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Living in Japan
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Kirijax Offline
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Living in Japan
I'm originally from Florida but I've lived in Japan since 1991. In 2001, the high school I work at asked me to start a tennis club for the students. I played in high school and college so I knew how to play but coaching was a new experience for me. We take part in seven or eight tournaments a year, hold a tennis camp in the summer and practice three or four times a week. I'm a big Miami Hurricanes fan as well and and somehow we started throwing up The U when we take pictures.

Where I live in Japan.
[Image: japan-large_zpsd7015044.gif]

The city of Kirishima sits by Kinko Bay with the live volcano Sakurajima sitting in the center.
[Image: 10338529_1434169940169652_32170938153939...1d0e41.jpg]

The volcano Sakurajima erupts almost daily and dumps ash all over everything. The eruptions often shake our house. We live about 12 miles north of it. Last year it erupted almost 500 times.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o557...a987e4.png

Sakurajima erupting on my way to work.
[Image: Sakurajima2012_zpsdb4f7452.png]

And again.
[Image: Sakurajima001_zpsb5fa6cd3.png]

Here's a handful of ash I picked up during tennis practice today.
[Image: ashhand_zps2f55ba2d.png]

My tennis team usually practices at the city courts right near the school.
[Image: sogo_zps7878b738.png]

My tennis team.
[Image: 893942_1382693388650641_1267780363_o_zps7fe5d409.jpg]

[Image: 10534716_1481906452062667_71045767588547...cca8e2.jpg]

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(This post was last modified: 28-May-2015 08:36 PM by Kirijax.)
27-Jan-2015 05:56 AM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
Was walking to the tennis courts near my school yesterday when the Sakurajima volcano erupted. There was a huge BOOM and everything, including the ground, shook. You kinda get used to it but still unnerves me a bit when it's THAT loud.

[Image: sp-058476500s1423056104.jpg]

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04-Feb-2015 07:20 PM
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1972Murat (02-04-2015)
Kirijax Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
At a tennis tournament with my high school team during Friday and Saturday.

[Image: B9sFBl6CYAAx3tl.jpg:large]

As always, the volcano erupted and dropped some ash on us thank you very much.

[Image: B9xS_MbCEAELAap.jpg:large]

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14-Feb-2015 09:02 AM
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Billie Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
Thanks for these photos Kirijax. I have to fess up and say that I am extremely scared of natural disasters and human destructions. My guess is that experts follow the volcano status all the time?

Are your kids good in tennis?Big Smile

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
14-Feb-2015 10:59 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
(14-Feb-2015 09:02 AM)Kirijax Wrote:  At a tennis tournament with my high school team during Friday and Saturday.

[Image: B9sFBl6CYAAx3tl.jpg:large]

As always, the volcano erupted and dropped some ash on us thank you very much.

[Image: B9xS_MbCEAELAap.jpg:large]

Your guys playing on grass Kirijax?
14-Feb-2015 11:25 AM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
Keeping an eye on that volcano is part of life here in Kagoshima. There was a massive eruption back in 1914 and the volcano used to be an island in the bay, but the lave flow connected the island volcano to the Osumi peninsula. It erupts several times a day and we've already had over 130 eruptions this year. The wind usually blows it east or west but sometimes it blows north where I live. There is a text messaging service that will let you know when the ash is headed your way. I often call my wife to let her know to shut the windows and get the laundry in before the ash falls. There have been many times when I will be playing tennis when my eyes start to itch and there is grit in my mouth and I'll realize that ash is falling. There have even been a few times where it was so bad that we had to stop playing. They say there is a lava buildup going on in the volcano and they expect a big boom again sometime in the next few years. We have our evacuation route all planned!

As for the courts we play on, it is an artificial turf with sand mixed in. Of course we also have the added bonus of ash where I live as you can see in my pics. It's been a while since I was back in the States but I've never seen that kind of court in the states but I'm sure it's used somewhere. I saw the same courts in New Zealand. For a country that gets a lot of rain like Japan, these courts are pretty good since they can drain well and can be played on pretty quickly after or even during the rain. Someone told me Japan started using it around 1990 and this is the court you will see in most public parks and sports facilities now. It plays like a fast clay court and the bounce is very similar to hard courts.

[Image: HIKARI-CYO%20TENISUKOTO%202.JPG]

As for my tennis team, they dropped several matches this tournament where they were leading and just tightened up once they got the lead. The mental aspects of approaching a tennis match is one of the hardest things to do in coaching tennis. But I let them have it a bit after their matches yesterday and talked about it with them for a while. Afterwards, we all went to the automatic tennis center nearby and had a good time beating each other's scores and looking over the new rackets displayed. Gotta figure out how to get them mentally tougher though.

The automatic tennis center. You have to hit the yellow or orange ball on the back wall to get points. You get 60 balls hit at you from the machine. Pretty fun.
[Image: s-CIMG9926.jpg]

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14-Feb-2015 06:07 PM
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kskate2 (02-15-2015)
Billie Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
Thank you so much for such a nice and informative post Kirijax. I really like to know about other cultures a bit more and Japanese must be one of the least known to me. Good luck with the volcano.

