想い出がいっぱい – Taiga Hosoi, EYP, and a Truly Remarkable Year

It’s me, Edward again and it’s come around the time that I owe JSA another blog post. I hope you guys are having a good summer so far; I myself am going on “vacation” in around a month, so I’m super stoked, though my enthusiasm is curbed a little bit by the looming presence of Summer school. Oh well.

Soo… starting on a somewhat depressing note, Taiga Hosoi returned to Japan this week, as I’m sure a lot of you already know. We met playing Super Smash Bros and parted playing Super Smash Bros; never in my life have I met somebody so much better at that game than other people (in this regard, I am kind of glad he left). But apart from that, he’s helped me so much putting together our S I N G E R B O Y S performance, smoothing out transitions, keeping tempo, getting everybody obsessed with beat-boxing, that I’m willing to forgive him for that one time he decided to take a nap and MISS PRACTICE. Hanging out with him has been so cool, whether it was Little Sheep Hot Pot or Karaoke, he always kept things interesting. I admit this last week has felt a little more somber knowing that he’s gone. Gonna miss you, Taiga Hosoi and I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one. If you didn’t get to talk to him during his stay, then TOO BAD; HE’S GONE AND WILL (PROBABLY) NEVER COME BACK.

EYP definitely felt like a success this year (any issues and complaints can be addressed to noreply@gmail.com). I don’t know how it kicked off because I was too busy TAKING A GODDAMN FINAL, but rushed there as fast as I could. thought the food was great, though I could see how meat-only could have been disappointing to some (actually I can’t see how at all). The ambiance felt incredibly classy and matched how everybody was dressed. To you who came, I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such good-looking folks 😉 😉 ;). Of course the highlight of that evening for me (and I hope some other people) was of course performances. I didn’t get to voice a lot of my thoughts about them at the time, so here’s my chance.

To Yusaku, Kevin, and Andy: that was colorful.

To Jsync: gosh that tarp was a really nice touch. My only regret was that I didn’t get to see it from the audience’s perspective.

To Ken and Thao: well you got me; I almost certainly wasn’t going to guess that song. You guys definitely started off the dances explosively, so kuh wuh iiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

To Stephanie and Arisa: hot damn, you guys definitely increased the temperature in the room by a couple of degrees. I’ve never seen anything like this before.

To Nimish and Anish: hey I was glad to hold your drum. Woo hoo. I’m just kidding, guys. Holy shit, you can move though. Pretty sure that would’ve sapped all my energy within the first 30 seconds.

And… I got to perform too, with my very own S I N G E R B O Y S. It’s been a good run, boys; preparing for this gig has been something that I’d been looking forward to every single week. The saddest thing is that most of the group is graduating, but fear not. This is not the end. If you love music and have a knack for anything music-related, then I suggest you join our group, because next year, we’re aiming for the big stage.

And well, that’s the end of my 3rd year at UCSD. Truly, it has been my best year so far. I am so glad I joined a club. Never could I ever imagine that I would be looking back at a year so fondly. I had a bit of trouble starting off, but man am I so glad I stuck with it. Thank you everyone for having me :). Signing off.

♪ Bon Odori! (2/26) ♪

Hi everyone! Your friendly staff member Stephanie here again, with a recap! On Thursday February 26th, we had our very first Bon Odori (盆踊り) event! I will explain some history of bon odori (including some of my personal experience with it), and recap what happened at the actual event 🙂 Bon odori is a type of traditional Japanese dance that is performed around a wooden scaffold or a yagura (櫓) during bon (盆) festivals. These summer festivals, which end up usually being around July or August, are a Japanese Buddhist tradition and are meant to guide your ancestors back home so you can pay your respects. These festivals are really fun with a lot of food and dancing, and in Japan, each region will have specialties in food, and the song/dance during bon odori.

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Obon in Japan!

I grew up in SoCal, and going to obon in LA is a tradition for my family every year. I’ve been heavily involved with my local community center’s obon over the past couple years: from dancing/teaching bon odori, playing taiko and working booths. American obon festivals are different from the ones in Japan and instead of only doing songs from a specific region, we will do dances from all over Japan [ie, “Kyushu Tanko Bushi”, “Tohoku Ondo”, “Ashibinaa (from Okinawa)”, and many more]. I think that is really representative of the Japanese American community and shows how even though we are all from different places, we take pride in being Japanese, and spreading the culture.

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Me (and my sister in the right picture) at SoCal Obon!

