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  • kimuchee 1:24 am on December 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anime, audio, , latin american culture, music   

    Mi Bachata En Fukuoka (My Bachata in Fukuoka) 

    Sekai Itchi Hatsukoi (The World’s Greatest First Love). I believe that this phrase adequately represents my relationship with Japanese language and culture. My love for Japan really blossomed during my childhood years. I can still recall the countless days I would wake up at 6AM during middle school just to watch Sailor Moon.

    Through watching ridiculous amounts of anime (Japanese animation) I found that this strange world called Japan was extremely beautiful. From their attention to detail, to their meticulous cleaning habits, to the pink sakura trees, I just couldn’t get enough. It seemed so different from the world of Latin American culture that I was so used to. One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that a very famous Dominican artist named Juan Luis Guerra made a song dedicated to his visit to Japan. It is called “Bachata en Fukuoka.” Never in a million years would I have thought that these two completely separate worlds of mine would collide and work so well together. But to hear him speak Japanese in a bachata, a genre of music that originated in Dominican Republic,  warmed my heart. All I could think was: “I’m not alone! There is a native of Dominican Republic that loves Japanese culture like I do!” Here is the link to the music video:


    And so I decided that my last few days in Japan would be spent in Fukuoka. I took the Shinkansen bullet train from Maibara and arrived there in 4 hours. The first thing that I realized was that it was much warmer than Hikone. (Thank goodness for that it’s freezing over there!) The second thing I realized was that they have a different way of speaking over here! I had just gotten used to hearing Kansai-ben in Hikone, only to come to realize that it is completely different from Fukuoka-ben. Needless to say I was surprised upon getting there.

    The reason why I really wanted to go there besides the sight-seeing was so that I could play that song and be in Fukuoka. When I actually did play the song, it was very surreal. “How many times have I wished this?”, I thought to myself. It was an amazing moment for me. And it was the best way that I could end my trip in Japan.

    My love for Japan has only grown since my childhood years and through my history and Japanese classes I have come to appreciate it even more. Don’t get me wrong though, it has not been a walk in the park.  We have been through some rough patches and there have been times where I wanted to quit but like all love it required hard work and dedication. I have been dedicated to my studies of Japan since my first year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and I have no intention of stopping.

    Japan, I am sincerely going to miss you.

    Now, off to South Korea!!! 🙂

  • sallyintaiwan 8:44 am on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio, , , garbage, , ,   

    Don’t Be Deceived! 

    The first time I heard this song played in the streets of Taipei I was so excited to discover that Taiwan, like so many American neighborhoods, had ice cream trucks! What a fun way to practice ordering in Chinese! I promptly walked across the hall in my dorm to ask if anyone else wanted to get their 50 Kuais out and order some with me.
    I was disappointed to hear from my friend, who is half Taiwanese and has spent summers, vacations, etc., in Taiwan, that what I heard was NOT an ice cream truck. REALLY not an ice cream truck. What I heard was a trash truck… But why would a trash truck need a theme song? In Taiwan one does not simply leave the trash to be picked up mysteriously, and without thanks. If you want to be rid of your garbage you must wait outside for the truck and help load it yourself (by this time, of course, you’ve already separated everything completely into recycling, trash, and compost… the compost truck follows close behind the trash/recycling truck, often with it’s own slightly different theme song.) The song helps people know when the truck is on its way and to be prepared. Every trash truck has the same song and you will always hear it before you see it! I don’t think a day has gone by when I haven’t heard this tune, but I no longer think, “Ice cream!” I wonder what will come to mind when I hear a real ice cream truck when I come back to the States…

    I’ve been trying to catch this clip ever since I first heard it but was never prepared in time to catch it! I finally got this video clip in Hualien this weekend (a county on the east coat of Taiwan famous for its scenery)—it turns out Taipei City isn’t the only area that uses this system! If you ever come to Taipei you will, with out a doubt, hear the trucks—don’t expect any ice cream!

    • Rob Beutner 6:01 pm on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is an interesting cultural difference. It is not a leave and forget situation. Cool post on an aspect of another country that is always interesting (at least for me) to learn about.

