Friday, 29 February 2008

Tokyo Dance Club

This week Wednesday my friend Philipp from Germany hoped over for a one month visit and since Philipp and I like Metal, we decided to spend his first weekend in Tokyo, like I spent mine: going to a Live House.

With no aide, but Domi's Blog, we looked for a Live House concert connecting his tabs "Japanese Bands" with "Live Houses playing Metal" until we found a working combination in the Band Gallhammer and the Live House Earthdom.
We had an alternative going to some huge club with my coworkers, but we decided for the Live Music.


So there we went and after a little walk in the opposite direction we were even able to find it! The Gallhammer girls kept was Domi promised. Gallhammer are three small Japanese girls playing Hellhammer like dark atmosphere metal.
Usually they look really cute, but on stage they turn into demons with dark growling voices and threatening glowing eyes. They really created a scary dark atmosphere.
It is so cool to have girls like this proving that girls can do metal as good as any boy.

bar area

stage area (all a little blurry, sorry)

The Live House Earthdom is really nice. It is nicely decorated with black figures and animals on the wall going along with green vegetation. As a specialty it has a little bar area to hang out on couches and relax during the gigs or during one you don't like. There even is a small monitor displaying the stage in the other room. It gives great room to talk and get to know other people too. That's how we got to know a Japanese guy, whose name I can't remember a guy named Iain from London and Risa Reaper from the Gallhammer girls. The three of them would later tell us about a really tiny mysterious temple/Live House named 無力無善寺 Muryokumuzenji (temple without strength or pleasure). It is said to have stuffed animals like Hello Kitty and Gaspard hanging from the ceiling and other weird stuff. We noted down the name, since Gallhammer had yet another Gig on Sunday in this very place.

After one more gig from single solo drummer and a cool Punk band and some more talking we decided to leave for the last train back.

can you find the drummer

he cool punk band

When we reached the station however, Philipp was in a real party mood and we spontaneously decided to call my coworkers and ask whether they had gone already to the club (they agreed on eating in Shinjuku before). We were lucky they were still in Shinjuku and just departing for the disco. So we met up, went to Shibuya and from there into a weird bus standing in the middle of nowhere.

Tokyo Dance Club: Ageha

We were required to show our ID before entering, which already gave a lot of trouble to some of our Japanese friends, who had no ID. A little trivia about Japan, while foreigners are required to carry a foreigner card, called ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD with them, Japanese don't even have a personal ID or passport. That often leads to problem for Japanese people proving to be themselves. A quite philosophical problem, isn't it?
I remember from school the comic of a Japanese mother being asked to prove her ID at the post office. She would go home and come again with a photography album displaying her life from baby to woman.
Eventually we were let in and drove for long time across Tokyo. It was the first time I crossed the Rainbow Bridge and had a look on the famous Odaiba.

After quite a while we arrived a large insignificant looking building hosting the dance club. It was my first time being to a club that size and What a fuss!. There were tow inspection borders. One where yet again we had to prove ourself + age, yet again having a lot of trouble getting our Japanese friends in, eventually they even let us beg for the entrance. What a fuss!
When we were finally inside the hall we had to buy entrance tickets for 3500 Yen. What a fuss!
You would think we could enter now, but no. This time we were searched for weapons, drugs and what else. What a fuss!
And what is all the fuss for? It is so useless. Brian was even able to smuggle a bottle of coke inside by hiding it clever. It is so useless and What a fuss!

Inside the halls were gigantic. There were several halls. The entrance hall was for drinking and chatting connecting to two dance halls playing loud MTV music. And a final third stage outside in the open heated by outside gas driven torches. Yes I am not kidding they heated the outside in winter...
The outside place even had a pool, which apart from the winter temperatures, we were forbidden to enter.

Now I am surely not a fan neither of the music, nor of the elitist feeling of going into such a club and surely not of the security What a fuss! or the ridiculous prices, or that the place had its own VIP area putting classes on people or that they wouldn't let me in although I claimed every person is important!, but I thought, it is the first time you can experience such a show, you are with your coworker friends and Philipp and you can as well gulp the stone and enjoy it. And that's what I did.

What I liked most was the nice air around our bunch of friends, which made us stick together dance in circle formations and do crazy stuff. Everybody was laughing, smiling and having a good time and this is contagious, so I joined in. Philipp needed some liquid starting fue, but then he also joined in. Although I still didn't like the music I enjoyed dancing with the others.
However what I didn't manage to do, is this strange ass dance, where a girl dances in front of you sticking her ass out and you dance behind her. I don't know, I found this strange and always backed away if somebody tried to do that with me. :( The others did it a lot though. Also I was bad in reacting to different approaches from girls. The thing is, I was not interested in a gf/bf relationship with them and I saw no reason in flirting for the sake flirting. I never could do that so far, I would feel like a liar, I don't know.
Apart from that I think I beat myself quite ok.

One highlight of the night was when my Korean and Italian coworker friends jumped into the pool on the outside area not minding the temperature. A security guard came and was really angry but our Japanese friends built a quick protection wall around them and defended them verbally until the security guy gave up.

And that's how the night passed. The club closed around 6 or 7 am and we went home with the first trains resuming their schedule on Saturday.

I guess I wouldn't go again, but I don't regret it. It was nice experiencing such a thing once and I had a good time after all. About Gallhammer, I think Philipp and me are going to their next concert in this strange temple...
but that is another story


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Rothkäppchen Little Red Riding Hood

And in my turn, I told one of the most famous fairy tales, the story of the Little Red Riding Hood.

(english version below)

Es war einmal eine kleine süße Dirn, die hatte jedermann lieb, der sie nur ansah, am allerliebsten aber ihre Großmutter, die wußte gar nicht, was sie alles dem Kind geben sollte. Einmal schenkte sie ihm ein Käppchen von rothem Sammet, und weil ihm das so wohl stand, und es nichts anders mehr tragen wollte, hieß es nur das Rothkäppchen; da sagte einmal seine Mutter zu ihm: »komm, Rothkäppchen, da hast du ein Stück Kuchen und ein Bouteille mit Wein, die bring der Großmutter hinaus, sie ist krank und schwach, da wird sie sich daran laben; sey hübsch artig und grüß sie von mir, geh auch ordentlich und lauf nicht vom Weg ab, sonst fällst du, und zerbrichst das Glas, dann hat die kranke Großmutter nichts.«

Rothkäppchen versprach der Mutter recht gehorsam zu seyn. Die Großmutter aber wohnte draußen im Wald, eine halbe Stunde vom Dorf. Wie nun Rothkäppchen in den Wald kam, begegnete ihm der Wolf, Rothkäppchen aber wußte nicht, was das für ein böses Thier war, und fürchtete sich nicht vor ihm. »Guten Tag, Rothkäppchen.« — »Schön Dank, Wolf!« — »Wo willst du so früh hinaus, Rothkäppchen,« — »zur Großmutter.« — Was trägst du unter der Schürze? — »die Großmutter ist krank und schwach, da bring ich ihr Kuchen und Wein, gestern haben wir gebacken, da soll sie sich stärken.« — »Rothkäppchen, wo wohnt deine Großmutter?« — »Noch eine gute Viertelstunde im Wald, unter den drei großen Eichbäumen, das steht ihr Haus, unten sind die Nußhecken das wirst du ja wissen« sagte Rothkäppchen. Der Wolf gedacht bei sich, das ist ein guter fetter Bissen für mich, wie fängst dus an, daß du den kriegst: »hör Rothkäppchen, sagte er, hast du die schönen Blumen nicht gesehen, die im Walde stehen, warum guckst du nicht einmal um dich, ich glaube, du hörst gar nicht darauf, wie die Vöglein lieblich singen, du gehst ja für dich hin als wenn du im Dorf in die Schule gingst, und ist so lustig haußen in dem Wald.«

Rothkäppchen schlug die Augen auf, und sah wie die Sonne durch die Bäume gebrochen war und alles voll schöner Blumen stand; da gedacht es: ei! wenn ich der Großmutter einen Strauß mitbringe, der wird ihr auch lieb seyn, es ist noch früh, ich komm doch zu rechter Zeit an, und sprang in den Wald und suchte Blumen. Und wenn es eine gebrochen hatte, meint es, dort stünd noch eine schönere und lief darnach und immer weiter in den Wald hinein. Der Wolf aber ging geradeswegs nach dem Haus der Großmutter und klopfte an die Thüre. »Wer ist draußen?« — »das Rothkäppchen, ich bring dir Kuchen und Wein, mach mir auf.« — »Drück nur auf die Klinke, rief die Großmutter, ich bin zu schwach und kann nicht aufstehen.« Der Wolf drückte an der Klinke, und die Thüre sprang auf. Da ging er hinein, geradezu an das Bett der Großmutter und verschluckte sie. Dann nahm er ihre Kleider, that sie an, setzte sich ihre Haube auf, legte sich in ihr Bett und zog die Vorhänge vor.

