Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wedding Reception (August 19, 2006)

Former Mt. Abe students (l to r) Frank, Sara, Dan, Yong-nam (honorary), and Travis.


Former Mt. Abe field hockey players (l to r) Jen, Kate, and Dana. There's also a pretty strong SLU connection going on in this picture.


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Wedding Reception (August 19, 2006)

Yong-nam and Frank trying to balance things out.


Mr. and Mrs. Welch during the early hours of the party.


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Wedding Reception (August 19, 2006)

Anna and Scott.


Mama An and Kayla reunited!


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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mama An sitting with Grandma and Grandpa.


The house that Grandma and Grandpa built.


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Friday, February 23, 2007

The River

In front of Bartlett's Falls (New Haven River).


Just above Circle Current (New Haven river) in Bristol.


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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vermont

The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne, Vermont.


Church St. in downtown Burlington, Vermont.


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Hunting Dolphins in Japan


I didn't realize that the government here in Japan was complicit in the culling of large numbers of dolphin every year. I had always assumed that it was a private, somewhat localized practice.


However, it seems that the practice is alive and well, and despite the government's involvement it is still getting little coverage by the media in Japan. Many of the people that I have talked to (who have either grown up, or spent many years, in Japan) had no idea that dolphins were being hunted. This makes me wonder how it could be such a time-honored tradition in Japan (as government officials have claimed) when few people seem to know about it.


TPR has posted a video of the yearly dolphin hunt that is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, so I recommend clicking on over there to watch it (if you just ate, I recommend waiting a couple of hours before viewing the video).


I wrote a little something about the subject of dolphin hunting last January, so click here for a related post from this blog (sorry, the articles linked to at the end are from three or four years ago).


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Monday, February 19, 2007

How to Survive a Marathon in Tokyo

This photo was taken near Ichigaya station, and you can see how wet it was. A lot of folks have elected to run in ponchos (Tokyo Metro handed out literally thousands of them). The main pack of the race is just starting to enjoy some elbow room, so there were still lots of smiles at this point. We overheard one woman yelling out to a supporter, "Cho tsurai!" (which, loosely translated, means this sucks!) However, she too had a smile on her face.




While heading from Ichigaya to Mita to catch the race as it headed toward Shinagawa station, we noticed several marathoners jogging across the metro platform inside the station. They were all headed in the same direction, so it took us a while to figure out what was going on. It all became clear once we saw the runners go back the other way after a few minutes; the lines at the port-o-potties were pretty long (and cold!), so a couple flights of stairs are a small price to pay for a warm, dry toilet in the subway station.


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Gluttons for Punishment

That tutu must have been pretty water-logged by the end of the race.


Here comes Alex! This photo was taken near the 35km mark (about three minutes on foot from Ginza station).


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Tokyo Marathon 2007



On February 18th, 2007, two of my close friends, Adam and Alex, ran in the Tokyo Marathon.

In a cold February rain more than 30,000 marathoners crossed the finish line. The winner of the women's race, Hitomi Miya, is 18 years old and hails from Okayama prefecture, Japan. Her time was 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 1 second.

The men's race was won by Daniel Njenga from Kenya in a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 45 seconds.

The umbrellas on the sidelines made it a little tough to see along certain parts of the course, but we found that a few minutes of patience would result in front row standing room. It was cold, but we managed to run around Tokyo enough to scream at Adam and Alex four times!


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Friday, February 16, 2007

Yanagisawa's Gaffe Explained


Yanagisawa Hakuo, Japanese Prime Minister Abe's Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, has been plastered in the news for calling women birthgiving machines.

There are many people on both sides of the "let's have his head" issue. Opposition parties within the government are naturally enjoying the size and length of this fiasco due in part to the fast approaching election.

The sensationalism of this whole thing is making it a bit tough for the average person to understand what is really going on. For a thorough and balanced treatment of the ramifications of Minister Yanagisawa's gaffe please check this article here written by DeOrio over at TPR.

For evidence of a pattern of sexist thinking (with quotes) within the upper echelons of Japanese politics click here or here.


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Kate and Aaron's Wedding! (Aug. 12, 2006)





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Kate and Aaron's Wedding! (Aug. 12, 2006)




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Kate and Aaron's Wedding! (Aug. 12, 2006)

Anna helping out.


Last-minute preparations.


Operatic solo.


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Bristol, Vermont

The Canon on the green. (l to r) Mama An, Chris, Scott, Anna, and Shin.



The cat is taunting me.


Super happy!


48 East Street.


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Sunglasses





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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snake Mountain Hike (Aug. 06)

With Brook leading the way, we stormed up Snake Mountain. I didn't have time to take any photos on the way up, so most of the photos on my camera are from the top. At the top we all sat down to a Cubbers style picnic. (l to r) Erin Bergen, Scott, Brook and Elek, Mama Brisson, Anna, Chris.


Anna and Scott posing in front of quilt of fields that make up the Champlain valley.


Mama Brisson and Mama An on top of Snake Mountain.


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Snake Mountain Hike (Aug. 06)

The view from the top of Snake Mountain. That's the Champlain valley, a little bit of Lake Champlain, and the mountains of New York state in the background.



Odd photo; might have been staged. (l to r) Christopher and Scott Pellegrini, Erin Bergen, Anna Ayers, and Brook Brisson.



The cousins! Erin Bergen on the right came in from Wisconsin for Kate's wedding.


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Snake Mountain Hike (Aug. 06)

Elek getting a ride from Aunt Brook at the top of Snake Mountain.


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BBQ at the Ayers' House (Aug. 06)

Scott, Anna, and Chris on the sidelines of a lively badminton game.


Aaron, Kate, and Mom taking a breather. This was definitely one of the best BBQ's I've ever been to.


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Little guy keeping watch outside a clothing shop under Seibu-Shinjuku station.


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Valentine's Day



Hands down the best Valentine's Day present I've ever received! I've been aching to do some exercise that doesn't involve a treadmill, and I'm now only a basketball (about 5,000 yen) away from shooting hoops down at the park!

For a comment on what kind of presents I tend to give on Valentine's Day, please check here.


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Japanese Politics and Business

TPR reviews recent developments in Japanese politics, economics, and society.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

JR Yamanote Line


A work of true beauty.


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Sunday, February 11, 2007

More Pics From Chuo Line

Last stop (last train, too)!Busted!

Escorted out of the station (Musashi-Koganei, Chuo line).

Almost as comfortable as the floor of the train.


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