A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

My Experiences of Racism in Japan / More Earthquakes

Days 1404 - 1410
Sunday, January 22 - Saturday, January 28, 2012 

Another relatively boring week.

Day 1404 ( My Experiences of Racism in Japan )
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stayed in all day and studied today.


So as far as I know, racism is everywhere. It's just stronger in  more places than others. And it is especially strong in the richer countries. If you have never experienced it, then it means that you probably never decided to step out of your comfort zone into a world where your race is not the dominant one. Or never been around people where you are the only representation of your race present. We can admit that racism has been around since bible days and possible before that.

Lets face the facts, all of us have even a small amount of racist attitude in us. Whether it is unconscious or conscious. And the less we are exposed to people of other races, the stronger our innate racist attitudes are. For example, if a black guy, lives in a predominantly black neighbourhood and is constantly surrounded by black friends. Then, whenever/if ever he sees a white or Asian person, chances are he will stare at them and almost instantly start to think up all kind of stuff. The same goes for whites and Asians as well if they see someone from another race they are probably going to do same. Stereotypes will always be around and it is impossible to get rid of them.

In countries like Jamaica and Brazil where there exists quite a bit of mixed races, there are few signs of racism. Present but very small. However, class prejudice is very strong. And as far as I know, everyone is quite tolerant of each other. In Jamaica, we hardly discuss about race and even though the country is probably more than 80% black people, there are many Chinese, Syrians, whites, Indians and other mixed races very much present. And we have names for pretty much everyone, which can be argued as racism actually. For example:

Indians are referred to as Coolie (which is a racist term for poor Asians actually http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolie). But if you ask an average Jamaican if its racist they would probably say no and probably have no idea that it is or know the meaning behind the word.

Chinese and any Asian that even remotely resembles a Chinese is called Chiney, Ms./Mr. Chin and are thought of as mean in money sense. So if someone from say Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, The Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand or any country on the Asian content comes to Jamaica, they will be called Ms/Mr Chin. 100% no exception. Even if they sit with a Jamaican and explain that they are not from China, its best to save your breath because it won't help. I have told quite a few persons, quite a few times that I am not in China, I am in Japan. But alas, this won't make a difference. My Japanese friends who visit Jamaica always complain about being called Ms/Mr. Chin.

Anyway, if you have never ever experienced racism in any form or sort then feel lucky. Its not a good feeling. All the racist stuff that I have experienced here in Japan is stuck in my head. The experiences seem to pop back up in my head every now and again. Surprisingly one might think that I would experience racism from mostly Japanese people because of the simple fact that I live among them. This couldn't be furthest from the truth. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly I experience the most racism from white Americans. Some subtle, some not so subtle. I am going to  attempt to list out all the experiences that I would deem as racist from both the white Americans I mentioned earlier and from Japanese.

You be the judge and please tell me what you think.

Back in Country side Niimi, Okayama, Japan.

I must admit that one situation I probably caused on myself. One night I was walking with a white American girl from Minnesota and a half-white / half-Japanese girl and I made the mistake and said "I'm lucky I didn't wear black or else the drivers would only see my teeth and eyes". I noticed they couldn't stop laughing but what I did here was opened up about 7 cans' of worms it seem.

Situation 1 - (Enter Ms. Half and Ms. California)

I went to a restaurant and saw the same half girl and the same white American from Minesotta. Shortly after, another white girl from California came along. I don't remember what happened but miss half felt the need to use back the same "don't wear black in the night or else the cars will hit you" joke. To which Ms. Minesotta and California erupted in laughter, almost unstoppable. Then Ms. California proceeded to say "Aren't you angry? Aren't you going to buss a cap in her ass" ... I was a bit confused about what she was speaking about. As we say no such things in Jamaica. Then it hit me that this is basically how the black guys from California speak. Referring to shooting someone.

Situation 2 - (Enter Ms. Half again)

There was going to be a Halloween party. I was there with most of the foreigners again and I said "I wonder what kind of costume I should wear?" Then Ms. Half said, "Why don't you wear a white face?". Much to the amusement of everyone except me of course. I still don't get it actually.

