祭り ** , and ended up spending the next two days in Kagoshima City without returning to Kokubu (where I live, for those of you who haven't kept up).
On the second day there was an Art and Music Fest happening in a large park in the middle of the city (Tenmonkan), and on the way walking there my friend and I had to worm our way through thousands of people who were dancing up and down the streets, accompanied by the beats of the largest Taiko (drums) you've probably ever seen. On days like these, there is free drinks for those dancing, and so in a 15 minute interval you'll have this same large number of people rushing every which-way to get their hands on some tasty Sweet Potato Shochu (strong alchohol, made from exactly what is stated in it's title).
Although I didn't dance in the 祭り (festival), this is where my drinking on this day began, at 3pm on the dot, with a cup of Shochu hospitably being shoved into my hands.
I had absolutely no money on me this day, borrowed a total of 30 cents, and somehow maintained a steady 1/4 - 3/4 drunk until 6am, the following morning.
A personal record, especially considering that I only came out losing 30 cents.
You gotta love Festivals.

- じぇし~

^"Jesse" in Hiragana.

**Romanji = O-Hara Matsuri
English (direct translation) = Big-Stomach Festival



It's been a hell of a long time since I've blogged.

I'm currently in my hotel in Kanoya, and the internet is free.
I've been taking advantage of it all week.
I leave tomorrow, and if I don't write something on here, I'll regret it.

Too much happens these days.
Business makes time fly by...it's already October.
I arrived June 13th.
When I got here I wondered how long I could get away with under-age drinking, as my birthday seemed so far away.
I'll now be 20 in 9 days, and in another 2 months I'll have hit the half-way point in my stay here,
but you may as well tell me that it's only 2 weeks away.
I've given Time too much leeway, it disappears if you don't watch it close enough.

My grasp of the language is steadily improving, I can almost read all 208 characters in Hiragana and Katakana, and a few in Kanji.
Kanji is difficult, but I absolutely love it.
As they're based on ideas, I sometimes just stare at a certain character and try to grasp the meaning. I've found it to occasionally work. The right side of my brain is having a great time.

If you're in Kelowna, and happen to know the wonderful people that are Kaare & Angie, wish them safe travels, and tell them that I will have Kaare's vest when we finally reunite in South Asia.
They leave on the 27th, and they are the best of people you'll ever meet.

Time for bed.


Taken from a page that could've been put to better use.

I was told in Canada
by a random girl,
who had dressed herself
in the apparel of
"the independent thinker",
that in my previous notebook
(for she has not seen this one)
I wasted too much paper.
This comment was made
after she had asked to read my writing
and had done so.
after reading my thoughts,
this was the most important thing
to come to her mind,
I feel she should've been happy
for the sheets
I left blank.



Fuck blogging tonight.
Mostly though, fuck Facebook.
I have finally joined, my protest has ended, and I am ashamed of myself.
I've fallen in with a bad e-crowd.

There's always so much to blog about these days,
I find myself lost as soon as I hit the keyboard.

I'll sum up some things in point form from the last month, because otherwise too many will become essays:

-I've worn a Yukata (this one probably wouldn't be an essay).
-I've been to an underground Japanese punk-rock, rock, and hard-core show.
-I've met "Ms. Kagoshima", and we've become friends.
-I've out-djembe'd a group of Japanese people.
-The best bar I've yet to find in Kokubu is a 30-second walk from my house.
-I'm averaging a book a week (please, please send me books).
-A man from Kenya moved in the apartment above me.
-I've performed a spoken word session at an "Art-Night" some foreigners put on.
-I have been gifted a rice cooker, juicer (which I have yet to use), and an old bicycle.
-I ate almost nothing but rice for a week (rice is cheap).
-I've somehow attained a modelling job in September.
-I've attained a part-time job teaching English to, most probably, members of Yakuza (which has yet to start).
-Days after her boyfriend died, a very interesting girl claimed to have fallen in love with me.

The last is something which deserves far more form than that of a point.
Try as I might, I just can't put the thoughts to ink without my fingers stuttering.



