Nobody Knows

I managed to finally see the Japanese movie Nobody Knows, about the four children who were abondoned in an Tokyo appartment. Today I realised how true and real the story is and I refer this to a popular children's song back in the late 70s early 1980s (The reason I can recall this song is because I remember learning in in school at about that time, now most children learn popular cartoon theme songs on TV) - Shabon dama by Ujyou Noguchi. In this song previously posted in Japanese here, Noguchi tells about how farming life was long ago in Japan. Shabon dama are soap bubbles in Japanese and these soap bubbles are analogous to the short but fragile life of children. Long ago poor farmers could not afford to raise more than one child so they would prefer the son because he could help out on the farm when he is older, the other usually the girl they would kill or abandon somewhere.
In Nobody Knows it seems that the young mother is some kind of prostitute such that each of her four children were from different men. The movie is a powerful representation of modern day Japan where a young single mother with little responsibility for her childrens' welfare abandons her children and takes off. The dedication and courage the children have in refusing to seek help because they felt that they would not be allowed to stay together and their ability to take responsiblity to care for each other.
Many people may not be able to believe that is could happen but indeed I have read and heard about in the Japanese media. Usually single parents or parents of handicapped children who either out of irresponsibiliy or not being able to put up with children abandon their children.


The Iroha Project

Recently I have been working on The Iroha Project. This website is an image/audio dictionary project organized in categories for the purpose of learning language through sight and sound. I would like to keep the website open source so that people can contribute image and audio files in order to build a collection of nouns, adjectives, verbs etc images and sound to facilitate the learning of foreign languages. I only have two categories at the moment but I will be increasing categories shortly and hoping for users to contribute to the Project.

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival

I just spent the last three days at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival. It was definately an amazing experience with lots of live music from from many parts of the world. Of course if you are lucky enough to be able to get in for free then it is always better. We managed to get in because of our new NGO Potters without Borders. Listening to great music and talking to a few people has got to be better than working for some stupid English school that does not allow for indivual creativity to develop - Shane English School. I think we at Potters without Borders is definately doing more benefit to the children of the developing world by offering clean drinking water. What is Shane English School doing in Taiwan? I think that the only thing they do is encourage competitiveness and make for proud parents or children who believe that they are "above" the crowd so to speak.



It has definately been awhile since I have last posted here so I should do a quick update. I registered a third domain name and I am preparing the front end translations and content for an audio-visual dictionary of nouns using the E107 website system. I am not a php programmer but I find myself trying to analyize the code and make the necessary changes I need. The plugins available with E107 are great particularily the Flash media player and the language packs. I have added the French, Spanish and Thai settings but since the Japanese is still unavailable I am looking to do the translation and making that available for everyone using the system. Just to give my 2cents back to the E107 team. I've uploaded a couple of pottery videos onto Google so they will be made available as soon as Google gets them approved.
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Appartments in China

How much is an appartment in China? I recently recieved this as a keyword and I thought it was an interesting queestion that deserves special attention here. Appartments in China obviously vary from city to city and since I have never lived in the bigger cities like Shanghai or Beijing I cannot be quoted as being accurate at all. First of all if you go and teach English in China in many cases your appartment will be provided for you free or subsidized. But let's take Qingdao for an example because I have lived there and that it is a medium sized city in China. I found the appartments there very expensive especially in the city (the south side) 3-4000RMB a month for a fully furnished appartment. I don't remember if this included utiities or not. In any event, this could be your salary so you don't want to be paying for this. Of course many teachers find roommates and share expensive appartments but you can if you take the time to look find cheap housing. One good start in Qingdao would be the Red Star magazine, www.myredstar.com.
A good place to live in Qingdao would be the development area, (kai fa qu) as rent is very cheap there. I am sure Beijing and the larger cities will be much more expensive while the smaller more rural areas will be very cheap as little as 100RMB per month.



Today was the first official day of getting my hands back into the clasy and sitting down by the potter's wheel.It sure is nice for a change, this is where I was meant to be anyway.No more working under someone elses authority.
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