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Rom's Room
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Today it seems to me that many Japanese young men don't even know that a century and a few decades ago W. S. Clark, an American educator, left us a very important message: 'Boys, be ambitious.' I dedicate my blog to those young men here in Japan who enjoy the right to be happy but seem to have been unfairly precluded from being so, hoping that they will accept my message hidden in this blog and that they will be ambitious. I also dedicate this blog to those cosmopolitans of various nationalities who are very interested to know about Japan. I'd be very happy if this blog was found to be of some help.

Here are three kind comments from abroad:
'Your blog is great, so much information. I have to say that your style is very professional, and I see that you are a gentleman. I think many can learn from you. I will spend more time to read about you and the dynamic discussions you have with others.' - Scott from California, United States
'Your blog is both beautiful and interesting.' - Rita from Moscow, Russia
'I really enjoy going through your blog.' - Lorena from Puerto Rico

Tay (NYC) and Amy (UK) have also complimented me on my blog, and I really thank them all for their generosity.
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Amy's Vignette

2010/06/17 02:27
An English girl switched on her laptop one day to check her emails. She did not know it, but today something out of the ordinary lay in wait for her.

In her inbox there was a message from a polite Japanese gentleman, she was both intrigued and delighted, she quickly replied to the man, hoping to hear from him again soon.

Nearly two years had passed, many emails had been shared between the two, and the man was kind enough to pass on information about so many things, even teaching the girl things about her own country and history.

A further sixty years had passed and the girl had become old and the world around her had changed drastically. She sat on her chair with grandchildren crowded around her feet as she read to them the one hundredth vignette from the Japanese man's book, printed many decades ago.

The children heard the story with a sense of awe and walked away excited and chattering. The now-old woman smiled tiredly, knowingly, as she thanked God yet again for her friend from so far away....
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Vignette XLIV

2010/05/12 19:10
The Singaporean Law and the Eleven Lustful Men

Singapore is widely known as a country where laws are very strict. One day eleven men of different nationalities visited the city-state and went to the brothel. After things were over, each of them was told that oral sex was illegal there, which all of them happened to be ignorant of. The reactions of the men were as follows:

The German apologized for his ignorance and turned himself in to the police.
The Frenchman asked to be fellated again before being arrested.
The American blew his top and threatened to ask his government to pressurize Singapore to abolish the law.
The Briton, wavering between going and staying, regretted having recognized the independence of Singapore.
The Italian, ignoring what he had heard, now began to woo the performer.
The Spaniard thought to himself: 'Que sera, sera.'
The Russian sullenly ordered another bottle of vodka to be brought to him.
The Finn inquired as to whether he had enough time to take a sauna.
The Chinese spat on the ground and fled.
The Korean insisted on his innocence, claiming that he had been deceived.
And the Japanese killed himself.

A Finnish translation by Hanna

Singaporen laki ja yksitoista himokasta miestä

Singapore on laajasti tunnettu maana, jossa lainsäädäntö on hyvin tiukka. Eräänä päivänä yksitoista eri kansallisuutta olevaa miestä vierailivat kaupunkivaltiossa ja menivät bordelliin. Kun kaikki oli jo ohi, jokaiselle heistä kerrottiin, että suuseksi on laitonta, mitä kukaan heistä ei ollut etukäteen tiennyt. Miesten reaktiot olivat seuraavanlaiset:

Saksalainen pahoitteli tietämättömyyttään ja antautui poliisille.
Ranskalainen halusi suuseksiä uudestaan ennen pidätystään.
Amerikkalainen raivostui ja uhkasi pyytävänsä hallitustaan painostamaan Singaporea poistamaan lain.
Britti, joka epäröi lähteäkö vai jäädä katui sitä, että he olivat tunnustaneet Singaporen itsenäisyyden.
Italialainen jätti huomioimatta kuulemansa tiedon ja alkoi liehitellä prostituoitua.
Espanjalainen ajatteli itsekseen: 'Que sera, sera.'
Venäläinen tilasi synkkänä pullon lisää vodkaa itselleen.
Suomalainen kysyi, olisiko hänellä tarpeeksi aikaa käydä saunassa.
Kiinalainen sylkäisi maahan ja pakeni.
Korealainen intti olevansa syytön ja väitti, että häntä oli huijattu.
Japanilainen tappoi itsensä.

A Spanish translation by Isabel

Viñeta I. La Ley de Singapur y los Once Hombres lujuriosos

Singapur es ampliamente conocido como un país donde las leyes son muy estrictas. Un día, diez hombres de diferentes nacionalidades visitaron la ciudad-estado y fueron a un burdel. Tras haber finalidazo, bajo su ignorancia, a cada uno de ellos se le informó que la práctica de sexo oral era ilegal. La reacción de los hombres fue la siguiente:

El alemán se disculpó por su ignorancia y se entregó a la policía.
El francés pidió ser felado de nuevo antes de ser arrestado.
El americano se sonó y amenazó con pedir a su gobierno para presionar a Singapur a abolir la ley.
El británico, que oscila entre irse y quedarse, se arrepintió de haber reconocido la independencia de Singapur.
El italiano, ignorando lo que había oído, empezó a cortejar a la intérprete.
El español pensó para sí: "Qué Será, Será".
El ruso hoscamente pidió otra botella de vodka para que le trajeran.
El finlandés preguntó si había tiempo para tomar una sauna.
El chino escupió en el suelo y huyó.
El coreano insistió en su inocencia, alegando que había sido engañado.
El japonés se suicidó.
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Vignette XLIII

2010/05/04 17:09
The Most Beautiful Thing about Japan

An American friend of Rom’s asked: ‘What do you think is the most beautiful thing about Japan?’
Rom replied: ‘What do you think it is?’
The American said: ‘Sakura, Fujiyama, kimono, geisha....’
Rom smiled wryly and said: ‘They are all very beautiful indeed and there’s no question about it, but there are several things that are far more beautiful than them.’
‘What are they?’
‘Well,’ said Rom, ‘you can’t see them because they are invisible. It is the historical facts that Japan is the first and only non-European country to have ever allied with the British Empire, then the champion of the world, and that despite having been devastated by US bombings she rose like a phoenix from the ashes and achieved the prosperity she enjoys today. It is also to be remembered that had Japan never stood up against Western imperialism would the world have still been a place where the Caucasians behaved as if they were master of the human race, treating all the nonwhites as their tools.’

A Spanish translation by Isabel

Viñeta II. Lo más bello de Japón

Un amigo americano de Rom preguntó: ¿Qué crees que es lo más bello de Japón?
Rom contestó: “¿Tú qué piensas que es?”
El americano dijo: “Cerezo, El Fujiyama, los kimonos, las geishas…”
Rom sonrió irónicamente y dijo: “Todas ellas son muy hermosas y no hay duda alguna, pero hay varias cosas más bellas que esas”.
“¿Cuáles son?”
“Bueno,” dijo Rom, “no puedes verlas porque no están visibles. Son hechos históricos que Japón es el primer y único país no europeo que alguna vez se alió con el Imperio Británico; a continuación, fue el campeón del mundo y, a pesar de haber sido devastada por bombardeos de EE.UU. resurgió como un ave fénix de las cenizas y ha logrado la prosperidad de la cual goza hoy en día. También es preciso recordar que si Japón nunca se hubiera levantado contra el imperialismo occidental, el mundo habría sido aún un lugar en el que los caucásicos se comportarían como si se tratara del maestro de la raza humana, tratando a todos los no blancos como sus herramientas.”
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Rom Talks with a UK Veteran

2010/04/21 01:20
Yesterday I had the great honour of exchanging ideas with a UK veteran named Gordon, with whom by divine providence I made friends on InterPals (http://www.interpals.net/). Here is the text with some minor alterations. I hope young people will learn something from our discussion.

Rom
Sorry for my silence, my dear Gordon. How are you? I hope you are very well. May I ask a question? What opinion do you have of the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942?

Gordon
Hi Rom. Glad that you are back. Had a very busy weekend in my garden but the weather has changed back to winter today so no gardening. In answer to your question: The invasion of Singapore in 1942 should never have happened. The Japanese forces fought their way down Malaya and entered Singapore with a far smaller force than the British believed possible. We believed that the attack would be frontal and our fixed guns were facing seaward. We were caught out and surrendered before the facts were known. Churchill issued orders not to surrender but we did and the rest is history.

Rom
Thanks for your reply, my dear Gordon. As you know, I'm Anglophile and I understand that you didn't want it to happen, but I wonder if it wasn't the United States that was to blame for it. If the Anglo-Japanese Alliance had been still effective, the Japanese would have never invaded your colonies in Asia. America didn't like our alliance, so they did everything possible to sever our good relations. Thus ended the Alliance. By the way, don't you think it a good thing that most of your former colonies are now independent? After all, the War in the Pacific only brought freedom from imperialism. I hear Arnold J. Toynbee praised Japan for proving that the Europeans aren't invincible. I find him to be a fair-minded historian. As far as I know, FDR did want to help Churchill when in June 1940 all the Continent had succumbed to Nazi Germany. Great Britain was now alone fighting against Hitler. But the US president couldn't declare war on Germany because he had promised his nation that the US would always be neutral. So Churchill advised FDR to provoke Japan and he did. This was how the Pearl Harbor Attack came about. Was FDR unhappy? No. He was happy because now he had cause to help his ally. Had there been no Japan, all Europe would have been lost.

Gordon
How did FDR provoke Japan? I know Churchill and FDR were friends and you are quite right that America helped by Lease Lend at the start of the war but from what I have read Americans did not want any war because the money men were making money on the sidelines.

Rom
I hope my opinion hasn't offended you, my dear friend Gordon. Being Anglophile, I really hate the period when we fought against each other.

Gordon
Not at all Rom. I too wish our two nations had never fought but to me (and I suspect you) all wars are futile. It is either religion or envy which causes them. For instance, Hitler could have beaten us if he had invaded us in 1941 but he thought we were a "Aryan" race so he turned his attention to the Soviet Union for more living room having called the Russians "sub human". How wrong he was!

Rom
American people in general didn't want to get involved in the war in Europe, but FDR thought it necessary to send US troops to Europe to turn the tables on the Axis. FDR provoked Japan by stopping exporting oil to Japan, freezing Japanese assets in the US, and urging Japan to retreat from China (Manchuria). This was enough to provoke Japan at that time.

Gordon
Yes, but Japan invaded China in 1937 for the same reason as Germany invading Russia. Living space and raw materials.

Rom
I completely agree with you, my dear friend. By the way, have you ever watched the Soviet movie titled 'Ballad of a Soldier'?

Gordon
Yes. I have also seen how the Russians defended Stalingrad and how thier brave soldiers drove the nazi invader back. I have been most interested in Russian history from the time of Ghengis Khan to the present day. It is refreshing to be able to discuss things as friends.

Rom
I don't mean to quarrel with you, my dear friend, but I'd like you to remember that the British did invade (or colonize) North America, Gibraltar, Malta, Africa, India, Burma, Malaya, Hong Kong, Australasia and many tiny islands across the world. Ha-ha. After all, those were the times when we believed 'might makes right'. Let bygones be bygones. Had I been a Caucasian living at that period, I would have acted exactly the same way as most of the Caucasians did, so I wouldn't blame you for it. The important thing is for us to be careful not to let history repeat itself. God bless us. Thank you for your time and good night.

