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Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

Few Celebrations

Today, Japan Club held a New Year celebration. 10 days too late isn’t it? Aren’t Japanese supposed to be always on time? Perhaps they have been staying in Malaysia long enough to have had been infected by one or two local viruses.

Anyway, lucky for me. My class today had been cancelled, so I could attend this event. Took some pictures with my Sony Ericsson P1i. Honestly I dont like the picture quality of my phone, but I had misplaced my camera somewhere. So, this was all I could do.

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The usual Go players crowd were here as well. I played five games against Wynes and Old Zhuang. By the way, I was told that during last week MWA AGM, I was chosen as Exco member. Haha.. not too sure what my role is though. The top echelon remains the same. President is Mr Tiong, VP is Mr Lee, Billy is treasurer while Mr Chow is secretary.

How can I contribute to MWA? Well, that’s a question for another day. Now I am still having headache from playing Go.

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Philip, Dennis and Jimmy. Philip called this “a day-trip to Japan”. 🙂 There were a lot of people selling Japanese food, playing games. A show in Japanese was also held. There were also girls in kimono and guys in Japanese costume, but only a few of them. Mainly, the event was populated with kids and moms.

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Later in the evening, I rushed to Setiawangsa and joined my family for my sister birthday dinner at Al-Rawsha (cant remember actual spelling). Ate really a lot there, chicken, rice and beef. Dinner was nice and I am still full now after 3 hours. Mood and environment were good as well.

Me : Desserts kalau terbalikkan jadi apa?

Sister : S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D

Me : Salah. Kalau terbalikkan, tumpah laaa…

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イダズワイカ

Suzz helped me to spell “idazuwaika” in Katakana 🙂 How can I make my Japanese name official?

Anyway, she also informed me of a Japanese Drama based on Shogi. It was Hachi-One Diver. Hachi-One or 81, represents the number of squares in Shogi, or Japanese Chess. A bit like a chess board, it is square but with 9 x 9 dimension, instead of 8 x 8. Hence the name, 81 Diver.

The story was about a man who failed to be Shogi professional player, despite studying the game for 20 years. Indeed the level of board game professionals is really high, and certainly not attainable by any average person with average mental strength and average spirit. It’s discomforting to know that this happens in reality – many people fail professional Go examinations despite studying unthinkably diligent for decades.

Back to the story, this man Segata Kentarou then became a Shinkenshi, or a gambler, who earned money by gambling and winning Shogi. With his higher than average skill, he managed to win money easily, until he met Akihabara Champion, Ukeshi who Segata lost Shogi (and big money) to.

The Akihabara Champion had two personalities, one as a superb Shogi player, another as a cleaning maid. The maid version does not really fit into the story line well, except adding some fantasy to the drama. Anyway Ukeshi then brought Segata into the a new world of Shogi gambling, where he had to gamble life, future (loser quit Shogi) and so on. Through many desperate games, Segata managed to acquire higher level of concentration in Shogi – including diving into Shogi board – hence the name 81 Diver.

The story continues with them later having to oppose an evil organization Kishoukai who wanted to bring the world of professional Shogi down.  This organization is full of strong Shogi players who harbored discontentment towards professional Shogi. Segata with his improved skill managed to beat this organization with many top-skilled players, but at the end he was stopped by the leader of the organization who happened to be Ukeshi’s own father.

Later, Ukeshi’s father died and Ukeshi inherited the organization despite opposing it in the beginning. She felt it was her responsibility to continue her father dream to bring professional Shogi down Just like her father, Ukeshi had Second Sight skill which was far superior than Segata’s ‘diving’. However, in his desperation to save Ukeshi from the ill path of Shogi, Segata later gained even higher level of concentration, Clear and Serene (going over the 81 boundary into space of emptiness) to have a rematch against Ukeshi. The bet, if he wins, Ukeshi must quit the organization and be at his side forever, if he loses, he must never see Ukeshi again.

Haha.. personally I think this drama to be quite enjoyable, although too much nonsense. Luckily it’s only 11 episodes, otherwise I probably wouldn’t finish it. I admit, I used to dream saving girls, even nation by winning a high-tension chess game. LOL 🙂 Anyway, the story teaches never to give up, even after 20 years of hard effort !

