City and Places
We’re going to be “traditional” tonight (we already ate soba for dinner) and watch *kohaku uta gassen*. According to [Japan-Guide.com](http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2064.html) it’s…
a highly popular television program featuring many of Japan’s most famous J-pop and enka singers in spectacular performances
I can live through with some effort. Each year the show features a line up of male and female singers, and afterwards the live audience votes on which side (male or female) was better. I always root for the guys because they usually sing on key and express some emotion (esp. the guys from Okinawa, they’re a hoot). I used to mock most of the female singers for singing off key and just standing there looking limply at the camera, but my wife didn’t like that so I stopped mostly.
After midnight we may stay up to see what manner of flaming death Okumura has in mind for himself this year. Okumura Taro is my favorite Japanese comedian. Three years ago he dove into an exploding pit of fire with an unraveling loin cloth trailing behind him. Two years ago he climbed inside a giant flaming “darumasan” and exploded. Last year he was run over by a giant ball. It was on fire, of course, but he didn’t explode or even appear to die so the whole thing was a let down.… Keep Reading
This tree covered in purple lights right out to the tips of the finer branches was across the street from the Red Brick Warehouse in Sakuragicho. I don’t know if they removed the lights after Christmas. Probably not.
My office — the room with the computer — is warm now thanks to a space heater I bought yesterday. It’s amazing what a difference some warm air makes. Especially if you add coffee.
On another note, last night I was reading *The Broker* by Grisham. I was nearing the end and enjoying it quite a bit, and then suddenly it skipped from page 296 to page 329. Thirty three pages are missing! Bummer. I’ll try to take it back. I wonder if it’s just my copy or if the entire edition could be missing pages…? I’ll find out soon.