Gordon
Sorry Rom. Got to go, my wife has a job for me. Speak to you soon. Enjoyed our discussion and will speak to you tomorrow. Have a happy and peaceful night. Regards. Gordon
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Vignette XLII

2010/04/19 10:57
The Green Girl

Rom loved communicating with various people from around the world and one day he made friends on InterPals with Nastya, a teenage girl from St. Petersburg, Russia. Rom was really satisfied with his other InterPals friends, more than 20 in number, who were not only very intelligent but were communicative, whilst he was dissatisfied with Nastya, who seemed to him to be either shy or unwilling to communicate with him or both. It would be quite easy for him to remove her from his friends, but he thought it would be unwise of him to do so. Instead, he decided to ask her several simple questions and to reply in a very logical but somewhat offensive way to show his dissatisfaction with her. Now Rom asked her if she was a bachelorette and what she wanted to do in the future.
Nastya said in reply: 'I'm engaged to a Russian boy, a university student, and I'm planning to leave Russia for Western Europe, where I want to live for the rest of my life.'
Rom's reply was: 'That would be unrealistic unless your future husband was a diplomat or something like that. If you really want to live in Europe, then why don't you try to marry someone from there? Considering how things are there in Europe, it would be extremely difficult for your future husband to get employed there. It sounds as nonsensical as if you always wanted to satisfy your hunger without ever having to relieve nature. You should realize that you can't have it both ways.'
Sure enough, the Russian maiden took offense and immediately blocked Rom. What did fate have in store for this naïve girl? She married the Russian boy soon afterwards, but would never leave Russia because her xenophobic husband never agreed to her plans.
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Vignette XLI

2010/04/05 16:39
Finland vs. Japan (2)

A Japanese and a Finn were chatting about this and that.
'Did you know,' said the Japanese proudly, 'that my country has been the world's second largest economy for over three decades now?'
'Yes, of course,' replied the Finn. 'But why do as many as 30,000 people kill themselves per annum when your country has been so rich? And have you Japanese ever had a woman as your head of state?'

Related links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OECD_countries_by_suicide_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_in_politics

Amy's Comment on the Vignette

Coming soon.
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Vignette XL

2010/03/31 19:49
Finland vs. Japan

One spring Rom entered a university in Tokyo, but for some reason he soon got fed up and quit the next spring. What was it that made him so fed up? It was because he disdained to pay a lot of money to be with those nominal students about him who had no respect for academics at all. They all seemed to him to be as childish as if they were kindergarteners rather than university students. Now he was very relieved to have nothing to do with them. Several years passed and he suddenly felt like studying at university again. But he had no intention whatsoever of re-entering a Japanese university. The mere thought of it made him shudder. He wasn't rich enough to pay so much money for his education, so he looked for universities where he could study free. At first he considered studying in America, but it was too expensive for him to study there. One day he visited InterPals, where he made friends with a Finnish girl named Hanna. She told him that her country has some universities that offer free education. Rom studied Finnish so hard that in a few years he found himself to be a student at the University of Helsinki. He was very happy to be among diligent students and thought to himself: 'Finland vs. Japan? Nonsense! The latter has a lot to learn from the former, whilst the former has nothing to learn from the latter.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Helsinki

Amy's Comment on the Vignette

Coming soon.
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Vignette XXXIX

2010/03/28 15:35
Japan vs. South Korea

Two men were quarelling with each other, one being Japanese and the other South Korean.
The Korean said with his face as red as hot pepper:
'You Japanese should always be sorry for having once invaded and colonized Korea. We Koreans shall always remember your tyrannical rule over us.'
'Tyrannical?' replied the Japanese. 'Do you know what a tyranny is like? You always make me laugh. Think twice before you utter a word. We just protected the Korean Peninsula against Chinese and Russian invasion and helped modernize your country, which had been tyrannized for centuries by your old incompetent dynasty. Study the difference betwixt the British rule over India and the Japanese rule over Korea, and you'll realize how good a rule the latter was. Here is a very instructive book for you to read.'
So saying, the Japanese handed a thick book by a world-famous British historian to the Korean, who tore it to pieces and lighted them, reducing them all to ashes.

Amy's Comment on the Vignette (21 May 2010)

Tyranny is an interesting word. Sometimes it's used very lightly, and sometimes it's used to describe the very worst person or situation.

In this case, the Korean person seems to use the word without knowing the true meaning and thus the Japanese person scoffs at this, rightly so. The Korean man comes across poorly in this vignette from the outset, he is quick to anger, which only proves he in the midst of a losing argument. The Japanese man clearly has a greater understanding of the situation and history between his own country and the South Korean's.

So, take away any other message from this vignette and we already have a underlying message: It's always good to strive to know as much as possible, knowledge is power.

Continuing, The Japanese man makes the point that Korea had been ravaged by other countries that had been actually tyrannical and would have been far more damaging, had Japan not stepped in and offered protection and safety. Whilst I'll not claim to know much at all on this subject, I am aware South Korea is now a country which is highly technologically advanced in many ways- up and coming technologies in my country and much of the West, such as broadband internet, has been a household service in the south of Korea for many years now, for example.

The Japanese man attempts to teach and enlighten the South Korean man. Had the South Korean taken the Japanese man's advice he would have learned about some of the awful things the British Empire carried out when ruling over India and surely he would have learned to be less angry and hateful towards the Japanese. This is not to be though, the Korean man clearly has a closed mind, this is cemented by the fact he burns the thick history book offered up to him. As he does this, he burns his bridge to knowledge too, he knows this, but would rather live in ignorance, no intelligent person would commend or condone this.

I think this vignette should serve as a lesson to those who hold resentment to others, be that one person or a country full of people. There may be reasons for what happened between themselves and yourself. Things you don't understand, things that may have been done out of kindness and protection and you should learn to empathise. A person can also learn a little about how a South Korean person and a Japanese person feel about the invasion and colonisation of South Korea by the Japanese.
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Vignette XXXVIII

2010/03/11 19:10
The Coinage of a Word

'Do you speak English?' an American businesswoman said, addressing a security guard who stood at the gate of a public office in the center of Tokyo.
'Yes, ma'am,' replied the Japanese guard, a young woman. 'What can I do for you?'
'Well,' said the American, 'what do you do?'
The guard smiled and said: 'I'm what you see I am. They call me a guardman.'
'No, you are a security guard, not a guardman. And you are a woman. Ha! You Japanese have coined so many English-like words, but you should know that they aren't understood in America or any other place in the world where English is spoken.'
'But you are in Japan,' replied the guard. 'Haven't you ever heard the saying: when in Rome, do as the Romans do?'
'Whatever you say,' said the American, shrugging her shoulders, 'I shall always use correct English. You Japanese should rather use Japanese than coin those fake words which aren't understood in the English-speaking world.'

Amy's Comment on the Vignette (21 May 2010)

I actually find this vignette a little sad. The American woman who addresses the Japanese woman is so rude, and yet this probably isn't an unheard of circumstance, as native English speakers can often be very proud of their own language whilst being ignorant of others, in my experience.

From the outset of the vignette the American comes across as rude. I don't believe she had any business addressing the young Japanese woman to ask intrusive questions and yet, when she was accommodated by the woman, she had the temerity to question and berate her.

The American businesswoman, and hopefully, people reading this vignette, should have known that all languages change and evolve and that this is a natural, inevitable, and often beneficial thing. Her own language varies so much from the orignial English spoken in the United Kingdom and yet she criticises another person for their use of altered English, this seems like an incredibly ignorant thing given her profession as an educated woman.

I think the point the Japanese woman makes should be remembered by all people, whether they are travelling a little distance or very far. If you were to go to someone's house you wouldn't insult their furniture or family, likewise, if you visit somebody else's country, you shouldn't insult their culture or language as you are their guest. People travelling should consider themselves ambassadors for their country, or else all people from their home may be bunched into one group, for example, I hear lots of English people are considered rude and ignorant, even obnoxious.

I also thought it was interesting that the American woman told the Japanese woman she would always use correct English, as she didn't know the second language like the Japanese woman did, therefore the whole conversation in the vignette was carried out in English.
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Vignette XXXVII

2010/03/08 00:53
The Decline of the Richest Company in Japan

It was midnight and Rom was in bed fast asleep, when suddenly his cellphone rang. In fact, it wasn't a phone call but was an email. He took it in his hand and saw the email was from a friend of his, an employee of the richest company in Japan. It read:

'Hello Rom,

How's everything? I've been extremely busy with work for several years now and I'm exhausted. All I can do at home is to sleep to recover my energy. I sometimes wish I could quit, but I can't because children eat my money. I'm at a loss what to do to be less tired. Could you give me any advice, my friend?

Ken'

Rom's reply was as follows:

'Hi Ken,

I deeply sympathize with you about being treated there as a cog rather than as a human being. It's the executives alone that can really benefit from working for the company. If I were in your place, I would quit and either get a job that makes me less tired, or become my own boss. But your life is yours after all and it's up to you to decide what you should do. I wish you good luck.

Rom'

A week afterwards Rom was terribly shocked to hear that Ken had died from what we should call overwork.
'Woe betide those bloodless executives!' he groaned.
God heard this and the president of the company was immediately summoned to the US Congress, where Representatives, mad at millions of his cars that they claimed had caused serious problems in the US, fired questions at him and he shed tears of bitterness. It looked as if he was bullied by his superiors, none of whom he had back in Japan.
'Serves him right,' said Rom to himself, 'but he has yet to reap what he has sowed.'

Amy's Comment on the Vignette (24 Mar. 2010)

This is a very topical vignette, made more important, perhaps, by the fact the author is currently living in the country where the base story of this event is occurring in present time. However, this vignette could have probably been written at any era about any place as companies often seem to exploit their workers in the interest of finances, unfortunately.

Readers following current events in the news may from the outset of the vignette be able to guess what may happen to the poor man called Ken, making his initial cry for help all the more harrowing to the reader. The character of Rom gives wise and solid advice that, if followed, may have saved Ken's life. Being a family man, I imagine Ken may have feared repurcussions from quitting a job with a successful company and chose to stay on working.

This ends in tradgedy for Ken and no doubt his friends and his family, who have not only lost a father and husband, but a salary it's implied, the family was dependent on to live.

Lessons to be taken away from this vignette include that workers should be given better conditions- human life should be valued above money and other worldly things. Greed caught up with the president of the company, resulting in the deaths of those who worked for him and for this he is eventually punished.

"...he has yet to reap what he has sowed," the final words of Rom in the vignette should be remembered by the readers. It is more or less universally believed that bad things you do shall come back to you and the price will have to be payed and people should have empathy and compassion for other people, even those who work below them.

Another lesson, as perhaps a younger reader could take from this vignette is that one should be respectful of their parents and the hard work they do, expecting too much money and possessions from a parent can bring severe and sadenning consequences.

Finally, I am not sure if representatives would be capitalised, Rom, although it's not a major error, if one at all. I also wondered, is 'sowed' grammatically correct or is it 'sown' or even both? I wasn't sure but thought I should perhaps bring the issue up, just in case. Please forgive me for the trivial correction- if it's even a correction at all.

