I thought I was dead

Everyday I weigh myself on the bathroom scale first thing in the morning. This morning, I lost my balance and fell hitting hard my knee and elbow on the floor. By the way, I am very timid. I fear pretty much everything in the world, and breaking bones or feeling pain is one of the worst fears. To be honest, I thought I was dead at first. Then, I found myself alive with pain. And, I thought I broke somewhere. I was lying on the floor gulped by the fear for a while. But thank God, really, nothing was broken in spite of the great pain. As it turned out, I got only faint bruises. Did my extreme fear boost the pain? It was such a horrible, painful experience. It still hurts…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

a younger sister

The goal of my OC marathon is drawing near. I watched another three episodes of ‘The O.C. Season 2′ today. They were about Ryan’s brother. I have a younger sister with whom I don’t get along at all. After a number of unpleasant incidents over the years, I’ve developed a terrible relationship with her. I don’t even talk to her anymore. When we were kids, I took care of her because my parents were busy with work. I looked after her carefully, teaching her to have fun, but she has grown to be a proud and prim adult, and, above all, to be my parents’ favorite to live with them in my hometown. Sometimes I wonder what I did wrong with her. And I know they wonder vice versa, what went wrong with me…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

a paranoid traveler

My OC marathon is going on. I watch three episodes of ‘The O.C. Season 2’ every night before going to sleep. PCH often appears on the show. Before I lived in OC, I had visited there as a traveler. First time in OC, I transferred a local bus at the entrance of Balboa Island on PCH. There was nobody but a man wearing sunglasses at the bus stop. He talked to me about the bus being late. As a person who fears everything, I started panicking with bad imaginations. What if he is a serial killer? I’m wearing cheap clothes but he must know I’m a traveler and have traveler’s checks. Isn’t this a perfect place for murder with no buildings or people around and just the bush behind the bus stop? I was about to be sure I would be killed here by this man, when he began to rummage through his big bag. Now I was more than sure it would be a gun. My fear culminated when he held out something to me. It was a pack of biscuits. I got three packs for a dollar! Good deal, huh? Take one, I’ve got plenty!, he said, and the bus came. He was just a kind, friendly man and I was a paranoid traveler. Those were the best biscuits I’d ever had…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

born in that shabby van

I awoke exhausted. I felt all energy was drained out. My strain of the holiday season had snapped and I thought that was the reason. Finally I found a website where I could watch US TV shows in Japan for free and I watched ‘The O.C. Season 2’ online last night. As they have an expiration date for viewing, I watched three episodes at a stretch before going to sleep. Another possible reason for exhaustion is the intense hearing of English for many hours. My physical strength is not enough even for TV…

 The expiration date for free online viewing of ‘The O.C. Season 2’ is approaching and that led me to an OC marathon. I watched three episodes today too. Watching ‘The O.C.’ evokes my memories because I used to live in OC. My apartment was in Anaheim and I would often go to the mall in Newport Beach. A big difference between my life and the show is that I didn’t get there by one of those gorgeous cars. I always took the free shuttle van of the mall. The van was a completely ragged, worn-out vehicle which seemed to be a miracle to run so fast on Interstate 5. The windows, interior, the floor and the door all clattered and looked on the verge of falling apart. In a way, it was totally a thrill ride. But I should thank that van for what I owe. My new song for which I have been working now was born in that shabby van…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

soundproofing

dig

I recorded chorus parts for our new song. I do all the recording in my apartment, and as the soundproofing is not perfect, I need to be careful about the timing. It’s no-go when windy or rainy. Noisy kids or a car vendor around the building balk the recording. And I set a cutoff time for the nighttime because the wall to my next-door neighbor is too thin. I was going to finish recording the chorus in one day, but when I woke up, it was already four o’clock in the afternoon. I was absorbed in recording, but soon it reached my cutoff time. I couldn’t finish it. Still a long way to complete the song…

My chorus recording update -I was determined to finish it by the end of the day. But I accidentally stayed up late on the previous day and got up with lack of sleep. I got down to work hurriedly, even without washing my face, because of the cutoff time I have written about. Somehow, the recording didn’t go smoothly due to lack of sleep. I made a wrong configuration to the chorus tracks by mistake and had to record all over again. Then, soon came the cutoff time. I couldn’t finish it after all, yet again…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

labels : Talking and Reading from Japan by Hidemi Woods

 
Apple Books, Google Play, Audible 43 available distributors in total.
Audiobook  : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.
Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.

