Friday, January 06, 2006

Other Stuff From Day Eleven

So after The Talk, I headed over to see another friend of mine in Hirata, Nishio-san.

Better to be around people and hide my feelings than be by myself and have to deal with them.

Nishio-san is involved with a local film commission. The stuff that he and the other members do is really amazing. A short film school each summer, a huge film festival in the fall that is getting national attention, various activities involving Yoshinari Nishikori, a film director from Hirata...they are a very active group.

The way this film commission started out is with the story of Shiroi Fune (A White Ship - see poster). There is a ferry that runs from Hokkaido to Kyushu and passes by the small fishing village of Shoitsu in Hirata. There is a small elementary school there (total students: 16), and the classrooms look out on to the ocean. A few years back, some of the students noticed the ferry passing by, and they did some research about it. They found out what company it was and started writing letters to the captain and crew. This still continues to this day. Some of the students even got to ride on the ferry. Cute, true story. Nishikori-san made a movie out of it. It's a small movie about a small story in a small village with a big freakin' heart. I love this film. Especially because it's set in Shimane.

Check out this article for some more info about the film.

I got involved with the film commission when I was asked to write up a review of the film in English to advertise two showings of the film they were holding in Matsue and Hirata. These showings were going to be with English subtitles, and they wanted some copy to put out to encourage foreigners to come and check out the film. I went to the showing in Hirata, and met Nishio-san, Nishikori-san, and the members of the film commission. I've been involved with the group ever since.

So I swung out to Nishio-san's barbershop and said hi. We talked about all of the cool stuff that the film commission has planned for this year, and I felt very frustrated that I wasn't going to be in Izumo to be involved in any of it. I told him that if there was anything I could do to help out, e-mail me and let me know. He said that he might just take me up on that offer. Gobara-san, another member of the film commission, showed up, and we took a look around the film commission office. They hooked me up with a DVD of amateur films from the festival the previous year, and a DVD of a party they threw to commemorate some of the film commission's activities.

Very cool. I hope I can stay involved in that stuff.

Then, after saying goodbye, I headed back to Izumo for dinner with another Nishio-san, this time my friend Tomoe. We went over to Arihara-en and had some BBQ goodness while talking with Tei. Fun conversation, good food, good times.

After dinner, I headed out to Daikan-cho once again, courtesy of Tei giving me a ride out there. I met up with Mr. Katsube (aka Kat-chan), who I had wanted to hang out with. Our schedules finally matched up, so we went out and had a good ol' time. We swung by Tsubasa and had some drinks there. Good thing, too, because I think Miymi and her mom would never have forgiven me if I didn't actually drink alcohol at their bar at least once. Then we headed over to Submission, a wrestling bar. No, you don't actually wrestle there. The guy that runs it is a big wrestling fan, and there is wrestling memorabilia all over the place. A pretty fun bar, actually.

It was good to hang out with Kat-chan. Spending time with friends is a good thing when you're not feeling that happy with the world. And Kat-chan is a very good friend. We talked about work, and life, and whatever other BS we could think of, laughed, drank, sang some karaoke, and had a damn good time. I don't know if I've ever been more thankful for his friendship.

Hell, I still am.

Anyway, I finally hit the wall (figuratively, not literally) and we called it a night. I walked back home, fed Jiji, brushed my teeth, crawled under the kotatsu, and went to sleep. End (a very long) Day Eleven.

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