Category: Japanese

Pictures Soon // Mighty Long Fall and then some

Ok so I’ve been busier than I would like to be lately, but I do have June and July photos waiting to be posted. I’m determined to make time tomorrow to finish them up. My poor July photos have been stuck in my camera for a while now… so I will definitely post again tomorrow!

Now I need to talk about ONE OK ROCK for a bit…
I think I love these guys even more now that I’ve seen them in person, I’ve known from the first moment I heard them that they have something special. And Taka has this way of making people understand regardless of their native language. The first song of theirs I heard was Et cetera (live), my favourite to this day. I choked back a slew of emotions — I knew this song fit me at that time in my life, even though I only understood a fraction of the lyrics. I felt what he felt, through his tone and expressions. The song ends with a painful whisper, “bye bye” — and it was simultaneously the cherry-on-top and the nail in my coffin.
Since then they’ve been releasing gem after gem, getting better all the time. Last year I shared their song, “Be the Light”, released on the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami… I still can’t listen to it without getting teary. That album also consisted of; “The Beginning” (the end theme for the hit film, Rurouni Kenshin), “Clock Strikes”, and “Deeper Deeper”. This week their new song, “Mighty Long Fall” (the end theme for the Rurouni Kenshin sequels) was released along with “Decision” and “Pieces of Me”. I have officially heard them all and my ears are nothing but pleased ^-^ I’m in love with the lyrics to “Mighty Long Fall”, so naturally I have decided to share it with all of you here. Enjoy ^-^d

They make it harder and harder for me to have a small list of favourites.. I mean, if they’re all faves, then at some point they cancel each other out, desshou?

As a bonus I will also share a video of Et cetera (I couldn’t gush about it that much and NOT share). This is not the first one I saw back in the day, but it is my favourite version now. I kind of wish this didn’t have subs, that way more of you would have a better chance of feeling the same way I do… but oh well.

Bad News / Good News

Ok so this was supposed to be a Friday post, but I had more than a few technical issues driving me insane so I saved it and gave up.. Pretend it’s Friday ok?

Sorry for my absence again. The past week and a half has been particularly awful as my nephew, Oliver, passed away at 4 and a half months. I wasn’t sure if I was going to post today either, but there are a couple of things I want to talk about.

The first is Kappi, the new name of my mom’s hand knit goods. She makes intricate viking hats — hand knit, sewn and fully lined — as well as cute little crochet hats with flowers and buttons. She plans on designing scarves for fussy kids in the near future.

You can check out Kappi at www.facebook.com/knitkappi. here are a couple of sad snapshots I took on my sister’s phone.

..

viking stages logo ©Ashley Loseth Photography

viking closeup logo ©Ashley Loseth Photography

The second bit of news is Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, Yuzuru Hanyu! I must say, the Olympics have been a wonderful distraction lately. Today was terrifying — I wouldn’t say I was disappointed in him, but I definitely worried. I have seen him skate much better. However, his gold was well deserved. He won because he had a huge lead after his short program as he broke the world record for the second time this season with a massive 101.45. He has made history in many ways this week; he is the first male to break 100 points in a short program, he broke his own record of 99.84, is the first Japanese male figure skater to win the Olympic gold medal and the second youngest gold medalist. I am so proud to be a Yuzuru fan ^-^d

Now that men’s is over, I have to find something new to distract myself with…
Have you been keeping up with the winter Olympics? What sports do you follow?

Calendar Project

All month I have been toying with the idea of doing a calendar project inspired by my favourite variety show (Sekai no Hate Made ItteQ!), in which they take a photo every month for a calendar they sell at the end of the year. I won’t be going on adventures all over the world like they do, but I like the basic idea. Of course I couldn’t make up my mind until today, so I have basically missed out on January… :/ but I’ll still head out in the dark and try to top my favourite winter shot (Frosted Tips). Now off I go — hopefully this works out!

Frosted Tips ©Ashley Løseth

Dreamers

This has been a bit of a crazy week, so I don’t have anything new today. Shea discovered a contest to win a trip to Japan for a few days to see Linkin Park at Summer Sonic — but we don’t have passports! Lucky for us, my mom had a few applications lying around for some reason, so we got them filled out as fast as we could and have officially applied. Some think it’s silly to get passports on the off-chance that we win, but those people don’t think clearly — if we didn’t bother trying we would probably regret it, desshou? Anyone who wants to travel as badly as we do should have them! It doesn’t really matter whether we get to Japan for these few days next month or further in the future. It feels so good to finally have this first step underway, despite the ups and downs throughout the week and my horrible passport and ID photos. There is a weight off my shoulders and now I can sit back and wait. Well, aside from all the sharing links for entries and whatnot (facebook friends, I’m sorry if you’re annoyed by all the shares, but I’m afraid I won’t be stopping any time soon — p.s. please click them!), which brings me to what this contest is really all about…

Urgency Network and Linkin Park have teamed up to power the world with our donations. What do I mean by “power the world”? Well, most are aware (and if you’re not, maybe you should be) that there are many places in the world without “clean energy”. By donating, we help bring power to those places — lighting homes and so on. Yes, we are competing to attend Summer Sonic (a long time dream of ours) and meet Linkin Park (um amazing), but we have also become a part of something wonderful. Of course I will be disappointed if we don’t win, but at least I can feel good about helping those in need! For more info check out www.urgencynetwork.com or click one of the links I have shared on facebook (the latter will help us out immensely)

As for a photo… I think it has to be my little sister and bff, Shea!

