September 11, 2005

One Hundred Types of Prosperity

Not to be confused with William Empson's Meisterwerk--"Seven Types of Ambiguity"--this exhibition, called "百寿", consists of 100 different renditions of the character for prosperity, 寿 (kotobuki) and now hangs in a glass case in the lobby of my school's main entrance. I decided one day to take pictures of it, for I thought it was quite a wonderful thing to look at:

I am not so sure about this one:

It is certainly creative, though I cannot tell if the artist was aiming at birds, fish, trees with eyeballs, nerve endings, or what. In any case, pondering such imponderables (or at least ambiguities) such as what an artist's intention was is unfruitful and takes up a lot of uneccessary space. I guess the same could be said about this blog, especially the most recent posts, which have been encumbered by the author's abuse of the photograph posting option. Anyways, enough apologetics for my lack of things to say. More pictures.

Yesterday I went to a Hanshin Tigers game at the oldest professional baseball stadium in Japan, the legendary Koshien Stadium (in between Osaka and Kobe, hence the name Hanshin--the railway which runs between Osaka and Kobe ("Han" 阪 is also the "saka" isn Osaka, and "Shin" 神 is the "Ko" in Kobe). In my unchecked enthusiasm for this experience, I got off at Koshien Station at about 3:00, though the game was scheduled to start at 6:00. There are no tailgate parties at Japanese baseball stadiums, but plenty of small 食堂 shokudou (dining spots serving beer, noodles, donburi and oden) along the way between the station and the stadium. I popped into one to do some pre-game mingling with the die-hard Hanshin fans, but in the process I ended up flirting with the cute staff at the shokudo and getting way too drunk. By the time I was in the stadium, my bladder was in sheer agony, but I didn't miss most of the action. My favorite Hanshin player, catcher Akihiro Yano (#39), hit a two run blast in the bottom of the third inning. By the end of the fourth, Hanshin was up 13-2 on the last place Hiroshima Carp. This meant another bathroom break and more beer. When I came back, Yano was up again. This time he was beamed in the head by a very high fastball, and the benches cleared. In America, most likely punches and kicks would have been abundant, but in the Japanese big leagues, there is a strangely reserved group huddle and discussion about the proper way to handle the situation. I left Koshien sometime in the later innings (I forgot exactly when) with the score 14-2, way too drunk for my own good and with just enough money to get back to Wakayama. It is a good thing that the Tigers have started eating "Hanshin Tigers Natto" (photo courtesy of my kitchen). Maybe this will help them into the playoffs:

Now then, there isn't a whole lot of excitement like that during the week: homeruns galore, drunken revelry, legendary baseball stadiums, players being carted off the field left and right, etc. Mostly during the week I read books (recently the work of Walker Percy and Soren Kierkegaard), study Japanese, and if I am lucky, catch a remarkable sunset over the not so picturesque cityscape of Wakayama City:


Post a Comment

<< Home