Rothkäppchen aber war herum gelaufen nach Blumen, und erst, als es so viel hatte, daß es keine mehr tragen konnte, machte es sich auf den Weg zu der Großmutter. Wie es ankam stand die Thüre auf, darüber verwunderte es sich, und wie es in die Stube kam, sahs so seltsam darin aus, daß es dacht: ei! du mein Gott! wie ängstlich wird mirs heut zu Muth, und bin sonst so gern bei der Großmutter. Drauf ging es zum Bett und zog die Vorhänge zurück, da lag die Großmutter und hatte die Haube tief ins Gesicht gesetzt und sah wunderlich aus. »Ei Großmutter, was hast du für große Ohren!« — »daß ich dich besser hören kann.« — »Ei Großmutter, was hast du für große Augen!« — »daß ich dich besser sehen kann.« — »Ei Großmutter was hast du für große Hände!« — »daß ich dich besser packen kann.« — »Aber Großmutter, was hast du für ein entsetzlich großes Maul!« — »daß ich dich besser fressen kann.« Damit sprang der Wolf aus dem Bett, sprang auf das arme Rothkäppchen, und verschlang es.

Wie der Wolf den fetten Bissen erlangt hatte, legte er sich wieder ins Bett, schlief ein und fing an, überlaut zu schnarchen. Der Jäger ging eben vorbei und gedacht, wie kann die alte Frau so schnarchen, du mußt einmal nachsehen. Da trat er hinein und wie er vors Bett kam, da lag der Wolf den er lange gesucht, der hat gewiß die Großmutter gefressen vielleicht ist sie noch zu retten, ich will nicht schießen, dachte der Jäger. Da nahm er die Scheere und schnitt ihm den Bauch auf, und wie er ein paar Schritte gethan, da sah er das rothe Käppchen leuchten, und wie er noch ein wenig geschnitten, da sprang das Mädchen heraus und rief: »ach wie war ich erschrocken, was wars so dunkel in dem Wolf seinem Leib;« und dann kam die Großmutter auch lebendig heraus. Rothkäppchen aber holte große schwere Steine, damit füllten sie dem Wolf den Leib, und wie er aufwachte, wollte er fortspringen, aber die Steine waren so schwer, daß er sich todt fiel.

Da waren alle drei vergnügt, der Jäger nahm den Pelz vom Wolf, die Großmutter aß den Kuchen und trank den Wein, den Rothkäppchen gebracht hatte, und Rothkäppchen gedacht bei sich: du willst dein Lebtag nicht wieder allein vom Weg ab in den Wald laufen, wenn dirs die Mutter verboten hat.

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl. Everyone who saw her liked her, but most of all her grandmother, who did not know what to give the child next. Once she gave her a little cap made of red velvet. Because it suited her so well, and she wanted to wear it all the time, she came to be known as Little Red Riding Hood.

One day her mother said to her, "Come Little Red Riding Hood. Here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother. She is sick and weak, and they will do her well. Mind your manners and give her my greetings. Behave yourself on the way, and do not leave the path, or you might fall down and break the glass, and then there will be nothing for your sick grandmother."

Little Red Riding Hood promised to obey her mother. The grandmother lived out in the woods, a half hour from the village. When Little Riding Hood entered the woods a wolf came up to her. She did not know what a wicked animal he was, and was not afraid of him.

"Good day to you, Little Red Riding Hood."

"Thank you, wolf."

"Where are you going so early, Little Red Riding Hood?"

"To grandmother's."

"And what are you carrying under your apron?"

"Grandmother is sick and weak, and I am taking her some cake and wine. We baked yesterday, and they should give her strength."

"Little Red Riding Hood, just where does your grandmother live?"

"Her house is a good quarter hour from here in the woods, under the three large oak trees. There's a hedge of hazel bushes there. You must know the place," said Little Red Riding Hood.

The wolf thought to himself, "Now there is a tasty bite for me. Just how are you going to catch her?" Then he said, "Listen, Little Red Riding Hood, haven't you seen the beautiful flowers that are blossoming in the woods? Why don't you go and take a look? And I don't believe you can hear how beautifully the birds are singing. You are walking along as though you were on your way to school in the village. It is very beautiful in the woods."

Little Red Riding Hood opened her eyes and saw the sunlight breaking through the trees and how the ground was covered with beautiful flowers. She thought, "If a take a bouquet to grandmother, she will be very pleased. Anyway, it is still early, and I'll be home on time." And she ran off into the woods looking for flowers. Each time she picked one she thought that she could see an even more beautiful one a little way off, and she ran after it, going further and further into the woods. But the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked on the door.

"Who's there?"

"Little Red Riding Hood. I'm bringing you some cake and wine. Open the door for me."

"Just press the latch," called out the grandmother. "I'm too weak to get up."

The wolf pressed the latch, and the door opened. He stepped inside, went straight to the grandmother's bed, and ate her up. Then he took her clothes, put them on, and put her cap on his head. He got into her bed and pulled the curtains shut.

Little Red Riding Hood had run after flowers, and did not continue on her way to grandmother's until she had gathered all that she could carry. When she arrived, she found, to her surprise, that the door was open. She walked into the parlor, and everything looked so strange that she thought, "Oh, my God, why am I so afraid? I usually like it at grandmother's." Then she went to the bed and pulled back the curtains. Grandmother was lying there with her cap pulled down over her face and looking very strange.

"Oh, grandmother, what big ears you have!"

"All the better to hear you with."

"Oh, grandmother, what big eyes you have!"

"All the better to see you with."

"Oh, grandmother, what big hands you have!"

"All the better to grab you with!"

"Oh, grandmother, what a horribly big mouth you have!"

"All the better to eat you with!" And with that he jumped out of bed, jumped on top of poor Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her up. As soon as the wolf had finished this tasty bite, he climbed back into bed, fell asleep, and began to snore very loudly.

A huntsman was just passing by. He thought it strange that the old woman was snoring so loudly, so he decided to take a look. He stepped inside, and in the bed there lay the wolf that he had been hunting for such a long time. "He has eaten the grandmother, but perhaps she still can be saved. I won't shoot him," thought the huntsman. So he took a pair of scissors and cut open his belly.

He had cut only a few strokes when he saw the red riding hood shining through. He cut a little more, and the girl jumped out and cried, "Oh, I was so frightened! It was so dark inside the wolf's body!"

And then the grandmother came out alive as well. Then Little Red Riding Hood fetched some large heavy stones. They filled the wolf's body with them, and when he woke up and tried to run away, the stones were so heavy that he fell down dead.

The three of them were happy. The huntsman took the wolf's pelt. The grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine that Little Red Riding Hood had brought. And Little Red Riding Hood thought to herself, "As long as I live, I will never leave the path and run off into the woods by myself if mother tells me not to."

こぶとりじいさん The Old Man Who Got Rid Of His Lump

It is time for this weeks fairy tale exchange program. On the Japanese side we have the tale of the story of the old man, who got rid of his lump. The Kobutirujiisan:


「なに! 鬼がとってくれただと」
「よし! わしもとってもらおう」


Kobutori Jiisan
(The Old Man Who Got Rid Of His Lump)

Once upon a time, there lived a kind old man and a mean old man.

The kind old man had a big lump on his right cheek, and the mean old man had one on his left cheek.

One day, the kind old man went to the mountains to get firewood.
He was tired from working and fell asleep in the shade of a big tree.

The old man woke up to lively, loud voices, and from behind a tree he saw small and big demons, red and blue demons sitting in a circle, drinking rice wine.

At first the old man was astonished and scared by the sight, but he slowly became happy as he watched the demons sing and dance.

“Hmm, this looks like fun.
 Why don’t I join them and dance?”

he said, and walked up to the demons without fear

“Hey, hey, who is this old guy?”

said the demons surprised at the stranger’s appearance.
But soon, they started clapping for the old man’s funny dance.

