Archive for April, 2007

Relax

This time of year, we get a couple of national holidays all lined up very nicely. Some lucky people will have nine days off this spring! Asked what Japanese people want to do during GW, the most popular response was “Relax”.

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Source: Japan-Guide
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3 more days till ‘Spiderman 3’ Count down started!!!!

Somehow it is not the States, but the movie ‘Spiderman 3’ is opening in Japan on the first of May! It is the earliest opening of this movie in the world. Despite that there are many movies that never reach Japan, or numerous movies are shown couple of months to half year later, ‘Spiderman 3’ is opening the world earliest in Japan!

I am a big fan of Spiderman, so I went to the theater to watch the first and the second movies. I am also going to watch this third movie as well. Yes, I already purchased the ticket!!

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One of the ways I like to relax is watching movies. It can be renting DVDs to going to the theater. I have to admit that not all movies that have second or even third versions of the original movies are good. So, I am curious to find out how this movie is going to be.

I would though avoid going on the first of May, because it is in the middle of Golden Week (Long Spring holidays starting today, including four national holidays)!! So, as I enjoy going to the theater when it is not too crowded, I will aim for the second or third week of May. Not to mention, I somehow went to the first and second Spiderman with my mom. It has thus become our movie to go to… so, since she is not available during the GW the days I am free, I have to wait…. Hahaha

Change of Seasons… from Sakura

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Japanese Sakura/cherry blossom is well known for its beauty. My young memory of sakura is the beautiful blooming flower at the gate of my elementary school. At the beginning of every school year, I remember it was so beautiful. It was almost the flower saying ‘Congratulations!!’ to start a new year.

On the other hand, sakura often comes with hanami (cherry blossom seeing). As I had long been away from Japan, I have never really had hanami that what seems many adults enjoy with a lot of food and alcohol. I mean people get really crazy at hanami. They start drinking before it gets dark and people often get totally wasted. It is not surprising to see police looking after such drunken people. Moreover, homeless people search for food and drinks after hamani people leave.

Three weeks passed since the blooming sakura, the beautiful pink flowers fallen on the ground and now it is all green. I have to admit that pink flowers are really beautiful, but the green leaves that come after the flowers are also unbelievably refreshing to my eyes. It is now that the color of greenness gets darker and darker and the parks once filled with beautiful pink flowers are replaced with deep rich green leaves.

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Don’t be ugly!

Don't be ugly

Beautification Enforcement Area

Posted from my mobile phone

Vote Vote Vote !!!!

In Japan, adults over 20 for both males and females have rights to vote. For the past two weeks, almost all prefectures of Japan had voting days for a gubernatorial election and an election to choose the representative from each town/city. For me, April 8th was the day for voting, for some April 22nd was the day for voting. As I had been out of country for many years, it was my second time to vote. Like many countries, the proportion of young people aged between 20~30 have very low percentage of voting rates in Japan. However, I asked five friends that are ages either 23 or 24, finding out that only one person did not vote. Overall, the News says that although only about 37% of people voted by 5.00p.m.in Tokyo it was an increase over 4% since last time.

I though have to admit that it was rather annoying for the past weeks for the applicants’ cars goring all over my town, asking for everyone to vote since 8.00a.m. ~ 8.00p.m.every single day. It was even 8.00a.m.on Saturday morning the cars going around. It is because unlike the U.S., the time for Champaign is very limited. I mean how can I choose the one to vote if I know the person only from the Newspaper and TV during the Champaign that was less than two weeks? I live in the Prefecture next to Tokyo, so if you watch TV or even Newspaper, there are only the topics for Tokyo, but not much for the Prefecture that I live in. The only helpful information for the candidates was on the Newspaper two days before the voting day. If I had rights to vote for Tokyo governor, (which I could not) it was very easy. The candidates have been on TV a lot, discussing what their manifests are and what they are emphasizing on their Champaign. I wish I had rights to vote for Tokyo governor, because it is the center of Japan; I work there and so my brother.

On the day of voting, my father who usually goes to bed at 9.30p.m.stayed passed 11.00p.m.to find out who won from my area. I found it rather funny, but he was very excited to find out who won from my town. It was who he voted and also all my family members voted. It was very tight election, but I was glad that our town representative is someone new who is willing to make change, unlike the former representative who did nothing.

Two days later, I found out that my town’s voting rate was one of the highest voting rates in the Prefecture. The attachment is the post card that was sent before the election, which was used as identification for the day of voting.

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Raoh died

RaohGoogle map says there is not a way from New York to Tokyo. It shows the direction to European cities, but I am not sure I can follow the direction 24. Can you swim?

I like this, it makes me smile. Everybody looks happy. Sushi Conveyor in Tokyo. By the way, when I locate Sushi, I eat GARI a lot! Because that is my favorite stuff. GARI is named from the sound of cutting ginger or the texture of ginger (we say gari gari suru). Originally it was a private mark/secret language of sushi cooks like Murasaki (purple) = soy sauce, or AGARI (up) = green tea. Sushi private marks got to be common and customers use them now.

I have never looked at "Fist of the North Star" (北斗の拳) in manga, TV shows, or movies. It’s too violent for me, but I know the story and it’s very popular actually. At the end of this month, their new movie "The Legend of Raoh II: Fierce Fighting Arc" (here is the trailer) will be released in Japan. In the movie, Raoh died. So a few days ago, his funeral ceremony was held in Zen Temple Koyasan Tokyo Betsuin. This is the official site and this is a news site. People had a funeral for Rikiishi of "Ashita no Joe" (Tomorrow, Joe) before. I think this is the second time to have a funeral for a manga character. Ha. You have my sympathy.

Stand Still

Stand Still
Don’t drink & drive. Don’t smoke & walk?

Posted from my mobile phone

Earth Days April 21-22

This weekend is Earth Day and in Tokyo there will be lots of events both Saturday and Sunday. Music, organic food, cute hippie girls in really short mini-skirts, dance parties and a good time will be had by all. (OK, just kidding about the cute girls).
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Don’t be late for work in Tokyo!

April is the time when Japanese companies take on most of their new employees. The hoops that these fresh recruits have to jump through are legendary, including interviews at the top of Mount Fuji, learning the company song and being made to shout as loud as possible in the street at passing cars to rid themselves of self-consciousness.

However, this one is new. Apparently new recruits arriving after 9am are forbidden from entering through the main doors and instead have to scale the building and enter through the window (if they can find the right one).

Don't be late for work in Tokyo
Rushing to arrive before 9am, when the doors are locked shut

What happens if you're late for work in Tokyo
Stragglers are left to climb up to their office window

Virginia Tech Shootings

Metroblogging DC are covering the sad events at Virigina Tech University: the deadliest school shooting in history.

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