A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 467 { Blah / Game Review - Gradius 3 } Monday, June 29, 2009



Day 467 { Blaah / Game Review - Gradius 3 }



Today was just blah.... Nothing special really took place except some heavy rain that fell all day. Oh and I got observed at 2 of my classes by the teachers in the school. I also taught the 5 year olds today at the kindergarten. So I had to be running all over the place with these genky kids... And one of them kept shouting " thank you very muchy" ... They are so darn cute. After work today though, I was tired tired tired.


So because of today's "blaahness" I will review another of my old favourite games. This is a Super Nintendo game developed by KONAMI name Gradius 3. I used to play this game a whole lot with a bunch of my friends back in Jamaica, back in about 1992 or 1993. I remember it being EXTREMELY difficult at times but it was funnnn

Difficulty - 1.5/3 (It had some seriously difficult stages)

Fun Factor - 4/4

Game Play 2.5/3 (Sometimes it slowed down a bit too much)

So I give it a 8/10 overall... Here is a look at the actual game play http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/gradius-3-review-for-super/236567

Day 466 { Shooter or Sharpshooter / Bleach Manga / NK Threaten to Shoot Down Spy Planes } Sunday, June 28, 2009


Day 466 { Shooter or Sharpshooter / Bleach Manga / North Korea Threaten to Shoot Down Spy Planes }


Went church then one of my friends actually cooked some stuff for me :) . Later I was supposed to go watch Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg. But my friend mistakenly rented the DVD Sharpshooter instead. I also started reading the bleach manga, because the anime was getting too interesting and I was too curious to know what would come next.
http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/329/01/






North Korea threatened Saturday to shoot down any Japanese planes that intrude into its airspace, accusing Tokyo of spying near one of its missile sites.

The North has designated a no-sail zone off its eastern coast lasting from Thursday to July 10 for military drills, raising concerns it might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days in violation of a U.N. resolution.

North Korea's air force said Japan's E-767 surveillance aircraft conducted aerial espionage near the Musudan-ri missile site on its northeast coast Wednesday and Thursday.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090628a2.html

Day 465 { Transformer - Revenge of The Fallen / Sony Banking Off Michael'S Death / New I phone 3GS } Saturday, June 27, 2009



Day 465 { Transformer - Revenge of The Fallen / Sony Banking Off Michael's Death / New I phone 3GS }



Transformer - Revenge of The Fallen

Went to Kurashiki today to watch Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen. I really really enjoyed part one and the movie trailers for part 2 were tooo yummy for me not to want to see the actual movie. If you haven't seen the trailer yet then here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhtGnCa8x2k&feature=related. Unfortunately though, I bought my ticket late, because my friend was chatting with some of her other friends, and we ended up getting seats in the row near the front. We could barely see the movie properly. Never again, will I make this mistake. If its at the front, then I will wait until another time.

But based on what I managed to catch, the movie was a bit disappointing. The story wasn't too bad but some parts of it I really really hated. Actually, its only the last 30-45 mins of the film I really liked. Some parts of it were just over done and other parts were just too boring. So if I gave part 1 a 8.7/10, I would give part 2 maybe a 6/10. Again maybe its because I was too close to the front of the theatre. So, so far, Star Trek still has the lead for the best summer flick.
GI Joe seems exciting and so does the new X-men. But lets see.


Sony Banking Off Michael's Death


Sony Corp., owner of rights to Michael Jackson's music, may boost revenue via a rebound in sales of the late pop icon's CDs and DVDs, analysts said.

Jackson, 50, died Thursday in Los Angeles. An autopsy is slated Friday, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said. Tokyo-based Sony had planned before his death to start selling five of the star's CD packages, including "Thriller" and "Bad," from July 8 in Japan.

Sony owns the rights for Jackson's "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "HIStory" albums, the company said. The singer sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide and was recognized by Guinness World Records as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time, Sony said.http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20090627n2.html



New I phone 3GS

About 200 people lined up Friday morning in Tokyo's Omotesando district for the chance to buy Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 3GS, the latest model in the iPhone series and Softbank Corp.'s mobile phone lineup. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20090627a4.html

Day 464 { I Need More Karate Practice / Michael Dead } Friday, June 26, 2009


Day 464 { I Need More Karate Practice / Michael Dead }

After work I went to Karate... And I have been practising this karate style name Shiho zuki
(It looks something like this but a little different http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajyP7Ls33d0) for the past 3 weeks now. So, I am yet to have somebody to show me how to walk on stage when I am to perform this routine. So every time I am o go up, I make a bunch of mistakes and look a bit strange in front of everyone.

