Another Beginning

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こんにちは皆さん!Hello everyone I’m back!  After a nice month off from school classes are back in session.  In the past month I’ve been doing a little bit of everything: exploring Tokyo, finding new places to eat, and making new friends all during the process.  I no longer live in the Ontakesan dorm, I moved to a share house in Omori.  It’s still in Ota-ku about 25 minutes or so east from Ontakesan.  Whereas Ontakesan was a quiet small and suburban area, Omori is anything but that.  The streets are wide and populated; chain restaurants and karaoke parlors are wedged between izakayas and internet cafes.  The first morning trains into the city have now become my new alarm clock.  The people here also seem to be more down to earth and relaxed as well, somewhat of a contrast when compared to the four months I lived in Ontakesan.

The quiet streets of Ontakesan, I miss this neighborhood.

In addition to living in a new place I am now interning for a Japanese company as well.  The company, Aoi Pro, specializes in filmmaking and makes commercials (as well as other media) for clients in Japan and worldwide.  Not that many people in the company speak English which I love, because it gives me opportunities to practice my Japanese.  Yet sometimes when I’m caught off guard it’s almost as if I become illiterate; I move my mouth and the words just don’t come out!  I don’t why it happens sometimes, hopefully as the weeks go on this problem will go away (haha).

A couple weeks ago I went to the Pink Cow, a restaurant and music venue in Shibuya.  The night that I went they were hosting a Hip Hop event.  A few weeks prior I met the host of the event at Coins, a very “Americanized” evening venue in Shibuya known for it’s cheap (and delicious) food, and great DJs.  I performed a freestyle at Coins that night and he invited me out perform at the Pink Cow.  I had no idea of what expect of the event.  When I got there, to my surprise, a Japanese woman greeted me in perfect English.  When I entered I was surprised to see so many American people.  I have been to Hip Hop events before in Tokyo.  This didn’t feel like Tokyo.  It felt like I was back home.  I began to mingle with the guests and everyone was open.  Many people even came up to me.  I started wondering…everyone has a story for why they came to Japan.  So I asked.  Some people told me they just came on vacation Japan, and ended up loving it.  Some thought there was more opportunity here than in America. (It’s ironic that the Japanese people I met said the exact opposite thing).

A few blocks from the Pink Cow

During the open mic freestyle session I rapped with emcees not just from Tokyo, but from all around the world.  I loved how even though all of us were rapping in different languages, there was still a connection between all of us.  The passing of the microphone from artist to artist was a visible symbol of that connection.  The euphoria we all shared needed not be explained, the music was all we needed to communicate.

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