Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hilarious conversation with an email scammer

I am reposting this entry about email or internet scams because it is so funny and I cleaned it up slightly.

Below are the emails I exchanged with someone who said he was from Ghana. He claimed that if I helped him I would get a box of money. I played along and I never laughed so hard in my life. I unfortunately deleted the first few emails but all the rest are below.

Information on email Scams, Nigerian scams, or Advanced Fee scams can be found at these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria_scam
ScamBusters.org
Scamorama.com

The emails below are EXACTLY how he and I typed them. I played like I was not very smart. I guess he was not very smart either. The scammer said his name was Franics Kwame (sic). I told him my name was Bob Jones at first.

THIS IS NOT MADE UP. These are real emails I had with the guy from Africa.

--------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Requested Information
To: Bob Jones

My Brother,
Below is the information:

Mr Robert Anderson
Director, Intercon Insurance Security Co. Ltd.
Ring Road,Accra
GhanaTel:+233 242114821
Email Address: intercon_sec_com@freeghana.com

I will henceforth disassociate from responding to your emails if you dont contact the security company.

Lets move forward!!!!

Your's Sincerely,

Barrister Francis Kwame

------------------------------------------
The scammer was already getting annoyed because I had been making excuses why I could not contact the security company.
------------------------------------------

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: Requested Information
To: Franics Kwame

Thank you my black african brother. You know, in my country, we don't pronounce it "brother" when talking to black people. We say it like this, "bratha". What's up bratha?

I have a question, do I have to dial one before that number below? I have nevered called long distance before. I have never even left my hometown before for that matter so if I have to fly to Africa to meet the security agency, that will be scary.

Do I have to fly to Africa since that is where the security agency is located? Where exactly is Ghana located anyway? Is it near Portugal?

----------------------------------------
If you don't already know, Portugal is in Europe next to Spain, not anywhere near Ghana, Africa.
----------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Our Success Together
To: Bob Jones

My Brother,

Thanks for the compliments of calling me your brother.
As to calling from the USA, you have to dial +011 before adding 233 242114821.

If you don't get it, then find someone else who can truly assist you in dialing the number to ensure you call the security company.

For i and you to move forward,You MUST call the security company because they are in charge of delivery.
You dont need to fly to Africa.

Thank God because the world is globalised.We can make our business work successfuly through effective communication no matter where we are around the world.

Ghana is beautiful country,located at the western region of Africa. Potugal is south america and you know it,so how do you compare Ghana and portugal together.

I thought you said,you have flown to Africa before,how come you ask these questions??Dont make me doubt my trust for you....

So,Call the Security Company right now.

Get back to me immediately,

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

---------------------------------------
The scammer obviously does not know his geography very well either. He thinks Portugal is in South America.
---------------------------------------

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: Our Success Together
To: Franics Kwame

Thank you for your assistance. Although I am extremely rich, I do not know alot about foreign countries like Ghana and Portugal which you kindly informed me is in South Africa. I did not realize that Portugal was in South Africa like you said. I am very happy then that there is no more apartheid and discrimination in Portugal, South Africa. That was very bad.

So do I dial 1 and then 011 or 011 and then 1? I am very eager to provide my personal information to the security company in Portugal, South Africa.

Thank you once again my African Bratha. :)

--------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Unhappy State.
To: Bob Jones

My Brother,It will unwise for you to contact me any further becasuse
i can see that you are not yeilding and adhering to the instructions attached to
this transaction.
I said Portugal is in South-America, you read it well and you
repeatedly say that Portugal is in South-Africa.
If you do not know how to call the security company,then forget me.

Have a good day,

Barrister Francis Kwame

-----------------------------------
The scammer really is starting to get annoyed now. Usually the scammers stop responding by now, but not Francis, I mean Franics.
-----------------------------------

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: Unhappy State
To: Franics Kwame

I appreciate your assistance. My apologies. I thought you said the security
company was in Portugal, South Africa. I am sorry that I am not
knowledgeable in geography. Please forgive me. I will immediately contact
the security company. I will have my mother help me call since I do not
understand the number dialing for foreign numbers. As I said, I will
immediately call the security company in Ghana, South America. After I call
them, do I call you?

