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Amparo Bertram

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08:44 pm: Peach Boy Wars
My Speech class set about planning out the Momotarou play they (or should I say we?) intend to perform. For those unfamiliar with the tale, it's the story of a boy who sprang out of a peach found floating down a river by an elderly couple. One day this boy (Momotarou, or Peach Boy) sets off to slay ogres. Along his journey, he gathers three animal servants (a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant). They reach Ogre Island and heroically fight the ogres.

At first it was going to be a regular version with a twist at the end, where Momotarou falls in love with an ogre princess who is being abused by her husband. After extensive discussion, the students decided they wanted to make it a more "modern" retelling. Various scenarios were proposed, including one in which the dog and monkey are muggers who steal Momotarou's money but then become his followers after he saves them from a shark.

They finally decided upon a story that's Momotarou × Star Wars × Superman × Harry Potter. Momotarou was born on Ogre Planet. He was about to be killed by an evil ogre, but as a last resort, his mother puts him in a lifepod (shaped like a peach) and sends him to earth, where he is found and raised by an elderly couple. (He may or may not have a peach-shaped scar on his forehead remaining from the ogre's attempt to kill him.) One day, the dog and monkey appear to tell him that he must come to Ogre Planet to defeat the evil ogre. He doesn't believe them, but the evil ogre comes to earth and kills the elderly couple who adopted him. Thus Momotarou agrees to go to Ogre Planet, where he meets the lovely ogre princess (abused daughter of the evil ogre) and falls in love with her. In a dramatic turn of events, he finds that the evil ogre is his father, and thus the ogre princess is his sister. The title chosen for this production is (at present) "Peach Boy Wars."

Afraid that the topic might be too complicated for the other students to follow in English, they also brainstormed various ways to "subtitle" it (by running a Japanese translation on a projector) or "dub" it (by getting another student to read a prepared script after each line).

On a different note, I was watching Waratte Koraete (aka the Darts show) this evening, where they interviewed a bunch of Swedish students of Japanese. They set up a debate (in Japanese), where one team discussed things as "Japan" and the other team as "Sweden." The Japanese side commented that it's easy to get electronic goods in Japan. This prompted the following exchange...

Sweden: But Akihabara has lots of otaku. Plus--though I've never been to one--it has things called Maid Bars. Don't you think that's creepy?

Japan: ...Otaku are people too.

Update: On the Bush news front, he was taken to see Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), while his wife was in a tea ceremony and tried her hand at Japanese calligraphy. For safety reasons, they did not announce the course he would take ahead of time. This means that they had to block off traffic with no warning...in Kyoto, during the busiest time of the year. Hundreds of commuters were left stranded as buses and other traffic were stopped, making them all late for work/school/whatever. Many of them didn't even know why they were delayed.



[User Picture]
Date:November 16th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)

What a great cross fanfic!

Your classes are sooo creative! What a joy to hear about their ideas. I hope the play goes over very well.

Japan: ...Otaku are people too.

The beauty of different cultures certainly includes their different perspectives on things. I wish we weren't so judgmental.

I'm sorry so many people had to suffer so that one person could enjoy the beautiful Golden Pavilion. Being late is probably a very humbling and embarrassing experience for them.

[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)

Re: What a great cross fanfic!

Your classes are sooo creative!

I was pretty impressed by their ideas. Now I just hope they can pull it all together in time.

I'm sorry so many people had to suffer so that one person could enjoy the beautiful Golden Pavilion.

At least the visit is over, now, so Kyoto can go back to business as usual.
[User Picture]
Date:November 16th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
you know, what's the point of having decoy cars, and bodyguards and such, if you're going to inconvenience the country you're visiting *that* badly?

I wonder who insisted on those precautions, becauase if it was the Americans, I'm horribly embarrassed over our stupidity. >_< Inconveniencing one of the *biggest* cities in Japan is *not* going to endear the Japanese to Americans, that's certain. :P

As for "Peach Boy Wars"...I hope that turns out okay, sounds rather fun, really. If it were me though, I'd probably push for some kind of subtitle, as having someone *reading* after every line, might get a bit confusing.
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)
I wonder who insisted on those precautions,

I don't know for certain. I would hazard a guess that it was the Japanese government. It would be a horrible loss of face if anything were to happen, so they're bending over backward to take safety precautions. It's the same principle behind most Japanese people going out of their way to be friendly to visiting foreigners--they're trying to present the best face possible to outsider eyes. They reserve any griping until the outsiders aren't looking. (That's an extreme generalization, of course, but it's pretty darn common.)

As for "Peach Boy Wars"...I hope that turns out okay,

Me too! I'm interested in seeing what they'll come up with during the next class... I agree that a reader probably isn't the best option, but I'm sure they'll work something out.
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