Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Oh MyLord!


At Shinjuku Stn when entering the Mosaic Street that leads the way up to the MyLord (to be pronounced Merôd) department store you can find the so called MyLord Box. It is an interactive light instellation, that is especially nice when it is dark outside. The programm is changing every few minutes: sometimes it is all blue with white light-clouds appearing whenever you touch the screen, then it is snowing and the snowflakes are piling up around the spot where you touched it, and the other time it is gray with colourful lights popping up. It is quite entertainig to watch it and how the passer-bys react and interact. I thought it is quite amazing how many people, no matter what age was curious, tried to touch it, giggled, watched it for a while..
For all those of you who don’t have the possibility to see and touch it live and direct i uploaded a video here [click!].

No Thanks!


Tokyo really is a place where more or less everything is available if you are willing to pay (sometimes a lot) for it. This can be wonderful: shopping or even just walking around and have a look at all the beautiful, delicious, strange or funny things is a lot of fun! Especially when it comes to food I often feel like in heaven here. However there are things of which I think they are just not right! Minke whale-, bear- or sea lion curry are definitly part of those things!
Don’t get me wrong: I also love to try food that I never had before. Give me some veggie I’ve never seen before and I will be happily excited like kids on christmas. But I am absolutely not appreciative of eating animals that are in danger of extinction, especially when people from an affluent society with plenty of other foods eat those meatproducts just out of curiosity or fun! It is not like someone is starving here without whale meat.
Furthermore I guess no one buys this in an endeavour to appreciate the meat – canned and soaking in curry sauce it surely won’t have any distinctive flavour. So it is all just about the idea of eating some “exotic” animal and about the colourful packaging. I found those cans in a shop for presents and all kinds of knick-knack – not in a grocery store – I don’t want to know how many people bought this as a oh-so-funny christmas present… I guess most of the cans will never be opened, they will just get dusty on the kitchen shelves of the presentees. What an unhappy end for a grand whale…

‘Tis the season to be jolly

X-mas and the New Year Holiday (o-shogatsu) have become a major joint celebration in Japan, with western influences – such as carols in the supermarket – and shrine and temple visits: Added to that a lovely romantic twist, as young couples enjoy a chance to have a nice dinner and maybe more (much more) together. Sparkling wines and rice cakes? You bet. Anything goes. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.


For the New Years Holiday, you’ll find a lot of fun decorations, such as the one above. A mixture of styles that show a lot of originality! In Tokyo, people like to throw in a few wild cards too, but a Wacky Wobbler…?

Micky and Minnie wearing kimonos? Sure! Why not!

While some of my neighbours go for western-style decorations, I have opted for a o-shogatsu kazari (New Years Decoration) on my door.

Happy holidays!

God Jul & Gott Nytt År

Fingerprinting foreigners

Tokyo%20Protest%20Fingerprint%20Justice%20Ministry.jpg I remember having to put my thumb to the ink pad when I first applied for the Alien Registration Card that all foreigners in Japan are required to carry at all times. Seven years ago, that law was changed, and my sparkling new card, which has a lot of other fancy features, is no longer blessed with my unique imprint.

Should we all be subjected to fingerprinting as we enter Japan? Well, if Aliens need to do it, why not also Japanese citizens. The “terror law” that Japan has imposed would not have stopped Japanese citizens belonging to Aum Shinrikyo from coming up with the Tokyo Subway gas attack 12 years ago. Fingerprinting would not have stopped the Japanese citizens joining the infamous Japanese Red Army from killing innocent victims in Israel and elsewhere in the 1970s. Japanese people didn’t take much responsibility for these autrocities; most people – and lawmakers – here probably have “forgotten”.

So what is behind all this nonsense?

I really do not know.

Join Amnesty International or its English-speaking branch in Tokyo.

(U.S. Visit, the system that Japan appears to have copied, currently holds a repository of over 50 million persons, primarily in the form of two-finger records…)

(Photo from The Mainichi: Protesters ‘flip the bird’ at Justice Ministry over forced fingerprinting)

Gaming Life in Tokyo


It’s an exciting season to be a gamer in Tokyo. We’ve already seen the release of Super Mario Galaxy, which is being hailed as the true “spiritual successor” to Super Mario 64. But for those that wanted to move to “true” next-gen but were hindered by cost, the even better news is that the Xbox 360, with its library of great games, is now being sold for the lowest price, anywhere in the world.

Coming in December, you will be able to get an even better deal on the Xbox 360. For 39,880 yen, you’ll not only get the new version of the system, complete with hard drive, HDMI support and two games, you’ll also get a copy of the hot new Mistwalker RPG, Lost Odyssey (Link). Having an NTSC-J version of the Xbox means that you can play the asian version of games. This is a boon for many reasons, but one major one is that the asian versions are cheaper than the same game marketed for other regions. Most of these games include English dialogue and menus which means that Westerners have an easy way to access cheaper games that should be easier to follow and are often released before their Japanese iterations. Play Asia is a great source for asian games and they offer free shipping to Japan. If you aren’t into RPGs, the Xbox 360 bundle currenly runs for 34,800 yen. If you’re into gaming, now you know what to ask for for Christmas or Chanakah or Kwanza or whatever relevant gift-giving holiday comes at the end of the year for you.

Harumi Triton Square

Tokyo Metblog
Curious display of petals & coloured sand near Triton Tower in Harumi, Tokyo. What happens if the wind blows?!

Posted from my mobile phone

Salaryman Syndrome

Salaryman Syndrome
Work Work Work Work Drink Collapse Work Work Work Work Drink Collapse

Posted from my mobile phone

Tokyo Earth Garden Fall

October 27-28 there will be Earth Garden Fall in Yoyogi, near NHK in Shibuya, Tokyo. Unless the autumn rain gets really bad, you can enjoy the food market, music and lectures.

The focus this time is on arts and crafts: I like the peace mark designs. Also participating are farmers “for our smile world”. Radio Freedom, Organic Life & Smile World Cafe, Soft Energy Demo and Dish Re-Use System… And many others who care about the environment and our common future.

They say they need volunteers too. Hey, if you are good at translating Japanese to English, why not help them make a great website in English?

Negativity Spots on Earth


There are some places in the world that just oozes with negative aura. Everyone in there is just unhappy, and even if you can hear someone laughing, it seems really fake. These places seems to suck up your positivity, and coming out from there to the rest of the world is just such a relief. These places include, job agency, very cheap supermarkets (the ones where they don’t bother with presentations at all), and immigrations. The last train from Shinjuku is also quite depressing.

Vegetarian Week in Tokyo

Hey, James… Hot dog vending machines? No thanks. saidoh.jpg
Tokyo Vegetarian Week Festival 2007 starts this weekend with events in Yoyogi Park on September 29-30. Hope to see you there. Herwin will be selling cookies and his Vegan Restaurant Guidebook, and lots of people are gathering to promote healthy veggies, fruits, nuts and grains that we should all eat more of…

The calligraphy combines the kanji characters for yasai (vegetable) and do (road, code, way ) creating a new term, “the vegetable way” alluding to other familiar philosophical terms in Japanese, such as bushido (the warrior’s code) or judo. In Japanese the two kanjis are read saido.

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