Situation 3 - (Enter Ms. California again)

I had a birthday party back in 2008 and I invited all foreigners. We had a pretty good time actually. Two of my Jamaican friends came along as well. After we all ate at a restaurant, we did karaoke. Then one of the white Americans decided to sing a song and the confederation flag was being displayed on the screen. Ms. Cali proceeded to say "Hey Dave you see that flag". Bringing my attention to the flag. Which by the way has nothing to do with Jamaica as far as I know. Why did she feel the need to bring my attention to this flag???

Situation 4 - (Enter quite a few white Americans)

A few of us were speaking when all of a sudden some of the persons decided on a strange topic. "Whose family and friends don't like black people". A girl from New York said somethings about how some of her friends dislike black people, followed by Ms. Cali saying the same thing, followed by a guy from Indiana (actually he was cool generally), but he contributed to the topic mentioning how racist some of his friends/relatives / family members were. He then said I am allowed to say all the bad things I want to say about white people and call them cracker if I wanted to. Why in the world would I do this? As far as I know, we in Jamaica don't call white people crackers.

Situation 5 - ( Enter Mr. B from Oregon I believe )

This situation to date had the strongest negative impact on me in Japan. After reading it, you will probably be wondering if I am stupid or something. And it was like this. Five of us were playing a game known as Catan, back when I just got here in 2008. 2 white guys from the US (Mr. Indiana and Mr. B), 1 half white/half Filipino guy also from Arizona in the US, a Japanese/Canadian (whose apartment we were playing at) and myself. Mr. B who is obviously skilled in the game, was giving advice to everyone. Sometimes they would take his advice, sometimes they wouldn't. Most times they did actually. But when they didn't, it was no big deal.

At one point he decided to advise me to do something. I didn't take his advice. Then this dude got pissed and went off ranting. "You are stupid", "are all the people in your country this stupid" , "I am telling you what to do and you decide to do foolishness", "You are really just a stupid guy, maybe like the people in your country". To which all the other guys held down their heads and totally ignored it. The Japanese/Canadian shook his head in disbelief. Maybe even if you asked them now, they probably won't remember. But I will never forget it. I never had someone speak to me like this in my entire life. So I was in shock and had no clue how to reply to him. Not one word came out of my mouth. I simply totally ignored his ranting. But it has been stuck in my head ever since. Those were probably not the exact words he said but it is pretty close to that. Most people in this situation would argue back with the guy or worst case hit him. I simply ignored him. I had no clue what to say.

Situation 6 - (Enter Mr. B again)

I was walking with Mr. B and 2 other guys from England who just came to Japan. So the topic about Gaijin (Japanese for foreigner/outsider) came up. The English guys were wondering if Gaijin was such a bad word. Mr. B said he doesn't want to be called a Gaijin because Gaijin is the same as calling a black person a Nigger. The 2 English guys went silent. I told him that I disagreed with that notion. I know he said this just because I was there and he no doubt wanted to see my response.

Situation 7 - ( Enter Mr. B yet again) (Can you tell something is up with this guy???)

I was told by at least 2 persons that this guy is going around spreading negative propaganda about me. I heard he told a principal that I am a chaser of girls (which maybe true). But is seen in a negative light in Japan, especially in a small town. He told another girl who just came to Japan the same thing. And probably has been spreading negative stuff about me all over the small town. Why?

Situation 8 - ( Enter Mr. E from California)

I went to a local bar and Mr. E was sitting down talking to a mutual Japanese friend. Mr. E proceeded to say "Hey Dave, I recognized it was you because I recognize black people very easily". Jeez wow.. um ... I can recognize white people too ?

Situation 9 - (A random Japanese guy)

I went on a train and I sat in an empty seat that was in front of a Japanese guy. Only to see this guy get up from the seat and sat on the opposite side of the train while giving me a killer stare.

Those were the situations I can remember in Niimi, Okayama.

In Yokohama

Situation 1 - ( Enter Ms. North Carolina and Mr. Michigan )

At our company training session, initially there were about 7 black persons in the training. Then when it came down to primary/elementary level training, I was the only black person. There were some Asians in the training group but of course the vast majority were white American. "Oh no, This is a bad place for a lone black foreigner to be", I thought to myself. Any way, a topic came up about  being a foreigner in Japan. A girl from North Carolina proceeded to say "Foreigner in Japan simply means that you are white" or something to that effect. Everyone present  gasped and she then added something to the effect of "yeah you are all white too". Addressing the Asians that were present. I kept silent. I simply do not know how to address these race things. Later on Mr. Michigan asked me twice, eagerly waiting for an answer with a smirk on his face, "So what do you have to say about Ms. North Carolina's comment Dave " I ignored him twice and went along my way. Why is he so interested in what I have to say?