I'm writing this in my hotel room in Fukuoka.
I was rather spontaneously sent to this area by plane this morning to help out as there aren't enough foreign teachers at the moment.
Getting to schools you've never been to before can be difficult, as it's always a matter of catching 1 or more trains and usually several busses.
There's also the matter of the time that it takes. It's normal to have to make a two-hour trip to get to your classroom.
Except for today. Today took almost 6 hours of trains, planes, and automobiles, followed by teaching 3 classes.
It's as difficult as it is tiring.
But I should be honoured that they decided to send me on this important journey.
I'm also happy to see an area of Japan that I wouldn't have seen any other way, even though it is only for two days.
To take advantage of the trip, I cancelled my return flight ticket and bought a Shinkansen ticket instead; this way I can spend about an hour and a half sitting by a window and taking it all in.
While in the air this morning, I realized I had made a good decision.
These lower areas of Japan have some of the most beautiful nature I have ever seen.
I'll be back in Kokubu come Sunday, and I can't wait.
Some foreign teachers and Japanese teachers are all heading out to an island for two days of camping on the ocean.
The only thing I can be sure of is that I will be wearing nothing but Thai pants and either sandals or my Tabi's for the entire time, depending on if the situation calls for relaxation or Parkour.

I fucking need this holiday, for not many other reasons than that the last few days have held more drama than I thought myself capable of handling, and I almost couldn't.
It's an event that took approximately only two days, but I still can't figure out a way to structure it onto paper (or HTML) just yet, and since I'm worried about Kaare's BAHD (Blog Attention Deficit Disorder), I will end this one here, and work my next adventurous story out in my head.




Summer School (aka: teaching brand new curriculum coupled with 8 solid days of bus and train transit adventures [which take hours] to different towns every two days, having to arrive at the classroom before noon) is done!

Never, for the entirety of my employment with KTC, will I ever have to do it again.

As a result of it however, my teaching skills have leveled up at least four times.
My job status of Teacher is also increased, and I can now get into certain castles I couldn't before; I'm also capable of carrying more powerful weapons.

We had a second typhoon here during the last two days of SS. Classes were almost cancelled, but by that point every teacher was willing to walk through wind-whipping violence if it meant getting to the finish line faster. So we did. We now have three days off, and I have no idea what to do with myself.
Today was the first day off in almost 2 weeks, and being in a pattern of work, I was a little shaken with the idea that I actually didn't have to worry about when I got up, and that I had to do no prep-work before sleeping.
Not knowing what to do with myself today, I cleaned my apartment from floor to ceiling, drank pot after pot of green tea (which is fantastic here, if you didn't know), and read the last half of "Brave New World", which turned out to be much different than I anticipated. I'm glad that I finally got to reading it.
It only took me about 3 days to read...Notably faster than if I had read it 4 months ago.

In the spirit of not working, I'm heading out to catch a train to Kagoshima-chuo.
There's this DJ thing happening around midnight, so I'm meeting up with Adam and we're going to check it out.
I'm looking forward to getting out of the apartment, or a classroom, and letting off a little steam.

We'll see how the night goes.

Also, if anyone's interested, I have a keitai (cell phone) now, and it can receive e-mails and such.

The address is mandrake.mechanism@softbank.ne.jp
I can't always make it to a computer, but if you want to send a message, or a picture, or an e-hug, that would make me smile.



Sorry everyone, I've been really busy with "Summer School" in the last little bit, and since I still don't have my computer, it's been incredibly difficult to spend time on the ol' blog.
This should change soon I hope, but for now I'm far too busy, and I'm running out of money to boot, so paying for an internet cafe isn't a possibility for me right now (I'm currently taking 20 minutes on the hotel computer while teaching at one of my far-away schools).
But things constantly look up if you let them.

You're all still in my heart and mind constantly, even if you aren't receiving my text.

E-mail me if you want my address. I'd be happy to receive and send back a letter or two.


Sorry Elise, I will send it to you soon, I promise!



I've accidentally heard a rumour that there is a "Welcome Party" for me on Monday night, following a tea ceremony.


Blog for Tim.

I've given a difficult task to myself, and that is to describe a man named Tim Steiner.
He is the afforementioned teacher who currently lives upstairs from me at the same apartment in Kokubu-chuo, and he deserves some mention.

This is a man who, to be quite honest, worries me.
The rambling ability of this man surpasses me in leaps of a Nephilim, and I can only wonder if, by the time I reach 47, I too will talk to that extent.
He's a great guy, but I honestly hope that I don't.