----------------------------------
I know. Ghana is in Africa, not South America.
----------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Best Option
To: Bob Jones

My Brother,
Just call the Security Company
If you cannot call them,then it is over between us.

Thank you,

Barrister Franics Kwame

----------------------------------

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: Best Option
To: Franics Kwame

I will call them immediately. May I please request a toll free number however. I am sure the long distance rates must be very expensive to Ghana, South Africa. My mother is very controlling of how I use my millions of dollars even though I am 35 years old. Please provide me a toll free number and I will call the security company immdiately.

I will immediately purchase a plane ticket to Ghana, South America and I will fly there as soon as I call the security company to arrange my picking up the box of money in Ghana, South America.

Please let me know if this is ok.

-----------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: My Decision
To: Bob Jones

My Brother,
If you want us to continue and complete this transaction,you (MUST)
send me your International Passport as Identification.
Unable to achieve this,PLS DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE>
I will only respond to your email when I see your passport.

Thank you and God Bless,

Barrister Francis Kwame

---------------------------------------
He's really getting annoyed.
---------------------------------------

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: My Decision
To: Franics Kwame

I do not have a passport yet. I am in the process of getting it so I can travel to Ghana, South Africa. But you know how government is. It takes a while. I should have it in a few weeks. I will transmit my birth certificate to you shortly.But can you please give me a toll free number to contact the security company in Ghana, South America.

-------------------------------------------
I immediately sent him another message using a new name with a picture of a passport I found on the internet.
-------------------------------------------

From: Will Smith
Subject: Re: My Decision
To: Franics Kwame

Attached is my Passport as you requested. I tried calling the number of the security company in Ghana, South America but I was not able to get through. They said I have the wrong number. It's interesting though that they did not speak Portugeuese. I thought you said they speak Portugeuese. Can you send me the number again or maybe you can send me the security comapny's email address. Thank you again my black african brother (bratha).

(Below is the Passport picture I sent Francis. Sorry Fresh Prince).




------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Lets move forward
To: Will Smith

My Brother,
Thanks for your response.
I thought you said your name is Bob Jones and claimed to be 35 years old.
How come you sent me a pics of Will Smith,who doesnt even happened
to be 35years??
I need you to attest and confirm to that.
Now,before i can continue this transaction with you.
Tw things must be done,failure to do so,will make you to be a liar about your
identity.

1.Send me your scanned copy of Your International Passport.
2.The security company number is (+233 242114821)
There is nothing absolutely wrong with that number.
The ball is now in your court to make this transaction a success.

For you to be sure of my identity,i will send you my International Passport for confirmation.
Get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

--------------------------------------------
Francis then sent me another email with his Passport attached. Isn't that nice of him?
------------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: My Passport
To: Will Smith

Below is the copy of my International Passport for your view.Until i recieve a copy of your passport,i will discontinue from corresponding with you anymore.The ball is now in your court to send me your Identification Passport.If you don't have any Passport,then send me any other form of id.

Call the Security Company.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame





------------------------------------------
I guess his name really is Francis. I should be more trusting. I changed my name again in the next email. Can you guess who this famous person is?
------------------------------------------

From: Captain James T. Kirk
Subject: Re: My Passport
To: Franics Kwame

My apologies my Black African Brother. I accidently sent you my cousin's passport. He left it at my house and I did not look at the picture. I have attached my passport to this email.

Your passport picture is very nice. You are a very handsome man. I did not realize that you lived in Ghana, South Africa also. Is Ghana a nice city? Is it close to Johannesburg?

The number for the security company you just gave me is not the same. How am I supposed to contact them if you give me the wrong number.Do you also need my bank account information in order to make deposits? I can also send you my birth certificate if you need that.

