Sunday, August 31, 2003

A story of a flat in Tokyo

It was last weekend. I noticed an open flat in a gorgeous condominium for sale nearby and popped in. The condominium was on a quiet street at central Tokyo, well designed, decorated and maintained. A kind of condominium I never have imagined I could afford before. But Interestingly the price on ad looked not so impossible.

I didn’t mean to window-shopping. Though I am not a rich girl at all, I’ve already got a couple of flats for investment and am looking for third one for my own residence. Why and how I do is a long story. Briefly speaking, three years ago, I was a fresh divorcée having no money, no job, no good job experience, and no man. It was most urgent that I reconstruct my life, job and money at first. So I got my job, then chosen flat investment for money rising from zero. Against popular negative image of property investment in Japan, I had rather positive image for women investing property. For instance, at my high school end days of estate bubble period, there was still a myth of elder OB, who worked as a student part-time nightclub hostess and dated with a property dealer (rich people in bubble period), made good fortune from the commission of introducing her clients to her man for property business while she was still a university student. Some years ago at the middle of recent England estate bubble, an English friend of mine bought a flat room by 100% mortgage planning to resell it later. Also popular image of landlady, like agree greedy old widow, tells that flat owner is a kind of job I could continue when I get old.
These days Japan in middle of deflation, property price in centrally Tokyo went down, the rate of mortgage interest is bottom. They are good wind for me to buy flats! Also I could have practical advices form a good friend of mine who made a fortune from stock option during IT bubble years and invests it to properties. Thanks very much!

Anyway, I went into the half-opened door of the flat “Hello”.
A man from the property agent who welcomed me was wearing casual shirts and looked me rather confused face instead of sales smile those professional sales people wearing clean suites would show with eyes not smiling but calculating if this one has money or not. It made me think the flat had sold out.
This ground floor flat had a living room with kitchen, a small 6 tatami-matted bed room with a fit-in closet and separated Toilet and Bath rooms. Good size for 1-2 people. It also had a small garden, which separated by high walls covered with large ivy leaves that shade the direct eyes from neighbors but windows of neighboring mansions would prevent intruder to garden. Strange was that though there is no sign of living, a fridge and a sofabed with blanket were there. It looked curious.

I asked “What are they?” “ Our stuff stay in this room sometime because vacating long would ruin a room soon” Why has this room vacated long?? I went on
“Who was living in this flat before?” “ A doctor was an ex-owner. His daughter used to live hear.” Mmmmm……
“ Then how many people has come to have a look at this flat so far?” “ Not many. I am surprised that some women had came to” He did not know this area is a popular area for creative women to work and live.
“Had any one been interested in?” “Not yet” Oh! the flat had not yet sold out. So I went on further questions. “Can I ask more details? What the estate condition is? Owner?” “Yes.” The building built on the leased land is cheep, but nothing will remain with me after the land is returned. “What’s the major maintenance history of this building and how much saving money this building has got for future maintenance?” “ ..I’ll check them later if you want” They are important information. Poor maintenance history means shorter building life. Less maintenance saving means they might charge the residence extra for future maintenance.
I finally asked “ Can I see a copy of registration of this flat?” “ I’ll send it you later”
Registration tells everything. Something strange but giving up extracting more information from this quiet sales person, I left the flat.

I received a copy of registration from the property agent several days later. The registration tells history of ex-owner of the flat and now I understand.

In 1991, a year of the end of estate bubble, an ex-owner bought this flat and mortgaged it for 110 millions yen. Unfortunately the ex-owner bankrupted 2 yeas ago and the flat went to auction. The property agency who is selling bid only 14 millions yen last year. It was only 15 years ago when this small flat was estimated the value of 110 millions yen!! a bank really rent him this amount of money.. And within 15 years the property value dropped to about 1 in 10. Today this flat is on sale for 20 millions yen.

What I can say for this flat is, in Japanese “Tsuwamono domoga yume no ato” from Chinese old poem. A place once mighty warriors battled for their dream but nothing left, empty. I’m afraid I don’t know what to say in English, I’ll be glad if anyone can tell me saying in English for this Japanese phrase....

