Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Random Stuff


t the end of last year--just before I got really sick--I became familiar with Blogger, just one more blogsite. It isn't conducive to creating a community of blog friends--like Xanga. You can't subscribe to another site with a click of a button. You cannot monitor who subscribes to you, or easily view your subscriptions on a subscriptions page, features that we Xangans take for granted. It is, in a way, more private. But it has features that I was looking for when I considered a place to archive what I have written here on Xanga.

Xanga is great for immediate responses and expressing things on the spur of the moment, but it does not allow for convenient archiving. Enter Blogspot. At Blogger, you can upload entries and choose the date, something you can't do on Xanga. You can design your own site without paying for premium. Entries are saved individually. Each Xanga entry's comment page is basically the same, but it is identified by a nine-digit number. At Blogger, it is identified by date and entry title. It will also automatically archive entries by month or week--your choice. Further, you don't have to be a Blogspot member to post a comment. Anonymous comments are possible for those who prefer not to sign up. There seems to be a way to archive things by topic as well, but I haven't figured it out yet If someone knows how, I'd appreciate a little assistance.

Anyway, I created a site at Blogger called the JAJournal and have transferred all my old post over there--yeah, I too can't figure out where I found the time to do this... It replaces my previous backup/archive site. While the entries are virtually the same as the ones here, it is a convenient place to go to read old posts. So if you are new to the O-man and want to read some of this old stuff, or if you just want to catch up, go to the JAJournal. You can get there by clicking "Best of Onigiriman" on the main page and the JAJournal link at the top of the comments page.

To commemorate this new site, I have posted there the following Onigiriman FAQ, which some of you may have already read at the previous JAJournal. If you have a question that should be included in this FAQ, by all means let me know.

About Onigiriman: FAQ

So who are you?
Me? I'm just a lump of cooked rice squished together. But seriously, I'm a Japanese American born and raised in LA... who looks like a lump of cooked rice squished together.

What generation are you?
I'm technically a Sansei, but I refer to myself as a phony Nisei. My mom was born in Japan and my dad is a Nisei born in Idaho, so that make me a Nisei and a half, sorta. But he's a Kibei Nisei--a Nisei who went back to Japan for his education--so his Engrish is not so native. So while I'm a Sansei, I often feel like a Nisei.

Do you speak Japanese?
Don't you?

Is it important?
To speak Japanese? No, not really. I used to think so. I used to think that any self-respecting JA should understand Japanese, but given the history of Japanese Americans, it comes as no surprise that they more or less abandoned the language.

What do you mean?
Well, the mom of an ex-girlfriend once explained it to me. After everyone was interred in concentration camps during WWII, many JAs felt that they had to prove their US citizenship, that they were really Americans of Japanese descent. The first casualty of this attitude was the language. I mean, what other everyday act brands you as different from the rest? Speaking Japanese pegged you as a Japanese, not an American. But I thought we were talking about me?

Yeah, right. Uh... So why do you speak Japanese?
Working in J-Town. That's Japanese Town or Nihonjin-machi to you, and Lil' Tokyo to everyone else. I hung out there for many years, but started working part time at a sweet shop on 1st street. I worked part-time as I went to high school. At first, my Japanese was very crude, but working there 4 hours a day, 6 days a week in an environment where all the workers and customers only spoke Japanese got me to speak at a basic level rather quickly.

And now?
Well, I have been regarded as "near" native, whatever that means, but I still strive to improve. Japanese is not a language that is easily mastered. Ask any Japanese. They're very good at reminding me of that fact.

What do you do when you're not on Xanga?
I teach at a post-secondary school, Japanese language and literature. I believe that knowing Japanese is beneficial to all, for if nothing else it allows people to learn how to think in different ways, to perceive "truth" from a different perspective. Have you read "In a Grove" by Akutagawa?

Uh, I thought this was about you...

So do you have a question you want to add to FAQ?


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Yabanjin said...

I spotted your blog, figured you must be younger if you were watching a new incarnation of the Magic Monkey, or Monkey a Chinese folk tale. Book was never as interesting as the TV progam. I'm nearly 55. I spent around 20 years in Japan, and I hope like hell to get back there so I can avoid the holocaust that Dubya is sure to bring upon us. (I never really knew rage until I ran up against that arrogant little PR.........well, I don't really have to state the obvious. I am an I-sei I guess, you are a ni-sei-han? (Well, you asked if we didn't all speak Japanese, didn't you?) Forgetting a lot of it, but I still think of myself as a Jap-ican.