Friday, January 30, 2004

Fu! Fu! Fu!

is my smiling. Can't stop smiling Fu, Fu, Fu, that I am about to finish reading the last volume "Return of the King" of Lord of the Rings. Only the last section left!! Will be finish this weekend! I mean I am reading it in English edition. Was not easy task for straw head like me to read foreign language books of such volume.

Indeed, back to the last century, it was 1998 when I spotted a news that Director Peter Jackson was filming LOTR originally due open in winter 1999. I did not know LOTR at the time but some magic worked on me to incline to read the story and read it in original English.(Japanese edition which seemed to be translated by old scholar of English literature did not sound alive at all.) Think this is my re-communication to English language, which reads to current writing my blog in English. Thank Peter Jackson launched each installment of LOTR good pace to me to finish reading each volume right before each LOTR opened.

Like long and hard marathon, the happiest of the happiest moment is right before passing the goal line. Heart has lighted as entering the last lap out of discouraging after discouraging during long lonely run, now with each steps hope grows brighter and brighter, here come to last very few steps!! Almost certain that the goal is at my hands. Yes! such the brightest moment !!!Fu,Fu,Fu,Fu...
Once passed the goal and stopped, I know would breath shorts, body starts to feel sweat and in pain, reflection of the race come up in mind and the next harder race begins. Must indulge this very moment right now.

Saved a fortnight before cinema opens on 14th Feb in Japan, seems got to study before going the cinema check.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Office life

Got an e-mail at office titled "For Women stuff" last night. It was sent from a female colleague of such age that her child is already University student, a leader of some section of general affairs division, to all the women stuffs of no matter of job title and position but in few floors of building she is concerning. In her mail, she says "in order to get more confident place for women worker" and suggested three rules that;

1 Do not Make-up and Mouth wash at Ladies within office hour.
2 Do not Make-up too frequently at office.
3 If go to neighborhood convenience store in office hour, ask boss the permission to go out. (she really use the word "permission"!)

At a glance, almost thought it was joke. Come on. It's 21 century. And woman needs rule to restrict make-up and mouth-wash hour at ladies to be a confident worker?? Woman needs rule to ask (male) boss permission of everything to be a confident worker?? Woman is a kid??But the mail sounded serious and also very commanding. She really believes in so.

Nearly 20 yeas has spent since the Equal Employment Opportunity Law between men and women was introduced in Japan, here still is a remnant of old view holder within women workers, of days that women workers in office meant assistants to male workers. It's easy to say that she is old-fogy, but I rather see how difficult for ordinary people to catch up and update. Those people who dose not enjoy adventure of catching up as a life. Why is it difficult for her? Why couldn't she realize change of women's work style within the office? Why can't she have interest in seeing change of women's work style? Lots to observe her.

Anyway I immediately wrote her back by "Reply to All" that although grooming in Toilet and going shopping in office hour are not recommended, these cases are applied to men and women therefore no reason that only women have any rules and say to ALL stuff if they are so important rules. Hope she dose not take it emotional.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Ueno changes

As a Tokyo local, at my school days, friends around me mostly shared the similar memory and understanding and interest to towns in Tokyo. For instance we used to see that Shibuya is a hometown of Kokushikan University that meant never disturb heads of male cheering groups. As time goes by, I am still what I was and am standing and hanging around the same places but people around me has been changing, majority of those who came from other area no longer has the same perspective to Tokyo towns as mine. Yes they no longer hesitate to live towns like Kachidoki, Fukagawa, Hikifune, Minami-Senjyu at all. They just see any towns in terms of nice shops and convenient transportation. OK, Tokyo is Tokyo what they think. Good that dark and damp part of Tokyo inherited from old social system is now gone from people's perspective. Everywhere is and everywhere is clean, sanity and bright white under fluorescent light and offer the same high quality of goods and services at every shop.
So now Ueno too is quietly about change.

Louis Templado of Asahi Shinbun lighted warmly upon the very last moment of old Ueno.

