Feeling very nostalgic about my proper hanami in Tokyo in 2009, I attended a Japanese Embassy / Sugihara Museum event in Kaunas, where a Japanese performance artist Kirie Oda cooperated with Lithuanian violinist and singer to create a performance around Sugihara House, which used to be the Japanese consulate before WWII and now hosts a Sugihara museum, foundation, and VMU Centre for Asian Studies. The artist wanted to use this space, with its sakura trees planted by Yukiko Sugihara herself, and a larger green space behind the building.Continue reading
Sharing nice memories from Easter with friends in various countries.
2008 – Budapest: no photos (and not many memories unfortunately)
2009 – Tokyo. A pleasant picnic in Ichigaya, I believe. I was telling my Japanese friends that I couldn’t stand mayonnaise until I tasted the Japanese one.
Since summer 2013 the website of Atgimimas weekly, where I worked from 2005 to 2011, is down. For this reason many of the links do not work. I will look for possibilities to retrieve my articles from the archives of the weekly. Continue reading
Today I’ve been contemplating two types of social capital I “own”, which I normally don’t reflect upon: white body and EU passport. What is in common between them? They facilitate certain movement in space and produce certain expectations in others. And, of course, I’ve been contemplating this in relation to my research about migration.
Yesterday I did a rather exciting journalistic experiment. Without many plans on my mind, I went to Kinshicho, an area known for its bars and clubs with foreign hostesses and a lot of foreigners in general. I visited this area once with B., as recommended by Y.
There are 43 people in the village, but some years ago there were as many as 400. Some have been living here for a few months only, but some are true veterans – one has been around for good 20 years, and over there lives ‘ojiisan’ (‘grandpa’), who has been staying in the park for as many as 50 years. Some people have moved out back to ‘happy life’ in the city.
My friend Y. discovered a really cool restaurant in Shibuya. It’s called “Sora no niwa” (here’s one review with a map) and is about 10 min walk from Shibuya station. It specialises in tofu, and thus is a paradise for vegetarians and vegans, or those who aren’t yet convinced that the seemingly tasteless Japanese invention can turn into a broad variety of unforgettably delicious miracles, or anyone. Tofu, made from soybeans, is really low in fat, so those with restricted diet would also rejoice at the possibility to fill their stomach without the feeling of guilt. We had some creatively made tofu snacks, tofu soup, tofu which gets cooked right on the table, tofu tempura, tofu with rice, tofu tiramisu and tofu cocktail… Tofu-avocado and tofu-cheese snacks were heavenly! Also, the atmosphere is really pleasant. Good choice in all aspects! Maybe a bit expensive though.
Yesterday we had a chance to experience some outdoor life, because it was a sunny Sunday. We started our trip from Meiji shrine in Harajuku. The area surrounding the shrine had probably the highest concentration of foreigners that I’ve seen in Tokyo this time (I’ve in Japan before, in 2004). Many people, alone, in couples or with their children, went there to get some fresh air.
The further we go, the more interesting it gets. Akihabara offers a world with everything drawn by a skillful hand: sadomasochistic scenes, European counts and Japanese princes, Lolita exploitation, gay porn for women, and tons of ways of peeping into the secret office life. It’s all out there, just a few steps from the main street.
I ask my friend S. to take me to Akihabara, were I want to get a plug converter. People in the stores around are advertising their discounts aloud: I have no idea how it helps, because their voices disappear into the background noise created by the many advertisers. It’s difficult to notice anything amidst all possible kinds of noise – voices as well as visuals. Continue reading