Showing posts from September, 2012

Why Korea Beats Japan

I was at my son's school the other day and got into a conversation with a friend who is a very high ranking executive at Samsung corporation. His son and my son are in the same class again this year and so it was very nice to see him again. He is chief of their Japan operations and we had a interesting talk. During that talk, we came to the subject of how Samsung is dominating the market in flat screen TVs and moving that direction in hand held computers and cellphones.

In August of this year, the Wall Street Journal ran this article entitled, "How Japan Lost its Electronics Crown"

Sony, Sharp and Panasonic combined to lose about $20 billion in the past fiscal year. That is a contrast with the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Japan started to dominate the world of consumer electronics. As the Japanese economy surged, the electronics conglomerates ruled the market for memory chips, color TVs, and videocassette recorders, while their research labs gav…

Facebook Launches Tacky Presents "Gifts" App - FAIL!

Here's another crappy Facebook app that I don't think is going to fly. I mean, if you care enough about someone to buy them a birthday present, you certainly aren't going to buy some trash from Facebook (unless, of course, you also think buying birthday presents at 7-11 is OK!)

Give a gift with class... 7-11 wine or Facebook chocolates or socks! has the story in Facebook Users Can Send Presents:

Facebook is rolling out a service called Gifts which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks and other real-life presents to one another. 

Facebook Gifts launched Thursday to a subset of users in the US and will roll out to more over the coming months as people begin to send gifts to each other. 

Users will be able to click on a "gifts" icon on their Facebook friends' pages on Facebook's website or on Android mobile phones. (iPhone and iPad versions are coming soon.) 

The icon will also show up on the …

Woman Dies in Fukushima!

Finally the news says something about someone in Fukushima dying. But it’s not what you think! It’s not from the nuclear disaster or radiation. No! This poor old woman was killed by a bear!

Now, doesn’t that just take the cake? Poor old woman survives the earthquakes, the tsunamis, the radiation only to end up getting killed by a bear???....

Japan Today has the story:
82-year-old woman dies after apparent bear attack in Fukushima

An 82-year-old woman died after apparently being attacked by a bear in Kitaka City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Wednesday morning.

According to police, the woman’s body was found at around 8:30 a.m. in a field by her home, where she had gone to work, TBS reported. She had bite marks on her head and a bear’s footprints were seen around the body.

The area is about 4 kilometers from the center of the city, with schools and many residences nearby. Police issued an alert for people to be on the lookout for a bear.

What!? “Police issued an alert for people to be on the look…

Free Family Picnic Party w 76.1 InterFM and 6 O'Clock Yatsura! 10/28 (Sun)

Hey everyone! There will be another of our annual Free Family Picnic Parties with 76.1 InterFM and the gang from "6 O'Clock Yatsura!" on Sunday, October 28, from 8 am until 5 pm and you are invited! Bring your kids, family and friends! It's free and a great time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful view along the park at Futakotamagawa Station and the Tamagawa River! 

For more details listen to 76.1 InterFM and 6 O'Clock Yatsura (Monday ~ Friday nites from 6 pm to 8 pm). If you are in Japan, you can listen to 76.1 InterFM here on Radiko! (Click the InterFM button at the top!)

The park is only a 6 minute walk from Futakotamagawa station on the Denen-Toshi Line and 12 minutes from Shibuya by express train.

10/28(日) ピクニックパーティー開催!

For more information, see 76.1 InterFM 6 O'Clock Yatsura

Hope to see you there!  全員集合!!!!

Japanese Ministry of Finance to Japanese Public and Bond Holders: "You are bankrupt! But don't worry!"

Wolf Richter is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers on his blog entitled, “Testosterone Pit.” Today he’s got a post that just shows us that Japan could be doomed sooner than imaginable. From Zero Hedge: Japanese Ministry of Finance to Japanese Bondholders: You’re Screwed!

This has got to be the icing on the Japanese cake. The otherwise bland website of the Japanese Ministry of Finance, more specifically the FAQ page on government bonds, has been catapulted to stardom on Facebook and Twitter. Not in a good way. As you flip through the MoF’s website, page after page, you will mostly see zero Facebook likes and zero tweets. Social media and the MoF ignore each other.

But go to the FAQ page, skip down past the categories of Budget, Taxation, and Tariffs to item 4, Government bonds. Under the second group, skip past Tax questions for individuals, Miscellaneous (Is it a crime if I make a copy?), Price and yield questions, and Coupons to the infamous question 5: “In case Japan becomes …

Man in Japan First in World to Own iPhone 7!!! With Photographs!!!

