Wow I've been away from livejournal for a really long time! Well, school work has been keeping me really busy for the past few weeks. What, with all the group presentations and projects piling up. :/ and not to mention my never-ending pile of readings. Sighh. nonetheless, I couldn't resist taking a peek at the latest episode for Canjani! which was kind of related to my JS module (regarding all those Buddhist sects which flourished during theKamakura period)... I can't believe they made Yokoyama and Ohkura spend 2 days training at a temple though! Translations can be found below. (Italics are comments given by the other Kanjani members while viewing the video)
Yoko: Here we are for our 2-day and 1-night stay in the temple…
Ohkura: … (totally unenthusiastic)
Yoko: Today I came with Ohkura by car. During the drive, Ohkura silently mumbled, “Do you think Mr. Johnny would help me if I called him?”
[He actually thought of calling Mr. Johnny for help! (everyone laughs)]
Narrator: Filled with dread, the 2 people walk into the temple. [insert introduction of the temple. Apparently it belongs to a very strict Buddhist sect. And their winter training is especially tough.]
Yoko: This introduction fails to let all of you know how strict it really is!]
Yoko: Hello, we are Yokoyama and Ohkura from Kanjani8 and we’ll be under your charge for the next 2 days.
Narrator: [insert introduction of head monk. He’s been a monk for over thirty years, which explains the aura which he emanates.]
Head abbot: For the 2 days course, it will be sufficient for both of you to spend 2 days with the junior monks in this temple.
Nishikido: He sure looks strict!
[insert schedule which includes a lot of chores, meditation, and study course at night. All food to be strictly vegetarian.]
Yoko: We’ll work very hard. But we might complain when things are tough, so please forgive us.
Narrator (cheerfully): So begins the 2 days and 1 night stay in the temple! First, they go to the main hall to pay respect.
Yoko: For the next 2 days, please take care of us (yoroshiku onegaishimasu)
Ohkura: I hope to become more of a man in the year 2009
Narrator: They are then showed to their accommodations. What kind of room will it be like?
Ohkura: Eh?! Is it just this? It’s so small and narrow!
Narrator: This is their room, situated at the back of the main hall. It’s only 4 tatami mats wide, and has no heating system. This is a place for training one to be mentally strong. Sometimes monks from the country side come as guests and are put up in this room.
Ohkura (whiny and shivery voice): Don’t you think it’s terribly cold?! This must be hell!!!
Head abbot (matter-of-factly): This is a temple. Not hell.
Yoko: You said something really rude, you know?
Narrator: At 9.30am, they change into their work attire. [insert explanation of attire. The material is specially made to be thin so that it doesn’t hinder you when you are working. ]
Ohkura: This is no different from just wearing a T-shirt! It’s really cold! Why do I have to wear this?!
Monk (from outside): Are you guys ready? From now on, you’ll be meditating so I will be ushering you to the meditation hall. Please come out. There’ll be no wearing of shoes in the temple.
Ohkura: You’re bare-footed! Aren’t your feet cold?
Monk: I’m fine.
Narrator: In this temple, being barefooted is a test of endurance, as well as their way of life. But let me remind you that the temperature on this day is only 2 degrees Celsius, and it’s cold enough for water to turn into ice.
Ohkura: Owww! My feet are REALLY going to split! Please wait! I can’t do this! There isn’t even 1 warm spot to place my feet on! (hops around)
Narrator: At 10am, meditation starts. The 2 of them have reached the meditation hall. This is a place where people train their inner soul. As great concentration is necessary for reaching the state of emptiness, every individual has to sit in a constrained space.
Monk: Please press on the cushion to make it rounder.
Ohkura: I think it’s already very round.
Monk: Please make it as round as you can.
Ohkura: Like a ball?
Narrator: The round shape of the cushion is to help one preserve balance as he meditates for long periods of time. Next, they are being taught how to sit properly in the lotus position.
Ohkura: It hurts!
Yoko: My body is too stiff!
Monk: Is it too painful?
Monk: haha. Can you just sit in a cross-legged position then?
Yoko: Even that is difficult for me.
Everyone: His legs are positioned too high up! (haha!)
Narrator: Next, in order to preserve one’s inner tranquility, one must arrange the hands in a particular position.
Yoko: What should I think of when I’m in this position?
Monk: Try to achieve the state of emptiness. Please try not to think of the pain in your legs.
Narrator: At the signal of the bell, they are made to face the wall so as to concentrate.
Monk: Please try to sit in such a way that you only take up half the mat.
Narrator: This way of meditating is thought of by Daruma, the founder of this sect.
Monk: Let me demonstrate what happens to those who do not concentrate hard enough. (he proceeds to whack a junior monk)
Yoko: Ahh what a poor guy! He didn’t do anything to deserve that whack!
