My dream vacation always will be…『blogtober 2014』

Day 21 of blogtober2014 takes me back to Japan – my “home away from home” kind of place.

Your Dream Vacation
I already wrote a blog post on our trip to Iceland, which was a bit like a dream, a totally different world ^^ In that blog entry I also mentioned anothere country which I want to talk about now as it is & always will be my “dream vacation place” to go 🙂

JAPAN – 日本 – TÔKYÔ – 東京
Ever since my first stay there in May 2008 (when I went to language school in Tôkyô) I fell in love with the city & country more and more. Tôkyô is a city that is making me feel just so…alive. I could probably write a novel-length entry about why I like it so much & keep going back every year, but maybe I will leave that for future blog entries, you know…talking about different aspects individually.
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view from Sky Tree over Tôkyô – with the Sky Tree casting its shadow

I filmed some footage on our last trip to (Tokyo) Japan in September 2013 and put it together with photos in a sort of vacation video. The annotations are in German but I think you can still enjoy watching if you can’t read German as pictures and video clips don’t need much explanation 🙂

Every time I go to Japan a little piece of my heart stays there, and I feel homesick for it when coming back to Germany.

 

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I specialise in…日本(語)『blogtober 2014』

On day 17 of blogtober2014 we take a look at my skills 🙂

I’m  an expert  a specialist at….
Firstly, I don’t like calling myself an ‘expert’ at anything…wouldn’t it mean I know EVERYTHING in a certain subject. I’d rather like to say I specialise(d) in something, and have room to grow and learn more and more over time.

The subject I’m really skilled at (and would call myself a specialist at) is: Japan/Japanese – and to be a bit more exact – Modern Japanese society & literature. It’s been 8 years since I started learning Japanese in self-study and later on at university as part of my International BA degree in East Asian Studies focusing on Japan. So for 8 years I’m busying myself with all things Japan, trying to get better and better with the language and broaden my knowledge about society and literature in detail.

To me, the interpretation of ‘individualism’ in (historical and modern) Japanese society as well as in literature is one of the subjects I’m most interested in. Natsume Sôseki a famous writer of the modern era was an advocate trying to get society to develop a sense for their own ego, their own individualism without crossing the line of egoism. There is so much value in his speech “My Individualism” (can be read in: My Individualism and The Philosophical Foundation of Literature). It is amazing how well you can transfer his thoughts from all those decades ago into Japanese society of today.

 

 

 

Pretty Little Tokyo (cross stitch/pixelart)

A few days ago, the urge to cross stitch something has hit me again. I found a picture online of various city sceneries & decided to go for the one called “Pretty Little Tokyo”.

Little Tokyo

This cross stitch piece of a stylized Tokyo skyline features the Tokyo Tower, the Rainbow Bridge, the Tokyo City Hall, the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, the Sky Tree, Senso-ji Temple, and Mt Fuji. Shinto gates, cherry blossoms, and a boat complete the scenery.

Tokyo is a very special to me – it feels like a second home. I’m so familiar with lots of different places and things in that city and even though I’ve visited (and lived) there for some time, Tokyo manages to surprise me with new, so far undiscovered things every time. ❤

 

Wishes on an ’ema’

Whenever I look at the little wall space above my desk, I see this pretty wooden tablet in the shape of a ginkgo leaf and I smile…

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This is an ’ema’ (votive picture tablet usually made of wood) that we bought at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gû (a Shintô Shrine) in Kamkura, Japan about a year ago. Usually, you buy them at the shrine, write your wish on the back of it and hang it on the racks that are put up in front of the shrine. It’s always really interesting to look at those and the many messages or wishes people from all over the world wrot on such ema in many different languages, too!

This one however, I found too pretty to leave there at the shrine and so I had to take it home with me. I still wrote my wish on the back of it as you can see^^. It says: “I want to make/have a child and live happily with my husband forever.”

Ever since we returned from our Japan trip last year I had it hanging right above my desk, so that whenever I lift my head I automatically look at it. It kept me wishing, helped motivate me to try again and again (even when we failed) with making a family. Now that this wish seems to have come true (I’m still a bit scared it’s all just a dream from wich I have to wake up too soon), I look at it and start to smile…(^_^)

with my ‘omamori’ in hand…

Still on the dreaded two-week-wait after Frozen Embryo Transfer, and with all the emotions going from hopeful highs through the valley of worries, everything that gives you some sort of peace of mind (and soul) is much welcome.

This time I’m basically attached to this little thing, keeping it in my hand or around my wrist all the time.

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I bought it during my latest trip to Japan in September. It’s called an ‘Omamori’ (お守り)。The word ‘mamoru’ literally means ‘to protect’ but in general they are thought of as luck charms or talisman. You get them for all kinds of different purposes: safety while driving, good health, successful marriage, giving birth smoothely, luck with money, luck with exams etc. You get the drift.

This particular one on the photo^^ that I carry around with me these days is for ‘receiving a child’ (ko-uke 子受け), which is what we are hoping for right now: to finally be one of the lucky ones to receive a child aka. become pregnant & STAY pregnant.

I’m a realist, but in times like these, when hope is all you can cling to while waiting on a result, I’m happy to embrace everything that keeps my hope up.