(Below is the next passport I sent Francis. This is for all you Trekie fans out there.)





--------------------------------------
Now Francis really starts getting pissed.
--------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Lets Move Forward
To: Captain Kirk

Pls,cut the crap and stop sending passports belonging to different people.
I know you to be Bob Jones.
Changing names will do you no good.

Can we move forward on this transaction?

Call the security company.(+233) 242114821.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

--------------------------------------
Again I changed my name below.
--------------------------------------

From: Zhao Xiulian
Subject: Re: Lets move forward
To: Franics Kwame

I apoligize again. I accidently sent you my uncles Passport. My uncle is a Captain in Starfleet Command and he is currently on leave and visiting me. I am very sorry. I have attached my passport and I verified that it is mine so there won't be anymore confusion. My real name is Zhao Xiulian. I wanted to be sure I could trust you before I gave you my real name. That is why I told you my name was Bob Jones. Please forgive me.





---------------------------------------
Now I think Francis is really losing it. I think I am driving him crazy. This is his funniest email of them all.
---------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Thanks so much
To: Zhao Xiulian

My Brother,
I beg you with the name of God.
Pls do not contact me anymore.
I am not in for this games you are playing by sending passports of differents people.
Have a nice day and keep winning.

Kisses,

Richard

----------------------------------------
Kisses?

You notice he signed his name Richard. What happened to Francis?

I pretty much lost his trust with this next email and the picture I attached but oh well. I don't think he could take much more anyways.

Can you guess who the picture is?

----------------------------------------

From: Zhao Xiulian
Subject: Re: Thanks so much
To: Franics Kwame

I thought your name was Francis. Who is Richard? Are you being dishonest with me? After all this time and our special relationship. All I want to do is get my money and I am trying to follow your instructions. I told you I mistakenly sent you my cousin Will Smith's passport and my uncle Captain Kirk's passport. It was a mistake. My name really is what I told you in my last email. After you sent me your passport I felt comfortable I could believe you so I sent my passport.

Please my very dark black African brother, you must believe me. I will send you further information if you request it.

Attached is a picture of myself so you have a better idea of who I am.





-----------------------------------------
Yes, That's right. That's Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, the former Prime Minister of Japan. I hope I didn't cause an international incident.
-----------------------------------------

From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Re; Thanks so much
To: Zhao Xuilian

Have a nice day.

--------------------------------------------
And that was the last I heard from Francis. I miss him very much.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book - Living and Dying in Zazen

I recently finished reading a book called Living and Dying in Zazen – Five Zen Masters of Modern Japan by Arthur Braverman. I am not a Buddhist. I am not that familiar with Buddhism and just wanted to learn a little about it. I have also read a little about Pure Land Buddhism, particularly the Jodo Shinshu or True Pure Land School.

This book is about the author who went to Japan to study Zen in the early 70’s practicing at a small temple called Antaiji in Kyoto. The five Zen teachers are Kodo Sawaki, Sodo Yokoyama, Kozan Kato, Motoko Ikebe and Kosho Uchiyama. The book talks a little about life at Antaiji which was an unusual Japanese temple in that it welcomed foreigners to practice and live there.

The book is an interesting read and gave some insight into Zen Buddhism and specifically zazen, the act of sitting in meditation. But what the book did the most was give the feeling wishing I could have met some of these Zen teachers, especially Uchiyama and Yokoyama. It is rare that I will read a book more than once but that is what I did with this book. After finishing the book I wanted to read about these individuals again and about their strong devotion particularly to zazen.

I won’t get into a full explanation of the book here but if you are at all interested in Zen Buddhism or just want to read about this aspect of Japan in the early 70s, then I highly recommend this book.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Old and New Japan

Here is an interesting picture I found from sushicam that shows old and new Japan. I agree with Sushi Jeff, maybe they are texting to each other.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

About Nikko

My favorite place to visit in Japan is Nikko. It is one of the places I recommend every who visits Japan should try and get to.