Related Links

NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/business/global/25toyota.html?ref=global-home

YT (US) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy8dYAJZWgE
YT (Japan) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFcJo1WNDkw
YT (Japan) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLw_uQ7Q0_Q
YT (Japan) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-DcALa_jog&feature=related
YT (Japan) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMzchnnMBsc&feature=related
YT (Japan) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDDR1WUhGbQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY3k3CPdaZ0&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKkTbja7weI&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5TEbw0xfU&feature=channel

(Japan) http://www.jicl.jp/hitokoto/backnumber/20080211.html
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Chopin

2010/03/03 02:12
I'm ashamed to admit that I know very little about Poland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland), but at least I know very well that it's the country that has produced that great musician who is known as 'the Poet on the Piano', Frederic Chopin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopin). The day before yesterday was the bicentennial of his birth and millions of people around the world must have celebrated it, going to concerts, listening to his works on CD, reading his biographies, watching TV programs about him, visiting his birthplace, and so on. I have always loved some of his works, which can be enjoyed at:

Nocturne No. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj3CHx3TDzw (Rachmaninov)

Polonaise No. 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEl9zn8JPW8&feature=related (Rubinstein)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHV0ByoaKF0&feature=related (Blechacz)

Piano Concerto No. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNIK1yaKr_4 (Argerich)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg_2ocskhkA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dJv8vWMLT4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nwcn_o866Q&feature=related


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Vignette XXXVI

2010/02/24 19:53
The Ill-mannered Sumo Wrestler

A Mongolian youth came to Japan to establish himself as a sumo wrestler and tried his best to be one of the strongest in sumo history. His effort bore fruit, having won 25 championships thus far. But on the other hand he was far from being a gentleman and behaved as conceitedly as if he was the ruler of the earth. One day he got drunk at a bar and injured an innocent citizen, threatening to kill him. The Japanese media reported this day in, day out and the wrestler was eventually compelled to retire though he was strong enough to play for several years to come.
'You Japanese don't like me simply because I'm a foreigner here, eh?' said he angrily to one of the interviewers. The interviewer thought to himself: 'You are a drunkard and don't even know how to control yourself when you are in a foreign land. How can I bring myself to be a fan of yours? You have no one but yourself to blame for what you got. You should have borne in mind that pride goes before destruction.'

Amy's Comment on the Vignette (24 Mar. 2010)

I think this vignette serves up the important message that whenever a person is in another country, they should conduct themselves as an ambassador for their country and remember to be respectful of cultures and customs different to their own.

It could also be considered a cautionary tale to those who have fame or fortune and think nothing else matters- for the sumo wrestler this is not the case- he has earned championships in the sumo wrestling community but these end up meaning nothing because he has demonstrated to the public he is a mean character and nobody respects him.

The wrestler, from Mongolia, is quick to assume the Japanese public do not like him based purely on his nationality, this seems arrogant; the sumo wrestler cannot seem to face the fact it is he who is to blame for his retirement and infamy, not the people who welcomed him into their country to begin with.

The reader should take away the message that pride can be damaging to the personality and mindset of a person, it's always a good idea to take a step back and attempt to be more humble if you'd like to get anywhere in life.

However, the vignette does not just read as a cautionary tale alone, there is a lot of humour, I feel, perhaps dark, in the pigheadedness of the wrestler, he is adamant he is not at fault and this is quite amusing. The quick witted interviewer is also a source of amusement, I believe, but it's telling he does not choose to say his comment aloud, as he has more restraint and decorum than the celebrity will ever have.

I could not find any error in this vignette.
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mixi

2010/02/07 06:56
About a month ago I was invited to mixi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixi) and signed in, but today I quit it because I found that it would get me nowhere. 99.9% of the users are Japanese, so, as expected, none of them could communicate with me in a way that I find satisfactory and I found them totally useless to me. After all, most of the Japanese are incommunicative unlike many of those from the West and it's fruitless to make friends with them. I really despise those half-hearted Japanese who don't have the guts to try to influence the world in any way possible. Clearly, YouTube, MySpace, etc. are far better than mixi. To be a user of mixi is like being a villager; to be a user of YouTube, MySpace, etc. are like being a cosmopolitan. If so, why should I degrade myself by becoming a seclusive villager when I can make myself understood in the world language? Nonsense!!!
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Education and Money

2010/01/08 23:06
Today I learned while listening to the news program on the radio that many an average Japanese couple with a schoolchild spend more than half of their annual income on their child's education. This not only came as a great surprise to me but also made me shudder. I thought to myself: 'If I ever had a child, then I'd never have him/her educated here in Japan.' Do Europeans and Americans spend so much money for their children? No. Luckily, I've been in love with a Russian woman and I have nothing to do with Japanese bachelorettes. But the number of the Japanese men who are single is increasing rapidly, and that's quite understandable. It is well-nigh impossible for many of them to find ideal girls here in Japan, so they are strongly advised to ignore Japanese girls and try to win the hearts of girls from abroad. In the long run, that will only help change Japan into a better society. Woe betide those who defend those spoiled Japanese bachelorettes!
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The Winter in Russia

2010/01/04 20:45
Today I received a few pictures from Rita, a Muscovite, and they are so beautiful to see that I put here two of them to be shared with anyone in the world who visits my blog. I'm very grateful to her for her permission. God bless Russia!

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The Winter Palace
Antique Collectors Club Ltd
Madame Korshunova

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My New Year's Resolutions

2010/01/01 03:50
Happy New Year! What are your new year's resolutions? Here are mine:

1) Travel to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
2) Read through 'War and Peace' and 'The Master and Margarita'.
3) Write a surrealistic story to be dedicated to Rita, the Russian artist I worship.

Yesterday I got together with my good old friends Mickey and Stefan, and then coming home I chatted over the phone with the Russian woman mentioned above. The three have always been so kind to me that I cannot thank them enough. I also thank Amy, Lorena, Scott, Elia, Taku and my other good friends for having been so generous as to help me make this blog as readable as possible. May God shower down on them all His choicest blessings!

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Grappa

2009/12/28 22:30
Attached is a picture of the bottle of grappa a close friend of mine presented to me on Christmas Eve. I thanked him and proposed a toast to our health. In a few hours we emptied the bottle.
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Who are our enemies?

2009/12/20 19:41
A few days ago I got together with an intimate friend of mine and chatted about this and that at a cozy bar in Tokyo.
'Have you bought any lottery tickets now on sale?' I asked him, sipping my salty dog on a tall stool.
'Yes, of course,' was his reply.
'What would you do if you hit the jackpot?' I asked.
'Well,' said he, with a beaming smile, 'I'd leave Japan immediately for Europe, where I'd stay for the rest of my life.'
'Why Europe?' I said.
'Why not?' said my friend, as if offended by my question. 'Aren't you fed up with those cunning bureaucrats here in Japan who are just conspiring to exploit us citizens? They do nothing productive, and yet they are prospering while we are suffering. Worse still, they have issued trillions of dollars worth of national bonds, and it is not they but we that are supposed to pay back. Nonsense!'
'I couldn't agree with you more,' I said with a frown. 'To tell the truth, I too am planning to leave Japan for ever. Japan's economy is the world's second largest, but its government is the worst among the industrialized nations, and it is highly likely that life here will be much worse in a couple of years than it is now. I shall soon open a bank account at some good European bank and deposit most of my money in it. We should do everything possible to outsmart our enemies!'
We were silent for a while, listening to Svjatoslav Richter playing the famous passage in the 3rd movement of Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto, which was to be heard through the speaker. There was not a woman in the bar, but suddenly a group of noisy Japanese women came in and sat near us. Without giving them a glance, I nodded to the bartender and asked for the bill and left with my companion....
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Rom (Rus) exchanges ideas with Lorena

2009/12/17 13:57
Yesterday I had a chat with Lorena, a girl from Puerto Rico. Here's what we chatted about. If you want to read more of my chat with my great friends from Europe and North America, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/imrussophile and their channels.

Rom
Thanks for the compliment, my dear friend. I find both my channels attractive to me and it is very difficult for me to put one far above the other. But I personally want you to post your comments to imrussophile's channel if it is not inconvenient to you.

Lorena
No problem my friend! And I'll leave more comments here if you prefer.

Rom
Thank you for everything, Lorena. You must be a seraph....By the way, did you know that Russia and Cuba have been good friends.

Lorena
Thank you Rus! And yes, I know that Cuba and Russia have a good relationship. I pretty good with history and everything that has to do with it fascinates me. Too bad the main reason for this alliance is the antagonism tours the US. I have nothing but respect for the people of Cuba, as all Puerto Ricans do. Like one of my favorite poetess once quoted: "Puerto Rico y Cuba son de un pajaro las dos alas." Which means Puerto Rico and Cuba are of a bird its too wings.

Rom
Oh, you love poetry, Lorena? Great! So do I. It is to be deplored that few people today seem to love it. What's the name of the poetess you mentioned? She wrote in Spanish, didn't she? It's great that you can appreciate poems not only in English but in Spanish as well. Unfortunately, I know nothing about Spanish poetry, but I'm very interested in all the poems ever written. Japanese as I am, I almost always appreciate English poetry and my favourite poets are: William Shakespeare, John Milton, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Have you ever read 'Aurora Leigh'? If not, I strongly recommend you to read it. It's available on Wikisource, so you needn't get a copy to read it.

Lorena
Like poetry...? I LOVE poetry! I'm glad we have that in common! My favorite English poet is William Shakespeare, period! But as fluent as I am in English I can appreciate and compare the difference that it has with Spanish. To me its easier to communicate in English because the words flow better, but I find that Spanish poetry is much more powerful than English poetry. Its a shame that you don't speak Spanish so you could appreciate how wonderful our poetry is. When you find the right words, anything that you say in Spanish sounds much more passionate than in English. And I do find Spanish literature much more cryptic. English is a direct and strait to the point language and that's why is the universal language. What differences do you find in English and Japanese?

Rom
It's very strange indeed that I call myself russophile and yet read only English poetry. Ha-ha!

Rom
Yes, English is the universal language, but Spanish is also a universal language, isn't it? It's spoken in Latin America except Brazil and is an official language of the United Nations. Had the Spanish not been defeated by the British in 1588, then the British Empire would have never existed. Well, to answer your question, the difference between English and Japanese is clear: the former is a world language; the latter a local one. Not that I hate my native language, but I like English far better because it is understood worldwide. Generally speaking, Japanese people are insular and I don't find it necessary to communicate with such people. Not to mince matters, I wouldn't resist even if English was to replace Japanese as the official language.

Lorena
All I have to say is thank God the British won that one because if not, the world would be all so boring. A little diversity gives you choices. And yes, Spanish is a universal language as well. Did you know that 34 million people speak Spanish in the US alone and it's 4th in the top ten languages in the world? Also a lot of English words are borrowed from it. 5th is Russian by the way. Have you ever planned to take courses on learning Russian? I plan on learning Japanese starting now on Christmas break. I'm a fast learner but I'm gonna skip the writing, too many characters. Oh and the poetess's name is Lola Rodriguez de Tio. I think I mentioned her once to you.

Rom
I'm sorry I seem to have a bad memory, and I just read about the poetess on Wikipedia. She was an active poetess, wasn't she? Her activeness makes me recall Lord Byron, who helped the Greeks win independence from the Ottoman Empire. To tell the truth, of all the poets I listed, I like him best. If you have already read through 'The Sonnetts' by the Bard, then you should read 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' and 'Don Juan'. Goethe regarded him as the only English poet to be compared with Shakespeare and I have no objection to it.

Lorena
Lord Byron. I've never read any of his work, but from what I read on Wikipedia he sounds to me like a Victorian Era rock star. I wonder what would have happened if I locked him in a room together with Marie Antoinette? Extravagant, melancholic, courageous, unconventional, eccentric, flamboyant and controversial, the makings of a great artist. How would I have not heard of him before? The problem is that aside from Shakespeare, they don't put much emphasis in English literature in my classes. Just on the self-absorbed Spanish. I will make sure to read some of his work. "She Walks in Beauty" caught my attention.

Rom
Yes, Spanish can sound very attractive indeed, especially when spoken by pretty girls like you, Lorena. I have always been of opinion that it is attractive women that make their languages attractive. You will find some videos on my channel where Russian women speak their language. I can't ever watch them without being mesmerized....I want you to read Stanza 164 of Canto II of 'Don Juan'. It reads:

'Tis pleasing to be school'd in a strange tongue
By female lips and eyes—that is, I mean,
When both the teacher and the taught are young,
As was the case, at least, where I have been;
They smile so when one's right, and when one's wrong
They smile still more, and then there intervene
Pressure of hands, perhaps even a chaste kiss;—
I learn'd the little that I know by this:

The epitaph on the tombstone of Lord Byron at Westminter Abbey, London, reads:

But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire.

