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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fukushima (Nuclear Fallout Center) wants to host Olympic events in 2020 / Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? / Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack

Greetings and Happy New Year again.

If you haven't been spammed by me yet then be prepared !!!! and stop ignoring me !!! LOL Ok so yeah my new book is out since Friday, January 9th, 2015.

And its not doing so bad on amazon either. Both Amazon Japan and the international Amazon ... The rank changes daily but I managed to get to #1 briefly in Amazon Japan's Caribbean Books category.

Why haven't you got your copy yet?!?!
(Jeez I truly suck at marketing. It's not my calling)

Ok let me wet your appetite a bit. Here is the content page (If you haven't seen it yet). As well as 2 pages from the book.

Get your copy at:

Amazon.com (America, Canada, Jamaica etc)


Amazon.co.jp (Japan)


Amazon.co.uk (Europe)


ok ok ok I'm done now !!!



Fukushima wants to host Olympic events in 2020

Japan Today

Fukushima is keen to show it has fully recovered from the 2011 nuclear disaster by hosting some events for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The governor of the northeastern prefecture held talks with his Tokyo counterpart on Tuesday to discuss the matter.
“We need to set a goal so that we can show how much Fukushima has recovered,” Masao Uchibori was quoted as saying by Kyodo News on Tuesday.
Uchibori did not specify which events Fukushima wanted to stage but soccer matches appeared the most likely, with games normally held around the host country and starting before the opening ceremony.
Masuzoe welcomed the interest from Fukushima, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
“The Olympics is meant to show to the world the Tohoku region’s reconstruction. We want to cooperate as much as possible,” he said.

Interesting Comment:
"Great idea... but first move the TEPCO HQ, Tokyo government offices and the Emperor's Palace to Fukushima first.
If they do that... then there might be a chance that people/teams will show up to compete"



Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation?

By Audrey Akcasu - Japan Today

Foreigners living in Japan often give Japanese TV a hard time. For many, it’s either too weird, too predictable or too obnoxious. If it really is so bad though, surely shows like “Iron Chef” and “Ninja Warrior” (Sasuke) would never have been introduced in the U.S.? Nor would America have created the show “I Survived a Japanese Game Show.” So if foreign stations are taking cues from the Japanese TV shows, the originals must have some merit, right?
One Reddit user finally asked the big question, “Japanese television. Is it really so terrible?” As you’d expect, the responses poured in, both in favor of and adamantly against it. One user proclaimed that Japan only has three kinds of programs, “Shows about celebrities. Shows about food. Shows about celebrities eating food.” But like TV in any country, there are actually a lot of different kinds of shows, so it’s probably worth a moment to take a walk through some of the programming options.
The easiest place to start is with anime. 

