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26 April 2009

Short Novel: Bauhausler, Chapter 1

Japanese woman who experienced Bauhaus art and turmoil in 1930's Germany.


Please read introdcution first.


Th Bauhaus School was established by an architect Walter Gropius in Weimar, 1919. It was the first year of first democratic government in Germany. Then the school moved to Dessau in 1925. From 1925 to summer of this year, 1932, the school had been managed in glass-window wall and simple shaped building that symbolized Bauhaus's own architecture style.


But this year Dessau city council made a resolution to stop funding Bauhaus. Bauhaus had to relocate its base to Steglitz, Berlin as private school.


Director of the school, Herr Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 46 year-old man spoke to 31 freshman students including Masako Chikano in the orientation on the first day of Winter Semester.


The school offered the courses such as art, architect, interior design, photograph and textile. In order to get a diploma, the students had to pass 3 levels of the curriculums. First level was to study basic concept of Bauhaus art. 


The very concept of Bauhaus was "unification of art and technology."


Masako could not understand that concept. How come art could be united with technology? She thought they should have been separate things. However, it did not matter to her. She just decided to enjoy life in Berlin, the most liberal city in the world. She wondered if she could be acquinted with better man than her ex-husband or his sworn brother. 


But at first she wanted to make good friends.
The school gathered students from all over the Europe. As days pass by, she made a lot of friends. They were nice and very friendly. One of the reason why she could make friends so easily was she was richest student among poor students. 


She lived in nice and big comfortalbe room in the apartment house near the school. She always wore very nice and expensive clothes which she brought from her home in Japan and bought in Berlin. 


One day she and her 3 classmates went to the cafe near the school. She ordered a cup of coffee. But they did not order anything although they were sitting at the same table. When the coffee came to the table, they took a spoon and dipper a spoon of coffee from the cup and blended in block sugar from the pot. 

She was suprised to see what they were doing. She said to them, "why don't you order anything?"
Each of them said "That's enough for us, Masako. You know we cannot afford."
Then she asked waitress to bring coffee for everyone. They were really pleased.


Her generousity attracted other more studens. She was always surrounded by sevearal classmates at school cafeteria, cafe, or restaurant. She sometimes hold a party for her friends.
She became a popular idol of the school. Actually not just because of her generousity but her beauty and cheerful character like she had been in Japan.


However, she was never a good student at school. She was not so serious about school work. She always thought art was just fun things. Not a thing to practice and get into like literature or mathematics. In fact she did not have ambition to become a great artist or craftman. All she wanted to was to spend a few years in Berlin and return home. The school days were like vacation for her. She knew the school would not kick her out because of her lazy attitude because her family was one of the biggest donor to the school.


One day in drawing class, the class drew the object, which was ball and vase. She was drawing an instructor, a man with black hair and glasses, tall thin, at the age of late 20's. He was Meister Marcus Weiss. His specialty was interior design but he teaches basic art to freshman students.
She drew his face like cartoon figure. She always did such things when she was a school girl in Japan. Drawing just lines of the objects seemed to her, very boring. She could not concentrate on doing that.


"Hallo, Fraulein, what are you doing?" Herr Weiss came to her seat and said to her.
"An art, Meister" she said laughingly.
"This isn't funny. Are you serious about doing this work?" Meister looked very upset.
She responded very arrogantly.
"Well, I thought this object seemed more artistic."
"I cannot tolerate such act of yours just because your family gave so much money to this school."
Herr Weiss shouted in the classroom. All of the classmates turned attention to her and their instructor.
Masako suddenly got shocked to see his angry face and very straightforward comment.

He embarrassed her in class. She was so ashamed.
"Oh, what am I going to do?" she got frightened.


Suddenly a big cracking noise was heard. Several men seemed to rush into school building.
What happened? She wondered and looked at Meister.


Meister Marcus Weiss said "Here they came again."


Then the door of the classroom opened. Several men in yellow-brown uniform got in.

They were holding bars in their hands.
"You, communists, morale decay!" they shouted.
Everyone stood up and got frightened. A young tall man with blonde hair looked a leader of the group.
Weiss shouted back "Get out here, Stupid! This is no place for Storm Troopers or Nazis."

A leader of the men laughed at Weiss and smashed the vase with a bar. A tension grew in the room. A tall blond haired man approached to where Masako and Weiss were. Masako stood and watched the man carefully. He was in yellow uniform with an arm badge which had black cross in white circle on red belt.


She looked at his face very carefully. He had very beautiful blue eyes. Very handsome man.
The man found Masako and looked at her surprisignly. They each had very good eye contact.


