7th Meeting: Princess Mononoke! (29/3/18)

As it’s the last session of term, we celebrated by watching as much of Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫, Mononoke-hime) as we could! This consisted of the start, then a skip to the forest spirits, and then to the ending (because I misunderstood what Ella meant by transformation). Everyone enjoyed it, even if someone had to compare a dead big to her sister, and it was actually our busiest meeting so far.

(I swear it’s a PG.)

There were melon-bread flavoured biscuits, yes, melon-bread flavoured biscuits because we like confusing people and can’t exactly eat fresh meron pan. Although I have no clue what anyone actually thought about them, the whole packet was eaten, bar the one I’m saving for myself until the end of Lent, which suggests they were nice.

Biscuits, Ghibli, the chance to hear some actual Japanese (with subtitles in English), and loads of people – the best meeting yet!

Happy Easter (復活祭/イースター) everyone!

See you the first week back for honorifics and mochi.

(this is real meronpan for anyone who was wondering)

6th Meeting Summary: Personal Pronouns (15/3/18)

After a week’s absence, JapanSoc returned with a session on personal pronouns. Whilst not one of the more … crowded meetings, that didn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. We looked at all that current personal pronouns that are used, from the omnipresent watashi, to common regional variations, to slang used by young women.  We even featured antiquated versions since they are still commonly used in anime and manga, by ninja, samurai, or daimyō.

This was far from as serious as it sounds, as I meant about I could ramble on about the pronouns used by fictional characters, to Light’s ‘boku ぼく’ and Sebastian’s ‘watashi わたし’, to the ‘ora おら’ in Dragon Ball. Bowser (from Mario Bros) even uses  ‘wagahai’ an archaic version that was used by men of high class.

And then there’s how pets ‘use’ oira, because, well, why not?

The food was matcha pocky, but that didn’t even get opened. Maybe was talk was so inspiring, or maybe it was simply that everyone there was either on Lent or didn’t like yoghurt.

As always, here’s the Powerpoint: Personal Pronouns

JapanSoc won’t be on next week because I’m very regretfully going to Scarborough, but I’ll see you in two weeks for or last meeting of term – complete with a Ghibli film, and meronpan biscuits!

5th Meeting Summary: Hina Matsuri (and the Hiragana vowel column) (1/3/18)

A happy, albeit belated 雛祭り(hinamatsuri) to everyone! It was on the 3rd of March, so two days after the meeting.

Resultado de imagen de hinamatsuri

There was a change of schedule to what I had planned, and since none of the original members bar me attended, I went back to the original and essential hiragana powerpoint, and then did a rather rushed run-through of the hinamatsuri slides.

I’ve already written about the hiragana vowel column, but they included a brief history and description of the three Japanese syllabaries, the kana themselves with weird pictures that might help you remember them and then a high-speed quiz to scare everyone. The hinamasuri section talked about the name, main features of the festival, history, the alter and each layer of dolls, modern adaptations, typically food (I really want to try sakuramochi) and even a song! And of course, there were loads of pictures because the dolls are beautiful and practically the whole reason why I chose this topic in the first place. Have another one of an Empress:

Resultado de imagen de hinamatsuri

An unexpected highlight was that Bobby went to JapanCentre in London on the Chemistry in Action trip, so he brought back some really … interesting food. There were: black bean rice crackers I think, similar to the soy sauce ones I brought the meeting before last; lots of different sweets that I couldn’t eat being vegetarian; and some really scary fish things. There were literally little fish in this packet, with other things made out of fish and a really strong smell. Apparently they weren’t that bad, but I decided to stick to the other side of the room. As for my Matcha Kitkats, they produced the usual response of ‘orhh! – hmm, actually these are decent.’

As a side note: preparing this powerpoint was actually really useful for me since I managed to mention it in my EPQ.

Here are the very picture-heavy hinamatsuri slides for anyone who wants them: Hinamatsuri slides

And here are the vowel column hiragana slides as well.