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スポンサー広告】 | top↑
Change of Government

L; Prime Minister ASO Taro/ R; Next Prime Minister HATOYAMA Yukio

The Liberal Democratic Party has ruled Japanese politics for over 60 years. Since the war, a change of regime has taken place just twice through the coalition of parties, but both failed in less than a year. Because of that, corruption has spread and the people have lost their interest in politics.

The Liberal Democratic Party has greatly depended on the bureaucrats in Kasumigaseki to do its political work. Bureaucrats have prepared everything from budget distribution plans and policy drafts to responses to questions in the Diet. In a sense, bureaucrats are script writers and politicians actors.

However, the end of August, the Liberal Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat in the elections. The next Prime Minister will be Democratic Party leader HATOYAMA Yukio. But he's just only mere decorations.
Power-broker of the Democratic Party is Ozawa. He's a powerful political figure.
(He was potentially the next prime minister, Democratic Party leader. But his secretary was arrested and indicted for accepting political donations from illegal sources. Then, he's the secretary-general of the Democratic Party now.)


My friend Mimi's hubby, Nathan was born and raised in US, came to UK, met Mimi and got married after dating for more than 10 years. They lived in some countries(UK, Germany, Netherlands...), and then immigrated to Tokyo last year.
I asked him what is terrible in Japan. He said "It's quite certain that politics and TV. These're WORST in the world."

He's right, I guess so.... Look at these video. Next Japanese first lady is crazy.

SPIRITUAL Cook Book, Eat the sunshine, hook up with a UFO!?!?
People chose "CHANGE", but I think the Democratic Party also would fail in less than a year.
This is the sign of the Japan's approaching end!!!
About Japan】 | top↑
Flying Zabutons
There's various forms of expression of feeling in the world.
Japanese seem less emotional because traditionally, Samurai were trained to hide their feelings. Furthermore, in contrast to western classrooms, in Japan, children are educated through one-sided lectures, instead of through classroom discussion. Also, everyone is taught from childhood the importance of cooperation. That being the case, it seems reasonable that people would think so alike and also have trouble expressing their emotions. It probably seems strange to foreigners, but it's risky for Japanese to stress their opinions because they'll likely be mistaken as being impudent. That's why one secret of succeeding in Japan is to emphasize yourself and maintain harmonious relations with people around you.

However, we definitely have our own way of making our feelings known when it comes to the national sport of sumo. Spectators attending sumo matches have been known to throw things at the ring, both in delight and anger, since the Edo period (1603-1868).
In Sumo, we're hurled toward the ring by fans upset over a referee's decision, the loss of a yokozuna (the top-ranked rikishi) to a lower-ranked opponent, or anything else that rubs us the wrong way.

Asashoryu VS Takami-sakari
I love both of them. The funny rikishi is Takami-sakari, and Asashoryu is Mongolian.

Hakuho VS Koto-mitsuki

But unfortunately, The Japan Sumo Association said;
"Throwing zabuton is dangerous. It's astonishing that there haven't been any accidents before. But it would be too late to take action after something (bad) happened. We thought of various ways to put a stop to it, and decided to make the zabuton in a shape that wouldn't fly well."

The new, difficult-to-throw zabuton

I was so disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see any flying zabuton because I thought it represented the real sumo atmosphere!!!

About Japan】 | top↑
Nori-P's scandalous gossip
Today, I would like to write about Japanese scandalous gossip. ;-P Everybody is talking about "Nori-P" this month in Japan.

Pop star Noriko Sakai, publicly known as Nori-P, was recently arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal stimulants. She has disappeared on Aug 3 after her husband was detained on drugs charges, has surrendered herself to Tokyo police on Aug 8.
Her 10-year-old son, who had also been missing, was found safe in Tokyo on Aug 6.

"Hitotsu Yane no Shita" Season1-Ep7

Who could imagine this of Nori-P, the lovable, self-sacrificing sister of the 1993 hit series "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" and the sweet, hearing-impaired heroine of "Hoshi no Kinka" (1995). Good gracious, she even played mom in Marumaru Chibi Maruko-chan (2007) and starred in the Supreme Court's own lay-judge system PR film.
And now she seems destined to face her own day in court.

Her scandal was big story, everybody was so surprised because no one wouldn't imagine it. She was looking very different from her usual public image, which was a very pure and innocent actress.

She has played as a club DJ around 2006, and the scene was recorded and uploaded on YouTube. As Sakai was behaving quite bizarre in the video, rumor had it that she was using illegal drug since that time.
The video on YouTube is titled, "Cyber Nori-P, a.k.a. Noriko Sakai's techno-cool DJ play." She danced very fanatically while shouting and fueling the audience's excitement by pointing her finger towards them.

