Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"What can you tell me about the four Wude?"


"With one eye I look at tomorrowWith one eye I keep looking at yesterday
If only I could once again
Sleep in the cradle of your love"

山根麻衣 (Yamane Mai), "The Real Folk Blues"

I'll still be in the Netherlands for almost two weeks, but I'm actually slowly beginning to do stuff for the year in Fukuoka. I tend to prepare quite too much on my own pace, which results in that some things which could've waited, are already prepared weeks in advance and that other things, which should've been addressed earlier, are done at the last minute. Which reminds me I should get my visum one of these days. It's a miracle I've already booked my flight.

The flight will include a short stop in Hong Kong. And while I have been two, three times to Hong Kong, I can't remember much of it, so it's probably surprising for people to hear (or it's totally expected because it's me) that the best memory I have of Hong Kong is... the virtual Hong Kong in the DreamCast game Shenmue 2. If I would ever bother to rank games, Shenmue 2 would probably be no. 1. The hours I've spent in Hong Kong in that game (where every other person is a martial artist master), trying to "revenge my father's death", while trying to sell a game of Lucky Hit, asking around for the four Wude (a lot better than asking around for sailors, like in the first game), walking around Wan Chai, the Golden Quarter, the Wise Men's Quarter, earning money and then the phenomenal Kowloon chapter (the Yellow Head building and the rooftop fight! 外門頂肘!)... It was the best of times. I kinda doubt my stay in Hong Kong will be epic as Shenmue 2.

And yes, I often derive my 'knowledge' on locations and stuff from popular media. So what do I know about Fukuoka? Very little actually. Whereas Tokyo is the murder capital of Japan (a lot more logical than Cabot Cove, Maine for the USA, considering the size of Tokyo) and Kyoto and Osaka get their deal of killings too, Fukuoka is kinda neglected in detective fiction, as far as I know. What is interesting though is that my dormitory is pretty close to the double suicide crime scene in Matsumoto Seicho's bestseller Ten to Sen ("Points and Lines"). It's actually on one of the maps in the book (the arrow points to the dorm. Not the double suicide. That's at a beach). But besides that, Fukuoka is not a very popular place for murder, it seems.

So I did a bit of necessary research on Fukuoka. When in Fukuoka, I should eat tonkotsu ramen, mentaiko, gyouza, motsunabe and loads of seafood (including the ever deadly fugu). Preferably all at yatai (food stalls). And there is no Book Off in the direct neighbourhood of my dorm. Yes, this is all vital information when going to a new place. What can you eat there? Can I buy books? And are people killed often?

And I never knew till I came back, but when in Tokyo, I lived in Nerima-ku, which turns out to be the same ward as where the crazy antics of Ranma 1/2 occur. It is a small world after all. And yes, I know that Excel Saga is situated in Fukuoka. I'm starting to see a pattern here with madness
concentrating at places where I live in Japan.

Today's song: 伊織 (Iori) - シェンファ~江清日抱花歌 ("Shenfa - The Song of the Bay, the Purity, the Sun, the Embrace and the Flower")


  1. Must be a different part of Nerima-ku where ranma 1/2 takes place. Or a very different time line.

    how did you discover that, btw?

  2. Naturally at the modern Library of Alexandria. Wikipedia.

    And I guess it was somewhere else in Nerima-ku. I for one can't remember seeing all those walls and fences Ranma walks (and streams?) on in Nerima or Ekoda.