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[nokonoko journal] Voluntary Rapunzel

This year I've been reclusive more than ever..

But I could get in touch with so many people from all walks of life by translating their words on interviews and videos, and it's been fun.

While I was glued to my desk, my mind was elsewhere.
From a 5 year-old girl to a rapper from Bronx, I could touch their diverse life and views.

Yet funnily enough, no matter what they do or where they live, they all seem to face similar situations.

I've been learning the uniqueness and universality of human beings on a daily basis. 

After all, without those two, we can neither connect or respect each other...

.....OK, blah-blah-blah, enough with the justification. I obviously need to go out more or at least move more next year.

One of the videos I enjoyed watching this year. It's refreshing to see these pink nightmare-ish figures :) What a great costume. (there's more)
(I hope they'll release this version of MV...)


Good evening Tuesday

Merry Christmas.
Happy Holidays.
And for those of you who have nothing to do with above,
Good job today.

Cheers everyone! (with a mug of hot tea)

今日も1日お疲れさまでした! 乾杯!(番茶)

    Now Listening: Somewhere not here – Alpha


EKN #30: Bitter latte

Anthems For A Seventeen-Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene

No, there's no space for melancholy in Whamtember...


[Good evening Tuesday] Honesty pays

Japan's consumption tax has raised to 10% since October, and the reduced tax rate (8%) is applied to essentials. For food, you'll pay 8% if you take out or order in, and you'll pay 10% if you eat in the store.

And this complicates the things.

One day at a bakery. I bought a bunch of breads and a cup of tea, planning to take a little break in the store.

A cashier lady asked me if I was going to eat all of them in the store, I said no, then she asked me which one to eat now and which one to take home. She needed to know specifically to type in the machine.

I said "I'm going to have a cup of tea and this sandwich in the store... and I'll take others home." And by saying this, I felt that my action was limited. If I had a bite of other things than this sandwich, it would be deemed as a tax evasion...

And the other day at a different bakery.

This time I went in just to have a coffee and a donut in the store, so I could simply declare "I'll eat here".

Then a cheerful cashier lady gave me a small cup, addition to my ordered coffee. She said "we are giving this cup to customers who honestly told and paid 10% tax. Good things happen to honest people. You can have coffee or miso soup or corn soup from that machine for free."

Though I was quite puzzled by their choices, I happily received this offer and reached the multiple beverage machine (it's all in one machine). I thought it's a brilliant idea.

Holding this honest people's cup, I remembered the Aesop's Fables of "What you had lost in the river was golden ax or silver ax..?" 

"Are you going to eat here or take out?"

Your honesty will be tested at the checkout.


EKN #28: Unexpected Days

Hyperlife - Beck



Reminds me of Japanese 80s vinyl covers...



EKN #24: May left

I spent my spring days listening to heavy drums. Now that rainy season has started, it may be good time to chill out a bit.

I’m now listening to the new album of The Cinematic Orchestra (Link). 
Absolutely cinematic. Perfectly suitable for rainy day like today.


[Good evening Blue Monday] If Then

My school project in 1995.

Our school was chosen to have new computers (FM TOWNS) and we got to learn super basic of BASIC... like 5 or 6 commands.

The problem was... there wasn't any teaching guidelines for these new-fangled machine nor teachers who could teach programming. I seriously wondered why our school was chosen…

For the assignment we needed to write more than 30.. or 50 lines of code to show graphics and play sounds. Looking back on it, we were making demos. Whatever the quality was.

I forgot what I made, but I thought writing more than 50 lines was very easy. Because, for example, if I wanted to draw a cat, it took at least 10 lines of command (lines + circles + rectangles + colors). And if I wanted to move this cat to the right, just +1 to coordinates in each of these lines. So 21 lines down only by a cat’s one side step. And where’s this additional “1” comes from? A command line to black out the screen. Yes, I was using the flip book technique. Because I didn’t know and still don’t know any other way. (Funny how smooth graphics move in pro people’s work.)

