Monday, September 05, 2011
For the Free Lego Offer to your door in Japan
Lego Reviews can be in Japanese or English.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011
HOTLINE TO NAGATACHO
Japan's 'silent tsunami' severs parental ties, wrecks children's lives
To the next Prime Minister,
I am the cofounder of Children First (childrenfirst.jp), an NPO that focuses on children's issues. Every three minutes another child loses all contact with one of their parents after divorce. Every seven minutes another child is a victim of school bullying. Every 12 minutes another case of child abuse is reported to protective services. Every week at least one child dies as the result of abuse. Read More
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
To scare the public? To cause people to horde rice from other prefectures? To kill off the restaurant industry?
No one will want to eat outside their homes for fear of where the rice came from.
They say they tested the rice twice for radioactive cesium.
Moshi Moshi, uh,....Hello!
There are a lot more elements than that, that need to be checked if we are going to put it in our bodies.
What about Strontium 90, or Iodine 131?
Safe to say too, that with governnment decisions like this, no farmer in Japan, whether they be from Hokkaido, Kyushu or Okinawa (far from the reactors), will be selling any farm produce outside of Japan. No one will be buying Japanese produce because of ill-thought out decisions like this.
News Story Follows:
Rice shipped from Fukushima Prefecture
National Aug. 30, 2011
Japan Today —
Rice was shipped from Fukushima Prefecture on Monday for the first time since the March 11 disaster. The rice was tested for radiation and got the all-clear, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. Read More
Monday, August 29, 2011
John B. Cobb, Jr.
I was born and spent most of my childhood in Japan. The two cities in which I lived were Hiroshima and Kobe. Both have suffered terrible destruction: an atomic bomb and an earthquake. Now Sendai has experienced an even more violent earthquake. These evils are problems for everyone, but for those who think there is some basis for justice in the world, whether it be Karma or God, there is added a special problem. Does the occurrence of a devastating evil at a particular place mean that those who suffer from such catastrophes in some way deserve their suffering or that it somehow serves a greater good?
Process thought has its own way of responding. We do believe that there is God, and that God cares for all creatures. We understand the question, why does God cause these calamities or at least allow them? But the question has assumptions that we do not share.
Read about Living in Japan
How to teach English in Japan
階段用の松の木と桜の木の板、これらはクローバーデイルにあるウェストウッドという会社からです。 Read More
Part 2 is Here
The environmental group took samples at and near three schools in Fukushima city, well outside the 20 km exclusion zone from Tokyo Electric Power's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan's northeast.
"No parent should have to choose between radiation exposure and education for their child," said Kazue Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan's anti-nuclear project head.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Fukushima Robot Operator Writes Tell-All Blog
EXCLUSIVE: THE FUKUSHIMA ROBOT DIARIES
Editor's Note: This is part of IEEE Spectrum's ongoing coverage of Japan's earthquake and nuclear emergency.
An anonymous worker at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has written dozens of blog posts describing the ups and downs of his experience as one of the lead robot operators at the crippled facility.
His blog provides a window into the complex and dangerous work environment faced by the operators, a small group of young technicians who, like other front-line personnel, must approach areas of high radiation, deploying remote-controlled robots to assist with efforts to further stabilize and shut down the plant’s four troubled reactors. Read More
Read about Living in Japan
Read about Teaching English in Japan
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Translated by Aaron Skabelund
It had been three months since the Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake struck northern Honshu on 14 June 2008, triggering a huge landslide above Aratozawa Dam. The area hit by a landslide has been further carved by snow and rain, and trees and other vegetation are in disarray. The site looks like the day after a wretched barber had just given it a bad haircut. For the earth, this must be an embarrassing appearance.
According to the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management (Kokudou gijitsu sou-kenkyuusho; NILIM), the epicenter of the 7.2 magnitude quake was near Mt. Kurikoma on the border between three prefectures--Miyagi , Iwate, and Akita--and in the close vicinity of 15 dams (one which is still under construction) including Aratozawa to the southeast.
In this landscape carved by rivers, a landslide with an average depth of 55 meters, a width of 810 meters, and a length of 1400 meters slid as far as 140 meters off the side of the mastiff and into the back of the lake formed by the dam.
A few days after the earthquake, Tokyo University Professor Konagai Kazuo appeared on NHK television’s “Close-up Gendai” special, “The Mountain that Disappeared: The Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake,” and explained that because ground water near the dam was high and because snowmelt had permeated the ground, the violent shaking of the earthquake had caused the massive landslide. Read More
Time in Japan, Kevin a question for you:
I keep reading in alternative news sources how the radiation leaks are worse than what the government is saying. I've also read that radiation is being detected on the west coast of North America. I know my Japanese friend says he is fed up with the lies and just wants to get out now. Are you concerned about all the radiation?
