Totoro to neighboring Nagoya

Well, Nagoya isn’t “neighboring” Tokyo, but it’s closer than USJ in Osaka, and the movie is called “My Neighbor Totoro”, so… (actually, Tokyo Disneyland isn’t really in Tokyo, but neighboring Chiba).

The BBC reports that a Totoro theme park is being built in Nagoya, to open by 2020. Someplace to go before or after the Olympics, perhaps.

Read the article to find out more. There are related links, too, so you can get lots of English input about this topic.

Within the article:

At the end:

 

Teach your children well

Here’s a good story about educational videos and programs, and why it’s important to find out what your audience needs and wants. This story includes an article, an audio clip with transcript, and a few short videos.

“When Elmo And Big Bird Talk To Refugees”

(from NPR, 5/5/17)

The goal of this new Sesame Street content is to

‘ “bolster children’s resiliency” as well as improve their language, math and early reading skills.’

And to help children think about inclusivity and in

“understanding that they have big feelings and that there are things they can do to manage those feelings or emotions.”

This makes me think of a folk song from 1969 or 1970: “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Here’s a live version. (lyrics)

A, B, O, AB

In the first week of class I asked students to come up with 3 adjectives describing their personality, using a thesaurus to experiment with new vocabulary.

How about your blood type?

This is a detailed explanation of the role of “blood type personality theory” which used to be so popular in Japanese society (from Tofugu).

When I first came to Japan, one of the first questions people asked me as I got to know them was, “What’s your blood type?” I thought it was an odd question, asked as casually as “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?” (or maybe the often asked in Japan but less commonly asked by native speakers, “What’s your hobby?”). In fact, at the time I didn’t know what my blood type was because to me it was one of those things only doctors cared about.

Here’s a chart that uses lots of adjectives for personality. Can you guess which blood type this is?

These days, people don’t seem to care about blood type as much. Maybe it was the realization that, like horoscopes, trying to explain a person’s character through blood type is, at best, a good conversation starter. At worst, it can lead to what the article calls “blood harassment”.

Do you and your peers care about blood type? Is it something you ask about when you meet someone new? Have you heard any stories about blood type affecting a relationship? What about horoscopes — do you read them or believe them?

Going viral

This subway performer’s videos have gone viral at least a few times in recent years. You wonder (well, I wonder) why some arguably less talented singers go viral. Piko Taro said last year that he had not made much money off his “song” and Mike Yung, if you look at his Twitter feed, hasn’t either.

This was funny (he means “front page”):

A student last semester did a research project about what it takes for people to become famous. He never really found a secret formula (and if he had, we’d all know him by now, right?). But what do you think? Why do some people, or videos, go viral and others don’t?¬†(writing prompt). And another writing prompt can be: Explain what Reddit is to Mr. Yung.

Anyway, I could listen to “A Change is Gonna Come” over and over again. Not something I can say about PPAP.

Read more about Mike Yung here: “Searching the Subway for Mike Yung, the Viral Singer that Time¬†Forgot” (from Pitchfork)