The demons made their most skillful dancer dance in accord to the old man, and it was a dance truly wonderful for the eye to watch. The skillful demon was very happy and they danced for a long time, until they both grew wary and
the demon said to him,

“Hey, old man, we sure liked your
 unique dance.
 Come again and dance for us.”

“Yeah, do come again.
 And take this treasure as a reward,”
said another demon.

“Come again next month.
 We’ll keep your lump until then so
 you won’t forget to come,”
said the third demon, and took the lump from the old man’s cheek.

The kind old man went back joyfully having been taken his lump.

This kind old man’s story made the mean old man very anxious to meet the demons; so he went to the mountain on the day of their next party.

When the demons started drinking, the mean old man went right up to them, and began dancing.
The demons first were happy, because they thought it was there friends from last night again. Immediately they sent their best dancer to dance with the old man. However, his dance was so bad that the skillful demon got really angry at him.

“Hey, you, stop.
 Your dancing is no fun at all,”
shouted the demon.

“Yeah, it’s so different from the
 other day.We don’t wanna see such
 boring dancing,”
said another demon, thinking this was the kind old man.

“Just stop and go home,”
said the third.

“Here, take this lump of yours, too,
 and never come back,”

Still mistaking the two old men, another demon said, and he put the kind old man’s lump on the mean old man’s right cheek.

Now with a lump on both cheeks, the mean old man walked home crying full of regret for being so selfish.

                  The end

Saturday, 23 February 2008

日本と言う冒険 The Japan Adventure

As you might remember from another post, I am going to free Japanese classes lead by volunteers every week. Last month my teacher from Thursday's class informed us that an international festival was coming up, and that the Japanese classes were to send representatives to hold little speeches. She asked me if I could imagine holding a speech and I replied woohoo and yay!

Now in my first 原稿 manuscript I intended to talk about the bad things foreigners have to deal with in Japan, balance it out with good things and arrive at some synthesis. I would talk about Japanese people sitting away from foreigners in the trains and subways and of the new foreigner laws forcing every foreigners to give finger prints to the Japanese government for a life time sentence. The latter is justified with the danger of terror attacks on Japan, like in every other country. However the only act of terrorism ever executed in Japan (e.g. the gas attack on the Tokyo subway) was committed by Japanese people, who do not even need an ID and do not need to give their finger prints either, while foreigners have to carry a foreigner registration card.

However this speech had some problems. The topic I chose was not an easy one, even in German or English talking about such political issues, especially when the terrorism pretext, in which many people still believe, is included, proofs to be a very delicate difficult matter. Speaking about it in a language, which I am still learning and improving on is therefore sheer madness.
On the other hand time and location were just not fit for such a speech, since the festival aimed at bringing foreigners and Japanese closer together and abolish fear and doubt. Such a speech in such a scenario can easily backfire.

After my teacher made me realize this truth, I agreed and changed the topic entirely and decided to make a "cabaret" like one man performance talking about my adventures in Japan. As a title I choose 日本と言う冒険 The Japan Adventure. I will post the original text at the end of this post and give a translation for it.

厚木国際フェスタ Atsugi International Festival

The program was at follows
1. 挨拶 Greetings
2. 太鼓演奏 Taiko Drum Performance
3.スピーチ Speeches
4. ピアノと笛演奏 Piano Flute ensemble
5.インド踊り Indian Dances
6. パーティ Party

The 太鼓 Taiko Drum Performance was as great as last time, I really love those 太鼓 Taiko drums and the way people play them. What I also noticed and liked was, that the half of the drummers were girls and the other half boys :)

Then came our speeches. I was nervous like hell and got stuck at some points, mainly because I had to learn to speak the speech from my memory in advance to allow me to act while speaking. But in the end it turned out quite well and people were laughing and anticipating my next act (I partitioned my speech in Intro, Outro and 5 acts). Apart from me there was another really cool speech from a girl from Costa Rica. Her speech was 日本で三つの好きなこと or in english 3 things I like about Japan. First was Natto and last was the free Japanese classes, but the middle one was very cool. There she would talk for 5 minutes about a very special toilet she found in an organic fair trade store in Atusgi, and how wonderfully decorated the toilet was, so that after she did her business, she would not leave the toilet for 10 minutes. Then she all recommended us going to this toilet and see for ourselves. More than that, after she finished she told us that she'd like to sing a song from Costa Rica and started singing. They played some music as background, but it was never practiced beforehand, so nobody knew, that she would be singing for over 10 minutes. After 5 minutes however the audience had sightly enough and the moderator grew timid. After 7 minutes they cut the music, but after she still didn't stop singing turned it on again and everybody had to last till the end. Ho ho I like that, she's a real rebel in my eyes. Also cause like this she brought some Costa Rica culture to everyone and in the end benefited the cause of the festival.

Next was a really nice duet between a piano and a clarinet. And after that a group of 7 Indian dancers, who performed two really cool dances, where they would incredibly move their head horizontally to the right and left without turning it. I tried it myself and cannot even move my head one inch in this way. They also used their eyes in a cool way according to the dance. It's the first time for me to see a dance like that, where the focus is on the strafing head and the eyes.

After that there were three hours of party, were foreigners and Japanese were given opportunity to get to know each other and make friends. In all of this three hours I could not eat a single snack or take more than a sip of tea, because all the time, people wanted to talk to me or take pictures with me. Sometimes people didn't even wait for other people to finish talking to me and just grabbed possession of me ^^. Because of my performance (see below) also all kinds of little kids were coming to me to have a sword fight with me =D
It was really cool, and I got the numbers of about 5 women! (... which all are at least over 70 years old ho ho!). No seriously some nice people offered me nice things like teaching me and friends how to make そば Soba noodles from scratch or offering me a home stay, if after I return to Germany I ever want to come back to Japan. :)

スピーチ原稿 Manuscript for my speech
(English version below)



うん、初めて自分の国を離れますよ。 他の国と文化を初めて体験します。 楽しみにしています!

"あーそうですか? では気を付けたほうがいい! じゃーね!

気を付けること? 危険ですか? おーいちょっと待ってよ!逃げないでよ。 なぜ気を付けろと言ったのかな?


最初に   富士山

あー 綺麗ね。 写真で見たことがある富士山かなあ。

よし行こう。 あー あのバスは富士山へ行く。 

ええ ひとつだけ? なぜ そんなにたくさんの人が富士山へ行くのかなあ。

あー 着いた! やっぱり高いね! しょうがない登ろう! 

信じられない!  この国は 山を登るときさえ人間渋滞だよ。

あー 動いている! 頂上が見える! 

わ~ 着いた~! すっごく大変だった! でも どうして若い人も、お年寄りも、皆んな難しい山登りが出来るのかなあ?

すごいと思う この国のひとは。

次に 未来

山はもう結構だ! 次は町だ。 行きましょう!

ええ もう一回山だ? 高い! あれっ! 


山っぽいビルディングだよ! 凄い。 なに? 200メートル以上?

信じられないこの国! では入りましょう!

ちょっと失礼します。 お手洗いへいってきます。 

あーー。 あれっ?! 便座が温かい? おかしい。

あれっ?! 助けてくれ!

トイレが故障している。 お水が吹き出してくる!

第3 武道

僕は男だ!やはり強くなるしかない。 この国は武道で有名だね。 

では決まった。 武士になるぞ!

道場へ行こう。 なぜ皆は黒い衣装を着ていますか? 

あそう 忍者なんだ。 今何をするべきですか? 

痛い痛い! いったい何が起こっているの?

僕はああまた投げられた。 初心者だっていうのにーーー 


第4 地震

逃げるしかない。 最近逃げるばかりだけどたぶん遠く行ったほうがいいかもしれない。

あれっ! いったいなに。。。

"地震だ 地震だ 危ない"

どうする? あーアニメで見ました。 巨人だ!


おーい巨人辞めた方がいいよ! 俺は武士なんだ。

終わった! ほーほーほー やっぱり俺の方が強かった。

では帰ろう。 ええ なに? 

地震のせいでバスも電車も止まってしまった? まさか。


最後に お遍路

うぇうぇ! 人も町ももう結構です! 自然行きたい。 


凄い! 四国でお遍路ができる。 そうしましょう!

わー あの格好いいお遍路さんの着物着れますか? ありがとう!



でも寒い 四国の山の上の正月は。 雪が降っている。


"おーい君! 俺はここに山小屋を知っているよ"

あーありがとうございます。 おじさんの家ですか? 

"違うよ! 仏様が造ってお遍路さんのために無料で開いているのさ。 実は俺はホームレスなんだ。"



すごくきれいよ! ホームレスさん上手だよ! 

