Ok

By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

29 September 2020

Is the world coming to the end or changing its course for the better?

What I am writing might include inappropriate things. 

Recently, the world is in turmoil. High temperature caused big forest fires in Brazil, California, Australia and other parts of the world, much more frequently ever before. 

The pandemic by novel corona virus shut down or suppressed many of human activities. Over 1 million people died since the outbreak. No good medicine is discovered yet. 

How are we going to deal with such matters?

Are we just being frightened? 

Or maybe we’ve got a chance to rethink our way of life. This pandemic and big climate change forcibly changed our lifestyle.

California decided that the state would allow only electric cars in new car sale market from 2035. 

More people work at home using internet. No time loss for commute. Seems like pre-industrial era, where most of people work at home or near their residence as farmers or craftsman. Internet enabled us to do similar things to what we do in office or school. Why not have we done that even before the pandemic? 

Due to the high unemployment rate and unstable job market, people lost their jobs or get less income. To mitigate this situation, some economists propose “Basic Income” measure in which the government provide minimum level or less amount of income for living to all the people of the nation monthly. 

In Japan, this year 100,000 yen (900 US $ worth) money was  provided to all the Japanese nationals once a few months after the pandemic broke out. 

The presented measure is to do it monthly all time around but abolish unemployment benefits, social welfare and retirement pension. But no homeless people on the street. 

Such things would never have happened unless the pandemic broke out. 

Because we are forced to stay home and work from home, we have to think of alternative way of living. Pandemic forced us to realize how vulnerable we are, and how fragile our world is.

As for the eco-crisis we’ve already faced a long before the pandemic, it has become obvious that people do not need to drive, ride or fly a long distance just for the business or study. Energy for transportation can be drastically eliminated. 

Global warming might cause another pandemic by melting of permanent ice in Siberia or North Pole. This pandemic might become prep-school for another greater ones. 

We all have to be serious about the world ecology crisis. We must act now and keep doing it. 

Even after the vaccine or cure medicine is discovered, we would never go back to the life we had in pre-pandemic era. 

Good lesson and good chance! 

27 August 2020

Film "Bombshell" Trump and FOX culture in America

A real story about women who worked in America's conservative mainstream news media network, FOX during 2016 US presidential election. 

A popular anchorwoman, Gretchen was demoted and finally fired because she refused to accept her boss, Ailes, president of FOX news network. Then she decided to sue him for his constant harassment over a year. 

Another popular anchorwoman, Megyn Kelly was also harassed by him in the past. At first she was reluctant to join Gretchen's lawsuit fight but later she joined for women's rights. 

What was surprising to me was, even in 21st century America, such cases happen in a major corporation and it was really courageous thing for women to file a lawsuit against a boss. 

Women were still dealing with harassment but tried to conceal their emotional struggle in public. They often blamed themselves for what happened. 

FOX and its owner Murdoch supported Trump. Actually FOX culture was really Trump-like, sexist and racist. But people love such culture. Actually, more people view FOX than liberal news channels like MSNBC or CNN. 

FOX is like Goebbels strategy channel, attracting and harmonizing conservative people. The media represents the very honest opinion of some major portion of America who are fed-up with political correctness and diversity campaign. FOX is like silver-fox. 

This year, another election, it seems Trump can be reelected. His opponent, Biden is not a very strong candidate. Even polls indicated Biden has got more support but Trump has been supported by hidden fans who never responded to the surveys. 

America is dominated by FOX and Trump culture. It is just scary but this is the real America we have to deal with. 

04 May 2020

Introducing Japan's gayest TV drama "Ossan's Love" aired on mainstream TV channel

While I locked down myself to prevent novel corona virus spread at home. I just happened to rent DVD drama programs "Ossan's Love" which was aired in 2018 on one of Japan's mainstream TV network channels, TV Asahi. The drama consists of 7 episodes. Each episode was about 40 minutes long.

lgbt, gay, homosexuality

What was shocking to me is the comedy drama featured male gay love affairs all the way although it was aired on the mainstream channel and then it became so popular that subsequent film version was released in nationwide theatres and another version of the TV drama was aired on the same time frame next year.

The story took place in a real estate agency in Tokyo. The protagonist is 33 year-old male worker named Haruta (Middle in the picture.) Although the story evolved around him, the most important character was his supervisor Kurosawa (right edge in the photo), 55 year-old man, which in Japan commonly referred to as “Ossan” meaning “Old guy” usually middle aged.

Kurosawa was head of sales department of the real estate agency, equivalent to vice president of the company and a rich man. One day Kurosawa told Haruta that he loved him and would divorce his wife (Second from right) to be with him. Haruta was shocked to know that because he did not share love romance with his supervisor although he respected and liked him as a good business man.

Kurosawa then asked his wife for a divorce and then Haruta got involved in Kurosawas divorce quarrel. But Haruta also got in love affair with another man, Maki (left edge in the photo) in the office. But Maki had another love affair with another male worker. Two gay love triangles crossed over in the drama. Finally Kurosawa proposed marriage to Haruta.

The drama was all about gay love and love romance between man and woman was sidelined in the story. The gay male characters were portrayed as normal and decent person, not like psychopath or deviant ones. This is the big difference from the past. Gay characters were very normal and positive in the mainstream TV drama. Gay love romance was treated just as equivalent to straight people’s love.

Not just broadcast nationally on mainstream media but the show became so popular that film version and another version in which similar gay love story took place in an airline company using the same main casts next year. In 2019 version Kurosawa was a captain pilot of the airplane and Haruta was a flight attendant. Airline company is really existing company meaning commercial airline company sponsored the program. 

Recently in Japan, more people have positive views on gay relationship and more people have become supportive of gay marriage. In national assembly there are two openly gay members, who call for legalization of the same sex marriage. Some municipal governments approved of the same sex partnership and provide certificates for the residents.

This show reflects this social change.

If you are interested, you can watch the English version of the show on Netflix.

15 September 2019

Film “East Side Sushi” Can Japanese accept the change?

A story of a Mexican American woman who worked in Japanese cuisine restaurant for the purpose of getting a stable job and later came to want to be a sushi chef. The story took place in California.

In Japan you can rarely meet a female sushi chef. It is said that women are unfit for the job because their body temperature is normally higher than men so they cannot grip rice and raw fish properly.

But such things are nonsense. The bottom line is it is just male chauvinism that prevented women from entering that industry.

In the film the owner of restaurant preferred Asian men standing and making sushi inside counter facing directly to customers. It was his intent to keep the image as a Japanese restaurant. She cooked in the inner kitchen. She could make better sushi and never smoke but Asian men who smoked were allowed to face customers. 

Why are we so stubborn?

The film seemed to question how Japanese should deal with new ideas and educates us how to live with diverse population. Meaning we have to give up conventional stereotypes of our own. 

There are many foreigners who do Japanese things lately. There are many foreign sumo wrestlers. There are many women who do what traditionally men do. 

A dark skin Mexican female sushi chef indeed looks odd to us but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. As long as they can make delicious ones, it is desirable. 

In the film protagonist knew importance of freshness even before she became a chef. That is very much related to sushi making. 

Japanese cultures are not just for Japanese to enjoy and preserve but all of the people in the world. 

Besides above, what you can learn from the film is sushi rice is made with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Japanese chef use carbon steel knives, sticking chopsticks on rice is very inappropriate act which resembles funerals. 

Great lessons for Japanese viewers. Most Japanese never knew. 

 

14:15 Posted in Culture, Film, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: sushi, racism, feminism