Shea ©Ashley Loseth Photography

Arigatou Shei-rin. Honto ni aishiteru yo ❤

Quotes of the day:
“Times are hard for dreamers” -Amelie

“Dream as if you will live forever and live as if you’ll die today” -ONE OK ROCK – Chaosmyth

Hiro Mizushima – Renaissance Man

Hey I’m back! Well, temporarily anyway. I still don’t have any of my own work to show you, but I came across someone’s photography by chance the other day and I wanted to share them with you. It is the work of the brilliant actor, model, writer, everything man; Hiro Mizushima. I mentioned him once in the early days of “art and then some” in a post about the live-action “BECK” film, which was his last movie before a three year hiatus. In that time he had done a lot of writing and started up his own agency (so I’m told), and while he was sorely missed by fans, I am so glad to hear of all his accomplishments. Now he will be returning to ‘the big screen’ as Sebastian Michaelis in the live-action “Black Butler” (or “Kuroshitsuji”), which his fans (as well as fans of the anime/manga) can not stop talking about. And because this information seems to be everywhere, so are links to his official website. Of course I had to check it out — and this is how I stumbled upon his photographic genius. A lot of actors’ sites have photo or gallery pages that are filled with pictures of themselves taken by various artists, so I was surprised to see that Hiro’s photo page is all his own work. I felt a spark of inspiration for the first time in quite a while and I almost wanted to pick up my camera and roam around. I think this is a good start and that is why I’m sharing it with you now. I can’t seem to put into words just what it is about these photos that makes me so happy, but maybe you will know what I mean when you see them for yourselves. You can check them out at www.mizushimahiro.jp/photo ^-^

There are quite a few cloud pictures — which I love, because I am also drawn to our ever-changing clouds. I can’t help but feel that they evoke all sorts of emotions in people, even without them noticing. This is one of my favourites…

©Hiro MizushimaPhoto courtesy of Hiro Mizushima Official Website

By the way, I want to thank everyone for being patient and understanding. The weather is finally getting warmer, the snow is slowly melting away and aside from the overall dirtiness of the city, things are looking better. I think I’ll be back with my own work soon enough!

Easter!

Happy {almost} Easter!! I thought I shared these egg pictures last year, but apparently I forgot :/ This year will have to do!

Humpty Dumpty ©Ashley Loseth

Humpty Dumpty Two ©Ashley LosethHumpty Dumpty

90's ©Ashley Loseth90’s

Green Egg ©Ashley LosethI really don’t know where the idea for this one came from

Shea's Egg ©Ashley LosethShea’s Japanese character face

I really don’t like the idea of being “too old for this stuff”, because decorating eggs will always be fun — and one of the best traditions ever. Who cares if people find it childish! Will you be decorating eggs this Easter?

Akira

Sorry about the late post! WordPress issues again, I’m afraid. Or I guess dinosaur computer issues, would be a more accurate way of putting it. Anyway, I took these photos of Shea’s new kitten on Monday and thought I’d share them. All of these were shot in manual — I’ve been trying to use it more often. It was a challenge, because she’s not your average kitten… she’s a little insane… so most of my pictures are blurry. Shou ga nai (can’t be helped)
Her name is Akira (kind of like Ah-ki-la*), isn’t she pretty?

Akira's Eyes ©Ashley LosethThose eyes *-*

Akira's Grin ©Ashley LosethSilly grin

Curious Akira ©Ashley LosethCurious

Akira is a Japanese unisex name meaning “bright” or “clear”. I think it’s more popular for boys, but it really suits her. Shea had a list of names, but it kept coming back to Akira.