This is the couplet I like best.

Lorena
Thank you for sharing the videos with me. I'm still watching at part four. I agree on that perhaps woman are the ones that make a language attractive, but I say that men have part on it as well. No doubt that a tortured soul would be responsible for such beautiful poetry. I see why he's your favorite. Russian woman are the ones that attract you the most then. Do you have, apart from Rita, any other Russian woman that also you find beautiful? As for me I like anything that is the opposite of what I see here. I'm embarrassed to say but I must admit that I have a folder on my computer full of pictures of my celebrity crushes. All international.

Rom
I'm the last man in the world to be attracted to women simply because they are beautiful. There are a lot of nasty beauties in the world. Don't you think so? My old friends like Japanese singers like Hikaru Utada, but she is nothing to me. To put it bluntly, Japanese bachelorettes, celebrated or nameless, are nothing to me and I don't pay any attention to them. Well, to answer your question, it is said that Russia has a lot of great beauties in it, and I quite agree. You will find on my channel some videos featuring Russian beauties. Ksenia Sukhinova is not only very beautiful but also noble-minded. So it seems to me. I read about her on Wikipedia, and this makes me think so. There aren't many girls like her. Of course I know Puerto Rico has produced a lot of beauties, some of whom have won the title of Miss Universe, Miss World, etc. Why don't you join the beauty contests, Lorena? You could win the title! Oh, I'm sorry I've missed answering one of your questions, Lorena. Well, I'm planning to learn Russian, but I'll probably never go to language school because I can't afford to do so. Besides, it's too difficult for me to master it. In fact, it is almost enough that I can enjoy listening to them speaking it. English is understood worldwide, and I have no time to be a multilingual. My top priority is to perfect my English as soon as possible. I'm glad to hear that you are interested in Japanese language, but it has so many ideograms to memorize that it would be extremely difficult for people from other countries to master it. I personally think it's a great waste of time and energy that we have to master it. Japan once forced the Taiwanese and the Koreans to master Japanese, and I regard this as one of the most serious crimes ever committed! Thanks a lot, Lorena, for chatting with me today. Would you mind if I put our conversation on my blog? Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Lorena
Yes, I guess a lot of Puerto Ricans are proud of almost beating the US in the number of beauty queens, but the thing that I am most proud of is that we have the premier Engineering and Science institution of the Caribbean and Latin America and the graduates get called by NASA, plus we already have a Puerto Rican on space. Beauty is nothing without brains and learning multiple languages would look good on a resume. Thank you for the compliment Rus. My mom also thinks that I should participate on Miss Universe, but don't all mothers do? I just joke about it, college has been my main priority since I've been in Pre-School. And yes, I don't mnd if you put our conversation in your blog. Anything to help! Thank you for chatting with me today and have a great day...or night.

He's just not that into you [洋書]
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Vignette XXXV

2009/12/14 08:36
Dementia

There once lived in Japan a man who loved classical music. He called himself Rom. One day he happened to learn that listening to classical music could have a very good effect upon the human brain, the growth of vegetables, and of livestock. This led him to hypothesize that it could prevent people from suffering from dementia. Then suddenly the doorbell rang and he opened the door and found a friend of his standing in front of him. Rom let him in, sat themselves and began chatting about this and that over Scotch whisky and their topic was now focused on music.
‘What kind of music do you like?’ asked Rom
‘I love Japanese popular music,’ replied the other.
‘Don’t you ever listen to classical music?’
‘Never.’
‘Why don’t you?’
‘I love Japanese girls and it is listening to their songs that can make me happy.’
So Rom let his opinion of classical music known to his friend, who seemed uninterested from beginning to end.
Four decades passed. Rom was now in his late seventies but was still hale and hearty. On the other hand, his friend was senile and incompetent.
Rom said to himself: ‘You can take a horse to water, but cannot make him drink.’

Amy's comment (18 Dec. 2009)

My interpretation of this vignette is that there are two men, who - I would imagine - come from similar backgrounds and upbringings, from the same country and the same era. They are friends and share the same whisky drink together, but then, due to the friend's indifference and ignorance of Rom's thoery, the similarities begin to end and finally become complete contrasts.

The vignette offers a cautionary tale that, whilst it might be fashionable to listen to contemporary music, it's not a sound which is important or beneficial to the mental health of a person - like classical music can be, as Rom discovered through his research regarding the brain and development.

I think the language used in this vignette plays a large part in making the tale memorable. The use of the title 'dementia' opens the vignette with a negative tone, as this is a frightening disease which nobody should have to suffer through. However, the advice and research offered - although in a fictional setting - is valuable to the reader nonetheless.

The way in which the older Rom is able to recall a fitting proverb to suit the occasion when the other man cannot do a thing ends the vignette with an effect that could be viewed on several different levels. In one way, it further proves Rom's theory, in another, it helps define just how sharp Rom's mind is, in that he can still remember, without hesitation, something he learned earlier in life and it also helps to add humour - although perhaps slightly dark in nature - to the ending of the vignette so the audience are given more entertainment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN8VKuoRwP0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-_rh2QGShM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPB-p8i4P-E&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNhFLhUZN0E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ernTrOfQ65I

Dementia: A Global Approach
Cambridge University Press

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Bowmore

2009/12/13 15:36
Do you drink? I love Scotch whiskies, especially Bowmore. Attached is a picture of the bottle of my favourite whisky I recently bought for the first time in a few years. The distillery is now virtually owned by Suntory, to which I'm grateful for having saved the old brand from extinction. It seems to me as if the Anglo-Japanese Alliance were still in effect. Now let me drink a toast to Rita, Amy, Lorena, and all the other good-hearted people upon this planet. May God shower down on them His choicest blessings!
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ボウモア ダスク 700ml 50度(BOWMORE Dusk)【あす楽対応_関東】【あす楽対応_近畿】【あす楽対応_東海】【あす楽対応_甲信越】【あす楽対応_北陸】【あす楽対応_東北】【あす楽対応_中国】【セール】
年中無休即日発送 お酒の河内屋
■ボルドーの赤ワインで最後の仕上げの熟成を行なったモルト。■シェリー樽とバーボン樽で12年間熟成させ

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My Predictions

2009/11/28 10:32
Nostradamus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus) foretold that the world would come to an end in 1999, but it still is. I'm not a prophet and I wouldn't dare predict when Armageddon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armageddon) comes. Here's a collection of my predictions.

Japan

1) The official language of Japan will be English in two or three decades.
2) Japan will always be under US control.
3) The Upper House of the National Diet will be abolished in five decades.
4) Tokyo will be hit by a great earthquake by 1 September 2023, the centennial of the Great Kanto Earthquake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_Great_Kant%C5%8D_earthquake).
5) Japan will never become a permanent member of the UN Security Council (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council).
6) The death penalty will be abolished in two decades.
7) More and more boys will marry girls from abroad, and more and more Japanese women will die single.

International

1) Taiwan will be annexed to Communist China in two decades at the latest.
2) The two Koreas will never be unified without war.
3) Should Korean War II break out, Japan couldn't stand aloof.
4) The US will have a woman President in two decades or so.
5) If the US has a woman President, then North Korea will regard it as a chance to invade South Korea.
6) A peace pact will never be signed between Russia and Japan.

Rom

1) It will be somewhere in Europe that he dies.
2) He will in the nearest future visit Lake Baikal and rendezvous with the noble-minded Russian woman he's loved from afar.
3) He will always disdain to make himself familiar with Japanese bachelorettes.
4) He will always put Caucasian women far above Japanese counterparts.
5) He will never feel admiration for Japanese celebrities of the opposite sex.
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My Likes & Dislikes

2009/11/24 22:59
Man is mortal, and time is money. I, therefore, firmly believe we should enjoy ourselves to the fullest while we are alive and try our best not to be prevented from doing so. Now we need to differentiate those which help enjoy ourselves from those which don't. I like the former and dislike the latter, and here's a list of my likes and dislikes. I strongly advise you to make your own list.

My Likes (in alphabetical order)

Aesop's Fables http://www.holyebooks.org/authors/aesops/fables_rev/aesop_fables_rev.html
Andersen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen
Amy's comments on Rom's Vignettes http://romkidd.at.webry.info/theme/b6a1adc97a.html
Andy Williams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flm4xcOyiCo
Beethoven http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_van_Beethoven
Bergson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergson
Black humour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_humour
'The Blue Eye of Siberia' by R. K.
Briullov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Briullov
Byron http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byron
Bowmore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowmore_Distillery
Calligraphy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligraphy
Caucasian angels (Find them at http://www.youtube.com/user/romkidd)
Chess http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess
Chopin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopin
Christianity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity
Cycling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling
Dante http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante
Delacroix http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix
Dostoevsky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dostoevsky
English poetry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_poetry
Finland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland
Gary Cooper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Cooper
Goethe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goethe
Grappa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grappa
Greece http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greece
The Grimm Brothers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_Brothers
Hayley Westenra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1pvq4nOTgA
Heihachiro Togo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C5%8Dg%C5%8D_Heihachir%C5%8D
Hemingway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Hemingway
Hermes, a Greek god http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes
Humour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humour
Inazo Nitobe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inazo_Nitobe
Ingres http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingres
Kant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kant
Lake Baikal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Baikal
Lord Palmerston http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Palmerston
Madame Curie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Curie
Mozart http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart
Nana Mouskouri http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WvXpgLtTwY
Nanami Shiono http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanami_Shiono
The New York Times http://global.nytimes.com/
Rachmaninov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachmaninoff
Rakugo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakugo
Repin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilya_Repin
Rita's works http://artnow.ru/en/gallery/0/11818.html
Roberto Clemente http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Clemente
Romaic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_language
Romain Rolland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romain_Rolland
Russian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_language
Russian jokes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_joke
Sapphire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphire
Sarah Brightman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yI1bYFVWIw
Shakespeare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare
Sir Walter Scott http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Scott
Takamori Saigo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takamori_Saigo
Tchaikovsky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tchaikovsky
Time http://www.time.com/time/
Tolstoy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Tolstoy
Victor Hugo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo
World's funniest joke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_funniest_joke

My Dislikes

Ignoble men and women from the Far East, especially from Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kogyaru
Japan's corrupt bureaucrats in Kasumigaseki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasumigaseki) and at local governments
Bloodless executives of Japan's major makers
Haughty bankers in Japan
Japanese ultranationalists who are against interracial marriage
Money-hungry Buddhist priests in Japan
Professional athletes in Japan who leave no money to charities
Japan's quasi-democracy
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Should Japan remain a monoracial country?

2009/11/19 23:54
No, I don't think so. I strongly believe she should lose no time in promoting immigration and interracial marriage because this will help us solve two serious problems at the same time. The working population is decreasing rapidly and more and more people choose to be single. As things stand, Japan will decline and sooner or later will become a satellite state of Communist China. I'd rather die than live enslaved by the Chinks. I always wonder why few people here in Japan try to understand China, which is a very dangerous dictatorship with its nuclear warheads targeted at us and trying every means possible to make us weaker. Fortunately, some of Japanese politicians (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%96%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E6%9D%90%E4%BA%A4%E6%B5%81%E6%8E%A8%E9%80%B2%E8%AD%B0%E5%93%A1%E9%80%A3%E7%9B%9F) are wise enough to think they should promote immigration, but Japanese people in general seem very reluctant to have so many people of foreign origin in their country. This abominable insularity must be overcome. I have never been as insular as Japanese people, and I'm in love with a Russian woman. Some of my Japanese friends also say they are going to marry girls from abroad. I hope more and more Japanese men will be like us. Japanese women have no right to blame us for ignoring them. They have no one to blame but themselves for what is to befall them! I'm now planning to establish an exclusive society where Japanese men and non-Japanese women communicate. If the society flourishes, and/or if the government promotes immigration, we will have a bright future. If not, the end of Japan will be near. What if China should try to enslave Japanese women? What could I do about it? I'd leave Japan without delay, letting the Chinks do as they please. After all, it doesn't matter to me what will become of Japanese bachelorettes because I regard most of them as good-for-nothing. As the saying goes, heaven helps those who help themselves....

