Last night, I had the opportunity to give a talk about whales to a wonderful audience of photo and cetacean enthusiasts in Tokyo.
This is me rambling in Japanese. (Looks the same as when I ramble in English.)
It was actually only the third time I've done a public presentation in Japanese, the first being a talk about sperm whales at the National Museum of Science and Nature a couple of years ago, and the second back in October, when I traveled down to Osaka courtesy of Zillion and 海の写真屋さん, an underwater photography shop in Osaka, to show photos and share stories about encounters with whales.
I set a personal record this time by talking for more than two hours straight! Lucky audience, eh?
I'd like to say that I didn't make any language mistakes, but I'm sure I did. In the end though, I got my points across, and it was lots of fun seeing friends, making new ones, and having a chance to share some of the amazing experiences I've had over the years.
Title of my presentation on whales
Learning a new language is difficult; attaining sufficient proficiency to stand in front of a large group of people and go solo is...well, daunting. I went through the process once before with English, so I'm familiar with the time and effort it takes to gain fluency.
Being able to articulate important points and communicate nuances makes the effort worthwhile though. Among other topics, I discussed the issue of ship strikes, which is an insidious problem that is way under-covered all over the world.
Turns out, there are people who actually want to watch me blabber and gesticulate!
Me with sponsors Kojima-san/ Zillion and Nomoto-san/ Answer (L);
Attendees Nobuyuki and Fumika Sugio (R)
Me with friends Hideshi and Hiromi Kimura (L) and Makoto Usui (R)
At the end of the evening, my friend Michiyo brought me a treat, one of my favourite things in the whole world...imo-daifuku (芋大福) made by a specific confectionary in Saitama (Kurazukuri) that I stumbled upon by chance many years ago.
If you are familiar with daifuku, these are made with sweet potato filling in place of the traditional red bean filling.
I can't possibly describe how delicious these are. Suffice it to say that the edible items in the picture below have long since been devoured. Burp.
Daifuku made with sweet potato filling...out-of-this-world yummy