My favorite part of Nikko are the Temples and Shrines. The most famous is the Toshogu Shrine (hence my blog web address). The Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 as the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu was the most important Shogun of Japanese history as he was the first Shogun to completely unify the country. The Tokugawa family reigned for over 250 years, longer than the age of the United States.

The main shrine buildings were built by the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1636. The Yomeimon, probably the most famous work of architecture in Nikko, was built in 1636. It is the most elaborately decorated of the shrine buildings of Toshogu. The workmanship is amazing as witnessed in the decorative carvings and other designs.







Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tokyo Disney

On a recent trip to Japan, I visited Tokyo Disney. I like Anaheim Disney and I wanted to see how Tokyo Disney compared. I went on a weekday because I wanted to avoid the crazy crowds I have heard of. However, even on the weekday non-holoday, the park was very crowded. How does it compare to Anaheim? Of course it is similar except for differences such as a much larger castle. Although the pedestrian areas of Tokyo Disney were more open which is good for crowds, I felt it was to much barren walkways. One of the things I like about Anaheim Disney are the nicely landscaped walkways and the landscaping in general seemded better at Anaheim Disney. Otherwise, I really liked Tokyo Disney. I would like to visit Disney Sea someday also.

Here are a few pictures from Tokyo Disney.







I did not know these band members had turned around until I saw the picture.



This picture below is from Otawara, Tochigi in front of the temple.



Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ouchijuku, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Late last year I visited the historic little village called Ouchijuku which is south of Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. The village is famous for the numerous traditional thatched buildings from the Edo period that line its main street. In the buildings are numerous little tourists shops and an old historic traditional restaurant.


Here I am sitting on the main street.




Along each side of the street, a little stone lined cold stream flowed and in it at various points were beer and other beverages cooling and ready for sale to tourists.


On the morning of the day I visited, then Prime Minister Koizumi visited. I am disapointed I missed him as I definately would have tried to introduce myself. Oh well. Here is a picture of the former Prime Minister visiting Ouchijuku on the day that I was there.


If you are traveling on the road through the mountains to Aizuwakamatsu, Ouchijuku is a really cool place to stop. Beware that it may be crowded on weekends or holidays. I don't remember the name of the restaurant but it is the only old traditional restaurant in the village and it was really great and the interior is incredible.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yokohama, Japan

In 2004, I went to Yokohama for the day. It was the first time I had visited there. I stayed at the Pan Pacific Yokohama hotel. The hotel is located at the relatively new Minato Mirai development which includes a new train station and the tallest office building in Japan, the Landmark Tower. One mistake I made was traveling to Yokohama from Tokyo during evening rush hour. Everything you may have heard about passengers being packed like sardines on the trains and subways during rush hour in Japan is true.

The Minato Mirai area is really amazing. It surrounds the inner harbor of Yokohama. Here is a picture of me in front of a historic ship in the inner harbor right next to the Landmark Tower.









Here is a picture I took of the Landmark Tower. The tower has an observation deck but I did not have time to visit it.






Above the train station in the new Minato Mirai development is a shopping center which includes many good restaurants, coffee shops and other shops. It also links directly with the Pan Pacific Hotel. The hotel was amazing and the service was great. I felt bad when the petite female hotel employee carried our heavy bags to the room. I wanted to give her a tip but of course tipping is not done in Japan.

Here are some links for Minato Mirai and Yokohama.

http://www.minatomirai21.com/english/index.html
http://www.city.yokohama.jp/en/
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2156.html
http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/tourism/spot/spot1050.html

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Emails with a Nigerian Scammer. So Funny.

You may read about it in the news and hear about it more often now, the scam artists from around the world who send out emails trying get people to help them get money. Often they are from Nigeria for some reason. They often state that their father, who was killed in the civil war or something, has left several millions of dollars in a bank and for some reason the only way they can get it is if the money is transferred to some account in a foreign country, yours for example. They say you will be able to keep some of the money.