Anyway, I eventually did the routine and I sucked real bad. I could see the disappointing look on the English speaker guy face who was the judge today. But still, this lady that I knew, decided to tell me that I did a good job. And this is the thing I don't like with many Japanese people, they will look you in the eye and be a big hypocrite. If I did badly, say it and help me to improve. Don't look at me and tell me I did well when I mess up.


At work today, the office lady asked me if I knew that Michael Jackson died. I told her no and I was a bit shocked, but, this girl hardly know anything about the outside world. So s soon as I got to my apartment, I checked the internet and there it was all over the internet. This link claims that Michael Jackson probably knew he was going to die soon. Its a long read but its pretty interesting. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196009/Im-better-dead-Im-How-Michael-Jackson-predicted-death-months-ago.html

Day 463 { FootBall DownHill / Faithful Dog Hachiko } Thursday, July 25, 2009


Day 463 { FootBall DownHill / Faithful Dog Hachiko }

Went to play football in the dreaded hotttt gym today. Yes, now a days, the gym we play in is EXTREMELY hot and humid. And this kind of heat and humidity will zap your energy in no time. So we started off by playing against each other, 6 a side. And in about 30 mins I was exhausted. I ended up scoring 2 goals for my side, but the amount of goals the other side scored was uncountable. We stopped checking after they were at about 12. At least this was us playing against ourselves and not the usual girly team that every now and again school us.

The girly team eventually arrived when the Japanese guys on our team looked tired, while the 3 foreigners looked exhausted beyond repair. The girly team eventually started off schooling us as usual with about 3 unanswered goals then after that they started to get a little boasty it seem. so they went for a scoring table thing...... When this happened, our team stepped up a bit and we won that round by about 4-2.... So they eventually put away the scoring board. However in theend, I think they scored more goals than us though. The 3 foreigners onl played for a short time because of heat exhaustion.

So there is this famous story in japan about some faithful dog name Hachiko who has been waiting for years, for its owner who died. I am not sure if this is facts or just another Japanese folklore, because Japan is full of them.... Just like how many believe that the Japanese emperors are decendants from the gods... Ohh and some people here still believe this. Hiss teet.. any way. There is a statue of the dog in Shinuya (I visited there in May).

The front legs, ears and tail of the bronze statue of "Faithful Dog Hachiko," a symbol of Tokyo's busy Shibuya district, have become yellow-tinged and shiny from people touching them.
Hachiko, an Akita, has experienced a lot of ups and downs in his life and is likely to get even more attention with the August release in Japan of the U.S. movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story," starring Richard Gere, a remake of a 1930s film.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090625f1.html

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 462 { Overworking In Japan May Cause Death / Toyota Back To Its Roots } Wednesday, June 24, 2009



Day 462 { Overworking In Japan May Cause Death / Toyota Back To Its Roots }


Today my friend treated me to dinner at a nearby restaurant. And we chatted for a good little while about all sort of stuff. So I ended up not going to the Wednesday English conversation. Saw this cute little baby and her mom in the restaurant who was trying to speak English to me and my friend. Outside of this, my day was pretty bland.


Overworking In Japan May Cause Death

Thirty-four people involved in training programs for non-Japanese died in fiscal 2008, up 13 from the previous year and marking a record high, according to a survey by a government-linked training body.

The leading causes of death were brain and heart disease, which claimed 16 lives, while five trainees were killed in work-related accidents and four died in traffic accidents. Supporters of foreign trainees said they suspect many of the deaths blamed on brain and heart disorders were actually the result of overwork.

The Japan International Training Cooperation Organization, which conducted the survey, said the 34 who died were mostly in their 20s and 30s and that the ratio of brain and heart disease was roughly double that of Japanese in the same age bracket. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090624f2.html



Toyota Back To Its Roots

Toyota shareholders Tuesday approved the appointment of the company founder's grandson Akio Toyoda as new president, hoping that reaching back to the family roots will help steer the automaker out of its worst crisis ever.

More than 3,300 shareholders — a record — packed a hall at Toyota Motor Corp. headquarters and showed their approval of the 29 new directors by applauding. The new board is staffed mostly by company executives and directors, including Toyoda.

He faces the daunting task of reviving the world's largest automaker, which lost ¥436.9 billion in the fiscal year ended in March, its worst loss since it was founded in 1937. The company expects an even larger loss this year.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20090624a3.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 461 { Very Genki 3 YO / General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 4 } Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Day 461 { Very Genki 3 YOs / General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 4 }


Very Genki 3 YO
Had to teach the 3 year olds at the kindergarten today... and boyyyy it was an experience. They know none of the English words for the fruit cards I brought there. So I started off with my name is blah and the how are you business....Even that was a little difficult.

