Monday, January 31, 2011

Trololo Singer Brought down Nova?

Scapegoats are prevalent the world over, but Vladimir Sukuruov of Russia complains that
he is being blamed for something he simply didn`t do- causing the downfall of NOVA!

Vladimir took too many nasal medications one day before he taught his children`s classes
at NOVA. Then NOVA went bankrupt. Were the two events connected?

You be the judge!

(Scroll down to bottom of the page)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Japan Ice Hockey

Japan Ice Hockey: I scold the other media outlets here for the largely non-existent reporting on ice hockey in Japan. Ice hockey is such a great game and Japan has a lot of good players and a great little pro league, The Asian League. The AL has teams in China, South Korea and Japan, and boasts players from all over the world. Moreover, it always has some former NHL and European League players. Read More

Catching up with an old brewing friend in Japan

Beer in Mr Edo's era
Catching up with an old brewing friend in Japan

One of my favorite New York brewers is Ed Tringali, with whom you may not be familiar. I am always reminded of Ed when I see framed prints of Saul Steinberg's famous New Yorker cover showing Manhattan looking across the Hudson at a remote and exotic world. As a young man, Tringali left the home of all civilisation for the West Coast, where he later became a very hoppy brewer at a pub called Big Time, in Seattle. Read More

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to not make a fool of yourself at a Japanese wedding

How to not make a fool of yourself at a Japanese wedding

By Ashley Thompson


Not long after I’d moved to Japan, I received an invitation in the fall from a co-worker to attend her wedding, to be held that winter. It was exciting enough that she chose to invite me to something as significant as a wedding without really knowing me that well, so I told her I’d be there. Though couples do still opt for a traditional Japanese wedding in addition to a Western one, it seems that weddings lately are trending more towards Western-type. My co-worker was having a Western one, although she and her fiance had professional pictures taken wearing traditional Japanese attire.

Then I realized, I needed to figure out the proper etiquette for attending a Japanese wedding. I’d heard somewhere before that bringing money for a gift is the appropriate thing to do, rather than actual, physical gifts. (I wish this was custom in the U.S….) I told her I didn’t have a lot of money at the time (but I would give what I could, since I wasn’t sure what the normal “amount” was. I doubt I put in a good amount, since most people give anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 yen and up. I also wasn’t sure what to wear, and told her about the clothing I currently owned (no dresses, only some skirts that were more “business wear”). She said whatever I wore would be fine. Read More

Friday, January 21, 2011

Boardgames during Golden Week, 2011

JIGG`s 20th Anniversary KevCon 2011 - Goldenweek May 3rd-5th


It is hard to believe that KevCon has been going on for 20 years!

Am I that old?

Celebrate with me in a beautiful part of Japan. Make new friends and play some games. If you come to one game event this year, Don`t miss this!

For those who have come before I welcome you back, and for those who have never been to a KevCon, I invite you to experience a little JIGG tradition.

Cost: No entrance fee! Free always!

Pictured: Alhambra

I encourage game lovers from far and wide to attend. It is worth the trip. We have had
people come from Kyushu and Niigata for KevCon.

Play games in a riverside cottage in Minamiashigara City, Kanagawa.
Get away from the city and enjoy fresh air and views of Mount Fuji. We are located 70 metres from the Kari River.

(See KevCon venue - pictured on the right)

People have come from all over Japan to attend KevCon!

Noon on May 3rd. Finishes the evening of May 5th.


Kevin`s English School (Tsukahara School)
Address: 2659-4 Tsukahara,
Minami Ashigara City, Kanagawa
Email: greatpowers at

*Note to people who have come before, KevCon will not be at my home. It will be at our
Tsukahara School.

What to bring?

Any games you`d like to play plus a sleeping bag.

There is one bed available on a first come first served basis.
Email me if you want the bed. If not bring something to sleep on--sleeping
bag etc. We have a lot of room.

Amenities Nearby:
There is a restaurant next door, several more nearby, and there is a large supermarket across the
street. The train station is just a 3 minute walk away!

How to Get There from Tokyo, Fujisawa, Atsugi, Machida, Yokohama:

From Shinjuku Station catch an Odakyu Line train bound for Odawara.

So take the Odakyu Line to Odawara. Take a Kyuko (express
train) it has red kanji on the side usually next to the door up top.
It takes about 90 minutes. Bring a good book! Be sure that your
train goes to Odawara and not Fujisawa.

Get off at Odawara Station and transfer to the Daiyuzan Line. Get off
at Iiwahara Station, it takes 10 minutes from Odawara. Take the only
exit, cross the train tracks, turn left at the first street, walk straight and you will
see a cottage like white and brown, house that looks like it came out of a cowboy movie.
We have our store Merry Lue on the first floor and our school and apartment on the second floor.
Come up to the 2nd floor. That is where we will play and sleep.

How to Get There from: Shizuoka, Nagoya and other points South:

Take the Tokaido line or the Shinkansen and get off at Odawara. Transfer to
the Daiyuzan line and follow the directions above (for Tokyo).