Below are the emails I exchanged with someone who said he was from Ghana and I would get a box of money if I helped him. I played along and I never laughed so hard in my life. He calls himself Francis. I mistakenly deleted the first few emails but all the rest are below.

Information on Nigerian Scams can be found at these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria_scam
ScamBusters.org
Scamorama.com



Below are the emails and they are EXACTLY how he typed them. I played like I was not too smart. I guess Francis was not too smart either. I told him my name was Bob Jones at first.

This is not made up. These are real emails I had with the guy from Africa.

-------------- Begin Incoming Message ------------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame (He misspelled his first name)
Subject: Requested Information
To: Bob Jones (Me)

My Brother,
Below is the information:

Mr Robert Anderson
Director, Intercon Insurance Security Co. Ltd.
Ring Road,Accra
GhanaTel:+233 242114821
Email Address: intercon_sec_com@freeghana.com

I will henceforth disassociate from responding to your emails if you dont contact the security company.

Lets move forward!!!!

Your's Sincerely,

Barrister Francis Kwame

--------------------- End Incoming Message ----------------------

He was already getting annoyed because I had been making excuses why I could not contact the security company.

-------------------- Begin Outgoing Message ----------------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Bob Jones (Me)
Subject: Re: Requested Information
To: Franics Kwame

Thank you my black african brother. You know, in my country, we don't pronounce it "brother" when talking to black people. We say it like this, "bratha". What's up bratha?

I have a question, do I have to dial one before that number below? I have nevered called long distance before. I have never even left my hometown before for that matter so if I have to fly to Africa to meet the security agency, that will be scary.

Do I have to fly to Africa since that is where the security agency is located? Where exactly is Ghana located anyway? Is it near Portugal?

----------------------- End Outgoing Message -------------------

If you don't already know, Portugal is in Europe next to Spain, not anywhere near Ghana, Africa.

-------------------------- Begin Incoming Message --------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Our Success Together
To: Bob Jones (Me)

My Brother,

Thanks for the compliments of calling me your brother.
As to calling from the USA, you have to dial +011 before adding 233 242114821.

If you don't get it, then find someone else who can truly assist you in dialing the number to ensure you call the security company.

For i and you to move forward,You MUST call the security company because they are in charge of delivery.
You dont need to fly to Africa.

Thank God because the world is globalised.We can make our business work successfuly through effective communication no matter where we are around the world.

Ghana is beautiful country,located at the western region of Africa. Potugal is south america and you know it,so how do you compare Ghana and portugal together.

I thought you said,you have flown to Africa before,how come you ask these questions??Dont make me doubt my trust for you....

So,Call the Security Company right now.

Get back to me immediately,

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

---------------------- End Incoming Message ------------------

He obviously does not know his geography very well either. He thinks Portugal is in South America.

--------------------- Begin Outgoing Message ------------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Bob Jones (Me)
Subject: Re: Our Success Together
To: Franics Kwame

Thank you for your assistance. Although I am extremely rich, I do not know alot about foreign countries like Ghana and Portugal which you kindly informed me is in South Africa (He said South America but I am stupid, remember). I did not realize that Portugal was in South Africa like you said. I am very happy then that there is no more apartheid and discrimination in Portugal, South Africa. That was very bad.

So do I dial 1 and then 011 or 011 and then 1? I am very eager to provide my personal information to the security company in Portugal, South Africa.

Thank you once again my African Bratha. :)

-------------------- End Outgoing Message ------------------


-------------------- Begin Incoming Message -----------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Unhappy State.
To: Bob Jones (Me)

My Brother,It will unwise for you to contact me any further becasuse
i can see that you are not yeilding and adhering to the instructions attached to
this transaction.
I said Portugal is in South-America, you read it well and you
repeatedly say that Portugal is in South-Africa.
If you do not know how to call the security company,then forget me.

Have a good day,

Barrister Francis Kwame

-------------------- End Incoming Message -----------------

He really is starting to get annoyed now. Usually the scammers stop responding by now, but not Francis, I mean Franics.