After 10 minutes of that and 5 mins of head, shoulder, knees and toes, then I tried teaching them about the fruits. But what happen now is each time I held up a fruit card, the kids would rush me with the card in my hand. And the Japanese teachers had to be working hard to pry them off me... I tried it a second and a third time... and its the same result.... about 20 Genki 3 year old kids rushed me. Some pulling my hand, some pulling my leg, others trying to get the card I lift up, others pinching my butt .... and the teachers had to try and get them off me each time. But as soon as they calmed down, they rushed me again.... I don't know why...


Any way

General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 4

25) Eastern and South East Asian countries are easily accessible.


So places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, South Korea, Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are pretty easy to get to from Japan and ridiculously cheap.


26) Many Earthquakes

This speaks for itself. Japan is one of the most earthquake prone countries on earth.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3950315.stm

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/faq/?categoryID=11&faqID=139

Fortunately, my prefecture is one of the safest from all natural disasters.

27) I dont know how many of you knew this, but Japanese people have no Wisdom Teeth....

Well I can't find any solid proof of this but my Japanese friend said it to me. I don' particularly want to go and check that out personally so I take her word for it. Her explanation was that, centuries ago, they stopped using them, so I guess evolotion decided to take place or something. Plus many many many Japanese people have very very very bad teeth.

This does not mean that they have no wisdom because ......

28) Many name brand companies are in Japan, possibly second only to the USA. Companies like the following are all Japanese:

Electronic and Entertainment - >Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, Sharp, Vodafone (Softbank), Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, Konami, Namco Bandai, Square Enix

Cars - > Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Suzuki, Isuzu


29) Fun Place -

If you get used to the food, the people and the culture, it can be one of the best places you have ever been to seriously. It is an amazing place honestly, a clash of modern and ancient... I must admit that many of the people's thinking in terms of foreigners are still very ancient. Not all but many. However, there is a whole lot to see here.

30) Many opportunities to teach English

There are dozens of English teaching companies here. There is one little problem. They tend to favour Americans and Australians. And to get even more detailed, if you are white, then you have more like a 90-95% chance of being successful in getting the job. If you are any other race, then there might be a slight bias. Again its not always the case, but its chiefly the case.

31) Many Shrines, Castles and Temples

Im not so much very interested in this kinda stuff but if you are, there are many many shrines and ancient castles in Japan. some famous ones are in

Hiroshima (Hiroshima Castle and Miajima Shrine - shrine in the water)

Nagano (Nagano castle)

Hyogo (Himeji Castle)
This is probably one of the most amazing ones

Kyoto ( Kinkauji Temple and Nijo castle)
Kyoto was an old capital of Japan so it has many many of these stuff

Osaka (Osaka Castle)


32) If you want Information to spread fast, tell a Japanese.

I must admit that many Japanese people are inquisitive, especially when it comes on to foreigners business. And,
information about you will spread like wild fire... Thanks for reminding me of this Courtney...
eg. of the inquisitive thing, is my friend told me that at her school, the vice principal sits right beside the printer and every single thing she prints, he reads.

And I remember one day last week actually, I told 1 school that I was having a slight stomach ache.... And the next day at the other school, I told the office lady that my stomach was paining me today... She proceeded to ask me " you mean today or yesterday???" Now now now.... seriously.
I am not sure if the good news about you spread so much like the bad news or the stuff they deem interesting news. But anything you say will spread TRUST ME!!!

33) This one is for the males... If you find a Japanese girlfriend. BE CAREFUL... Why? Because:

i) they are either going to be totally submissive OR totally have other boyfriends. This too has a whole lot to do with location... the city girls are generally very wild. While the rural ones are generally more submissive... But again I say Generally. My friend in a rural area, after 3 months of breaking off with his Japanese girlfriend... she got married to some guy... YES married and Yes 3 months... then he found out that she had this boyfriend for like 5 years...

ii) Many Japanese girls are generally very JEALOUS and down right different (for want of a better word) compared to westerners.

Again, my friend said he was talking to some random foreigner girl and his then Japanese girlfriend saw him.. Oh bwoy... She called him then took his car keys and sped off in his car?????
She then send a couple of emails saying stuff like you cheating bastard etc etc????? this girl hardly knew English but she knows how to say bastard.... And all he was doing, was talking to his friend on the road. So, if they see you with another girl anywhere, it can spell trouble.

iii) They probably won't kill you but they can and occasionally mess you up.

My Jamaican friend who migrated to the US and spent 3 years in Japan, said, when he lived in Tokyo, his girlfriend cut up his American green card????? What did he do to deserve this, I don't know.
Oh and some of them will just snap and say its over... without giving you any good reason why. They just wake up one day and say "Sorry its done"... and as far as you know, you didn't do anything wrong.... I think this happened to about 2 or 3 of my friends.