--S.O., in Canada
What do you think of this?
I think the government wants to have a handle on public opinion so they can address the concerns that are going viral. I think that is good overall. I don`t feel scared about it.
Alex Jones and his website is partly about government control and wrong doing. However in this case, the monitoring might be a good thing.
I have less problem with this monitoring and more of a problem with security cameras in public areas, as I feel they could be abused. Plus people can be falsely identified. ie) look like a criminal.
News Story Follows:
Asahi Japan Watch
Aug 26, 2011
While the government defends its new monitoring program of online postings concerning the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to stem the spread of “inaccurate” information, critics say it harkens back to Big Brother.
The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said tweets on Twitter and postings to blogs will be monitored for groundless and inaccurate information that could inflame and mislead the public.
The agency said it is trying to “track down inaccurate information and to provide correct ones instead.”
But critics are skeptical about the agency’s motive, especially because the government has been under fire for failing to provide an accurate picture of what has been occurring at the plant and the spread of radioactive contamination.
The cost for the project was earmarked in an extra government budget to finance the rebuilding of northeastern Japan ravaged by the March 11 disaster. Read More
For More on Japan Living
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Welcome to Kevs Twisted Humor!
Who the heck is Kev? And why is he twisted?
I don`t know why I am twisted. It may be growing up near Vancouver. That DDT spraying they did on the fields in Delta decades ago? Having a liar, ....oops, I mean lawyer for a brother.
Having a skin doctor (who would experiment on,...oops treat his children),for a father, and a comedian/housewife for a mother.
My other brother is a very funny doctor. I mean that in a good sense.
It could have been that pop I drank. (Soda) for the Americans.
Kevs Twisted Humor - A Little Kev History
The art of paper folding, commonly known as origami, started in the 17th century AD and was later on popularized outside Japan in the mid 1900s. Some historians and scholars would say that just like much of Japanese culture and tradition, origami originated from China. The word origami came from the Japanese word “Ori” which means folding and “Kame” which means paper.
Japanese Instruments, what you may not know
by Lyanne Thomas
Traditional Japanese musical instruments are comprised of a wide range of string, wind (mostly flutes) and percussion instruments. Let me mention the most common Japanese musical instruments:
Drums: Taiko, literally known as great or big drums. There are many big drums in Japan and most of these great instruments have 2 membranes that are either nailed or laced and are struck with sticks. Most of these big drums such as the Odaiko are usually used during Japanese festivities and celebrations. A famous taiko perfomance group known as Kodo hosts an annual earth celebration. The Earth celebration is a festival of taiko drumming where people from around the world come to Japan to witness the celebration. Read More
Pictured: Some of the funny English you see in Japan, this time at Boozer House in Odawara
An article came out in Japan Zine, acknowledging me as one of the co-founders of the Tokyo Comedy Store. I just want to say thank you to the Tokyo Comedy Store for doing that!
--Kevin R Burns
Kevs Twisted Humor
These days I ply my comedy trade at my website, Kevs Twisted Humor.
Check it out!
One of the great things about being an expatriate in Japan is that there are so many unique opportunities for us here. If you are willing to take the time to go to the audition or job interview, you have a shot at many interesting jobs. As well, if there is something you want to do, but this organization or club doesn`t yet exist, if you start it, they will come. So often there are others like you, waiting for someone to start a club or group they are interested in.
I have lived here a long time, I`m a good organizer, so I have started many groups over the years. One of them was the Tokyo Comedy Club, which is now known as The Tokyo Comedy Store. I still have a little pride in knowing that I started the whole thing! Maybe someone would have done it eventually, but I did it! Read More
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"Many otherwise perfectly good international relationships have ended instantly, when the Japanese partner opened up and started to eat the squid jerky! If you have never smelt squid jerky, it beats natto hands down, natto is for wimps. Squid jerky can be used by butt cleavage showing car mechanics as a paint solvent at car repair shops, it will singe your nostrils, and coat them with a fishy smell that will last for days."
--Kevin R Burns (the Japan Guy not the MMA guy, this websites guy!)
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Japanese Body Art - This art also known as Irezumi or horimono, otherwise known as Japanese tattoo art or body art has a very long history.
It is said that the early Japanese people or Ainu decorated their body with paint and used facial tattoos. This was done by the Ainu people for social and decorative purposes, however scholars also believed that these tattoos were not only to represent one`s social status but claimed that it had some spiritual purpose.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2011
Reporting from Seoul—
Relations between the United States and Japan, already strained over the delayed relocation of an American military base on Okinawa, received no help this week when a retired U.S. envoy publicly criticized Tokyo's initial response in March to the nation's nuclear crisis.