In those ways and more however, he's made me realize a lot of things about myself that I had "put behind me".
He's the first person I've been able to talk Philosophy with in my time here, and do we ever talk Philosophy.
We come to points usually every 15 minutes that either make us laugh or just say "fuck it", and drink.
He is technically the "head teacher" here in Kokubu, and the guy who's job it is to take care of this group of teachers, the P.S. (Performance Supervisor) was on Holiday in Finland when I arrived, so Tim took it upon itself to help me get my feet on the ground.
He is far too hard on himself, and reprimands himself much too often with self-depricating remarks that really shouldn't be there.
He doesn't give himself enough credit with things that he should.
On the other hand, perhaps he is constantly teaching humility to those that should hear.
I'm not quite sure.
In the same way, I'm not sure of many things about this man.
He is a many-layered individual that you would do wrong to try to fit in a box.

I'm glad that I met him, we enjoy each other.
And if I end up taking nothing else from this man, I hope I take the important lesson of listening.
Perhaps it took a man who gave me no other choice, to teach me this.
We both smile about things like this.



Business trips in Kanoya aren't all bad.
I don't have to pay for my A/C, hahaaa!

The last few days, oh man...pretty fucking crazy!

There are/have been festivals all over Kagoshima (and other parts of Nihon) in the last week or so, and continue in other areas.
I'm excited for the Autumn Festival in Kagoshima this August; The Nihon-jin really enjoy their fireworks, as most asians do (eg. Juanita). The 'works should last around 2 hours.
In Kelowna we were lucky if we got 15 minutes.

I finally met this teacher named Adam, whom I've been told by everyone to meet, a few days ago.
Everytime I would mention an interest or something about myself to another teacher, all I would hear in response is, "Oh man, you have to meet Adam".
He called up another teacher that lives upstairs from my apartment a few days ago to tell him to ask me if I wanted to hop on a train to Kagoshima-chuo (I still do not have a phone) to go out to some DJ thing with his girlfriend and a few friends.
I hopped on a train, we finally met, and he took me to his friends house where I met some really awesome people.
I've been told there's some really lame foreigners around Japan, people who were there simply because they didn't want to be where they were before, but these were not those people.
Unbelievably rad guys & girls.
I'll speed along from here.

Adam got really drunk, we stayed out until around 6am, and then proceeded to his apartment.
He crashed his bike several times, mostly with his girlfriend on the back of it while I rode her bike; she now has a very large bruise, and his arms are quite red.

The next night was the Festival Day 1, which was a blast, and afterwards Adam's girlfriend told me through broken Japenglish to come back the next night, because she had a friend that she wanted me to meet named Atsuka.
I made it back to Kokubuo eventually, and that night hung out with a couple of JTs (Japanese Teachers), Ayume and Marika who, after some drinking, ended up staying the night.
I had to do a couple of demos for "Summer School" the next morning and I thought sleep to be the worst course of action, so instead I showed Ayume some of my favourite music.
She took special liking to Jeff Buckley, so we lied down and listened for about an hour.
It was a great night, but all understanding of time from there through the next couple of days is skewed.

I made it through the demos, and did fairly well at them.
Adam and I went from there to the festival, met his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's friend, who turned out to be quite beautiful; I was quite flattered that she had wanted to meet me.
Alas, my shyness hasn't really changed.

It's been a fun time in the last few days, it's nice to know that interesting people are bound to show up when you look for them.



A typhoon has hit.
A typhoon has hit Kagoshima first in it's attack of Japan, and will continue up the main island.
A typhoon has hit Kagoshima on Friday the 13th.
A typhoon has hit Kagoshima on Friday the 13th while I sit in the only internet booth left open, booth 13.

All classes are cancelled for tomorrow and further if the damage is extensive; we'll have to wait and see.
I'm still getting paid for tomorrow.

My school today was two hours from Kokubu (my town), and I ended up running from the school just fast enough through the wind to catch the final bus back.

Oh life-threatening Adventure! How I wondered where you'd gone!

The other night I had enough gin in me to not care if anyone was watching, and I threw politeness to the wind as I climbed from the top of my apartment building down the side to my room, and jumped onto my patio.
Oh life-threatening Adventure! How I wondered where you'd gone!

I'm currently reading "The Book of Tea" by Okakura Tenshin, a brilliant Japanese man from the late 19th century and writer of such things as the Tea Cult, or, Teaism.

I picked it up two days ago and I'm almost finished. It's quite difficult to put down.
I would imagine it difficult to find, but if you can, it would be very worth it.