------------------- Begin Outgoing Message ------------------

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006
From: Bob Jones (Me)
Subject: Re: Unhappy State
To: Franics Kwame

I appreciate your assistance. My apologies. I thought you said the security
company was in Portugal, South Africa. I am sorry that I am not
knowledgeable in geography. Please forgive me. I will immediately contact
the security company. I will have my mother help me call since I do not
understand the number dialing for foreign numbers. As I said, I will
immediately call the security company in Ghana, South America. After I call
them, do I call you?

------------------- End Outgoing Message -----------------

I know, Ghana is in Africa, not South America.

------------------ Begin Incoming Message ----------------

Date: Fri, Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Best Option
To: Bob Jones (Me)

My Brother,
Just call the Security Company
If you cannot call them,then it is over between us.

Thank you,

Barrister Franics Kwame

------------------- End Incoming Message ---------------


------------------- Begin Outgoing Message ----------------

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006
From: Bob Jones (Me)
Subject: Re: Best Option
To: Franics Kwame

I will call them immediately. May I please request a toll free number however. I am sure the long distance rates must be very expensive to Ghana, South Africa. My mother is very controlling of how I use my millions of dollars even though I am 35 years old. Please provide me a toll free number and I will call the security company immdiately.

I will immediately purchase a plane ticket to Ghana, South America and I will fly there as soon as I call the security company to arrange my picking up the box of money in Ghana, South America.

Please let me know if this is ok.

---------------- End Outgoing Message -------------

These emails made my day. Every morning I looked forward to my emails from Francis. I sure do miss him.

--------------- Begin Incoming Message --------------

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: My Decision
To: Bob Jones (Me)

My Brother,
If you want us to continue and complete this transaction,you (MUST)
send me your International Passport as Identification.
Unable to achieve this,PLS DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE>
I will only respond to your email when I see your passport.

Thank you and God Bless,

Barrister Francis Kwame


------------------------- End Incoming Message ----------------

He's really getting annoyed.

-------------------------- Begin Outgoing Message --------------

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006
From: Bob Jones (Me)
Subject: Re: My Decision
To: Franics Kwame

I do not have a passport yet. I am in the process of getting it so I can travel to Ghana, South Africa. But you know how government is. It takes a while. I should have it in a few weeks. I will transmit my birth certificate to you shortly.But can you please give me a toll free number to contact the security company in Ghana, South America.

------------------------ End Outgoing Message --------------------

I immediately sent him another message with a picture of a passport I found on the internet.

------------------------ Begin Outgoing Message -------------------

Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006
From: Will Smith (The new me)
Subject: Re: My Decision
To: Franics Kwame

Attached is my Passport as you requested. I tried calling the number of the security company in Ghana, South America but I was not able to get through. They said I have the wrong number. It's interesting though that they did not speak Portugeuese. I thought you said they speak Portugeuese. Can you send me the number again or maybe you can send me the security comapny's email address. Thank you again my black african brother (bratha).

(Below is the Passport picture I sent Francis. Sorry Fresh Prince).





----------------------- End Outgoing Message --------------------


--------------------- Begin Incoming Message --------------------

Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Lets move forward
To: Will Smith (Me)

My Brother,
Thanks for your response. (At least he's still polite)
I thought you said your name is Bob Jones and claimed to be 35 years old.
How come you sent me a pics of Will Smith,who doesnt even happened
to be 35years??
I need you to attest and confirm to that.
Now,before i can continue this transaction with you.
Tw things must be done,failure to do so,will make you to be a liar about your
identity.

1.Send me your scanned copy of Your International Passport.
2.The security company number is (+233 242114821)
There is nothing absolutely wrong with that number.
The ball is now in your court to make this transaction a success.

For you to be sure of my identity,i will send you my International Passport for confirmation.
Get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

--------------------- End Incoming Message -----------------------

Francis then sent me another email with his Passport attached. Isn't that nice of him?