Comments by Kevin Maher, a former director of the State Department's Japan Office, shed light on Washington's mind-set during the early days of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Maher said U.S. officials worried about the lack of leadership shown by Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami led to partial reactor meltdowns at the coastal plant.
At one point, Maher said, the Obama administration considered a worst-case scenario of evacuating tens of thousands of U.S. citizens from the Tokyo metropolitan area.
"There was nobody in charge," Maher said Thursday at a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. "Nobody in the Japanese political system was willing to say, 'I'm going to take responsibility and make decisions.' " Read More
Friday, August 19, 2011
What is a Japanese apartment like?
To make living in Japan fun and not unbearable, you need a decent if not a nice place to live. Where you live of course, makes a huge difference in how you feel about wherever you live, but especially in a foreign country like Japan. Your Japanese apartment should be as much of an oasis as you can make it.
A Japanese apartment is different from what you can expect back home. The amenities are few if any. You will need to furnish it from the top down, including the light fixtures!
Tell us your stories about living in Japan, or about the news from Japan below!
A former resident of Japan states this on the Disaster in Tohoku:
“There is always a lot of hype and misreporting in these situations. There is only a need for people to move from affected areas, not the whole country. The same thing happened when I lived in Indonesia and the bombings happened in Bali. There was so much misinformation, misreporting and blatant lies just to milk more from the pain of those suffering. The media can be so heartless while appearing to be caring…there has been quite a disparity between some reports here and what I’ve heard from people who are there. Why can’t the plain truth be told? Crazy, eh.”-JP
Read Today`s News from Japan
Billie was tried and convicted in a Japanese court after being found guilty of burning seven restaurants and bars on Okinawa in two separate arson attacks in January 2001 when he was a 24-year-old Marine lance corporal stationed at Camp Hansen.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The last time I was in Yokohama was back on March 11th when the big quake hit and I had walked this same way to Landmark Tower. I remember the huge after shocks while I was walking and the crowds of people that were slowly making their way from Sakuragicho Station to Yokohama Station. So today, I was a little bit wary of hanging around too long inside the shopping mall, although of course it was my paranoia taking over me. The ironic thing back on March 11th I was also out in this area shopping for a hat. This time I was shopping for slacks so I came out of this day’s Yokohama experience safe.
Read More of this Blog
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Nagasaki is located on Japan`s southern isle Kyushu, a paradise that boasts green fields, forested mountain sides and beautiful beaches.
The famous city of Nagasaki is the capital and likewise the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture. The city is not only historical but attractive with some tourist attractions captivating the hearts of many foreigners such as:
Richard Schwartz says:
"All of Kyushu Island too is semi-tropical, lush green, and has beautiful beaches. Nagasaki is one of Japan`s most beautiful, interesting and of course, historic cities.
The people of Kyushu are more easy going than their counterparts in Honshu, Kyushu people brag. All in all it is a nice place to visit or live in, so I recommend travel in Japan-Nagasaki!"
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I have always said this was important. If you don`t know your history well, you do not know yourselves. Japanese authorities are hurting the children of Japan.
News Story Follows:
President Lee Myung-bak said Monday Japan should teach its future generations a correct history amid heightened tensions between the two countries over Tokyo's attempts to renew its territorial claims to South Korea's easternmost island of Dokdo.
"Japan has a responsibility to teach its future generations a correct history," Lee said during his speech on Liberation Day, marking the end of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Japan's attempt to lay claims to Dokdo has long been a thorn in relations between the two countries. South Koreans see those claims as a sign that Japan has not fully repented for its colonial rule of Korea.
South Korea has rejected Japan's claims over Dokdo as nonsense because the country regained independence from the colonial rule and reclaimed sovereignty over its territory, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula. Read More
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Traditional khon mask making is a dying art in Thailand.
Prateep Rodpai, one of Thailand's last traditional Khon mask makers works in his outdoor studio in Angthong, Thailand. The paper mache Khon masks, are part of the ornate glittering costumes used in the stylized classical Thai dance form known as Khon. Prateep sells his handmade masks for $50-120 US, it can take around 10 days to make one. The Khon tradition was originally imported from India around the 10th century. The painted Khon masks are essential to conveying the characters and moods of a Khon performance. See the Masks
Read about teaching, Living and Touring Thailand
Pictured: Krabi, Thailand
I love working in Japan and earning such a strong income in a very strong currency, then traveling to Thailand and spending it on the beach or in Bangkok. What a life!
Bangkok with its many markets, interesting old neighborhoods, temples and waterways, is sadly lacking in public parks and gardens, although the Thais are great lovers of flowers and plants.Thailand is after all one of the world`s largest exporters or orchids and has developed several species unique to the kingdom.Visitors interested in plants native to Thailand and exhibits from abroad will find no better place than the new Rama IX Park on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Tips Effective Resume Writing, you have about 30 seconds to a minute to make an impression on the personnel manager. Make the first impression a great one!
