The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents
|Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023||Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo||-|
|Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023||Train from Tokyo to Kyoto||-|
|Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023||RSJP Orientation Day||W1D1|
|Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023||Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion||W1D2|
|Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023||Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing Workshop||W1D3|
|Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023||Mori Touki-ken Pottery Workshop||W1D4|
|Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023||Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market||-|
|Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023||Nara, Todaiji Temple||-|
|Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023||Urasenke||W2D1|
|Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023||Nijojo Castle||W2D2|
|Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023||Tojiin Temple||W2D3|
|Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023||Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, Tsubomi||W2D4|
|Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023||Kyoto Station||W2D5|
|Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023||Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023||Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023||Kimono-Pro||W3D1|
|Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023||Ritsumeikan Library, Hama Sushi||W3D2|
|Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023||Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, Ichijoji||W3D3|
|Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023||Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)||W3D4|
|Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023||Super Karaoke||W3D5|
|Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023||Nothing special||-|
|Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023||Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home||-|
|Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023||Nothing special||W4D1|
|Day 23 – Tuesday, May 30 2023||Kyoto International Manga Museum||W4D2|
|Day 24 – Wednesday, May 31 2023||Ritsumeikan Library||W4D3|
|Day 25 – Thursday, Jun 01 2023||Maiko/Geiko demonstration||W4D4|
|Day 26 – Friday, Jun 02 2023||Final Presentation, Taiko Lab||W4D5|
|Day 27 – Saturday, Jun 03 2023||Kusatsu-Juku Honjin, Lake Biwa Museum, Omi Hachiman (with Zian)||-|
|Day 28 – Sunday, Jun 04 2023||Omi Hachiman City Museum, Omi Jingu (with Zian)||-|
|Day 29 – Monday, Jun 05 2023||Arashiyama||W5D1|
|Day 30 – Tuesday, Jun 06 2023||Nothing special||W5D2|
|Day 31 – Wednesday, Jun 07 2023||Final exam, Osaka, Manga Cafe (with Zian)||W5D3|
|Day 32 – Thursday, Jun 08 2023||Osaka, Namba (with Zian)||W5D4|
|Day 33 – Friday, Jun 09 2023||RSJP Graduation Day||W5D5|
|Day 34 – Saturday, Jun 10 2023||Leaving Zian, Train from Kyoto to Tokyo, Ikebukuro||-|
|Day 35 – Sunday, Jun 11 2023||Shibuya, duo MUSIC EXCHANGE||-|
|Day 36 – Monday, Jun 12 2023||Shinjuku, Sakura House, Sophia University||-|
|Day 37 – Tuesday, Jun 13 2023||Akihabara||-|
|Day 38 – Wednesday, Jun 14 2023||Flight from Tokyo to Edmonton||-|
Tuesday, Jun 06 2023 (Day 30)
Zian and I learnt about Tobidachi-kun when we were in Omihachiman, in the souvenir shop there named Asaka Omihachiman-ten (麻香 近江八幡店) that we went into just after we came out of the City Museum. It was a small shop packed full to the brim with random things on sale for a cheap price, and one of the things on sale there were a bunch of Tobidashi-kun stickers. The proprietor explained who he was to us in simple Japanese — a character meant to represent the children of Japan and a constant reminder for driving adults to stay vigilant and watch for children (and other people) accidentally running or wandering into oncoming traffic, especially on smaller, cramped side streets.
Tobidashi, or 飛び出し, means leap out, using a combination of the kanji for fly/leap and the one for leaving or out. I’m not sure what his original image was, if any, but there are many versions of him around Japan, and they’re all kind of the same shape, with kind of the same round beady eyes, same running posture with hands and feet aflutter, and so on. I’ve seen many myself, but had no idea what the story behind them was.
Once I heard the story though, I began to look for or take a couple of pictures of him, though the first couple I have here are kind of bad shots of them. This should at least suffice to show a few different versions though.
I’m not sure what the story is with this one but the sash across his chest at least definitely starts with Tobidashi.
This is one outside the eel restaurant, Meijibashi Amana (明治橋 あまな), that Zian and I ate at in Omi Hachiman. Unfortunately, he’s slighttly cut off because at the time I hadn’t started collecting these pictures yet, but you can see that this specific variation is holding an eel to promote the store while also warning drivers to slow down.
Here’s one being eaten by a taiyaki, because reasons.
And many others can be found out there as well. We’ve even seen female ones, and I assume female ones are called Tobidashi-chan. This actually solves a mystery that I had last year when I visited Japan, and went to Toyosato in Shiga Prefecture, where the K-On! school is located. I saw this sign back then:
And this one:
I recognized them as characters from the show but had no idea why they were so deformed. I now finally understand! They were K-On! character versions of Tobidashi-kun, err Tobidashi-chan!
Breakfast today was from the Ritsumeikan co-op convenience store, and was something called a Teritama sandiwch. Teri from Teriyaki, and Tama from Tamago.
The lunch menu for the week is as follows:
And I ordered the beef stew, which looks like this with rice and side dishes:
It was very nice!
Today’s blog is otherwise short because I went home right after lunch to study for the final exam tomorrow. Our last class with Kaneko-sensei was today. For better or for worse she seemed to decide some time ago that I was the worst student in class, and has tried to avoid embarrassing me by asking me questions in class now and then ever since, or would often directly solve a question for me after calling upon me if I seemed stuck. It’s totally different from how she treats the other students, and it’s weird and a bit offputting sometimes, although some times I actually do also appreciate it when I just don’t want to answer a question.
It’s weird though since the RSJP organizers were the ones that only divided the 8 of us into 2 groups to begin with instead of adding more intermediate-level classes, and because the point of coming here was to practice aspects of Japanese that I was weak at and so the more practice the better, not less.
Ma ii ka. At any rate, although I like her a lot as a person, her classes always gave me a bit of self-conscious stress, but she’s sent me several emails to help me with stuff or give me tips, and she was also super helpful for presentation script accuracy, so she really is nice and well-meaning. We gave her a card:
Lunch today largely involved Zian, I, Jerome, Miyu, and another Buddy named Leon that I’ve been seeing a lot of the last few weekdays too. I saw other familiar Buddies hanging around some of the other RSJP students too, most of who did turn up for today’s lunch even though we had nothing in the afternoon.
Zian and I also did mention, not only to students and a couple trusted Buddies (well, Miyu and Leon in this case), but even to Ms Nishioka, that we were going to be away on Thursday to Osaka instead of coming to class, in a combination of “please let our relevant teachers know” and “just in case the RSJP coordinators wonder where we are” and “is it okay if we took some time to do this..?” Slightly surprisingly, though perhaps not as surprising as it seems because Ms Nishioka is EXTREMELY kind and nice, she listened sympathetically and said something about oh, you two have been very hardworking and are always here first early in the morning and you’re adults but stay safe and be careful not to have your wallets stolen, or something like that, hehe.
So anyway we’re playing hooky (saboru, in Japanese) and heading to Osaka on late Wednesday and most of Thursday. Miyu lives in Osaka so even though it’s just a short trip, we’ll probably meet her after her own classes and go back to the city with her. Jerome might come along too, though he won’t be playing hooky with us! His program also has taiko the next day, I think, which was the best of the activities and definitely shouldn’t be skipped.
Zian had an appointment in the library with a friend after hours, and I wanted to go home and study, and it was drizzling rain on top of that, so we chatted in the library with Leon for a little while after lunch, before I headed home to settle down, do laundry, write my blog, and then start studying.