Let’s be honest, a lot of people who like Japan, started out by watching anime. It’s like a gateway drug into Japanese culture. In general, foreigners’ response to TV anime is positive, although some people like to knock the fact that some long-running shows (hundreds of episodes long) have a lot of unnecessary “filler” episodes that are unrelated to the overall plot and are too short at 25 minutes — even shorter when half of the time slot is filled reviewing the previous episode. Others complain not enough anime is shown in prime-time slots.
Next we move into dramas. A lot of foreigners give Japanese (and Korean) dramas a bad rap, likening them to terrible American soap operas. It’s true that some can definitely take you on unnecessary emotional roller coasters and may contain a little too much overacting. On the other hand, dramas tend to only span 8-12 episodes, then occasionally a second season if they do really well. The short airing is actually appealing to many foreign viewers, because the dramas get replaced by “fresh dramas,” so things don’t get too monotonous. There is also a wide range of dramas, from teen RomComs to serious ones targeting adults or even action-packed shows. Another big difference is that Japanese dramas often star big names — accomplished actors, musicians or idols.
The dramas can be really predictable and a bit bland, though, turning many viewers off. Some Reddit viewers see dramas as political tools or Big Brother-esque moral propaganda:
“Whatever the Japanese government wants their people to believe, it shoves it through NHK.”
“Very frequently [drama’s contain] very heavy-handed moralizing.”
“I’m rather disturbed at how pro-status quo everything is.”
Comedy shows are next up. Japanese comedy shows tend be more on the slapstick side of humor, so if you don’t like that, you probably won’t like them. The Japanese oddity and silliness comes in big time here, while a lot of jokes also have deep ties into the culture, so if you are still new to Japan, there’s a chance you won’t get the jokes even if you understand the language. Comedians in Japan tend to work in pairs or threes, with skits lasting only a few minutes. There are also a variety of prank shows, which are often pretty well done and very amusing.
Less talked about are the documentaries. While they are often over dramatic and have terrible reenactments, they can be informative and cover a variety of topics from travel to disease.
Moving on, we have the variety shows. These are the shows that foreigners like to complain about the most. Variety shows often have an “audience” of talento, B-list stars or quirky people only popular because of their presence on these shows. One Reddit user aptly equated Japanese talento to America’s Regis Philbin, as opposed to someone like Kim Kardashian, because “talento don’t take themselves too seriously and are usually able to joke around… Kim K wouldn’t do 90% of the stuff talento go through.”
Being in the category “variety,” the shows cover an array of topics from travel in different countries to karaoke contests to magicians. The catch, though, is that the TV audience is not only watching the show about the topic of the day, but they also see the reactions of the talento in a picture-in-picture-esque bubble somewhere on the screen. Most people don’t have problems with this, but it’s whenever something relatively surprising or interesting happens, the talento say “Eeeeh!” in almost perfect unison. Many Reddit users find this particularly annoying. Although one user said that they enjoy Japanese TV in general, “the only thing that really bothers me is the excessive ‘Eeeeh?’-ing.”
And then there is the food “problem.” A lot of TV shows in Japan focus on food, whether it be food from home, abroad or new concoctions. This might not sound so odd at first, but the number of these shows is startling; as one Reddit user put it, “Not all TV is talento eating food. Most of it, but not all.”
The biggest issue the foreign Japanese TV-watching community has with the food shows is the predictable reaction by the talento: “Oishii!” or “Umai!” (Delicious!). The review of the food often stops there though and apparently EVERYTHING is delicious. Not merely tasty, you understand, but delicious to the point that the presenter looks like they’re about to burst into tears after inserting it into their mouth. It’s almost as if these people have lived their lives locked in a cupboard living on a diet of strips of newspaper and thimbles of tap water, making every dish they encounter during the shows’ recording a culinary triumph.
As another Japan subreddit user commented, this wouldn’t be such a problem if the presenters occasionally described the food’s taste rather than just saying how “delicious” it was. In the words of another TV viewer, “you can only watch someone eat so many times before it becomes soul-crushingly dull.”
Some of the variety shows feature games shows, which can either be active games, like the ones that inspired that American TV show, or they can be quiz games. The quiz games are usually quite educational and fun to watch, covering everything from history to kanji. Again, the participants in these are the talento.
Some people may not categorize commercials as Japanese TV, but I think that’s a mistake. Japanese commercials can be hilarious, often because they are so weird that you can’t help but laugh. Japan has realized that the weirder the commercial, the more memorable, so they are crazy on purpose, often featuring dancing actors, creepy animation, talking animals and catchy tunes. One Reddit user may even like the commercials more than regular programing, saying, “I usually take my bathroom breaks during the show and make sure I’m back before the commercials.”
Japanese TV can be bad, but it can be good, much like TV everywhere else in the world. Personally, I enjoy it and have learned a lot from Japanese TV. Another Reddit summed it up nicely:
“I somewhat enjoy Japanese TV because… [it] gives me insight to how Japanese people see the world around them. Even if what’s on that random drama isn’t representative of the average person’s thoughts, it shows me what is being presented as normal, or what is ideal for the average Japanese person.”
In the end, it all comes down to your sense of humor, interest in Japanese culture and tolerance of “oishii,” “umai,” and “eeeeh?!”
If you are familiar with Japanese TV, what are your thoughts? For? Against? Indifferent?



Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack

by Michael Hoffman - Japan Times

My local supermarket plays Christmas music. Yours probably does too. My neighbors have Christmas trees. So do yours, no doubt. At this time of year, in the major cities if not nationwide, you might almost think you were in a Christian country.
You’re not, of course. The trappings are deceptive — decorative, rather. Santa Claus is a jolly old fellow, and Christmas trees are nice. Why not enjoy them? ‘Tis the season!
But Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack. They always have, ever since the first of them, St. Francis Xavier, landed in Kyushu in 1549. His first impression, based on an initially friendly reception, was, “In my opinion no people superior to the Japanese will be found among the unbelievers.” Two years later, he left disheartened, calling Japanese Buddhism “an invention of the devil.”
Missionaries today use different language but express similar frustration. The Japanese have so eagerly embraced everything Western — from fads to philosophies, baseball to scientific method. Why not Christianity? Even China, officially atheist and repressive of anything outside state control, counts 52 million Christians. In South Korea, 30 percent of a population of 50 million professes Christianity. In Japan? Less than 1 percent.
One explanation comes from Minoru Okuyama, director, as of 2010, of the Missionary Training Center in Japan. That year, he told a global missions conference, “Japanese make much of human relationships more than the truth. Consequently we can say that as for Japanese, one of the most important things is harmony; in Japanese, ‘Wa.’” The Japanese, said Okuyama, “are afraid of disturbing human relationships of their families or neighborhood even though they know Christianity is best.” Chinese and South Koreans, by contrast, “make more of truth or principle than human relationships.”