I don't care what happens to her and her husband. I don't care what others say about them. But I just hope their son didn't see that his parents were jacked on drugs.
About Japan】 | top↑
"No one else should ever suffer as we did"
An atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki City at 11:02 a.m. on August 9th, 1945. (Hiroshima; at 8:15 a.m. August 6th, 1945) About 74,000 people died in the year following the bombing. (Hiroshima; 150,000 people) Survivors still suffer from the after-effects of radiation even today.

On this day, The B-29 bomber Enola Gay's first target was Kokura City.
I was born in Kokura, my both parents and my both grandparents too. If an atomic bomb was dropped to Kokura City of this day, my grandparents were dead. This means I wasn't even born if an atomic bomb was dropped to Kokura City. This is why I have special feelings for Nagasaki.

In Japan, kids have to go to school on this day during summer breaks. They learn lessons from war/atomic bomb. On this day, I used to watch the movie named "Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen)" at the school every year when I was a kid. I think the movie has turned to "Hotaru no haka (Grave of Fireflies)" around recently though.

"Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen)"

"Hotaru no haka (Grave of Fireflies)"

Every year on these day, a memorial service for the war dead is held in both cities. And today(August 15th) is the anniversary of the end of World War II. Here's the moving speech by Hiroshima's mayor, he gave a speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony this year.

Hiroshima Peace Declaration in English

Hiroshima Peace Declaration in Japanese

I know the fact that there're still Asian people who look at the atomic bombs positively. I know there're different opinion in Japan/Asia/Europe/United States.

President Obama, who understands well that the US is also in danger of nuclear terrorism, made a remarkable speech in Prague on April 5th when North Korea launched the rocket. In the speech he mentioned the US is the only nation that has used a nuclear weapon and has a moral responsibility to act as a leader.

I think it would be difficult to do it. But I just wish people would learn that war is not the answer.

Peace begins in your heart.
About Japan】 | top↑
Earthquake and Typhoon

Japan often experiences natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons due to it's geographical and meteorological characteristics. In recent years in particular, many earthquakes and floods have struck the country. For this reason, people have become increasingly anxious about natural disasters.

Today's Shizuoka Prefectural Government/ 5:50 a.m.

Shizuoka's Convenience Store(Family Mart)/ 6:44 a.m.

A moderate earthquake hit Tokyo last Sunday. In Tokyo, Japanese Shindo scale was 4.
Also, a huge quake struck Shizuoka region on this morning. Japanese Shindo scale was 6 lower in Shizuoka, 4 in Tokyo. That huge earthquake woke me up

Learn more about Japanese Shindo scale

What's it that I'm worried about is even the typhoon is approaching now....  :-(

About Japan】 | top↑
In Japan, no matter where you go, there's always a pachinko parlor in front of the railway station.

Pachinko parlors share the reputation of slot machine dens and casinos the world over — garish decoration; over-the-top architecture; a low-hanging haze of cigarette smoke; the constant din of the machines, music, and announcements; and flashing lights.

Pachinko machines are also called the Japanese version of the slot machine, and they're popular with the people as a whole. If the machine gives you a lot of balls, then you go exchange them for money. There's no doubt that THIS IS GAMBLING!!
However, all gambling except that under public management is prohibited in Japan.

So, why can they not penalize the privately-run pachinko parlors?

When customers turn in a lot of balls, the pachinko parlor gives them prizes which are supposed to be equivalent to the number of balls they turned in. Up to this point, no money has been handed over, so it's not technically gambling. Customers who come to the pachinko parlor to make money would not be satisfied with this, however, so the pachinko parlor runs a small exchange office somewhere nearby.

The customers can take the gifts they received and exchange them there for money. Thus, what seems like gambling actually takes the form of customers taking the gifts that they received from the pachinko parlor and selling them at these little offices. The clearinghouse is located in an obscure place separate from the pachinko parlor.

Some people called "pachi-puro", or "pachinko professionals", even make a living by earning money in this way.

Pachinko and pachisuro probably took hold in Japan because they're the type of amusement Japanese tend to prefer; something casual that doesn't take a lot of time. Another reason for their continuing popularity may be that the machine manufacturers have regularly come out with new machines to hold the public's interest.

Here's pachinko CR "The Rose of Versailles Ⅲ"

About Japan】 | top↑
The Takarazuka Revue Company

Do you know Takarazuka Kagekidan (Takarazuka Revue Company)?