Ohkura: Uwaa!! That was too hard!!
Monk: This was considered gentle, so please don’t worry for him.
Yoko: … (stunned by the loud whack)
Narrator: The Kyousaku is used as a form of stimulant to monks who fail to concentrate during the meditation. And at 10.15am, the meditation really starts. In the midst of the silence…
Yoko: Ahh! I was really terrified during this time!
Hina: Do you know when he comes behind you?
Yoko: More or less.
Narrator: Ohkura looks serious and next to him Yoko is also trying hard. Meanwhile, the monk eyes them watchfully.
Yoko: Scary!! This is really scary!
Narrator: 5 minutes after they start….
Yoko: Who is he going to whack first?! Who? Who? Oh it’s me?! Poor me! That looks really painful!
Narrator: Immediately after…. The sound of the loud whack (on Ohkura’s shoulder) vibrates through the whole room. And then, Ohkura who’s always troublesome, suffers a storm of whacks.
Yoko: This is actually much more painful than it looks! Honestly!
Ryo: Does he only hit the right shoulder?
Narrator: 5 minutes later…. Ohkura gets whacked again.
Yoko: Because he moved!
Ohkura: Hey it really wasn’t my fault! I wasn’t thinking of anything at that time. Which is what he asked us to do, right? (reaching a state of emptiness)
Subaru: Why were you moving so much at that time?
Ohkura: Because I was really irritated at that time. I couldn’t help it.
Hina: Hey! Isn’t that exactly what you’re not supposed to feel?!
Narrator: It seems that many worldly distractions were contaminating his mind at that moment. After 40 minutes, the total score is 2 hits for Yokoyama and 5 for Ohkura. Yoko could’t help but laugh.
Yoko (asking Ohkura): How many times did you get hit? I thought I heard a lot of noise coming from my left side but didn’t dare to look.
Ohkura: I got hit many many times. (He fails to reach the state of emptiness)
Monk: I could sense many worldly distractions coming from you.
Yoko: What the heck were you thinking of?!
Ohkura: I was singing in my head the whole time.
Yoko: That’s not empty at all -_-
Narrator: At 11, it’s time for chores (Wiping corridor with a rag)
Monk: Please help me to clean this entire corridor.
Yoko: The wind here is really strong! It’s really cold! Anyway where do I get the water from?
Monk: There isn’t any taps in this temple. Go scoop the water yourself from now on.
Ohkura: Yeah unbelievable.
Monk: By the way, tap water is considered to be a luxurious waste, which is why we don’t use it in this temple.
Ryo: Are you for real?
Yoko: Do you do this every day?
Monk: Yes. Every morning.
Yoko: What a bunch of poorthings. Imagine doing such chores early in the morning. By the way, can you bungee jump?
Monk: No, I’m scared of the thought. Have you bungee jumped before?
Yoko: It’s precisely because that I didn’t, that made me end up in this situation! Hey, even spiritually enlightened people can’t bungee jump, so don’t you think it’s ridiculous to ask ME to bungee jump?! Even after going through a period of spiritual enlightening, I don’t anyone would be able to bungee jump.
Narrator: They’ve come to a waterfall that can be found in the temple. This day, the water temperature is 5 degrees Celsius. Immediately, the start to collect water, and…
Ohkura (touches water in the bucket): Uwaa!! Coooold!
Yoko: this is heavy!
Narrator: At this time, Ohkura is…. (cheating… pouring away some water)
Ohkura: I can’t carry any more than this, you know.
Yoko: You! What do you think you’re doing?! You have too little water in your bucket! What nerve you have to skive at such a holy place!
Narrator: Even after coming to such a place, Ohkura just can’t stop acting cute. Then they begin cleaning.
Monk: Please wide from side to side like this. You have to adopt this body posture, and maintain the same speed as the monk who’s demonstrating to you now, without taking breaks all the way till the end.
Yasuda: Haha! He’s really serious about grilling you guys!
Ohkura: I wonder… Will I be okay? Anyway, can you please share some of your water with me?
Yoko: Are you in the right frame of mind?!
Comparison of the water buckets: Ohkura has very little water. Yoko has a lot.
Yoko: Do you know how hard I worked to carry this here? Uwaaa~ the water is so coooold!
Ohkura (dipping his fingers into the water): Ahh I can’t get the cloth out of the water!
Yoko forces Ohkura’s hand into the water and Ohkura starts to cry.
Yoko: Are you a girl? Seriously.
Narrator: Ignoring the crying Ohkura, Yoko begins to wipe seriously.
Yoko: This is really tough!
Ohkura: Uwaa! I’m tired!