Have a great looking resume. Either make it yourself or have a professional service type one up for you. Make it look professional as schools, institutions and universities here are trying to hire professional people.
AccuWeather.com - Global Weather - Your Local Forecast
World weather from AccuWeather.com including local weather forecast for international cities and global weather information.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Once settled in, chances are you'll have to pay to stay
In Japan, property rental renewal fees can cost around one month's rent per year. The question is: What is it tenants are paying for?
By PHILIP BRASOR and MASAKO TSUBUKU
In 1946, Japan was in ruins. The housing shortage was severe and inflation was high, so the government issued a directive to freeze rental fees. To make up for the perceived loss of income, property owners came up with supplemental fees — renewal fees, called koshinryō, and "gift money" or reikin, a mandatory gratuity that new renters paid to landlords for the privilege of moving in.
Though the purpose of these fees may have been obvious at the time, they became arbitrary once owners were allowed to set rents freely again. Yet many landlords continued to demand them simply because they could, and they still can. Read More
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Stairs was given permission by the Montreal Expos to play in Japan, where he suited up
for Nagoya`s profession baseball team the Chunichi Dragons. After his stint in Japan,
he returned to the Expos.
CBC News Follows:
Matt Stairs is retiring from Major League Baseball after almost two decades. Matt Stairs is retiring from Major League Baseball after almost two decades. (Chris Carlson/Associated Press)
Matt Stairs, New Brunswick's biggest baseball star, is ready to retire after almost two decades playing in Major League Baseball.
Stairs, 43, hasn't made the official announcement yet but he told CBC News in an interview on Wednesday that his playing days are now done.
"I'm not sad. I had a great career, a long career," Stairs said.
"And it's one of those things where I can walk away today and not be sad about it."
Saturday, July 30, 2011
But four months on, travelers are trickling back. Most are business travelers, adventure seekers and bargain hunters, a type of visitor not often associated with Japan, where a sushi dinner can wipe out a week’s savings.
The view of Japan as a high-priced playground is what kept Erin Conroy and Jenny McMeans, friends from New York City, from visiting. But this spring, they found round-trip tickets to Tokyo on airfarewatchdog.com for just $600, about half what they normally cost, and booked a room in a hostel for 2,600 yen (about $33 at 79 yen to the dollar) a night. Suddenly, Japan was affordable, even with the yen near record highs against the dollar.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
By PAUL TOLAND
Special to The Japan Times
WASHINGTON — Ever since Christopher Savoie was arrested in 2009 after a failed attempt to retrieve his abducted children, Japan has been overwhelmed by international pressure to resolve its ever-increasing number of abduction cases. After years of demarches and public pleas by foreign governments, Japan has finally announced its intention to sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
For the 85 other governments that have signed onto to this treaty, it represents a guideline for returning children who have been abducted abroad, and it represents a promise that a foreign court will not simply usurp custody orders and "steal" jurisdiction away from a child's habitual residence.
While the rest of the world has greeted Japan's announcement with cautious optimism, left-behind parents who have been victimized by this human rights tragedy have followed the government's discussions closely, and with growing concern. Watching the parliamentary debates that have been taking place in the Japanese Diet, it is difficult to believe that Japan intends to abide by the Hague treaty in good faith.
To date, most debate within the Japanese Diet has revolved around creating "exceptions" under which Japan would not have to return abducted children. These telling debates are in obvious opposition to the spirit of the Hague treaty in which signatories purport to want to return a child to his or her home following an abduction. Read More
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I had terrible nightmares of Atomic weapons growing up as a child of the cold war and I avoided studying World War 2 in high school history as it troubled me. As a result, I never understood how or why Japan came to be an enemy in a war that was against the Nazis in Germany.
I learned, in visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, that before the Atomic bombing, Japan was at war with China and was spending 80% of its national economy on military spending. The people of Japan were forced into working to support the war. Children as young as 13 (boys and girls) worked in manufacturing, school children were given military training disguised as exercise, to have them ready for deployment. Clothing and Food items were rationed severely, with families given coupons and dressed in uniforms. The people of Japan were suffering under the control of their own government, who was even trying to enforce Mind Control to curb any anti-war intentions.
Sumo Wrestling - The Ancient Sport From Japan
By Nancy McDonough
Wearing nothing but a mawashi (loincloth), two larger-than-life opponents face each other in a dohyo (wrestling ring) to push, wrestle or throw each other out of the ring. This is the basic definition of sumo wrestling but, like any other centuries old Japanese tradition, the "why" and the "how" is more important than the "what".