Situation 2 - (Enter Mr. Michigan again)

I decided to go eat pizza with a Canadian guy, a girl from Singapore, and 3 white American males (including Mr. Michigan). Silly me I don't learn right??. I arrived late and they were almost done eating. To which Mr. Michigan proceeded "You can have some of the left overs Dave". I told him that I would buy my own it's no problem.

Then the whole being white in Japan argument came up. So Mr. Michigan said to Ms. Singapore, "You are white too", to which she said, "I actually wish I was". I knew it was only a matter of time before he made some smart comment about me. He then said "Even you are white Dave". I said "No I'm not!!" To which he said "So why didn't you say that to Ms. North Carolina in the training session?" To which I admitted that I tend to avoid the whole racial argument especially when I am in the minority. Because it is less than likely that my opinion will have any weight.

Situation 3 - ( Random Japanese old Lady)

I sat in the train beside an old lady. And after she shifted over a bit from me, she got up from beside me and moved over to the other side of the train, giving me a killer stare similar to the guy back in Niimi.


These are all the situations I can recall. I am in no way trying to bash white Americans but this has been my experience in Japan. I went to Virginia and stayed among quite a few white Americans and got no strange treatment from them. I'm wondering if it's because they were Christians. Could might as well be.

I welcome your comments on my situations...



Day 1405 ( Nintendo Making Big Losses )
Monday, January 23, 2012

Had bible study via skype with some friends back in Niimi, Okayama.

Nintendo losses could triple as 3DS sales sink

Nintendo Co. has more than tripled its full-year loss forecast as the success of Apple Inc.'s popular devices has eroded demand for the company's 3DS handheld player.

The net loss in the year ending in March could come to ¥65 billion, compared with an earlier forecast of a ¥20 billion loss, the world's largest maker of video game machines said in a statement Friday. The forecast was far worse than the average loss of ¥29 billion projected by 18 analysts tracked by Bloomberg.
President Satoru Iwata, who cut 3DS prices by as much as 40 percent last year, said he expects full-year sales of 14 million units for the device that shows images in 3-D, down from an earlier forecast of 16 million. The creator of "Super Mario Bros." games is predicting its first annual loss in at least three decades because of the surging yen and a consumer preference for gaming on the iPhone and iPad that helped Apple more than double profit in the quarter.
"The company faces a structural problem . . . people are opting for their smartphones and tablet PCs to kill their time," said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo. "I can't see Nintendo's next strategy. There will probably be a discussion about how much worse it can get."




Day 1406 ( Student Cancel / New Student )
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My evening student suddenly cancelled today, saying that he wasn't mentally ready for a class. But a teacher from one of my schools want to learn English, so I gave her a practice lesson today. We should have agreed on a time but we didn't. So we ended up doing self introduction for about 2 hours 30 mins. She loves to talk (mostly Japanese) and she loves to take pictures, of which she has quite a few. She does deep sea diving as an extra-curricular activity. And today for her first meeting, she wanted to show me ALL her photos.



Day 1407 (My Worst Class)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I teach at 3 schools in Yokohama. In a very general sense, I have a good relationship with all the teachers at all the schools. But I do have a particular preference for the school that I went to today. The name is Kanazawa elementary school. I prefer this school for the following reasons:

1) The vice principal is really nice and she speaks some amount of English and tend to give everybody small gifts every now and again. Plus she likes to travel so we have some things in common.

2) Sometimes (like today) I have only 4 classes and I can simply leave after I have lunch. My main school started doing this just recently but more often than not, I have 6 classes that make me tired at the end of the day.

3) I have 85% control over planning my lessons. At my main school I have like only 10% control. At my other school I have 100% control but what that mean is that the teachers don't say a word to me.

Anyway the irony of the situation is that my worst class is at my best school. There is this one grade five class where about 7 children tend to not pay any attention and disturb the class constantly. And it seem as if the teacher is sometimes around the back of the class laughing and playing with them as well. Today that teacher was absent and the English coordinator who is a much stricter teacher sat in for her. It was probably the best lesson I had with this class in almost a year.



