This week has been going by pretty fast. I finally got my internet back at home and I am at elementary school, so I have to stay on my toes, but my lessons have been going well. Here’s an update about my weekend and my week so far.
On Friday, we had Kyudo as usual, and we mainly did target practice from a few feet away and then we backed up little by little until we were about halfway from the target and the dojo. He promised us that this week we would be shooting from the dojo as is normally done.
Saturday I went to a baseball game with a lot of other ALTs, most of them coming from out of town. There were a lot of Nagasaki and Saga prefecture ALTs, so it was nice to meet them. The Softbank Hawks played the Hanshin Tigers (from Osaka) in an exhibition game. Our leagues aren’t the same, so we don’t have many opportunities to play against the Tigers. When I lived in Kyoto, I always wanted to see a Tigers game because I love Osaka, but I couldn’t never find the time or money to go, being a student with lots of club activities.
So on the day of the game, I cheered for Hanshin instead of Softbank, like most of the other ALTs. A few of us who lived in Kansai cheered for the Tigers, and the Japanese people around us were mostly Tiger fans, so it was fun to talk with them after runs when everyone was going crazy. A Japanese lady would turn around and high five me every time we got a run. It was so cute. And afterwards, she asked for a picture with me. I bought a Hanshin towel with tiger ears and wore it for half of the game, making the Tiger fans around me really excited. Hanshin won 4 to 3, so my friends were bummed out but it was a lot of fun.
After the game, we went to Asahi Beer Garden and ate yakiniku and it was really nice being able to see all my Nagasaki friends again. We went to a placed called the Shooting Bar afterwards, where you can buy drinks and a few rounds on an air soft gun and you get to do target practice. It was my first time shooting a gun, so it was hard but really fun. Then we went to karaoke in true Japanese fashion, but after that it was so late that I had to sleep in order to be able to stand getting up early on Sunday.
My friend downtown let me stay with her, so in the morning I woke up and took the train and changed for my fan event. My friends picked me up and we went to Fukuoka Aeon Mall, which is in the middle of nowhere really. We got in line (I almost wrote queued … you can tell how many international friends I have) and we were in the middle of the crowd. In order to meet Nakayama Yuma, you had to buy his CD and wait in line again. We got in line and waited about 5 hours before they let us go inside the mall to the stage. Yuma took an hour long lunch break, so my friends and I ended up watching NEWS DVDs on our phones while we waited. We saw so many Hey!Say!JUMP and NEWS fans, and we were really surprised to see a few guys there. I love seeing fanboys, but they are pretty rare.
Since we were in the middle, after Yuma took lunch, they let us in this little blocked of section of the mall with a stage and two tents. Two Japanese TV hosts came out and introduced him, and then Yuma rounded the corner and came up to the stage. The mall erupted in a frenzy of kyaaing and it was fun watching the people who had no idea what was going on. People tried to watch from the second floor, but only the people who had tickets were allowed to participate. Yuma came out and talked for the TV station. We were really lucky because we were the only group who got to see his talk. They also recorded us, so hopefully I will be able to watch myself on TV soon.
Yuma danced and introduced his new single, which we all bought, called High Five. After that, he went inside one of the tents and they let us through one by one to high five Yuma. My friends made me go first, and when I got in, I walked up to him and he high fived me with both hands. He is a little bit taller than me, and he is so attractive in person. He stared at me with his big eyes and I freaked out. I didn’t have the guts to say anything, but he told me ‘Arigatou!’ anyway, so it was really sweet. My friends told him they had fun and told me I should have told him I’m American. But I noticed him looking at me in the crowd when he first came out, so it’s nice to know he can go back to Johnny and talk about his foreign fans. I was the only one I saw all day, and there were a LOT of people. At concerts I usually see a few, but I guess not many people knew about it or live in Fukuoka.
During his talk, Yuma mentioned that during lunch he went to eat at a place in the mall that served hamburger steak and was really famous. After we high fived him and were thoroughly in love with the boy, we ran off to find the restaurant. We passed Earth on the way there, and they were doing a collab with NEWS. I bought the last two dresses which Massu and Shige designed, so this time I got the ones Tegoshi and Koyama designed. I now have dresses by all four members, and all of them are the member’s colors. I won’t have to buy concert outfits for a while. We found the restaurant and it was surprisingly not very crowded, so we got a seat and it was delicious. They took me back home and I was beat.
Monday I was at my middle school again, and then Tuesday we didn’t have Kyudo, but I got my internet back. Wednesday, we had Kyudo (to make up for Tuesday) and we watched a DVD on stretches, hassetsu, etc. We kind of wanted to shoot more, but we watched some of our senpai come and demonstrate how we would be shooting during our graduation next month. We had to learn how to sit and go in order, so we only had time to shoot 4 arrows. None of mine hit, but two got really close, and I feel like I learned how to aim better.
My instructor FINALLY let me pull the bow with my name on it, which is a 10.5 kilo, instead of the 9 I was using before. I have been doing push-ups and other exercises at home every night to prepare for this bow, so I was really moved that I was able to use it with ease last night. Once I get used to it, I hope to start hitting in time for graduation.
I can’t wait to graduate and join as a real member and wear a hakama, but for now our classes are really fun, and we learn together, so I have a lot of new friends. One lady from my Kyudo class even went to the fan event and she was right next to me in line. She and her daughter went, so it was fun to talk to them during our extremely long wait for Yuma.
Tomorrow is Friday, which is another day of Kyudo. I read a Kyudo manga that was really good, and now I am reading about 5 books at a time. It’s really bad. I also started my first graduate school class, so I need to do homework (reading) and start thinking about my first paper.
This weekend might end up being a quiet one, which would be fine with me, since I barely have time after school to catch up on Once Upon a Time and my other TV shows. I also need to edit my novel some more, but it is getting so busy around here that I barely have the energy. We get new JETs soon, and one will be in my apartment building and work at the schools in my city. I am really pumped and I can’t wait to find out who it is.
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