**The Shinkansen also stops at Odawara. You take a Kodama Super
Express. It takes about 39 minutes from Tokyo. Costs a little over
3,000 Yen one way.

Take a break from the city and see some mountain views and breathe some fresh

Feel free to pass this on to interested people. Games of all kinds
welcome. Bring whatever you would like to play, chances are, others
will want to play it too. Bring a sleeping bag if you`d like. It is a nice area as well.
A great break from wherever you live with a great bunch of people!

I have literally hundreds of games. Most of which I have never played.

Kevin Burns

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

University of Wales wants your Japanese Students

"Get paid to give your university students a chance to participate in a University of Wales online experiment. For each student you recruit, who properly completes a session, you will receive 500 yen and the student will receive 1000 yen. Participants must be university students (undergrad, masters, PhD), Japanese citizens, and have fairly good English skills. Please email the researcher (Will REEB) today at for more information."

"Give your university students a chance to receive 1000 yen for participating in a University of Wales online experiment. Participants must be university students (undergrad, masters, PhD), Japanese citizens, and have good English skills (TOEIC 500+ but they do NOT need to have taken the TOEIC test). Please email the researcher (Will REEB) today at if you are teaching English to students who might meet this requirements and you are willing to give them an invitation. Each participant needs to be invited by a teacher. The researcher will send you an invitation to distribute to your students. The research is a cross-cultural visual communication study involving China, Great Britain, Japan, and the USA. No questions are asked about sensitive or controversial topics. Students from universities in Japan have already participated and seem to have enjoyed the experience."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Canadians Resident Abroad

Canadians Resident Abroad is a good magazine that will help specifically
Canadians, but really anyone living abroad and having to think about tax issues,
health insurance and things of that nature.

[Click Here to go to:]
Jan/Feb 2011 Edition is Here

Please be advised that a neww Issue of CRA Magazine is now available and can be accessed by going to

CRA Magazine is Canada's first E-Magazine designed specifically for Canadians who are presently living abroad, who have done so in the past or who are contemplating an out-of-country sojourn in the future.

Our magazine is distributed electronically free of charge to subscribers in 142 countries around the world. In addition to sound and timely advice in the investment and tax arenas, CRA E-Magazine covers everything from offshore employment, vacation/travel and international real estate information to country profiles, medical/insurance matters and education options for your children.

We welcome your suggestions for new articles and please feel free to forward this email to other Canadian friends and colleagues.

Why Work in Japan?

Why Work in Japan?

By Chase Crawford

Even if you don't live and work in Japan, it's easy to fall in love with the country. Anyone who encounters its rich, enduring culture and history as well as its modern innovative society can't help but want to learn more.

There are many means to learn about Japanese ways. You can always read books or study a formal course. These days, you also have the easy option to just go online and take your fill. There are tons of websites that offer information about the country and its people. There are also countless communities that let you interact with Japanese friends or fellow enthusiasts.

Read More

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea is recommended by health experts the world over.

Macha Green Tea - A student of mine asked me if I had tried it.

She was raving about it, and drank it all the time. I said that I had never heard of it. She promptly got up and left the room. Then she came back with several packets of instant matcha green tea - (it is pronounced "macha" green tea.)

Matcha means: finely milled Japanese green tea.

Read More

How to make Green Tea

Photo: enjoying tea, by Devanshe Chauhan

How to make Green Tea - one of Japan`s many gifts to the world.

I`ve been drinking Japanese green tea for over 20 years and it is very healthy!

Dr. Andrew Weil reports that it is a great source of catechins which are antioxidants that inhibit cancer.

Moreover there are more benefits of Green Tea:

* Lowers cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease

*Protects against some infections

*Promotes joint health and stronger bones

*Reduces inflammation Read More

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Traffic Death Toll Used to be over 10,000

The traffic death toll used to be over 10,000 people every year. I used to point out to the
Japanese I knew, that Americans lost a about 55,000 people in the Vietnam War, and they were
fighting that for over ten years (including advisors etc). Japan was losing more people
to traffic fatalities than America did in a war. They were quite surprised.

I can`t make that comparison anymore as Japan has improved traffic safety. Seat belt laws
have been strengthened and enforced more often, and the anti-drinking and driving laws have
become much more severe thankfully.

All of this has led to much safer roards! Don`t get me wrong, still a lot of people drive like
absolute idiots, but things are safer.

From Japan Today:

Traffic death toll falls to record-low 5,772 in 2009


The number of people who died within 30 days after being involved in traffic accidents last year dropped 4.2% from a year before to 5,772, the lowest since the statistics were first compiled in 1993, the National Police Agency said Tuesday. Among the victims, 51.2% were aged 65 or older, according to the NPA.

