Long time no write, neh!
Today was my last day of my Japanese class. It was fun, so enrolled for next semester too.
When the sensei asked us what we enjoyed most about the class I thought about what brought me there.
Long time ago when I was a kid I had a thing for Asia. When I was five we saw Seven Samurai... I remember my grandma expressing doubts about the movie... she kept repeating: it will get complicated soon... (it does not really... it's a pretty straightforward movie to me...).
I loved it... especially Toshiro Mifune running around in underpants... it was freaking awesome (there too my grandma expressed her concern, chuckling: he runs with his ass in "plein air"!)
1) Although I never liked barbie (I started collecting them when I moved to this new hous where all my neighbours were girls and I had to adapt) I had a Chinese babrbie... who I called Xiao Ling. (dun ask me how I came up with the name... it was totally made up).
2) Whenever we watched American movies... I was the one rooting for Toshiro Mifune.
3) I kept reading books of Chinese fairy tales.
4) I loved the music from the movie Furyo.
5) Turandot was my favourite Opera.
6) I could not help but watch kung fu Movies.... I totally loved Bruce lee.
When I was 8 I went to Rome, it was one of my first time, and I saw a Japanese girl on the train. Her skin was so fair and her eyes were so long I got so impressed and turn to my mom to say: yay they exist, they are not made up for movies... soooo pretty!!!!
When I was in high school, Bertolucci had the very good idea of making a movie called: The Last Emperor. It was love at first sight.... the movie was stunning... the music was Ryuichi Sakamoto's. I watched it over and over again... and when we went to watch it with school, i was so entusiastic about I advertised it soooo much (by then I was going to watch it for the 4th time!).... that, afterwards I was teased for weeks: say deda can u do that dance thingy.... say deda can you singe that song thingy... say deda... do you bathe like that?
Apparently my classmate did not appreciate it and blamed me for it!!!
Japanese anime were importet and aired on tv already in the early Seventies... Giant robots and candy candy contributed a lot to my attachment to Asia.
In 1991 I studied history of film and watched all of Kurosawa's movies. At the same time I took an interest in Chinese movies and Zhang Yimou.
In 1993 I found a comicbookstore and saw Dragon Ball on the table... I am not a big fan of the whole serie, but the first part I really liked. That's when I started collecting manga and anime.
In 1998 I moved to France and bought more, in 1999 I moved to the states and got attached to the internet....
I made my first Asian friends in Florida.... and many of my friends in San Francisco are Asian Americans... once I was asked to represent a white minority at a studio, as a part time job, they asked me if I knew another caucasian person I could invite... and I could not think of anyone. I think I have 3, only 3 caucasian friends.
So within a few years my gravitation towards Asian culture was aggravated by my friendship with Grace (my best friend is Chinese from Singapore) who got me started on music, more movies, tv shows and so forth. I got her started on anime, manga, and of course we both share a visceral love for Studio Ghibli and Satoshi Kon.
So in these past 3 years, actually almost 4, that I spent in San Francisco I turned... more and more... into an egg.
Well, hopefully my friends say this about me in a nice way.... but still cannot deny that sometimes my parents connect thorugh messenger, hook up the webcam and catch me eating natto with my chopsticks!!!! heheheheh So eeer.... studying Japanese was the next step.
So when my teacher asked today.... my brain connected to the first memory I have of Asia... and my reply was: I'd have to say... because... when I was five... I saw seven samurai.
I think I will miss Omi sensei, he is awesome, and thaught us a lot about culture and gestures and what is to be like to be attentive and caring and respectful. I hope I will have fun again in my next class.