But but, if you find a good Japanese girl, you will be a happy man, according to 3 of my friends who got married to Japanese citizens... 1 Jamaican, and 2 Americans. And Japanese women generally love to cook and clean :) ... So there won't be any trouble there.
Sorry, I can't speak for the ladies, but one general thing is, don't expect a whole lot of loving after you have a child or 2... Again, being very general.

Oh and Marriage does not mean automatic citizenship, nor does having half Japanese kids. The kids will be citizens but you can still get kicked out of the country if you mess up. And as I mentioned in a previous post, if a marriage doesn't work out, and a kid is involved. Then, the best thing to do is leave the country with your kids or keep them close to you at all times. Because if the Japanese partner in the failed marriage, decides that they are going to run away with the kid(s)... Then, I am very sorry for you. It is possible that you may never see them again in this life time.

34) Nakedness is not a big deal.

So yes, they are even unisex onsens (hot water baths) here in Japan. However, I heard (Because I have never been to one of these ones) that its mostly women in their 50s and 60s go to these ones. So if you are interested in wrinkles, then go knock yourself out.
But most of them are either exclusively male or exclusively female. And again, going back to number 1 from my first post on this, THEY WILL STARE AT YOU!!! Oh and if you have tattoos, then 95 % of the onsens won't let you in... Guess why??? Because they associate tatoos with yakuza (Japanese Mafia). I still don't get the idea that even though yakuza are only Japanese men as far as I know, foreigners with tattoos can't go in..... I personally think thats just another ploy to keep foreigners away or at a minimal.


35) Kids who get used to you may want to touch forbidden places.

There is this famous thing amongst Japanese kids called the kancho or something like that, where they stick you in the behind with 2 fingers. And they are going to try it on you!!! Some will go as far as trying touching your private. Here is something they should write about in their nihonjinron thing about how Japanese people are different from others. Because I am not sure where else in the world this kind of thing is done.




36) Using the phone on the train is considered impolite

You can talk as loud as you want on the train. But making or getting a call, no matter how important it is, is considered impolite by Japanese standards.

37) If you are religious, you may have a hard time.


If you are religious in any way, whatever religion you belong to, if its not shinto or Buddahism, then you may have a difficult time here. Especially if you are in rural areas.


38) If you like Anime, video games and/or Asian girls, then you will really like here.
Yeah all these are here in abundance. Japan is home to all these and much much more.

39) Be careful of Eating and Drinking Party Invitations.


More than likely, if the people you work with like you or not, they will invite you out to drinking parties. But, sometimes they don't tell you that you have to pay for your food. So because they invite you, you may think thats its free... sometimes it is... But most times its not. and it can be expensive. The worst thing is that you may end up paying for food that you don't like... And so if you dont like the food, then read Number 6 - part 1 of this series. Oh and they will probably try to force you to eat the food that you don't like. And they may pain stakingly ask you REPEATEDLY, why you don't like a certain food....... You are going to have to explain this SEVERAL times to SEVERAL different people, and occasionally to the SAME people.

40) Never wear the shoes you wear outside, inside a school building...


I don't know where this came from, but, outside shoes is for outside and inside shoes are for inside. If you don' have an inside shoes, there are several inside only slippers at the entrance of almost every school and some business places. My friend said to me that it has something to do with showing respect to the building. or something of the sort... HUH!! Showing respect to a building????

Anything else I remember, I will put them in future series. If you know anything that I have left out, then feel free to tell me.


Bwoy Richard, yeah man mi is a noob to di firmware business. Never heard the term until I got the PSP. And yeah I read over that blog with the abrupt end recently.. And I cant remember what I was going to say.. Maybe I fell asleep or something... But for the life of me, I can't remember what I was going to say a blouse and skirt. Ohh you said in your post ("quick funny" instead of "quite funny")

Ok stewart sen on di notes.

Nuff respect Jamaipanese yuh done know you a di blog king.

Day 460 { General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 3/New Point System } Monday, June 22, 2009


Day 460 { General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 3/New Point System }

Nothing major took place today for me except work and bible study.

Here are 2 things I left off the Part 1 and part 2 of the General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan series. This is part 3.....And I may have different parts coming up as I remember stuff.




23) Japanese People Are GENERALLY Shy and many times Easily Offended.

So if you should complement a regular Japanese person over and over. You probably will see their face getting pink. Thats because they are blushing like crazy (Well the females that is. I tend not to complement men) and maybe they will say Atsukashi or Hazukashi (is that how it is spelled Stewart or Neil???) which means something like they are shy or they are blushing.