I wanted to do the same here at UCSD, so I was really excited when I got the opportunity to lead and teach a Bon Odori event through JSA. Even though obon is a summer tradition, dancing bon odori this week was a good stress reliever during that second wave of midterms :P.

To start off the event, we began with an icebreaker. It was kind of like the app “Heads Up”, so the groups had to act out famous dances and common movements in order to get points. Let’s just say that it ended up being more scandalous than expected (hehehe)

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hehe

After the icebreaker, my fellow leaders and I started to teach the dances. The first dance we taught was “Kyushu Tanko Bushi (九州炭坑節)” which is a coal miner’s dance from the Kyushu region. It’s a short and easy to learn dance and there are movements like pushing the coal carts, shoveling and holding a lantern over your shoulder.

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Tanko Bushi

Tanko Bushi was just the warm up (hehe), and the next dance we taught was “Hokkai no Abarembo (北海の暴れん坊)”, which is a Northern Fisherman’s Dance. There are some cool moves like rowing the boat and yelling “YOISHO” and some complicated movements. It was really impressive to see how quickly everyone was able to get the hard combinations down (I know it took me waaaay longer ahaha).

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Hokkai no Abarembo (YOISHO!)

After everyone had the dances pretty much down, we played a game: Musical Chairs! But the catch was that the songs were the bon odori songs and you had to keep moving and keep dancing the dances you just learned. After some crazy rounds and an unexpected ending, Tomo-kun was our champion!

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Obon Musical Chairs

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Bon Odori Event, I hope you had as much of a good time as I did! Also, お疲れ様 to my fellow leaders: Sakurako, Nayuki, Billy, Alisa, and Sam! Our next event will be the JSA Movie Night, this Thursday (3/5) at 8 PM at CSB 002.

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Thanks for coming everyone!

-Stephanie

Priscilla in Japan

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Hello everyone! VP Internal Priscilla here (though not VP Internal for long!) Things are winding down in our winter quarter here at UCSD, which also means that the current term of officers is going to turn over to a new one soon. Though I’m sad that my time as a JSA officer will soon be over, I can’t help but be really excited to see what the new team will be bringing forth!

Something that’s also coming up for me with the end of the winter quarter is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time now. I’m going to Japan y’all! I’ve probably told most of you this by now, but I’m going to be leaving on March 30 and will be in Japan (or somewhere around there) until September 3. That’s basically a whole 5 months!

Of course I’m excited at the prospect of being in a new place and exploring a culture I don’t know yet, but at the same time I can’t help but be really anxious.

Especially considering the concurrent ending of this term, I’m going to miss JSA and the people in it so, so much. When I’m attending school in Japan and joining other clubs, I’ll probably think about JSA and how we would run it differently (lol) and how a lot of these people are so different from the people I know back home.

But of course, different is also good. I know this trip will be important for my own personal growth. I hope that this study abroad trip will help me become a more mature, responsible and independent adult. I think that’s what studying abroad usually does for all people. So if you’re reading this, and you’ve been thinking about studying abroad but weren’t sure, DO IT. I can’t even stress that enough. Studying abroad in Germany was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m sure I’ll say the same thing about Japan when I come back in September.

But anyway. This is what I’m gonna be doing in the spring quarter of 2015! You’ll probably see plenty of obnoxious Facebook and Instagram pictures of Japanese food and me in different places in Japan, just in case you’re wondering what I’m up to 😀 (I’m just kidding, I’m sure you all have more interesting things to do in your life)

I also want to take the time to personally thank everyone who has supported me thus far, including my family and friends (in and out of JSA). Maybe you guys didn’t realize it, but everything you’ve done for me has shaped me into a person brave enough to take the initiative to organize a study abroad trip for myself. I’ll miss you when I’m gone and I’ll see you when I get back (bearing gifts). To those of you who will be in Japan from April 1-September 3, please come visit me in Yokohama ♡ (also willing to come to you)

– Priscilla

Valentine’s Day

 

(Sorry for the stock image. My phone only takes purple pictures. Yes, this time it is actually because it’s an HTC One.)

 

Hello everyone!

It’s your favorite staff member Billy, here to bring you an exciting new blog post! This one is about Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone was able to to celebrate and have fun during the long weekend! I personally spent my weekend back home in Santa Clarita sleeping. I also went out and bought three new pairs of socks. It’s not exactly the typical Valentine’s Day celebration or even a seemingly fun weekend, but I thought it was pretty exciting. Yeah I kind of like socks. I only like wearing them though, not smelling them believe it or not. I swear.

