Thursday, June 29, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
A couple crazy kids in China, lip sync'n to the Backstreet Boys. I'm sure most of you out there have already seen this, but since I've only just discovered it I consider it my duty to share it with the world! (Despite the fact that it is not directly related to Japan in anyway, unless it is to remind those of us here in Nihon how far behind the rest of Asia Japan's English education system is. I mean, who needs JETs when you've got the Backstreet Boys)?
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Unfortunately I'm back in Japan, just in time to miss it all. Luckily I was able to make a breif cameo at Cleveland's annual Pow Wow at Edgewater Park before getting back to work after a 10 day stay in my home sweet home of Ohio, known to almost every Japanese person I meet as the Good Morning State (^-^)/.
The last time I had the privledge of attending a Pow Wow was almost 2 years ago at Mohican, before begining my new life as a JET in Japan. You can read more about Pow Wows and see a lot more pictures here and here.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I'm back in the good ol' US of A for my best friend's wedding, which finally gave me a chance to see Daremo Shiranai, or Nobody Knows, a film I have wanted to see since before coming to Japan in 2004.Seems you can take the gaijin out of Japan, but you can't take Japan out of the gaijin (^-^)/
Inspired by the "Affair of the Four Abandoned Children of Nishi-Sugamo," Nobody Knows is based on the true story of 4 children abandoned by their mother in Tokyo in 1988. Each born of a different father, the children's births were never declared, making them legally non-existant. Even in the real world their existance reamined a secret. Never allowed to attend school, only the oldest boy was even permitted to leave their small apartment. Abandoned by their mother, the children lived alone for six months, and were only discovered when one of the young girls, weakend from malnutrition, died in an accident, tragically ending their desperate adventure. Unbelievably, not one inhabitant of the small apartment building was ever aware of the existance of the 3 young children.
For anyone interested in modern Japan, Nobody Knows is an amazing, moving, and heart-breaking work of art, offering a rare and fascinating glimpse into the culture of modern Japan, and a thought-provoking study of human nature.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Japan's total fertility rate, an indicator used for international comparisons of birth trends within individual countries, fell for the fifth consecutive year, hitting a record low of 1.25.
At the same time, suicides in Japan topped 30,000 (32,552) for the eigth straight year.
Not a good combination.
This year the number of students committing suicide reached 861, up 9.8 percent. University students accounted for more than half of the total, along with 7 elementary school pupils, 66 junior high school students, and 215 high school students .
Japan's cult suicide scene is also growing, with the number of Japanese killing themselves in groups rising steadily in recent years, from 34 in 2003 to 91 last year.