From Wikipedia;
The Takarazuka Revue (宝塚歌劇団 Takarazuka Kagekidan) is a Japanese ALL-FEMALE musical theater in the city of Takarazuka, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

Women play both male and female roles in lavish, Broadway-style productions — most of their plays are Western-style musicals, and sometimes they are stories adapted from shōjo manga and folktales of China and Japan.
Learn More

Five different groups, called "Hana-gumi" (Flower Troupe), "Tsuki-gumi" (Moon Troupe), "Yuki-gumi" (Snow Troupe), "Hoshi-gumi" (Star Troupe), and "Sora-gumi" (Cosmos Troupe), take turns performing reviews and plays in a special theater.

To become a troupe member, a girl has to have graduated from the "Takarazuka Music School", and the entrance exam for this school, which is nearly 50 times as competitive as other exams, is a difficult obstacle for many. Students are ingrained with strict rules concerning relations between superiors and inferiors and an underclasswoman is never allowed to walk in front of an upperclasswoman.

They staged "The Rose of Versailles" for many times. The Rose of Versailles (”Berusaiyu no Bara"/ we calls "Beru-Bara"), also known as "Lady Oscar", is one of the best-known titles in shojo manga and a media franchise created by Riyoko Ikeda.

Their fans are mostly female. Generally, we calls them "Zukafans". Zukafans are another famous group.
These women act as a group and follow strict rules from which no infringements are allowed. When a top star makes a farewell performance, they wait for the star to come out, but when the star does emerge, they are only allowed to offer to wave hands in silence. When they go to see a play, they are only allowed to applaud at predetermined places, and if they do anything else, the other fans in the group stare at them coldly.
How strange!! I think this is VERY uniquely Japanese cloistered society.

Top Star Farewell Parade

Look at from 4:28! This IS Zukafans!
About Japan】 | top↑
Japanese Are Easily Warmed Up But Just As Easily Cooled Down
Tokyo people LOVES to stand in long line.
I came from Fukuoka, it's west area of Japan. I was surprised when I came to Tokyo for the first time, because it had the procession everywhere in Tokyo.

The Japanese(ESP Tokyo people) are easy to get excited about new products but easy to get tired of them. If one brand becomes popular, everyone buys it. That brand quickly becomes famous and then its stock diminishes quickly. When that happens, everyone wants to buy it all the more, so the status of the brand is elevated even more. As soon as it reaches the stage where everyone has one and it has become an everyday sight, people rapidly lose interest in it.

LA brand "Forever 21" opened in Omotesando on April 29.
2,000 people lined up for hours outside the shop, waiting for the newest product.

There's "H&M" next to the shop.
YES! People have already gotten tired of H&M.

Here's a picture taken when I went to Ginza on this Monday. No line!! This IS Tokyo people!!! LOL!!!

About Japan】 | top↑
Bento Danshi

Do you know about "Bento Danshi"???
Bento means lunch box, Danshi means man/boy.

In Japan, there's a custom of taking the lunch box to the school or the company. In member of society's bringing the lunch box to the company, most is a woman. But now, to bring bento is becoming popular among men(boys). They wake up early and make bento by their own. Some people post blog entry. Here're some blogs by "Bento Danshi".

About Japan】 | top↑
Hay fever and yellow sand season has arrived

Yellow sand is carried to Japan by the wind from deserts on the Chinese continent. It often reaches Japan from March to May every year.  Today, it gets terrible yellow sand.
It also dirties laundry hung outside to dry.
A large amount of yellow sand reduces visibility, causing the cancellation of airline flights.

Also, from the beginning of February, cedar pollen has been circulating in the air. According to a government survey, there're about 13 million hay fever sufferers in Japan. Even people who do not usually suffer from allergies may exhibit symptoms.
Many people complain about a runny nose, eye irritation and sneezing.
If you have hay fever, you should wear a gauze mask, glasses, and a hat when you go out. Dust off your clothes and gargle when you get home -- and buy a home air cleaner.

If you come to Tokyo in this season, you may surprise because many people wear a gauze mask!!! Luckily, I don't have hay fever even I have a terrible cat allergy though.
About Japan】 | top↑
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16 things about me

Hello, My name is Natsuko. I'm a Japanese. Now I'm living in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Japan. My native language is Japanese with Hakata accent! My English is poor and I always worry how can I learn English better.
I love a vintage dolls. I believe that dolls playing are a common language around the world. So, I hope you will enjoy my blog.

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