Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Meeting the Sardine

2010年 10月 8日

Many times my schedule is shuffled around without warning. For example, last Tuesday I climbed to the third floor to teach my fourth grade class and stopped short at the door. The teacher was not there, the students were not there, and all of the students drawers were on top of the desks. At the end of the day the desk drawers are placed on top of the desks, so this was a clear sign that the students were gone and would not be returning. Apparently they were off at the local snack manufacturing factory on a field trip. We often complain that perhaps they don’t take English education seriously. Not only was my class canceled, but they couldn’t even be bothered to tell me beforehand.

Of course, not all schools are this way. Today we had a camera crew filming my class and other activities during the day. Our vice-principal called me on Wednesday to warn me and apologize for the short notice. Quite considerate. The personality was Iwashi (いわし) which means sardine in Japanese. He is a flamboyant comedian who films a show for the local ZTV cable channel called ‘Schooljack’ (an unfortunate name, perhaps?) which airs several times a week. He has a blog at Laff Japan.

Our school should be highlighted from November 1st to 5th. Estimated run time for the program is 15 minutes and it should air four times a day. My segment is planned to be 90 seconds. I hope they edit well and show my good side. The third graders were tense so I had to work hard to get them to loosen up a bit.

Numerous times, I have appeared on the TV, but this maybe only the third time that they actually mention my name. Most of the time, I am incidental to the program. I hope I can get a copy of the program since I am not in the broadcast area.

As an aside, researching the showtimes, I noticed another program called “Ladies Angler”, written in English. I’m hoping this is a show about female anglers and not a show about people fishing for women. It is airing at 11:15pm, so who knows.

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Thirteen Minutes to Go

2010年 2月 13日

Was it Andy Warhol who said in the future everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame? Well, here we are a whole decade into the 21st Century and I’m getting approximately two minutes. Tuesday, I got a surprise phone call from a friend in Nagoya. He was helping a friend at Nagoya Television (or Meetere, as it is called) find an interviewee.

Initially I was very excited because it sounded like they were looking for a foreigner who was interested in Japanese culture. Studying calligraphy, stone seal carving, wood block etching, bamboo flute, Japanese pottery, rice straw rope making, etc., should qualify me for that; however, there was a small communication error. Really, they were looking for someone interested in Japanese history, and specifically, in Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬).

While I am interested in Japanese history, I don’t pursue it like I do culture. My guess is that, in a world without deadlines, they probably would have preferred someone else; however, they were willing to use me, and I was up for a new experience.

I have been on the TV a number of times, but this is the first time I will actually be mentioned. My other appearances were usually incidental and only a few seconds. Also, this is the first time it won’t be on a local cable access channel.

Sakamoto Ryoma is very popular now because a TV series titled Ryomaden (龍馬伝) came on the air in January. I watched the first episode, but unfortunately have missed all the rest because of my busy schedule. Hopefully they will rebroadcast it.

If you happen to watch the program UP! on Nagoya TV this Thursday from 6:17pm, you should see me. If not, they’ll send me a DVD, so you can drop by and watch. I was pretty nervous, so I might look a little bumbling unless their editors are very kind and good.

Morning Protest (Update)

2009年 9月 15日

Ate dinner at my favorite restaurant tonight. Watched the news with the owner and talked about the morning protest. Apparently this was the first time a court in the Tokai (東海) region has used the semi-jury system; hence the intense attention from protestors and news media. Estimated size of the group at the courthouse was 731 people. (Yes, that is a Japanese ‘estimate’.)

It should be interesting to see how things shake out at the courthouse, and longterm for this new system.