    • Kristyna Bronner 5:55 am on November 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! That must have been so disappointing. It’s really funny how associations we have from home can completely change after spending time in another country! I doubt you’ll feel tempted by ice cream trucks once you’re back home.

  • appelsina7 4:27 am on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio, ,   

    The Sounds of Dong Ho Printmaking Village 

    Wood Carving

    The wood block in the upper left of the photo is used to hit the nail that chips the extra wood away to create the fish.


  • DougReilly 5:56 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio,   

    Challenge Five: Listen Up! 

    Go out and turn on your ears. Not those ears. Well, those. But also your iTouch ears.

    The book Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator and Alison Jay(Barefoot Books 2007) is a favorite in our family right now. 🙂 The detailed illustrations charm my daughter but it’s the narrated text that captivates. When we read it aloud, she leans in and tilts her head, signaling full attention. Below is an example from the book that nicely reflects the quintessential fall weather we are experiencing this week here in the Finger Lakes:

    Honk, honk, geese call. Swish, swish, leaves fall. Whoosh, whoosh, hats fly. Whoo, whoo, owls cry.

    What’s the relevance to Asiapod? Listening is a critical component of learning. Asiapod bloggers, for Challenge Five, we want you to take a “snapshot” of your current audio world. Something short: thirty seconds or so. Perhaps you’ll share your own voice, a phrase or a saying in the language you are learning from your daily life; or, it’s something from your environment,  such as the hum of the traffic that you hear outside your window every morning. If you aren’t up for actual audio recording, please do feel free to share reflections on your audio world via whatever medium/means you are inspired!  See, for example,  Taylor Anderson’s prescient posting this past week on rain or others from Asiapod 1.0.

    If you don’t already have a preferred way to capture audio, check out the app Audioboo. Use Audioboo to capture and then copy the link for inclusion in your WordPress posting.

    We’re listening…

  • explorewithasmile 10:32 am on October 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio, , ,   

    Thankfully the Rainy Season is Over! 

    Listen to the pounding rain that happens everyday during the rainy season in Vietnam. Thankfully this was last month in Sai Gon and we have moved on to chillier evenings in Ha Noi.

    • DougReilly 2:47 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I can just imagine that day after day, for weeks on end. Has the rainy season in Viet Nam been irregular in recent years? Wondering if people talk about climate change there at all? Doug

  • Sasha 11:05 am on November 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio, ,   

    Weekly Challenge 5 

    This past week’s challenge, I decided to take literally. “The art of listening” surpasses what one listens to, and continues on to what one creates for/by themselves. When you think about it, people in general are the creators of numerous sounds, and not just in words. People make sounds all the time, whether through laughter, crying, or just plain grunting in frustration. While the sound I’m choosing to share is none of those, it is one I (and my friends) get to experience on a weekly basis. Taking advantage of everything Japan has to offer, a couple of my friends and I decided to take koto lessons while studying abroad. (Koto for those who don’t know is a Japanese musical instrument. Here’s a Wikipedia link if need be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koto_(musical_instrument)). This past week, though, I decided to record my lesson. It’s pretty tough picking up a musical instrument in just a few short weeks, so yes, this clip has me making a few mistakes. But, hey. It makes it more unique, and even more so, something that is unique to me and the life that is going on around me. 🙂


    • Juliet Habjan Boisselle 4:58 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Sasha, I really enjoyed listening to your piece. Thanks so much for sharing. Will you have access to a Koto when you return home?

    • DougReilly 8:52 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, bring a Koto home with you! That was great. Zora read the blog entry last night and then listened to the song. Awesome!

  • DougReilly 3:01 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio,   

    World of Nature, World of People 

    Two audio clips to go along with my Hiking/Fire Festival post from last week. The first is a short clip from the beginning of my hike, when I was by the river in Ohara. Lots of birds.

    Ohara Nature Sounds

    The next one is from the fire festival itself. You can hear the chanting that goes along with the carrying of the big burning torches.

    Kurama Fire Festival

    And here is a pretty good video for all of you who want to know more about the festival.

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