少し援助させてくれませんか? 絵を買いたいです。

"いいえいいえ 友達になったのでもちろん無料でプレゼントしますよ"

でもさ! ホームレスなんだから少しをあげるのはいいとおもう。 



ありがとう! では山を降りましょう。 さようなら。 

今日は本当に寒いね。 夜までに旅館を見つけられるかなあ。

やっぱり見つけられなかった。 しょうがない。 そとで寝るしかない。 

寝るには寒すぎる! 運動して暖めよう。 すこし温まった。

寝てみよう。 寒すぎるよ! 運動して暖めよう。 すこし温まった。

あー ご来光だ! 運が善かった! 

"おーい君! 温かいコーヒーがあるよ。 







"へえーお遍路さんですか 昨日どこに泊まりましたか? ええ外で? 仏様のように泊まってすごいとおもいます。ちょっと援助したいです"


いいえ。いいえ。 受けとれません! やさし過ぎる!

"いいよ。いいよ。 取っておきなさいよ。 

息子があなたを高知までつれて行きます! あそこに用事があるから"


これが日本での今までに体験した冒険です。 一生忘れられないすごい体験をしました。

ありがとう ございました!

Tha Japan Adventure
(English Translation)

"Is it the first time you are going to Japan?"

"Yes, the first time to really leave my country. The first time to really experience a different country and culture. I am all excited about it."

"I see. In that case you'd better be careful. See ya!"

"Be careful? Is it dangerous? Hey wait! Don't run away! Hmm I wonder why he told me to be careful?"

And that's how last year in July I ended up coming from Germany to Japan.

Act I: MtFuji

Boah how beautiful! I've seen that one on pictures, that must be Fujisan. Yeah let's go, I want to go there. Oh cool there's a bus heading for it and there's still an empty seat in it. Huh? Only one empty seat? I wonder why so many people go there.

Cool I'm there. Woah! As I though it's really tall. Well decided is decided, let's mountain climb.

Oh my, I am only half way to the top, but there is an incredible amount of people here, so that going on has become really tiresome. I don't believe this country! On a mountain that high you can get stuck in a human traffic jam! Incredible!

Ah people are moving...
Oh I can see the top...

Fianally, I reached the top, yesss! But wow! There are so many people here! Both young and old, I wonder how all of them manage the tough climb. Amazing this country.

Act II: Future

I have enough of mountains, let's go to the city.
Huh?! Another mountain? No wait that's a building there. And a really tall one too. A building like a mountain! What? Over 200 meters high, amazing!
Incredible this country!

Well let's enter it. Ahem! If you could excuse me for an instance, I'd like to go wash my hands. Ahh, huh?! The toilet seat is warm? How strange! I wonder what these buttons are for? *press press*
Ahh! Help me! The toilet is broken! It is spraying water at me!

Act III: Martial Arts

*running away from the toilet*
I am a man! As expected, I have no choice but to get stronger! This country is well known for its formidable martial arts.
That's decided then. I will become a martial arts fighter!

Okay let's see where the next Dojo is. Aha!
Hmm I wonder why everyone in here is wearing black garments. Oh because they are Ninja, I see. Well and what am I supposed to do now?
Ouch Ouch! What in the world is going on?
Ah man I have been thrown down again. I know that I am still a beginner, but --- Ah man again...

Act IV: Earthquakes

I had no other choice but to run away again. Lately I have been running away a lot. Maybe I should go a little away from here.
Ah! What in the world is happening?

"Earthquake! Earthquake! Danger!"

Damn it! What should I do?
Ah I've seen that one before in Anime! It's a giant.
I bet this huge Buddha there is causing the earthquake.

"Hey giant! You'd better stop that, because I am a real Ninja!"

It stopped! Ho ho ho, as I thought I proofed to be stronger.
Well that being settled let's return.
What? Because of the earthquake all buses and trains were canceled? Damnit what should I do now?

Act V: A Pilgrimage

*sniff sniff* I have enough of both humans and cities. I wanna go to the nature. And think about my future in the midst of trees and mountain rivers.
Great! You can do a pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku. Yes that's what I'll do.
Woah! I can really wear these cool pilgrim's cloths on the pilgrimage? Thank You!

Alright let's start.
I don't quite understand this map, but I have a compass, it should be ok. But damn! It's really cold here on top of the mountains on Shikoku around new year. There is a lot of snow here. And I got neither sleeping bag nor a place to sleep in. Damn it, I guess I am in real trouble.

"Hey boy! I know a mountain hut in this area, where you can sleep!"

"Oh wow! Thank you mister! Is it your hut?"

"Oh no! The hut was built by a real Buddha, who opened it for free for all pilgrims."


"You know, in reality I am nothing more than a homeless person on a pilgrimage for his whole life. But I like to draw and have some pictures here. You want to see some?"

"Hey man, they are wonderful! You are really talented. Damn, I want to support you a little and buy a picture from you, can I?"

"No Way! We have become friends, so of course I give it to you for free as a present!"

"But but since you are homeless, I think its ok to give you at least a little. Please close your eyes!"
*puts a 10.000 Yen bill in his pocket*

"Well we are leaving now downhill. Thanks for everything and take care!"

Oh man! It's really cold today. I wonder if we'd be able to find a place to sleep until the night breaks in.
As I feared, we didn't find anything. Well there's no other choice, but to sleep out in the open.

Ok let's try to sleep. Damn it's too cold. Let's do some exercises to warm us up. Ok we are a little warm now, let's try to sleep. Damn it's too cold. Let's do some exercises to warm us up. Ok we are a little warm now, let's try to sleep....

Ah the morning sun! I am so glad...

"Hey boy! I have some warm coffee over here. Don't you wanna come over and rest a little in my home?"

"Oh wow how nice!"

"You know, my 77 year old mother also made this pilgrimage for over 70 times, mostly not for herself but for other people."


*the mother arrives and speaks with the voice of an old lady*
"Ohhh pilgrims! Tell me, where have you slept last night? Ohhh on the outside? Incredible. You have slept like real Buddhas. I want to support you a little."

*tries to give us a 10.000 Yen bill*

"Oh no way! Wah can't accept that, that's way to friendly!"

"No no it's ok, take it! nd my son here is going to the station, he will take you with him!"

So after all this old lady proofed to be the real Buddha alive.


So that were my adventures in Japan until this day. They have become wonderful experiences, which I will not forget for my whole live.

Thank You!

Final Remarks

When I was speaking the speech above, I was dressing according to the act. E.g. with a black bandanna and a plastic katana in the Martial Arts part, and as pilgrim in the last part. For Fuji and the giant I was showing the pictures you can see above. And for the toilet I was using a chair.
In the end I was jumping around the stage quite a bit ^=^

looking forwards to new adventures

Friday, 15 February 2008

Schneeweisschen Und Rosenrot Snow-White And Rose-Red

Second half of this weeks fairy tale session: Time for a German Märchen (fairy tale). This time I will tell you about the fate of the sisters Snow-White and Rose-Red, their encounter with a bear and a greedy dwarf.

Schneeweisschen und Rosenrot
(English Version below)

Eine arme Witwe, die lebte einsam in einem Hüttchen, und vor dem Hüttchen war ein Garten, darin standen zwei Rosenbäumchen, davon trug das eine weiße, das andere rote Rosen: und sie hatte zwei Kinder, die glichen den beiden Rosenbäumchen, und das eine hieß Schneeweißchen, das andere Rosenrot. Sie waren aber so fromm und gut, so arbeitsam und unverdrossen, als je zwei Kinder auf der Welt gewesen sind: Schneeweißchen war nur stiller und sanfter als Rosenrot. Rosenrot sprang lieber in den Wiesen und Feldern umher, suchte Blumen und fing Sommervögel: Schneeweißchen aber saß daheim bei der Mutter, half ihr im Hauswesen, oder las ihr vor, wenn nichts zu tun war. Die beiden Kinder hatten einander so lieb, daß sie sich immer an den Händen faßten, so oft sie zusammen aus gingen, und wenn Schneeweißchen sagte »wir wollen uns nicht verlassen«, so antwortete Rosenrot »so lange wir leben nicht«, und die Mutter setzte hinzu »was das eine hat solls mit dem andern teilen«. Oft liefen sie im Walde allein umher, und sammelten rote Beeren, aber kein Tier tat ihnen etwas zu leid, sondern sie kamen vertraulich herbei: das Häschen fraß ein Kohlblatt aus ihren Händen; das Reh graste an ihrer Seite; der Hirsch sprang ganz lustig vorbei; die Vögel blieben auf den Ästen sitzen, und sangen was sie wußten. Kein Unfall traf sie: wenn sie sich im Walde verspätet hatten und die Nacht sie überfiel, so legten sie sich nebeneinander auf das Moos und schliefen bis der Morgen kam, und die Mutter wußte das, und hatte ihrentwegen keine Sorge. Einmal, als sie im Walde übernachtet hatten, und das Morgenrot sie aufweckte, da sahen sie ein schönes Kind in einem weißen glänzenden Kleidchen neben ihrem Lager sitzen. Es stand auf, und blickte sie ganz freundlich an, sprach aber nichts, und ging in den Wald hinein. Und als sie sich umsahen, so hatten sie ganz nahe bei einem Abgrunde geschlafen, und wären gewiß hinein gefallen, wenn sie in der Dunkelheit noch ein paar Schritte weiter gegangen wären. Die Mutter aber sagte ihnen das müßte der Engel gewesen sein, der gute Kinder bewache.

Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot hielten das Hüttchen der Mutter so reinlich, daß es eine Freude war hinein zu schauen. Im Sommer besorgte Rosenrot das Haus, und stellte der Mutter jeden Morgen, ehe sie aufwachte, einen Blumenstrauß vors Bett, darin war von jedem Bäumchen eine Rose. Im Winter zündete Schneeweißchen das Feuer an, und hing den Kessel an den Feuerhaken, und der Kessel war von Messing, glänzte aber wie Gold, so rein war er gescheuert. Abends, wenn die Flocken fielen, sagte die Mutter »geh, Schneeweißchen, und schieb den Riegel vor«, und dann setzten sie sich an den Herd, und die Mutter nahm die Brille, und las aus einem großen Buche vor, und die beiden Mädchen hörten zu, saßen und spannen; neben ihnen lag ein Lämmchen auf dem Boden, und hinter ihnen auf einer Stange saß ein weißes Täubchen, und hatte seinen Kopf unter den Flügel gesteckt.

Eines Abends, als sie so vertraulich beisammen saßen, klopfte jemand an die Türe, als wollte er eingelassen sein. Die Mutter sprach »geschwind, Rosenrot, mach auf, es wird ein Wanderer sein, der Obdach sucht«. Rosenrot ging, und schob den Riegel weg, aber statt daß ein Mensch gekommen wäre, streckte ein Bär seinen dicken schwarzen Kopf zur Türe herein. Rosenrot schrie laut, und sprang zurück; das Lämmchen blökte, das Täubchen flatterte auf, und Schneeweißchen versteckte sich hinter der Mutter Bett. Der Bär aber fing an zu sprechen, und sagte »fürchtet euch nicht, ich tue euch nichts zu leid, ich bin halb erfroren, und will mich nur ein wenig bei euch wärmen«. »Ei, du armer Bär«, sprach die Mutter, »leg dich ans Feuer, und gib nur acht daß dir dein Pelz nicht brennt.« Dann rief sie »Schneeweißchen, Rosenrot, kommt hervor, der Bär tut euch nichts, er meints ehrlich«. Da kamen sie beide heran, und nach und nach näherten sich auch das Lämmchen und Täubchen, und hatten keine Furcht mehr. Der Bär sprach »ihr Kinder, klopft mir den Schnee ein wenig aus dem Pelzwerk«, und sie holten den Besen, und kehrten dem Bär das Fell rein, er aber streckte sich ans Feuer, und brummte ganz vergnügt und behaglich. Nicht lange, so wurden sie ganz vertraut, und trieben Mutwillen mit dem unbeholfenen Gast, zausten ihm das Fell mit den Händen, setzten ihre Füßchen auf seinen Rücken, und walgerten ihn hin und her, oder nahmen eine Haselrute und schlugen auf ihn los, und wenn er brummte, so lachten sie. Der Bär ließ sichs aber gerne gefallen, nur wenn sies gar zu arg machten, rief er »laßt mich am Leben, ihr Kinder:

Schneeweißchen, Rosenrot,
schlägst dir den Freier tot.«

Als Schlafenszeit war, und die andern zu Bett gingen, sagte die Mutter zu dem Bär »du kannst in Gottes Namen da am Herde liegen bleiben, so bist du vor der Kälte und dem bösen Wetter geschützt«. Als der Tag graute, ließen ihn die beiden Kinder hinaus, und er trabte über den Schnee in den Wald hinein. Von nun an kam der Bär jeden Abend zu der bestimmten Stunde, legte sich an den Herd, und erlaubte den Kindern Kurzweil mit ihm zu treiben, so viel sie wollten; und sie waren so gewöhnt an ihn, daß die Türe nicht eher zugeriegelt wurde, als bis der schwarze Gesell angelangt war.

Als das Frühjahr heran gekommen und draußen alles grün war, sagte der Bär eines Morgens zu Schneeweißchen »nun muß ich fort, und darf den ganzen Sommer nicht wieder kommen«. »Wo gehst du denn hin, lieber Bär?« fragte Schneeweißchen. »Ich muß in den Wald und meine Schätze vor den bösen Zwergen hüten: im Winter, wenn die Erde hart gefroren ist, müssen sie wohl unten bleiben und können sich nicht durcharbeiten, aber jetzt, wenn die Sonne die Erde aufgetaut und erwärmt hat, da brechen sie durch, steigen herauf, suchen und stehlen: und was einmal in ihren Händen ist und in ihren Höhlen liegt, das kommt so leicht nicht wieder an des Tages Licht.« Schneeweißchen war ganz traurig über den Abschied, und riegelte ihm die Türe auf, und als der Bär sich hinaus drängte, blieb er an dem Türhaken hängen, und ein Stück seiner Haut riß auf, und da war es Schneeweißchen, als hätte es Gold durchschimmern gesehen: aber es war seiner Sache nicht gewiß, weil der Bär eilig fort lief und bald hinter den Bäumen verschwunden war.

Nach einiger Zeit schickte die Mutter die Kinder in den Wald Reisig zu sammeln. Da fanden sie draußen einen großen Baum, der lag gefällt auf dem Boden, und an dem Stamme sprang zwischen dem Gras etwas auf und ab, sie konnten aber nicht unterscheiden was es war. Als sie näher kamen, sahen sie einen Zwerg mit einem alten verwelkten Gesicht und einem ellenlangen schneeweißen Bart. Das Ende des Bartes war in eine Spalte des Baums eingeklemmt, und der Kleine sprang hin und her wie ein Hündchen an einem Seil, und wußte nicht wie er sich helfen sollte. Er glotzte die Mädchen mit seinen roten feurigen Augen an, und schrie »was steht ihr da! könnt ihr nicht herbei gehen und mir Beistand leisten?« »Was hast du angefangen, kleines Männchen?« fragte Rosenrot. »Dumme, neugierige Gans«, antwortete der Zwerg, »den Baum habe ich mir spalten wollen, um kleines Holz in der Küche zu haben; bei den dicken Klötzen verbrennt gleich das bißchen Speise, das unser einer braucht, der nicht so viel hinunter schlingt als ihr, grobes Volk. Ich hatte einen Keil hinein getrieben, und es wäre alles nach Wunsch gegangen, aber das verwünschte Holz war zu glatt, und sprang unversehens heraus, und der Baum fuhr so geschwind zusammen, daß ich meinen schönen weißen Bart nicht mehr herausziehen konnte; nun steckt er drin, und ich kann nicht fort. Da lachen die albernern glatten Milchgesichter! pfui, was seid ihr garstig!« Die Kinder gaben sich alle Mühe, aber sie konnten den Bart nicht heraus ziehen, er steckte zu fest. »Ich will laufen, und Leute herbei holen«, sagte Rosenrot. »Wahnsinnige Schafsköpfe«, schnarrte der Zwerg, »wer wird gleich Leute herbeirufen, ihr seid mir schon um zwei zu viel; fällt euch nicht besseres ein?« »Sei nur nicht ungeduldig«, sagte Schneeweißchen, »ich will schon Rat schaffen«, und holte sein Scherchen aus der Tasche, und schnitt das Ende des Bartes ab. Sobald der Zwerg sich frei fühlte, griff er nach einem Sack, der zwischen den Wurzeln des Baums steckte, und mit Gold gefüllt war, hob ihn heraus, und brummte vor sich hin »ungehobeltes Volk, schneidet mir ein Stück von meinem stolzen Barte ab! lohns euch der Guckguck!« damit schwang er seinen Sack auf den Rücken, und ging fort ohne die Kinder nur noch einmal anzusehen.