Yes, friends. I own the world's first iPhone 7. And I have a photo to prove it. But first, let's talk about the new iPhone 5.... (iPhone 7の写真は下)。

Beg, borrow or steal... Or wait two nights camping outside an Apple Store? Yes! Some people will do anything to get the new iPhone 5!

The new iPhone 5 finally came out yesterday!!!! For some people the wait is over.

But some of those people didn't want to wait even a few minutes extra. They wanted to be the first! Talk about customer loyalty!

Some people in Japan began lining up 2 days before the iPhone 5 went on sale!

The new iWait
Some of the more fervent fans even camped out overnight.... 

Thank god it wasn't raining, eh? What? It rained like crazy????

Wow! Hard core! And, of course, they ate healthy when they camped out by eating chocolate bars and other junk...

Others, just couldn't wait and broke into the Apple Store early in the morning and stole their iPhones (Gee, don't those things have traceab…

Senkaku Has Been Japan Since the 1800's. This Spat is About Chinese Elections!

The new Free Tibet or Kony 2012 hype this is all for the Chinese election, it is not about the islands. As I pointed out in Historical Chinese Records, Documents and Books Recognize Senkaku as Part of Japan:

Perhaps those who claim that the recent troubles and anti-Japanese demonstrations in China are just the Chinese government fanning the flames of nationalism to take the minds of the citizenry off of domestic problems caused by the government's incompetence could be correct? 

Our own Ryan Dawson now appears on RT and tells us about the Chinese election and all sort of scandals going on in China now. Senkaku is, as Ryan points out, a diversion...

Thanks and great work Ryan Dawson! 

Water and Music Festival! Free Fun Family Event This Weekend at Heiwajima!

There's a great charity event coming up this weekend at Heiwajima that looks like great fun for the entire family! It's the "Mizu to Ongaku no Saiten" (Water and Music Festival). All proceeds will be donated to relief efforts of the disaster stricken areas in Tohoku and admission is free with a donation (of any amount!)

水と音楽の祭典 in ボートレース平和島のお話を伺いました。

The event runs from Saturday to Sunday opening at 10:30 am until 5 pm every night and it looks like it's going to be a blast!

You can do all these things for free:

*Join a free raffle to win prizes including vacation and stays at hotels
*Watch boats races (You get to bet for free and if your boat wins, you get a prize! Cool!)
*Kids can make handmade musical instruments
*The World Percussion group will perform
*There's all sort of boat rides for the kids (free!)
*Of cours…

Hilarious! Delta Airlines Sponsored Golfer Wins ANA Cup

A little birdie just called and informed me that Japanese professional golfer Hiroyuki Fujita just won the prestigeous ANA Golfing Champion Cup a short while ago. ANA is All Nippon Airways.

That's hilarious.

Why is that Hilarious?

Because Hiroyuki Fujita is sponsored by Delta Airlines!

I'm sure the folks running ANA are really happy about now promoting a competing airlines.

Here's a story about Delta signing Fujita.

Historical Chinese Records, Documents and Books Recognize Senkaku as Part of Japan

Now here's an interesting bit of information.... Historical records, documents and book from the Chinese government show that China in the past has recognized Senkaku as Japanese territory... 

Perhaps those who claim that the recent troubles and anti-Japanese demonstrations in China are just the Chinese government fanning the flames of nationalism to take the minds of the citizenry off of domestic problems caused by the government's incompetence could be correct?

From Wikipedia:

After a number of Chinese were rescued from a shipwreck in 1920, a letter purportedly sent to Japanese fishermen by the Chinese Consul Feng Mien (冯冕/馮冕) in Nagasaki on behalf of the Republic of China (中華民國) on May 20, 1921, made reference to "Senkaku Islands, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, the Empire of Japan". The letter is on exhibition at Yaeyama museum.

The Washington Times claims that this is a map from the PRC in 1969 that shows Senkaku as Japanese territory.
The People's Daily…

Japan's Debt Bomb and China's "We Must Go To War With Japan"

Japan has the highest debt level relative to its economic output of any country in the world. Japan's nuclear reactors shut down March of 2011 after the Fukushima event. This forced Japan to nearly triple energy imports. The increase in energy imports led Japan to becoming a net importer rather than a net exporter. The importing of energy requires greater deficit spending to pay for it - which in turn adds more debt. Japan's aging population means its workforce will likely decline - thus making the trade deficit difficult to reverse. Low interest rates mean investors don't earn much income for holding yen. Is the only way for Japan to get out of debt to print yen? …. And now, troubles with islands and conflict with China?

