Monday, June 27, 2011

JIGG Kanagawa Boardgames Club

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

You Need your Hobbies in Japan

You have left your home and your family. You have no friends.You need your - hobby link Japan! Your apartment closes in on you and the cockroaches are huge, black, and they fly; your boss is a jerk who cuts up goldfish to feed to his piranhas. You need to get your mind off things. You need a hobby!

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.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Novelist Murakami slams nuclear policy

Novelist Murakami slams nuclear policy

BARCELONA, Spain — Novelist Haruki Murakami criticized his country's pursuit of nuclear energy Thursday during his acceptance speech at the 2011 International Catalunya Prize ceremony in Barcelona, describing the ongoing crisis at the quake-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as "a mistake committed by our very own hands."

Murakami said Japan, as the only nation to have experienced the devastation and suffering from radiation through World War II atomic bombings, should have continued saying "no" to nuclear power.

Murakami, the first Japanese to receive the prize given annually by the autonomous Catalan government, said the €80,000 (approximately ¥9.3 million) prize money would be donated to the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami as well as those affected by the nuclear crisis.

Naoto Kan


When every card's a joker

Special to The Japan Times
Once — a dozen years or so ago — I yawned my way past a politician giving a "stump" speech to the early morning commuters at my station. In fact, I had to side-step him on the narrow walkway.
Only then did I notice who he was: Naoto Kan — the current prime minister.

Of course he wasn't prime minister then. But he was still one of the brighter lights of Japanese politics, with his star clearly on the rise. So I did a double take on the walkway. How about that? Me and Naoto Kan, face-to-face! And I thought, "Naoto Kan! One day he might be prime minister!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Your Aparment in Japan

Boy do things get dusty faster here in Japan than back home. With so many people living in a small space (more houses or residences per acre), your apartment gets dirty much more quickly.
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).

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原子力発電所 放射性降下物への対処 何を食べていいのか?何を食べてはいけないのか?

原子力発電所 放射性降下物への対処 何を食べていいのか?何を食べてはいけないのか?



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Japan`s Zenlok wins 2 Prestigious Awards



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Sunday, June 19, 2011

For all the Fair Skinned People Living in Japan

Novel approach to treating cancer

NEW YORK — The discovery that two new drugs can control melanoma could revolutionize the treatment not only of melanoma but also of other cancers as well.

Melanoma is cancer of the pigment cells in the skin. Although it accounts for only 4 percent of all skin cancers, it is responsible for almost 80 percent of the deaths, particularly because it tends to spread early in its course.
Melanoma kills by spreading through blood and lymph nodes into the internal organs of the body. This is what makes it more dangerous than other skin cancers, which don't metastasize as easily.
A melanoma the size of a dime on the skin has a 50 percent chance of having already spread. In addition, melanoma is spreading faster than any other kind of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that at least one person in the country dies of skin cancer every hour.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Japanese House Plans

Japanese House Plans, what you didn't know

(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.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sarah Bareilles helps out in Tohoku

Musician Sarah Bareilles of the USA and former resident of Minamiashigara, Chris Zanella is a member of the volunteer group “All Hands” dispatched to Ofunato, a city badly damaged by the last tsunami. Using EM and his own “Hands”, he is helping to clean up and reconstruct the city along with his group.

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 (play /bəˈrɛlɪs/ bə-rel-is; born December 7, 1979)[1] 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.[2] She has sold over 1 million records worldwide and has been Grammy-nominated three times.[3]



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

Anti-Nuclear Power Protests Continue in Tokyo

TOKYO -- Protesters held mass demonstrations against nuclear power across Japan on Saturday, the three-month anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 23,000 people and triggered one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.

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.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

The Reality in Tohoku is Worse

Tohoku, Japan

"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:


読売新聞 6月10日(金)1時37分配信
今年5月までの3か月間に福島県内で発生した侵入盗被害が、昨年の同時期より約4割増の695件に上ったことが警察庁のまとめでわかった。   Read More

Monday, June 06, 2011

FBC - Foreign Buyer`s Club Going Strong

When American Chuck Grafft and his wife Kelly started a co-op in the late 1980s to import items that they and their friends in the foreign community missed most from home (bagels, breakfast cereal and peanut butter), they probably had no idea that more than 20 years later, their business would be booming, offering more than 40,000 items to thousands of families ordering several thousand items every week.
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.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

The City of Angels, Bangkok, Thailand

The City of Angels, Bangkok, Thailand

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.

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Many Drown in Japan each summer

 Learn what to look for!


Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.