Sumo has been performed the same way since the Edo Period (early 1600's) and still retains the rituals and techniques developed in those early years. The rikishi (wrestlers) even wear their hair in a topknot - the hairstyle typical of samurai in the Edo period. the umpires and referee wear elaborate kimono-style garb that depicts their experience ranking. Before each bout, both wrestlers toss salt into the ring because the dohyo is a sacred place. After each day's match, a lower ranked wrestler closes the event by performing the yumitori-shiki (bow dance).
Sumo wrestling bouts are fast - some lasting only a few seconds - and very intense, with a series of three "stare down" practice starts that the wrestlers use to intimidate their opponent. These trained athletes weigh in at 300-400 pounds, but follow a stringent regiment of training and nutrition that creates an athlete of great strength. Wrestlers grapple at each other with their bare hands and employ a range of moves that require precision, timing, and balance to succeed.
Every year, six basho (tournaments) are held in four different cities in Japan, each lasting 15 days. A wrestler's ranking changes depending on his performance in the tournament, with the top ranking, called yokozuna, bestowed on only one or two wresters at a time.
For centuries sumo wrestlers were exclusively of Japanese birth. In the last two decades, foreign wrestlers have begun to compete in greater numbers and have earned top rankings. Currently there are 60 non-Japanese professional sumo wrestlers out of a total of 700. China, Russia and several other Eastern European countries have made an impressive showing recently, but in the 1990's two American wrestlers -- Konishiki and Akebono (both from Hawaii)-- were the first to reach the yokozuna rank.
Nancy McDonough was for many years an English teacher in Japan. She is fluent in Japanese and travels to Japan yearly. She founded her retail kimono company in 1992. Nancy currently manages her kimono retail company Kyoto Kimono and her blog is here, Kyoto Kimono Mania.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Facing apathy within and racism without, a disunited community struggles to thrive on society's periphery
By DREUX RICHARD
Special to The Japan Times
The Nigerian Union in Japan is the central civic organization for immigrants from Africa's most populous nation. It has foundered twice in 21 years and its current incarnation is less than a year old. Its mixed history is a reflection of the social and economic turmoil Japan's Nigerian community has endured over the past two decades.
Members have been factory laborers, globe-trotting entrepreneurs and nightlife industry pioneers. They've also been blamed for some of Tokyo's most publicized crime problems, notably a series of drink-spiking and bill-padding incidents that led the U.S. Embassy to issue a warning in 2009 against visiting Roppongi. With the exception of those incidents, their history has hardly been written about. Read More
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"I really want them to win, so that the victory will encourage not only Tohoku, but also the entire country," said 38-year-old businessman Seiji Eizumi, referring to the region hit by the March 11 quake and tsunami.
More News about Japan
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
by Kevin R Burns
Japan has been one of the most successful nations on earth. So have most of the Western countries. By many measures, Japan and the Western nations are world leaders.
What then are some of the positives and negatives of their respective educational systems?
Japan schools forced students to clean radioactive dirt from swimming pools in locations designated as hot spots with radiation levels 4 times Chernobyl evacuation limits.
In another propaganda show meant to convince the public there is no threat from radiation in Japan, local schools forced children to clean radioactive dirt from the bottom of the schools swimming pools.
One PTA member who didn’t trust the assertions from the school and the government kept a sample of the dirt collected from the pool and decided to have it tested for radiation.
According to a the Mainichi Daily News (Japanese), that sample was found to contain 17,020 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium. Read More
Sunday, July 10, 2011
With Japan at a crossroads, it's instructive to recall the Hidaka affair
By ROGER PULVERS
Special to The Japan Times
Exactly 30 years ago this month, I had an encounter with a man who became innocently involved in an international incident. That incident may be all but forgotten now, but it's worth recalling here because it highlights the struggle of an individual of conscience to have the truth revealed.
Indeed, we in Japan are currently involved with the very same issues of personal responsibility and collective falsehood.
If we remain silent in the face of injustice or criminal negligence, if we allow unelected bureaucrats and business executives to ride roughshod over our personal welfare — as we are witnessing with regard to the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima — the entire nation's future could be put at risk by recklessness and prevarication. Read More
Friday, July 08, 2011
What are the differences between Japanese and Western Education?
Japan has been one of the most successful nations on earth. So have most of the Western countries. By many measures, Japan and the Western nations are world leaders.
What then are some of the positives and negatives of their respective educational systems?
Japanese amusement park unveils world’s steepest roller coaster
Mitsuyuki Ikeda Wants You to Eat His Burger Patties Made from Human Waste
I know the world’s population is increasing by the thousands every second as we speak, and the time will eventually come that the world’s resources will no longer be able to provide for the needs of all the human beings on the planet.
