Monday, January 30, 2006
My Korean Galz
Sometimes I wonder what my ex-roomates are up to. Especially the ones that I didn't know so well. Last I heard, Australian Rebecca #2 returned to Japan on an ELT program. In fact, both Rebecca's are back in Japan.
As for Sun, my Korean roomate... I haven't heard from him. I'm sure he's doing well, as he was an extremely driven individual. A work-aholic and business minded fellow, I'm sure he will go far. His English was pretty good too.
Nezu and Rabecca
Nezu turns up in more photos than any Japanese person I know. Always active with the international students and programs, Nezu is now working at a technology company in Kumamoto. Good luck Nezu!
Sun-kun (right) and me
As for the Korean girls, Min was headed to Canada on work exchange and Chinmi got a job as a school teacher in South Korea. Good luck to you both!
As for the rest of my roomates and friends, I try and keep in touch with them whenever I get the chance. Take care everyone!
My lil' brother and I
This year has been an interesting one. I graduated college, spent the summer in Japan with my fiance and her parents, came back to Montana and became roomates with my little brother while I waited for JET to get back to me. It's been a bit choppy, lots of waiting, and as much as I would love to speed things up and get back to Japan, I can't help but be greatful for spending time with my brother. We probably won't see much of each other in the coming years, especially considering I'll be moving to a foriegn country soon, but It's been nice getting to know the adult version of my brother. He's in his mid-twenties and I'm in my later twenties, and we will have memories of each other to carry us until those few holidays and vacations in which we can see each other. Banditos until the end!
Banditos, Fritos, Ole!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
3 AM Sketch
I couldn't sleep. I had to get up and sketch something, for fear I would never sleep again. Crazy artists have this problem, if you didn't know. Now I feel like watching cartoons.
Skylark version 2
After looking at the image for a while this morning, I came to the conclusion that she may be a little too butch looking with all her muscular contuer lines. I like athletic women, but I thought I'd take the lines out in Photoshop and see what happened. Do you like the change? I like both.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Japan ain't the only country that's got some beauty to it. This is here is Montana, where I was born and raised. To be more specific, these are the Bridger mountains which create the Bozeman range of the Rocky Mountains. Yellowstone National Park is just a 40 minutes drive from where I live out in Belgrade. These pics were taken four blocks walk from my apartment. Don't you wish you had this view in your back yard?
Big Sky Country
Montana is famous for it's beauty and it's BIG skies. Most people don't believe it, but you can see it for yourself. With no urban sprawl or city rooftops impeeding your view, you get a full panoramic view of God's glory which surrounds you. Not only that, the Mountains like to bend the atmosphere just right creating the most brilliant sunsets imaginable. The eye can see for miles in periferal delight, as it soaks in the most beautiful peace of Earth God ever painted.
Of the cow days, here is a fence for watering and feeding livestock. It is still used. Even though things may look like they'r out of an old western, dusty and worn, doesn't mean they have lost their value. I reckon that a cowboy has perched on this fence a many time as he takes a break from his busy work.
Wild wheat, farmed grain, and golden bliss. Purple mountains majesty, and amber waves of grain. It's poetic lyrics for sure, but it's also the truth.
Highway to Heaven
Self explanitory I think.
Monday, January 02, 2006
One of the first things people assume about Japan is that it is over crowded. This is highly true about urban areas. Within the city the buildings and houses practically touch and there is barely any room to breath. Another thing one notices right away is the amount of power lines running and humming throughout the city.
But Just because it's the city doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. The sheer amount of colors and types of buildings makes Japanese urban cities appealing. Not only that, they are entirely aware of nature, and even greenery is sculpted to be asthetically pleasing.
Here is the library at my old university, Kumamoto Gakuen. It's beautiful when it's all green. And being in the middle of the city, you wouldn't think you're surrounded by ugly old concrete.
But it wouldn't be Japan without trains. Japan is definately a train culture. Pictured above is the famous JR commute train. It's slow, always pact, but gets you to where you need to be for just a few hundred yen.
Way to Mt. Aso
But Japan isn't all cities. About 89% of Japanese terrain consists of mountains. No wonder the cities are dense! But you do get beautiful scenery out of it. Contrary to the popular belief that Japan is one giant mega-city, it has nature too!
Entrance to Shrines
Shrines litter the countryside. In fact, they can be found in and out of cities. There are hundreds of shrines, both Shinto and Buddhist alike. You can find them everywhere, and sometimes the scenery surrounding them is just as beautiful as the architecture itself!
Japan wouldn't be Japan without lots and lots of rice patties. Rice grows in almost every region of Japan. Most of the flat country side is being cultivated for just this purpose, but it's hardly soar on the eyes. In fact, with the mountains in the back, the reflection of a big open sky in the shallow water of the rice patties, and the slight hum of electrical wires at sunset time give Japan a distinct flavor and charm to it. Truely a beautiful country.
The International Residence
This is the dromitory for KGU exchange students. I lived on the fourth floor. Being on the top floor gave us a good look at the surrounding areas, and helped us find land marks to aquaint ourselves with.
Kame-san and Me
Kame-san is the evening guard to the residence. He is the most loving and kind hearted man any of us had ever met. He would joke with us, greet us with a chuckle, and tease us when we got into trouble. He was like our surrogate grandfather. Everybody who has lived at the KGU is fond of Kame-san.
Here is the first group. Half the group left after six months and were replaced by new roomates. That took some adjusting, but we all managed to enjoy the second half just as much! Everyone that lived together became one giant family. No matter what country we hailed from, be it China, South Korea, Australia, America, Canada, England, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam, we all loved one another like brothers and sisters. It was one of the greatest times and best feelings I ever had, knowing these wonderful people.
Base of Operations, Kumamoto
This is inside our flat. The doors on the left enter into a small sleeping quarters which we called our bedroom. To the right was a sliding wall which we took down and opened up an identical flat opposite us. This way we didn't feel clostrophobic, and we had the luxury of pushing the kitchen table to one side. The television and a used couch were set up on the other side completing our pad, and base of operations.
Paper rice doors and tatami mats
Here is David K. working on his laptop in a traditional styled Japanese room. Dave and I weren't actually roomates, as David went to Kumamoto a year after I did. However, to our suprise, Dave and I work at the same company here in the states, where we later met. I have to thank Australian Mark, as I am borrowing some of his photos for reference.
Two Sumo Warriors!
Speaking of Australlian Mark (right), also known as Mark 2, also known as Mark Patterson... here we are facing off sumo style in a traditional sumo wrestling arena. Thao, our roomate from Vietnam just stands by and laughs at our mockery of a real and respected sport. Needless to say, Mark was a worthy foe.