Since coming to Japan I have found my comprehension of reading has profoundly increased.
Perhaps it is part to do with the strive to learn another language; like a right-handed person training their left and automatically increasing the dexterity of the right.
Maybe it's not like that at all, but I can't think of any other logical reason.

In any case, I have been retaining information like a thick sponge.
Everything goes in one ear and sticks around.


Natasha Zarin.

This a brief message to let anyone who's been reading that I am still alive.
I found a bank today, so that's one worry taken care of.

Today I did some training with a girl from Vancouver that lives a few towns away.
I found out a few days ago from looking at her "teacher profile" that she writes poetry.
Today when I mentioned it to her the look on her face that she gave me explained physically before she vocally could that she hasn't been writing for a while.
She asked me if I write, I told her that I try.
She asked me how I got into it, I told her that my interest was peaked by Shane Koyczan and my inspiration was formed from Carly Saare.

It turns out she is quite the fan of Shane Koyczan, but has seen him perform only once, to her understandable regret.
We talked for a while about that lovable poet, and I shared some of my stories collected from my friendship with him, up to and including that wonderful night when he and several others took it upon themselves to wrap my car in 150 metres of cellophane, complete with a bacon-y surprise inside.
She is heading back to Vancouver in September, so we have a little bit of time yet to become better friends.

Tonight she told me quite a few things I needed to hear, including her experiences and first impressions of this country
She reminded me that although it doesn't seem this way in this society, I do in fact hold much more liberty than I first felt I did, and that my choices are still my choices.
She told me not to feel trapped, because although I have a few things set in paper, they're still not set in stone.
She told me that she feels my appearance in this city was not accidental, and although we're sure we've seen each other somewhere before, she told me that my appearance was an inspiration to her, and that after a day of getting to know each other, she finally feels the pull she was looking for to begin writing once again.

I don't know why she found that in me, but all I can say is that I too have been inspired to pick my pen back up.


Lowered Immune System.

For the first time in a long, long time, I feel sick.
I have no idea why.
There are a couple of reasons that might suggest it to be my system detoxing, but I think that's only a small part of it.
The stress isn't helping.
I feel incredibly anxious, like I need to read, or write, or create something new, or talk to someone I haven't met, or...something.

If I don't find an ATM tomorrow that allows me to withdraw the money from my Canadian bank, I will officially run out of money.
I also have to find out the correct way to a school I've never been to before tomorrow in another town by 9am, to get some training in for what PKC calls "Summer School", in which I have a solid 8 days of teaching 6 classes a day, in which the parents will be also attending, and the curriculum that I have to teach is brand new.
It's the most hectic teaching period in the entire year, and also the part with the most importance put on it.
This whole fiasco is happening in about two weeks, and although every other teacher has had months to prepare, I have been asked to muster up this impossibility incredibly soon, and to do it without flaw.

I think my body is now starting to feel the effects of my mind.
I think I'm wearing myself down quickly, and I don't know what to do about it, because I don't know how to make myself relax for a long enough time that would actually do any good.
I have too many things to do and too much doubt in my capability to do them; I know longer know what to do.
I can't even read ingredients on packaging, or properly explain symptoms to someone who I would trust to know what to do.
I don't even know anyone, let alone someone I could trust.

There's just me, and it's hard to trust that, too.



Tonight I was able to talk to some of my favourite people in the world.
Without hesitation, it's been a rough couple of days for me.

The finality of my destination has begun to run it's course, and it's been a little hard to cope.

It's a scary thing when the place you've always wanted might not be the place you were looking for, and when the fact is extinguished that home can't be in an area, what do you have when the land is all you've given yourself?
Needless to say, I've been trying to find value; something within myself that can find gratitude in where I am, and what I'm doing.
Gratefulness is the most important thing you can have.
To be content with nothing more than yourself is peace.
But the path to getting there is proving to be a tricky one.

A lot of this came alive to me when Hiro Minowa took me to see the Rock Garden at the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto during my stay in Osaka.
There were fifteen rocks perfectly laid out by the Zen Master who built the temple.
His dream was to create a Japanese garden with no actual garden.
It is one of the most important things I have ever seen.
I segregated myself upon arriving and just stared, trying to understand it.
After a while I began to understand it's purpose.
It is something to show water without water, green without green, life without life.
It is radiance within simplicity, and the rocks themselves seemed to be sprouting out of the ground like bulky trees; with a force of life I've never seen before, and didn't know could happen.