"Oh, my god!" she screamed in her mind. Then she fainted on the floor.



Continued to Chapter 2.


19:15 Posted in My novel | Permalink | Comments (0)

20 April 2009

She is very good!

A big surprise in this world.

A 47 year-old Scottish woman who had never been married and even kissed by a man sang a very beautiful song.

You can never match her appearance with her voice.

I am waiting for the CD of her singing released in Japan.

Surprisingly she was never noticed as a professional singer until now.

It is like Cinderella Story in 21st century.

She's having an ordinary sigle life living with a cat. 

Now the world knows her.

This is where you can find her.  

But you can easily find her by searching "Susan Boyle."

I learned that a song titled "I dream a dream" exists.

She gave a dream to everyone. Even you become a middle age person, you still have a chance in life.

21:21 Posted in Britain, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

18 April 2009

Japan's New Hero!?

Months have passed since Tamogami was dismissed due to his public essay which justified Japan's aggression in Asia and Pacific during WW 2 and then thrown into the spotlight in November last year. During this time, we have heard much criticism, mostly negative, about Tamogami and his essay in the media. But his popularity is high and he has published several books and appeared media outlet so many times.


 The fundamental errors in Tamogami’s take on history have been pointed out, and there have been murmurs of doubt between intellectuals about his ability to lead the Self-Defense Forces. This man is being regarded as a demagogue who was not even competent enough to launch a coup.

 However, similar criticism was placed on military politician Adolf Hilter who appeared in Germany after World War I. People said that a worthless guy like him will never be able to take over the country. But he did. Intellectuals completely underestimated his power.

 I cannot agree with Tamogami’s historical views whatsoever. They are obviously mistaken. For some reason, however, I feel very emotional when I hear him speak. This can likely be said for a lot of people, not just myself. One senses that he has the ability to relieve our discontent with the current situation. It is the feeling of worry for our country, no matter what our position. It is not so much the actual meaning of his words that is important, but rather the desire to share his passion.

 In fact, the current state of Japan is similar to that of the Weimar Republic of Germany. The recession is deepening, and frustration with a government that is weak in foreign diplomacy is swelling. I myself feel very frustrated with the Japanese and American governments that are essentially renouncing our sovereignty by deploying a home port for a nuclear-powered air craft carrier in Yokosuka. As a result, I feel a grain of hope hearing Tamogami’s words that advocate revising the constitution to allow for a defense system that is independent from the United States.

 However, we must be careful not to fall for his words too easily. He is harming our national interests with his clearly mistaken actions. It is unfortunate that this may have been the only way for him to catch the interest of the Japanese people in Japan’s current situation. Its is pathetic. Politicians and intellectuals are always promoting themselves under the pretense of helping others and eluding arguments that get to the heart of the matter.

 In this case, those who see Tamogami as a threat must consider circumstances equally as seriously as he does and intend to actually implement that reform. Ideologies where one simply prays for peace because of a distaste for war will lose in the battle with reality.

Regarding my frustration with deployment of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, the below describes the issue.

10 April 2009

Skiing in April

Not high-season any more, but you can do that on Shiga Highland, Nagano Prefecture, 2 hours and half train ride and 1 hour and half bus ride from Tokyo.


It was for me first time in 14 years. Last time was 1995 in Brockenridge, Colorado in that year's January and Zelmatt, Switzerland in August.

That was really fun. Acutually this time was first time I skied in Japan.

Skiing has changed since then. Snowboarding became more popular and new type of ski boards, curving skiing which is shorter and round shape are now commonly used. I used this new type of skiing equipment.

The photo is what I took from the top of the slope. The highland was very beautiful.


The town was also famous for hot springs. I bathed very good hot spring. The big bath room had big glass window that I could enjoy spectacular view of highland's snow mountain. That was awesome experience.

Skiing is not as popular as it used to be. It was very popular at the time of big economy boom between late 1980's and early 1990's.

The boom in the past was caused by the popular movie "Watashiwo-Ski-ni-Tsuretette (Take me out to Snow Land)."

I was impressed by the movie and decided to join the ski tour. Not only the skiing scenes were great but youngsters' life in the film was nice.

At that time youngsters could afford a nice sporty car to drive to ski slopes from a city on vacation and rent a lodge holding parties.

Now youngsters are struggling with their working-poor conditions. I skied and envied the life of ski boom period.

The below is You Tube clip of the Ski Slope I videotaped. Ski slope was really empty and I never had to worry about bumping to other skiers.


21:15 Posted in Leisure, Sports, Tokyo Life, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: ski