Take Me Out To The Ballgame – Softbank v. Rakuten

Every year the Softbank Hawks are kind enough to go on the road to various local stadiums around Kyushu, Kumamoto included. This year our hometown Hawks played the Rakuten Eagles at Fukisakidai, a stadium better known for Kumamoto’s top tier high school teams.

As you can see, we had rather nice seats in the outfield, all for a cool 2100 yen.

One important thing about the outfield at a Japanese baseball game is that is acts as the team’s cheering section. At the bottom of every inning we all stood, chanted, and sang songs for the individual players as they came up to bat.

Each inning brought a new cheer master, who, accompanied by large drums and brass instruments, lead the outfield in various chants and songs.

During the 7th inning stretch we released our balloons to support the home team.

However, in the end, we suffered a heart-breaking defeat. We’ll get them next year!

Benjamin’s Long and Rambling Talk – 米国ん方言

Last week I gave a quick overview of some of the major dialects in America and the kinds of features that set them apart. While the discussion was rather superficial, the topic is extremely broad and the goal of introducing the breadth of the subject was accomplished.

First we discussed my own research (based on the theory of indexical order and Kumamoto dialect), moving on to discuss some examples of the two major classes of dialect, regional and social. Regional dialects discussed were those of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, the South, and Northern Midwest America. Social dialects included the Boston Brahmins, AAVE (African American Vernacular English), and Boston North End dialects.

If you are interested in learning more about these dialects, please check out the clips from American Tongues, a great documentary, which are freely available on Youtube. The wonderful nature of the internet and 20 minutes of watching American dialect in use can tell you more than you’d ever learn from reading a book (or a blog post for that matter).

Enjoy!

Hanami party … again!

WIL had a Hanami Party at Ninomaru park on the 31st of March.
There were about 60 people who came, we all had a lot of fun!

We all thought it was going to rain, but luckily the weather was great and the cherry blossoms were beautiful. Benjamin played shamisen and Daniel played guitar.

There was so much great tasting food, but we couldn’t eat it all. Afterwards, some of us continued the party at karaoke.

Thank you to everyone who came, we had a great time and hope to see you all again next year!