Day 1408 ( Missed a Day at Work )
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today would have been another one of those company meetings that we should attend after a tired day of work. I really didn't want to go to that meeting today so I called in sick and missed both work and the meeting. The good thing with this branch that I work for is that I get 11 paid days for the year. Essentially one per month. In the country side it was a whopping 5 paid days per year.

Every time I take a day from work I feel bad after I wake up because staying home is sort of boring. All I did today was play games, sit around and pretty soon the day was just wasted with me going to bed the usual between 1:00 and 1:30 am in the morning.



Day 1409
Friday, January 27, 2012

After work I simply sat at home playing games and sitting on the internet as I usually do.



Day 1410
Saturday, January 28, 2012

A very close friend of mine visited me in the morning. We felt 2 relatively big earthquakes in the space of like 5 minutes. One had a 4.8 magnitude, the other a 5.1.  The epicenter was in adjoining prefecture and on land.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Salsa Anyone?

Days 1397 - 1403
Sunday, January 15, 2012 - Saturday, January 21, 2012 

Day 1397 (Salsa Club/Yokohama Anti Nuclear March)
Sunday, January 15, 2012

This week was a bit boring.

I went to church today, first time for the new year, to get some blessings in my hedonistic soul. 
I then ordered the Spanish food in the picture below, for my dinner. 

In the evening I went to a Cuban style Salsa club with a friend of mine. It was in Roppongi, Tokyo, which I would say is the heart of the party life style in Japan. This is the second time I am going to a salsa club from birth. Once in Jamaica and once in Japan. This was free of cost and there were many people there dancing. As many may know, I am not gifted in dancing. However to many Japanese, I look like a dancing God. So in no time there were 2 females following my moves. 

I started dancing with one of them, making my own moves. And she was looking in my eyes as if I was sent from up above. She said she is a medical doctor and she love dancing. She is also quite beautiful. So pretty soon almost every guy in the club wanted to teach her salsa. The first guy who came by asked me if it was ok to dance with her. So I indicated that it was fine. Every time a song ended and she sat down, there was some dude waiting for the opportunity to teach her the moves. It was fun though, anyone could just go and dance with whoever they feel like. Unfortunately, I don't even know the first step in salsa. 

Yokohama Anti Nuclear March

I didn't even know that an event like this took place in Yokohama. 

A two-day antinuclear conference kicked off Saturday in Yokohama with the aim of sharing lessons from the Fukushima crisis and fostering global momentum against atomic power.
News photo
Atomic anger: Activists stage an antinuclear demonstration in Yokohama on Saturday, in support of the two-day Global Conference for a Nuclear Power-Free World. The conference, which drew activists from around the world, kicked off in the city the same day. 
"Nuclear power plants are all over the world. In order to deal with this issue, we must create a global network," said Tatsuya Yoshioka, director of the nongovernmental organization Peace Boat, during the opening ceremony for the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power-Free World.
The conference drew thousands of participants to the Pacifico Yokohama convention center, including about 100 experts and activists from 30 countries and nearly 200 domestic groups



Day 1398 ( New Interesting Blog I Found )
Monday, January 16, 2012

Updated my alien registration card today at the ward office for where I live. Then faxed it and my updated visa to my Company. Afterwards I went home and got some sleep then studied a bit. 

New Interesting Blog I Found

My Jamaican friend in the Osaka area introduced me to a blog written by a black American guy living in Yokohama. His blog is called "Loco in Yokohama". Since I started reading his blog, I couldn't stop. This guy really writes great stuff and he has written some stuff that I am sure black persons in this area can identify with. He does some amount of cursing in his blog, but that doesn't phase me one bit. 

For example this sentence from one of his blog entries, is what I see almost every day. 

"Another man on the other side of me is stealing glances when he thinks I’m not looking and when I glance up purposely to test his reaction, he, as expected, darts his head away, like a fish when you tap your knuckle against the bowl."

And most of the things in this other blog entry, I can also identify with, check it out.