Because of such impending phenomenon, scientists all over the world have worked long and hard to develop hybrid corn and crops that grow bigger and faster. Researchers are also working double-time to come up with innovations in recycling and finding further uses for our waste so that we don’t run out of natural resources too soon. Read More
Thursday, July 07, 2011
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(Pictured, Tokyo Disneyland by Richard Baladad)
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Friday, July 01, 2011
Optimism for Tohoku and Japan: Good ideas from ACCJ
Place: Tokyo American Club, New York Ballroom
influential people have gathered together and focused on ideas in five key areas.
Come hear ACCJ leaders present the results of their efforts in an interactive panel format and join in brainstorming about where we go from here. We will ensure lively discussion with commentary and reactions from Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc., and other special guests.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Gaming unplugged for almost 20 years.
If you enjoy boardgames and other games, join JIGG. Membership is free and there are branches of our club all over Japan. The JIGG Kanagawa group is very active, and we are a great group of people. We tend to hold game days in each others homes. You can host if you want to, but don`t have to. Some people enjoy hosting and others don`t.
Learn more at Facebook.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Some of the greatest people I have ever met in Japan have been the friends I have made through playing games. I enjoy historical simulation games, usually called wargames. These are games about history or military history, that are played on a board or a table.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Novelist Murakami slams nuclear policy
When every card's a joker
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Today for example, I woke up, and thought I was in a cowboy western, as I saw little dustball, tumbleweeds blowing by my futon (I had the electric fan on).
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Novel approach to treating cancer
Saturday, June 18, 2011
(Photo by Ian Griffin)
by Lyanne Thomas
What's there to know about Japanese houses besides that the houses are versatile and small compared to those in Europe and America?
Well for one, Japanese homes allow you to maximize your available space. Most Asian houses, including those from Japan are simple with an aesthetic beauty to them. The traditional Japanese house is built by erecting wooden columns on a flat foundation of stones.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
He wrote a very touching story of a girl, a victim and evacuee, that I pasted below.
Hope you like it. Read More
Sara Beth Bareilles ( // bə-rel-is; born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. She has sold over 1 million records worldwide and has been Grammy-nominated three times.
by Kevin R. Burns
イギリスのサマーヒルのような学校について読んだときと同じように、TED.comでケンロビンソン氏と 初めて話をしたことでも、私は奮い立たされました。そして、ウマが合う教師たちと私の考えを共有しました。 私はとても創造的だったのですが、学校中の生徒にうんざりしていました。私のIQテストのスコアは高く、 私の恩師も私に話しかけるのが好きでしたが、私は学ぶことを押しつけていたこと気づき、しばしば不快な思いをしていました。 私は自分のプロジェクトを行いたかったのです
Saturday, June 11, 2011
More Stories about Life in Japan
Streets in parts of Tokyo were completely jammed with thousands of chanting protesters, paralyzing sections of the city. Some marchers called for the country's nuclear plants to be shut down immediately and for stricter radiation tests by the government.
Friday, June 10, 2011
"The Reality in Tohoku is Worse."--stated Hiroko Takeshima recently after she got back from
Takeshima went up north to volunteer during Golden Week. She helped to clear debris from
one of the towns devastated by the Tsunami. She hails from Tohoko but lives in Kanto now.
She related that things in Tohoku are not like they appear on the news. You often don`t see the details on the 6 o`clock news.
For example one volunteer spent a day digging a car out from the rubble. He retrieved the body hoping to give relief to the relatives. The body was intact except the fingers had been cut off. Her hand was hanging out the window of the vehicle.
Tsunami`s don`t usually cut off fingers. But people do.
Someone had beaten them to the punch and taken the unfortunate lady`s rings. Takeshima related that these are some of the stories you don`t hear on NHK.
For more stories about Living in Japan
Cases of theft have actually increased in Fukushima Prefecture, up 207 cases after the earthquake and Tsunami. Cases of other crime are down across the board, for example: violent crime, and rape.
A journalist I know reports police numbers have been bolstered in Tohoku due to increased looting and now more about this in Japanese:
Monday, June 06, 2011
Japan Today hears more from Grafft about his success story.
Why did you start the Foreign Buyers’ Club?
Kelly and I started the FBC to help those of us in the community who missed things from home. It was like a hobby for the first few years. We took two years to get set up and get approval to import items.
How has business been so far this year?
Fairly steady. We have about the same number of orders but less items per order.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Another perk of living in Japan, is making our income in a very high currency, then traveling to
exotic locales throughout Asia.
My brother Wayne talks about Bangkok and what is is like:
Introducing a city invites superlatives, especially when that city is Bangkok. It seems that every travel guide must impress its readers with the most grandiose and arcane aspects of the metropolis into which they are about to dive. But chances are that, for most, Bangkok`s reputation has prededed its reality. So it would be wise of those reading these wordsm who are about to plnge into the maze of Bangkok`s whirl, to review their preconceptions.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Learn what to look for!