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The Japanese Language festival in UM was fun. I was not involved in all events, only Go, where I played the role of instructors to few groups of students. I arrived in UM as early as 8:30 a.m. Was quite sleepy as I only slept at 3 a.m. the night before, after watching midnight movie DarkKnight at KLCC.

There was no projector during the Go demonstration, so the 1000 lines presentation that I prepared was useless. Instead, I gave personal tutorial to groups of three, and two. Suprising thing was, all those that I taught were girls. Probably only girls like to attend language festivals, I dont know. But it’s good, since we’re really lacking female players.

To Ramona, Marha, Ming Di, Mie, Zati, Alin, Ai Lin and Mida – hope you all will continue play Go.

Also Shuwen said, a guy from MMU Cyberjaya is planning to set up a Go club there. The guy is a beginner, but Shuwen is 3k, and can surely help developing keen players there. Ming Di is also from MMU, and I found her to be quite talented, being able to see through seki, ko and snap back. 

There was really good feeling in the air. There were many frequent members of MWA were there, helping with the Go event. Veterans Mr Tiong, Billy and Mr Chow, also Hock Doong, Philips, Violet and me, together with younger generations Suzz, Raymon, Shuwen and Meng Swi. I also got to know a new guy from Ipoh, Ee Zhen.

Haha I mention really a lot of names today’s post. It’s because that is really the best part of Go. The opportunity to meet a variety of passionate people from different background, and to compete mentally.

Edit : I didn’t mention Jueneke because I just didn’t know how to spell the name.

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New goal, JLPT !

I remember telling a German friend, that all I wanted was to represent Malaysia in WAGC once and then I could quit playing Go. But getting ranked at 46th sucks too much to be the ending of my Go career. Besides, it’s actually impossible for me to quit at this time because I am already emotionally, mentally and spiritually attached to the game.

What I can do instead is to prioritize something else , before I find the right mood and moment to play Go again. There’s a story of a Malaysian go player who went to WAGC, and never be heard of again, probably because too embarrassed of his bad performance. Hopefully I wont be likened to that. If I slow down my Go activity, it’s because I’ve accomplished my target, to go to WAGC.

I hope to win ASEAN level tournament one day, and that is a good target to aim for. But I cant work on it yet, or I will fail in everything else in my life.

I’m thinking of studying for Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) now. I know previously I wanted to take Java Certified Programmer or Linux Certification instead, but lately, I have been more of a cultural and language guy. 🙂 It’s a weird transformation. And I’m hating computer stronger-ly each day too ! And if you ask me now, I’d say Science and Maths should be taught in Bahasa Malaysia (for Malaysian education system) , a total opposite of my past stance. But that matter is too big to be discussed in this post.

It’s estimated that to achieve Level 2 of JLPT, 600 hours of studying is required. That’s a lot. If I could spend 2 hours per day, it will take me a year! (I dont want to study more in the weekends.)  But where do I find extra hours every day? Any of these perhaps.

  1. Wake up an hour earlier
  2. Sleep an hour later
  3. Stop eating lunch
  4. Stop eating dinner
  5. Stop taking shower
  6. Stop blogging

I think, I will skip lunch. I’m too fat anyway. Or better, alternately skip lunch or dinner because breakfast wont let me last the whole day.

I’ve stopped searching for the meaning of life. I will give meaning to it instead.

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My performance in recent World Amateur Go Championship in Tokyo was laughworthy. I did so bad by winning only three games out of eight, hence placing Malaysia at 46th out of about 70. For comparison, Malaysia usually is in the top 30.

If I could give excuses, I would say I lost focus on the tournament. This was my third tournament in the month and I was already tired of even seeing the go board. Moreover, I was running out of money and had to take the train to Akihabara in between my games. Haha lousy excuses.

How about this one?

There was a Japanese girl present who was so pretty that I could not get myself focused on my games ! When she accidentally bumped into me and said “Sumimasen” in the softest voice, I melted and my fighting spirit disappeared like a golf ball (hit by me).

Hmm.. I was enjoying the trip too much. Meeting Yumi Hotta, the author of Hikaru No Go anime, eating Japanese breakfast, visiting anime shops, listening to J-Pop, eating supernice sushis .. 🙂 The love for everything Japanese rushed back to me. I also got to meet and make friends with people from so many other countries.

Anyway I brought the wrong cable to the office, so pictures have to wait. Hopefully tonight I can upload them.

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