Showing posts from July, 2013

Only in Japan - Poke Out Somebody's Eye With That!

I glance over the Japanese News everyday. Usually there isn't much going on. We don't have stuff like the Martin - Zimmerman trial going on here.

Here is something that I saw in this mornings news that made me go "WTF?"

It seems that a 30-year-old girl fell down in between the opening on the train platform and the train (looks like the Keihin Kyuko going to Isogo - towards Yokohama way from Tokyo. I don't know what station this is). And, in order to get her out, the station workers had to ask for and enlist the help of passengers to push the train far enough away from the platform so that the girl could get out! 

Like I said, "What the....?"

"Heave ho!"
Anyway, this impressed me for two reasons. One; how in the hell does a 30-year-old woman actually fall through the crack between the train and the platform??? Now, I've seen some places where the gap was pretty wide, maybe 7 or 8 inches... But an adult falling through to the ground? I know lots …

Too Many People Are Missing Out on Their Own Lives

I just had a mail exchange with a nice young person who was working on a Sunday... When I realized it, I felt sorry for them....(I'm in Japan, my early Monday morning is still Sunday in most of the west...)

This story came to mind: The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often. We’ve le…

Post-Election Nikkei Drop? Yep. Called it Right Here.

On Sunday, July 21st, in the wee hours of the election day in Japan, before polls opened, I wrote in: My Serious Commentary on Today's Japan Elections (And Some Hot Babes!):

Today there is a big political election going on in Japan (look for the Nikkei 225 to start dropping after today's election is over!) 

Several local stock brokers and the like blasted me about how great "Abenomics" is, etc... They also took umbrage at the utter idea that the Bank of Japan and the Japanese government would collude to manipulate stock prices...

Heavens! The government and the central bank colluding to manipulate the economy? I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

I just wonder what comic books these people have been reading these last 25 years? Of course, the government in power wouldn't manipulate the economy for their advantage prior to an election, would they?

That would be unfair!

The results a week after the election? Well, like I said, look for the drop and, here it is: I think …

My Serious Commentary on Today's Japan Elections (And Some Hot Babes!)

"You're talkin' a lot, but you're not sayin' anything... Say something once, why say it again?" - Lyrics from Talking Head's hit song, "Psycho Killer"

Here's my very serious Japan election political analysis report.... This is some serious stuff, so pay attention!

Japan's politicians are the same as any other politician the world over... Perhaps even more so.

They never really say anything. All their speeches and words are merely jingoism and platitudes: they talk a lot but they don't say anything. 

Their political posters are even worse! You know posters that say stuff like what all politicians say, "We can change," "Change we can believe in," or "For a better America," "Hope,"  "Believe!"... And ones Ronald Reagan used are pretty much standard fare the world over: "Make (your countries name here) great again!" 

Well, you get the picture... Lots of words but they say absolutely …

Move Over McDonald's! Japanese Restaurant Serves Up REAL Fish Burger!

Yeah, you can't make this stuff up. A restaurant in Kyoto serves up a mean (and mean-looking) Ayu (Sweet Fish) burger!

Actually this might surprise westerners, but there are several varieties of fish that can be eaten whole in Japan, and Ayu is one of them. Looks delicious!

Ah! But the details are in the Secret Sauce! Read more:

Where Have I Been on My Blog?

Axel, a regular reader wrote in and complained to me. He wrote: "Why has this column/blog recently morphed into a self-help book? What happened to astute and witty observations on life in Japan?"

Axel is completely right. (Not so sure about the "... astute and witty observations on life in Japan?" part... But he's right about the rest!)

My excuse: Starting in April, I became the producer, director, engineer, writer, song selector, news person and promoter of a new radio program. I am doing the job of 4 people (at the pay of one). The show is called, "WTF?" ("What the Friday" and it is on 761. InterFM):

I'm not complaining (too much).

The radio station seems not too interested in promoting our show so I have taken that responsibility by myself completely. So now I do the job of 5 people for that show.

The job that takes the most of my time is promotion. The show is an unheard of 5 hours…

One Easy Way to Beating Procrastination! (How to Do Better Work and Beat Deadlines Too!) - And Some Funny Stuff!

Do you find yourself fighting procrastination? I do everyday of my life. But, I can say, that (I think) I have a reputation for being very quick; for always getting good work done well and on time. I see far too many people who procrastinate all the time and become their own worse enemies. Procrastination causes much stress and I think that stress causes poor work quality in some cases and I know for a fact that stress causes poor health (some special people feed off of stress - weirdos!)

My secret to getting things done; preventing procrastination and alleviating stress? Well, it's not much of a secret, but it's more of following some common sense advice my mom gave me long ago whenever there was a huge job ahead of me. She said, "Whenever there is a big job, if you wait until near the deadline and then sit and decide to do it all at once, it is such a giant undertaking and will cause much stress and worry. Start early, and do it a little by little. Doing so will allow yo…

Hit Song, "Fever" by Julie for Free Download - 3 Days Only!

A song that we've been playing heavily on our FM radio show is available for free download for three days only on Soundcloud. Check it out! Great song! Click here:

WTF?のヘビーローテーションの曲のフリーダウンロード!ジューリの曲を無料ダウンロード!!! Wow! Julie's hit song, "Fever" for FREE DOWNLOAD on Soundcloud. Three days ONLY! Get yours NOW!!!!!!! 今日からから3日間で「FEVER」の無料ダウンロードスタート!FEVER for free download for 3 days starting today!

Three Generations to Greatness

"It's one generation from a pickaxe to a putter. And the next generation from a tuxedo to a tramp." - Will Rogers

A while back, I wrote a blog post about motivating children and that reminded me of what is considered the ways to greatness for classical pianists. It is called, Three Generations to Greatness. It is what the classical music world considers the minimum for a pianist to be in order to become truly great. Basically; it takes three generations of family effort and diligence to create one piano child prodigy. 

I thought that this story might be useful to those of us who sometimes wonder why they are on this earth and what their purpose is.

I say this because, I, too, sometimes wonder what the legacy is that I will leave on this planet after I die. I have begun to have these thoughts because of the recent death of my own father. Of course, I loved my mother and father and miss them so... But what was their legacy?

Take my father for example, his legacy is much differ…

Incense That Kills Mosquitoes Represents Difference in East vs. West Philosophy...

There is a kind of incense that the Japanese (and many Asians) burn that wards off or kills mosquitoes and flies. It's called "Katori Senko" in Japanese. "Senko"means "incense." "Ka" means "mosquito" and "tori" means "to take or kill." Hence the name Katori  Senko, "Incense for killing mosquitoes."

Eastern method of handling mosquitoes: incense
I think that Katori Senko is wonderful. When I first came to Japan, I was so surprised to see such a product for the first time in my life. It was very pleasant smelling (I love the smell of incense) and it really worked! It was so pleasant not to have to spray chemicals on my body and face or spray them around the area where the children were playing.

I remember just hating the idea of things like "Yard Guard" that my father would spray around the yard when we were having a barbeque or the medicinal taste of some spray that my mother would spray on our f…

Google Street Maps View of Japan' s Hashima Island (Battleship Island)

Googls Street Maps has come out with a very nice high-quality video from Japan's famous and now deserted Battleship Island.

About Hashima Island, Wikipedia says:

Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima, is one among 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Nagasaki itself. 

The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island's most notable features are the abandoned and undisturbed concrete apartment buildings and the surrounding sea wall. The island has been administered as part of Nagasaki city since the merger of the former town of Takashima in 2005. It is known for its coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from undersea mines. They built Japan's first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers. Concrete was specif…