Today was the first day to conduct research in the National Diet Library (after my registration on Saturday), so I went there in the morning to have a first look at what they had to offer to suit my topic. With some quick instructions on how to use their library system (I must have been looking pretty lost, apparently, as the staff member came back twice to ask, whether I needed any help) I started to dig in their catalogue and was quickly able to find some possibly interesting books and articles.
Who tries to steal a metal ‘D’?
Problem is, though, that their copy cost is quite high, so I need to filter all of this already in the library, where I can’t use markers and so on – meh. It’s actually cheaper to buy some of the books, than to copy a fair amount of them. Can’t be helped, but it’s definitely going to slow things down a bit. But well, the library is closed tomorrow, so I have a day to work on the stuff that I did still copy. Still pleased with the way things seem to be going
Studying in a prominent neighbourhood – next door to the National Diet Building.
On the way back home I got my Tokyo evening rush-hour experience in the subway, where everyone was trying not to move between all the squeezing that was going on. Especially when the subway went around a corner, you could see a wave go through the mass of human bodies. Luckily, I had a secure spot in a corner, where noone dared to push (don’t mess with the foreigner!) and was able to observe it all in a relaxed fashion. Though this probably won’t work every evening
Early plum (I think…) blossoms in front of the library. Spring is coming, even though the news are still dominated by the chaos that was caused by the heavy snowfall on the weekend.
Today marks the beginning of the 13th Japan Filmfest Hamburg with the world premier of Black Dawn, based on the successful Japanese tv-series Gaiji Keisatsu. In the wake of the great 2011 earthquake terrorists are planning an attack on a nuclear reactor and it’s up to this special police force to stop them. The movie will be running in the Metropolis Cinema, which is one of the festival’s 4 venues. All of them are located in convinient distances to one another and considering the weather report for the next days, I’ll definitely bring my bike with me for quick trips from one cinema to the next.
The festival will go on until the 27th and I’m already planning to visit quite a few films in addition to the ones where I’m going to hold the opening speech. So if any of you would like to meet me there, just check my personal timetable below
23rd of May:
25th of May:
26th of May:
27th of May:
- 10.00 Movie breakfast at the Projektor Cinema
I hope to see a lot of you in the movie theaters with me to enjoy the Japanese cinema we’re presenting this year. This year’s selection offers a broad range of different films for everyone, so if you’re interested in Japan or Japanese movies you should definitely find some film to fit your taste. Let’s enjoy the festival!
Today marks the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which led to the tsunami that took the lives of over 19.000 people and caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. I arrived in Japan about a month after the earthquake and stayed in this fascinating country for this whole year and even in these times I always felt welcome. In the face of all the hospitality that I received this is not much, but I give my deepest condolences to everyone, who lost loved ones due to this disaster, who lost their homes and who lost everything they possessed. Do not give up in living your life and rebuilding what you love. 頑張れ日本！
And to everyone else I can only try to raise some awareness that the problems are far from over and there is much to be done. Despite the Fukushima-centered media coverage around the world, the damage from the tsunami has probably more direct influence on the people from East Japan. If you have the time I can recommend the following two videos. One is a documentary of a Japanese, who’s coming back to his tsunami-struck hometown, while the second one is a trailer for a documentary that also deals with the life after the tsunami and has already received some international reputation.
After the Wave:
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom:
Thank you, Japan!
Nishin Soba is a typical dish from Kyoto, which consists of a soba noodle soup with sweet marinated dried herring added. As Kyoto is far from the seaside, it was hard to bring in fresh seafood from the coast, so dried herring established itself as one of the easier to transport fishes and became one of the important sources of proteine in the past.
As you can guess from this description, I ate this dish when I was in Kyoto in December, but I still wanted to put it up here, because it remained in my head. The taste of sweet herring together with a traditional Japanese soup flavour was completely new to me in that situation and at first I was a bit at a loss as to how I should judge it. But I grew to like the taste very fast and appreciate its difference to the other dishes I’ve eaten in Japan and also back in Europe (Yannik didn’t, btw. :P). For me, the subtle sweetness did fit very well with the broth and made for a well rounded meal together with the soba.
If you want to try it yourself, the following recipe might be helpful. I found it under this link and translated it for you (hopefully without mistakes :D). Enjoy your cooking!
You will need (for 4 persons):
- 400g soba noodles
- 1 sweetly cooked herring (you can either buy it or prepare it this way(scroll down))
- 1 leek
- 4 sheets of dried laver / seaweed
- 7 cups of dashi broth
- 120ml of mirin (sweet soy sauce)
- 120ml of soy sauce
- Mix the dashi broth, mirin and soy sauce in a pot and let it boil up to prepare the soup.
- Boil the soba in plenty of water until they are boiled thoroughly. Pour the water and put the soba in 4 bowls. Add the soup to each bowl.
- Add the finely cut leek, the dried laver and the herring on top. Enjoy your meal!