Asahi.com : “Change comes at last to former gateway to the north”

I might be just a nostalgiast. But Tokyo is my only native town. Can't stop feeling that, once again after property bobble period, Tokyo is changing from the town of sequent of own nature and life and history of local people to just one of large towns on the world map to offer job and life to resident.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Gal Letters

Ahhh, while I am still struggle to master my new mobile phone, young girls create new letters for mobile-mail so that if someone next to them in crowded train looked into their writing and reading mobile mails, of if their parents checked their mobile mails sneakingly, contents of mails are never understood. How cool they are to create own letters unlike those bloggers worry to be found their blogs by their parents and employers. It is called "Gal Letters" and here some example;


ぁァ・
ぃィ・レヽ・レ丶・レ)・レ`・L丶・Lヽ
ぅゥ・宀・ヴ
ぇェ・之・工・ヱ
ぉォ・才
カゝ・カ丶・カヽ・カ`・カゞ
(キ・(≠・L≠・‡
<・〈・勹
ヶ・(ナ・レ†・レナ・|ナ・l+・Iナ
〓・=・]・⊃
廾・±・(十・L+
ι・∪

ξ・ζ・`ノ・丶/・ヽ丿
ナ=・+=・†ニ・ナニ
干・千・于
っッ・⊃
τ・〒
┠・┝・┣・├

ナょ・十ょ・†ょ・ナg
(ニ・|=・丨ニ・L=・I=・
йё
/・丿
ハ〃・ハo・'`・八
ヒ〃・ヒo・・・・・匕
フ〃・フo・ヴ
ヘ〃・ヘo・~
ホ〃・ホo
ма・α

£′・厶
×・x・χ・乂
м○・σ
ゃャ
ゅュ
ょョ・∋ яа

L|・l)・レ」・┗』・└丿
ゐ・儿・lレ・」レ
яё
з・З・□・回
ゎヮα

ω・冫・w


One sense I cannot stop adoring their visual sense to create new letters and their network to spread cool thing fast, but the other sense rings something that what strong exclusionism is there to create own internal letters for mobile mail. Of course when beeper was major tool for young communication before mobile, young were great master of beeper message numbering. But creating own letters!! Under their fashionable outlook, I see original Otaku like inward power there. "otaku(you) like this?" Here, strong exclusionism by friendship who share the letters in youth and there, the wave of internationalization and ever hotter heat of English study in Japan. Feel unbalanced.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Blog is...

I 've got flu this week.....bad!(though good to loose x'mas and New Year extra weights...)
Today's Nikkei newspaper on Page 13 has an item mentions blog with a headline;


"easily startable web board"
NEC and VB's entry into the market.
and
for more marquee

the word "blog" is mentioned in the item and has separate column to explain details. what is blog. But is the blog web board as explained in the headline??This was old argument among early Japanese bloggers I think and I don't think there was good conclusion.(most bloggers were disagree.) And here this Japanese dominant financial press paper say it.
Anyway NEC's biglobe is going to start blog service this spring and "goo" too. Some more VBs "will start too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

SPA! says

from SPA Report of 1/27 edition. (SPA is a weekly magazine representing Japanese working men in 20’s and 30’s ‘s voice.)

Better not married for guys in 20's and 30's guys.
marriage means little pocket money, life become sucked and controlled.

Psychologist Chikako Ogura said in her book about growing tendency to put off marriage in Japan, there is new wannabe-house-wife syndrome among young Japanese women. Their ideal life is that husband has all financial responsibility, she has some valiant job from her hobby, house keeping and parenting children must share equally with husband and after children grows must make self-fulfillment with husband’s financial backup. For a view of men who work at uncertain job circumstance ever, marriage to such women means money and life are sucked and controlled by wife and still have to devote more to his wife. Is it the marriage men want? What a point for men to have dependant marriage?


Here again MONEY is matter of love and marriage for a point of Japanese young guys. Though good that men have questioned it. It is true that not only those dreaming Martha Stewart type, but also majority of young women who well educated and seek self-fulfillment have relatively week interest in taking real responsibility like financial matter.

Anyway Ogura-san has well described such women. Plus what Ogura-san did not point, is that those women has a joker that is a marriage to foreign guy!! (This case money is no longer matter)

Friday, January 16, 2004

Difficulty

Second question of the Friday 5 this week is


2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook?


Mmm...I can understand each single words yet cannot understand what's high school yearbook and what's senior quote in there.
Looking back my Japanese high school life long ago, yes I had a book full of pictures of our 3 year life at high school and all name and address of teachers and students, I can guess the high school yearbook must be this book though "yearbook" sounds rather annual, has no word indicate graduation. And senior quote…...my guess from my experience is graduating students write some words or small sentences or what want to become in future in this yearbook, which I did at graduation from elementary school only. Checking online dictionary, Yearbook seems what I guessed but there is no reference to senior quote.
I have no gaijin boyfriend(s), no gaijin colleague and no close gaijin friends around to ask for in my real life. Ha……..wonder how and when I can confirm my guess..
This is the problem of studying language of alien culture, need journalistic chase to fill the cultural understanding gap behind the words.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Typical unproductive day

I am writing some document which is due tomorrow therefore planed to finish today.
But something is wrong today.