折り紙の折り方DVD ORIGAMI(日・英/NTSC版) Learn Japanese ORIGAMI DVD(Eng/JPN.Bilingual)
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The US-Japan Relations

2009/11/13 17:41
US President Barack H. Obama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama) arrived in Tokyo this afternoon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUE-EC8FAmI&NR=1), but his schedule is so tight that, after talking with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukio_Hatoyama) and having an audience with Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress and giving a speech, he leaves for Singapore as early as tomorrow afternoon. I sincerely hope the president will revisit Japan in the nearest future to enjoy his longer stay here.

Mr. Hatoyama seems to have been trying to find ways to put Japan on equal footing with America, but it will be extremely difficult for it to be realized as long as Japan owes its defense to America. If Japan wants to say no to America, then it should first be able to defend itself. Since the end of WWII, Japan has virtually been a client state of America, and even if Japan now wants to be completely independent from America, America won't think of it as a good thing. Of course it is up to Japan to decide to nullify the US-Japan Security Treaty, but, in that case, Japan would lose more than it would get. Once independent, Japan would have no choice but to go nuclear to defend itself against China, Russia, and North Korea, and, as a natural result, taxes would be raised to realize this. How many of the Japanese people would say yes to such a choice? If Japan wants to survive as a free state, then the only choice left for it is: say yes to America as long as she is right. If all the US bases in Japan were removed, and if Japan isn't strong enough, China and Russia would conspire to invade Japan. They have thousands of nuclear warheads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon) and they could make Japan give in in a day. If Japan isn't firmly determined to defend itself against them, it should always do its best to maintain good relations with America. Other choices are unrealistic.

President Obama Speaks in Japan (14 Nov. 2009)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxoAcAu6zTs (1/3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQJHYzljo3I (2/3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyuEzgw_S0M (3/3)
The Full Text of the Speech
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/11/13/text-of-obamas-tokyo-address/

Tokyo Wonderland?And Other Essays on Life in America and Japan
日本放送出版協会
ケイ ヘザリ

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Are Japanese Men Creepy?

2009/11/10 16:06
'No,' should be the answer because it is absolutely impossible to say that they are all creepy. But I was very shocked to read a newspaper article this morning about the murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Lindsay_Hawker). The article says that she told her friends back in the UK that Japanese men are creepy. I wondered what it was that made her think so, and learned while reading it that some of the Japanese men she taught English said obscene words in her presence. If I had been in her place, I, too, would have thought the way she did. But despite her negative words about Japanese men, it is clear that she didn't regard them all as creepy because she visited the apartment of Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has just been arrested in Osaka. Will an attractive Caucasian girl ever visit the living place of the Japanese man she really finds creepy? Never! Be that as it may, the suspect will be soon put on trial and be punished. As a man sows, so shall he reap. My sympathies are with the parents of the late English girl, and may her soul rest in peace.

How Scrutable Are the Japanese!: Learn How to Teach English to the Japanese and How to Speak Japanese at the Same Time!
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To Study at Home or Abroad

2009/11/09 11:50
I have recently heard that Her Imperial Highness the Princess Mako of Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Mako_of_Akishino) has passed the entrance exam for ICU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Christian_University), which is one of the prestigious universities in Japan. I personally think it's a very good thing that those of Shintoist families should study at universities founded by Christians. That will only help remove barriers between religions. Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Michiko (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Michiko) is also a graduate from the University of the Sacred Heart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_Sacred_Heart_(Japan)), established by a Christian group, and the said princess wasn't the first member of the Imperial Family to study at other universities than Gakushuin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gakush%C5%ABin_University). It is also well-known that Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess Masako (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Princess_Masako), one of the three daughters of Hisashi Owada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hisashi_Owada), President of the ICJ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice), is a graduate from Harvard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_University), which is regarded by many as the most prestigious university in the world. Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako are proficient in English and I sincerely hope Princess Mako will be too. As for myself, I once attended a Christian university in Tokyo, but I quit for several reasons. I, therefore, don't have a diploma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma). Do I want one? No, but I sometimes feel like studying at college for the purpose of debating with students. But I never imagine debating with Japanese students, most of whom are far less diligent than those in the US. I once heard someone say ironically that it's impossible for him to differentiate college students from kindergarteners here in Japan, and I found him quite right to say so. If I were ever to study at college again, then I'd never be here in Japan but at Georgetown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown_University) or Emory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_University), which are more attractive to me than the Ivy League (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_league). But amongst my heroes are Shakespeare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare) and Hemingway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Hemingway), neither of whom has a diploma, and I will probably never study at college again.
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Sports and Music

2009/11/06 08:59
This morning I read a newspaper article about New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideki_Matsui) at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/sports/baseball/06tokyo.html?_r=1&ref=global-home. I myself belonged to the baseball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball) club when I was in my early teens, and I had long loved this sport as many men and boys do here in Japan. But I've been so occupied in recent years that I've been quite indifferent to it. In fact, so many pro ball players have been blamed for their use of steroids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabolic_steroid) that I was almost fed up with them. But Matsui has always been an exception worthy of respect and I was also pleasantly surprised to learn yesterday that he loves Mozart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart), whom I love too. I personally think it does matter what one likes. It seems most pro players have little or no interest in classical music and this is the very reason why I despise them for their tastelessness. I believe anyone who wanna succeed should be more interested in classical music. It is to be noted that Otto von Bismarck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck) was a great admirer of Beethoven (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven), and that Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmuth_von_Moltke_the_Elder) was of Mozart. I once heard that Shigeo Nagashima (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeo_Nagashima) also loves Mozart and I was really impressed. I presume it was Nagashima who initiated Matsui into Mozart's soothing music, which is loved worldwide by a lot of people of all generations and which is said to have a very good effect upon human mind. Peter I. Tchaikovsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky) once said: 'I love Mozart as the musical Christ'. I completely agree and I despise anyone who has heard of Mozart but has no respect for his timeless masterpieces.
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Violin Concertos

2009/11/04 04:52
Here's a collection of my favourite violin concertos.

J. S. Bach

Violin Concerto No. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbHVIwSMJrw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK4umBDWczE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YfCTKbsuHQ&feature=related

Violin Concerto No. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SGdzbQAzoo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHilgSdcP4M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3tqmZQh4hg&feature=related

Mozart

Violin Concerto No. 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiqaaO1SYT0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMBCcJ0OTWk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYhpePoHY3g&feature=related

Violin Concerto No. 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR82JNRUF2A&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19iljm3y_Q&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPnmDCtQwrI&feature=related

Violin Concerto No. 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvuaNbfCI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoPv3lpBcdc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37_2t75Yn88&feature=related

Beethoven

Violin Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObjK05bCnH8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iboUWQdpkg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EoS4EYQO6w&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWGO33nM97g&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snqO0mGRxK8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvEdtyHhvDs&feature=related

Mendelssohn

Violin Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLKXD_Ar5CM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbVI0qmzXB4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oL1jplPYNY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzswC5tvY-I&feature=related

Brahms

Violin Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQdjXkPta0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmUafGQTWvw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVthkq_nJPg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtpO0ObeSkc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPKjNSGwOZ4&feature=related

Tchaikovsky

Violin Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFXEdMuXl0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L2HTNHNAX0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdbM7kZz-lU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrVMmRWzRSM&feature=related
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Piano Concertos

2009/11/03 09:13
Today's Culture Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_Day) here in Japan, and I wonder what people here do today. I shall do nothing special today because every day is a culture day for me. (Ha-ha!) At least I'll enjoy listening to some piano concertos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_concerto). Any cultured person of whatever nationality should know the following exquisite works by musical immortals.

Mozart

Piano Concerto No. 20
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtTqpqGIIYU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF17mzCPq5A&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_33zTtiWPA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yha-5o9Ds20&feature=related

Piano Concerto No. 23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRWXZ_mZygA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRobAAY5VGw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYnP2-zJQaI&feature=related

Piano Concerto No. 27
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCYidpqARGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTtVHJEPjG8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R8mBUnT4_I&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD2ZdVSe2vQ&feature=related

Beethoven

Piano Concerto No. 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akc0v_KTZBM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP485C6MZAU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cA8znJZ0dI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh2dxjKMIaQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7xN3ZdHKeU&feature=related

Chopin

Piano Concerto No. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNIK1yaKr_4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg_2ocskhkA&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dJv8vWMLT4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nwcn_o866Q&feature=related

Liszt

Piano Concerto No. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YNiav7q6ac
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__f5G0hkVs0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a44yCA5uh2w&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6ZKN55XS9s&feature=related

Brahms

Piano Concerto No. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D18AujwrQb4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoH9QOVSqX0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWKTkByq2eE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG7F_z1xnIs&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kz9_8NjIT8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-p0zDL8hFU&feature=related

Tchaikovsky

Piano Concerto No. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CMo_mLNz38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxjFOCWxDGg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Zi4MSlcAM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHYnr58T7HU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr19jvlOa78&feature=related

Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto No. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZRbko3UsnQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx_XfNWkf_s&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxwmg-YTAr0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlvibGCRDkY&feature=related
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What Japanese boys should do

2009/11/01 11:28
What am I? I'm a nameless person worried about the future of the great country where I was born and grew up. But what on earth can I do for my country? A man's power is negligible, and we should cooperate to save our country from falling. Now I'd like to suggest that ambitious boys here in Japan should at least do the things on the following list.

1) Master English and/or other major languages like Russian and French.
2) Study world history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_world).
3) Study rhetoric (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric) and humour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor).
4) Subscribe to any or all of The New York Times (http://global.nytimes.com/), Time (http://www.time.com/time/), Pravda (http://english.pravda.ru/), The Other Russia (http://www.theotherrussia.org/) and Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/).
5) Study international laws (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/).
6) Study Western classics (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Wikisource:Authors) and appreciate Western music and art.
7) Learn how to play chess (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess).
8) Make friends with a few people in Europe and/or North America, and communicate with them by any and every means possible.
9) Win the heart of a girl from any part of the world other than the Far East, and, if possible, marry her.
10) Ignore Japanese, Chinese and Korean girls unless they deserve universal recognition.
11) Blog in English.

This will make a big difference. I hope as many boys here in Japan as possible will regard Inazo Nitobe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitobe_Inaz%C5%8D) and Hideyo Noguchi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideyo_Noguchi) as their ultimate ideals.
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Euro pop songs

2009/10/30 14:17
Here is a collection of my all-time favourite European songs by female singers.

