Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yankiis Galore and Other Fun Happenings

Ok so first I think I should start of with the definition of what a “yankii” is:

A yankii is simply a subculture that was popular in Japan in the 80's and 90's. It is still popular in some areas of Japan. Moreover, it is basically the style of delinquent students. They are characterized by punch perms or pompadours, shaved eyebrows, altered school uniforms, popping squats, being poor students and causing violence or trouble. Yankii is a term that applies to both boys and girls. Although it is said some yankii would be recruited into the yakuza, or Japanese organized crime, this is not always true. Many yankii simply join the regular workforce and live regular, productive lives after high school. Being a yankii is simply a way to enjoy youth and lash out at society similar to the punk rock movement in the West.


And yeah, hope that clears things up a bit. I live in a relatively…”shady/seedy” part of Japan. So there is a whole lot of yankii where I live. Also, my host sister and all of her friends are yankii too. My host sister thought I was leaving November 1st (I am leaving November 27th), so she was trying to set me up with all of her yankii friends during my “last” week here. It was quite amusing…And I have come to realize that I love the yankii lifestyle ;)

Me and Vicky have met a bunch of yankii in a park near our house, and even when to karaoke once with them. The bill came up to 12700 yen and they payed O.O So we have decided that they are harmless enough…and rich xD

One of the yankii boys I have actually grown quite fond of. His name is Yoshii-kun, and we ate yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) with him, my host sister, and her boyfriend. He’s nice, but mecca hazukashi (very shy). But he’s really takai (tall) too which is cool :D

Ok, now that I’ve talked about a very interesting subculture in Japan, its time to get into the “traditional” Japanese stuff J

Over the past 2 weeks I have:

Went to a batting cage with my Otosan (host dad):
This was fun. I had never been to a batting cage before in my life, but the Japanese version seems pretty similar to American batting cages I’ve seen on TV. I hit one ball…out of all of the 200 balls that came my way. I apologize for my lack of hand/eye coordination.. My host dad was a beast however. He hit like all of the balls out of the park!! I think he was showing off for us :P These other guys kept trying to show off their skills to us too, but we left too soon xD There was in arcade there too, so while Vicky and Otosan were watching Monan (my little host brother) bat, I decided to play a racing game. When Vicky came back over she said “Oh, I see you’ve made friends”. At first I had no idea what she was talking about but then I turned and realized there were about 10 Japanese boys crowded around me watching me play. Talk about awkward (-_-;)

Climbed “monkey mountain” with my okaasan (host mom):
When my Okaasan came before there were a bunch of monkeys (just like how Nara has a bunch of deer), but this year the locals said the monkeys were gone L It was still fun anyways though. We found this really pretty waterfall, I got a monkey lollipop, and we ate leaves. Yes, leaves. Or actually more specifically, “fried leaves”. The leaves on monkey mountain are deep fried and then you eat them. Who knew leaves could be unhealthy? The actually fried leave tasted realllyyyyy good though. Kind of sweet, kind of not. Like a really good snack.
Had a Halloween party at my school
Self explanatory…

Went to Tennoji to see the golden Buddhas:
We saw the golden Buddhas (which are beautiful) and we also saw the Buddhas made of human remains. 150,000 people’s bones. I was quite concerned, but my Okaasan said “no it’s ok! Because this means the people turn into Buddha”. I am still quite confused, but from what I could make out they make a new “bone Buddha” every ten years. The bones of the people are kneaded/molded into the shape of the Buddha. I would not want to have the job of kneading those bones. My okaasan is proud because her grandma and grandpa’s bones were in one of the Buddhas. After seeing all the Buddhas and praying at a few god statues/lighting incest, we went to this really cool burger restaurant. But the burgers in Japan are different from America. There’s no bun. It was however the best burger I have ever tasted J

Went to an amazingly amazing cheap shopping plaza called “Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome”:
IT’S SO CHEAP!!!!!!! Mecha yasui (very cheap)!!! I found a bunch of good sweaters there, and a full blown warm winter coat that only costs sen yen!! (about $10 us dollars). I think I’ll definitely be going back there ;) and its just a short bike ride from our house!

Went to sleep over at my friend’s house…which is actually part temple J:
I thought the temple part was cool, but kind of eerie too. We got our fortunes and my friend’s dad read them out to us. Supposedly I’m going to be a teacher in the future/make my own business. But I cant teach with the personality I have now, I have to change. And its better for me to marry early xD We had dinner/did a little dinner time karaoke, and then watched scary movies.

Got an amazing instant camera from my host mom:
Yes! So now I’m going to take instant pictures and make a scrapbook, I love my host mom :D

Had a ceremony for grandma:
I’m not quite sure the details, but in Buddhist culture, a certain number of days after the death of someone you have to hold this special ceremony. We went to a really pretty temple (dressed in all black) and this priest sung from this book. We had to sing too and since the book translated all the kanji into hiragana I could understand it. After the ceremony my host grandpa took us all to this oishii (delicious) Chinese restaurant :D

Went to an amazingly shady concert with my yankii host sister on Halloween (Cosplay was in fact involved)
This was probably one of the most interesting things I’ve done while here in Japan. My host sister’s boyfriend (Shin-chan) and his friends have their own band. They had a show on the 31st so we went to go see it. It was in Umeda at a venue called “Live House”. There were a bunch of other bands performing too, some good, some…..kowaii (scary). The venue itself was quite dark. Literally and figuratively; the lighting was very shady, as were the people, and there was (at least I hope that‘s what it was…) red paint splattered all over the wall. But I guess we couldn’t really talk about those people considering the fact that me and Vicky were both in Cosplay. And for those of you who don’t know; Cosplay is an abbreviation of “Costume Play”. It’s really popular here in Japan and I see at least one person a day dressed in Cosplay. Usually the costumes are based on some sort of anime or manga, but in my case I wasn’t sure. My costume seemed like some sort of maid thing….Anyways, back to the bands. I thought Shin-chan’s band did pretty well. And his band consisted of most people I know. Including Sho-chan (supposedly he has a crush on me, says my host sister), Yoshii (watashi no sukina (my favorite) :D), and Katsuya (I thought he had a crush on my host sister, but it turns out he only likes men. homosexual.). So it was exciting to watch, and me and Vicky realized that we know quite a lot of yankiis xD The last band scared Vicky, but I thought it was hilarious and just played along for the hell of it (very big pun intended) and danced along (which my host sister loved). But the lead singer wasn’t really…singing. It was more of a low pitched scream roar. It sounded like he was trying to open the gates of hell actually. And he kept screaming “Korra sei (kill)…korra sei!!!!! Korra sei!!! KORRA SEEEEEIIIIIIIII”. His costume (at least I hope it was a costume) was quite interesting too. It included all black, chains, white contact lenses (so you couldn’t see his pupils), and red/white hair. Seemed like he was going for a “Satan’s son” look. Vicky told me to ask him for a picture, but I was worried for my soul so I passed….However I did take a picture with pikachu ^^ The most kakkoih guy of the night :DD He was really charismatic, and polite too (*^0^*) And hey, I’d rather have a picture with pikachu than “Lucifer’s offspring” ya know?