Tag Archives: ロンドン

Shun kin at Barbican (2)

Now the main stage, “Shunkin”. It was just fantastic. Probably I can say one of the best stages I’ve ever seen.

The story is based on a novel called “Shunkin sho”, written by Junichiro Tanizaki. It’s a story of a blind shamisen player “Shunkin” and a man who takes care of her, “Sakuke”. On this stage, story goes with the narrator who is recording the story for “NHK” programme in the current Japan, and the man in the narrated story who is visiting the grave of Shunkin and Sasuke, and the old Sasuke who talks about his memory of Shunkin , and the live Shunkin and the young Sasuke, which means four different time and places overlap each other. The stage setting looked quite simple, each scenes were described by the stage properties the actors used, and the lighting, and the images projected on the back of the stage. It might sound complicated to understand…but actually the four different time-lines smoothly crossed over, it was amazingly clear. Or ever rather, it created extremely beautiful and mysterious imagery of mixed world of abstract and reality.

Another favourite part was the main actress Eri Fukatsu and the “Shunkin doll”. The story starts when Shunkin is a child, but instead of using different actresses, they used “Bunraku” style dolls and Fukatsu controlled them. Her voice was cute but high-handed, and together with the doll’s plain face, it created quite mysterious, unique expression which I can’t explain by words. When Shunkin grew up, the dolls got bigger, and finally Fukatsu became Shunkin…and it was my favourite scene. But maybe some of you are going to see it from now, so I don’t write it here…Anyway, throughout the stage, Fukatsu’s aura was just brilliant.

I was so impressed by the director Simon McBurney who projected this Japanese story beautifully, perfectly, on a stage. In Eri Fukatsu’s interview, she explained that he begun the production by having a workshop with the actors, and they discussed about the each scenes from the original novel. She said it took so long to complete everything, but probably this approach reached to a deeper understanding of the original, Simon McBurney added his creativity to it, and then the outcome turned out as such a beautiful, attractive world. The stage has a lot of wonderful “pictures” in it.

I’m interested in his other production. Only the problem is, if my English is enough to understand serious stories without subtitles…

This is a review in the Guardian.


End of job hunting

Thanks to everyone who supported me, I finally got a job! It’s UI design agency in London. I will be UX designer! My money in the bank was going to be zero by the end of August, I was thinking of returning to Japan if I can’t get it. So this is the summary of my job-hunting process:

Oct: Course finished, returned to Japan for a few weeks

Nov: Started a part-time job at Japan Centre while researching the agencies in London, preparing for CV, portfolio, personal website

Feb: Got PSW visa, attended an event about digital video production > got some contacts > had a meeting with them, got some advice, applied for about 10 agencies > fail, attended UX networking events > got some contacts

Mar: Had an interview with one of the agencies I met at the event > fail, arranged a meeting via LinkedIn > was introduced to a recruitment agency > attended a UX networking event > got some contacts, applied for about 10 agencies > fail

Apr: Got some advice regarding CV and portfolio from the people whom I met at the event, had a couple of interview via the recruitment agencies > fail, applied for about 10 agencies > fail

May: Applied for an internship which I found on the internet > start internship

Jun: Had the 5th interview via a recruitment agency > got an offer

Jul: Had the 6th interview via a recruitment agency > got an offer

Well, it might look like the last couple of months were easy, but actually I was doing 4days/w internship + 2 day/w part-time shop assistant + preparing for interviews (+ design assignment) so it was really tough. It’s a bit embarrassing result that I got only 6 interviews after sending CV to nearly 30 agencies, but after all I got three offers. I think after I started the Internship, and after I attended some networking events, it improved efficiency dramatically, I learnt it’s really important to meet people face to face, in order to achieve job-hunting in this country.

So…I really appreciate Syzygy who gave me the first chance! I had been told that they were not looking for Junior…but finally they gave me an offer. Even after I told them I wanted to go to another agency, they were so kind to say “You are welcomed to come back anytime!” They were so nice. Thank you. During the job-hunting, I met loads of people and got loads of helps. Thank you! Sometimes I got some advices like “If you want to stay in the U.K., don’t choose job!” or “Find a partner and marry!” (well…I need a partner though. Introduce someone to me please!), but I was always thinking that there is no point to stay here if I can’t get UX job. Now I’m feeling more comfortable staying in this country for a bit more. Dear my friends in London, I have been a bit “unsocial” girl for a while, but I will get some more time and money, just shout me if there’s any events! And I’m looking for someone who can go for sake-drink to cerebrate.

