Daibutsu, Kamakura

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twitter to become bigger in Japan

From TechCrunch:

Twitter is moving to grow in Japan. Softbank Mobile announced 13 new models in their cell phone lineup and all of them will come installed with Twitter. With these phones, you will be able to access Twitter via a pre-installed app or widget on the homescreen. According to the TechCrunch post, the Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son is a big fan of Twitter so this makes sense. Even more so since Masayoshi Son went to San Francisco at 16 where he finished high school and later graduated from the University of California Berkeley. He believes Japan is ready to become a Twitter country and Japan may already be number two in the world.

You can see a line-up of all of the 13 Twitter enable Softbank phones on the TechCrunch post.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please do it again

The May Tokyo Metro poster is apparently telling people to please pick their ear wax again. How odd.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back to Japan again

I am returning to Japan again for family business. I leave Los Angeles on Friday May 28th for Narita and return to Los Angeles on Monday June 7th. When I was in Japan earlier this year I forgot my camera and missed a few good shots. I'll try and remember to bring it this time but I am not sure what I will be doing so no guarantees on an photos.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Plant a garden ... in your bra?! Japanese undergarment does double-duty as a rice-growing kit

From the Reuters News service.

Urban farming is really taking off in Japan. But that is now being taken to the extreme. Growing rice in bra cups -- while wearing them. The cups are filled with soil and rice seedlings which are watered by the wearer with a small hose. I guess because land is so valuable in the cities, they are trying to find anywhere they can to grow rice. According to the maker of the bra, Triumph Lingerie, "Over the last year, young Japanese women have taken a tremendous interest in agriculture," Triumph spokeswoman Yoshiko Masuda told Reuters. "We wanted other women to experience farming as well."

That is certainly an interesting way to let Japanese women experience agriculture. I would be a little scared of what kind of farming underwear they might make for men. Hmmm, let me think. No, I better not say. :)

Triumph also makes bras with a sushi set (yummy) and one that has solar panels. According to bra model model Reiko Aoyama "The bra fits much better than it looks. Wearing it puts me in such a fun mood." I can only imagine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Japan PM, hoping to break impasse, gathers Cabinet to discuss US base move

Japan PM, hoping to break impasse, gathers Cabinet to discuss US base move - latimes.com

Hatoyama's approval ratings are sinking like the Titanic. Which is interesting since Hatoyama continues to work towards a plan to relocate the American Marine base in Okinawa, a subject that is popular with the Japanese public. However, his plans don't go far enough as far as most Okinawan's are concerned so Hatoyama is even less popular in Okinawa.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Hatoyama's approval rating is a dismal 24 percent. That's George W. Bush territory.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Female Japanese knuckleballer lands in U.S.


This Japanese female knuckleballer, Eri Yoshida, is trying to make it into the big leagues in the United States. Good for her for trying. I think it is awesome.

But I don't think it will happen in a million years. She essentially has only one pitch, the knuckleball, and that just won't cut in the majors. Sorry Eri. But good for you for trying. If you make it on to the Dodgers someday I'll come out and watch you pitch (even though I hate baseball).

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hideyoshi lives and he's ready to kick North Korean butt

Hashiba Hideyoshi in rubber boots in front of his missile arsenal. (Photo from viceland.com)

Kim jong-il and North Korea may have nukes but Japan can rest easy, Hashiba Hideyoshi is alive and well and ready to kick some North Korean ass should they ever attack Japan. Yes, the great 16th century unifier of Japan, better known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, is living in Aoyama and has built an arsenal of ballistic missiles ready to launch at the slightest provocation. The modern Hideyoshi has even created his own feudal domain called Odagawa where he has built a small castle and of course a hot spring hotel.

Apparently Mr. Hideyoshi realized who he really was when he was a young man and was told by a priest that he was the reincarnation of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He didn't think too much of it until later from reading about the real Hideyoshi, he realized what an impressive general he was. Now Mr. Hideyoshi wears samurai armor ready for battle while holding an assault rifle. He doesn't mind that people may think he is completely mad, he's just the resident crazy man. Hideyoshi moved to Aoyama and established his Odagawa Domain where he decided to dig for a hot spring and establish a hotel. It wasn't until later after hearing about North Korea's Taepodong missiles that threatened japan, that Hashiba Hideyoshi decided to build his own missile arsenal.

According to Mr. Hideyoshi, he has seven Patriot missiles (that don't fly) and a nuclear armed 'interplanetary' ballistic missile and another missile that he calls the "Super Fighter Hashiba 7". The Hashiba 7 apparently works if it is loaded with liquid oxygen and alcohol, although I wouldn't want to be in the area when Mr. Hideyoshi fired it up. Hideyoshi has even bigger dreams. He next plans to build two Aegis class warships and an aircraft carrier, the Odagawa Domain navy.

He also has a tank armed with cannons and missiles but Hashiba states that they don't fire real ammunition. If he did fire them, he states, he would be prosecuted much more severely than just a simple weapons violation.

Hideyoshi in rubber boots in front of his castle. (Photo from viceland.com)

I learned of the modern Hashiba Hideyoshi through the Samurai Archives and an article on Mr. Hashiba Hideyoshi from viceland.com.