Thursday, August 28, 2003

My shelter


Escaping from earthen troubles, indulging in music. It's a kind of cafe half of me wish to success but the other half want to be a hidden quiet place.......

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Good Voice

Digital Eve Japan, a part of Digital Eve, is the non-profitable organization run by a mix of Japanese and non-Japanese females. Joined recently with growing interests in P2P and Blog, I've heard a very interesting voice there some days ago.

This cozy coven sells an original T-shart whose design is a CG illustrated Ukiyoe type Geisha women wearing Kimono and half covered by Futon and looking into the PC monitor on its front. I must admit that at first glance, I thought it's not a taste of Japanese but this foreigner taste of Japanese women looked as some promising sign of INTERNATIONAL organization.

One Japanese member appealed to change this image because this traditional geisha image dose not represents modern active high tech-minded women like ours. Yes!!! She has pointed two important themes.

Not only Geisha-girl in tradition, but also Enkou-girl, yellow cabs?cimages of modern young Japanese females are still prone to relate sex. Japanese female is supposed to be easy internationally. It's sad but it's true. We've got to behave carefully not to accept such discredit and try to eliminate it from around.

The other is that although traditionally being "international" for Japanese meant rather Japanese accommodates to foreign culture, it's about time to look for the way to coexist with foreign culture. Accommodating is not the real COMMUNICATION. Accommodating was the style of days foreign cultures meant just the sources of novels to appeal among Japanese. For Digital Eve Japan being well COMMUNICATED international organization in Japan, both Japanese and non-Japanese tastes must be reflected equally to the image picture.


p.s. I don't mean to deny Ukiyoe Geisha at all. It's great art. I am happy to love those drawing as art. What mattered here is just a commercial message thing.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Summer Nostalgia

It's the summer day today!! I almost forget what's the summer day like after long rainy days this year. A lazy afternoon vivid contrast of glaring sun and cool shadow makes. Very nostalgic is the summer afternoon.


By the way, my blog beautification has shown some progress (even maybe toward mess!). I owe this progress very much to Ken Loo about his advice! I come to understand indeed it's NEVER difficult at all to use many features provided for blogging such as a comment box, a counter, link manager and more. All my surprise it was the matter of "copy and paste" to appropriate position in my template codes. To add these features, just go to the featuring sites, and those sites kindly ask the information I need to fill in then generated codes for my blog automatically!
Tags are totally strange language to me, (Though there are many comment words inserted, they are written in English which require me extra concentration to read as alphabets are not my native letters..) but I see now there are lots good automatic translators from and to tags. It's the good mutual culture.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I / i

Writing few blogs, soon I became aware of being strange uncomfortable to use "I" for my accounts of what I do or I am. It was subtle. Like slightly miss-tuned guitar cords which become getting on my nerves eventually. I thought at first it was because of foreign language...But why it is this very simple word...."I".....?

I cannot know if this is popular feeling for everybody starting to express in foreign language. At least this incredible woman, TRINH T. MINH-HA had much more to say in so and so elegant manner.... (though I am not really understanding yet!) quate:



Writing: an on-going practice concerned not with inserting a "me" into language, but with creating an opening where the "me" disappears while "I" endlessly come and go.



