I had to work on Saturday but was rewarded with an interesting view of one of the trains that take you to Universal Studios Japan. There are several different types, but this one has got be my favorite...
I have had archnophobia ever since I looked a spider in the eyes at the age of 9.
It happened on a nice summer day. I was looking outside a window gazing at the small patch of yard outside when I noticed a hole the size of a pea, in the windowsill. I was a daydreamer from birth, so I imagined a small fairy living inside the hole, and with a big grin on my face I peered inside. I will never forget the dark glassy eyes staring back at me, probably in fear, after all I was much bigger than the spider. But the little creature beat me at the stare down. It took only a few seconds for me to realize what I was staring at and bang my head against the window as I ran away screaming, hands flailing abut.
But I have always liked Spider-Man and although I did consider reconsidering my "fanship", the super hero spidy has always had a place in the comic-nerd section of my heart.
When you travel to different places in the world you get to find some mighty cute trinkets like the mobile phone strap to the left of the above picture. Spider-Man is up on a castle roof with a "shachihoko"- a mystical creature with the head of a lion and body of a carp. This was a present from my husband from when he went on a business trip to Nagoya - a place famous for chicken wings, miso nikomi udon (udon noodles in a miso broth) and of course, golden shachihokos (check here for a picture http://opencage.info/pics/large_1232.asp).
The Amazing Spider-Man comic with President Obama on the cover is something I found at a comic book store in Kobe. I went to the store in search for Coraline related stuff and came home with this instead. It was kind of expensive (about US$8) but thought it would be something neat to have.
American comics are pretty popular in Japan but maybe not as popular as manga is overseas.
I went through a manga phase as well. More or less for necessity. I came to Japan in my teens and when you need a conversation starter, manga is a good way to go. It also helped me to learn how to read Japanese. I still think that comics/manga are a good way to learn languages.
However, my passion now lies with novels and non-fiction, so my manga collection is tucked away in boxes.