Madadayo

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Madadayo (1993) is the story of a high school German teacher in Japan in retirement and his devoted former students, who visit him, celebrate his birthday every year and who come to his aid when he’s in need is a slice of life film.

Unfortunately, the film dragged and got to sentimental for my taste. Lasting over 2 hours the film seemed much longer. I enjoyed seeing how devoted the former students were to their teacher and to each other, but that was the only good thing. The birthday parties and drinking parties got repetitive.

I suppose the climax of the film, which was written by Akira Kurosawa, was when the teacher and his wife lose their beloved stray cat, Nora. The students, now business men, do everything they can to find the cat as its loss has traumatized the teacher so much that he doesn’t bathe or eat. For a man who was supposed to be so philosophical and wise, I’d expect him to take a bath during the months the cat was gone.

There are better Japanese films. Watch something else.

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Which Way Challenge

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Humble Administrator’s Garden

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

This week I’m sharing photos of Suzhou, China, which has many small canals in it’s Old Town.

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See more Which Way photos by clicking here.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Construction

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Zhujiayu, Shandong, China

Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos of construction, any way shape or form.

For more black and white photos, click here.

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Poem of the Week

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Winter

by William Shakespeare

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who! Tu-whit! Tu-who! – a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind do blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who! Tu-whit! Tu-who! – a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Ukiyo-e at the Art Institute

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Just a few Japanese ukiyo-e paintings from the Weston Collection Ukiyo-e exhibition now at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ukiyo-e’s depict the life of pleasure and leisure of musicians, geishas and concubines.

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Expect me to share more of these in the days to come.

 

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