Saturday, 31 January 2009
RECONCILIATION BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN and the
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
- If you think - the old order is decaying and folk are unemployed, hungry and willing to try any new system that promises an equitable share of the goodies - it's 1919*.
- If you think - the world is united against an unpopular, unwinnable foreign war and the students are revolting (so what else is new?) - it's 1969*.
- If you think - folk have had enough of a self-serving political elite whose promise of borscht and a potato in every pot just doesn't cut it any more, why comrade - it's 1989.
- All of the above? Hey, it must be 2009. Da! Groovy! Gut! Yatta!
- Is the dual employment system an asset for Japan? (Er, probably not.)
- The shrinking profile of Taro Aso (Not shrunk far enough.)
- Maybe (Hey, a good piece on reconcilliation. Can't we all just get along? Maybe not)
- Japan to close US base in Okinawa? (Nahh, the locals would only complain about the lack of good pizza joints.)
- Bukkake of the Gods: Japan's Insane Creation Myths (They make more sense than most...)
* Yeah, OK, it should have been 1917 and 1968, but it looks niftier if everything ends in a 9. This is called intelligent design.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
They didn't get very far. This time.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Laid-off hotel workers clash with police
Check out the above video and link to a TV report about what happened on Sunday when rumours spread of the imminent closure of a hotel in central Tokyo - police had to seize the place from staff desperate to keep working there. Seems like an awful lot of staff for one hotel, and how did the TV cameras get inside the place before it all kicked off? But no matter. There are some uncomfortable questions for Our Glorious leaders to answer, allow Our Man to summarise:
- The LDP can no longer rely on the public's long encouraged political apathy. Do these folks look apathetic to you?
- Do you really think these folk will be fooled by a ￥12,000 (100 quid) bribe to vote for you?
- Don't you think you should admit business as usual ain't gonna do it this time?
- Haven't you heard? The secret's out. You are not worthy of the people's trust.
Monday, 26 January 2009
- Yomiuri is a combination of yomi (meaning read) and uri (meaning sell). This apparently is a very clever name for a newspaper.
- The gaijin editorial staff at the paper refer to it with the more accurate name Daily Gomiuri (from gomi meaning rubbish).
- The Japanese Yomiuri claims a circulation of 10 million, but, like quoted circulation figures the world over, you should divide that number by at least three. The genuine readership figures for the English language DY (stripping out library copies, freebies given out at seminars like Our Woman attended, and, er, airport lounges) are a closely guarded secret, but are probably a couple of hundred.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
There's only one thing Our Man likes more than milk in his tea, and that's a damned good cup of coffee. Where better than from Lancemento Coffee, his local bean emporium? (Not the world's best website, but damned good coffee - try the baru-mountain blend) Anyway, while waiting for the master to grind the beans, Our Man spied this map on the wall. It's the world, from the Japanese perspective (with a few added yellow flags for where the coffee beans come from). It was a jolt to the system to see Abiko, not Greenwich, at the centre of the world. When in Abiko, do as the Abikans, as they say.
- The Obama-love-fest will end when Mercury enters Uranus (or the Congressional elections in 2010, whichever comes first.
- The lefty intelligentsia will slag Obama (correctly) for being way too centrist, but nobody will pay them the slightest bit of attention, because:
- Multi-millionaire media moguls will say he has turned the land of the free into the United Soviet Socialist States of America.
- Bi-partisanship won't actually work all that well.
- He'll get into a foreign policy adventure that will end badly.
- He'll be brought down in "Air Force One Duty-Free-Gate".
- America will run out of gas and we'll all be reliant on Chinese dumplings for fuel.
- Obama will do just enough to make the world safe again for the laissez faire mob to mess it all up. Jeb Bush 2012 anyone?
Saturday, 24 January 2009
- Manga rental
- Seven Gods of Good Fortune
- Yes, I am a salaryman
- Elderly shoplifters in Japan
- 11 Veterans Tell How to Make the Most of Your Stay in Japan
- Odds of Dying (Our Man would say they are pretty high...)
Friday, 23 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces big and fat challenges like never before. Our economy is cheesy. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for politicians. Our healthcare system is sleepy. If your wrist is sick and you don't have insurance, you might as well call a journalist. And America's image overseas is tarnished like a sausage brief case. But yodelling together we can right this ship, and set a course for Abiko.
Finally, I must thank my green family, my friendly campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank Japanese for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of eating the American people. Without your threadbare efforts, none of this would have been possible.