struck by an idea

Next to the building I live in is a parking lot. One of the cars plays the car stereo explosively loud and disturbs my sleep from time to time. Last night, the car played it in a low hum all night and my sleep disrupted all the way. As soon as I got up this morning, I rushed out to the parking lot to locate the car. No car. The lot was silent. I took noise of traffic on the far road for the low car stereo. I may well have paranoia…

 

While having lunch today, I was struck by an idea of a new song. It doesn’t happen so often. I felt exhilarated, but sadly, that feeling got replaced right away by the fact I am a slow worker. It’s likely after ten years from now to get it materialized. Besides, I have been working on a song, which I wrote six years ago…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

I don’t remember her name..

While taking a bath or a shower, I listen to a CD on a shuffle mode. I can’t help feeling my most favorite song is most seldom played. The least favorites are always selected. Does a player sense my taste and play a trick? Have you ever felt that way, or just me?

 

I worked at Tokyo Disneyland long time ago. One of the workers at McDonald’s near my home looks like my then supervisor. This morning I went there and I saw her again. Her face looks so familiar to me. Is she her or not? I can’t ask her as I don’t remember her name..

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Audiobook : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. Apple, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total

Tokyo hr659

The tiny close community of a small village used to be the whole world for me who was born to a farming family living in a rural area of Japan. The sole window to the outside world was TV through which I had encountered what I had never seen in my daily life.

Back in those days, Japanese TV dramas were made and shot in the capital city of Japan, Tokyo. The city view and the people’s way of living in Tokyo looked so cool. Everything from fashion to lifestyle was completely different from things in Kyoto where I lived. On TV, Tokyo seemed like a future world decades ahead to me. I was hooked by one particular weekly crime drama which was shot on location all around Tokyo. Every location looked as if it had been in a Western country and the detectives in the drama were extremely stylish. I was absorbed in seeing that exotic world every week and had spent the other six days of the week waiting for the drama. As soon as I finished watching that show, I would rush into my room and write out the entire show in the notebook. I reproduced all the lines of characters and all the settings by depending on my memory. Since there was no way to record a TV program as a video cassette recorder was yet to come, I read my notebook over and over again to watch it inside my head until the next show was on air. In hindsight, the world of TV dramas was fictional which didn’t exist even in Tokyo, but I was too young to realize that.

Years went by and I became a musician. By the time two years have passed since I joined my first band, the band not only had played gigs around Kyoto but also had made guest appearances and had our songs played on local radio shows from time to time. We had made some connections with music producers who came down to the western part of Japan from Tokyo as judges for some live contests. However, our progress was limited because all the major music labels of Japan were based in Tokyo. My partner and I began to consider moving our base to Tokyo as we were geographically too far off to make a career in music.

Moving to Tokyo was a big deal to me. While I seldom attended, it meant I would quit college once and for all. As a much more serious matter, an old Japanese custom didn’t allow a successor of the family, that was me, to leave home. For me, leaving home meant abandoning my family and all the privileges. Although it seemed crazy to throw away everything when I had no idea how to live on as a musician in Tokyo, I felt living there would be better than staying in my family’s home for the rest of my life. I preferred eating hamburgers and french fries from McDonald’s to eating home-grown vegetables from my family’s fields every single day. I knew it wouldn’t be healthy, but at least I would be able to eat what I chose, when I wanted. To sum up, moving to Tokyo was all about freedom. I was more than willing to jump into the free world where I would make all choices by myself instead of the old fixed rules and customs. 

Oddly enough, things went unexpectedly smoothly once I made up my mind to move to Tokyo. Various kinds of obstructions that had been seemingly difficult to be cleared resolved themselves almost magically. The moving day arrived sooner than I had imagined.

I was waiting for the bullet train bound for Tokyo on the platform in Kyoto Station. A friend of mine came to see me off. She was surprised that she was the only one for me there. “Even your parents don’t see you off?” she sounded bewildered. I wondered what awaited me in the outside world of my window. I was both looking forward to it and afraid. 

parental affection : Talking and Reading from Japan by Hidemi Woods

 
Apple Books, Google Play, Audible 43 available distributors in total.
Audiobook  : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps.
Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total.