On August 30th of last year, Yukio Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) were swept into power in a landmark election that saw dissatisfied Japanese voters turn out in droves to expel the former ruling Liberal Democrats (LDP) in favor of Hatoyama and his reformist pledges.
I did not know how to cook fish before coming to Japan, mostly because fish in Michigan is either dreadfully expensive or of very poor quality. In Japan, things are obviously different. Sure, Greenpeace would have you believe we’re over fishing the oceans and will run out of fish sometime this century, but I believe in moderation.
My ambivalence towards the Japanese blind date, goukon (aka konpa), stems from participating in a few this past month. They are extremely unnatural and childish, and yet rather amusing after the fact. You are forced into a seating plan, usually a boy-girl pattern, so you canâ€™t escape from a less-than-desirable person like you would at a bar back home.
Miyazaki? What is that? Do you mean Hayao Miyazaki, the famous animator or perhaps his son, Gorou Miyazaki? Or perhaps you are more familiar with the words Hamasaki (Ayumi Hamasaki), or Miyagi? No, I meant Miyazaki, as in Miyazaki prefecture. Before I came to Japan, I also had no idea about this prefecture. Now, I would like to introduce you to wonderful Miyazaki Prefecture and all it has to offer.
If you read my basic 101 article, you can see how Kimono is quite an expensive tradition. If you are a gaijin girl who is not as lucky as the many J-girls in this generation who inherit a closet-full amount of kimono from their mothers, are not bloody rich, or do not have a fairy-obaa-chan, Iâ€™ll give you a quick run down on how to get real quality, traditional kimonos, at decent prices.
If you consider yourself a cinema enthusiast, you need to see the Hirokazu Koreeda (pronounced Kore-eda) film After Life (ãƒ¯ãƒ³ãƒ€ãƒ•ãƒ«ãƒ©ã‚¤ãƒ•). After Life is more than just a good movie; it presents a vision of life after death that can give anyone hope. Film lovers especially, however, will find themselves nodding in ferocious agreement when one of the deceased remarks, â€œâ€¦that really is heaven.â€
Japan’s as quirky as a Seinfeld character. Its oddities, for me, are what make it such a fun place to live.
Taj Ultimate is a two day ultimate frisbee tournament where teams and players gather from all over Japan and even from all over the globe. Taj Ultimate is also famous for its BBQ dance party. During the party players get a rare chance to relax together and get to know each other. It isnâ€™t often that you get to meet people from all over Japan in one area.
Aioi is a small town. It has a Shinkansen station and about 10 ALTs living there. There are two izakayas and a supermarket. I once met a couple of tourists at the train station; they were there to change trains. This weekend was an opportunity for a revolution.