"The one thing that vexes me the most about Japanese people is something I’m sure many foreigners living here don’t notice. Or, if they do, it simply doesn’t get under their skin the way it gets under mine. Because, if it did, I wouldn’t be reading so many weblogs from foreigners living in Japan gushing about how great their lives in Japan are and how wonderful the people are, in general. Maybe they’ve found some way to ignore this thing. I, decidedly, have not!
Japanese call it shyness, but it certainly looks more like terror. It’s not only that they avoid contact with me but the incredibly insensitive ways they go about this tactless task.
Case and point: Today, I was walking from the station to my job. A ten minute walk I take the same time every Monday through Friday. On this walk I must pass a couple hundred people going the way I’ve come. The sidewalks are pretty narrow on certain streets. Barely enough room for two people to pass one another without one giving a little way. And If I were Japanese that’s exactly what would happen. A little way would be given by either myself or both of us in the spirit of keeping it moving. I know this because I observe this daily. I wish I didn’t but I do. But, I am not Japanese."
"So, as a salaryman approaches me, and I’m in observant mode, like some kind of glutton for confirmation of my long since confirmed belief that the Japanese people are cowardly xenophobes and racists, I watch his every move. I watch as he passes people ahead of me, confidently in stride and uneventfully. I watch as he finally notices me. The recognition of “the other” in his eyes is plain to see. He glances across the street, considers crossing, checks me to see if I’m watching him and on seeing that he has my undivided attention puts his hand up to pick something out of his eye, turns sharply and crosses the street without checking for traffic and causes a car to have to stop a little short. The driver of the car notices me and glides his car as far away from where I’m walking – on the sidewalk mind you- as possible. I guess the suddenness and carelessness of the the other guy’s crossing made the driver sense a danger about. And upon seeing me decided I was that danger. His glide away from me causes the oncoming traffic from the opposite direction to slow, and the driver at its lead looks around to see what caused the other driver to perform such a dangerous detour, sees me, and nearly pulls on to the sidewalk."
"I shake my head and keep moving. This kind of shit goes on daily, I swear."

This guy wrote a book so I am planning to buy it.



Day 1399 (Woman Attacks 5th Grader)
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Left work a bit earlier than normal today. But when I got home all I did was sleep and study.  

I forgot to mention that my friend made this thing for my phone some weeks ago.

Woman Attacks 5th Grader

This level of madness is unheard of. 

A woman was arrested for attempted murder after attacking an 11-year-old boy Wednesday at an elementary school in Osaka and seriously wounding him, police said.

The boy, who suffered injuries to his chest and limbs, was taken to a hospital. His wounds are not thought to be life-threatening, police said.
Rescue workers said the woman, 35, attacked the fifth-grader near the school's front gate.
Investigators quoted the woman as saying she had stabbed many children she did not know and regretted her actions.
A witness said the woman was weeping as she was taken away in a police car.



Day 1400 
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today was similar to yesterday. Left work early, went back to my apartment and slept then studied. 



Day 1401 ( SOPA )
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another boring day. Just work then study.

I have been seeing this buzz about SOPA and PIPA all over the internet recently. With even Wikipedia shutting down yesterday to protest the bill. This is the information I found.

What Is SOPA?

If you hadn't heard of SOPA before, you probably have by now: Some of the internet's most influential sites—Reddit and Wikipedia among them—are going dark to protest the much-maligned anti-piracy bill. But other than being a very bad thing, what is SOPA? And what will it mean for you if it passes?

SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress...

House Judiciary Committee Chair and Texas Republican Lamar Smith, along with 12 co-sponsors, introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act on October 26th of last year. Debate on H.R. 3261, as it's formally known, has consisted of one hearing on November 16th and a "mark-up period" on December 15th, which was designed to make the bill more agreeable to both parties. Its counterpart in the Senate is the Protect IP Act (S. 968). Also known by its cuter-but-still-deadly name: PIPA.
The beating heart of SOPA is the ability of intellectual property owners (read: movie studios and record labels) to effectively pull the plug on foreign sites against whom they have a copyright claim. If Warner Bros., for example, says that a site in Italy is torrenting a copy of The Dark Knight, the studio could demand that Google remove that site from its search results, that PayPal no longer accept payments to or from that site, that ad services pull all ads and finances from it, and—most dangerously—that the site's ISP prevent people from even going there.

