Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chance meetings when working at a hospital

I was asked to do a magic show at a hospital. They have events where they have various sorts of entertainments for their patients and for the people living nearby. They had rolled out patients on stretchers down to the lobby area (and patients that could walk or who were in wheelchairs were also there), and the place was open to the public.

My resting space was huge
It had snacks

I got a huge room to set up my magic stuff and to change clothes if necessary. They had asked me to perform in a yukata, so I showed up already dressed like that and only had to unpack my magic props to get ready.

Lobby where the performances were held

Apart from me, there was also some food stands outside where they sold barbecue chicken and shaved ice. There were also fresh vegetables from nearby farmers (if I understood correctly). There was also a group of female musicians called "Amuse" that had a "mini concert" after my magic show.

The musicians shared the backstage room with me. When they showed up the asked me if I remembered them, which I actually did when I saw them. They also performed at a Valentine's event where I did a magic show. Strange coincidence. They had performed at this hospital several times before, but for me it was the first time. I had been recommended by a magician friend who lives near the hospital (and whose ex-girlfriend works there and gave me a ride to the subway afterwards).

After the shows were over, we took some photos together. I also had an old man walk up to me and ask me if I like corn. He gave me some very fresh corn that turned out to be great.

I found mentions of this show on a few Japanese blogs. One is the blog of the hospital, one is on the news page of the hospital, one is from someone visiting the event.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Funny faces and funny underwear

I met a guy who runs a ramen restaurant and we had to put on coasters that you hang on your nose to make the lower part of your face look like an animal.

There were also coasters with human faces
I was also asked to show my underwear (this happens to me all the time in Japan). I had on a pair that says 粗品, which means "trifling gift" and is decorated like envelopes that you give presents with but where you have to excuse yourself for the present being such a worthless and trifling thing.

Corn and magic

I dropped by Ropossa not dressed as the kuchisake onna a few days after the costume competition, and they still had some very nice fresh corn. This time I just got the corn and had to eat it using hands and mouth only, though. No special service unless you glue stuff to your face, I guess.

I also ran into another regular who I had not met before but who had wanted to meet me after seeing all kinds of crazy photos of me many times. She was there with a friend. I was asked to do some magic for them, and they seemed to enjoy that.

The adventures of kuchisake onna

Here is a bunch of photos of me from the day I dressed up as kuchisake onna (the slit mouthed woman urban legend). Most of the photos were taken by friends of mine when they ran into me.

Selfie when I finally finished getting into character

Photo from my friend who sold me my new camera

A photo by a girl who worked at the office that ran the student dorm I lived in my first 6 months in Sapporo

Selfie taken with my cell phone, that suggested "beautiful skin"-filter as default

Visiting our magic bar on the way home

A whole bunch of photos from my friends that I had udon with at lunch time
Before the competition started
After dancing past the judges you get thirsty
On the way from the judges booth to the normal Bon-Odori space
Joining the normal Bon-Odori

"Strike a sexy pose", in Ropossa
People wanted me to have fresh corn, but eating it the normal Japanese way would probably ruin my slit mouth, so they carved off some corn and gave it to me in a bowl, with a spoon. Very helpful, actually
I also got a straw for my tea, to lessen the impact on my slit mouth makeup.
Later they wanted me to eat pasta. Which was difficult. More specifically, they wanted to take photos of me eating pasta.
Sexual harassment
More harassment
Bartending for a bit
Someone actually took a photo of the obi, which took me lots of time to get into this shape.

The kuchisake onna usually asks people 「私、きれい?」 ("Do you think I am beautiful?") and if you answer [きれい」 ("Kirei", which means beautiful (so "Yes")), she will take off the mask she normally wears and ask again. If you still say yes, she will make you as beautiful as she is by cutting up your face with her scissors. If you say no, she will be angry and kill you. There is a brand of soap in Japan that is called KireiKirei, ("very clean" or "very beautiful"), so one of my friends suggested going around saying "watashi, kirei?" and then answering myself with "kirei kirei" and hold up such soap, like they do in the commercials.

Another friend who saw me in the park

The kuchisake onna is said to have a weakness for candy

Coming home, many hours later

The makeup held up pretty well during the night (from 16:00 to 04:00)

I tore my stockings sometime during the night. And I wore funny underwear.

My friend who lives across the street from me sent me the photos her father took.
The had a great spot to capture me dancing past the judges booth

Another friend was right near the start of the competition area,and caught me waiting for my turn to start dancing.

I was dragged along to the supermarket and asked to "pick up some meat", "hold some cabbage", and all kinds of things.
The supermarket night shift staff wondered if I was alright, haha.

I put the sexual harassment photos on Facebook. To protect the reputation of my magic bar boss, I blacked out his face. And then tagged him in the photo.

One of the more surprising things during the evening was that when I got out from a bar at three in the morning I ran into these two girls. The blond one I know. And she immediately said: "Ah, Jonas". Most people did not recognize me at first glance that evening, so that was impressive.

Photos from meeting people outside

Photos from doing magic. It is not easy doing magic in a yukata. It is even harder when you have glued things to your face so you cannot talk properly. But it went fine anyway.