The inability to accomplish something was accomplished through simply existing, and the limitations once believed no longer applied, because as the stones became content with what was given to them, existence expanded.
It was as though through first being content with limitation, limitation could not exist.
And from the stones flowed streams.

I need to learn this.


I've found out that it might be impossible for me to get my computer sent to Japan.
Well, not impossible, but $500, which seems pretty close to the former.

Hip-Hop seems to be what takes me on my walk to my classroom 2 kilometers away.
Andy Shauf seems to be what takes me home.

It would be really nice to make a friend in this town.



Written July 3rd, 2007

If an outbreak of the "Rage Virus" was to happen right now,
& this train station became flooded with "infecteds",
all running towards us from either side of the tracks,
I would probably be the only one who has plotted out an escape route
in advance.

New blog for a new city.

Suffice it to say, Livejournal just wasn't doing it for me.
I hope all dedicated fans will forgive me.

I'm now moved into Kokubu-chuo, in Kagoshima Prefecture, and Canada, I'm sorry to say, you could learn a thing or two about what green actually is.
Google images don't do it justice, so I'll try to post some photos of my own, which I will do upon my computer arriving.

I got a message from the Post Office on my door yesterday, saying there was something for me to pick up.
My hopes were incredibly high, and equally shattered upon finding it was a manual on how to properly sort the garbage, sent to me by my company.

It's far too humid here to sleep with anything.
Even a sheet proves to be the sweatiest thing ever, come morning.

I went to a bar I heard about called "Rastas" this evening after work.
I had an amazing drink of Shouchu mixed with Green tea that cost me ¥600.
I gave the bartender who was very nice up to that point ¥1000, and I received no change.
Upon asking him how much the drink was, he told me it was ¥600, I asked about the change, he told me it was because of the ¥400 "table tax".
Not being sure of how to properly say, "Although I may be foreign, I can still smell bullshit", I politely nodded in amazement, thanked him, and left for what I can only foresee as the last time.
I miss Yuji, Hiro, & the best bar I've ever been in.

There were so many memories from the last two weeks in Takatsuki.
I plan to write out my last unbelievable day there with Yuji, Hiro, & Nina, but as I can't hope to do it justice in the five minutes I have left on this computer, I will write it soon.

If anyone wants to send me a letter, or a "care package" with some real maple syrup or coals for my hookah, I will e-mail you my address and love you forever and ever.


LJ Entry IX

"June 28th, 2007 (early morning/late night)

As the subject suggests, this blog is probably a result of Kaare's latest blog, which I read last night before my (not so) regular pattern of sleep.
What followed was probably the best dream of my or anyone's life, upon explanation you will agree.

I slept for a total of 3 hours last night between the bar, and the next long day of training.
Upon closing my eyes I was thrown into a dreamland that was so precise and clear, was happening in realtime, first person, was linear, and lasted for what felt like exactly three hours, if not slightly longer.
I'm fairly certain it was a reality unto itself.
It began in a world very similar to ours, present day.
A couple of friends of mine who I have never met came upon this interesting elixir containing something we were not sure of, but had heard that it held interesting potential.
Friend A decided to taste it, did so, and began feeling strange, and then almost instantly realized that he had the ability to jump incredibly high.
Friend B became very interested at this point, and decided to partake.
After a few moments of us looking at him curiously, he had this feeling to stretch his limbs, and found them to be incredibly stretchy, comparable to Mr. Fantastic.
At this point we somehow realized that whatever this elixir was, it was manipulating the double-helix structure of whoever it contacted in a very radical, very immediate way.
It was causing mutation.
Living in a world where we all knew of the X-Men series, we were confused and amazed that we were witnessing a new, working form of X-Men style evolution in our normal world.
Remembering that mutation can just as likely go terribly wrong, I hesitated and weighed the risks.
I then took a sip.

The abilities I then achieved were similar to that of Magneto's daughter.
I tried to see what was different, and found that I could manipulate matter around me.
I first tried with metals, but then found it applied to any medium.
The next couple of hours were the most exciting, amazing hours of my life.

Points to note:
-we were the first in what became a "new step in human evolution"
-my powers were awesome
-I lived the life of an X-Man for several hours

It all seemed so undoubtably real that even upon waking, I was sure of my ability to control matter that was not my own.