Here is a video also explaining SOPA and PIPA



Day 1402 ( Snow in Yokohama )
Friday, January 20, 2012 { 3 YEARS 10 MONTHS}

Woke up this morning to snow outside. This was my first time seeing snow since moving to Yokohama. Snow means its is terribly cold. Some of the classes that I had today, didn't even turn on the heater in the class room. So in some classes, it was a very cold 45 mins.



Day 1403 ( Meeting some Friends )
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did nothing in the day but in the evening I met up with some friends and had dinner. Then we went to a small pub to drink and chat. Sorry for using your picture guys, without first consulting :)



@Richard, Yeah I use twitter to promote the blog as well. Yuh right about the hackers in MW2 but mi jus want to get all di prestige.. MW3 can wait.. But mi soon come buss yuh skull man.  Don't be in such a hurry to meet your demise my good friend. 

@Loco.. Thanks for your comment, I really enjoy your blog. You are a gifted writer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1st Week of Work For 2012

Days 1390 - 1396
Sunday, January 8, 2012 - Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 1390 ( Top 5 Regrets people have before Death)
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stayed in today and did some studying and played games.

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed

I found this interesting article and decided to add it.

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my [true] feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.




Day 1391 ( Over 30,000 Suicides for 14th Consecutive Year )
Monday, January 9, 2012

Today made a 4 consecutive day combo of not going anywhere so it was realllly boring. I never even knew it was a public holiday until last night. All I did today was played games and studied a bit. I finally ended the campaign part of Modern Warfare 3. But I'm still in Modern Warfare 2 mode. I want to get to the highest level in the multi-player section.

Suicides top 30,000 for 14th straight year

2011 figure lowest since annual tally hit mark in 1998

2011 appears to be the 14th straight year for the annual suicide count to exceed 30,000, according to tentative statistics recently released by the National Police Agency.

The latest 2011 figure — 30,513 — however, was the lowest number since the annual suicide count topped the 30,000 mark in 1998, declining from 31,690 in 2010. Males accounted for 20,867 of the 2011 suicides, or 68 percent, the data show.
By prefecture, Tokyo had the most suicides, at 3,100, followed by Osaka with 1,899 and Kanagawa with 1,824.
An NPA official said a further statistical breakdown, including ages, occupations and other details of the victims, will be released sometime later this year.
"Although the total number declined, it is still a very serious situation to have over 30,000 people a year committing suicide," Yasuyuki Shimizu, director of the Tokyo-based nonprofit suicide prevention group Lifelink, told The Japan Times Wednesday.
The statistics show declines in annual suicide counts in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, which were devastated in the March 11 disasters. But Shimizu said optimism about the results may be short-lived, because suicides tend to increase in devastated areas after a year or so, as was the case in the wake of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.




Day 1392 ( Twitter Really Popular in Japan )
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First day of work for 2012 and I actually looked forward to it in order to break my 4 day boredom streak. I had only 3 classes today then the principal sent me home.

Twitter is huge in Japan — bigger than Facebook, actually

I have a twitter account but I hardly ever use it really. However it seem as if it is a big thing in Japan. I didn't even know this.

Twitter is getting to be kind of a big deal globally, at least among marketers and the digerati.
But in Japan, the microblogging service already trumps Facebook in traffic.
According to stats from comScore, Japan sends around 25 million monthly unique visitors to Twitter. Facebook, on the other hand, sees around 15 million monthly unique visitors from Japan.
Still, until recently, neither site has been as big in the region as Mixi, Japan’s homegrown and highly popular social network. While we don’t have data for monthly uniques, Mixi had around 27 million users as of April 2010.
Depending on how much Mixi has grown since then, it’s entirely possible that Twitter could now be the country’s largest social network.



Day 1393 ( Final Car Payment/ 10 Months After and Persons Still Missing )
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

After work I did my final payment for my car in Jamaica today. I took a 4 year loan for my car and its finally done. The loan was 700,000 Jamaican dollars / about 8200 US dollar / 630,000 yen.
After this, I went back home and took a 2 hour nap.

Police hunt for missing 10 months on

Police carried out an intensive search for people still missing in the March 11 disasters in Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday, 10 months after the massive quake and tsunami wreaked havoc on Pacific coastal areas of the Tohoku region.