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I`ve probably “erred” on the side of caution or even paranoia on this one, and it hasn`t been because of my health but I have been concerned about what my rapidly growing children eat. How can I keep them safe?
The government, local and national has been saying things are safe?
I guess my problem has been I haven`t heard the message. I didn`t really trust them.
However maybe I have to; and in fact maybe they are trustworthy in the case of food safety anyway.
So many politicians disappoint it seems, so it is natural to lose trust in them.
About food though, I think the Japanese government is doing a good job. And if they fail or if the local government fails to inform, NHK or some fifth estate media
source fills in. Read More:
Monday, May 30, 2011
(Pictured, Japanese actress Yuki Uchida)
Back Problem in Japan, Have you put your back out while living in Japan? It is
not fun, no matter where you do it! I know, I have done it countless times now.
I first put out my back at age 34. My friend Doug commented I guess you are
getting old. He meant well but I was not amused at the time. Now that I have no
doubt that I am old, I understand he was trying to be helpful. I guess I
shouldn`t have put him into the full pretzel! Just the half-pretzel would have
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Keio teachers (my friends) who new this young man, knew him to be a very good student and a good person. They had known him through 6 years of jr/sr high school. I think the people that know you well, have a good rapport with what you are, and are not capable of.
This young man was accused of groping late at night by a young woman. He was grabbed by the
train line attendants then grilled by the police. He too was released. And according to the
Japan Today article that follows this implies innocence though the police will not tell you that.
They should, it is their job.
The Keio student unfortunately, was traumatized by this young woman and the police and jumped from a Kanagawa building four days later. What a tragedy! And what a waste.
Japan is wasting her youth on events like these. A youth that is becoming a all too small minority as it is. She needs to do away with the guilty until proven innocent model. It doesn`t work.
How do you prove you are innocent when it is your word (only) against the accuser and the police.
Some people really are innocent, but it is difficult to prove. I think the innocent until guilty
model of justice, while not perfect, works much better. The police have less power and I believe
fewer go to prison because of it.
Japan Today Story Follows:
The woman’s male companion grabbed Harada, apparently roughed him up a bit, and hauled him over to a station employee. Station officials brought in the police. After some seven hours of questioning, Harada was released. Dazed and humiliated, Harada took a subway to Waseda Station and jumped in front of a moving train.
On Jan 29, 2010, Tokyo Metro police processed the case as “chikan” – groping – and passed the documentation on to prosecutors, who quietly laid the matter to rest in view of Harada’s death.
On April 26 of this year, Harada’s mother filed a civil damages suit against the city of Tokyo, on the grounds that police got prosecutors involved even though they knew that Harada was innocent, causing his family to suffer social disgrace.
If Hamaoka is potentially deadly, what about all the other nuclear reactors?
If Hamaoka is hit by an earthquake-tsunami event approaching in scale the one that in Fukushima Prefecture is making nonsense of decades of blithe official assurances that nuclear power is safe – and seismologists rate at 87 percent the chance of a major quake occurring near Hamaoka within the next 30 years – Tokyo itself, the heart and lungs of Japan, would suffer what much of Tohoku is now suffering.
“Let history judge,” said Kan, implicitly elevating his decision to a historic level. Sunday Mainichi is not impressed. The nation’s entire nuclear industry, it claims, was built with astonishing recklessness. Closing one plant is, in the contemptuous words of former Tohoku University seismologist Masakazu Otake, “haphazard lip service, a kind of blood offering to the gods, a political performance.”
Monday, May 16, 2011
Fudai is the village that survived—thanks to a huge wall once deemed a mayor’s expensive folly and now vindicated as the community’s salvation.
The 3,000 residents living between mountains behind a cove owe their lives to a late leader who saw the devastation of an earlier tsunami and made it the priority of his four-decade tenure to defend his people from the next one.
His 15.5-meter floodgate between mountainsides took a dozen years to build and meant spending more than 3.56 billion yen.
“It cost a lot of money. But without it, Fudai would have disappeared,” said seaweed fisherman Satoshi Kaneko, 55, whose business has been ruined but who is happy to have his family and home intact.
The gate project was criticized as wasteful in the 1970s. But the gate and an equally high seawall behind the community’s adjacent fishing port protected Fudai from the waves that obliterated so many other towns. Read More
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
YANAIZU, Japan — As visitors to any of Japan’s thousands of hot springs know, this country is sitting on a lot of very hot water.
