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another odd fellow

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  • another odd fellow

    I just signed in this past week or so, specifically looking for advice on my "trapezoidal bolster cover", and you've all been of great help. My background: I'm expat USA having lived in Japan now for more than half of my life, a university prof in the humanities (Japanese studies) teaching at a university in Tokyo. I do woodworking and photography as semi-hobbies (?), but with the completion of my new loveseat, I've had to learn more about upholstery and, yes, sewing. In a bit more personal way I guess I've been involved with home sewing for most of my life, since I was raised in a home of not-so-substantial means, and my mother made many of our clothes on her trusty Singer (I'm 59 now, and still have hanging in my closet a shirt my mum made for me when I was in my 20s--not that it fits anymore, of course ).

  • #2
    Re: another odd fellow

    Welcome Norm,

    You already know everyone is helpful and that it's addictive here.

    It sounds like you keep yourself busy in Japan. What made you stay? I have been for a holiday and thought it was beautiful and safe too.

    I don't think I'm alone is having trouble photographing my work. Curtains from inside rooms into the light, never seem to get the best of results. Please could you offer any tips/hints please?

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    • #3
      Re: another odd fellow

      You can't possibly get rid of that shirt! Haven't you a son or grandson or nephew or great nephew who'd wear it? Retro is huge among the young. My 20 year old son wears flared Levis his father wore at Oxford in the 60s, which haven't fitted his father in my memory.

      How does an expat USA get to teach Japanese studies at a Japanese University? You wouldn't get a non Scot teaching Scottish studies here.

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      • #4
        Re: another odd fellow

        Originally posted by Rosie
        Welcome Norm,

        It sounds like you keep yourself busy in Japan. What made you stay? I have been for a holiday and thought it was beautiful and safe too.
        I stayed because I was offered a job, I guess. I've been interested in Japan since high school.

        I don't think I'm alone is having trouble photographing my work. Curtains from inside rooms into the light, never seem to get the best of results. Please could you offer any tips/hints please?
        "A picture is worth a thousand words." It would be good to see what kind of results you've been getting. But offhand, I could suggest a couple of things.
        1. taking pictures against a daylight window involves backlighting, so you have bright light coming in from outside versus less lighting inside. In that case, using a forced flash may help.
        2. White balance is usually different between outside (daylight: 5300 deg. K), versus indoor incandescent lighting (2800 deg K)--and things may be even more dificult when using fluorescent indoor lighting.
        3. Direct flash from the camera is rarely flattering. It's best to use bounce flash or at least some kind of diffuser. So much depends on what equipment you have available.

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        • #5
          Re: another odd fellow

          Originally posted by nic
          You can't possibly get rid of that shirt! Haven't you a son or grandson or nephew or great nephew who'd wear it? Retro is huge among the young. My 20 year old son wears flared Levis his father wore at Oxford in the 60s, which haven't fitted his father in my memory.

          How does an expat USA get to teach Japanese studies at a Japanese University? You wouldn't get a non Scot teaching Scottish studies here.
          Well, actually, my specialty is religious studies, but with a special focus on early modern Japanese folk religion. My main teaching responsibility is "world religions," and I also teach courses in international studies (focusing on Shinto), and a course in Japanese religions for foreign exchange students. But in my world religions course I touch on Buddhism, and it's amazing how little most Japanese young people know about Buddhism, even though it's supposed to be one of Japan's main religions. I guess I'm in the business of "selling ice to the Eskimos" as it's been said.

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          • #6
            Re: another odd fellow

            Gosh, how interesting! I know very little about Far Eastern religions. There was a course in comparative religion here (Aberdeen) when I was a student, and I knew a lot of people who did it (I went dowm the classics-in-translation route instead) but I've no idea if it still runs as I graduated a horribly long time ago and since my husband retired we don't have so much contact with what goes on. The Divinity department still exists, downgraded from a Faculty a long time ago. They probably call it a school, now.

            What counts as early modern? From the opening up of Japan to the West? Or later? Each discipline seems to have different usage of the term, and I'm easily confused.

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            • #7
              Re: another odd fellow

              Actually, "early modern" is the term usually given to the Tokugawa or Edo period, ca 1600-1867. The term "modern period" is then attached to the Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho, and Showa periods.

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              • #8
                Re: another odd fellow

                So, from Francis Xavier to Commodore Perry then, about what I thought. Thank you!

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