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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Back In Fine Form

Episode 10 - Pocari Sweat

After yet another break - due in large part to some hardcore overtime in preparation for the recently completed English Speaking Contests - we're back! This week is all about the Sports Festival, also know as, Undoukai. We break it down for you and talk about our most memorable moments from the past couple years worth of them. We also pay tribute to our (formerly) one-eyed daruma halfway through. Here's hoping he's pleased!

Show Notes

-This week is the electrolyte-fueled Pocari Sweat; it's like Gatorade with the 'ade'. Definitely not fun going down and the milky consistency coupled with "sweat" in the title only add to the unpleasantness. Pick one up at your local grocer today! Cheers!

It's got everything plants need!
-Let me throw you to the previous article I wrote about my school's Undoukai, which covers that day in great detail:

-Here's a picture of Mitsuko's glass sliding doors.

You sunk my battleship!

-So here's the Daruma we purchased from the local shrine in Ebi on New Year's Day this year.

This is the state we left him in.
In modern times the practice of filling in an eye is either for the purpose of setting a goal - to be colored upon achieving said goal, or for wish fulfillment. In the case of the latter, the eye is colored in upon fulfillment of the wish in question.

Somehow he just looks angrier. We're sorry!

The practice of using Daruma is fairly recent in Japan's overall history (Late 1700s onward) and is rooted in Zen Buddhism. The design of the Daruma is based on Bodhidarma, a man with a mysterious history who is credited as the founder of this particular sect. Not much is known about him these days beyond conjecture and myth, but the Daruma dolls remain a popular yearly tradition.

They started off as a way for priests to encourage patrons to revisit the temple on a yearly basis to buy new charms - as they would magically last exactly one year, requiring one to repurchase annually. In a funny old way, you might think of Daruma as the inspiration for the Ford Motor Company, but I digress.

The peasant masses were well aware of this it would seem, and the practice of using Daruma was originally invented as a way of handling the high yearly demand for new charms. The temple most closely associated with Daruma, Daruma-Dera, in Takasaki, Japan offered visitors wood blocks with which they were meant to cut out their own charms, thus lightening the load on the priests. Hrm, IKEA too it would appear, anyway!

Editor's Note: There was a video I was about 99.99% sure I uploaded to Youtube featuring the burning of the Daruma. I'll investigate the old hard drive and see if I have it backed up there, which I will promptly upload if I can recover it.

-Musical recommendation for this week comes by way of Morgan Kibby as White Sea! 

Really has that Abraham Lincoln touch going on.

Editor's note: I mistakenly referred to it as the 'title track,' but I meant to say opening track. 

This song felt very much as though it could be an Undoukai anthem when that chorus hit. Driving along to the enkai that night I must've looped it a dozen or more times constantly imagining how I would've filmed my own music video for it. Speaking of which, I had never see this one before; It was kind of pleasing to see that whoever directed it also felt that high energy slow motion shots were good imagery for the song. 

I think that's about it for this week! Here's some links! Everyone loves those!

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