Japan’s Nuclear Future in the Balance (May 10, 2011)
But some say that with Japan’s reliance on nuclear power plants coming into question, the country should harness more of its geothermal natural resource to provide clean, renewable energy.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Sony confirms personal info theft of all 77 million network users
Friday, May 06, 2011
The 20 years since the bubble burst have at times seemed like an experiment to make a population as lethargic and hopeless as possible and then observe the decline. But there was always a twist that made things different than the malaise of a Tunisia or an Egypt: decent living standards. A roof over one’s head and food on the table are virtually guaranteed, and almost everyone has enough for a trendy wardrobe, a PlayStation and a night of oblivion in an izakaya once or twice a week. If you are satisfied with that, you don’t even have to work very hard for it. Read More
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
On Being Politically Correct The great movement to be politically correct has helped lead us to mediocrity. Writers, professors,
doctors and others live in fear of offending the wrong person. Professors are hauled in front of university
boards having to defend something they may or may not have said in a given lecture. Doctors must be
very careful about the way they examine patients and do disease preventing research.
The intimate nature of being a doctor sometimes causing doubt and misunderstanding.
I am not saying that all are innocent. There are people out there doing
terrible things and they must be punished. However, it has gone to far. The new McCarthyism is a reality.
In the realm of writing, I can no longer rave about the beauty of Japanese women, without coming under
some scrutiny from my readers. Poets have long raved about the beauty of many things including men and women,
but it seems one can no longer do this, without having to defend the act. Why not? I can rave about the beauty of a flower
and that is okay, why not women? Are women not beautiful? How can this possibly be offensive? I do believe that
outer beauty is skin deep, and we all have a lot of inner beauty too. To be politically correct, one must deny the existence
of the former. Why not acknowledge it, while also stating that personality is the most important thing. If you want to
rave about the beauty of men do it. I will be happy in knowing that I am not a physical object nor a sexual one.
I am simply me and there is more to me than my physical appearance. I feel that this anger over raving about
physical beauty, primarily comes from those who are not very confident about their own inner beauty and strengths.
It is a comment about them in other words.
One friend with more experience at living than I, said that this movement to be politically correct is simply a furthering
of the women's liberation movement--a step too far. I agree with this argument. Women's lib was a necessary protest
movement, and great strides were made, but now it is getting ugly. One woman at Simon Fraser University in Canada
decided that she wanted one of the coaches at the university, and she was willing to do almost anything to get him.
After being repeatedly rejected she accused him of sexual harassment. Due to her physical beauty, she was believed.
Us men are animals you know. This SFU coach hired himself a good lawyer, held some press conferences and took to battle.
Proving himself innocent and hounded by a horny young woman. He had been fired over the allegations. I will repeat that: he was fired over
allegations--nothing had been proven. That is the problem too. Doctors, teachers and other professionals can be destroyed
simply by irresponsible and erroneous allegations.
The final chapter of this SFU story had the woman in disgrace but unpunished, the Dean of the
university lost his job for firing the coach in the first place. The coach was finally vindicated and got back to teaching
and trying to win championships. This whole movement has gone to far, and would make a great comedy if it were not so
tragic and stressful for so many people.
No I say rave about the beauty of men, women or flowers. Don't let any narrow minded person tell you otherwise. If they do,
you have to ask them what axe they have to grind? What are they bitter about? Acknowledge beauty, don't be afraid to tell
someone they are beautiful in whatever way they are. I do draw the line at bosses telling their employees they are very attractive;
the same goes for teachers telling students. But in general, let's stop with this nonsense of believing that it is morally wrong.
Recognize that the real beauty comes from inside, and this should
be acknowledged too. All of us are beautiful, and physical beauty really is only skin deep.
Kevin R. Burns
Monday, May 02, 2011
by Lyanne Thomas
新しい単語を学ぶのは退屈できついと言っているのは誰ですか。 退屈な暗記法は実用的で楽しい方法ではありませんが、子供は何千もの単語を学ぶ必要があります。 それゆえに教師は絵の中にボキャブラリーゲームを加えるなど効果的で楽しい学び方を考えなくてはいけません。 教えるためには、ボキャブラリーゲームティーチャーズを使うといいでしょう。 ボキャブラリーを楽しく学べる方法をいくつか紹介します。 Read More
But what about staying in contact with your home country? You know… a phone number, voice mail, and a mailing address? Sure you can use your parents address or another family members address and this would be the most affordable way, but sometimes it feels good not to have to rely on anybody to get things done. Here are some steps on how to make it happen on your own terms.
- Get a new address first using a 3rd party service. You could use the service Mailboxes Etc, but it’s not convenient. I recommend an online service such as Earth Class Mail. They’ll email you, scan your mail, even forward things to you. It’s important to do this first because once you decide where you’ll be getting your mail you need to get a notarized copy of USPS Form 1583 to authorize the service to receive mail on your behalf. Get this done at a notary or your local bank. But watch those fee totals! You’ll be paying a monthly fee + scanning fees + mail forwarding fees. Last year I spent a more than $1200 USD on this service. This year I’m estimated to spend about $800.