Kabuki@Sadler’s Wells

I went to see Kabuki! Ebi-sama! Actually I was in two minds of going to see it, I didn:t have much money, was too busy, didn’t have any image of “Kitsune Tadanobu” by Ebizo…but I’m so happy I could see it.

They performed three scenes “Fushimi-inari” (aka “Torii-mae”), “Michiyuki-Hatsune-no-Tabi” (aka “Yoshino-yama”), and “Kawatsura-Hogen-Yakata-no-Dan” (aka “Shinokiri”), all from “Yoshitsune Senbon-zakura”. It’s a story of the fox “Tadanobu”. I think it was a good selection…I mean, if it was only one of them the story didn’t make sense for the people who don’t know much about Kabuki. But “Torii-mae” shows really Kabuki-ful gorgeous costume and “aragoto” (A special style of acting which is very exaggerated, dynamic and powerful), “Yoshino-yama” features “Buyo” (Japanese style dance) and “Shinokiri” is full of “Keren” (Tricks and stage devices which usually makes audience surprise), definitely beginners can enjoy it. To be honest, one of the things surprised me the most was Ebi-sama’s aura. I must confess I hadn’t seen any of his stages for long time, as I always prefer Nakamura-ya. Ebi-sama has been good at “aragoto” using his big eyes, but this time also dancing was sharp and awesome too, comical “Kitsune-Tadanobu” acting was fun, “Keren” was amazing too! I think the volume of the audience’s cheer proved that they were really fascinated by Ebi-sama. By the way, when he is acting “handsome” Tadanobu, he looked so sexy, like Nizaemon…was it only me feeling that?

Anyway, I was quite happy with it! But my favourite scene in “Shinokiri” which someone shouts “He’s coming!”, it seems most of the audience weren’t tricked because they didn’t understand the meaning of the shout…lol pity.

But it seems the stage was quite successful. Good! Ahhh I want to go back to Japan…


Time flies

It’s been two months already since I updated my blog the last time? I don’t believe this… Today this is a quick update post.

I got a new visa successfully in the beginning of Feb, but am still struggling to find a job. I even can’t get a chance of interviews. I thought maybe my CV was not good and got some advice on it, but feel like the biggest problem was that I missed all the graduate opportunities while I was applying for a visa. Now less companies are hiring juniors.

Anyway, I’m still alive by working at a supermarket.

Fortunately I met lots of nice people who try to help me getting a job (thank you!), I’m networking a lot recently (which I hadn’t done in Japan). Meeting a new person > connect him/her via Twitter/LinkedIn > Meeting a next person. The speed of social media is incredible.

Oh, another incredible thing is…Android! I bought Tattoo by HTC recently. Yes, I know I might have to go back to Japan soon, but got 18months contract. Any problems? It’s a pressure for myself. But I still feel like mobile is more convenient in Japan including the infrastructure. I don’t know. Anyway I’m enjoying downloading lots of different apps. I’m gonna write some reviews soon.

Right, I’m going to work….


I went to see the musical “Priscilla”. I didn’t know anything about the story, but it was amazing! The costume was so gorgeous, all the scenes was so energetic and powerful! I wish I could understand their jokes more… but still, their dancing was wonderful and I enjoyed it so much. Actually my friend’s friend is playing in this musical. Her name is Kanako Nakano. The scene she speaks was not too long, but her character was so unique and performance was great! It cheered me up as well, looking at a Japanese woman trying so hard in west end. You should check it out too! Priscilla website is here.

Kodo at Southbank centre, London

I went to see a performance by “Kodo” (A group of Japanese traditional drum players). To be honest, I hadn’t seen any proper Japanese drum performance before, and I just went there because it was 50% off for students! But it was amazing. Just amazing. I thought it would be good when I saw the promotion video on their website, but you can never experience the sounds of “big drum” unless you go to see them. It echoes inside your body, rather than on the surface. It was like thunder. Another thing I liked about them was that they were really entertainer. The quality as musician was good, so they can perform serious drum, but also they can do it comically so that audience feel relaxed, and above all, they looked enjoying themselves so much. You can feel thrill, fun, rhythm, and the time just goes by! They will be travelling around Europe, so check it out! Kodo website

Japanese postgrads students in the UK

Again, input exceeds output. I want to write more about Spain, but went to Portugal last week so want to talk about it too…and I’m going to Switzerland next week! Anyway, today is a short story. A few weeks ago, I went to meet other Japanese postgrads students. I was so impressed by people studying such different things. We have all different background, age, but have a big thing in common: struggling to fit into the life in the UK lol I enjoyed it so much. I think there were almost 30 Japanese students there… One corner of the British pub looked like Japanese pub. hehe. I’m going to join them again soon. I wish to keep these connections after the course too.