So I tried, a lot.

As a result,
today fucking sucked."


"June 24th, 2007

This is what was faxed to me as I got to my first class to teach on Friday from my Performance Supervisor for Kagoshima.
His name is Ben.

"Hi Jesse, this is Benjamin, the Kagoshima PS, sending you some info about your Area. I hope teaching's going well with you and you're getting along well with your training group. So you'll be moving to a city called Kirishima (formerly and still often referred to as Kukubu). Kirishima has some beautiful hiking spots, not to mention lots of Hot Springs around the area. You're also 45 mins away by train to Kagoshima City where you'll find more shopping and urban fare. As well there's [picture of volcano] Sakurajima, our local active volcano. No lava for almost 100 years, but some ashes fall once in a while. Sweet Potato Shochu is also quite popular here, along with Kuro (black) buta (pork) dishes. Kyushu and Kagoshima moreso (we like to think) is home of the Samurai spirit and traditional Japanese values and hospitality. You'll find lots of smiles and welcoming people, especially if you can speak some Japanese.As for your schedule, you'll be having 3 schools and 1 of them will be a business trip (5 days in Kanoya City). Please give me a call (if I haven't reached you yet) at my cell xxx-xxxx-xxxx and I can let you know more about the Area!Welcome to Kagoshima! [smiley face]Benjamin"

He wrote it by hand."

LJ Entry VII

"June 23rd (for a few more minutes), 2007

In figuring out how to try to write this entry, the problem that stands out the most is how I can possibly keep it under 5,000 words.
And while there's a good chance that my word count won't go over 5,000, it seems a safe goal, because there really aren't enough words to express everything I told myself I would.

Perhaps a quick point form recap will let me get these last two or so days out easily.
Actually, no, I won't do that.
Those who hate my rambling may find it best to turn away now.

Since Wednesday, I've been in Osaka, continuing my training, this will continue on until July 2nd, at which point I will head to my new home in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture.
I'm at the Tatasuki Sun Hotel, if there are any stalkers or nerds using Google Earth, feel free to check me out.
The jazz bar aforemtentioned is about a 5 metre walk from the door of my hotel.
As also previously stated, I have indeed been there every night.
The bartender and I have become good friends, and so far I've met his father, his brother, and the owner of the bar.
This afternoon, after a very heavy 6 hour sleep, his brother, himself and I went for lunch.
It was the best Okonomiyaki I've ever had.

I should back up.
On Thursday night my Australian friend Nina and I decided after a long day of training to get some food.
The cheaper the better, was the evening's motto.
Craving raw fish, we realized that our motto may possibly rearrange itself.
After looking for some time for a sushi place recommended to me by a man at the jazz bar, we found ourselves lost, gave up, and went into a nice, simple-looking japanese restaurant.
The menu was entirely Kanji, no Hiragana or Katakana, certainly no Romanji, so deciding our food was difficult.
Eventually we both pointed to the same thing, which ended up to be a five-course meal.
We waited hopeful in the tiny two-person japanese booth, with a closed door and an appetizer.
What followed was the best meal I have ever had, in the full entirety of my life.
It was a combo of sushi, sashimi, a fancy take on miso soup, and some other things I've never seen before.
I ended up in tears.
I don't expect anyone reading this to take me for anything more than a crazy person, but it was the meal I have been waiting for all of my life.
Everything in this country, the people, the respect, the food, the nature...all of it.
I've been waiting for it for years, and everything decided to climax in a small room that had created it's own reality.
It was it's own world, and I found myself content.
I tried my best to explain the pure ecstacy of the meal, and he smiled warmly, bowed low, and brought us some ice cream on the house.
Life was a little brighter upon leaving.
The lights, streets, and people had a serenity that I experienced in my new found clarity, as I tried my best to walk, food-drunk, to the bar I was expected at.
Arriving, I caught the last half of the live jazz that was scheduled for that night.
We asked for an encore, and got one.
That was the night I met the bartender's (Yuj's) brother.
He was drinking slowly from a shot glass which held a portion from a beautiful, quite large bottle of 151.
He offered me some, we "cheered" and drank it straight.
Somewhere along the night Yuj began discussing how you can't buy 151 in Japan.
He however, could obtain it because he runs this bar.
We discussed drinks, and noting my enjoyment of the rum containing 76% alchohol, he asked if I would like it if he got a bottle for me to take with me when I leave.
I responded excitedly, and asked how much I should pay him to buy it for me.
He then shook his hand near his face and told me that he would like to give it to me as a gift.
Refusing my objections, the next night there was a large unopened bottle from the Carribean, waiting for me at my usual seat.

