So it feels like things have been really for serious crazy non-stop since I last wrote.
I also hit up a little shamisen concert that my friend put on.
I learned that the body part of the shamisen tends to be made from either dog skin or cat skin, as other animals don't make quite the same sound. But because dogs are considered somewhat sacred in most parts of the world, they have to import the leather from China.
His was made from dog, because he said that cat is often too small, and also you can see the nipples. Which, though he didn't say it, is weird.
Look how lady-like I look while trying to play myself!
I of course immediately thought that I needed to learn to play the shamisen myself, and Hikaru was kind enough to oblige in showing me a little bit.
However, when I asked about using synthetic fibers in the place of the dog/cat skin, he said it was impossible and the sound would just be wrong. If this is true, my shamisen learning dreams were very short-lived.
Thursday was my LAST DAY OF YAMASA! It was sort of sad, but not quite as sad as when I left the last time. This time I had to give a speech, though, and mine went something like this: "お腹もすいたし、涙もろいし、その上スピーチも苦手です。ですので、みんな、ありがとう" Which means something like "I'm hungry, I cry a lot, and I'm bad at speeches. So, everyone, thanks!"
I'm basically really awful at talking in front of people, and I certainly didn't want to make everyone wait through my inevitable tears, so that was that.
Then I went to lunch with my classmates and teachers, then I went and had a lesson with Koushi, and Michie made me delicious vegan curry rice for dinner.
THEN KRISTEN AND SHAWN ARRIVED!!
We had an AWESOME time, and now they have left me. Be prepared over the next few days for a bombardment of blogging about their visit.