It's 11/11/11! Here in Japan, some are using that as a marketing scheme and calling it Pocky Day (since 1s look like pocky). I don't think I'll be buying any more pocky than usual though.
So here's something random: when you're doing a speech or presentation in front of a lot of people and you get nervous, instead of imagining everyone in their underwear as might have been suggested in American schools, you can try the Japanese method which is drawing the kanji for person (人) a few times on your hand and then pretending to swallow them. As should be obvious, you will have now consumed some of the audience and will have less people to perform in front of. Or something like that.
After class today, I went with Mackenzie, one of her host sisters, and Hanako to a/the Historical Village of Hokkaido, a recreation of one of the first Japanese towns on Hokkaido. Also, apparently this and several other tourist places are free to overseas students, so that meant I got in free. The first thing I noticed was that even though we went in the afternoon, there was almost nobody else there. There weren't very many employees walking around either so we just went into various old-fashioned buildings on our own and walked down the main street which had a railroad track with a horse-drawn cart on it going back and forth. In one area was a playground with old toys to try including stilts, tops with string, and the good old hoop and stick.
Close to there was a place where someone helped us make little noise makers out of some household objects. In the same building were other toys and games that kids would play with including kendama, puzzles, a pin the tail on the donkey sort of game, a paper sumo wrestling game, and a game where you had to toss a bunch of sticks in the air and catch them all together again.
From there we checked out part of an old dormitory for Hokkaido University which was pretty spiffy as well. And that's about all there is to say about it.
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