Infinite layers: I am not i can be you and me
A critical difference from myself means that I am not i, am within and without i. I/i can be I or i, you and me both involved. We (with capital W) sometimes include(s), other times exclude(s) me. You and I are close, we intertwine; you may stand on the other side of the hill once in a while, but you may also be me, while remaining what you are and what i am not. The differences made between entities comprehended as absolute presences--hence the notions of pure origin and true self--are an outgrowth of a dualistic system of thought peculiar to the Occident (the "onto-theology" which characterizes Western metaphysics). They should be distinguished from the differences grasped both between and within entities, each of these being understood as multiple presence. Not One, not two either. "I" is, therefore, not a unified subject, a fixed identity, or that solid mass covered with layers of superficialities one has gradually to peel off before one can see its true face. "I" is, itself, infinite layers. Its complexity can hardly be conveyed through such typographic conventions as I, i, or I/i. Thus, I/i am compelled by the will to say/unsay, to resort to the entire gamut of personal pronouns to stay near this fleeing and static essence of Not-I. Whether I accept it or not, the natures of I,i, you, s/he, We, we, they, and wo/man constantly overlap. They all display a necessary ambivalence, for the line dividing I and Not-I, us and them, or him and her is not (cannot) always (be) as clear as we would like it to be. Despite our desperate, eternal attempt to separate, contain, and mend, categories always leak. Of all the layers that form the open (never finite) totality of "I," which is to be filtered out as superfluous, fake, corrupt, and which is to be called pure, true, real, genuine, original, authentic? Which, indeed, since all interchange, revolving in an endless process? (According to the context in which they operate, the superfluous can become the real; the authentic can prove fake; and so on.) Authenticity as a need to rely on an "undisputed origin," is prey to an obsessive fear: that of losing a connection. Everything must hold together. In my craving for a logic of being, I cannot help but loathe the threats of interruptions, disseminations, and suspensions. To begin, to develop to a climax, then, to end. To fill, to join, to unify. The order and the links create an illusion of continuity, which I highly prize for fear of nonsense and emptiness. Thus, a clear origin will give me a connection back through time, and I shall, by all means, search for that genuine layer of myself to which I can always cling. To abolish it in such a perspective is to remove the basis, the prop, the overture, or the finale--giving thereby free rein to indeterminancy: the result, forefeared, is either an anarchic succession of climaxes or a de(inex)pressive, uninterrupted monotony--and to enter into the limitless process of interactions and changes that nothing will stop, not even death. In other words, things may be said to be what they are, not exclusively in relation to what was and what will be (they should not solely be seen as clusters chained together by the temporal sequence of cause and effect), but also in relation to each other's immediate presences and to themselves as non/presences. The real, nothing else than a code of representation, does not (cannot) coincide with the lived or the performed. . .

--Trinh T. Minh-ha, from Woman, Native, Other

Monday, August 18, 2003

looks like...

NHK has a program featuring life of Carlos Ghosn who is a charismatic foreign manager in Japan as a rescuer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.. A-ha, the first time I realized Carlos Ghosn takes after Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean in face and fashion somehow.……..

Friday, August 15, 2003

Power Down

The power down which Tokyo citizens have been threatened of high likelihood of experiencing this summer due to the shortage of the supply caused by suspension of nuclear power plant's operations happened in North-east America and some part of Canada.

Modern countries seem to be likely to share seeds of the same trouble..........wish they'll be OK soon.

And the cultural difference I felt is those words

New York Gov. George Pataki said. "People are responding the way they should," "We can look at each other with tremendous pride."
Bush thanks citizens for 'proper and calm response'

I cannot imagine Mr. Koizumi, PM of shy Japanese would talk to us like this and such word is captured by any Japanese newspaper header.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

P2P

I just wonder these people really have been fined and paid for P2P in America?

My current job has something to do with networking. (I have my confidentiality obligation about details) Networking people is likely to flout P2P (because it dose not obey the network model based on the server-client system.) And they appreciate an idea like this which can restrict P2P usages in the network by allocate less bandwidth for P2P and more for proper? mail and web accesses.
Personally, how can I resist the idea and culture of P2P!!!

CINEMA : Callas Forever

A fictional story of Opera diva, Maria Callas's making fake comeback with her friend (a powerful promoter old gay guy) in her last days. Neither artsy nor first class movie. Recommendation for rather home video watch. Personally, it's wonderful to watch jobs of those first-class creative professionals who dedicated their entire life for their professionalism. Say Maria Callas, how she is herself (not selfish), yet charming.

Near the end of the film, Maria Callas says she wanted Callas( her stage-name) but she should have wanted to be a woman... It sounded ironical (after watching her professionalism) to me who have good success neither in her professional nor her private life so far…

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I heard from blogger help that BlogSpotPlus upgrades are done on a pre-domain basis. Then they upgraded my blog to BlogSpotPlus for me. Lovely, thanks!!!