Einige Zeit danach wollten Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot ein Gericht Fische angeln. Als sie auf den Bach zu gingen, sahen sie daß etwas wie eine große Heuschrecke nach dem Wasser zu hüpfte, als wollte es hinein springen. Sie liefen heran, und erkannten den Zwerg. »Wo willst du hin?« sagte Rosenrot, »du willst doch nicht ins Wasser?« »Solch ein Narr bin ich nicht«, schrie der Zwerg, »seht ihr nicht, der verwünschte Fisch will mich hinein ziehen?« Der Kleine hatte da gesessen und geangelt, und unglücklicher Weise hatte der Wind seinen Bart mit der Angelschnur verflochten: als gleich darauf ein großer Fisch anbiß, fehlten dem Zwerg die Kräfte ihn herauszuziehen, der Fisch behielt die Oberhand, und riß den Zwerg zu sich hin. Zwar hielt er sich an allen Halmen und Binsen, aber das half nicht viel, er mußte den Bewegungen des Fisches folgen, und war in beständiger Gefahr ins Wasser gezogen zu werden. Die Mädchen kamen zu rechter Zeit, hielten ihn fest, und versuchten den Bart von der Schnur loszumachen, aber vergebens, Bart und Schnur waren fest in einander verwirrt. Es blieb nichts übrig, als das Scherchen hervor zu holen und den Bart abzuschneiden: dabei ging ein kleiner Teil desselben verloren. Als der Zwerg das sah, schrie er sie an, »ist das Manier, ihr Lorche, einem das Gesicht zu schänden! nicht genug, daß ihr mir den Bart unten abgestutzt habt, jetzt schneidet ihr mir den besten Teil davon ab: ich darf mich vor den Meinigen gar nicht sehen lassen. Daß ihr laufen müßtet und die Schuhsohlen verloren hättet!« Dann holte er einen Sack Perlen, der im Schilfe lag, und ohne ein Wort weiter zu sagen, schleppte er ihn fort, und verschwand hinter einem Stein.

Es trug sich zu, daß bald hernach die Mutter die beiden Mädchen nach der Stadt schickte, Zwirn, Nadeln, Schnüre und Bänder einzukaufen. Der Weg führte sie über eine Heide, auf der hier und da mächtige Felsenstücke zerstreut lagen, da sahen sie einen großen Vogel in der Luft schweben, der langsam über ihnen kreiste, sich immer tiefer herab senkte, und endlich nicht weit bei einem Felsen niederstieß. Gleich darauf hörten sie einen durchdringenden, jämmerlichen Schrei. Sie liefen herzu, und sahen mit Schrecken daß der Adler ihren alten Bekannten, den Zwerg, gepackt hatte und ihn forttragen wollte. Die mitleidigen Kinder hielten gleich das Männchen fest, und zerrten sich so lange mit dem Adler herum, bis er seine Beute fahren ließ. Als der Zwerg sich von dem ersten Schrecken erholt hatte, sprach er »konntet ihr nicht säuberlicher mit mir umgehen, gerissen habt ihr an meinem dünnen Röckchen daß es überall zerfetzt und durchlöchert ist, unbeholfenes und täppisches Gesindel das ihr seid!« Dann nahm er einen Sack mit Edelsteinen, und schlüpfte wieder unter den Felsen in seine Höhle. Die Mädchen waren an seinen Undank schon gewöhnt, setzten ihren Weg fort, und verrichteten ihr Geschäft in der Stadt. Als sie beim Heimweg wieder auf die Heide kamen, überraschten sie den Zwerg, der auf einem reinlichen Plätzchen seinen Sack mit Edelsteinen ausgeschüttet und nicht gedacht hatte daß so spät noch jemand daher kommen würde. Die Abendsonne schien über die glänzenden Steine, und sie schimmerten und leuchteten so prächtig in allen Farben, daß die Kinder stehen blieben, und sie betrachteten. »Was steht ihr da, und habt Maulaffen feil!« schrie der Zwerg, und sein aschgraues Gesicht ward zinnoberrot vor Zorn. Er wollte mit seinen Scheltworten fortfahren, als sich ein lautes Brummen hören ließ, und ein schwarzer Bär aus dem Walde herbei trabte. Erschrocken sprang der Zwerg auf, aber er konnte nicht mehr zu seinem Schlupfwinkel gelangen, der Bär war schon in seiner Nähe. Da rief er in Herzensangst »lieber Herr Bär, verschont mich, ich will euch alle meine Schätze geben, seht, die schönen Edelsteine, die da liegen. Schenkt mir das Leben, was habt ihr an mir kleinen schmächtigen Kerl? ihr spürt mich nicht zwischen den Zähnen: da die beiden gottlosen Mädchen packt, das sind für euch zarte Bissen, fett wie junge Wachteln, die freßt in Gottes Namen.« Der Bär kümmerte sich um seine Worte nicht, gab dem boshaften Geschöpf einen einzigen Schlag mit der Tatze, und es regte sich nicht mehr.

Die Mädchen waren fortgesprungen, aber der Bär rief ihnen nach »Schneeweißchen, Rosenrot, fürchtet euch nicht, wartet, ich will mit euch gehen«. Da erkannten sie seine Stimme, und blieben stehen, und als der Bär bei ihnen war, fiel plötzlich die Bärenhaut ab, und er stand da als ein schöner Mann und war ganz in Gold gekleidet. Er sagte »ich bin eines Königs Sohn, und war von dem gottlosen Zwerg, der mir meine Schätze gestohlen hatte, verwünscht als ein wilder Bär in dem Walde zu laufen, bis ich durch seinen Tod erlöst würde. Jetzt hat er seine wohlverdiente Strafe empfangen.«

Schneeweißchen wurde mit ihm, und Rosenrot mit seinem Bruder vermählt, und sie teilten die großen Schätze mit einander, die der Zwerg in seiner Höhle zusammen getragen hatte. Die alte Mutter lebte noch lange Jahre ganz glücklich bei ihren Kindern. Die zwei Rosenbäumchen aber nahm sie mit, und sie standen vor ihrem Fenster, und trugen jedes Jahr die schönsten Rosen, weiß und rot.

Snow-White and Rose-Red

THERE was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore white and the other red roses. She had two children who were like the two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-white and the other Rose-red. They were as good and happy, as busy and cheerful, as ever two children in the world were, only Snow-white was more quiet and gentle than Rose-red. Rose-red liked better to run about in the meadows and fields seeking flowers and catching butterflies; but Snow-white sat at home with her mother, and helped her with her house-work, or read to her when there was nothing to do.
The two children were so fond of each other that they always held each other by the hand when they went out together, and when Snow-white said, “We will not leave each other,” Rose-red answered, “Never so long as we live,” and their mother would add, “What one has she must share with the other.”

They often ran about the forest alone and gathered red berries, and no beasts did them any harm, but came close to them trustfully. The little hare would eat a cabbage-leaf out of their hands, the roe grazed by their side, the stag leapt merrily by them, and the birds sat still upon the boughs, and sang whatever they knew.
No mishap overtook them; if they had stayed too late in the forest and night came on, they laid themselves down near one another upon the moss, and slept until morning came, and their mother knew this and had not distress on their account.
Once when they had spent the night in the wood and the dawn had roused them, they saw a beautiful child in a shining white dress sitting near their bed. He got up and looked quite kindly at them, but said nothing and went away into the forest. And when they looked round they found that they had been sleeping quite close to a precipice, and would certainly have fallen into it in the darkness if they had gone only a few paces further. And their mother told them that it must have been the angel who watches over good children.
Snow-white and Rose-red kept their mother’s little cottage so neat that it was a pleasure to look inside it. In the summer Rose-red took care of the house, and every morning laid a wreath of flowers by her mother’s bed before she awoke, in which was a rose from each tree. In the winter Snow-white lit the fire and hung the kettle on the wrekin. The kettle was of copper and shone like gold, so brightly was it polished. In the evening, when the snowflakes fell, the mother said, “Go, Snow-white, and bolt the door,” and then they sat round the hearth, and the mother took her spectacles and read aloud out of a large book, and the two girls listened as they sat and span. And close by them lay a lamb upon the floor, and behind them upon a perch sat a, white dove with its head hidden beneath its wings.
One evening, as they were thus sitting comfortably together, some one knocked at the door, as if he wished to be let in. The mother said. “Quick, Rose-red, open the door, it must be a traveller who is seeking shelter.” Rose-red went and pushed back the bolt, thinking that it was a poor man, but it was not; it was a bear that stretched his broad, black head within the door.
Rose-red screamed and sprang back, the lamb bleated, the dove fluttered, and Snow-white hid herself behind her mother’s bed. But the bear began to speak and said, “Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm! I am half-frozen, and only want to warm myself a little beside you.”
“Poor bear,” said the mother, “lie down by the fire, only take care that you do not burn your coat.” Then she cried, “Snow-white, Rose-red, come out, the bear will do you no harm, he means well.” So they both came out, and by-and-by the lamb and dove came nearer, and were not afraid of him. The bear said, “Here, children, knock the snow out of my coat a little;” so they brought the broom and swept the bear’s hide clean; and he stretched himself by the fire and growled contentedly and comfortably. It was not long before they grew quite at home, and played tricks with their clumsy guest. They tugged his hair with their hands, put their feet upon his back and rolled him about, or they took a hazel-switch and beat him, and when he growled they laughed. But the bear took it all in good part, only, when they were too rough, he called out, “Leave me alive, children,
“Snowy-white, Rosy-red,
Will you beat your lover dead?”