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24) Many Japanese people are workaholics

Yes, it is even a fact that people die on the job here. And work is the number 1 thing in many of their lives. Not family, not money, but work!!!

I again must stress that these things are very general and there are always exceptions. And as I mentioned in Part 1 - Number 4, Japan can be very paradoxical, so you can expect anything here.

And for any Japanese friend I have that think they are too unique... Well the truth is that every single culture on earth is unique in their own way. Indiana and New york in the USA has 4 clear seasons too, as far as I know. Every culture has good and bad stuff about them. Some more good than bad, some more bad than good. We are all humans and we are all equal.


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New Point System

The Japanese government plans to introduce a Point system to give preferential treatment, such as granting residency permit extensions, to non-Japanese with advanced expertise, sources said Sunday.

The government wants to award points to foreigners for their qualifications, work experience, research achievements and other qualities, and to grant preferential treatment when their points exceed a certain level, the sources said. The government is expected to consider simplifying procedures for residency permits and re-entry, extending from three years the maximum duration of residency permits and shortening from 10 years the period of residency required before securing the right to permanent residency. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090622a6.html

Yes So if you want to become a legal resident in Japan, you will have to be living here for at least 10 years.... And thats not even citizenship. They are now planning to review this.



Stewart, thanks for the information. I always thought Japan opened its borders from about 100-200 years now, I don't know where I got that from. So it was really after the WWII cool thanks...I knew about the Nihonjinron thing actually through one of your earlier posts.

This is a blog I found on it which is quite hilarious.
http://japanlost.blogspot.com/2007/10/nihonjinron-and-baka-gaijin.html

Up top on the blog it says
THERE AIN'T NO SAMURAI, THERE ARE FEW GEISHA, JAPANESE ARE NOT THE MOST POLITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. IN PRACTICE, THERE IS NO SPECIAL LOVE OR CARE FOR NATURE, NOR IS JAPAN UNIQUELY UNIQUE. SORRY, BUT THE SUGAR-COATED FANTASYLAND-JAPAN OF EDWIN O. REISCHAUER ET AL DOES NOT EXIST--IF IT EVER DID.

And the Topic is appropriately entitled ... Nihonjinron and the Baka Gaijin .... DWL

This is some more studious information
http://junana.com/CDP/corpus/GLOSSARY18.html

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 459 { Testing Games / Dinosaur Teeth Found } Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 459 { Testing Games / Dinosaur Teeth Found }

Went to a restaurant today known as time, where they sell curry stuff. I went there again with my friend. I have been here before but decided to go again. I had curry shrimp and my friend had curry chicken. It was good, except that it had a little too much pepper. I then went back to my apartment and finally decided to test some PS3 games that I bought for some time now. I have a couple of these games for months now, and don't have a clue if they are in Japanese or English or both.... To my dismay, about 3 or 4 of them are mostly Japanese, including:

Grand Theft auto 4 (But I can fight with this one it seem)
Metal Gear Solid 4
Assassins Creed

I feel like crying..... :( But I can sell them back to the company though, which is the good thing. The problem is that, they will buy them for wayyy less than what I spent on them...

Anyway, I then watched the movie 300 again. I watched this about 2 years ago in the theatres but this was the first time I was seeing it again. And it was still amazing.


The fossilized teeth of a carnivorous dinosaur believed be an ancestor of the greatest of its kind, the tyrannosaurus, have been found in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, museum officials said Saturday.
he dinosaur, whose teeth were exhumed from strata dating back to between 140 million-136 million years ago, may have been about 5 meters long, according to the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in the prefecture. http://www.dinosaurtypes.net/images/tyrannosaurus/tyrannosaurus_vs_car.jpg

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 458 { More Yakiniku/Japanese Class Start/ Oldest Man Die } Saturday, June 20, 2009 ( 1 YR 3 MTHS )


Day 458 { More Yakiniku/Japanese Class Start/ Oldest Man Die }

More Yakiniku
Stayed in today and watched the latest Naruto and Bleach episodes.
Finally after I don't know how long, both Naruto and Bleach are not in their filler episode modes.... So they are getting exciting, especially Bleach. Lots of Fightings going on. And Naruto is finally somewhere that I can actually find in the Manga series.

In the evening, the guys from karate, invited me to go to Yakiniku. Again, totally not remembering that yakiniku is expensive when a group a guys invite you out to have a drink.... So I ended up having to pay 5000 yen for food that I had little or no control over ordering. The good thing is that its yakiniku and I love yakiniku. The older guys at the eating fest kept asking me if I had a girlfriend and kept talking all manner of evil and good. They kept forcing me to drink more beer and I strongly insisted that I will have only 1, because I am to go to study Japanese afterwards. So I had orange juice there after. When I was about to leave, one of the older guys, called some Japanese girl and made me spoke to her briefly... Why did he do this?? I have not the foggiest clue. I don't know if its one of his daughters or who.