I guess that there are techniques to teach mental toughness and good luck in trying to teach that to your kids. I think that it will depend on an individual kid as I firmly believe that there are certain things you either possess or not, mental toughness is one of them.Big Smile

We had a poster, American by birth also working in Japan, years ago when we used to post on the Tennis.com board before they shut it down. His posts about Japan were interesting too.Big Smile

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
14-Feb-2015 08:18 PM
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Kirijax (02-14-2015)
Kirijax Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
My team is playing in the state (or prefecture if you want to be perfectly accurate) championships tomorrow! Crappy draw though. If we get through the first round, we have to play the top seeded Hoh Oh High School. They've been winning the championship every since forever. My kids on the team are really wanting to play them tomorrow though.

We'll be in Kamoike, a suburb in Kagoshima city. About an hour's drive south from where I live.

From Kamoike to Paris: 6000 miles
From Kamoike to Tokyo: 600 miles
From Kamoike to Sakurajima, the volcano that has erupted about 600 times this year and threatens to end all life as we know it when it finally blows it top; a comfy 6 miles away.

[Image: Kamoike%20to%20Sakurajima_zpskano9cwv.png]

[Image: Southern%20Japan_zpsqz1tivs7.png]
22-May-2015 07:40 AM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
The first day of the tournament came and went. We went out in the 1st round of the team competition, losing a tough doubles match to decide it. Teaching mental toughness is one of the toughest things to do in tennis but it looks like that will have to be my number one priority before our next tournament.

Here's a shot of the opening ceremony in the morning. It was a miserable with the wind and slight on-and-off drizzle and then the ash. The ash was constant. I stepped outside the courts when I saw a cloud of ash heading our way and took a shot of it. Everything was covered and I felt grit in my mouth all day. Two more days of this. Yippee.

[Image: CFppR7EVAAEtNf-.jpg:large]

Here come de ash!

[Image: CFqomWxUsAA6H6T.jpg:large]
23-May-2015 08:12 AM
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Billie Offline
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RE: My Tennis Team in Japan
I am sorry that your team lost. But it does sound like they gave it a good fight.

Frankly, I am scared of those ashes.No No

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
23-May-2015 07:04 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
A volcano that is 150 kilometers south of us just blew its top this morning. A bit worrisome since there is a line of volcanoes up and down this area (I live right in the middle of them).

The volcano on Kuchinoerabu erupting. There are a few hundred people living on the island and they are evacuating now.

[Image: afr1505290020-p1.jpg]

Mainichi News Report
(This post was last modified: 29-May-2015 06:53 AM by Kirijax.)
28-May-2015 08:46 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
Found this article while googling Sakurajima:

"Tourist captures incredible footage of rare volcanic lightning as Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupts in front of him"

Here's the video:



03-Jun-2015 06:55 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
(03-Jun-2015 06:55 PM)tented Wrote:  Found this article while googling Sakurajima:

"Tourist captures incredible footage of rare volcanic lightning as Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupts in front of him"

Here's the video:




Yawn. I see that before breakfast everyday. Cool

Haha, not really. That si some serious footage! But I can see the volcano from my house and it is going off constantly. We always check the weather reports, especially the wind direction to see if we need to keep the windows closed or not hang the laundry outside. Every once in a while I'll see the ash heading our way while I'm at work and I'll call home real quick to tell my wife to close all the windows. And when the volcano goes off, there is often a sonic BOOM that shakes the whole house. It's very unnerving. The last big eruption was in 1914. Here's a pic of it.

[Image: E5A4A7E6ADA3E599B4E781AB.jpg]

It erupted for a month, 57 people died and the island was permanently connected to the Osumi peninsula. They are expecting it to happen again. If I stop posting, check the news about an eruption in Japan. I'll be up in the big tennis court in the big blue sky, waiting for you guys to show up. Wink
03-Jun-2015 08:09 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
August 9th is the 70th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing. I thought it was kind of cool that after all that happened between Japan and America 70 years ago, there is an American and a Japanese playing in a tennis tournament final in Washington D.C. Kind of gives you hope for the future of humanity.

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09-Aug-2015 01:46 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
SAKURAJIMA IN JAPAN MIGHT BE HEADED TOWARDS A LARGE ERUPTION

Japan Raises Sakurajima Volcano Eruption Alert, Residents Told To Prepare For Possible Evacuation

If I stop posting, this is probably why. We have our evacuation bags and escape route all planned!

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15-Aug-2015 04:52 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
^Be careful, stay safe.

15-Aug-2015 09:25 PM
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JesuslookslikeBorg Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
lets face it..the prospect of a pyroclastic blast is rather alarming.

knowing me alan partridge, knowing you tennis frontier..ah ha.
18-Aug-2015 11:44 PM
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RE: Living in Japan
Mount Sakurajima may be ready to blow its top, agency warns

Stay safe, Kirijax.
20-Aug-2015 05:44 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
(20-Aug-2015 05:44 PM)tented Wrote:  Mount Sakurajima may be ready to blow its top, agency warns

Stay safe, Kirijax.

Thanks, Tented! Life goes on as normal here! But there are usually quite a few eruptions during the day, but the last month or so has been eerily quiet. Likes it's bottling it up or something. When the volcano gets too quiet, people around here get nervous.

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20-Aug-2015 05:56 PM
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Kirijax Offline
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RE: Living in Japan
The volcano threat has subsided and life goes on as normal. Today and tomorrow is my school's culture festival. Our school color is green, but I talked them into making this year's festival signs in Frontier blue and orange. Cool

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04-Sep-2015 10:19 PM
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