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Grey cold May returns for however long. Wound up reading a book I… - Off the Cliff

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Tue May 19th, 2015


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08:31 pm
Grey cold May returns for however long.

Wound up reading a book I bought in Japan in 1990 and of course never read there. A Personal Sketch by Sasaki Mizue, about teaching foreign students Japanese. *Should* have read it, because it has explanations of obscure usages I never got (the use of past form when talking about a future event, use of the continuative as a kind of perfect) as well as some indications of where pitch accents are supposed to come (ie opposite from where I put them. I really do talk like someone from the Kansai.)

Encouraged by that, started another book from Way Back When, Home Sweet Tokyo, but had to stop. The author went to Tokyo in the 60s when the city was cheap (artificial exchange rate) and undeveloped (Roppongi was a backwater.) Kennedy rhapsodizes about the friendly chatty Tokyoites he met, always welcoming him into Golden Gai bars and soaplands, and quite happy to help him build his house in the city. Well, maybe it was like that fifty years ago; maybe it's still like that for cheerful extroverted American males. It was not like that for me.

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