Anyway, apparently 2 of the Karate guys were going to follow me to the Japanese teacher guy house, for me to begin my studies. So they asked the restaurant owner to drop me there while they give the directions. However, they didn't really know where the place is and I knew only 1 direction to get there..... So they first stopped me at my apartment and I got a book and a pen. So while 1 guy was giving him direction, I asked the English speaker guy if they were friends with the restaurant owner who they asked to drop me.... He said not really.... Instantly I started to feel uncomfortable because how can you ask a restaurant owner who you hardly know, to drop some foreigner somewhere. So, the restaurant owner guy drove to a direction where I didn't know and they kept asking me if they were nearby, but unfortunately that direction I didn't know...... The restaurant owner then started to quarrel in Japanese, saying that, how can they take him from his job to go somewhere that they were not sure about.... And the 2 guys were there apologising...

Japanese Class Start
I then told them to drop me off at a spot that I recognised. They all were asking if I was ok there so I said yes... The restaurant owner even asked "Are you sure???" I said "YES" and I had to walk about 10 mins to get to the location...
Now, unfortunately, this guy who decided to help me with Japanese, don't have any sort of guide or anything like that to teach me Japanese. So for the entire time, I was there asking questions about how to say this and how to say that. I need some sort of structured lesson, but I guess this will suffice for now. I want to be fluent within the next year and a half or so.



Oldest Man Die
Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man and an avid newspaper reader, died in his sleep at his home in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, on Friday, a city official said. He was 113.

He died peacefully. His family members were with him," said Miyakonojo official Junko Nakao. Tanabe died of heart failure, she said.

Tanabe, who was born Sept. 18, 1895, had eight children — five sons and three daughters. The former city land surveyor also had 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren, according to a statement from the city. He was certified by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest man when he was 111 years old.

Tanabe lived with his fifth son and daughter-in-law. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090620a5.html

This guys birthday would be the day before mine. I wonder if I want to live that long... Actually, I think I would... And WOW 53 Great Grands!!!!! Good grief...

Day 457 { General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 2 / Pow Apology/Target/Spider Man Arrested } Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 457 { General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 2 / Pow Apology/Target/Spider Man Arrested }


Today, the principal whose wife died, came to the school that I was at today. We immediately stood up when we saw him. He made a brief speech for about 2-3 mins then left.... I know he was saying something to the effect of thanks for the support but I couldn't catch everything he said. When he left, everyone was still standing including myself..... I don't know why I was standing, but I didn't sit because I didn't want to look like the odd one out. Well not any further than I already am. 1 teacher started crying a bit and the the place was in an uncomfortable silence.

After work, I went to Karate class and learnt some new kicks as well as learnt how to approach the instructor and turn to the right with some special foot movements. I then went to the English conversation on Fridays, where everyone was shocked to see me in my karate apparel. Its too difficult to take off, so I wear it until I get to my apartment.



General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 2

Continuing from yesterday:

11) Some Japanese people are unbelievably helpful and kind.

Sometimes I wonder if people can be so kind and helpful. Some of them will go the extra mile for you. Car trouble, at the bank, at the supermarket, you name it... some of them will get the detailed information for you about whatever you need help with.

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12) Some Japanese people are very hypocritical

So off the bat, Japan is a very apologetic society. They will give them self the wrong most of the time. Its a society, built on politeness at all cost. So sometimes even if you do something wrong, you might not know. And sometimes, if someone at your workplace don't like you, you might not know... Well thats unless you turn away food offered to you. Anger is rarely shown if at all. In Jamaica its the opposite. eg. My friend said a Japanese driver almost hit him down because of his blunder. And all the Japanese driver did was nodded and say sumimasen (excuse me ).

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13) Sort Your Garbage

I know that in the developed world, systems like these are already in place. But for most third world countries, ha.. there is no such thing as garbage sorting. So if you come to Japan, you need to learn how to sort your garbage.

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14) Girls panties may get stolen

If females hang up their under wears outside... It may get stolen. As far as I was told, this applies to all of Japan, whether rural or city.

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15) National Pride

Many Japanese people are very proud and think that every other race is a joke compared to the Japanese people. Many wont accept foreign marriages and many think Japan is the best country on earth. For eg. Japan has 4 clear seasons, and apparently many of them think Japan is the only country with 4 clear season which is not so.