*A Japanese “R” is kind of difficult to pronounce. The best way to describe it is as a mixture of  “L” and “R” — or like a rolled “R”, without the rolling. So it’s not really “la”… but it’s not “ra” either… Example:

{ignore the subtitles}

Two Years Later – ONE OK ROCK

It has now been 2 years since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster that devastated Japan. Those who have been following my blog since the beginning have probably seen my previous posts about it, so I’ll try not to repeat too much of the same now. Two years after the disaster, Japan is still struggling to rebuild and many are still unable to return to their homes (please see Notes of Nomads’ article on the subject). One of the things I love most about Japan is that they always seem to come together in times like this, rather than resorting to chaos. I remember watching Anderson Cooper on CNN shortly after it happened and he pointed out how orderly and polite everyone was in line at gas stations and convenience stores. I honestly can’t see that happening here…  Anyway, this post is mainly about the Japanese band, ONE OK ROCK (One O’Clock) and the video they just shared that almost brought me to tears (seriously, the only thing stopping me from bawling like a baby is the fact that I was not alone in the room…) and how badly I want to share it with all of you. The song is called “Be the Light” and I’m sure you can guess what it is about.

The song is entirely in English, but if you feel you would prefer to see it with subtitles, you can check it out on their youtube channel. They have also posted it with Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese subtitles. Please help spread their message of hope! No matter what or where the disaster, this message surely applies.

Now, as usual, I have to mention a few of the many ways you can help in the ongoing relief effort. You can read about the wonderful organization called “It’s Not Just Mud” on Notes of Nomads’ blog, as well as all their articles on rebuilding Tohoku. If you live in Japan (particularly Tokyo), I highly recommend you check out the photo walks they put together to help raise money for disaster relief.
And of course there is also Global Giving — another favourite of mine. I don’t think the Canadian Red Cross is still taking donations for earthquake/tsunami relief (at least online), but they have set up an international disaster relief fund to help out anywhere a natural disaster strikes.

2013 – With Eyes Unclouded

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year!

I’ve never been one for resolutions, but lately a line from one of my favourite films has me thinking. The film is Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” (or Mononoke Hime), in which Ashitaka responds to a question with; “To see with eyes unclouded by hate.” For some reason this line has stayed with me since the first time I heard it and for the past few months, has been playing in my mind like a catchy tune. To see with eyes unclouded [by hate] would be difficult for anyone, but I think these are words to live by. I definitely prefer them to “don’t let it get to you” and similar sayings that only seem to make the problem worse. Anyone who is familiar with Miyazaki films is probably aware of the calming and even enlightening effect they have on people, so it should come as no surprise that the aforementioned line could be useful to us all in our daily lives. I don’t know why these words pop into my head on occasion, but I’m glad they do. I’ll admit, I am prone to anger and sometimes I need to rant, but these words have become so helpful to me. I try to understand all sides before drawing conclusions, which is sort of how I interpret the line. To look at things without bias and remain somewhat neutral. As I said, this would be hard for everyone, it’s even hard for Ashitaka at times, but the importance remains with him. He knows that if rash emotions take over, they will destroy him. I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t look at the parallels between an animated action fantasy and real life, but those people would be [quite frankly] looking at it with clouded eyes.

Ashitaka’s injury is caused by hate // Hate and other negative emotions hurt us.
He winds up on a journey to not only find out what happened to the boar whose hate has spread to him, but to bring some kind of peace and balance back to the place it stems from. He’s the type of person who tries to get along with everyone, and everyone doesn’t like it much. They want him to choose a side and he refuses. To me, Ashitaka is one of the most admirable characters ever written. Yes, he’s a fictional anime character, but I think everyone should strive to be something like him. Even though the world tests our patience most of the time.

So I guess my resolution for this year and all the years to come is simply to apply these words in my daily life. More than I already do, anyway. It could be a useful trick to clear my mind and think rationally. We’ll see!

Curry Rice – Revised

The number one search term used to find my blog is “glico curry instructions” with “glico curry” coming in a close second. I don’t think a day has gone by since I posted the Glico recipe that someone hasn’t looked it up and wound up here. I didn’t take pictures back then, so I’ve always felt sorry for those who are looking for a good recipe and find my half-baked version. I’ve also made a few more adjustments since then, so I have finally decided to update my recipe… this time with pictures! (Sorry, food photography is not my forté…)

(Japanese style curry adapted from the Glico Curry box)

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 Medium onion, minced -or- chopped
1 Large Potato
1 Large carrot -or- a small bowl full of baby carrots, chopped
3 Cloves of garlic, minced  (I actually use 4 cloves, because it’s better that way)
Broccoli (small bowl full) -or- your favourite vegetables and/or fruits
1 Cup water
1 Cup chicken broth
1 Pkg. Glico Curry Sauce

*If you are using meat, seafood or tofu (1/2 lb.); omit the chicken broth and use 2 cups of water.*

1. Cut all ingredients into bite sized pieces.
2. In a large skillet, stir fry onions with oil. Add potatoes, carrots and garlic and stir for a few minutes
(and meat, if you are using it).
3. Add water and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
4. Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes or until tender.
5. Remove from heat and add Glico Curry sauce (break into several pieces). Stir until completely melted.
6. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
7. Serve hot with rice.

🙂