Monday, June 30, 2008

Vermonters in Tokyo

My good, good friend from Bristol is coming to Tokyo for a month to study Japanese!

Emily Erwin (not the one from the Dixie Chicks) is going to be here for the month of July! She lives in Kanazawa where she teaches at a university, but she's on summer break now.

Last buddy from home that came to visit was Dan Eling (2004?).


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Japanese Colonization of Korea Not a 'Fact'

This one hasn't really been played up very much by the English media yet, but the head of the education board of Shimonoseki city in Yamaguchi Prefecture told the head of a Korean school that Japan's pre-WWII colonization of the Korean peninsula "contradicts a historical fact".

There isn't a whole lot in the way of context being bandied about yet, but it appears, at this early juncture at least, that the 44-year-old head of the city education board, Tsuyoshi Shimakura, is replaceable.

Click here for a Japanese article.


Whale Slaughter: Elementary School Field Trip

Wada, Japan, one of the last legal bastions of whaling in this country, brings the youngsters out to watch the slaughter.

Japanese children as young as ten are watching whales being slaughtered to teach them the "cultural importance" of Japan's controversial commercial whaling industry.

The picture to the right is an AP photo snapped by David Guttenfelder of local schoolkids in Wada, Japan reaching out to touch the severed head of a Beard's Beaked whale.

Please read the rest of the article on your own.


Tokyo Pitcher Daniel Rios Steroid Scandal

Daniel Rios, Tokyo's only off-season acquisition that involved a foreign player, was recently given his marching orders.

Apparently only horses can get away with using that steroid.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Royal Parks First Floor Gets Some Love

The deceased AMPM shop space has been dormant for quite a while, but it looks like someone has decided to take the plunge.

I have a feeling that it's going to be yet another clinic as those have been popping up at a feverish pace in Hanakoganei lately.

It's definitely not large enough to be a gym, but oh well...

The deck space out front means that it's likely to be a service industry company that gambles on the location.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tokyo Yakult Swallows Blog

Our new blogging project, 燕軍: Tokyo Yakult Swallows, is doing quite well! There appears to be a large body of baseball fans, both in and outside Japan, that is interested in NPB, and the number of visitors to the site each day has continued to climb.

There's already a lot of content on the site (well, considering that it's only been up for a few weeks), so please pop on over and have a look.


Template Tweaking

I just added a blogroll to the sidebar that is more dynamic than the last one. The site that updated most recently will appear on top. Kind of a cool idea.

There's also the option of including a snippet from the post pulled off the top of each site's feed, but I wasn't sure if that would balloon the thing out too much. Maybe I'll turn that thing on in the future.

I may also reorganize my "More Links" section. There are a lot of sites in there that update regularly that are mixed in with more businessy sites. Sites dealing with Asia in particular, which happen to be mostly blogs, probably deserve their own blogroll similar to the one at the top of the page.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blue Hawaii by PEPSI

The new Pepsi product, Blue Hawaii, caught my attention when I walked into a convenience store recently.

It's a bit too small to read, but the words under the giant "Blue Hawaii" on the bottle are "pineapple and lemon".

Reminds me of this.


Friday, June 06, 2008

New Blog

Dave, Garrett and I have a new blogging project that is dedicated to the sap on our time, money and prospects for the future that is the Tokyo Swallows. The site, aptly named Tokyo Yakult Swallows, is up and running as of last night and will hopefully house some decent content within a week.

Much of my boring drivel about baseball will probably migrate over there. Or at least the marginally higher-quality stuff anyway. Some of the junk will likely show up here every once in a while.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

"The Sleeping King" (眠り王) by The Exile Company TARA

Bearing a slight resemblance to "The Neverending Story", playwright and director Hiroshi Harada's latest original work with The Exile Company TARA is the story of a young boy who finds himself moving back and forth between the pages of a book and the reality of his hospital bedroom. "The Sleeping King" (眠り王) displays Mr. Harada's delightful storytelling skills, and the current production includes several impressive acting talents (including Harada himself!) from Tokyo's independent theater circuit.

We saw the Saturday night performance of the show amidst a packed house at Woody Theater near Naka-Meguro station. The main theme of the play is facing one's fears as illustrated by the main character, a boy who is battling a life-threatening illness. The part of the young boy was played convincingly by actress Aiko Hashimoto (藍子 橋本). Also putting in a memorable performance was the villain of the play, Hiroshi Okazaki (瑶治 岡崎), with whom I acted in an educational video last year. A strong ensemble, as well as swift changes of scene and setting, help keep this show moving.