This weekend I managed to hit up one of the big tourist traps of the Tokyo area. A little town called Kamakura, which was the capital of Japan from about 1000 AD to about 1300, when the clan of samurai that were holding the town (and the empire) were bitch slapped by the emperor, who moved the whole government thing back to Tokyo.
The history of Japan has a whole lot of bitch-slapping… but I suppose no more than any other place on earth. Except here they used really cool swords, and cut out their own guts if they screwed up.
Anyway, the side effect of being the capital was the construction of a whole whack of temples, shrines and such. It thus makes a really great day trip, especially during autumn when the leaves are changing. This peace and quiet make it the ideal place to escape the crowds of Tokyo. Of course said crowds of Tokyo have long realized this fact… and thus ridiculously jam the place on weekends.
Nonetheless, the temples are beautiful and interesting. Of particular interest is a giant Buddha, called the Daibutsu, which stands about thirty or forty feet tall. It was originally housed in a huge temple, but a Tsunami washed the temple away in about 1400, leaving only the huge copper statue. You can actually go inside the statue (umm… if you…cough… get there before 4:30… that..er…is, sooo… I *hear* that the inside is an interesting shrine.)
We also caught some interesting temples during the day, and had some tasty sushi. By ‘we’, I mean my good friend Geoff (the one who has joined me for several such “wandering moron” days) and a Japanese ladyfriend of his named Emiko.
Emiko was very, very nice, and had a very good grasp of English. She was, however, typically very modest about her language skills and quite polite. She was also eager to learn new and interesting phrases… Now, this being outside of a professional school environment, she was very interested to learn such things as proper swearing form and dirty jokes.
The best mini English lesson that we put together was the fact that the word “fuck” has many, many meanings in English. She was already familiar with “you’re fucking with me!”, and “Fuck off!” I think the best thing we managed to teach her is the fact that you can put “fucking” into the middle of most words. For example, “Abso-fucking-lutely!” And “Fan-fucking-tastic!” were particular hits.
When she also offered “Good fucking job!” as an example of her knowledge of the word “fuck”. I was sure to also point out that word order is VERY important to the meaning of that sentence. Try switching around the second and third words… yeah… different meaning.
Did I mention that I like being a sensei??
... and that I found the triforce! Again!