Anyway, back to Valentine’s Day! As you may already know, JSA has language table every Friday at Cafe V. So, in order to honor the season of love, last Friday we had a Valentine’s Day themed language table. Many people wore red or pink and some even brought desserts and treats! I think there were red cookies but I didn’t get to eat any sadly. I did actually get some chocolate though, courtesy of Sakurako. That was much appreciated. Maybe next year I’ll try to bring red velvet cupcakes or something. I’m probably okay at baking. I think.

red-velvet

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ll probably look like this^^ except maybe slightly better.

At my table we talked a bit about the differences between Valentine’s Day in Japan and in the U.S. I personally learned quite a bit of stuff, like the concept of giri choco or obligatory chocolate, and honmei choco or chocolate you give to someone you have feelings for.  I’d personally be happy with either. I mean chocolate is chocolate, right everyone? I also learned about White Day when apparently males have to return the favor by giving a gift of their own. Sounds fair! Valentine’s Day hasn’t really even crossed my mind since my elementary school days when we were required to give valentines to all of our classmates, so learning about this was pretty fun.

So, that’s about all I have to say about that. I should probably get back to writing my paper that’s due very soon. Why do I put myself through this?

Have a good rest of the week everyone and thanks for reading! Buh-bye.

Boy-Girl Outing!!

Hello everyoneee! This is your historian, Arisa!
It’s almost 3pm on a Sunday before my hell week…and I’m still in bed on my computer when I’m supposed to be up and studying for my midterms.
But I promise to study after I finish writing this blog. I promise…

okay anyways I’m here today to write about our JSA event yesterday, BOY-GIRL OUTING!

For those of you who haven’t been to a JSA boy-girl outing before, it’s an event where all the boys get together to make something for girls and all the girls get together to make something for boys to exchange at the end for dinner!
I’m gonna be writing about the girl’s side, because I obviously wasn’t with the guys.lol But it’s okay because girls’ side is always better. Right Priscilla? hehe

So after meeting up at Cafe V, the girls moved to the JSA house to prepare our gift for the guys and played Heads Up! which is like charades.

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I don’t remember what this was supposed to be… lol

 

After breaking the ice, we started on our gift! This year our gift was pie pops!

(It’s basically like a cake pop but with a pie on a stick instead)

 

So this is a brief summary of how we made it(:

 

Step 1: First we cut the dough with cookie cutters!

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Step 2: Then we put one piece of dough on a stick

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Step 3: Put your favorite filling on top of the cut-out dough and close it with another piece of cut-out dough!

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Step 4: Put it in the oven 😀

Before:

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After:

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Ooooooo looks so good hehe

 

P.S. This happened when these were in the oven…
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The parchment paper was burning and the whole house was filled with smoke lol
So these girls were trying to fan it haha
shhh don’t tell the guys ^_^;

 

Step 5: Decorate them!

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That’s pretty much it haha

 

And we also wrote personal messages for each person! 🙂

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Now time to go to Koon Thai to meet the boys with our pie pops!

 

waiting for the boys…
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Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the food cause I was too hungry lol

 

After dinner is exchange time!

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This was mine hehe so pretty!

boygirl

thanks guys for all the $’s.

I think everyone liked their gifts! Good job everyone(:

 

This concludes my blog about Boy-girl Outing!
Aaaaaand that means I have to go study ugh 🙁
Good luck everyone with your midterms and don’t get sick!
Hope to see everyone at our GBM next Wednesday the 18th!

Coffee, Coffee , コーヒー!

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           I love coffee. No, seriously, I LOVE coffee. My day officially starts after my first cup of coffee. Now there are dark, medium and light blends of coffee, and I personally like dark blends for their robust flavors. In America, you can find a Starbucks coffee chain on every block, so you would never worry about not having coffee. While contemplating going to Japan, I obviously had to research the coffee game in Japan to ensure that my caffeine addiction could be accommodated.

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To my delight, I found that coffee shops are extremely prominent in Japan. In fact, the Starbuck in Ginza, which opened in 1996, was the first Starbucks that was outside of the US, which led the way for Starbucks to expand across the world. Despite only being popularized in the last hundred years or so, coffee has caught on in Japan like wildfire. A year after Starbucks debuted in Japan, Dotour opened the Excelsior Cafe coffee chain, which is spread all across Japan.