So far

    8:35___ wake up out of some dream, whereas alarm clock was set to 8:00 to wake up at 8:15 for NHK soap drama “Teruteru Kazoku”.
    8:45___ felt my body heavy and still stayed in bed gazing at “Seikatsu hot morning” on NHK, though it’s a time to leave home in my ideally spanning.
    9:15___ dragged out of bed and washed and make up face dully.
    9:30___ stared vacantly at wordrobe for what to ware.
    9:45___ no appointment at work and private, choose casual Morgan sweater and joseph pants.
    9:50 ___ paper garbage is collected once a week on Thursday at my local, so tied up old news papers.
    10:00__ left my flat. My body is still too heavy to ride on my commute bicycle, walked to the station to take train.
    10:25 __ Out from the station.
    10:30 __ looking at MacDonald and thinking of American Beef, had desire to taste American Beef. Stepped into the shop.
    10:35__ eating MacDonald just to confirm I don't like ANY fast food at all.
    10:55 __ left MacDonald.
    11:00__ got my office.
    11:05__ made an instant coffee and have a break anyway.
    11:25 __ made another coffee for extra break.
    11:45 __ made another coffee to feel to start work.
    12:45 __ realized I'm WebRolling for an hour with a coffee.
    13:00__ chatted with colleagues in lunch break.
    13:15 __ some mails came and read them while.
    13:30 __ opened the file I am writing but remembered some mail to write and some job to do.

And so on.
    17:10__ writing blog! and my tongue is still numb from solty Mac fried potatos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Omotesando shopping

Passing by Omotesando street yesterday, chill air made me think of a new winter coat and bold red letters "Sale Sale Sale" on the window of every shops invited me so strong that I couldn't resist it.

Recent Omotesando, private unique shops have been wiped away and there lines world dominant fashion brands shops such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vitton, Armani,etc,,,, in sum typical high street shops seen any major cities in the world. Ah what reason they have to be at Omotesando! But if I go to those bland shops I prefer to go to not Omotesando shops but Ginza shops for stress free with some reason.

Unlike Ginza shops or other shops in the world, at Omotesando street, not small population of shopper with me at shops is young baby-type lady with her boyfriend. I know what to buy and ware is their choice ..but the scene annoyed me is like:
find nice one at Sale which seems fit me but still pretty expensive even for me who has equal income as men in my age and has no one to sustain, my thought oscillats to buy or not checking all my wardrobe items and all my money spending plans in near feature etc for certain time that a shop assistant turns away, finally decide to give up with struggle and left it from my hand. Then a moment later, one of those young lady with her boyfriend picks very that one up casually coos to her boyfriend standing in some distance that I want this one and he says OK and makes payment.

Hey, I mean it's not about jealousy to young lady. And I don’t care if they were typical young girl and sugar daddy shopping. am not a bint.
What touch my nerve is that most of those boyfriends are their 20's or 30's, not paying for his lover but single guys buying present to keep his girlfriend or wife in future. They look rather successful but sure majority has income not very higher than mine. From a point of her boyfriend to pay for that cloth which I who can spend all my income for myself hesitate with its price means he must be saving somehow and somewhat for his own expense. Poor men. Many Japanese men in his late 30's and 40's are still be tainted by greed developed during bubble period and seems to see the way to get girlfriend is to present posh brands bags and shoes and clothes lots and to take her to posh restaurants. Of course I love to have presents, but never the purpose. What enjoy is presenter’s taste and mind to choose it for me. Indeed imitating dirty old man from younger age, and no power left to develop own taste and culture, how they could become sexy men? Poor men and so to women who seeks a boyfriend not for his wallet but to love and to have exciting talk

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Dream Gate

Last night, was having a talk with a head of some career consultant firm who kicked me into the company I am currently working and somehow keeps in touch, and heard about this project. He is busy business person running own firm and head hunting for clients but is recently enjoying working for this project as one of professional supporters and sees this project worth to concern!

It was my first time to hard about this project!! This project,
Dream Gate is a governmental support project to facilitate entrepreneurship in Japan.
(English detail is here) With new Law for the Support of Small and Medium Enterprise Challenges introduced last year which enabled to start business with 1 yen in capital first time in Japan, this program means to help people feel easier to get benefit of this law.

Indeed this is excellent community site I've hardly seen. It has 61 mailing lists and 500 BBSs to discuss users for variety of topics concerning to start types of own business( shop, SOHO, venture company, etc) and 160 professionals are there for giving private advice in variety area of accounting, management, law, finance, patentee and etc, and plenty of information, seminar, book fair etc. It says this program is aiming to appeal for people to realize there is a life other than employee of some company. I agree with it. Japanese in majority needs to aware that there is life other than just performing exactly what told to do by their bosses and don’t do what not told to do.