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16) Only USA, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand Speaks English

So if you are not from any of the above countries, and your mother tongue is English, then many Japanese people won't have a clue

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17) Many Bugs
Japan has bugs bugs and more bugs especially in the Summer. And they are annoying.

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18) Many smokers and Drinkers

I had no clue before coming to Japan that there were so many smokers and drinkers here. And I mean its like every other Japanese person you meet they smoke... Well that chiefly the males still. I don't see many Japanese women smoking. But the men, Oh Lord. Drinking and smoking is like a ritual.

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19) Many Japanese People Don't Care their Teeth

So just walking around anywhere in Japan, you will notice that dental care is almost like a last resort. There are many people with very very very bad teeth especially in the rural areas. It is terrible. and the Japanese tooth paste aren't that good either. There are a few people with very nice teeth but my Lord man, a part from those with nice teeth, darn....

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20) Many Nerds / Otaku
Yes they are many many nerds in Japan. Some could not care less whether its night or day, they live in the magazine shops and live on video games and anime. And these are not normal nerds, they are extremely weird.








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21) Japanese Girls are Beautiful

I must admit that many Japanese girls are stunningly beautiful.....and that speaks for itself...If you see a Japanese girl now and thought she was beautiful, just give yourself a few minutes, you will see a better looking one...That though also depends a whole lot on the area where you live... If its in the rural vicinities, then its going to be a sad story for you, unless a college is nearby.

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22) There are many Old people in Japan

Yes Japan is an ageing population. But the xenophobic government still don't have any good plans to combat this. Even though its estimated that in the next 50 years or so, the population will be near half what it is now. The guys don't really want the girls, and a good couple of the girls are not interested in foreigners. So its just a sad story. It seem as if many of the girls would rather stay alone than to date a foreigner. And if you are a girl foreigner and like Japanese men, hopefully you are in the city, because if its in the rural areas!!! Then all the best in your endeavours... And its worst if you are black.

Pow Apology

For the first time since the end of the war, Australian Joseph Coombs stepped onto Japanese soil, bringing back bitter memories of his days as a prisoner of war forced to work for the mining company run by Prime Minister Taro Aso's family in Fukuoka Prefecture. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090619a3.html

Now I don't really like stories like these.. Because why is it now that Taro Aso is Prime Minister, that he chose to want an apology? Why didn't he ask for an apology before he was prime minister?




Target

North Korea would attack Japan if a war erupted as a result of efforts to implement recently strengthened U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang over its second nuclear test, a U.S. scholar said Wednesday.

Selig Harrison, Asia program director at the Washington-based Centre for International Policy, sounded the warning during a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee hearing on North Korea policy. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090619a6.html

Maybe I need to head back to Jamaica before any war starts.


Spider Man Arrested

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man who allegedly broke into a home in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture, while wearing a Spider-Man costume.

Tetsuya Fujisawa is suspected of entering the house belonging to a 56-year-old man around 10:20 a.m Wednesday. The owner returned and Fujisawa ran away without stealing anything, the police said.

They searched the neighborhood and found Fujisawa changing his clothes in a car. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090619b3.html

I read this story and almost died with laughter.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 456 { Exhausted / General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 1} Thursday, June 18, 2009


Day 456 { Exhausted / General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan

Boy football wasn't so much fun today at all...
We started off by playing against each other to start the warming up process... Now because the place was hottttttt we all got exhausted very quickly...Then this was the time our usual opposing team decided to come and play against us.... Ohh boy.... The opposing team came with some sort of vengeance and goals were scoring on us maybe every 3 mins or so... I did manage to score 1 goal in the early part but that was about it. At the end of the time which was about 10:30 pm.... We were all very very exhausted and my team members were so demotivated.... The foreigners didn't give a heck though because its all in good fun...

General Things Foreigners Must Know Before Coming To Japan Part 1

As I mentioned in the heading above, these things are very general... And they may vary depending on where in Japan you are, and believe it or not, the colour of your skin... This is all information that I have experienced personally as well as information received from friends from other countries.... So this is in no way intended to offend anyone... Just stating what I have noticed thus far and its about the good, the bad and the ugly things about Japan.... So here goes:

1) You will be stared at -


Whether you like it or not, whether you are black, white or purple, unless you wear your
Asian suit, you will be stared at..... However, the intensity of the stares vary from community to community, prefecture to prefecture etc... for eg... In the BIG city parts of Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Yokohoma, Tokyo and Kobe etc. The stares are far less intense...

Let me see if I can further break this down by race and if you are in a very rural town or even suburban area......

