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Welcome to "check this $#!% out!"

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

check this $#!% out mascot : The $#!%
In my first CT-O (check this $#!% out) post, I would like to introduce our mascot.
Literally and figuratively, this mascot is The $#!% !!!

Now to get on to some cool $#!% I'd like you to check out. I spent the last week in Kumamoto where I went to an exhibition on Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-born, Irish-raised world traveler who decided to become a naturalized Japanese citizen (also gaining the Japanese moniker Yakumo Koizumi). He also wrote several books on Japan which are probably some of the best guides to the Japanese mind you'll ever hope to find.
Though most of his observances are of a Japan long gone, it's not hard to draw parallels to the modern Japanese way of thinking. Here is a quote from "Kokoro".

'A male servant long in my house seemed to me the happiest of mortals. He laughed invariably when spoken to, looked always delighted while at work, appeared to know nothing of the small troubles of life. But one day I peeped at him when he thought himself quite alone, and his relaxed face startled me. It was not the face I had known. Hard lines of pain and anger appeared in it, making it seem twenty years older. I coughed gently to announce my presence. At once the face smoothed, softened, lighted up as by a miracle of rejuvenation. Miracle, indeed, of perpetual unselfish self-control.'

Some of my closest friends exercise a skill much like this in where they totally and completely separate their personal face from their work face. Seeing the difference sends chills up the spine of someone like myself who prefers to be themselves at all times, for good or bad. My friend, must unfortunately wear his work face at home since his wife is his boss, and apparently has very little chance to show the fun-loving rascal face which I much prefer.


After the exhibit, I visited his former residence in Kumamoto and after learning more about his travels was inspired to re-read his works which I haven't picked up in over twenty years. I've actually avoided most "about Japan" books because I disagree with many of them [cuz I'm kinduva smarmy know-it-all when I wanna be]. I'm already halfway through "In Ghostly Japan", and I'll probably devour "Kwaidan" next before I jump on to others. I personally like to download these freebies through Stanza and read them on my iPhone.


If you like ghost stories, Japan, folk tales, or authors who refuse to take a picture not in profile, Hearn is your man. "Yuki Onna" is one of my favorite Japanese ghosts of all time. Check out the movie "Kwaidan" based on Hearn's stories. Check it out now! I'll wait...

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