Haikus are surprisingly interesting

We’ve also studied here about haikus that are Japanese poets. I never really cared for poets because I couldn’t get anything out of them. They seem just to contain beautiful words and nice constructions. But haikus –  they appealed to me right away. Haikus are not really about the choice of words. It is rather about writing a descriptive image where the image can represent a feeling. One should write about their real experiences and not from imagination. Haikus usually include 17 syllables but we wrote haikus that have either 17 syllables or three lines.

Here’s one famous haiku for an example:

The old pond
a frog jumps in
sound of water

Furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

– Matsuo Basho


And then here are my haikus that I wrote for a course assignment:

A falling momiji (= autumn leaf)
Looking for its place
Perfecting the bed of autumn leaves

A letter in my mailbox
Ripping the envelope open
Like I used to open Kinder Egg

Mirror reflection
River like a canvas
True aquarelle painting

I have to write another 10 haikus for another course but I am actually excited about it. :-D never thought I’d get excited about writing poems..


What’s up?

I am starting to feel that this place is like a home. Our own little crew consists of less than 10 people. We live in the same dormitory and there are also other foreign students (mostly Chinese) but we don’t really know them, and we have two helpful Japanese tutors who live also in the same dormitory. There are people from Indonesia, German, Canada, Italy, Romania, Thailand and Finland. We have a few courses that are only for us but in other courses there are also other students like Japanese.

We started learning Japanese last week which is very nice because my motivation to communicate in Japanese is pretty high. Outside university I haven’t met yet many who can speak English and in university the situation isn’t much better (some students speak well, luckily). So for example to find any information I need to learn some Japanese :-D I have actually managed altready to ask something in Japanese successfully! Yey!

The Japanese writing system includes hiragana, katakana and kanji. Hiragana and katakana both have 46 basic characters and kanji has… I don’t even know how many characters! Now I’ve started learning hiragana and so far I maybe know about half of all the characters… *sigh*
So my advice is to LEARN hiragana and katakana before you come to live in Japan.

I’ve attended to couple of parties which have been really interesting experiences. I haven’t been yet in a club or a bar so I am looking forward to see what’s the nightlife like. Our problem is that if we go to party late we have to either take the train that leaves 0.30am or the next possible train that leaves around 5am. Last Saturday we were at one dorm party and there will be also four more including our dormitory’s party. Ryukoku University’s all five dormitories are organizing a welcoming party, and next party will be on Friday. It is just chitchatting, hanging around and getting to know to new people (with some drinks and food).

Yesterday (yes Sunday!) we participated in “all you can drink” party which might sound notorious. To my “fortunate” they didn’t have almost anything I could drink. As I am not so young anymore and I have sampled quite many different drinks in my life, I know what I should avoid. They are called cocktails with liqueur. To my “fortunate” the whiskey that they had wasn’t really to my taste and beer was always running out when it was my turn to order. Also they didn’t have gin although it was on the drink menu :-D so I just enjoyed the music and watched people getting wasted. There was live music which I really like. Doesn’t even really matter what kind of music if it’s played live.

The weather is still very warm (to me hot). The weather forecast says that during the day it is 25-28 degrees. We should be happy because normally it is a bit colder already. Some people are wearing already autumn clothing! I bet I am still wearing summery clothing when it is November.

One thing that almost makes me flip is that I get mosquito bites but it is impossible to hear the mosquitoes. And when you see them it is almost impossible to kill them because they are so fast!

I’ll end this post with a mosquito-themed haiku:

“All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
killing mosquitoes.”
Kobayashi Issa