--------------------- Begin Incoming Message ---------------------

Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: My Passport
To: Will Smith (Me)

Below is the copy of my International Passport for your view.Until i recieve a copy of your passport,i will discontinue from corresponding with you anymore.The ball is now in your court to send me your Identification Passport.If you don't have any Passport,then send me any other form of id.

Call the Security Company.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame





----------------------- End Incoming Message --------------------

I guess his name really is Francis. I should be more trusting.

------------------------ Begin Outgoing Message ------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Captain James T. Kirk (The NEW, new me)
Subject: Re: My Passport
To: Franics Kwame

My apologies my Black African Brother. I accidently sent you my cousin's passport. He left it at my house and I did not look at the picture. I have attached my passport to this email.

Your passport picture is very nice. You are a very handsome man. I did not realize that you lived in Ghana, South Africa also. Is Ghana a nice city? Is it close to Johannesburg?

The number for the security company you just gave me is not the same. How am I supposed to contact them if you give me the wrong number.Do you also need my bank account information in order to make deposits? I can also send you my birth certificate if you need that.

(Below is the next passport I sent Francis. This is for all you Trekie fans out there.)





-------------------- End Outgoing Message -------------------

Now Francis really starts getting pissed.

------------------- Begin Incoming Message -------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Lets Move Forward
To: Captain Kirk (Me)

Pls,cut the crap and stop sending passports belonging to different people.
I know you to be Bob Jones.
Changing names will do you no good.

Can we move forward on this transaction?

Call the security company.(+233) 242114821.

Thank you,

Barrister Francis Kwame

----------------------- End Incoming Message -------------------


--------------------- Begin Outgoing Message -------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Zhao Xiulian (The NEW, NEW, new me)
Subject: Re: Lets move forward
To: Franics Kwame

I apoligize again. I accidently sent you my uncles Passport. My uncle is a Captain in Starfleet Command and he is currently on leave and visiting me. I am very sorry. I have attached my passport and I verified that it is mine so there won't be anymore confusion. My real name is Zhao Xiulian. I wanted to be sure I could trust you before I gave you my real name. That is why I told you my name was Bob Jones. Please forgive me.





---------------------- End Outging Message --------------------

Now I think Francis is really losing it. I think I am driving him crazy. This is his funniest email of them all.

-------------------- Begin Incoming Message -------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Thanks so much
To: Zhao Xiulian (My "real" name)

My Brother,
I beg you with the name of God.
Pls do not contact me anymore.
I am not in for this games you are playing by sending passports of differents people.
Have a nice day and keep winning.

Kisses,

Richard

----------------------- End Incoming Message -------------------

Kisses?

You notice he signed his name Richard. What happened to Francis?

I pretty much lost his trust with this next email and the picture I attached but oh well. I don't think he could take much more anyways.

Can you guess who the picture is?

--------------------- Begin Outgoing Message -------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Zhao Xiulian (Me?)
Subject: Re: Thanks so much
To: Franics Kwame (Richard?)

I thought your name was Francis. Who is Richard? Are you being dishonest with me? After all this time and our special relationship. All I want to do is get my money and I am trying to follow your instructions. I told you I mistakenly sent you my cousin Will Smith's passport and my uncle Captain Kirk's passport. It was a mistake. My name really is what I told you in my last email. After you sent me your passport I felt comfortable I could believe you so I sent my passport.

Please my very dark black African brother, you must believe me. I will send you further information if you request it.

Attached is a picture of myself so you have a better idea of who I am.





------------------------ End Outgoing Message -------------------

Yes, That's right. That's Mr. Koizumi, the Prime Minister of Japan. I hope I didn't cause an international incident.

----------------------- Begin Incoming Message ------------------

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
From: Franics Kwame
Subject: Re; Thanks so much
To: Zhao Xuilian (Me)

Have a nice day.

