Sunday, January 24, 2010

Frustrating Mess!!

One interpretation job, schedule on 27, was cancelled a few days ago. I thought, “Well, that may be a good thing when I consider the volume for translation I have to do.” Then, tonight, I received a call from a man of a Japanese TV station asking me about my schedule on 26 and 27. He got my number from someone who I worked with last year for programs by the same station. I couldn’t say No to him. As a result, I now have to push myself even harder to proceed with the translation work for which I’m using a translation memory program, which I truly hate. And because of the typing of the past few days, my shoulders and upper back are quite painful. When I was continuing with the translation while uttering woo, ahhgg, ugggrrrhhh, my elbow hit a glass filled with beer! A mess. And I’m quite frustrated!

Free to Express as Far as We Allow You to

Then I watched “Be with Me” last night. I wonder if for him these are the limit of implicitly restricted expression here, artistic or otherwise. On one of his next projects, about a well-known stripper, Rose, I have already found a website that introduced a message that alleged a pornographic nature of the film. Are you ok, folks? If you don’t like a movie, don’t watch it. Nobody is gonna force you to watch it. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it. Nobody is gonna force you to read it. It seems the pedantic bespectacled guy in “12 Storeys’ is still representing the country. Good luck, folks. I’m going to the other direction. And I am aware of one thing that is common with the two guys. They are more appreciated overseas.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Humility and Glamour

Yesterday afternoon, at a café in Botanical Garden, I had the last meeting with the folks. This time, for an interview with New Paper. Rather unbelievably it was my first time to step into there, though I had been thinking about visiting there especially since the meeting of last November with people of a Japanese film production company. I brought the two volumes of the man’s autobiographical work and three DVDs of the director, which I got a few hours earlier to ask for their autographs, embarrassingly.

And in the afternoon today, I went up to a high floor of Republic Plaza, again, for two successive media interviews. All luxurious and glamorous.

What a difference between yesterday (and Sunday and Tuesday) and today. Humility to others and honesty to himself on the one hand, and big and rich business catering to other big and rich businesses on the other.

I watched “Mee Pok Man” last night and “12 Storeys” tonight. No doubt, they are quintessentially Singaporean. A real Singapore behind Orchard and Raffles Place hidden from the eyes of happy tourists, especially from Japan. These films involve deep emotions mixed with a set of caricatures, which, in the case of “12 Storeys,” go from an extreme and almost absurd LKY-style correctness to rather benign selfishness of teenagers and impudence of beer-loving folks. Having been here for more than nine years, I myself can see and have experienced at least some elements captured in the movies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Day of Inspiration

This has been another day that inspired me. His big principle seems that he refuses to pander to shallow, yet greedy and insatiable, commercialism. For this, he has suffered. But now he has many people, and not many in Japan unsurprisingly, who can appreciate and agree to the kind of life that he has been leading. I have one more day tomorrow to be with him.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Egawa: "Ever Sorry"


Since December, a series of people have appeared before me after so many years. After the daughter of my landlord, a guy who went through an ordeal together, and a rock band guy who I met at yesterday’s event and, tonight, a few steps from this place, I bumped into a woman who used to be a regular presence at a place I frequented.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kobayashi Shigeru, People of Same Wavelength


I have a sense of fulfilling after work today even with a big mistake on my part that I immediately corrected. As with some of the comments Mari Yonehara left behind, Mr. Tatsumi’s saying overlaps my own thinking. He said, “To be good, it must be new. If it is new, it must be good. Old things are considered bad in Japan.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

ы, е and э

To me, ы is a trough character to pronounce. And е and э are confusingly mixed up in my head. Well, learning a third language in my second language in a country that does not have a language that can be called its own evokes a similar kind of feeling that I had in 2008 when, in Viet Nam and Cambodia, I was reading a book written by a Brazilian author, translated into English from Portuguese, which I borrowed from my friend from India in Singapore.

永住外国人に地方参政権を与えるべきかという問題。産経電子版によると、仙谷国家戦略・行政刷新担当相は「今の時期に(法案提出を)行うことがいいのか、じっくり考えなければいけない」、亀井郵政改革・金融相外国籍で参政権を持ちたいなら帰化すればいい」と「閣僚から慎重論」と報じている。しかし、仙谷氏の発言は、「when not if」であって、参政権付与に否定的とは受け取れない。これは、亀井氏が言うとおり、投票したければ帰化すればいいという単純な問題だ。

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Uncharacteristic Hard Work

On Wednesday and today (Friday), I worked for more than 10 hours, even close to 12 hours today. Very uncharacteristic of me… Typing, typing, listening and watching, typing and some more typing. Pain in shoulders and upper back and anger resurfaced while watching the video of the first segment of AAC. No time for Russian.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Surprise News of Cancer

けさ10時半頃、読売電子版をチェックしたら、画面トップに「食道がんで公演半年キャンセル」と出ていた。若い時代に海外で高く評価されたがゆえに国内で四面楚歌。リハーサルのボイコットが起こった当時のNewsweekは、「A Japanese conductor is like Buddha. He knows everything, but he says nothing」と書いていた。日本に戻ることはもうないだろうとさえ思ったという。無事復帰されることを祈る。過日、またもや「Russian Night」を見たばかり。

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

You Are Not One of Us

スポーツ各紙が伝えているが、ロッテに新入団の金恭均選手の身なりについて、「球団側は西村新体制に移行すると同時に茶髪、長髪禁止など厳しい方針を示しているが、石川球団副代表は『外国人選手は別。他球団も同じだろうし、問題視しない』とピアスも容認する構えだ」(スポニチ) だって。日本国籍保持者でないという理由で、主力選手であっても「助っ人」と呼ばれる「外国人選手」。日本野球という世界においては、未だに選手は個人として判断されず、旅券で判断される。こんな世界に発展する能力なし。日本国の旅券を持たない王貞治や張勲や朴鐘律に聞いてみろ! 日本国籍ではあるが、民族的には日本人やない多くの過去現在の選手に聞いてみろ!あぁ、情けない。報道がロッテについてだったというのも皮肉な話。

Monday, January 04, 2010

When I Stay Home...

“I stayed home (without going to a new year’s party).”
“Nothing to do?”
Why does staying home have to be synonymous to being bored? And I stayed home because I had things to do.

Struggling to learn simple Russian words. Back to a high school classroom! But I’m already better in Russian than in Vietnamese!

民主党連立政権 、情けないと思う。「思い」を連発する首相を筆頭に、外相、幹事長と自民党にいた人が多いにも関わらず、すでに日米合意のできていた普天間基地の移転問題などは、政権を奪取した場合に主張する政策が本当に実現できるのかという見通しがあまりに幼稚ではないか。そして他党と連立したら、どういう問題が生じるのか最初から理解できていたはず。これでは失望が深まるばかりだろう。

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cyrillic Alphabet

The backward prints of N and R and number three (3) are some of the Cyrillic alphabet. And B is pronounced as V, Y as R and H as N. The small letter of D is g. I’m trying to familiarize myself with these letters and learning how to pronounce some easy words. The exercise book I bought covers all topics in the Roman alphabet. I had no way to know it because the book was sealed. It may be wise and efficient, though I’m not very sure, to learn the language in it as it shouldn’t be so difficult to convert with adjustments what has been learned in Roman into Cyrillic, though I have a firm belief that anyone who learns Japanese should turn to its kana characters as soon as possible.