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29 December 2007

"Cars" reminds me of my driving experience in America

I rented a DVD of animated movie "Cars." The story was one rising racing car "Lightening Maqueen" got accidentally stuck in a forgotten town on route 66. He met cars in the town and learned how to live life. Funny and heart-warming story. Pictures were very detailed and beautifully drawn.

The world of cars living like humans was a great idea.

Looks like cars are living things for Americans. Yes, I know that because I used to drive in the U.S.

My car was '89 Mitsubishi Galant Sigma. 3 liter, 4 door sedan. Kind of luxurious car. I loved that car. I named him "Nobunaga" after famous Samurai lord in 16th century.

Everyone who drove my car said "moves smoothly like Cadillac." I was glad to hear that just like I was the one who was given such compliments.  

I drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 7 hours, that was longest drive in my life. The roads were wide. 1.5 time wider than Japan's. He was very nice friend to me.

When I left the U.S. and sold him to new owner, I gave him beer for the farewell.


Well, I guess that is the memory of 20th century. This is 21st century. People are well-aware of environmetal crisis. Cars are releasing green house gas. Also, what we have to pay attention is crude oil is running out. The oil is said to be run out in 40 years. That is why oil price is getting high recently.

We need to use public transportation instead of private cars to reduce emission. Not the time to enjoy driving.

It is critical time to think about future of our precious earth. Change the current lifestyle for our humankind to survive in this century and next century.

That is the main theme of 21st century.

Hope all of us have a happy new year.   

16 December 2007

Christmas in Japan

Can you believe Japanese celebrate Christmas?

 As you know, our people are predominantly Budhist. And even among Budhist, only a small portion of them practice it seriously. Most of our people are atheist.

Unlike Europe and the U.S. Japan's Christmas is basically commericial event. Good for business.

History goes back to late 19th century, Christmas was imported from the West. The below photo is taken from the top page of newspaper in December 1937.


As you see, it says "X'mas," that is misspelling. No ' is needed to spell Xmas (Christmas.) That is the ad of lady's boutique. "Christmas sale for lady's hats and furs." Surprisingly the same page posted the news article of Japanese imperial army's victory in Nanjing battle, former capital of China. That is where Nanjing massacre took place. I can't believe people celebrated the war victory and Christmas at the same time.

I "You Tube" today's Christmas in Tokyo.

Please click on Christmas in Tokyo.

First scene is the flyer for Christmas mass in church.

Second scene is brass band playing Christmas song.

Third scene is Santa Clause from Finland spoke and translater translated what he said.

He said, "I was surprised that there is no snow in Japan. So I had to use good Japanese automobile instead of a sleigh. In Finland, fairies are making presents for good children."

Last scenes were illumination of famous shopping mall, Shinjuku Southern Terrace. 




17:15 Posted in Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: christmas, religion, history

13 December 2007

"Revolution of The Weak behind The News" by Mika Tsutsumi

I just recently happen to know Ms. Mika Tsutsumi and read the book written by her.

The title was "Houdo ga oshiete kurenai America, Jakusha-kakumei (Revolution of The Weak behind The News, Why America still has Hope)."

The author graduated from the university in New York. Her major was the same as mine, International Relations.

After she graduated, she worked for Nomura Securities near the WTC and witnessed 911 attack. She got shocked to see what happened there and how Americans reacted to this incident. Then she became journalist and wrote the book. The book won the hornorable Journalist Award in Japan.

The book described how severe living in America is if you are poor. The most common bankruptcy case is inability to pay medical expense. If you are born in poor family, you cannot go to college because the tuition is too expensive for you. Military recruiters take advantage of high school children of the poor families. The military has all the lists of children left behind. High schools are obligated to provide students' personal information to the military by law. They call you and tell you that if you join the army, the army provides you the college tuition, and free medical treatment.

But such things never happen even after you join the army. You have to pay advance fee to get scholarship for the college, it is too high amount to pay by your cheap military salary. The military hospitals cannot provide adequate services because there are too many waiting in line. Why recruiters lied to you? He was afraid to go to the front line in case he could not meet the target line for recruitment.    

People in general are mindless and ignorant about the current situation. That is why they are easily manipulated by Big Powers. They don't know how Bush cheated the elections.

America was not free country as many believed. But she claims there are still many who want to change this harsh situation and some of the things they tried succeeded.

Well, I hope this book would be published in English, in USA.

There are things you don't know as long as you live in your country.

I learned some new things about my country when I was in U.S. Let's know about both of us each other.

If you want to contact her, I recommend you to visit her blog site. It is in Japanese. But you can easily find her email address on that site.

I am writing a novel using the facts introduced in her book. The title is 4 American Hostages in Baghdad.

06 December 2007

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Hawaii trips!

December 7 is Pearl Habor memorial day for you. For us, it is December 8 because of the time zone difference.

Pearl Habor is famous for the navy base which had been attacked by Japanese imperial army in 1941. More than 2000 GIs were killed.

I visited there when I was in college. I flew to Hawaii from San Francisco. I was there on vacation.


At that time, I was kind of ignorant about history. I did not feel guilty or express condolence to the dead soldiers. Now I do.

People in Japan claim we've had far more casualties than Pearl Harbor by the U.S. air raids afterwards. But historical fact is Japan bombed Chinese cities and killed so many Chinese civilians. That caused the tension between the U.S. and Japan. It was even before Pearl Harbor. 

Some Americans consider Pearl Harbor and 911 the similar things. They are NOT.

In Pearl Harbor, the army targeted only naval base, not civilians. In 911, the target was mostly civilians. The terrorists knew the twin buildings contain private companies. Japan declared the war against the U.S. although it was delayed mistakably.


I have been to Hawaii, three times during my college days. Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island. I enjoyed staying there.

I want to come back again.

21:25 Posted in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: College days, Hawaii