The death toll reached 15,844 in 12 prefectures as of Tuesday, including 9,506 in Miyagi, 4,667 in Iwate and 1,605 in Fukushima prefectures, with 3,450 people remaining unaccounted for, including 1,861 in Miyagi and 1,368 in Iwate, National Police Agency data show.
Wednesday's search was focused on the coastline of Kesennuma, one of the hardest-hit areas in the region, where bodies and belongings of victims may have been washed ashore. No new bodies have been found in Miyagi since Dec. 13, according to police.
"It has become difficult to find bodies 10 months after the disaster, but we hope to continue our search efforts," a police officer in charge said.




Day 1394 ( Japanese Visa Renewal #2 )
Thursday, January 12, 2012

I got a card in the post yesterday saying that my visa is now ready. So I went there today to collect it. To my surprise they gave me a 3 year extension instead of a 1 year extension. In Japan we can only get a 1 year extension or a 3 year extension. When we apply we don't know which one they are going to give us. I thought that because I am now in Yokohama with so many foreigners, they would only give me a 1 year extension. However I don't think I am going to stay for the full 3 years. Jamaica is calling me back home. So I think I will be heading back in about next year (2013) December or possibly sooner.



Day 1395
Friday, January 13, 2012

They did me a great injustice today at work. I had 2 early classes from 8:40 am-10:10 am then nothing until 2:15pm. So after lunch time I was falling asleep at my desk. The person that is in charge of doing the school lunch noticed and offered me some green tea which kept me awake until my final class started.



Day 1396
Saturday, January 14, 2012

Met a friend of mine today in Yokohama and we spoke for a while. We then went to Shibuya in Tokyo and ate at a restaurant and chatted for a while again about various stuff.



Yea Richard that is one reason why the prime ministers change so often. I think another reason is because most Japanese take a while to make major decisions. And if they do make a decision too many people start complaining so they run away from the job. Also they are probably waiting on a miracle to make their economy grow again. If the prime minister in charge can't make the economy grow, then people start complain again and the prime minister run weh again.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year / 2011 Review

Days 1383 - 1389
Sunday, January 1, 2012 - Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year !!! 

Welcome to my first blog of 2012

Day 1383  ( 2011 Review )

Ok the last 2 weeks were filled with activities, but from now on its going to get a bit boring because its time to rest a little.

However, today I went with my friend to another outlet mall name Mitsui Outlet mall  which is only 30 minutes from me on foot. They were advertising stuff everywhere about have sale as much as 80% off. But when we got there and started searching the stores, not even one had 80% off. Some had like 30% and 50% off but even then the stuff were still expensive.

All I ended up buying was a Nike room slipper.

2011 Review

These are my most memorable times of 2011 for me.

January 1 -
Rang in the new year at a wedding party.

January 5 - Got my 37 inch Sharp Aquos LCD TV.

February 26 - Second time skiing.

March 1 - Season 5 of my TV show premiered in Niimi, Okayama. Here is the full version of it.

March 11 - Major earthquake hits Japan, causing a great tsunami and messing up a nuclear reactor.

March 19-21 - Went to a Jamaican camp thing called Spring Ting in Osaka.

March 31 - Last Day in Niimi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yTSdYWYqsk

April 1 - First Day in Yokohama

April 7 - Felt my first earthquake since like 2005 and it was 7.1 magnitude, while doing karaoke.

May 3 - Visited Nara, an old Capital of Japan

May 21 - 22 - Went to One Love Jamaican Festival in Tokyo

June 4 - New friends visited my apartment

July 17-18 - Went to Gunma prefecture and visited 2 onsens (hot water baths) and did white water rafting.

July 19 - My sister had a minor accident in my car. Luckily she was fine.

July 21 - For the first time living in Japan, I did a presentation at my company meeting.

August 3 - Went to FujiQ Highland to ride a few crazy roller coasters.

August 6-12 - Visited my previous town Niimi

August 16 - Met an old friend who I first met when I was in Brazil.

September 2 - Went to Jamaican Artist Ioctane's concert. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17038616

September 6 - My Jamaican blogger friend who blogs about Japan, Kelroy aka Jamaipanese visited me in Japan.

