Summer Snow

Location: Davis, California, United States

I am a graphic design student at UC Davis. My screenname, kiroin is used for my websites, blogs and other online presences. It has no meaning.. yet? Email:

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Saying Goodbye

One of the hardest things about staying longer in Japan than the actual program is having to extend my goodbyes day by day. Akin to ripping off a band-aid slowly rather than all at once, the experience of seeing the group become smaller and smaller as time passes is rather sad and painful. Having my parents come to Japan during this process only makes matters worse as I want to ignore them to extend the scarce time left with my peers. It was certainly a mistake to overlap the times and not give myself a break to transition my mindset from that of a student/tourist to that of a family member/tour guide. The Minato-Ku show was a last minute thing as well, jutting into our last few days- a licorice jelly bean amongst peach, mango and pina-colada. I am very worried that my piece will not make the trip from venue to venue besides the fact that I made a box to pack it in. But all is done and moving out signals the end of this crazy, fun, very informational trip.

As in all major journeys, I think I learned the most about my own personality and how I relate to others. I am not an interesting person varbatim. (diction?) I think I like to just get attention and to accomplish that I either open myself to ridicule or try and do things to appear outstanding. This makes for very boring conversations thus I vow to loosen up my hold on opinions and feelings. I really need to be more confident that everything will be alright even when people don't agree. Another observation is that I generally I don't find myself very creative but through sheer determination arrive at a solution to problems in work and life. I guess this fits into my mindset that I hate research but will do it if need be. I hope to be more open to crazy ideas and go for them to see where they take me. Kind of like how I'm running the rest of my trip. I don't know where I'll be but wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The end is near. Well, the end of the program that is. My projects are almost done. Tomorrow will be devoted to the poster (something I am definately not satisfied with), and then thursday will be for the flash site and FAKE concert. I still need to go to a store and buy a box for my Fusama as transportation becomes an issue.

The end of the program makes me realize that exploring Japan with other gaijin made the experience much more sheltered yet rich.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Project progress

Today I worked on finishing my frame. It's mostly done and all I need to do is to print and mount the images. Maybe a coat of paint? It can be assembled from 6 pieces. I'm so proud! Also, I did some major updates to my personal picture page: Summer Snow. It takes a lot of work to update it, but it has lots of the pics that I took, so if anyone sees a pic that they like, you can email me and I'll send you the big version.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I can tell the future?

I spent last night working on the frame while watching the world cup Japan vs. Australia and USA vs. Czech Rep. (Japan lost 3-1, USA lost 3-0) I was getting tired and my craft become horrible, leaving an ugly, non-functional support to deal with this morning. I had to carefully dissasemble it to rebuild the part correctly. While cutting an particularly awkward joint, I thought to myself that the blade is going to slip and cut my finger. I dismissed the thought and promptly cut myself just as I predicted. I'm so proud of myself.

Today I also went to Shibuya to buy transparency paper and more glue, came back and continued to work on the frame for the fusama. My plan is to print on thursday and the physical piece done for friday. That way I can work on the flash project in class since I don't have flash on my computer.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Project Update

I've been working on my project and progress has been slow. The images have been going well. I'm planning to have 8 images that have the basic image and a transparency to show the changes that I made. Construction however is tedious. I want to make sure that my craft is better and that the whole piece will not look cheap. That means taking time to double check my plans and measurements before and after each cut. I'm pretty sure my new design will work much better than the last, but there's always the chance that I forgot to think of something and that a piece won't quite fit.. or that it'll break apart.... The trick to it all will be making sure all the faces will be clean and flush.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Midway- expectations and reality

I expected to use a lot more Japanese and meet many more people from the area. Also, I am a bit dissapointed to find that our schedule prevents us from hanging out with students outside our program. We've been tagged as antisocial by our dormmates. It's not that we are actively trying to avoid the other students, but we are usually just in class and out together in town or back at the dorm at work. We don't really hang out at the dorm.

Japan has gotten familiar and comfortable in the places we travel, but there are occaisions where I remember that I'm in a foreign country. I feel even more isolated after getting used to the society since I can't really communicate to others yet I am a 'part' of their world.