If you haven't been keeping up, we're now onto Friday.
That day I had taught my first class, which I now believe was comprised of ten demons disguised as children, planned out by my company far in advance to see if I could deal with it.
I dealt with it.
I showed up at the bar that night with no intention but to drink and trade off broken English with broken Japanese.
I ended up with the bottle of rum and another perfect night.
The owner of the bar came in, his name is Hiro, he's 55, and a well-renowned jazz bassist.
We all sat at a table.
It was him, myself, Nina, his friend Miko (a japanese chef), a japanese junior-high English teacher, and another guy who professed a fond love for The Beatles.
We stayed from 11pm until about 4 in the morning.

In that time some points to mention were Hiro & Yuj playing a piano/bass duet, stories from a life of jazz, deciding that the age of 64 set by The Beatles needs to be upped to 82, a bottle of Merlot, scotch, gin, a 24-year-old aged rum that tasted like Heaven itself, shared conclusions between Hiro & myself on what music actually is, and plans to do it again this coming Saturday when Hiro & some other jazz musicians will musically share the back of the bar.
Hiro insisted to cover my tab before we left.

I slept a heavy six hours and met Yuj and his brother for lunch.
I went back to the hotel and slept for a few hours more."

LJ Entry VI

"June 22nd, 2007

My first teaching/training day starts in 4 hours.
Last night was a night that deserves an essay.
Although four hours seems like a long way away, I have to take a train to my school and get there as early as possible to set everything up.
But last night, wow.
I'm working on several writing pieces right now.
I've been incredibly busy however, and with the relentless speed at which everything is happening, I find it very difficult to commit myself to a single piece of work at one time.
My hand needs to become as quick as my experiences.
I'm sure that my focus will correct itself once I'm settled in Kagoshima.

Futeki Kaze is probably the most accurate and honouring title one has ever placed on me."

LJ Entry V

"June 19th, 2007

I wanted to write something tonight, while I sat and stared at the screen at the internet cafe,
so I got a beer and drank it in about 10 seconds, give or take.

I don't really know why alchohol & writing get along so well, I guess they just met one night and had a lot in common,
like coffee and cigarettes,
or rain and comfort,
and the friendship blossomed from there.
I just ordered another.
The waitress smiled.
aaaaaaaaand, down.

I'm at Simple Minds' myspace, listening,
I don't think enough people gave them enough credit,
or maybe it was just me.
I am in a hotel that has a very small jazz bar right across the street from it.
I went there tonight and had a couple drinks and a great conversation with the bartender
and one other man sitting at the bar, who turned out to be his father.
They spoke English fairly well, and asked me what work I'm doing in Japan.
I told them that I am an English teacher.
I then improved their English skills,
in return for their promise to help me with my Japanese.
Upon learning my love for jazz, and the ability to play drums,
the bartender, who it turns out, plays stand-up bass,
wants to "play together" with me.

I imagine I'll be back every night until I leave for Kagoshima."

LJ Entry IV

"June 18th, 2007

I don't have time to write a proper entry this evening.
I forgot the CDs of pictures that I planned to upload at my apartment room, I'll do it soon, I promise.

Today was the first official day of the job.
Training = Tons o' Fun!
Seriously though, one of my Area Managers is a huge nerd.
We get along very well.

I have to meet some people for dinner, we're going to all meet up seeing as half of us (including myself) are heading to Osaka tomorrow afternoon.
I hope we go for Japanese."

LJ Entry III

"June 17th, 2007

It's a hard day to know what to write about.
A lot of mix-matching thoughts, new ideas, new contemplations.
I finished "The Great Gatsby" last night, and I highly recommend it.
"Let us show our frienship to the man when he is alive and not after he is dead."