September 17 - Me and Jamaipanese visited an old Japanese capital name Kamakura

September 18 - Went to Tokyo game show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF1qwVnnCcU

September 19 - Celebrated my 4th birthday in Japan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4xwqDCXGVw&feature=mh_lolz&list=HL1317031464

October 28 - Received my iphone 4s

December 24 - 27 - Went to Okinawa



Day 1384 (Captain America The First Avenger / Why Japan Change Prime Ministers so quickly? )
Monday, January 2, 2012

Stayed in all day blogging about my Okinawa trip (previous blog). Then watched Captain America the first Avenger. I thought it was going to be terrible but it wasn't so bad actually. I give it a 6/10.

Why Japanese Change Prime Ministers so Quickly?

News photo

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (top center) took office in September 2011 after Japan had five short-lived prime ministers since 2006: (clockwise, from top right) Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda, Taro Aso, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan.

Experts ponder reasons for Japan's rash of short-term prime ministers

Divided Diet, frequent party elections, voter mind-sets, lack of political capabilities, rise of new media cited as possible cause

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda took office in September, becoming Japan's sixth prime minister in five years. One thing that people will pay attention to is whether he can stay in power for more than 12 months — something four out his five immediate predecessors failed to do.
Whether he succeeds depends in part on whether he can win the next presidential election of his Democratic Party of Japan, set for the fall of 2012, and whether he can lead the ruling party to victory in a general election that may take place this year. Since Noda is already struggling with falling approval ratings, these are by no means certain, and Japan may yet see a seventh prime minister in six years.
Short-lived administrations are not a recent phenomenon, said political analyst and writer Ushio Shiota. In fact, the average term of Japan's past 62 prime ministers is just two years.
Experts caution, however, that frequent changes in prime ministers are a major reason for Japan's prolonged economic stagnation and the decline in its international influence.



Day 1385 ( Number of New Adults in Japan Down to an all time low  ) 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Again, stayed in for the entire day just playing games and doing random stuff. The most exciting thing I did was go to the super market.

Japan's Population seriously shrinking

The number of people aged 20 years old this New Year's Day is estimated at 1.2 million, falling to less than half its peak of around 2.4 million in 1970 for the first time, according to government statistics released Saturday.

Of the 1.2 million people that reached adulthood in the last year, 620,000 are men and 600,000 are women.
The total number of 20-year-olds — the legal age of adulthood — is down 20,000 from last year, hitting a record low for the fifth consecutive year, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.
The new adults account for 0.9 percent of the total population of 127.7 million, falling below 1 percent for the second straight year. The government began collecting comparable statistics in 1968.
Meanwhile, the number of Japanese who were born in a Year of the Dragon, as 2012 will be, is estimated at about 10.2 million. This breaks down to 4.9 million males and 5.2 million females.




Day 1386 ( Immigration Office )
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Japanese visa will expire on March 20, 2012 so I went to the Immigration office to renew it. Last time I got a 3 year extension. But that was in Okayama where there are not many foreigners. I get the feeling that because the city has so many foreigners, they might give me only a 1 year extension.



Day 1387 ( Entertainment / Talent Agency )
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Had an appointment today at a talent agency. Trying to put what talents I think I have to use. And see if I can get a TV break in the city. So I signed up with this talent agency called Free wave.



Day 1388
Friday, January 6, 2012

Stayed in all day doing nothing.



Day 1389 ( Kunf Fu Panda 2 / Three Musketeers )
Saturday, January 7, 2012

Again another lazy day. Stayed in and played lots of Modern Warfare 3. also watched Kung Fu Panda 2 as well as The Three Musketeers.

Kung Fu Panda was ok. Got some good laughs from it. Give it a 6/10

I thought the Three Musketeers was going to be much better than I thought. but it was still not so bad over all. I give it 6.5/10.



My 5 Most Popular Blog Entries Top

I can now see how many view my blog entries. So far these are my most popular entries.


120 views - Nov 2011

4 - http://davecollyjap.blogspot.com/2010/01/days-662-668-sunday-saturday-january-10.html

132 views - Jan 2010


196 views - August 2009 - I blogged about my second trip back to Jamaica at a water park.


852 views - October 2009 - Blogged about Scottish men that wear skirts. And about Robots


1072 views - April 2010 - Blogged about my trip to South Korea and looking over North Korea

@Richard is one mi friends found the deal. Since that many people asking mi how mi get that deal. It is marketed towards Japanese people though.