I remember I had really fun making it.


My Favorite Pens

Recently I met lovely people from Germany who share love for stationery. I know Germany has lots of great stationery (LEITZ, Lamy, LEUCHTTURM1917…) but we also have obsessive amount of them in Japan that I believe they would enjoy checking out.

Not sure how many will be interested, but here I list up my 3 favorite and go-to pens for your reference. They are all reasonable and accessible in Japan.

JETSTREAM (Mitsubishi)
It’s light and super smooth. It can keep up with fast writing and perfect for jotting down. I use 0.5 and make sure to stock up.

Ultra smooth. Vivid black color. It’s gel ink pen, but it doesn’t get stuck in the middle of writing. It’s fun to write with this pen. I have several colors in 0.4.

For joy of writing. You can write thin lines and small characters with great control. They have 0.3 to 0.5. I used to use 0.3 in my school days but nowadays 0.4. It sometimes.. or whimsically get stuck though. In that case, you hold the end of the pen and bang the tip area (put cover on) on the book edge or something.

Additional notes for notebook:
For notebook, I’d used pocket size Moleskine for more than a decade and just so enjoyed writing on it with HI-TEC-C. But they discreetly changed its paper and square size several years ago so I switched to MUJI’s. I also recommend MD notebook (MIDORI) if you like cream colored papers. For study, I’m (sorta) faithful to Campus notebook (KOKUYO).


[This must be Thursday] Hello, new era

New imperial era has started in Japan.

Last time our era changed (yes, I'm a Showa-born lady), we were in mourning period and everything moved mechanically. I remember TV anchors were all wearing black, and we quietly received the announcement of new era and its change. And it took some time before we joked about this name of era. (e.g. "What, Heisei? Hey Say?")

However, things were really different this time. Because the Emperor (now former Emperor) decided and was allowed to abdicate while he's alive, the change was received positively. After the announcement of new era name ("Reiwa") on April 1st, the country was (at least to my eyes) filled with "Thank you Heisei!! Welcome Reiwa!!" festive mood. I saw a lot of media coverage about "Look back on Heisei 30years" and it was like a super deluxe version of new year's eve. (A bit like Millenium...?) Quite strange, but it wasn’t so bad to feel the uplifting mood. After all it’s just normal for us to expect something good from “new”. And yesterday, May 1, we messaged each other “Happy new era!” as we welcomed the new start.

Back on the day of new era name announcement, I was talking with a young store staff at The Body Shop. She asked “Is this your first time to see the era change?” A new way to check the age group. I said it’s my second time. And she went “Do you remember it well?” A new way to narrow it down! I said yes, and asked how she personally felt about the whole era change situation. I’m curious to know the take of Heisei-born’s. She suddenly straighten herself and looked at me seriously, and said “I feel... really old" ...then we both laughed.

I think I’ll remember this conversation at the end of this era… if I’m there.


Cherry Blossom 2019




[This must be Thursday] Fond memory

I first discovered their music via radio. I thought it’s different, fast and really cool. It was 1992, and I was an elementary school kid.

I thought everyone should listen to this amazing stuff as well. So I brought that taped music to school and played in the lunch time program. (Conveniently I was in broadcasting club.)

After 30 seconds or so, a teacher broke into our studio, stop the tape and got really mad at me saying “why did you play such an evil music?!” I quickly played Peer Gynt’s or something instead but I took this incident as a confirmation that their music was very new and cool.

Rest in Peace, Keith Flint.


EKN #23: Winter delights

Cherry Blossom - Matthew Halsall

Full bloom on full moon night.



haunt me: "Musique"

Dior Homme - Winter 2019-2020

Obviously I am not one to talk about fashion.
What I want to say is:

Yet another cool music video for Daft Punk..!


EKN #22: A glass of ginger ale

A Happy New Year to all the world from GMT+9!

ばらの花 - くるり  Bara no hana - Quruli)

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