Broken Dench’

By Michael Gakuran | | Other | 3 Comments |

Broken Dench!What a week! If I may be permitted to take a break from philosophical ponderings and come back down to earth, I’d like to write a little about the events that unfolded… What a bad week it has been! I mean, in the grand scheme of things I suppose things have been fair. Some things in my life going well and others, the small things, crashing down around me in a horrific manner…literally.

Begin Monday. Only one class – Japanese – but I’m well aware I have a big Philosophy essay due in soon and a Philosophy mock exam that both require my attention. I head to the computer room to quickly type out a letter in Japanese to submit for homework. As is in my usual fashion, I slip my rucksack from my shoulder, aiming to catch it in my outstretched hand just before it hits the floor. It has a bit of style you see, and more importantly, I get the bag into my hand in the quickest possible manner – using gravity!

But today it went *crunch*. I murmured some weak ‘whoops’ for disturbing the silence of the computer room and went about typing my letter. Time to whip out the ‘dench”, as Louis (a friend I’m living with) calls it – his mangled concoction derived from the Japanese words ‘denshi jisho’ (electronic dictionary). I almost heard the child whimper in defeat inside of me as, behold, my beautiful Canon Wordtank stared back at me with a vicious scar slashed across its glass face. It couldn’t have come at a worse possible time, what with the JLPT2 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 2) coming up. I use my dictionary every day! I tried to fix it (hence it being taken apart in the picture above) and swap the screen over with an older, also dead Canon Wordtank, but to no avail…

Fast forward to Thursday. Desperately trying to cram as much knowledge about Gettier cases and closure in Skepticism into my head, I’ve been working late in the library throughout the week. Today I go to leave with my friend Andrew, deciding to return home early rather than camp out in the library. Leeds has become bitterly cold after 5.00pm recently, so I’ve taken to wearing gloves when cycling to and from my residence. And today? Not a sign of them. I backtracked through every single classroom and place I had visited that day on a furious hunt, but nothing.

Not content with having me lament my dictionary and mourn my lost gloves, the evil demon picking on me decides to push things further. I cycle home, gloveless, to drop in at Somerfield to grab some supplies. At the checkout I fumble putting my card in my wallet, taking longer to pack my shopping. Suddenly, a pair of arms grab my shopping bag from the side.

‘What?! I’m sorry, Sir? I’m sorry, this is my shopping…’ I utter, puzzled, as a bumbling middle aged man proceeds to manhandle my milk.

‘Sir, this is…’

He shoots a piercing look at me. At least it feels that way – he only has one eye! One calm, blue eye and one strikingly white and round, embedded in a dark and aged face. What he said next I can only guess at. Mumbling in a muffled, lost kind of way, it seemed like a mixture of amusement at my mistake and irritation, and all the while a sort of mutual, embarrassed understanding that, try as I may, I just couldn’t take my eyes off his one. He was packing my shopping for me. Flustered, I apologised and did my best to hurry out.

And to round off my day. As the plastic carrier bags dangled from the handlebars of my bike outside, I noticed one had become snagged on the wheel. I reached to release it. You know you have those odd feelings where you just *know* what will happen? It did. Out tumbled the precious Hot Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, bought with the tender thought having some ‘Welsh Rarebit With Attitude’ (as Jamie Oliver calls it) once home. (That’s cheese on toast – the attitude would be the added chutney ^^). The tinkling of glass and weird ‘plop’ of the sauce as it hit the pavement in front of a pedestrian crossing ensued. I don’t buy luxury food items much. Maybe this was an omen not to advance down that road…

And to complete my frustrations this week, my scanner decided to go nuts.

‘Error, scanner not initialized’. ‘Error, scanner not initialized’. ‘Error, scanner not initialized’.

What changed or why I have no idea, but it just decided that it would scan desired items in only 1 of about 10 tries. Seriously. Every 10 tries of so, it will scan. Otherwise: ‘Error, scanner not initialized’. What the hell is that?? It took me 4 hours to scan 2 chapters of a philosophy book for my essay…


Anyway, frustrations about the small things aside, life is busy but okay. Here’s a rather nice song to listen to by Bump Of Chicken – Supernova. They are a Japanese rock band, but even if you can’t understand the really deep lyrics, I recommend to give it a listen. It has a fine, relaxing melody. Just what I need ^^.

Download Bump of Chicken – Supernova



Lyrics/Music: Fujiwara Motoo

熱が出たりすると 気付くんだ
鼻が詰まったりすると 解るんだ


延べられた手を拒んだ その時に
延べられた手を守った その時に


人と話したりすると 気付くんだ
解るんだ 伝えたい気持ちだらけって事



歳を数えてみると 気付くんだ
それとほぼ同時に 解るんだ


君を忘れた後で 思い出すんだ
君を失くした後で 見つけ出すんだ

それがあって 造られる

居なくなっても ここに居る

止まらないで 動くんだ

When I get sick I realize,
I realize I have a body
When my nose is stuffed up I know,
I know that I’ve been breathing all along

I’m always making sure
That you truly exist, but
The truth is that we only know how important it is
Once it is already gone

When your out-stretched hand defends
A great earthquake may occur
When your out-stretched hand protects
It may have wanted to protect yourself

I have always been holding
Your dear existence close to me
And it is because I’m afraid
So I don’t want to let go

When I talk to someone I realize,
I realize that I have nothing to say
When I want to line the pieces up I know,
I know that I wanted to speak my feelings

I have always been communicating
To your dear existence this way
In a true expression of gratitude
Saying “Thank you” isn’t enough

Within our clocks,
Just one is fine,
We want a firm grip
We want to send it over

As I watch myself grow old I realize,
I realize that I had a history though it was small
When I think about that I know,
I know that it will someday end

I’m always remembering
Your dear existence
And what I really want is
The part that isn’t just a memory

When I forget about you I remember,
I remember that you had a history
When I lose you I find that memory,
The memory that I once met you

There isn’t enough
For everyone’s existence
And in someone’s world
I will create it

I’m always making sure
That you truly exist, but
Even if existence goes away
It’s always here

Our clocks continue to move,
never stopping


(Translation courtesy of!)

3 comments on “Broken Dench’
  1. SW says:

    Thanks for the song. Very apt specially after reading the entry on Descartes – along the line of existence, memories (dreams), then and now.

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