White/latin or otherwise clear skinned --------------- -------Stare intensity x3

2 or more clear skinned persons are seen together -----------Stare intensity x5

A non-Asian clear skinned and an Asian (Japanese or otherwise) Stare intensity x6
The intensity increases if its 2 people of the opposite sex. And this may be accompanied by chatter and occasional laughs

Black or dark skinned in any way ----------------------------Stare intensity x7

2 or more dark skinned persons are seen together -----------Stare intensity x9

A mixed crowd of dark skinned and clear skinned together---Stare intensity x10

A dark skinned person and an Asian ------------------------- Stare intensity x12
The intensity increases if its 2 people of the opposite sex. And this may be accompanied by chatter and occasional laughs.


Again this is in the rural areas, but I do remember going to the city part of Tokyo, and this lady was walking by and could not stop staring.

As to why foreigners are stared at so much, its more than likely because they are not used to seeing foreigners in these rural areas....

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2) Japan is Expensive

Many people assume wrongly that because these brands like, SONY, TOSHIBA, PANASONIC, SHARP etc etc etc.. are Japanese brands, it means that they are cheaper in Japan... Ha... nothing could be further from the truth.... Those brands are here in abundance yes but the products, what ever it is, are not cheap.... Its probably the same price or more expensive here... Even bread and soda are expensive here... The only thing that I can think of that is cheaper here in Japan, are cars. Nothing!!!! else that I can think of is cheaper here.

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3) Many Japanese people you meet, may ask you the same set of questions ... Most popular questions include:

i) where are you from?
ii) when did you get to Japan?
iii) how long have you been in Japan?
iv) why did you come to Japan? (a lot of them are actually expecting you to say the culture)
v) do you like Japan?
vi) do you like the food?

Almost every Japanese person you meet in Japan, will ask some or all of these questions to you.

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4) Japan is an extremely paradoxical country

i) So even though Japan is big on technology and has these name brand technological stuff... If you should go in a regular school classroom, you might see very old computers with old Windows operating systems... Ohh and at some schools, not sure if its all of them.... The class rooms do not have AC units... So in the hot and humid summer, you will fry, if you are a teacher.

ii) You can find very old buildings and companies that are around even before 700 BC SERIOUSLY!!! As a matter of fact the 2 oldest companies in the world are Japanese. they are Kongo Gumi and Ho-Shi owned by the same family for centuries. But at the same time, just around the road from those old buildings, you might have a highly sophisticated, earthquake proof, rotating building full of lights....

iii) You will have persons who realllly love foreigners or are realllly disgusted by foreigners...

iv) Japan is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, but they also have one of the highest suicide rates in the world

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5) Time -
Everything is on time in Japan... And sometimes ridiculously early... If a Japanese person says they will meet you at 5:00 they really mean 4:45.

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6) Food -
Some of the food here is delicious, some is not so good. But in general, being very very general here, if you refuse food offered to you by a Japanese person, then it is equivalent to throwing the food in their face...... And you are expected to eat everything given to you.... If you are eating around kids, you will be stared at...... and even though you are already weird because you are not Japanese, you will even seem weirder if you don't like the food given to you....

So don't be surprised if you are offered food that you don't like, refuse it, then start to get some weird treatment from the person(s) who offered it to you...
eg. My friend last year, refused the school milk and ooooh Boy.....He had a difficult time getting through the school year with the teachers..... My friend in my community also opted to take lunch to work and suddenly everyone is starting to treat her weird.
For me, when I just got here, I told a principal that I didn't want to take the lunch for only 1 month, because I was planning to save to go Germany... And he instantly called my company......

Well again, thats just their culture, we in the west couldn't care less if you eat our food or not... We just need to understand each other thats all... Westerners don't like to be forced into doing anything...

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7) People who you met before, may pretend not to know you

Ok so maybe say you go to a friends house and met several Japanese persons. The possibility exist that you might see one of them in the Supermarket the very next day and they don't pay you any mind.... Some may even stare you in the eye and look away... This has happened to me several times... My friends in Kobe, said it happened to them too.

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8) You will be discussed

Whether at work, at the shopping mall or wherever, Japanese people will talk about you. If you are in the mall and a group of persons are talking about something, as soon as you are seen by them, the conversation will instantly change to discuss you.

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9) People may run away from you or be scared of you

My friend said he opened his apartment door and 3 Japanese high school students scattered in 3 different directions, one apparently hurting herself... My Jamaican friend who is in Nagoya (which is maybe the 5th or 6th biggest city in Japan by population) said she was in the super market, and she attempted to ask an old lady a question... When the old lady saw her, she walked away quickly to the other food aisle.

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10) Assumptions

If you are black, the general assumption by many Japanese people, will be that you are from somewhere in Africa... And most Japanese people see Africa as a country and not a continent. If you are white they will assume that you are from the USA.

Tomorrow or some other day I will add more to this list..