Places I haven’t been before

Although it’s been for a while since I came to London, there are still lots of places I haven’t visited. They are two of them. Primark 😛 and St. Paul’s Cathedral. My image of Primark is cheaper Uniqlo. But they have more different designs than simple Uniqlo, so it’s fun to look around. But I had never bought anything because it always looked so crowded! But I’m going to Spain this week and wanted to buy some small things, so joined the friends going shopping there. Wow…everything was so nice price. To be honest, I don’t know about its quality…but it’s like a few pounds anyway. Oops, this way of thinking might be dangerous… it’s not eco-friendly! Anyway I bought a small bag/£5, camisole/£2.5, a pair of sandals/£2, simple T-shirts/£2, Bikini/£6… They are just like £17! I understand why there is few people in the Next just opposite to this Primark… Well, if I got a job, I might prefer proper quality clothes, but I have no money at the moment as I’m a student, and Primark was really nice. After that, I went to see my friend visiting London from Japan, and the other one living in the U.K.. We went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. I regret so much that I didn’t visit there sooner! I have visited some other cathedral, but I think I like here the best. The painting is really detailed, the tone of the colour is mild but looks gorgeous, and solemn. I’m not sure if this is appropriate description, but it looked like the sky with full of stars, which is impossible to count, and looks so mysterious. I should have brought my camera! But I think I will visit there again soon with my parents.

Unlucky, but lucky day

Today was a bit strange day. Unlucky, and lucky. In the morning, I woke up and opened the online course schedule… and found that introduction to the new project was moved to today’s afternoon, that had been empty. Nooooo. I was going to leave at lunch time and join with my friends for Chinese lunch….unlucky :'( But I’m gonna leave at lunch anyway… deciding that, I went to talk to the tutor. And he told me that “One problem happened and I’m not sure we can have the brief today. So introduction first, and not sure about later.” Yes! Lucky! :D After the introduction, I left the uni, and run to the bus stop. But I got lost (as usual)…where is the bus stop?… unlucky (well, my fault.) :'( On the bus, my classmate sent me a text saying “Brief is tomorrow!”!!! Cool, lucky! :D At London Bridge, I wanted to withdraw my money. But cash machine didn’t give my card back… Oh no! Panic! Give my card back! Please~~~~~!!!! Tried to call to the bank, but the area was no signal… Tried to move, but there were noisy “London dungeon” people shouting with microphone…I can’t make a phone call! Unlucky:'( And then I realised someone was just trying to use the cash machine. When I got closer to her….she is holding my card!!! “Err… excuse me, that card…err…” despite I talked to her in panic way, she was so kind to tell me “oh, is it yours? it just came up.” I was so glad she was such as nice person…lucky:D Saying thanks thanks thanks, I run towards the station. Avoiding a long queue, I used a automatic ticket machine. Although I felt like the ticket was a bit expensive, but I bought it anyway because I was in a hurry. And on a train, I realised the ticket says “1st”… oh my god! I didn’t choose but it’s the ticket for 1st class! Unlucky:'( Finally I arrived at the restaurant where everyone was waiting for me. It was so yummy~~~it was worth running so hard~~~. It was so lucky :D I could eat such a nice meal… Oh no, it was not a luck, but thanks to my friend who invited me! Thanks!!! After that, I had to go to Charlton because I had to collect my parcel from Japan. At the depot, the person there couldn’t find my parcel for long time…please…hurry up… I have to go back to uni to attend another class at 6… Well, I couldn’t catch a train to be in the class on time. Unlucky:'( And at the uni, I found the teacher was late as well! Lucky!:D But he didn’t appear for 45 mins… And when we were almost giving up and leaving the building… we coincidentally met the teacher at the entrance….unlucky:'( I didn’t feel like I wanted to stay, but actually the lecture was so interesting and important. I think half of the students had left, but it was a good choice to remain. Lucky.:D And then I came back around 9. Too tired to cook. Oh! But I realised I brought some Chinese lunch back! I can eat it! Lucky! :D OK, please finish before the next unlucky…