That's the utter obvious truth.
I can remember being just a little girl, telling people proudly that I thought Disney was for babies. Yet, every time my sister would pop on her favorite Princess movie, it would be me to watch the whole thing. As she had/has the attention span of a gnat, and I was always interested in whatever was on the television.
I love movies, but not nearly as much as my host father, Masaki Otosan. Though, he is better known
|The resemblance is uncanny.|
But the Japanese culture is much more different.
In the rule package I received from Japan, one of the rules is that I am supposed to call them Otosan and Okasan, Father and Mother, respectively. Now I as much as I was initially uncomfortable with doing this, I suspected that the host families would be even more uncomfortable with me calling them this. I am not their kid, after all. When my parents were hosting Ale from Argentina, they asked her to call them Steve and Jackie. Not, Mom and Dad. It made more sense to everyone.
|Not quite as much of a resemblance. But|
Captain Jack will let it slide.
Nearly, a week after I landed in Japan, I was sitting at the dinner table at the Masaki's quite bored. My computer, which had been used as a home theater in my room during down time, decided that it would no longer play movies. I had brought with me about 15 of my favorite movies along to Japan for these kinda of situations. I discovered within hours that they would not work on Japanese DVD players due to some sort of DVD sourcing problems or something to that extent. Still, I wanted to do something, and that's when I discovered the Masaki family movie library. I found myself watching my first American movie, spoken in all Japanese, with English subtitles.
To no one's surprise the move we first played was Pirates of the Caribbean 1.
It was quite an experience for me, because I did not realize how strange it is to see non-Japanese people speaking fluent Japanese. In America, this sort of thing never crosses our mind. We all kind if assume that everyone can speak English, black, white, Chinese, Zimbabwean, Pakistani, or Russian. But being in Japan for only a week has given me this image that it's just plain weird to see someone none-Japanese speaking the language. And that's exactly what Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom were doing.
Over the course of 3 months in which I lived with this family, we watched a lot of movies. It even became a bit of a tradition after while. It seemed like every Saturday night, after Track practice and dinner, I would park out in Captain Jack and Mrs. Masaki's room in front of the brand new big screen TV (only purchased because Captain Jack wanted to start a tradition of Movie Night.) They ended up getting Digital Cable, with many special movie channels. That's when the tradition came into practice. The family knew how much I loved Star Wars, and one Saturday evening I got a call to
|The fact that this image exists means that the world is great.|
And it came as no surprise to me that when the 5th episode came on the following week, we all watched it together. After 6 weeks, and 6 episodes of Star Wars, I began to wonder if our tradition would continue. It was a lot of fun, for all of us. And in the next week, I was disappointed when no one called for me to come see what was on. I walked by the room various times, listening to see what was on. I even heard a familiar line, "Don't you shoot that green sh*t at me!" I burst through the door, yelling, "I love this movie! Independence Day!" Captain Jack nearly jumped 3 feet in the air, but when we met eyes, I knew why the door had been closed. He was laying in his underwear, looking like he had walked right off the pages of an Abercrombie and Fitch magazine for old Japanese woman.
All he needed was a rose in his mouth, and we could have him into a Valentines Day. I would have apologized profusely, but I noticed he didn't seem to mind. "Oh you like this movie? I'm sorry we should have called you in." I took my seat on the couch, glued my eyes to the television, and pinched my thigh so hard as to not burst into a roaring laughter. When it was over, I excused myself and ran into my room, where I nearly wet my pants at what I had seen.
The next week, Cookie's and Cream Haagan Daaz in hand, we watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And the week after that, we went to the movies and saw the Lake House, which we all agreed was really quite awful. It's weird to think that American movies could have helped to bond me even closer to this wonderful family. But they did.
And around this time, our time was beginning to come to a close.
On the second to last Saturday Movie Night, Masaki Okasan had to attend a wake. Captain Jack and I were on our own. Now normally this would probably scare a Japanese man to be alone with a 15 year old American girl, but Captain Jack isn't exactly normal. He's a badass pirate, with basically no badass skills. He called up his friend, Saiyuri, and together we all went for Okonomiacki at Hakobe. Saiyuri speaks fluent English, and she translated for Captain Jack, that he was going to miss me more than I can imagine when I move to the next family. I told her the feeling was mutual. When we were all finished, Saiyuri returned home, while Captain Jack and I headed into the TV room for Movie Night. He rented the Disney Pixar flick, Cars. I wonder what 50 year old man of any nationality would admit to watching a Disney movie. We both laughed and cried and enjoyed it though. And when it was over, we agreed it was one of the best Disney films in a few years.
The final movie night took place on a Friday night, November 17th, the night of my birthday. Captain Jack had really wanted me to watch his favorite musical, even though I had no interest in it. Finally, I gave in, and we popped in Moulin Rouge. I was not disappointed. The movie was wonderful. The story was sentimental and hilarious at the same time. And even though I enjoyed every moment of it, I couldn't help but feel sad that it was our last movie night. And when it ended, everyone was quiet. It truly was over, not just the movie, but the whole tradition.
I left the Masaki's apartment on the 19th of November. They still have Movie night, every so often, because they have a great television and set-up for it. But I've been told it just isn't the same.