A shrewd and outspoken samurai character in Shusaku Endo’s historical novel “Samurai” (1980) put a similar thought much more bluntly. His sullen response to a Spanish missionary’s evangelizing, circa 1610, was, “The Japanese don’t care whether God exists or not.”

Western Judeo-Christian civilization was built on God. Japanese civilization was not. The West is absolutist, its God embodying absolute power, absolute righteousness, absolute wisdom, absolute truth. Nothing like that exists in Japan. No wonder Xavier and his Japanese hosts misunderstood each other.
Slaughter is as old as history — older. Individuals, tribesmen, nations have always massacred rivals and enemies without agonizing over the morality of it. Jews, precursors of Christians, moralized slaughter. It was what Good had to do to Evil. “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city” — so the Biblical book of Joshua celebrates the Israelites’ conquest of the Promised Land, God leading the way.
Christians, themselves survivors of atrocious persecutions under pagan Rome, inherited and honed the ethic whereby slaughter of the enemies of the one true God was a blessed undertaking. Pagans, Jews and Christian “heretics” fell to Christian fire and sword. When Islam’s rise beginning in the seventh century set jihadist against crusader, only the notion of another world could to some extent offset the horrors of the present one.

By the 16th century, the crusader’s zeal was muted. In his place there arose the missionary. Other worlds, “new worlds,” were discovered here on Earth — America by Columbus in 1492, Japan in 1543 by nameless Portuguese traders washed ashore in a storm. Xavier arrived six years later from Goa in India, having heard from the Portuguese that in Japan “much fruit might be gained for our holy faith, more than in any other part of the Indies, for they are a people most desirous of knowledge, which the Indian heathen are not.”
The missionaries who followed Xavier fared better than he did. Their connections with Portuguese merchants helped. Japan then was a chaos of petty fiefdoms, each at war with its neighbors. Turning Christian, the shrewder feudal lords discovered, brought worldly benefits. Foreign trade was one; foreign guns another.
Japan’s first Christian daimyo (feudal lord) was Omura Sumitada, who received baptism in 1562. His territory included a wretched little village called Nagasaki, whose true worth was soon revealed — it possessed a magnificent harbor. Omura grew rich and powerful beyond his hopes. Was this not Christianity proving its power? Beset by enemies, he appealed to the Portuguese for military help, which came, but with a price: Sumitada must repay his “great obligations” to God, said Padre Gaspar Coelho, head of the Jesuit mission in western Kyushu, by “extinguishing totally the worship and veneration of idols in his lands” and seeing to “the universal conversion of his vassals,” until “not a single pagan remained.”

No sooner spoken than done. The year was 1574. Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines were burned or demolished throughout the Omura domain; 60,000 subjects were baptized, by force if necessary.
The following decade saw Christianity take root. Daimyo, with whatever mix of religious and venal motives, were converting; so, voluntarily more often than not, were their subjects. By 1582, there were 200 churches serving an estimated 150,000 Christians. Missionaries who foresaw a Christian Japan were over-confident, perhaps, but not stupidly so. It could have happened. It would be hard to blame them for failing to predict what in fact occurred — “the most cruel persecution and torture of Christians ever witnessed on this globe,” wrote the German physician and chronicler Engelbert Kaempfer, stationed at Nagasaki with the Dutch East India Co. a century later.

Success turned the foreigners into swaggerers. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japan’s most powerful warlord, felt provoked beyond endurance. When crew members of a Spanish galleon washed ashore at Shikoku boasted of their king’s power, Hideyoshi smelled imperialism. At Nagasaki he had 26 Christians, 17 of them Japanese, crucified. The next 40 years saw the wholesale slaughter of Christians throughout Japan. A typical scene was witnessed by the English trader Richard Cox in 1619: “Fifty-five persons of all ages and both sexes were burnt alive on the dry bed of the Kamo River in Kyoto, among them little children of 5 or 6 years old in their mothers’ arms, crying out ‘Jesus, receive their souls!’”

The “evil sect” — Hideyoshi’s words — never recovered.

1 comment:

Anton Shim said...

"the most cruel persecution and torture of Christians ever witnessed on this globe".

You mean worse than what the Catholic Church did during the various inquisitions?

In 1572, 20,000 were massacred were massacred in the St. Bartholomews Day massacre. In 1209 Pope Innocent III ordered the Albigensian Crusade in which around 1 million people died.
24 April 1665 Duke of Savoy ordered the general massacre of Waldenesian Christians in France. The massacre was so brutal, it caused general uproar across Europe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldensians#mediaviewer/File:AnnaCharboniereTortured.jpg