Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Marraige Proposals

I am not sure if many of you have heard about arranged marriages in Japan, but they still happen regularly, there are even arranged marriage agencies over here to hook rich, young, businessmen up with a beautiful , young, eligible women up for marriage. These services are mainly used by the parents if deemed that their son isn't wise in his choice of women, or the family has a very proud heritage and doesn't want to risk losing honour. There are even agencies (private investigator types) that parents have hired to check the heritage lines of the girl (or boy) their child is going to marry. This is because in Buddhism 100's of years ago those who slaughtered animals, tanned leather or any other job involving the blood of dead animals were regarded as unclean and had to live in their own communities, they could not associate with other commoners. So back to the point, it has not been unheard of for these well to do, proud families to hire private investigators to trace the lineage of the fiance/ fiancee to see if they have come from the blood line of these leather tanners or animal slaughterer's because if they have it would be a disgrace for that person to marry into their family.

My experience with arranged marriages is interesting to say in the least. So far I ahve had about 4 mothers come to me and say "Oh I would really like it if you married my daughter" now 2 of these women I would have only met them and their daughter that day lol. It is sort of funny, but I get a little worried about one mother who keeps coming back, you can tell this woman is dead serious, and to make matters worse the daughter is one of my best friends at school!! So this mum keeps coming "oh i would love it if you married my daughter, I would really like you to marry my daughter, please marry my daughter". Lol I get the feeling sometimes that the daughter may actually be in on it as well. But it was probably the other night that got me worried the most. We had a party for for Kendo club, and my friend (the girl) happens to be in kendo club as well. Parents also happened to be invited to this party, so you can guess what happened..... managed to get cornered (literally) by not only my friends mother, but her fahter as well!!! And yes they were both putting pressure on "oh please marry our daughter, we would love you to marry our daughter. She is a beautiful girl isn't she? and she has a great personality" somehow I managed to just go with with what they were saying and wriggle my way out of there.

Thats it for my arranged marriage experiences, though there could be more to come!


further apologies

Once again I apologise for the long period of time since my last update. Life gets busy yada yada yada....... no excuse I am here now and am about to post a good amount of reading and photos for you.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

A meeting with the Mormons

Seeing as Japan is a country where 80% of the population practice buddhism and shintoism, this is one of the few countries in the entire world where I thought I would never run into them..... them being the mormons.

I was just minding my business riding my bike to Japanese lesson when they struck....the mormons (dunh dunh dunhhhhhhhhhhh). I had to stop at a set of stop lights, in front of me were 2 men on bicycles, wearing short sleeve, white collared shirts and ties with long pants. Now at first what I didn't notice was that one of these men was white. They noticed me and went "oh" and proceeded to ride over to talk to me. Our conversation went a little like this:

White guy: Hey how's it going?
Me: Yeah I am good thanks
White guy: How long have you been here?
Me: Oh I have been here 2 months
white guy: What do you do?
Me: Oh I am an exchange student, I go to school here
White guy: You go to a Japanese highschool? wow that must be tough
Me Oh it is isn't to bad. SO are you an ALT (American Language Teacher)
White guy: No, I am a missionary
Me Oh really? ( I was really happy to hear this because I am a christian and I haven't had contact with other christians for a while)
White guy: Yeah have you heard of "the church of Jesus christ of latter day saints?
Me: ummm yeah (By this time my heart was sinking because the mormons are a totally different religion to me)

Anyway after I told him I was already involved in a church, knew God etc. the guy starts trying to indoctrinate me with some really weird talk about modern day prophets of Moses or something. This went on for 15 minutes (yes he made me late! Why is it that jehovahs witnesses, Mormons and any other weird warped version of bible bashers always turn up at the wrong time?)
SO he had already indoctrinated me, when I've told him I'm a christian and the conversation goes like this:

White guy: So do you have more time to hear more about Jesus?
Me: No I'm sorry I'm actually already running late
white guy: Oh ok, well would you like us to meet you another time?
Me: No I'm pretty right on the God level, but thanks anyway.

So I nicked off to Japanese lessons. I found out that the Jehovahs witnesses are also really active in our community. They wake my friend up at least once a month on a sunday morning with a knock on the door and a "helllloooo, we'd like to talk to you about....... eh jjjjeeeeezzzzzzuuuuusssss!

I wonder what else I will encounter?


Secret Spy Network

Okay, apart from running a night school, I think our school is running a secret spy network! (or Japanese girls gossip alot)

I don't know how, but every monday when I come back to school after a fun filled weekend, there seems to be alot of people who know where I was, what I did and who I was with.
A good example is last week when I got to school (we had monday off) a year 10 girl walks up to me and says "oh Jesse was Ice cream good on friday afternoon?" and I was like "how did you know I went to ice cream on friday? I mean you were in Kendo club all afternoon!"

Friday afternoon I went out for ice cream with my best friend, now my best friend is a guy so there isn't really any reason for someone to notice I am having ice cream, but to my surprise these little events spread like wildfire, I didn't tell anyone I was going to ice cream either.

Maybe I should start a rumour and see how long it takes to come back to me? Actually i think there was a movie called gossip where they did that and it blew up in their faces.



Ladies and gentlemen, I offer my apologies for not having updated for a few weeks, what can I say, life as an exchange student gets busy??????

Anyway I am just about to put 2 new entries on enjoy.