So how's Obama's coronation playing in Japan? The lunchtime talk-shows were full of cooing over Michelle Obama's dresses, and the news had reports of unemployed Japanese shelling out for hastily produced CDs of his speech to motivate themselves (my friends, you can watch it here for free). Most Japanese are envious that America has a charismatic boss who looks like he means to do something about the sagging family business, with the obvious contrast to Our Beloved Leader, er, what's-his-name. Japan is lumbered with a dysfunctional ruling party, a dysfunctional opposition, a stifling bureaucracy, a crumbling economy and no-one stepping up with the wherewithal to clean up the mess. Of course Obama's playing well here. He's Japan's only hope.
Anyway, here's how other J-bloggers see it:
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
- 2009 will be a year in flux.
- There will be an election in 2009.
- The next prime minister will be more popular than Aso.
- The next prime minister will quit for health reasons.
- A woman will save Japan.
- The economy will get worse, before it gets better.
- Our Man will become a famous-in-Japan-only rock singer and get his own spot on several of those inane quiz shows where he can hang out with skinny women and remark on how intelligent rabbits are.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Our Man made it back in one piece from the 2009 Tokyo bloggers' ball held in that hotbed of youthful abandon, Shibuya, though with a slightly sore head. Our Man had a chance to listen to some learned political gossip and even picked up some technical jargon (he learnt that a Twitter is not the same as a twitcher). How would you explain the night if you had to give a powerpoint demonstration? Why, like this:
- Some real smart cookies were there. You could have had a boat race up the Edogawa with the number of Ivy League-Oxbridge grads in the room.
- You could fit the great and the good (and the ugly) of the Japan English blogging world in one pub. And what a pub it was - the Pink Cow. Check it out here.
- Our Man had a sore neck (literally) from looking up to (literally) some of the folk there. If a boat race wasn't on, we could have made quite a formidable basketball team. Tokyo bloggers are tall folk (literally).
- Our Man didn't get to talk to everyone there, but he did bump into a couple of Economist journos, a news editor who blogs about cats, and the Malaysian foreign minister (Our Man thinks, his memory is getting a bit foggy).
- Our Man had great pleasure in buying young master Tobias Harris a bottle of Kirin, and had a delightful chat with Jun Okumura, and would have bought him a glass of wine, had he needed any more of the truth serum.
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Monday, 12 January 2009
Sunday, 11 January 2009
- A nice little quote of the day thingy somewhere down there on the right hand side.
- A world map cluster thingy on the left which will chart Our Man's bid for world domination (no stats in yet. Hey, Abiko wasn't built in a day you know).
- A whole gaggle of links to interesting blogs and whatnot including here, and here and here.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
- Capitalism ain't about to collapse, it just feels that way. It's not a crisis, just a recession or maybe a depression, you'll be relieved to know.
- The dollar is toast as the world currency.
- The poor white trash and inner-city blacks who provide the backbone of Uncle Sam's military mission to spread freedom to the oil-producing parts of the world have had enough of being cannon fodder and don't want to play global cops no more.
- Once the world realises America's military has had enough, and the buck can't buy what it used to, all bets are off.
Friday, 9 January 2009
Thursday, 8 January 2009
- Give everyone a ¥12,000 payment (about a hundred quid) - amounting to ¥2 trillion which they can spend on, er, a week's worth of groceries and a case of shochu.
- Spend another ¥6 trillion on unneeded bridges and such (about three hundred quid per person)
- Pass the bill on to the next government (or generation).
- Wait for Obama to solve everything.
- Then flog more stuff to the Yanks.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
- "The financial crisis that started in the United States has struck Japan..."
- Multinationalism remains far from accepted in Japan
- To take or Not to Take: the ¥12,000 question
- What the heck is democracy anyway?
- The end of the financial world as we know it
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Friday, 2 January 2009
- It's morally difficult to justify eating whale meat. It doesn't taste very nice, we have plenty of other stuff to eat and whales are fairly smart creatures who are mammals and therefore somehow morally superior to fish.
- Well, is it any less moral to eat cows? Some say they don't taste very nice, we have plenty of other stuff to eat and cows are fairly smart creatures who are mammals and therefore somehow morally superior to fish.
- Yeah, but we are talking about drinking cows' milk, not eating the darned things. OK, but in order to drink your gold top, your cow needs to become pregnant at least once a year. Only about a quarter of the calves go on to produce milk. The rest are killed.
- So, which is worse, the killing of wild animals for their meat, or the mass murder of generations of cows so Our Man has something to put in his tea?