The number of people who died within 24 hours fell 4.7% from a year earlier to 4,914, or 85.1% of the dead within 30 days, dipping below 5,000 for the first time since 1952, the NPA said. The rate of traffic deaths within 30 days is 4.52 per 100,000 in Japan, which is higher than Britain but lower than the United States, Germany and France, according to the agency.

Yokohama holds Huge Fireworks Display every Summer

Extravaganza of the Most Popular Fireworks Events Around the World

Extravaganza of the Most Popular Fireworks Events Around the World

By Adriana A Noton

One of the largest popular fireworks events around the World occurs within Scotland's Edinburgh International Fireworks Festival Concert. Here you will be amazed at the extravagant displays put on by the over 90,000 fireworks which are launched from the famous castle.

During the concert you will hear the Orchestra of the Scottish Chamber playing while technicians have set up visual aids in the accompaniment of the music as well as the display themselves.

The southern U. S state of Tennessee in Knoxville has the largest Southeast display of fireworks every year at Knoxville's downtown waterfront in the last of August called Boomsday. Many dignitaries and other high standing well-known people come each and every year to show their support and to see the beauty in the skies over the water.

In Queensland, Broadbeach Australia you will find not only fireworks in all their glory but family fun and excitement throughout the night. From entertainment live and dancing to the performing street artists roaming around there is something everyone will enjoy. It is recommended for the best fun to bring along a picnic for you and your family to have under the fireworks and fun.

Celebrating New Years Eve in Switzerland is something every one should do at least once. Their fantastic display of fireworks on Lake Zurich in Zurich is something to be remembered.

Two large ships on the lake actually disperse the fireworks displays on the lake for maximum effects. You will also find many forms of musical entertainment abound and a delectable array of all types of cuisines to choose from or try a little bit of it all.

The Las Vegas Strip in Nevada USA holds a enormous party of fireworks called America's Party. Its held on New Years Eve each year. This event also has loads of celebrity's hosting night club events all around the strip area on into the night as well for even more fun.

We have to include the most famous New Years Eve extravaganza in the United States, New Years at New York City Times Square. This event is seen all over the world and is one of the most popular within the USA.

Everyone the World over holds their breath as they watch the gigantic fireworks celebration as well as the celebrity singers and hosts throughout the evening leading up to the great sparkling ball begin its descent to a new year.

Rinko Park in Yokohama City Japan hosts a larger than life firework experience as well called The Kanagawa Shinbun Event of Fireworks. You will see well over 7,500 fireworks being displayed in the sky above the park for a truly magnificent spectacular. The whole area surrounding the event is something you should also take time to view.

No matter what country or state you are in you will more than likely find a fabulous fireworks event near to you, even if its not one of the most popular fireworks events around the World it will still be a delight to watch as the beauty and flare will keep you mesmerized just the same.

Enjoy the cozy accommodations and enriching amenities on these luxurious Toronto boat cruises. Whether you are a tourist, vacationer, or adventure seeker, you will discover boundless fun, adventure, and excitement within the fireworks cruises.

Article Source:

Tokyo, Japan - The History of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan - The History of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan - The History of Tokyo

By Harry Preston

In feudal times, the current prefecture of Tokyo was part of the province of Musashi, and more specifically. After the defeat of those facing Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1590, it allowed the nine provinces of the Kanto region to choose the small village of Edo, which was centered around a castle built in 1457, to serve as capital in its field.

It became Shogun Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and thus became the de facto political center of Japan, opening what historians call the Edo era. Even if Kyoto is still officially the capital, as a place of residence for emperors. All their wives and son lived in Edo. The city soon became a large dense population, despite a great fire in 1657 which destroyed much of the city and killed nearly 100 000 people.

In July 1868, following the Meiji revolution, Emperor Mutsuhito Edo chose a new place of residence, in the city which is now known as Tokyo, the capital of the east. In 1871, the Tokyo metropolitan group was formed, and the city which was previously divided into 15 districts, became one metropolis.

In 1943, the city of Tokyo merged and the Tokyo metropolitan prefecture (Tokyo-to) was created. The common Tokyo no longer exists, its boroughs, reorganized to form the current 23 special districts, becoming separate municipalities.

The prefecture has been sorely tested in the first half of the twentieth century, first by the earthquake of 1923 Kanto (142 dead and 807 missing) and the many bombings that it has endured during the Second World War (more than 100 000 dead). Much of the city was destroyed during the two disasters, resulting in the need for major reconstruction which explains why, while retaining a number of ancient historical monuments, most of the city has developed a particularly modern architecture.

The Summer Olympics of 1964 took place in Tokyo, which resulted in the construction of numerous infrastructure (including highways and transport). Thereafter, the city experienced phenomenal growth during the economic boom in Japan during the 1960s (10% of average economic growth per year), 1970 (5% growth) and 1980 (4%), the urban area, the largest in the world in terms of population, now largely beyond the borders of the prefecture and fully embracing the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and partly that of Chiba.

For more information on Tokyo, Japan visit

Article Source:,-Japan---The-History-of-Tokyo&id=1866693