Anyway anybody who understands Japanese and has pa plan to start business in Japan is highly recommended to check this program.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

My Dearest!

My half a year old digital camera OptioS has stopped working. It's lens comes forward with switching on but returns back next moment. He must be exhibiting jealousy of my concentrating how to use my INFOBAR! This is why I don't have much gadgets.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Mars

Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit" made landing on Mars at 4th of Jan for searching what is and lives on Mars and already has been sending NASA the color images of the surface of MARS real time. Good they are (even real time images are) available to watch anytime over Internet.

And Mars! Mars has been a name that which rouse our imagination toward cosmos. People used to be enthusiastic to discuss if there is ever Martian living in Mars or at least any life on Mars. My future Dream in 21st century at my childhood was a Mars base astronaut exploring outside our Solar system. Seems I was beleaving human being would be settling down at Mars and adventuring for further in 21st century.(maybe influence of some SF stories) Yes, many great SF story tellers and illustrators had inspiration from Mars and gave us great work! Even my low-spec memory,,,,,,anythig about Mars, Mars,,,,..M&M Chocolate Yummy! Mars Bar, Yes, typical Martian image from "Mars' Attack" of Tim Burton, beautiful Odyssey "The Martian Chronicles" of Ray Bradbury, classic "the War of the Worlds" of HG Wells or modern "Total Recall", can't miss "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" of David Bowie and as a Japanese girl, yes “Star Red” of comic writer Moto Hagio was my favorite!!


My head is thinking that the news that Spirit made it right after Japanese Mars probe "Nozomi" 's fail must be exciting.
Yet gazing the image of the Mars on TV screen of PC monitor over and over hardly turn on me. What became of me? When people saw an image of human being standing on Moon on TV first time, people must get excited with the picture!! Then why me not this time? As just picture matter, photo technique of Mars image is really bad quality. Picture of South American desert taken by professional photographer could be much wonderful. Even images of recent games have high quality. Picture of Sept 11 or Iraq War ever has much stimulation to our view to the World.

I understand well in my head that the exploration on Mars has great meaning in science research, game is fantasy and war is death and ruin. But somehow it made me feel uncertain that my sense of feeling against images from TV screen or PC monitor which is the majority these days are really OK or ,,,,,,,,,,,,horror to think:

Monday, January 05, 2004

Where is Shrine manner??

Went to Hatsumode to some famous Shrines in Tokyo over new year days, realized manner for Shrine seems going to fade away. Even people in their 30's and 40's with their children just walk to the main shrine, stand in front of wooden box in front of main shrine, throw some money to the box, couple perms and prey while and turn back, which is in sum, rather temple manner. Not many were preying with the least Shinto manner of 2 vows, 2 hands and 1 vow.

I am usually far from religious mind. But therefore I see pure religious attitude is beautiful and have respect to any religions (except cult!) and like to obey their manner when I drop in religious places for taking little time to reflect my life and focus matters need to be overcame in my mind. At Shrines I respect Shinto-manner, at Temples I respect Buddhism manner, at Church I will bent my knee down with my hands joining at my chest with respect to a man on cross in front of me and will say amen. (If I had a chance to go to Mosque which never been, will ask manner)

It's sure that this vague attitude of Japanese to Shrine is because Shinto is still a sting in Japanese mind that it was once an icon of Japanese nationalism over East and North Asia, which caused the World War 2. Of course the war was wrong. But what wrong to find guilty and reflection was politics that went to militarism and relationship between politics and religion at the time. What to atonement is to start from sincere talk to neighbor centuries instead of avoiding matter with pain in minds.
Wonder where this sting in Japanese mind is going in future and where’s Shrine manners? By the time can we gain watching eye to politics such as why Koizumi who is going to send Jiei-tai to Iraq has to go to Yasukuni Shrine out of many Shrines in Tokyo for his Hatsumode this year?

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Year 2004 bigins



My year 2004 started watching Noh play at open-air Noh theater of a local small shrine, Hatomori-Jinjya. Only 15 minutes walk from crowded Meiji shrine, here had darkness, quietness and this sublime Noh play.


Happy New Year 2004!


My new year resolution No 1 is to master my new mobile phone Infobar. Shocked me was that some elderly next to me holding the same type mobile phone as mine was taking movie of the Noh play and recording voice mail the same time, both of which I still have no idea how to!

No2 is master blogging better of course.