Day 3: Still in Tokyo and still tired. I got a little too drunk last night and woke up late. Woops.
Went to Roppongi and saw the Mori Museum where they are having an exhibition on different pieces of art based on love and it was called Love is Something You Fall Into. Very fascinating gallery with works by local and international artists. Incredibly enlightening and interesting to see how such a strong emotion be portrayed and visualized in many ways. We also saw the Tokyo skyline from the 60th floor, but I kinda don’t like the view of Tokyo. Just way too many buildings crammed together. Makes me feel claustrophobic.
Afterwards, we went to a design exhibit for corporate design called Design That Can Change the Future. Lots of great diaramas. We were supposed to go to another gallery, but it was an hour wait so we went to a gallery that specialized in printing, from way back in the days of ancient dynasties to today. However, I had to sort things out with transportation since we were running out of time and had strict schedule for a lecture at Nihon University. So I got 7 taxis to come and somehow get 27 people to our destination.
There, we got a lecture from Nakanishi Motoo, founder of PAOS about corporate design and it got me much more interested in corporate design. There’s a lot of careful decision making that goes into it.
Afterwards, we had dinner with the Nihon University students and got to make some friends. I was so exhausted so I just took it easy. It was nice to meet new people and sit down with some good food. Quite a few students got drunk and the professors were gonna have some drinks with the Japanese professors, so I took everyone home.
What an incredibly insane 2 weeks this has been. Starting from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, then back to Tokyo, then Seoul, Jeongju, and back to Seoul. And now, I’m going back to Japan for some rest and relaxation and to spend time with family. Even though there’s a lot of things that could’ve gone better with this trip, overall, it went really well. I made some good friends and I became closer friends with others. I did a lot more work than I was prepared to do, but it’s not like I’m not used to it. That’s exactly what I did when I was an actual student anyway, just not in foreign territory. Some of the students even call me mom. Hah, I’m not exactly expecting to ever have children, but I do like taking care of people with tough love and they are all good kids. I became good friends with my professors, who are people I could never thank enough. They helped me become the person I am today and I’m extremely honored to be able to have silly and intelligent conversations with them over a couple of drinks, create inside jokes, and form a sort of sibling bond, even though our ages are pretty far apart. It’s hilarious calling them my brothers. Anyway, good time. I do miss home, but traveling is definitely something I need to do while I’m still young.
Sorry I haven’t updated anything. It’s been an incredibly hectic trip with each day packed with activities that by the time I get back to the hotel at late night, all I want to do is pass out.
I need to get souvenirs for my family. Argh.
Day 2 was jam packed. I’m rather tired, but oh man, I love being in Japan so much. No wonder I consider this my home away from home. By the way, pardon me if I sound a bit off. I’m fairly drunk. Me and Jono shared an entire bottle of shochu with a little bit of assistance with Ricky.
It was a lot of fun playing Uno (which I haven’t played in 5 years) with some of the young BFA kids and some of the alumni. Even though this program has caused me so much grief and pain, I genuinely love all the BFA people I’ve talked to so far on this trip. I think we’re all able to empathize how much we’ve had to suffer and sacrifice in order to succeed as graphic designers and even though we all have such different personalities, it’s been incredibly rewarding to interact and have fun with everyone.
But to be honest, holy hell, I cannot be a tour guide for 22 people anymore. This is way too taxing on my mind and energy. Being accommodating for so many people is very difficult.
However, I’m glad I can provide some kind of stability for the students in the program right now. That’s one of the things I’m incredibly proud of. Even though I’m still a newb in terms of the graphic design career, I can provide actual recommendations to students, which is a power I was not really ready to take on the responsibility for. So even though I’m tired as fuck, I’m glad I could talk and connect with some of the younger students in the program.
Japanese word of the day:
絆 | Kizuna: A personal bond with someone
Finally arrived in Ueno after traveling for nearly 24 hours straight. I’m tired as balls.
I feel like such a salaryman, drinking a tall Asahi, staying in a small hotel. Except instead of working, I’m just kicking back. The work starts tomorrow with 3 gallery visits and a workshop. Jesus Christ. Hopefully I can keep up with the 25-ish people I have to help figure out how to navigate and communicate. And if not… *Pops open another beer*
I coincidentally ran into Maria on the plane to LAX and found out we were on the same flight on Malaysia Air to Narita. Seems like she was supposed to be on the flight with everyone else, but it changed on her. I purposely got the wacky flight arrangements since it was dirt cheap. I’m glad that we ran into each other though.
I watched two Japanese movies on the plane. They were alright, saw A Chair on the Plain and Tsugaru. A Chair on the Plain was kinda artistic in the sense that there was this airy and slow pace to it, but I think they used the kid too much as a plot device rather than an actual character. Which may be the point, but I feel like for someone who played such an important role, they didn’t really go into his perspective. And Tsugaru was rather disjointed and sort of pointless because it didn’t really wrap up the problems that each character had, they just pushed it aside or were forced to approach it and then not really confront it.
I should’ve just read.
