Thursday, April 29, 2010

Judgment Day, bitches

This morning instead of getting some much-needed sleep or exercise I took my ass to a mini field trip organized by my kimono school. It was quite literally down the street from where I live, at a wholesaler I have passed by many times on my way to loftier times with a Suntory highball. We listened to a very old and small man speak about a dyeing technique that has been around for hundreds of years and is now only used by four people in Japan, all of whom are also getting up there. This has nothing to do with what I'm about to tell you, but I figure a little background information never hurts.

After the lecture while women were swarming around ordering bolts of yukata fabric, I ended up talking to the shacho, who happened to mention seeing a large group of foreigners near the local station with the words "trial day, May 21" on their T-shirts. He had no idea what trial this referred to and thought I might know, because you know, whities stick together. We discussed this several minutes with one of my teachers, murmuring over what this group of whities could be going to trial for.

On our way to lunch later, who should the beau and I spot but one of these trial whities. It also turns out that the shacho can't read Japanese because the lone guy's T-shirt said "judgment day" but I had not clued into this yet so when we walked by and he looked like he might hand us a flier, I asked him what the trial day was on his T-shirt and when he looked confused (in retrospect probably because he doesn't even know what's on his T-shirt), I asked what was going down on May 21. I figured it was a labour dispute or cross-border kidnapping case but the guy looked at me and in all seriousness said, "the end of the world." I must have looked a bit confused and I honestly almost asked him if he was joking, because the next thing out of his mouth is that "it's written in the bible." Well then. My people are only down with the older version of that book. Cue me power-walking away and asking the beau why the fuck I am running into bible thumpers in my small Tokyo neighbourhood.

Thank god for iPhones, as I was able to quickly ascertain that a certain Christian group had sent people to Tokyo for a couple weeks to teach the sinning Asian masses about Judgment Day next year. I'm not a huge fan of proselytizing and even less so when they come to Japan to distribute leaflets. Why not put the money towards people who literally need saving, like those down in Haiti? I'm not sure how many fliers whitie-on-the-corner managed to beg off onto people, but I've a sneaaaking suspicion that Japanese people aren't going to be particularly receptive to a religious salesman. They weren't a couple hundred years ago and I don't think much has changed. Even I was taken completely unawares when I probably would have been more hip to the situation had we been in Canada or the States.

I'm now heading out to see the Azuma Odori geisha dances in Shinbashi, to see how they measure up to those in Kagurazaka, which I have been attending every year. I may be getting judged next year, but at least I am feeling pretty fucking cultured.

13 comments:

Apryl in Wonderland said...

Interesting. May 12th huh? I better get some tasks done on my to-do list!

And I don't recall that in the Bible anywhere...then again, I am Jewish - so we only use the "old" part.

Speaking of that, I rarely meet Christians in Japan and have never met a Jewish person here. BUT I was speaking with a Korean Christian minister here, and when I told him I was Jewish...well, I know how it feels to be a superstar. He was soooo excited to meet a "real Jew." ha ha ha

Lisa said...

May 21? So what am I supposed to do about 2012? This is so exhausting.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Apryl: You are a superstar! I'm also Jewish and I tend to get a lot of blank looks when I mention it to people here ("What are you doing for Christmas?" "I'm Jewish." "Ok, so what are you doing for Christmas"?). They have very limited points of reference when it comes to Judaism (and other religions too for that matter).

Lisa: My thoughts exactly. I can't keep track of all these dates!

Apryl in Wonderland said...

Pshaw! Most folks back in the States have no idea either. I actually prefer to explain it here..."You know how Christians pray to Jesus to then ask G-d? Well, we just go directly to G-d, no middle man." That simple explanation seems to work for most short answer needs.

Oh, I posted something about Host/white girl dating on my blog - please weigh in with your comments or knowledge if you have time!

Anonymous said...

could you send me a link to that kimono fabric shop? my wife is looking to buy some bolts for her business. Thanks for any info.

kathrynoh said...

Actually most Christians don't pray to Jesus but to god. Unless you are Catholic, then you pray to Mary... and no one but catholics get that.

I love Japanese interpretations of Christianity. One of my life regrets is not buying the crucified cupid necklace I saw in Osaka!

Apryl in Wonderland said...

Kathryn - you do bring up a good point! It depends on the sect I think...many of the Pentecostal sects in the US address prayer to JC, but most Protestant seem to address the prayers to G-D, with a request for JC to intervene.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Apryl: Will look at it for sure!

Anon: Unfortunately it's not the kind of place that does business online - pretty oldskool that way.

kathrynoh: I would totally buy you that necklace if I ever see it!!

JPT said...

Don't suppose you thought to ask him what time of day it is supposed to happen and whether it is consistent across time zones? I did a search in Google on this on and the actual end of the world is scheduled for Oct. 21st. The May 21st date is for the rapture when all the good people go floating up into heaven. Should be quite a sight.

F-A de Montille said...

My two cents about religious nutcases spending money to "save" people: I'd actually rather have them do this in J-land where nobody gives a flying fuck than in Haiti where they can actually create quite some damage, mental or physical. See the whole adoption/abduction case that was all over the news recently for reference.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

JPT: Nope, I was too busy getting the hell out of there. Ah yes, the "rapture." I love that word.

F-A de Montille: I completely agree and should have clarified - I meant they should send money to help with no religious strings attached, not go to Haiti to help people and try to save them in a religious sense.

☆sarita☆ said...

Haha, so they were actually in Tokyo, too? Back in February, we got a lovely informational pamphlet addressed to the "News Desk" at work, probably from the same people.
http://twitpic.com/126dk1

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

sarita: Yes! And then a couple weekends ago I saw another guy with this group in Asakusa looking helpless at the sheer number of heathens walking around. :)