UK

Sarah Brightman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Brightman

Time to Say Goodbye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbN0g8-zbdY (English & Italian)
Stranger in Paradise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yI1bYFVWIw (English)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPV-5Gj3G3Y&feature=related (English)

Hayley Westenra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayley_Westenra

O Mio Babbino Caro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nLKXxzVqTY (Italian)
The Water is Wide http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1pvq4nOTgA (English)

Vera Lynn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Lynn

The White Cliffs of Dover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdGX_FcvVoE (English)

Eire (Ireland)

Celtic Woman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_Woman

You Raise Me Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofYrt9ymTRo (English)

France

Alizee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alizee

J'en Ai Marre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceSxEjwXHcM (French)
Moi Lolita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDwKPGUIVME (French)
Ella, Elle l'a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik5Nh94v7EQ (French)

Belgium

Kate Ryan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Ryan

Ella, Elle l'a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdJN0ss7jA0 (French)

Russia

Natalie

Vyeter s Morya Dul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pxl-W645-I (Russian)

Mirage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirage_(pop_group)

Bros'! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZExQlcyuc (Russian)

t.A.T.u. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatu

All About Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65ZFyzhfgbI (English)

Ellas (Greece)

Nana Mouskouri http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nana_Mouskouri

Plaisir d'Amour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WvXpgLtTwY (French)
Amazing Grace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhc7MEYY-Ho (English)

Helena Paparizou http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Paparizou

Tha 'Mai Allios http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s-GP8jhUBQ (Romaic)

Hayastan (Armenia)

Sirusho http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirusho

Erotas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZWRppqptLo (Romaic)

Norge (Norway)

Lene Marlin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lene_Marlin

Flown Away http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D047d5Fv4ZU (English)
Unforgivable Sinner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VykyfmVNhk&feature=fvw (English)

Iceland

Bjork http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjork

All is Full of Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjAoBKagWQA (English)
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Belarus

2009/10/29 10:51
Belarus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belarus) must be one of the countries we Japanese know very little about, but now that we have the Internet, which helps us know a lot about many things, we can make the best use of it. Below are a few links that will help us get a glimpse of the East Slavic country. Don't blame me for featuring women so often. My purpose of doing this is to make Japanese boys more interested in girls from abroad by contrasting them with Japanese bachelorettes. Some people may wonder why I am so harsh towards them. I'd like to ask them why they are so sympathetic to them. I am ever of opinion that Japanese bachelorettes are more or less like spoilt children and that it is fruitless to spare the rod. I hope more and more Japanese boys will marry girls from abroad. Some people would say: 'That would prevent Japanese girls from marrying because they would have less boys to choose from.' That's none of my business. After all, they wanna be single until they find perfect matches and they have no right to blame Japanese boys for getting interested in girls from abroad while they are wavering. I have absolutely no sympathy for Japanese bachelorettes.

Belarussian beauties
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STBgvC1Rmdg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPteDRJEFW4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSayU8doXwA

Music of Belarus
Arc
Nataliya Romanskaya & Kirmash

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Ukraine

2009/10/28 10:12
How much do we Japanese know about Ukraine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine)? I myself don't know very much about it, but at least I'm irresistibly attracted to it because it's a very beautiful country with various places to visit. Ukraine was once a Soviet republic, but the Orange Revolution of 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution) has transformed it into a pro-Western democracy. Millions of Japanese tourists visit Western Europe and North America every year, whilst on the other hand most of them seem to be indifferent to Ukraine. But the more they know about the country, the more interested they will be. I hear not a few girls in Ukraine want to live in Japan, and I hope many of them will marry Japanese boys. The Japanese government has been quite reluctant to grant citizenship to those from abroad, but I personally think those from Europe, North America, North Africa, Oceania and pro-Japanese countries in Asia should be excepted. We should bar only those from Communist China and Korea from being naturalized here unless they swear that they will serve Japan. Japanese girls today tend to prefer singlehood to matrimony, and when there are so many Caucasian girls who want to marry Japanese boys, it's total nonsense not to encourage them to stay in Japan as long as they like. I defy Japanese bachelorettes in their 20s and 30s to contradict me. I'll tear their arguments to shreds. Here are several videos of Ukrainian women.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjdLvBIHPn8
Natasha Gudziy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj474KYQeLk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry_WACFd8Ds&feature=related
A Nameless Ukrainian Beauty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zui63SSFmBc&feature=related

Lorena's comment (29 Oct. 2009, JST)

I knew nothing about that country and now you got me interested!

Ukraine in Flames [VHS] [Import]
Questar Inc.

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Russian

2009/10/26 07:28
Here's a collection of Russian-related sites I find useful.

Blogs
http://tumjpn.blog48.fc2.com/
http://stpetersburg.blog51.fc2.com/

Newspaper
http://www.pravda.ru/

Basic words & phrases
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUJdYl5F5x4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zgW_HxAjpY

News report (in Ukrainian)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3AR_RAI3gA

Interviews
Miss World 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXH1dMW8ygg
Katya Ryabova http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCqPM58tr9Q&feature=related

Popular songs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pxl-W645-I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhh4q26chRA

Speeches
Stalin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IGbjPqFFvA
Brezhnev http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjLBdT1jVL0&feature=PlayList&p=3F4F6C2F90ECDE74&index=0&playnext=1
Gorbachev http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u5dRwV56nA
Putin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISBMfmZs55I
Medvedev http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMQXIne-qxI

I always wonder how melodious Russian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_language) sounds, especially when fluently spoken by intelligent women. They do make a sharp contrast with Japanese bachelorettes, most of whom seem completely careless about how to speak. It always comes as a great surprise to me that so many Japanese boys should fall in love with those Japanese girls. It even seems to me as if language didn't matter to them at all. What really matters to them may be just to go to....Well, I hope Russian will be learned by a lot more bachelors here in Japan.

Pocket Oxford Russian Dictionary
Oxford Univ Pr (T)

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送料無料!!【CD】架け橋 Japanese Songs in Russian Heart/エカテリーナ エカテリーナ
バンダレコード
収録曲 / 駅 / 港が見える丘 / 千の風になって / 童神?天の子守唄 / 秋桜 / ちいさい秋

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Vignette XXXIV

2009/10/23 08:28
English vs. Japanese

English and Japanese were arguing with each other.
'I'm spoken by 127 million people in Japan,' said Japanese, proudly, 'and now I'm trying to be understood by more people in the world. I hope I'll be an international language like you.'
'Your effort,' said English with a laugh, 'should never bear fruit. My alphabet has only 26 letters in it, whilst you've got so many ideograms (tens of thousands of them!) to memorize that if the whole world were ever to learn you, so much time and energy would be deprived that the progress of human civilization would be hampered.'
Japanese gave a sigh of grief. Now it saw a man chatting merrily with three girls, whose names were Britannia, America, and Russia respectively. It came to the man and said:
'Sorry to bother you, sir, but where are you from?'
'I'm from Japan. So what?'
'Thank goodness,' said Japanese, 'Could you do me a favour?'
'What can I do for you?' said the man.
'Well,' said Japanese, 'Could you please help me become an international language like English?'
'With the greatest of pleasure,' said the man, 'but on condition that you help me make friends with a Japanese girl who is as intelligent and generous as these girls here.'
'I'll do my best, sir,' said Japanese and went away.
It did its best, but such a girl as had been asked for was nowhere to be found.
'I'm done for,' said Japanese and committed suicide.

Amy's comment (18 Dec. 2009)

I think this vignette offers an insight into the Japanese language and how it is held in varying levels of esteem by different people- it cleverly does this without mention of particular people which could cause too much offense, so perhaps subtlty is for the best here, given the possibly controversial subject.

The Japanese states that his language is understood by many people, but yet this is clearly shown not to be enough. The use of Japanese is almost exclusive to Japan so this limits the amount of people with the merits the Japanese man hopes to find. Due to his failings, the Japanese ends his life, which may also symbolise the end of the use of the Japanese language by everyone.

Presumably, the language which would overtake Japanese would be English, meaning the Japanese people would be more able to communicate with those from both English speaking countries, and those countries in which the majority of people had a good comprehension of English, such as many European countries I believe.

It's hard to say whether the vignette is cautionary, as the end result of the death of a language, whilst unpleasant, is not a change which would be shunned by all people and it would not be without it's merits. I think it could be said that Japanese people who feel it would not be worth learning a second language should reconsider this.

However, I think as an English person it would be unfair for me to not mention that I think English people can be close-minded about their own language too. When so many people using English as a second language have taken hard work and dedication to broaden their horizons, many English people seem happy to be ignorant of other cultures and languages- just because the use of English is relatively widespread, this does not mean other languages should be shunned.

In summary, I think any person can take away an important message from this vignette and I hope that they will- it's a well written and composed, thought provoking piece.

Amy
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English or Japanese

2009/10/22 21:46
English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language) originated in England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England), but now it's the foremost international language learned by billions of people all over the world. Some people blame the British (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_people) for having once colonized many parts of the world, but had they been seclusive like the Japanese under the Tokugawas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_shogunate), we would never have had this universal language and I thank the British for this. I usually speak Japanese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_language), but I never write in Japanese unless it is absolutely necessary for me to do so. I shall always blog in English to make myself understood to as many people in the world as possible. Writing in Japanese is writing for the Japanese only, and when I have a lot to say to the world, Japanese is utterly useless! I recently accessed a blog where the blogger says we Japanese should blog in our mother tongue rather than in English, and I found his/her opinion extremely seclusive and abominable (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abominable). I have some friends in Europe and North America, but had I blogged in Japanese, none of them would have understood me. I sometimes wonder if my blog isn't full of nonsense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonsense), and I often ask them what they think of it. To my relief, none of them has ever criticized me for anything written by me. I have no intention whatsoever of listening to those who have the temerity to try to prevent Japan from being understood to more people in the world.

Wehrmacht in Russia (3pc) (W/Book) [DVD] [Import]
Hurricane Int'l

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Oxford Univ Pr (Sd)
Jayme Adelson-Goldstein

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Woe Betide Unfair Czarists!

2009/10/21 00:48
Yesterday I learned that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Medvedev) had criticized Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Seiji Maehara (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiji_Maehara) for calling Russia's occupation of the southern Kurils 'illegal'. What I want to say to Mr. Maehara is: 'Well said!' Mr. Maehara's statement is based on the Treaty of St. Petersburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Saint_Petersburg_(1875)), whilst Medvedev's is on the 'fact' that the Russians have occupied them since 1945, nullifying the non-aggression pact, which was still in force, rather than on any legal document whatsoever. Russia, controlled by an evil-minded czar or two, will never return them to Japan, but we should never give them up because if we gave them up, the Russians would first invade the Shiretoko Peninsula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiretoko_Peninsula) and then sooner or later all Hokkaido (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokkaido) would be under Russian control. If Japan really wants to get the islands back, then it should first go nuclear as soon as possible and prepare to invade the islands. If Japan succeeded not only in persuading America to cooperate but also in driving a wedge between China and Russia, Russia would probably give them up without using a nuclear weapon like the Tsar Bomba (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxD44HO8dNQ). If I were Prime Minister, then I would appoint Toshio Tamogami (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshio_Tamogami) to be Defense Minister....

The Tamogami lecture given on 6 Aug. 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9rdS0x8kRU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRxALHW-MgI&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RypSKocZAQ&feature=channel

Note: I'm a pacifist, not a warmonger. The above should be interpreted not as an attempt to persuade the Japanese government to declare war on Russia, but as something to show how difficult it is for Japan to get the southern Kurils back. Of course some people in Japan maintain that Russia should give them back to us, but it seems most people here and our government know that Russia will never do so.

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Visiting Siberia

2009/10/16 18:24
I've never been abroad, but I've always been irresistibly attracted to European culture, especially literature, art, and classical music, and I even wish I could immigrate there. I'm now planning to visit Irkutsk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irkutsk), which is known as one of the places in Siberia where Japanese POWs were interned for several years after WWII and forced to work as if they were slaves. It is said that 50,000-60,000 of the internees died in the former Soviet Union. I sometimes imagine how harsh it was for them to live there, and I regard Stalin as one of the most unforgivable tyrants the world has ever had. A few years ago I happened to hear a radio program where a Japanese man told his story based on his experience there, and I was very surprised that he didn't blame the Soviets so much as I had expected. On the contrary, he let us know some episodes which I even found very interesting. One of them is as follows:

While interned in Siberia, he and some of his compatriots made friends with a fair Russian girl who worked as a cook to serve them food. They sometimes enjoyed joking and this sometimes made them forget that they were internees. When they were finally permitted to leave Siberia for Japan, the POWs and the Russian residents waved their hands as if bidding farewell to good friends....

