5 Games That Made Me Who I Am Today

I saw this meme going around Raichana’s Twitter and figured I should participate. After looking over my list, I realized that most of the games I picked are dated in the 1990s-early 2000s.

Golden Sun (Gameboy Advance, Camelot, 2001)

Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age

My most favorite game of all time is Golden Sun. In addition, it is also one of the few games that I played without any guides. Countless hours were spent figuring out the puzzles and speaking to all the non-playable characters (NPCs) as I unraveled the mysteries of alchemy alongside Issac and his friends. When Golden Sun: The Lost Age came out, I immediately played the game from beginning to end, experiencing the story from Felix’s perspective and trying to resolve the loose ends from the previous game. The battle music from both games is quite memorable and occasionally I would listen to the soundtrack for inspiration. Without Golden Sun, I probably would not have developed an interest in solving puzzles or world building.

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ARTS: Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival (Japanese)

Hosted on April 25-26, 2015 in Cupertino, CA

Origami Dragon

Origami Dragon

The 32nd annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival was hosted this past weekend to celebrate the long-standing friendship with Cupertino’s sister city, Toyokawa, Japan and the Japanese culture. The festival had many cultural displays of the fine, classical arts and live entertainment in the outdoor amphitheater.

Of the cultural displays, visitors have ample opportunity to peruse the many outstanding collections of embroidery, origami, calligraphy, bonsai, ikebana, and kimekomi dolls.

Origami (the art of paper folding) dates from the Edo period (1603–1868). It was used for both ceremonial and recreational purposes. In 1797, the first book of written instructions for origami was called Sembazuru Orikata (or “thousand crane folding) by Akisato Rito. The book was an inspiration for Sadako Sasaki from the 1950s who folded 1,000 cranes for world peace.



Bonsai (the art of minature trees and plants) originated from China but is a major aspect of Japanese culture.

Ikebana- Art of flower arrangement

Ikebana- Art of flower arrangement

The art of ikebana (flower arrangement) has over 500 years of history behind it. Similar to much of Japanese culture, ikebana emphasizes nature and the ability to express beauty and human emotion in a single piece. Often times, it is “like a poem or painting made of flowers” (Ikenobo Ikebana Society).

Kimekomi dolls - This example is from the Tale of Genji

Kimekomi dolls – This example is from the Tale of Genji

The kimekomi doll-making technique was created during the Genbun period (1736-1741) in Kyoto at the Kami-Kamo Shrine by Tadashige Takahash. He carved the figures from willow wood and clothed the dolls with leftover fabric from the robes of the Shinto priests. His technique would be passed onto the future generations and further perfected by Mataro Kanabayashi I, whose technique is used today (Mataro doll craft). Continue reading