Also I had help of Microsoft FrontPage to edit my template. Encouraging tool for a language scarer.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

More Headaches

headache 1
Typhoon has gone! But I was soaked again as my favorite Ana Sui umbrella was broken by a blast of wind and rain while walking half way of crossing.….

headache 2
I tried to edit my comment box to hide unwanted information, but the apply button was gray which means I can't press it. I see……...it costs me some for letting me edit my comment box template… Temporary I changed the template. But to pay for or not to pay………

headache 3
I still can't upgrade my BlogSpot to BlogSpotPlus....

headache 4
It’s fan to have a glimpse of a poisoned side of mind of someone I don’t know. It often points out the very truth. But Aug 07 of this one is boring as there is escape from reality that America used A-bombing twice in Japan by substituting the anger against Nanking Massacre and other sins of Japanese during the war for A-bombing. Even though there is some truth what Mr.Smeg pointed out, it’s the separate matter from the fact A-bombings were used by America at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and great number of innocent people died or suffered long their life. It is the right for those people to be memorized their agony and anger against A-bombing, as equal as massacred Nanking citizen has right to express their anger against Japan and victims of September 11 has right to express their anger to terrorism. As the human being, what can be helped by such insult against one’s grave sorrow? I can't imagine.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Headaches

(since soaked a couple of nights ago for watching Beckham.....)

headache 1
I am trying to upgrade my BlogSpot to BlogSpot Plus while I am waiting my boss for a meeting which was due to start 2 hours ago and have got this message:

Blog*Spot Plus ordering is currently under maintenance. Please try back later. Thanks.

headache 2

Yesterday there was a welcome drink party for a couple of temp people to our section of the office. There are always 4-5 young female temps who always sticking together and all of them including main guests together canceled the party....Although I as a tiny one of female workers wish to see other females around as self-fulfillment companions It's difficult to deal with these females who dose not response individually. (Yet each individuals clam that they must be given appropriate task to exhibit best of own abilities.…..)

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Beckham samaaaaaa

Tough I am not of those "Beckham samaaaaa", still very excited to see Beckham and Real Madrid's match with FC Tokyo at the National Stadium in Tokyo yesterday.

Anyway, the match was not the official, but a fun game as one of Real Madrid's money-spinning promotional tour in Asia for sustaining their star players. And there was the only Beckham among star players on the pitch full time. Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos came on after the break, Zidane did not show up. We,54 thousands except FC Tokyo supporters enjoyed Beckham run, Beckhum kicked the ball, and Beckhum made the first goal!!!!!!!(and Ronaldo’s too) Summer fun under summer squall. (And I’ve god a cold today...)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

TO DO

・ To master my new digital camera (the first one I had ever!!)
・ To all appearances my comment box displays unwanted IP address and server name. I need to hide them.
・ To add some links
・ To join the ring.

anything hints of editing the template can discourage me.......
see how is going....

Saturday, August 02, 2003

CINEMA : ATANARJUAT, THE FAST RUNNER

at IWANAMI Cinema, Jinbocyo, Tokyo.

No gun fights, no car chases, no artificial constructions, no cool talks, lots row meat eating, tow men in love with a girl, few murders, an evil spirit, a seduction, a runaway and return and forgiveness to all. This film focuses on the human life through a traditional legend of Inuit folks living in a sheer icy nature of the north Baffin region of the Canadian Arctic. I wonder if I should be pleased to find common themes with modern life, or if I should reflect that the human life has not changed much despite of great development of artificial circumstances in modern life?

Personally, I had the strong intimacy to Inuit folks because they have very north Asian faces. With icy landscape in the film, it brought my imagination to the Mongoloid ancestor’s journey of passing across the Baring Strait on foot chasing mammoths in the glacial age of 40 some thousands years ago and cruel history upon their descendants last some centuries.

The pictures of modern Inuit’s were displayed on the wall of the cinema’s lobby and say, “ They no longer live in a traditional style. (Of course like Japanese no longer live in Samurai style.) They live in well central heated house with 40 inches satellite TV and snow mobiles as a vehicle.” ……OK, I’ll put this region on an upper of my wish-to-live-in list!