---------------------- End Incoming Message ----------------------

And that was the last I heard from Francis. I miss him very much.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bell Mall, Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

I created this entry in Wikipedia for Bell Mall in Utsunomiya Prefecture Japan. If you have any changes or want to add to it, you can also go to Wikipedia and make edits.

This is the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Mall,_Utsunomiya

Here is the actual entry.


Bell Mall, Utsunomiya
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bell Mall is a modern shopping mall in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Bell Mall is located near the central area of Utsunomiya City, a large regional city in the Northern Kanto region, and it is one of the largest shopping centers in the North Kanto area. Bell Mall is located at 6-2-1 Yoto Road near Utsunomiya Koda Road, Route 123 and New Route 4 and is about 2km East of the Utsunomiya JR Train station.
Bell Mall is a large mall with approximately 81,000 sq. meters of shopping space along with approximately 76,500 sq. meters of parking space for approximately 5,000 cars. The mall is split into two parts, an East Annex and a West Annex. The East Annex is a large scale entertainment zone featuring amusement, health and healing, a cinema complex, and a fitness club. The West Annex includes the anchor tenant Ito-Yokado and many specialty retailers, restaurants and services. They include Golf5 by Alpen, Sports Depot, a food court, book store, cd store and other retailers.
Image:E bellmap.jpg

[edit] External links
Bell Mall website in Japanese
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Mall,_Utsunomiya"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Previous trip to Nikko, Tochigi, Japan

Here are some pictures from a previous trip to Japan. The quality is not the best because they are scans of photos.

On one of my earlier trips to Japan, I attended the 1000 Samurai Festival (Matsuri) at Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Every year Nikko has a festival celebrating a famous march of samurai called the 1000 Samurai Parade. Nikko is one of the most historic places in Japan. It is the location where the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu is interned. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first Shogun to unify all of Japan after the battle of Sekigahara. This initiated the Tokugawa rule and the Edo period from 1603 to about 1868 I believe. Edo is the name for old Tokyo. The festival takes place at the Toshogu Shrines at Nikko.

The festival takes place in May. Here is a link to the Nikko Tourist Association page about the 1000 Samurai Festival.

http://www.nikko-jp.org/english/toshogu/gyouretsu.html

And here is the link to the Nikko City website.

http://www.city.nikko.lg.jp/fl/index.html

During the 1000 Samurai Festival, events are held such as Samurai on sprinting horses shooting arrows at targets and the famous 1000 Samurai Parade. The horsemanship was amazing as the riders would sprint at full speed with no hands on the horse. They would use both hands to shoot their arrows at the target as they flew by. It was quite amazing. There was a little bit of a light rain that day but it prevented any dust which was good.














Here the Samurai are being led down the track to the starting gate.





















































The parade was held the next day and thousands of towns people and tourists came to watch the parade. The parade consists of hundreds of the Nikko townspeople in costume such as Samurai as well as the carrying of a shrine. The parade heads down a small road and then turns left on another road. Because my grandfather-in-law is a longtime member of the town, he helps set up for the parade including the 15 foot tall parade announcers stand. I was allowed to watch the parade from this stand with my wife and the announcer as well as with another Japanese person who translated into English for the many foreign tourists. He did a very good job. I was a little embarassed though because when I first got up on the stand, I half-jokingly offered to announce in English. That was before I realized the gentleman spoke English so I hope I did not offend him by my comment. I am sure many people were wondering what the gaijin guy was doing up there since I got many looks, including from some of the parade members as witnessed by these next pictures. It is a little hard to see in the photos, but you can see some of the parade members looking up at me.















































































































































These next pictures show the parade members carrying the local shrine. The people watching the parade would toss coins to the shrine. The guys carrying it kept ducking or lowering their heads so they wouldn't get hit by the coins. The shrine is very heavy as you can tell by the many people straining to carry it.






























































































After the parade, we were walking back to our car and a group of school kids walked by. A couple of them said in English "Hello, how are you". Don't be surprised if you are in Japan and some school kids try and practice some English on you.