I’m debating whether I wanna go to 7-11 to get some bento or onigiri because I’m kinda hungry. Haven’t had anything since the flight 6 hours ago.
Goddamn, it’s so hot and humid, which brings me to the Japanese word of the day:
汗臭い | Asekusai: Reeking of sweat
Follow the tag sokoku tabi for posts about my Asia trip for the next 3 weeks. It means native country travels since I’ll be going to Japan (motherland) and Korea (fatherland). I’m so clever.
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“I need a PDF and JPG of the poster for [company]. Could you put it on my computer?”
“It’s already on there in folders A and B.”
“Oh okay, I’ll just take these files then.”
*Notices he drags and drops, but he still needs the PDF and JPG in folders A and B*
“Oh no, don’t drag and drop, you’ll remove it from the A folder and B folder.”
“Then how else am I supposed to do this?”
“Copy and paste.”
“How do I do that?”
“Select the file, copy, then paste it to where you want it to go.”
“Okay. Wow, that’s advanced, I’ve never done this before! This is really amazing, blah blah…”
*Puts in earphones and stops listening*
13 Must See Stargazing Events for 2013
— Listed In Chronological Order
1) January 21 — Very Close Moon/Jupiter Conjunction
A waxing gibbous moon (78% illuminated) will pass within less than a degree to the south of Jupiter high in the evening sky. Your closed fist held out at arms length covers 10 degrees. These two wont get that close again until 2026.
2) February 2-23 — Best Evening View of Mercury
The planet Mercury will be far enough away from the glare of the Sun to be visible in the Western sky after sunset. It will be at its brightest on the 16th and dim quickly afterwards. On the 8th it will skim by the much dimmer planet Mars by about 0.4 degrees.
3) March 10-24 — Comet PANSTARRS at its best
First discovered in 2011, this comet should be coming back around for about 2 weeks. It will be visible low in the northwest sky after sunset. Here are some sources predicting what the comets may look like in the sky; 1, 2
4) April 25 — Partial Lunar Eclipse
A very minor, partial lunar eclipse (not visible in North America) where only about 2 percent of the moon’s diameter will be inside the dark shadow of the Earth.
5) May 9 — Annular Eclipse of the Sun (“Ring of Fire” Eclipse)
It will be visible in Northern Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea but mostly within the Pacific Ocean. See all the solar eclipse paths for 2001-2020 here.
6) May 24-30 — Dance of the Planets
Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will seemingly dance between each other in the twilight sky just after sunset as they will change their positions from one evening to the next. Venus will be the brightest of all, six times brighter than Jupiter. Look towards the west just above the Sun after it sets to see the three planets grouped together.
7) June 23 — Biggest Full Moon of 2013
It will be the biggest full moon because the moon will be the closest to the Earth (Perigee) at this time (11:32 UT) making it a ‘SuperMoon’. The tides will be affected as well creating exceptionally high and low tides for the next few days. More cool facts about the Moon.
8) August 12 — Perseid Meteor Shower
One of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year producing ~90 meteors per hour provided the sky is dark. The meteor shower is expected to peak the night of August 11-12, however, you will be able to see a good amount of meteors even in late July. This year (for the peak) the moon won’t be in the way as much as it will set during the evening, leaving the rest of the night dark. Here is a useful dark-sky finder tool to find the best place to watch where you live.
9) October 18 — Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
Visible mostly in Asia, Europe and Africa, at this time 76% of the moon will be covered by the penumbral shadow of the Earth.
10) November 3 — Hybrid Eclipse of the Sun
A Hybrid Eclipse meaning, along its path, the eclipse will turn from Annular to Total and in this case most of the path will appear to be Total as there will be a slight ring of sunlight visible near the beginning of the track. This one will begin in the Atlantic (near the East Coast of the U.S.) and travel through Africa. See the path here. The greatest eclipse (with 100 seconds of totality) will appear in Liberia, near the West Coast of Africa.
11) Mid-November through December — Comet ISON
The second comet this year, ISON, could potentially be visible in broad daylight as it reaches its closest point to the Sun. It will reach that point on November 28 and it is close enough to the Sun to be categorized as a ‘Sungrazer’. Afterwards it will travel towards Earth (passing by within 40 million miles) a month later. Hopefully it will survive and become brighter than Panstarrs.
12) All of December — Dazzling Venus
The brightest planet of them all will shine a few hours after sundown in the Southwestern sky and for about 1.5 hours approaching New Years Eve. Around December 5th, a crescent moon will pass above the planet and the next night Venus will be at its brightest and wont be again until 2021.
13) December 13-14 — Geminid Meteor Shower
This is another great (if not the best) annual meteor shower. This year put on a show at about 120 meteors per hour and in 2013 it won’t be much different so expect another fantastic show. However, the moon - as it is a few days before full phase - will be in the way for most of the night obscuring some of the fainter meteors. You might have to stay up in the early morning hours (4am) to catch the all the meteors it has to offer. If you missed 2012’s Geminid Meteor Shower, here are some great photo-sets; 1, 2, 3