Continue reading

ANM

Hello Everyone!
It was yesterday night (Friday 1/23/2015) from 7-10pm, when we participated at the Asian Night Market event on library walk!! I personally had food  from many clubs and they were all amazing! But I would like to share with you guys some of  the preparation behind JSA’s and NSU’s food. Together we made “mitarashi dango”, which is a bit like skewered mochi grilled and topped off with a special sauce, and “Taiyaki”, which is a like a grilled pan cake with red bean paste inside it and is shaped like a fish.

The result was really amazing. Both the Mitarashi Dango and Taiyaki were sooo delicious that everybody loved them, and they both sold out. And here’s a behind the scene look on some of the prep that went into making the Mitarashi Dango:

First we made the batter, which was a mixture Rice Flour and Glutinuous Rice Flour and Water.

Work Party Dango Raw

After rolling the batter into many smaller balls, we had to boil it in hot water and once cooked, quickly dip it into cold water. We then skewered the 3 dango’s together.

Work Party Dango

Next we grilled the Dango’s.

ANM Grill Dango

Added out special sauce over it. And DONE!!

ANM Completed Dango

I was unable to participate in the preparation for the Taiyaki batter, and would LOVE  to do that next time. But I did get to see the cooking of it on the night itself! So here are the pictures of how they cooked it!

ASM Taiyaki 1

First he poured the batter onto the grill.

ASM Taiyaki 2

Then he added some Anko (Red Bean Paste) onto the batter

ANM Taiyaki 2

Added batter onto the other side.

ANM Taiyaki 3

Shut both sides tight!

ANM Taiyaki

and done!

I had a LOT of fun during the preparation  as well as the night of, where I pigged out on all of the good food at the Asian Night Market. Hope your night was as amazing as mine!

SKY HIGH!!!!!

どうも!いまだにちょっぴり筋肉痛の由佳です。笑

一昨日はJSAの皆とSky Highに行きました!!!床一面がトランポリンで、とりあえずみんな跳ねまくってましたw
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ちなみに空中で宙返りをしている達人はMaxです。すごすぎ。

でもいやはや、、トランポリン、、なめてました。20分くらい続けてできるかな~?と思ったらほとんどの皆が最初の5分でぜぇぜぇ言ってました。だからすぐ休憩w

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でも案外その休憩中のおしゃべりも楽しかったりしてね♪
さらにトランポリンの上でドッジボール!!白熱した戦いが!!!
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子供たちに混じって遊んだんですが、その子たちが意外にめちゃめちゃうまくてww
あとトランポリンから柔らかいクッションへダイブするやつも面白かったー!:DDD
andy 1610867_1546275798990478_298500203920695367_n←埋まってます(笑)

そして休むおやじーず。。。。(わざわざこれのために$2払ってました)
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↑優作、何か顔が、、、あと隣の写真、知恵若干引いてない??

 

いやでもほんっっっとに楽しかった!!帰るころには太ももが悲鳴を上げていましたが(笑)、行って良かったです。

また次のイベントで会いましょう!:D
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藤原由佳

 

 

GBM 1

皆さんこんばんは、田中星良(せいら)です!GBMは楽しんでいただけましたでしょうか?^^

久しぶりにJSAブログを書かせていただきます★

冬学期が始まりもう2週間がすぎるころです。

私はもう追いつかないほどの宿題が山のようにあります!

不思議。まだ2週間目なのにいつの間にこんなに溜まったんだろう):

遊びすぎかなw

まぁーみなさんこれからも勉強も遊びも両立しながら楽しんでいきましょう!

今学期に入ってやっと2年生になった実感がわいてきました。

日々新しい友達に出会えることができ、私は幸せ者です♪

JSA大好き!みんなも大好きになってくれるといいな。

今学期最初のGBMリーダーはDiana, Nimish, En-chan, Chie, と私でした。

十二支とお正月をテーマとしてゲームを作成し、

十二支オリジナルゲーム(Zodiac Kill) と 日本のお正月の伝統的ゲーム、福笑い、をやりました!

 

面白い結果w

最後は全員ボバランのためにTapiocaExpressに行って1時間ほどお話したりゲームをしました。

沢山笑えたな♪

私はJSAに入って本当によかったなって日々感じています。

皆さんも私と同じような思いをしてくれるよう今学期もJSAオフィサー、ウェブマスターとしてがんばります!

次のイベントも遊びに来てね―――――――♪ 待ってるよ!(:

 

 

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