Subaru: Wow this must be really tough! Cool!
Ohkura: What on earth did the 2 of us do to deserve such treatment?
Narrator: Even crying won’t get you out of this!
Monk: You should push your hips down more or it’ll be really painful.
Ohkura: Do you seriously do this every morning?
Monk: Yes I do.
Ohkura: My feet hurt!
Narrator: Then, Ohkura starts to skive… (he’s hopping around)
Yoko: YOU BETTER GO DO YOUR WORK!
Monk: This is the end of your cleaning. Thanks for your help. Next, it’s time for warm food.
Ohkura: Yayy! This is really worth the hard work, wasn’t it?
Yoko: Excuse me! Should that comment be coming from you? I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear you say that. Or else…
At 12 noon, they have lunch.
Narrator: Lunch is to be eaten in their room.
Monk: Excuse me… (brings in their food)
Ohkura and Yoko: What’s that? What’s for lunch? (very excitedly)
Ohkura: Tempura Udon!
Narrator: This is their lunch: Fried Tempura with Udon simmered in stew.
Subaru: This must be so delicious after working so hard!
Ohkura: I’m so thankful for the food! It’s yummy! By the way, what kind of tempura could this be? Onions and carrots? Radish?
Yoko: Cold! Really cold!
Ohkura: I told you! It’s impossible to sleep in such a place! Please tell me how we’re supposed to sleep in such a place.
Narrator: They get 30 mins rest time after lunch. After which…
Yoko: Aren’t you just being a wuss?
Monk: Please pardon me. (Comes into their room). It’s already 1 o’clock and time for cleaning. Please follow me.
Ohkura: We have to do cleaning again?!
Monk: Yes that’s right.
Narrator: The first chore after lunch is to sweep the stairs leading to the main hall. But those stairs are…
Yoko: What kind of stairs are these?! [LONG]
Monk: I’d like you guys to sweep the stairs, starting from the top to the bottom.
Ohkura: This looks tough!
Narrator: The stairs leading to the prayer hall is about 100 steps long. Since many people use them, it’s important that these steps are swept and kept clean daily.
Yoko: Let’s split the work. I’ll sweep from the left and you from the right. You better do a good job or he might make you redo your sweeping.
Narrator: On the left we have Yoko… And on the right, Ohkura is in charge.
Yoko: Your sweeping is really rough. A lot of leaves are being blown to the other side.
Ohkura: It’s NOT MY FAULT!
Narrator: They're fighting like kids.
Ohkura: Okay I’m going to the toilet. (Dashes off)
Narrator: Who would expect that punishment would come to the lazy Ohkura!
Ohkura’s broom slides down the stairs all the way to the bottom step!
Ohkura: AAAAHHHH! I already said I needed to pee! Why do so many people have to be staring? This is the worst disaster to happen to me! Especially when the toilet time allocated is limited!
Narrator: In the end, Ohkura has to continue sweeping for the next 1 and a half hours without a break.
Yoko: You know, you’ve been dropping so much dust that I had to pick up after you?! Do you know that more than half the dust in this dustpan was swept by me and not you?
Narrator: It starts to get dark at 4.30pm and it’s time for their bath.
They get ushered to the bath area.
Narrator: This is the historical bath of the temple, made from pine wood, which has lasted for decades.
Yoko: Okay quick. Let’s pour water to warm our freezing feet.
Ohkura: It hurts! Painful!!! Painful!!!
Monk: Sorry to interrupt! I forgot to remind you: there are 3 areas in this temple where we are to maintain silence at all time; The meditation room, the toilet, and the bath area.
Yoko and Ohkura then cringe and inch themselves into the boiling water.
At 5pm, it’s time for dinner.
Yoko: It’s really cold!! I feel even more cold after coming out of such a hot place.
Narrator: The 2 people wait in anticipation for their dinner. Just then, the food was brought in. What could it be?
Ohkura: Eh? What could this be? Pork Cutlets? Thank you so much!
Narrator: This is their dinner for today. Rice, pickles, Miso soup, and something that appears to be pork cutlets…?
Ohkura: … What’s this? It’s not meat!
Yoko: It’s flour.
Narrator: It’s actually flour marinated in radish shreds and ponzu.
Yoko: But it's delicious!
Ohkura: Yes of course. I can taste the ponzu (vinegar) marinate.
Narrator: Because of the pleasantly surprising good taste, the 2 of them finish eating very quickly.
Both: Thank you for the food. It was delicious.
Narrator: By 7pm, the temple is wrapped in silence, the temperature is 3 degrees Celsius. During the after-meal break, Ohkura has collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.
Monk enters room: Please pardon me.
Narrator: After this, there are more chores awaiting them?!