Ninjas: Hmm, I'm not entirely certain why John tagged me with this one, but I suppose between all the activities I partake in (martial arts, rock climbing, parkour), I'm practically a ninja XD I certainly went through the ritual "ninjas are cool!" phase when I was younger. Not that I've necessarily grown past it, but I suppose my view of ninja has matured over time. While I don't think I've tired of the concept overall, I think what I'm jaded with is the over-romanticization of them that both Japan and the West are guilty of.
Heavy Metal/Bitchin' Hair: I have to put these together, because it would be a lie to say they have nothing to do with each other. I never really developed my own real music tastes until I was exposed to heavy metal, in the best way one can learn to love new music: on a pirated cassette tape from a friend. I think the first metal album I ever listened to was Holy Wars: The Punishment Due by Megadeth, with ...And Justice For All by Metallica coming in close chronological proximity. So the era of metal my tastes most align with are the mid/late 80s to early nineties. The 2 albums above still remain 2 of my all time favorites, with Metallica's Master of Puppets and Testament's Souls of Black up there as well. Pantera is another band I was exposed to that I still really enjoy. And then this ties to my hair, because of course since most metal bands had long hair, I found myself inspired to grow it out. At first I was hesitant, as I was just having trouble envisioning myself with long hair, so I decided I just *had* to grow it out to find out what it would look like. It was during this period that I actually discovered I had really nice hair. I used to be a total hair products guy, mostly influenced by a cousin who I kind of looked up to as a kid. Once I did the long hair thing, I learned how to actually comb/brush my hair and tail it up, and found that the less shit I put in it, the healthier it became. I also learned that girls love playing with long hair. Ultimately I have to thank my mom for my hair, as I think I get the wave from her.
Japan: I think my interest in Japan really came from an interest in technology when I was much younger, and all the cool tech always seemed to come from Japan. It may have also come from enrolling in Japanese language classes in high school based entirely on the fact that Japanese seemed a lot more unique than Spanish or French. I think after that, I started to explore other things, especially martial arts, since I've always had an interest in that, and that actually led me to explore eastern philosophy as well, so really my intersts in that realm really all started with taking Japanese classes. Ironically, I suppose, my interests in those realms certainly have gone beyond just Japan. My continued interest in the country now really just stems from my interest in entertainment media from the country (animation, comics, movies). I've visited the country twice and still would love to go back again.
Memes: Yeah, well... ever since some of you convinced me to get on LJ, I discovered the timewasters known as memes. Over time I've gotten away from doing the vast majority of them, being pretty pointless, but I continue to enjoy ones like this that involve deeper interaction with people you know. Which is part of why I was convinced to get on LJ in the first place; so I could have easy access to being in contact with people I don't see face to face on a regular basis any more. So I guess it's been working somewhat in that respect.