Next will be "Cancer & Vitamin C", by Linus Pauling & Ewan Cameron.
I decided to not take the subway to my destination today, and instead to walk.
That was a poor choice--very poor.
It took me a few hours to actually get to my destination, I was very lost.
I did however get to use my limited knowledge of the language and ask people for directions, and fairly understood their responses.
I eventually made it to this internet cafe which I am now in, writing, complete with awesome sandal-blisters.
I ordered food and (free) drink from the computer, and they brought it to me, that was fun.
I met some Australians that are going to be in Osaka with me when training there begins.
This one girl named Nina and I became friends almost immediately, all it really takes is for someone to drop random film references into a conversation, and I'm sold.
We had a sake, beer, tea, and hookah session (Shane Koyczan, you now have an huge fan from Australia).
It's nice to have a friend, I was getting doubtful it would happen.
I found some Djarum Blacks today, they were about $1.50 for a half-pack, which is small and has good fashion.
I should probably leave here and go pick up my pictures that are being developed.
I dropped off 4 rolls, dating probably since January.
I'm so happy to finally be going to have some recent photography, check my Myspace soon, they will be added very soon providing I can get the time.

Training starts tomorrow.
It's still pretty hard to believe that I'm a teacher."

LJ Entry II

"June 15th, 2007

Today, after my final interview (in which I officially secured my job as a teacher) I took a stroll down a couple of sidestreets.
The flowers here are beautiful, & on one particular plant that I stopped at to admire I noticed that the ladybugs on this side of the pacific must be male.
They are all black with two equal-sized red dots on either side.
Herein I found my first true connection with a japanese hexapod, for it too must cross an ocean to be with what it's heart wants most.
After reaffirming that my best understanding of things is when in nature, I found myself on a subway train to the Higayashima Botanical Gardens.
I got off a stop too early (unaware at the time) & aimlessly wandered in the direction I thought it to be.
I didn't find it.
What I did find was a sidestreet that led to what appeared to be private property.
I wandered to a beautiful area of nature that was closed off in a half-assed way.
Trusting my prowess & viable excuse in the event of being caught that I cannot (yet) read the language, I ventured.
It was humid & breathtaking.
I silently, slowly walked up a broken stone stairway, complete with odd insects & botany.
I found a wondrously peaceful part of myself while standing in such silence.
I felt a connection with myself & where I was that I've known to be within me since first learning of Nihon.
This part of me can only grow & get more realized in my time here.
It's indescribable for me to be able to finally breathe in my surroundings & know that right where I am is right where I need to be.
This is the first time I've felt this, & yet somehow it's all familiar.

I safely made it back to civilization."

LJ Entry I

"June 13th, 2007

I have now technically begun to date my entries, it seems appropriate.
It's also about time.
I'm not sure who I'm writing to.
You, I suppose, if you're reading this, but I guess it'll end up being to my own memories.
I hope so.
This is my first day in Japan.
It was a long flight, first from Vancouver to San Fransisco, & from there to Nagoya.
No one really speaks English here.
I probably should've expected this, but for some reason I didn't expect such a drastic change into loneliness, probably because it's been since Lillooet that I've felt no social atmosphere.
The sushi here is wonderful, thank God.
The first place I went to there was a fairly tall, young, skinny Japanese man who prepared my food.I couldn't properly tell him how fucking good it was, so after eating I went to a bookstore & got a basic book on Japanese; tomorrow I plan to get a technical one.
The atmosphere is busy, yet gorgeous.
It really comes out at night.
It has these wonderful interludes of peace & calm amidst the large amounts of people.
I'm in one of these interludes right now; I'm using it to write.
On a side note, I don't think the japanese have any such thing as waste.
I see people smoking, & with the amount of stores & products it only follows that there would be a need to throw something out, but no.
There are no garbages, however the streets are unbelievably clean.
Thus my assumption that they produce no waste.
A second assumption is that they simply absorb what they use into their bodies, and convert it into energy, thus supplying power for their busy lifestyles.
Someone please prove me wrong, because I have several things of waste currently stored in my bag for the heavenly day that I find a trash bin.
I'm going to keep looking, & even if I don't find one, I'll certainly enjoy the search.
This country is beautiful."

"June 14th, 2007

I woke up very early this morning.
I planned to stay awake, but I started thinking about a certain someone, which kept me in bed, alone.
Sleep can be very comforting.
I'd like to begin reading & studying, which I should've started some of this morning, but I guess now it will be started in the afternoon.
I guess I shouldn't expect myself to perfectly adapt in the first day, but a large part of me wanted to.

There's an old-school samurai show that airs every day.
I've caught two episodes.

You can smoke anywhere you want, as long as it's indoors."