JET Programme: In Pursuit of Golden Cabbages

In a truly international event, I went with some other JETs to see an Argentinian film about a beautiful and notorious serial killer. The movie was in Spanish with Japanese subtitles, and I wanted to test the theory that my Italian skills would help me understand most of what I was watching. I understood about 70% of what was going on in the movie, which was refreshing, considering I understand about 1% of the Japanese that is spoken around me.

After the movie, we went to a curry place, which happened to have a 100 yen fortune telling dispenser. I couldn’t resist, so I picked up. In America, usually fortunes are mindless platitudes that could apply to just about everyone’s life. This is apparently not the case in Japan, where there are different types of fortunes ranging from positive to absolutely catastrophic.

Mine happened to be a mixed fortune, which one of the Japanese proficient JETs happened to beautifully translate for me on the spot. Here’s the less beautiful google translation:

The fortunes are upside down and disasters occur from heaven.  The problem that must be cleared up is likely to be exposed to a harsh environment where you look up heaven unintentionally as you pile up or get sick.  However, since it is time to learn about the kindness of a person, you can ask for help from someone without reluctance.  You can survive by doing so.  Don’t forget to thank for your daily relationships.  Health … I worry about cholesterol.  Try to reduce it.  Tomorrow’s fortune tomorrow today … If you have a taste for the hobby of your favorite person, GOO!  Money luck … Don’t carry more cash or cards than you need.  Lucky number 3.7+ color … orange ..

I’m not very superstitious, and I believe that we make our own fortunes in this world, but there are many things beyond our control. So, I bought some orange and blue pajamas for good luck. Hilariously, pursuing a hobby of my favorite person would mean getting into Classic WOW. I hate the art style of WOW, but I think I will try it out for at least a month…. maybe more in the winter months. As for relationships, I’m trying my best to reach out and make connections and friends in order to have some kind of support network. I couldn’t help but think of the Twilight Zone episode with a young (beautiful) William Shatner when I got this fortune.

This weekend was the annual Gunma Games, in which the four regions of Gunma competed for the glory of the golden cabbage. The lead up to these games also started a meme war on the event page. Initiated by a one man meme machine, Mr. Aidan from Tobu(green team), in a frenzied late-night mania, posted several memes to the Gunma ALT group facebook page. Some of the best memes:

In response to the late night night meme flurry, another ALT posted this.

The memes started to take it up a notch:

There were wholesome memes, too.

This dank meme battle set the tone for Saturday, as it mostly set people against the whole Tobu team. There were many defectors (read: traitors) from Seibu, to other regions, as other regions have fewer ALTs, thus recruit ALTs from the most populous region. There were many games, many of them cabbage themed (as this is what Gunma is known for).

I participated in the cabbage toss, in which you must YEET the cabbage the farthest in order to win. I felt confident in my strength ( it was a man/woman team for each region). While I used a football throw technique for the cabbage, Tobu team used an underhand throw which ultimately won them the cabbage toss game.

My back was in kind of weird way, so I decided not to fully jump into more of the physically challenging games. My friend that was holding the flag wanted to jump into the balloon stomp game (think N64 Mariokart battle mode), so I volunteered to hold the flag.

Derping with the flag

This violent flag filled me with patriotism and bloodlust for the glory of Seibu! I noticed many of the Seibu spectators were not gathering around the balloon stomp game to support our troops, so I called people over. The balloon stomp game was absolutely electric! Twists and turns! Trying to guard your balloon, whilst also trying to stomp out another’s! At the very end, in incredible show of athleticism, one of the Seibu players cartwheeled backwards to avoid getting stomped out, which left many in the crowd shooketh to the core. My friend managed to get the winning stomp in and everyone went absolutely bonkers on team Seibu after that.

After a full day of games, we waited as they tallied up the scores. In dead last, was Tobu, which most everybody felt happy about, because of the meme war. Seibu was crowned victorious!

All Glory to the Golden Cabbage!

Update: Mr. Aidan has also posted his version of the Games events.

Had many fun adventures this week! Tune in next time for more or check out my old posts:

JET Programme: Cats & Mall Rats

The Mandoue (万灯会) Candlelight Festival on Kannon-yama

JET Programme Week 3: Orientation 2: Electric Boogaloo

JET Program Week 2: Getting into the Groove

JET Programme: First Week

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にほんごです。

As promised, I am using this blog to also document my Japanese learning.

Right now , I am learning time expressions.

Here are some sentences (that are probably wrong, but I will edit my post later to correct):

わたしはまいばんじゆういちじねます。

わたしはまいにちしごとにきます。

わたしはしやうまつえいがへいきます。