Another thing that interests me was that the first thing he noticed as soon as he came back to Japan was how yellow the people here were.

Unfortunately, Japan and Russia haven't signed peace since the end of WWII, and I think the Russian government should make a compromise with the Japanese, who want to get the Russian-occupied territory back. I sometimes wish Anna Politkovskaya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Politkovskaya) was still alive and Irina Khakamada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irina_Hakamada) was the president because Russian men will never be so resourceful as to make any concessions on the territorial issue. I personally think the Japanese government should never stop asking the Russian counterpart to give the southern Kurils back. Once they were given up, Hokkaido would fall into the Russians' hands. History shows how invasive a country Russia has been. Here are several videos related to this topic.

NHK Documentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcf--Qf4M7c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Yl6WDoBXA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpwU6N2At8k&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqGq0b-G79U&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSkX-1wN0nI&feature=related

The Movie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apwPMOr0X1w&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrWySV0CcMc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEbpBiFL46o&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI1FYqjxSnE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPGx7NNU8YY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBQMvn9Hjlk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eljznLFNXME&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv0hoT_YCvc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXVxYoyvIG4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YObuddQDiG0&feature=related

Out Visiting and Back Home: Russian Stories on Aging
Northwestern Univ Pr

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The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians
Cornell Univ Pr
W. Bruce Lincoln

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Ultranationalism in Japan

2009/10/15 22:52
A few days ago I was terribly disappointed to learn about an existent fascist group in Japan. It's called the National Socialist Japanese Workers and Welfare Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Japanese_Workers_and_Welfare_Party) and its home page can be accessed at http://www.nsjap.com/. It calls itself a party, but it has never had a seat in parliament, national or local. According to Wikipedia, it's composed of only 20 members or so and I find its influence on Japanese society negligible. As is often the case with any group of this kind, some of their points are reasonable, but most of them seem to me to be nonsensical and unworthy of being heard. One of their points is that the Japanese shouldn't marry those from abroad, calling all other races inferior, but I find their eugenic theory unscientific and ridiculous. Japan is a country where freedom of speech is respected, and they should be very grateful for it.

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Racism in Russia Part II

2009/10/14 20:20
Racism has always been, but at the same time there have always been those Caucasians who are against it and it is to be hoped that the time will arrive when all people in Europe and North America find it totally unacceptable. 156 years after the publication of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom%27s_Cabin) by Harriet Beecher Stowe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Beecher_Stowe), the Americans elected a nonwhite man to be their president, and this will have some significant effect on any country where people of different origins live together. Rita, who was shocked to read my previous note and agreed with me, was kind enough to let me know about a man who may be interesting to anyone. His name is Joakim Krima, who is from the Sub-Saharan Africa and is now a Russian citizen. You can know more about him at http://www.russiansentry.com/?area=postView&id=1417. He seems to be popular among local people, and though I know very little about him, I hope he will win if he is fully qualified for the job. After all, Russia is the country where Alexander Pushkin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pushkin), whose maternal great grandfather was African, is regarded as a national hero, and Mr. Krima has no reason to be rejected because of his colour.

画像
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Racism in Russia

2009/10/13 20:27
There are no countries upon this earth whose governments approve of racism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism), but unfortunately there are still some racists in Europe and North America. KKK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan) still exists in the US, but at least the Americans have elected Barack Obama their president and this means that the majority of the Americans of European extraction are no longer as racist as they once were. This is something to be welcomed. But what about Europe? Will any of the European countries have someone like Mr. Obama as their leader? No, I don't mean to say that Europe, too, should have someone like him. America is a multiracial society and there is no reason for every nation-state to follow suit. But every right of a law-abiding citizen of any country should at least be respected as much as possible. Well, I recently watched some videos of racists in Russia and knew that they were not merely violent but were also very afraid of something. What on earth are they afraid of? Here is one of the videos for anyone interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0fUuOtyaVo

It's easy to blame those racists for resorting to violence, but I personally think it is their government, which has done little or nothing to solve the social problems facing them, that has to be criticized more. They say they are threatened, and if the government makes every effort possible to relieve them, then the number of racists will be reduced. One thing that interests me is that those Russian racists idolize Adolf Hitler, who was responsible for the killings of over 23 million people in the former Soviet Union. This contrasts sharply with the Chinese, who just blame the Japanese hysterically for their barbarous acts during WWII. Be that as it may, racism, or neo-Nazism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Nazism), will always provoke controversy.

Out of the Red Shadows: Anti-Semitism in Stalin's Russia (Russian Studies)
Prometheus Books
Gennadi Kostyrchenko

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Naval Inst Pr
Richard F. Staar

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Putin and the Rise of Russia: The Country That Came in from the Cold
Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Michael Stuermer

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Was Stalin a great leader?

2009/10/12 14:14
I'm Japanese and I regard Joseph Stalin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin) as a merciless despot who interned over 500,000 Japanese POWs in Siberia, causing the deaths of a tenth of them, and I was shocked to know that some people in Russia still worship him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn7Yh78h4dg). They say that, without his leadership, the Soviet Union would have been defeated by Nazi Germany. The Soviets, with the assistance of the Americans and the British, did defeat the Germans, but when the war ended, they had lost 23,954,000 lives whilst the Germans had lost 7 or 8 million. I understand that they regard him as a great leader because it was he who lead them to victory, but I also know how merciless he was during his reign and can't regard him as a great leader like Napoleon. Napoleon was hated by other monarchies in Europe, but Goethe, Beethoven, Byron, et al., admired him at that time and even today he is universally recognized as an international hero. Stalin, on the other hand, was admired and feared by his countrymen and communists abroad when he was alive, but after his death, Khrushchev and Gorbachev criticized him for his cruelty towards the Soviet people. My conclusion is, therefore, that Stalin wasn't a great leader like Napoleon, and I personally put Napoleon far above Stalin. Here are several other videos related to the dictator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2sugMM9y3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC06yA3EhKY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdnzlzUk9-E&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoEcpior2y0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nybh4D_K06M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fHwPxk5ZvA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a160l60QKfs&feature=related

Stalin's Ghost
Macmillan
Martin Cruz Smith

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Joseph Stalin: Communist Soviet Leader
Biographiq
Biographiq

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Yale University Press
Josef Stalin

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Hodder Wayland
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Tourism

2009/10/11 19:52
Japan is the world's second largest economy and one of the most developed countries, but statistics indicate that tourists all over the world find Japan to be the least attractive among the richest nations. Click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism and find more. France has recently been visited by 80 million annually, whilst Japan is visited by only 3 or 4 million. I've recently heard that the Japanese government is planning to attract more tourists from around the world, but their efforts will probably not bear fruit unless the following negative factors be removed.

1) Staying in Japan is relatively expensive.
2) English isn't so well understood in Japan.
3) Japanese people in general (it seems to me) don't want their country to be visited by so many foreign tourists.

Some Japanese would say, shrugging their shoulders, that theirs is an island country in the Far East and that their insularism cannot easily be overcome. Japan and Britain are both island countries, but I always wonder how widely different the Japanese and the British are. Roughly speaking, the former is insular, whilst the latter isn't. Young people in the UK seem ready to communicate with anyone of whatever nationality, whereas most of those in Japan seem completely opposite. I personally hope that Japan will be visited by at least 10 million annually because this will help promote international communication (and marriage) here. One of my Japanese friends once told me that he didn't know how to communicate with people from abroad and even that I should go steady with a Japanese girl rather than the Russian woman. His logic will be welcomed by Japanese people in general, but it made me so disgusted that I explained how more attractive she is to me than any girl here in Japan. He fell silent and said no more, finding it utterly impossible for him or anyone else to persuade me to do the very thing I'm firmly determined never to do.

The Japan That Never Was: Explaining the Rise and Decline of a Misunderstood Country
State Univ of New York Pr
Dick Beason

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Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story (Bluejacket Book)
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Mitsuo Fuchida

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Italian films

2009/10/10 18:58
I know very little about Italian films (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Italy), but for some reason I have always longed to watch 'Rome, Open City' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome,_Open_City). YouTube has at last made it possible for me to do so. Here are the links to be shared with anyone interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLzJevCfhao
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTSlAgifRCI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVwye23qwp8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXKpJdFDNjQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05CqMX0lt0k&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGK8xGds1Es&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utiPIDVg1aU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcGVNYBCpZk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TUaWPxvg5o&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rYf81omZ7A&feature=related

I've never been abroad, but I hope to see Naples and die....

Naples

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naples
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-6Nr-VAN1Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHH0Dq8Hc1I&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_DGsNvQ7ik&feature=related

Oh, I've already seen it and am still alive....






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The Fall of the British Empire

2009/10/10 12:16
The British Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire) is no more, but I always feel as if it still was. After WWII, many of the lands which had been colonized for centuries by the British declared independence and the areas they cover today are just the British Isles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles) and some other foreign islands. Yet the British seem as influential as - or even more influential than - they were when their land was called an empire. In fact, English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language) is taught in most countries of the world, and English literature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_literature) and British music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_music) are loved by hundreds of millions all over the world. The Roman Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire) did fall when Latin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin) was no longer their lingua franca (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingua_franca) and how it fell is described in 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decline/files/index.htm) by Edward Gibbon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gibbon), whilst on the other hand English is learned by more and more people in the world, which makes me wonder if it isn't possible to say that the British Empire still exists. Some people would disagree, but at least they will never be able to think lightly of the British. I have always been - and will always be - Anglophile because the British have almost always been Japanophile and have produced so many great politicians, writers, scientists, and others, to whom I feel irresistibly attracted. And I'm always very grateful to Amy, an English girl, for having corresponded with me for fifteen months now. We have exchanged hundreds of emails and I feel as if she were one of my old friends. I even stand in awe of her. Not a Japanese girl has ever made me feel the same way. I just hope they will never allow themselves to be ruled by the BNP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party). Here are several videos related to the Fall of the British Empire(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_British_Isles).

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqNqHAOYmlo

The Fall of the British Empire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPomGrg0aPI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B15Ab6SaQRU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USEHIDz-D5A&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrrzRnZu7Us&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE_i4zl9pJ4&feature=related








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US or UK

2009/10/09 12:17
It is safe to say that Japanese people in general like both the US and the UK, and it sometimes seems to me as if they don't differentiate the two simply because English is spoken there. I don't mean to blame them for it. It's all very well for them not to do so, but I'm not so simple-minded as to regard the two countries as exactly the same. Of course it is possible to identify them as one because they are of the Anglo-Saxons, but to the Japanese they are different as follows:

The US

1. Commodore Perry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Calbraith_Perry) came with his squadron to Japan in 1853 and threatened to reduce Edo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo) to ashes unless Japan opened their ports (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/japan002.asp).
2. FDR interned Japanese-Americans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment) in the concentration camps during WWII, whilst German-Americans and Italian-Americans enjoyed freedom.
3. FDR reduced the capital of Japan to ashes in March 1945 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo) and HST A-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August that year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki).
4. US Gen. MacArthur as conqueror ruled Japan for six years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Japan).
5. The US government has used Japan as a military base free of charge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan).

The UK

1. The UK is the first in the Western Powers to ally with Japan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Japanese_Alliance
http://www.jacar.go.jp/nichiro/uk-japan.htm

2. The UK helped Japan have a powerful navy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Japanese_Navy).
3. The UK helped Japan defeat Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Japanese_War).
4. The UK has never bombed Japan since the three-day regional conflict in 1863 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Kagoshima).