When it was bed-time, and the others went to bed, the mother said to the bear, “You can lie there by the hearth, and then you will be safe from the cold and the bad weather.” As soon as day dawned the two children let him out, and he trotted across the snow into the forest.
Henceforth the bear came every evening at the same time, laid himself down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves with him as much as they liked; and they got so used to him that the doors were never fastened until their black friend had arrived.
When spring had come and all outside was green, the bear said one morning to Snow-white, “Now I must go away, and cannot come back for the whole summer.” “Where are you going, then, dear bear,?” asked Snow-white. “I must go into the forest and guard my treasures from the wicked dwarfs. In the winter, when the earth is frozen hard, they are obliged to stay below and cannot work their way through; but now, when the sun has thawed and warmed the earth, they break through it, and come out to pry and steal; and what once gets into their hands, and in their caves, does not easily see daylight again.”

Snow-white was quite sorry for his going away, and as she unbolted the door for him, and the bear was hurrying out, he caught against the bolt and a piece of his hairy coat was torn off, and it seemed to Snow-white as if she had seen gold shining through it, but she was not sure about it. The bear ran away quickly, and was soon out of sight behind the trees.
A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the forest to get fire-wood. There they found a big tree which lay felled on the ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping backwards and forwards in the grass, but they could not make out what it was. When they came nearer they saw a dwarf with an old withered face and a snow-white beard a yard long. The end of the beard was caught in a crevice of the tree, and the little fellow was jumping backwards and forwards like a dog tied to a rope, and did not know what to do.
He glared at the girls with his fiery red eyes and cried, “Why do you stand there? Can you not come here and help me?” “What are you about there, little man?” asked Rose-red. “You stupid, prying goose!” answered the dwarf; “I was going to split the tree to get a little wood for cooking. The little bit of food that one of us wants get burnt up directly with thick logs; we do not swallow so much as you coarse, greedy folk. I had just driven the wedge safely in, and everything was going as I wished; but the wretched wood was too smooth and suddenly sprang asunder, and the tree closed so quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful white beard; so now it is tight in and I cannot get away, and the silly, sleek, milk-faced things laugh! Ugh! how odious you are!”
The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out, it was caught too fast. “I will run and fetch some one,” said Red-rose. “You senseless goose!” snarled the dwarf; “why should you fetch some one? You are already two too many for me; can you not think of something better?” “Don’t be too impatient,” said Snow-white, “I will help you,” and she pulled her scissors out of her pocket, and cut off the end of the beard.
As soon as the dwarf felt himself free he laid hold of a bag which lay amongst the roots of the tree, and which was full of gold, and lifted it up, grumbling to himself, “Uncouth people, to cut off a piece of my fine beard. Bad luck to you!” and then he swung the bag upon his back, and went off without even once looking at the children.
Some time after that Snow-white and Rose-red went to catch a dish of fish. As they came near the brook they saw something like a large grasshopper jumping towards the water, as if it were going to leap in. They ran to it and found it was the dwarf. “Where are you going?” said Rose-red; “you surely don’t want to go into the water?” “I am not such a fool!” cried the dwarf; “don’t you see that the accursed fish wants to pull me in?” The little man had been sitting there fishing, and unluckily the wind had twisted his beard with the fishing-line; just then a big, fish bit, and the feeble creature had not the strength to pull it out; the fish kept the upper hand and pulled the dwarf towards him. He held on to all the reeds and rushes, but it was of little good, he was forced to follow the movements of the fish, and was in urgent danger of being dragged into the water.
The girls came just in time; they held him fast and tried to free his beard from the line, but all in vain, beard and line were entangled fast together. Nothing was left but to bring out the scissors and cut the beard, whereby a small part of it was lost.
When the dwarf saw that he screamed out, “Is that civil, you toad-stool, to disfigure one’s face? Was it not enough to clip off the end of my beard? Now you have cut off the best part of it. I cannot let myself be seen by my people. I wish you had been made to run the soles off your shoes!” Then he took out a sack of pearls which lay in the rushes, and without saying a word more he dragged it away and disappeared behind a stone.
It happened that soon afterwards the mother sent the two children to the town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. The road led them across a heath upon which huge pieces of rock lay strewn here and there. Now they noticed a large bird hovering in the air, flying slowly round and round above them; it sank lower and lower, and at last settled near a rock not far off. Directly afterwards they heard a loud, piteous cry. They ran up and saw with horror that the eagle had seized their old acquaintance the dwarf, and was going to carry him off.
The children, full of pity, at once took tight hold of the little man, and pulled against the eagle so long that at last he let his booty go. As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his first fright he cried with his shrill voice, “Could you not have done it more carefully? You dragged at my brown coat so that it is all torn and full of holes, you helpless clumsy creatures!” Then he took up a sack full of precious stones and slipped away again under the rock into his hole. The girls, who by this time were used to his thanklessness, went on their way and did their business in the town.
As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised the dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a clean spot, and had not thought that any one would come there so late. The evening sun shone upon the brilliant stones; they glittered and sparkled with all colours so beautifully that the children stood still and looked at them. “Why do you stand gaping there?” cried the dwarf, and his ashen-grey face became copper-red with rage. He was going on with his bad words when a loud growling was heard, and a black bear came trotting towards them out of the forest. The dwarf sprang up in a fright, but he could not get to his cave, for the bear was already close. Then in the dread of his heart he cried, “Dear Mr. Bear, spare me, I will give you all my treasures; look, the beautiful jewels lying there! Grant me my life; what do you want with such a slender little fellow as I? you would not feel me between your teeth. Come, take these two wicked girls, they are tender morsels for you, fat as young quails; for mercy’s sake eat them!” The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the wicked creature a single blow with his paw, and he did not move again.
The girls had run away, but the bear called to them, “Snow-white and Rose-red, do not be afraid; wait, I will come with you.” Then they knew his voice and waited, and when he came up to them suddenly his bearskin fell off, and he stood there a handsome man, clothed all in gold. “I am a King’s son,” he said, “and I was bewitched by that wicked dwarf, who had stolen my treasures; I have had to run about the forest as a savage bear until I was freed by his death. Now he has got his well-deserved punishment.”
Snow-white was married to him, and Rose-red to his brother, and they divided between them the great treasure which the dwarf had gathered together in his cave. The old mother lived peacefully and happily with her children for many years. She took the two rose-trees with her, and they stood before her window, and every year bore the most beautiful roses, white and red.