And now add this on top: "Thousands besiege Japan's embassy in Beijing over Tokyo's assertion of control over disputed islands in East China Sea." And China is not happy: "For The Respect Of The Motherland, We Must Go To War With …

Cool & Strange Music Vol. 4

It's time once again for another version of Cool & Strange Music! Yippee!!!

Let's start of the show with a Brigitte Bardot video from 1968 that has a great remix along with the original video. This song is called "Contact."

Here's what Wikipedia says about the very outspoken and fascinating Brigitte Bardot:

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a former French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex symbols of the 1960s. Starting in 1969, Bardot's features became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France.

Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer in early life. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous due to her role in her then-husband Roger Vadim's controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film Le Mépris. Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Forei…

Dyson Showroom Event Going on Now Until Monday Sept. 17!!!


Dyson is having the fab event at the "R Gallery Omotesando" exhibition space in Omotesando. The event started on September 12 and runs until the 17th (Monday) this month. It’s only open for a short time so you just gotta get over there this weekend to check it out.

You can go into the showroom and see why Dyson is all the rage and the darling of high tech home cleaning products. At this showroom you can try out everything from their new DC45 cordless vacuum cleaner, the awesome DC46 canister cleaner and even the bladeless fans called “Air Multiplier” (how does it blow cold and hot air without blades?) It was explained to me, but I still couldn’t understand.


Every woman's dream husband! Not only does he dress nicely, but he cleans the house too! (All photos by Michio Hashimoto)
You can also try the brand new vacuum cleaners in the store!

Today, Friday September 14th, 2012 is British Day and that features free sweets and drinks for all guests. On Sunday t…

Must Watch Video! The Feel Good Video!!!

No comment necessary. Enjoy the short film entitled "Validation."

Thanks to my friend Dale Yost!

Japan China Relations Ruined Over Rocks? Insanity! The New Asia Arms Race!

Unbelievable. The Japanese government goes out and buys some islands disputed by China? What the hell did they go and do that and antagonize China for?

Now, China is sending warships to the islands? Of course, then, Japan will send ships of their own too.

The News On Japan reports:

A territorial flare-up between China and Japan intensified Tuesday as two Beijing-sent patrol ships arrived near disputed East China Sea islands in a show of anger over Tokyo's purchase of the largely barren outcroppings from their private owners.

The China Marine Surveillance has drawn up a plan to safeguard China's sovereignty of the islands and the ships were sent to assert those claims, said the Chinese government's official news agency, Xinhua. The marine agency is a paramilitary force whose ships are often lightly armed.

The rocky islands, known as Senkaku to Japanese and Diaoyu to Chinese, have been the focus of recurring spats between the countries and also are claimed by Taiwan. The China-Ja…

Sumo Taikai (Sumo Tournament) at Futakotamagawa Shopping Street

The festival season in Japan is getting into full swing with festivals both large and small. Yesterday, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 saw the Futakotamagawa Shopping Street Association in cooperation with the Sumo team at Nittai University have a "Sumo and Chanko Nabe" festival. It was really fun!
The sumo guys bowing and saying "Thank you!"
Here's what Wikipedia says about Chankonabe:

Chankonabe (ちゃんこ鍋) is a Japanese stew (a type of nabemono or one-pot dish) commonly eaten in vast quantity by sumo wrestlers as part of a weight-gain diet. It contains a dashi or chicken broth soup base with sake or mirin to add flavor. The bulk of chankonabe is made up of large quantities of protein sources (usually chicken (quartered, skin left on), fish (fried and made into balls), tofu (or sometimes beef)) and vegetables (daikon, bok choy, etc.). While considered a reasonably healthy dish in its own right, chankonabe is very protein-rich and usually served in massive quantities, with be…

Nebuta Festival in Sakura Shinmachi Sept. 8, 2012

Yesterday, Sept. 8, 2012, we went to the Sakura Shinmachi version of the Nebuta Matsuri. It was fun. Here are some photos and videos of the event...

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the original Nebuta festival in Aomori and the history of the Nebuta festival:
The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri (青森ねぶた祭り, "Aomori Nebuta Festival" or simply "Aomori Nebuta") is a Japanese summer festival that takes place in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country's nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tōhoku region. It was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1980. "Nebuta" refers to the float of a brave warrior-figure which is carried through the center of the city, while dancers wearing a unique type of costume called haneto (ハネト) dance around in time with the chant Rasserā (ラッセラー). In the local dialect, participation in the festival is inquired using the…