Of course I know the US has done us a lot of good and you were wrong if you thought me anti-American. Teddy Roosevelt has always been one of my ideals and I'm one of those Japanese who support our government's policy towards the US. But I have no intention whatsoever of idealizing America. None of my Japanese friends idealize America and I'm proud of them. After all, those Japanese who idealize America aren't proud of being Japanese and they aren't reliable. I do understand that Japan has no choice but to go along with America, but I despise those Japanese who blindly approve of everything America does. Some uneducated Americans blame Japan for the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, and this always makes me wonder how ignorant they are of history. At least I'm relieved that most of the first-rate intellectuals in the US seldom or never blame us for it because they know how unfair FDR had been towards Japan.
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If you hit the jackpot

2009/10/08 10:40
The other day I went to a bookstore in my city. While I was browsing, a pair of young women came in, chattering.
'If I hit the jackpot,' said one of them to the other, cheerfully, 'then I'd have my house newly built and get a luxury car.'
'What would I do?' I wondered.
At least it was certain that I would buy neither house nor car. I won't buy a house because here in Japan a great earthquake could destroy it the next day I moved in and because I'd rather go abroad than stay here. I won't buy a car because I never drive. Now I wondered where to go and imagined visiting the places featured in the following videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1XMZTzELaE&feature=fvst
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ethv_eLk0Tc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj5wl9RHqqQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o83xyY3kQYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq7FzxRQL3M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4mjH03poBw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQiREHS8w7E&feature=fvst
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVhCf1xAE2k&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hskoOlgWV6U&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozwn7PlkRUs&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4KUG018ahI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlcBHJh9b3k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8XwT3am5Ek&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4V4zgnRIC0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RY0GSFvJgA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XkcBl-Lm8g&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma9g2Z0Fvq4&feature=related



Captain Wentworth's Diary
Sourcebooks, Inc
Amanda Grange

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Edmund Bertram's Diary
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Amanda Grange

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Rom chats with an American girl

2009/10/07 03:25
Here is a series of messages I exchanged yesterday with Lorena, a teenage girl from Puerto Rico (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico). Puerto Rico isn't a US state but the residents there have US citizenship and can therefore be regarded as American. Her permission has been obtained.

Rom

Thank you very much for your reply. That video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nBSwyZOlHE) was about those unattractive Japanese bachelorettes who want to marry for money. I personally think Japanese bachelorettes in general are more or less like them because, as you may already know, half of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s are reported to be single. Why are they single? Because they want to enjoy freedom to the fullest and if they marry, their spouses have to be men of wealth! The two Japanese boys (both in their teens) told me that this kind of women are very few, but I objected that they aren't as few as they imagine, showing them how many of them are single. I made friends with one of them (base1ash) but the other (18 years old) was so impolite to me that I stopped exchanging words with him.

Lorena

Hi Rom! I'm fine thank you, and you? About the video you sent me, yes I have seen it. You sent it to me a while ago but I didn't had a chance to tell you my thoughts about it because we already had said our goodbyes for that day. I can't read any of the things in the video but through the comments I got a better understanding of what was going on. It's about marriage? Money? Appearance? I read some of the comment you posted also. I agree in some parts like Japanese men should broaden their horizons and contemplate the possibility of dating women from across the world. There is so much to be seen out there, not only white, but woman for all tastes, that I believe, and not to offend, are a little more interesting to look at than the average Japanese girl, not that they are not beautiful in their own way. Maybe they're afraid of rejection? You have no idea how many girls here think that Japanese men are attractive!

Rom

I visited your myspace site and saw a few pictures of you. One of them shows only half of your face and the others are too small for me to see you clearly, but at least I can definitely say that you are marvelously cute! You look like Aishawarya Rai and/or Monica Belucci, don't you? Have you ever heard of the two?

Lorena

Wow those are incredibly beautiful women! I don't know about looking like them but thank you so much for the comparison!!! About the video, I have to say that I'm disgusted by it! I can't believe anyone would do that! Marry for money!? The thought about making that sort of sacred commitment to another for something like money is just messed up. Sadly this is not something that only Japanese woman would do. Its all over the world and what saddens me is that children will be born into that kind of relationship, one where love is second place to money. As for me, I like a guy with confidence, if I had to choose between a Caucasian guy with no confidence what so ever and a Japanese guy that has it, I'll go with the Japanese, regardless of his race. Its too bad that, like you describe them, they are so introverted tours women from different nationalities than their own.

Rom

Your kind words about Japanese boys should be treasured here. You are so pretty that thousands of Caucasian boys would ask you to go steady with them, so it would be extremely difficult for Japanese boys to win your heart. In the first place, they can't make themselves understood in English; and in the second place, they don't have the guts to compete with Caucasian boys. I hear Ken Watanabe is very popular there, but even his wife is Japanese and I'm utterly disappointed.

I'm fine too, but I'd be finer if you came to Japan to charm Japanese boys!

Lorena

Lol and about coming to Japan, that has always been a dream of mine since I can remember. Hopefully next year I can get all I need in order to make my trip, but I would love to meet someone, why not?

Rom

It's no wonder that a very pretty girl like you should already have a guy to go steady with, and I sincerely hope you two will always love each other. As for me, I'm in love with a Russian artist, but I have never met her though we have exchanged hundreds of emails, pictures, and some presents. Do you think it is strange that a man and a woman can love each other when they have never met? At least we know how we look and each of us has got those kinds of pics of the other which should never be public.

I always wonder why girls from the US, the EU and the former Soviet republics are so generous as to communicate with me often. Japanese girls, who seldom or never try to make themselves understood, can never compare with you all! I have no doubt at all that Western girls are far superior in every respect to Japanese ones. This can sound racist, but it is truth.

Lorena

I'm sure that there are a few Japanese girls out there that think the way you do, although finding them is a long shot. And as to why western people talk to you? 1) you communicate in English so well that sometimes I forget that you are native from Japan, instead of being born in the States or some other English speaking country. 2) You are a nice person to talk to and the topics never fall from interesting. So I'm the one that wonders why don't you have this channel so full that you didn't had time to chat with me.

Rom

Thanks a lot for being always so kind to me. They say that nobody's perfect, but you seem to be one of the very few upon this planet who are to be regarded as perfect. Or are you an angel from heaven? I wouldn't be surprised if you were. By the way, my dear friend, what do you want to be after leaving school? A pretty, intelligent, and noble-minded person like you will be able to become whatever you want to be. I said you look like Aishawarya Rai and Monica Belucci, but I find you to be far more attractive than the two. God bless you!

Lorena

Wow what do you say to something like that? That is probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. YOU are the one who is always kind to me and for that I'm grateful.Thank you so much! My Apologies for the late reply, I had to cook for my mother and my little brother tonight, but to answer your question, as soon as I graduate in May I'm planning on either becoming a lawyer to later on become a judge or study languages to work at the US embassy (at least one of them from the many around the world). I've always wanted to be a writer but that is something that I regard as a hobby rather than a profession, along with photography. Too many things I want to do but I can only choose one. How about you? Did you do college in Japan? What are you currently working on? The time difference is killing me so for today I'm going to bed or I wont make it to school tomorrow but hopefully we can continue this conversation tomorrow. God bless you and have a wonderful day...? It is day right? Lol

Rom

No, your reply is not late at all, and I don't know how to thank you for your kindness. You are still seventeen, right? I always wonder why girls in America are generally so mature. No, I just mean to say that you are full-fledged as a human being. By contrast, Japanese girls your age seem to me as if they were still kindergarteners. Did you know that Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) once said that the Japanese people are like a 12-year-old boy? Of course this remark offended Japanese people, but I personally think this still holds true even today as far as girls here are concerned. To answer your questions, I'm a college dropout and I'm not employed at present. Disappointed? No, you won't be disappointed at all because you are such an intelligent, noble-minded girl. Kristle already knows this and she was kind enough to tell me that she would support my activity as a promoter of interracial marriage. America should be very proud of you Lorena and Kristle. I'm very grateful to God that He has allowed me to communicate with angels from the US. God bless America!

Lorena

I'm not disappointed of you dropping out of college at all. My mother for economic reasons didn't get to finish her PHD in political science and then she had me, her first born and she dedicated her entire life to motherhood. I am so proud of her for working as hard as she does to make sure my little brother and I don't go a day without everything we need, that's why I want to be a working professional one day, for her. College doesn't make you who you are, and you are completely capable of doing what ever it is that you want with your life. And about putting our conversation in your blog, I'd be honored to be a part of it. Maybe it's a start on what I can do to help you promote interracial marriage in Japan.
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My Diary (5 Oct. 2009 - )

2009/10/05 14:49
Thur., Oct. 8, 2009

Today I watched a series of videos featuring a historical lecture given in Hiroshima this past August by Mr. Tamogami (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshio_Tamogami). Here are the links to them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9rdS0x8kRU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRxALHW-MgI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RypSKocZAQ

I find his assertion very persuasive and the lecture enlightening. It is only natural for a people to love their country, but it should first be remembered that unlike the British, the Japanese are a people prone to be more fanatical than well-balanced. It would therefore be relatively easy for the Japanese to unite but it will always be extremely difficult for them to go in the right direction. Sadly, a country like Japan where most of the graduates from the most prestigious university want to be government officials should always be influenced by a more powerful country like America. Why? Because bureaucrats are always irresponsible and if such a country becomes independent, it is people in general that will suffer. See how irresponsible Japan's army and naval officers were during WWII and how many of our soldiers starved to death because of them. If Japan really wants to be a self-governing democracy, then the first thing it should do is to abolish Tokyo University (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Tokyo), which I believe is the cause of all evil. Japanese bureaucrats, who have done everything possible to avoid taking responsibility for their negligence, are more or less like Renya Mutaguchi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renya_Mutaguchi) and Masanobu Tsuji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanobu_Tsuji), and we should be fully aware that it is not the Americans but our cunning bureaucrats that we have to fight against.

Wed., Oct. 7, 2009

Yesterday a boy from England shared a YouTube video with me. It features the BBC Symphony Orchestra's performance of 'Land of Hope and Glory' at the 2007 Proms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oONWgcvPutE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Hope_and_Glory

This pompous march was very familiar to me, but, to my embarrassment, I didn't know that it was composed by Sir Edward Elgar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Elgar) as a hymn to the British Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire) and that the British have recognized this as their second national anthem. The music, especially the choral part, is awe-inspiring and I fully understand what uplifting effect this can have on the minds of the British nationals. While watching the video, I couldn't help being a little jealous of the unity of the audience in the Royal Albert Hall. What do we Japanese have like this one? The solidarity of the Japanese was once very strong, but since Japan came under the control of the US, something that had bound the whole nation together was lost for ever. It seems to me as if Japan was a castrate. It's no wonder Japanese girls are very relucant to get married.

Tue., Oct. 6, 2009

Today I went to the dentist for the first time in many years and he told me that three of my wisdom teeth should be extracted. I was ready to have them extracted in a few days, but the dentist has got so many appointments that I will see him on the 16th. I'm satisfied with being a human, but I sometimes wish I were a shark....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itvjYohS55w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_D51Ui_XMI

Mon., Oct. 5, 2009

Yesterday, for the first time in two months, I got together with two of my old friends (Mickey & Stefan) and played ball at a park in Hanno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanno,_Saitama). It was a fine autumn day, and it was very pleasant to be outdoors. We had nothing to complain about but that we had to wait a few hours until we had enough room to play because there were already some groups playing there. After sunset we supped at a Korean restaurant called Anraku-tei (http://www.anrakutei.co.jp/), which should be translated as 'Relaxation House'. I also drank two jugs of beer and a glass of Jinro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinro), but didn't get drunk at all. Mickey, as usual, didn't drink because he had to drive us home. I came home at half past nine and spent a few hours reading and writing until I went to bed at midnight.

Today I made friends with a Japanese teenage boy after chatting on YouTube. Here is his channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/base1ash

At first he seemed critical of my comments posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nBSwyZOlHE but he was never impolite to me and I sent him a friend invitation. He accepted it immediately and now we are friends. I hope I can do something for him.
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