Japan Day 2

It was obvious that I hadn’t adjusted to Tokyo time yet, because while I didn’t have to be up and ready to go to class until 9:45am; I was awake by 5:30. My room-mate (L) and I got up and went out for a look around. Being really early, there weren’t many people around yet, but a few business-men and office-ladies were hurrying off to work. I think it was when we were about a block away from the hotel when it really hit me that I was in a foreign country. Something about there only being one another white guy around and no English to be heard or seen anywhere around. It was just a small but impressive moment for me.

Anyway, L wanted to find the McDonald’s; so we wandered around for a while and found the train station & a KFC but not the McDonald’s. We headed back to the hotel because the heat was starting to get to us and now the hotel’s cafe was serving the free breakfast. We ate and then AWelkin-sensai, A & Bryon came in for breakfast. After we all finished eating AWelkin-sensai took us out to show us around the area a bit and help L find the McDonald’s. She also pointed out some banks for us (useful for exchanging traveler’s checks) and showed us the interior of the train station.

Then we headed back to the hotel1 and met up with everybody else to head out to TCA2. This is a much shorter walk than the Jikei building was. After we got there Yamada-san (sp?) gave us a short introduction/oreintation to the TCA and then turned the class over to Inaba-sensai who gave us an outline of Japanese manga. He mostly covered the method that he uses to create a manga:

    3 things to keep in mind
  1. YOUR READERS3
  2. The number of pages you want to use to tell the story
  3. The concept or idea of what you want to draw

Then he covered his process of actually producing a manga:

  1. Plan the manga
  2. Create a rough outline of the story
  3. Create a rough outline of the main characters
  4. Firm up your story and rough out some of the supporting characters
  5. Work on story structure & composition as well doing a review of each episode that you want in thr manga to be sure it will advance the story
  6. Review your characters again in light of h0w the story is developing
  7. ‘Manga name’: this was basically described as working up the rough sketches of what the manga will be like, but doing it it on normal paper rather than ‘real’ manga paper
  8. Revise & clean up rough sketches
  9. Begin real penciling of manga
  10. Draw in frames around sketches
  11. Ink characters, starting with their speech balloons
  12. Backgrounds: use faint lines for emphasis
  13. Fill in fabric & sound effects
  14. Finishing 01
  15. Finishing 02: use screentones and clean up any spots or smears

Inaba-sensai didn’t speak English and so he was mostly translated by Keki-san who did a wonderful job (though she did seem nervous about it).

Then we had a lunch break. I ate a rice ball/cake and some sort of sushi roll thing with some orange crude to drink.

After that we had our first Japanese lesson with Sato-sensai and he’s quite the energenic character. By the end of the day, we’d covered how to do some basic introductions, including telling people what our hobbies were. At the very end of the day, he had us work on writing our names in katakana and then showed us how to write other interesting words.

In the evening, a bunch of us went out to look around and get something to eat. Unfortunately, there was a bookstore right near the hotel and everybody went in there first. It took about half an hour to get them out of it. Then they had to notice all the flippin’ manga outside the store and it was another 15 minutes before I could tear them away from it to go and get something to eat. Then we walked down the Metro4 and almost stopped to eat several times. Eventually our group, of about 10, split up. I went with E and KO to eat at a tempura shop, while everybody else went to various places. The tempura was divine and I don’t know if I’ll be ble to eat the tempura back in the US again because this was much, much better!

Then we wandered around a bit more and KO went back to the hotel but E wanted to go look at some more manga/bookstores; so I went with her. After about another hour of looking around, neither of us had bought anything and we decided to call it a night.

1 Our hotel is part of the Toyoko Inn chain.
2 Tokyo Communication Arts college (I think)
3 This was stressed repeatedly.
4 It’s a long row of shops that runs under the train.

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