舌切り雀 The Tongue-Cut Sparrow

It's 物語 monogatari (fairy tale) time!
This time 中村さん Nakamura told me about the 舌切り雀 Shitakiri Suzume, the sparrow which's tongue has been cut off. Notice the similarities to the German fairy tale I posted earlier: Frau Holle

舌切り雀 したきりすずめ
(English Version below)

・何日かして、おじいさんが畑へ出掛けた後、おばあさんは洗濯をしようと 鍋でのりを煮ました。
・馬洗いから馬を洗った水をお椀に五杯飲んだら教えてやると言われたおじいさんは ごくごく飲み、「しばらく行くと菜洗いがいるはずなので、そこへ行って聞くが良い。」と教えられる。
・菜洗いは、この先に大きな竹やぶがあり 舌切りすずめはその中だと教えてくれた。
・言われた通りに行くと大きな竹やぶがあり、家が一軒建っていた。呼ぶと、おちょんが出て来て 中へ招き入れてくれた。
・おじいさんが食べたり、飲んだり、踊りを楽しんだりしている所へ おちょんがつづらを二つ運んで来た。
・家に戻ったおじいさんは、おばあさんに話して聞かせ つづらのふたを開けると、中には宝がびっしり。
・おばあさんがおちょんを呼ぶと おちょんが顔を出して中へ招き入れようとした。
・しかし、おばあさんは ご馳走なんかよりつづらを出せ。と重いほうのつづらを催促すると、重いつづらを背負って戻り始めた。
・ところが、そのつづらの重いこと!!いくらも行かないうちに足がよろよろ 腰がふらふらになってしまった。
・慌てて逃げようとした時はもう遅く、おばあさんは 蛇にかまれ、むかでにさされてあっと言う間もなく死んでしまった。

舌切り雀 Shitakiri Suzume
(The Sparrow with the cut tongue)

Once upon a time, there lived an old man and an old woman. The old man was kind and gentle, but his wife was mean and greedy. One morning as usual, the old man left for work in the mountains where he cut wood, plowed the earth, and worked in the field.

This morning, he went deep into the mountains to cut firewood. While he was working, he heard the voice of a sparrow crying. When he looked down, he saw an injured young sparrow trapped under a dead branch. "Oh, you poor thing," the old man said as he gently picked up the sparrow. "Don't worry. I'll take care of you. You'll be fine in no time. Let's go to my house," he said.

When they arrived, the old man bandaged the sparrow and fed it some rice grains. The old woman didn't like this at all and got angry. "Why are you wasting our precious rice on that bird?" she exclaimed. But the old man paid her no mind and worked hard to nurse the young sparrow back to health.

One day, as the old man went back to work in the mountains, he asked the old woman, "Take care of the sparrow, please." "Yes, yes, I know," the old woman snapped, but she didn't care about the bird and had no intention of feeding it. She left the sparrow at home and went to the river to do the wash.

While it was left all alone, the little sparrow got hungry. It found a bowl of starch that the old woman had made. Because the sparrow was so hungry, it began to nibble at the starch without thinking and ate it all up. Then the old woman returned from the river, ready to starch the linens. She noticed that the starch was missing and asked the sparrow what had happened. "I'm so sorry," the sparrow said. "I was hungry and couldn't help eating it." The old woman flew into a rage. "You thief!" she thundered. "I'll fix you so you'll never be able to do anything like that again," she said, and she cut the little sparrow's tongue with a pair of scissors. The poor little sparrow flew back into the mountains, crying the whole way.

When the old man returned from the mountains, he noticed that the sparrow was gone. "What happened to the little sparrow?" he asked the old woman. "That bird ate my starch," she replied, "so I cut its tongue and chased it away." The old man was stunned. "Oh, forgive me little sparrow. It must have hurt so much," he said with tears streaming down his face. The old man then went back into the mountains to search for the sparrow.

The old man went here and there in the forest, calling out "Little sparrow, come back!" but the sparrow was nowhere to be found. "That's right," the old man thought to himself, "I've heard that the sparrows have an inn. If I go there, I can find him." As he was walking further into the mountains, three sparrows appeared before him. "Oh, sparrows. Where is your inn?" he asked them. "This way, this way, chirp, chirp," the sparrows said, and they led the man through a bamboo grove even further into the mountains. Suddenly, in front of him was a splendid mansion with many sparrows lined up in front of the gate.

"Welcome," one of them said, "We've been expecting you." "Have you seen my little sparrow?" the old man asked. "He's waiting for you inside," the sparrow answered and led the old man into a parlor in the back of the mansion. When he entered the room, the little sparrow came running up to greet him. "Oh, you poor dear. Are you okay? I was so worried," the man said, delighted to see the little sparrow again. The sparrows brought out trays of delicious food for the old man and began to sing and dance for him.

After the old man had quite enjoyed himself, he got up and said to the sparrows, "I wish I could stay, but I must be getting home. My wife will be worried." With this, the sparrows brought out two wicker baskets, a big one and a small one. "As a gift, take whichever one you like," one of the sparrows said. Although he had no desire for a gift, he accepted the small basket. "I'm sorry. I'm old, so I guess I'd better take the small one," he said, and he made his way home.

When the old man reached home, he called out to the old woman, "I'm home. I met the little sparrow. I even got a gift. I wonder what's inside." The two of them opened the basket, and to their surprise, the basket was filled with gold, silver, fine cloth, and other valuables. "So that's why it was so heavy," the old man said. "It's a good thing I took the small basket." "What? There was a big one?" the old woman shrieked. "The big one must have even more valuables! Okay, I'll go and get the big basket," and no sooner had she said those words, than she was out the door and running to the mountains, overtaken by greed.

When the old woman reached the sparrows' inn, she called out to the little sparrow. "Little sparrow! Little sparrow! I'm here," she said with a forced smile, and the little sparrow came out to see her. "Little sparrow," the woman began, "I took care of you didn't I? I'm not hungry, so just hurry up and bring out the baskets." The sparrows were disappointed, but brought out two baskets anyway. "Choose whichever one you like," they said. The old woman did not hesitate, "I'll take the big one. I'm strong enough to carry it." As she was on her way out, one of the sparrows said to her, "Don't open the basket until you get home," but she paid it no mind and ran home as fast as she could. On the way back, however, the woman could no longer contain her greed. She desperately wanted to see her valuables, so she stopped and opened the basket. When she did, smoke came out along with one-eyed goblins, giant snakes, and other monsters. The old woman was so shocked that she threw the basket down and tried to run away. In her haste, she slipped and fell, rolling all the way down the mountain.

If somebody really read through both versions, you will notice a lot of differences, like the sparrow being found in the woods, rather than in the lunch-box. Also the ordeals on the journey to search for the sparrow were completely left out. I think it is because both appear strange to western people. (In the Japanese version, the old guy had to continuously drink the cleaning water of an ox-cleaner, a horse-cleaner and a vegetable-cleaner, before they told him were to find the sparrow).

For the similarity to Frau Holle, in both fairy tales the same way leads to gold/fortune and ugly things/disaster. In both stories one good minded human goes the way and finds the first one, when afterwards a selfish minded human goes the same way with different behavior and morals and thus ends up with the exact opposite of the first one. These core similarity between Frau Holle and 舌切り雀 is really striking.

On the other hand it's morale belongs to the very basic human morale, which you can find in any old society, I guess. (Alas these morales loose their weight in the capital dominated societies, where the above mentioned second type of human is favored and wins over the first one; at least at a first glance and in the view of managers...)

thinking fairy tales should still be told in our current world

焼きそば Yakisoba

A very nice coworker of mine shared her basic 焼きそば Yakisoba recipe with me. 焼きそば Yakisoba are very popular in Japan. Especially on festivals and other outside activities you are abound to find people sell them everywhere and I must agree that they are very delicious.

So let's make our own!

材料 Ingredients
We need:

焼きそば Yakisoba (as far as I can tell these are preeboiled noodles very similar to your ordinary spaghetti, yet a bit thicker. Just take the most similar you can find to thick spaghetti and preboil them until they are soft).
キャベツ cabbage
人参 carrots
しょうが Ingwer
ニンニク garlic
ネギ spring onion
もやし soy sprouts
粉 flour

とんかつソース Tonkatasu Sauce (the easiest to find is the one with a Bull-Dog on top. Again if you can't find it, try experimenting with combining black vinegar, corn starch and some vegetable stock or get the exact recipe for the sauce online). The English name for the sauce is Worcestershire Sauce.

作り方 preparation
We prepare it in three steps:

(1) At step one we cut the vegetables as small as you like them and fry them with oil in a pan.

(2) Step 2 we put the preboiled spaghetti in a bowl add some flour, water, oil water and some of the sauce. Then we mix everything thoroughly and fry the noodles like this in a pan.

(3) Now we combine the two and fry them a little more together adding some more sauce on top.

できた! Done!


At festivals you will usually find a simplified version containing only the noodles, ginger and cabbage.

However when preparing 焼きそば at home there are almost no limits to what you can add. Try adding vegetables you like.

For non-vegetarians, when preparing 焼きそば at home, Japanese like to add either 海老 shrimps, 豚肉 pork, or both. Just add them in step 1.

頑張ってください! Ganbatte kudasai!