Thursday, May 14, 2009


Once Upon a Time in Osaka is written by Eric, a Japanese half-blood who will be talking to you from Osaka about his life in Japan as a (half) foreigner.

The main topics of this blog relate to mundane things that, as a matter of fact, probably aren't very mundane to most Westerners. I like to think about this place a lot, and there are so many phenomena on this island that are unique, partly because of its isolated nature. Although I can clearly feel the local Yamato blood flowing in my veins, so much of the customs, traditions and mentality is still shrouded in the mist...

What is a blog?

Blogs are websites that contain entries posted in chronological order. They tend to be written in a journal- or diary-like fashion, unlike traditional websites that commonly house a relatively static set of pages often broken down into specific categories.

By clicking on a section on the 'Categories' menu, you'll be able to view a list of posts belonging to that particular topic (eg. 'Japanese Language'). You're also more than welcome to comment on my posts. Comments can be submitted by selecting the 'Post a Comment' option at the end of each post.

The following is an ongoing "dialogue" featuring me and myself...

Due to the fact that I chose to host my blog on Blogger I don't have full control over the structure of the website, so I thought I'd be selfish to the extent that I devote this section to myself.

Where do I live?

I live in Umeda, the center of business in Osaka, with my girlfriend, a friend of hers, and two cats (mom & daughter). I love the place. We've got tall buildings, fine noodle and BBQ joints, Kinokuniya, Yodobashi Camera, Starbucks, convenient train/subway/bus connections, etc.

What is my blood type?

Type A... I think. Type A negative or positive? I wish I knew! It would save me a lot of time because whenever I get this question, I have to explain how, in my country, blood type is only relevant to blood donors and people getting a transfusion.

Am I religious?

No, but I'm interested in all religions and their histories. I've been a great fan of Buddhism since ninth grade, and I totally subscribe to "Dude, can't we all just get along??"

What hobbies do I have?

I like to read books. Up until I graduated junior high school I had never opened a book out of my own will. But one day I came across a novel called Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson, and that's how I started my hobby.

I practice kung fu (Choy Lee Fut to be exact). I guess the 2001 wuxia flick Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gave me enough inspiration to seek out a kung fu school near my house. I really wanted to learn to fly and swing a sword like Li Mubai.

I play video games. Although I'm not that actively involved in honing my virtual warrior skills right now, I am a big fan of kick-ass titles such as Quake 2, Morrowind, and Metal Gear Solid.

What are some of my favorite books?

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Dune by Frank Herbert
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
The Master-Key to Riches by Napoleon Hill
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by The Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso

What are my favorite foods?

Yakiniku, takoyaki, Matsuya's gyudon, hamburgers & fries, Chinese noodles, gomadango, ochadzuke, and saba no shioyaki with daikon-oroshi and ponzu or soy sauce.

What do I do for a living?

I tutor people as a private language teacher, and work in a café talking to customers in English.

What are the tools of my (blog) trade?

A MacBook & a Canon IXUS 70

Who designed my blog?

If you look at free blog hosting services, they usually don't have a lot of variety to their blog templates - most of the blogs hosted on their servers end up looking more or less like each other. That is why I decided to overhaul one of the pre-made templates and rebuild it to suit my own needs (basically give the layout a complete makeover and delete all unwanted clutter).

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