Stories about East Asia from January, 2009
Japan: Saint Young Men, Jesus and Buddha on Earth
What if one day Jesus and Buddha descended to Earth to spend their holidays? And what if they lived together in a cheap apartment in Tachikawa, in western Tokyo? This is what Hikaru Nakamura, a young Japanese manga author, was thinking of when he came up with Saint Oniisan, a manga published in the monthly magazine Morning 2 in 2007 that become a hit in the last few months after the publication of the first two episodes as single volumes last year.
China: netizens regret donations to Sichuan
Beichuan County, the hardest hit area in 5.12 Sichuan earthquake, has spent RMB 1.1 million (USD160, 854) on one Land Cruiser, an imported luxury car, which has triggered explosive critique among the Chinese netizens. Blogger 心寒 (Chilling Heart) writes he could not help bursting into rage while many others, including...
Japan: My darling wife, I love you!
Blogger at Prism Cafe [ja] comments on news about an event organized by Japan Aisaika Organization (日本愛妻家協会 lit. Japan Organization of Beloved Wives) yesterday, the 29th of January, when in the middle of Hibiya Park, in central Tokyo, hundreds of husbands took the microphone to shout their love to their...
Indonesia: Fatwa against smoking, yoga, vasectomies….
Indonesian bloggers are reacting to the Fatwa issued by the Indonesian Ulema Council which included, among others, a ban on yoga that contain Hindu elements, a ban on vote abstention, a ban on smoking in public places, and a ban on vasectomy.
Rohingya Muslims facing cultural genocide
Prof. Marranci writes that Rohingya Muslims are “victims of their lack of strategic value, both for their native Southeast Asia and the wider international community.” The Rohingyas are also “facing a slow, silent cultural genocide.”
Cambodia: Internet censorship targets artists
The Cambodian Ministry of Women's Affairs has threatened to block a Web site that contains artistic illustrations of bare-breasted Apsara dancers and a Khmer Rouge soldier. This censorship targets Cambodian artists who are more recognized not in offline exhibitions but through their presence on the world wide web.
China: Sino-French Ties in 2009
Mr. Song Luzheng (宋鲁郑）, a Chinese blogger who specializes in international politics, recently listed the five factors that have undermined the Sino-French relations (zh). He asserts that it is too hard to improve the bilateral relations to a mutually satisfying level unless the mutual trust is effectively enhanced.
Japan: Blurry Lines Between Buzz and Truth – McDonald's Quarter Pounder Debut
Cultivating imported products into megahits is a big part of creating consumer trends in Japan, and food is no exception to the rule. Last year, it was the American donut shop, Krispy Kreme. The year before that, it was the American ice cream shop, Cold Stone Creamery. Both are Western foods that are familiar to the Japanese, with a unique twist. Both gained fame for long lines in front of their stores. And both were carefully cultivated hits.
China: Plateau in Peril
A newly launched interactive site ‘China Green’ focuses on China's environmental and climate issues. The first project is about Tibetan Plateau, shows how the effects of global warming on the plateau is posing a grave threat to a third of humanity. This is because most of Asia's might river systems...
Korea: Death of 5 Evictees in the middle of Seoul
On the 20th of January, residents who were told to be evicted to make way for a new development by February in Yongsan, which is the middle of Seoul, opposed the decision and five people were burnt to death as a result of police action. One policeman died at that...
Japan: Illustrator Junko Kawashima's blog
Check out the manga blog [ja] of the artist Junko Kawashima.
Hong Kong: From Censorship Debate to Critique of Christian Right
The debate over censorship of indecency in Hong Kong sparkled by the consultation on the Control of Obscene and Indecent Article Ordinance (COIAO) has developed into a critique of religious /Christian Right politics as the conservative Christians openly demand the extension of COIAO for censoring “speech” or “article” that “instigates...
Japan: Obama vs. Aso
Like every other country in the world, Japan, one of the strongest of America's allies in Asia, followed closely the election of President Obama. His speech has been broadcast, translated and commented on in all kinds of ways by the Japanese media and local TV shows. So it was natural that many bloggers drew a comparisons between the American President and the Japanese Prime Minister, Tarō Asō.
Protest Video: Dancing Filipina Maids In Hong Kong
There are videos of dancing Filipinos which were conceptualized as a component of protest campaigns. Last month Juana Change videos became popular in the Philippines. These videos were used to express opposition to the administration-sponsored legislative bill that would amend the 1987 Constitution. Another video which entertained the public was the protest dance of Filipina migrant workers in Hong Kong
China: Name Change for the Minzu University of China
Highpeakspureearth discusses the cultural political implications in the recent change of English name of “the Central University of Nationalities” to “Minzu University of China” (MUC) (since November 20th, 2008).
Japan: Dual Employment System
Adamu from Mutantfrog questions if the dual employment system is an asset for Japan to deal with the economic crisis.
Hong Kong: Fortune Stick Reading
ESWN summarized local newspapers reports on fortune stick reading in Lunar new year. The unfavorable outcome stirred up a hot discussion about: who is the traitors inside home?
The plight of the Rohingya
The Rohingya have been called “trafficked victims”, “refugees”, “forced migrants” and “illegal migrants”. The Irrawaddy provides a comprehensive background to the situation of the Rohingya. This issue has involved Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and even the United States.
Two-party system inappropriate for Singapore?
groundnotes criticizes Singapore's Prime Minister for saying that political change cannot come from the opposition but from within the ruling party and that a two-party system is not suitable for Singapore because it doesn't have enough talent.
The Philippine Internet Cafe Industry
Into the Digital Light writes about the challenges faced by the Philippine Internet Cafe Industry in light of the global economic crunch.
Reporting the University of Philippines Student Referendum
Student publications led by the Philippine Collegian are conducting an online real-time coverage of the week-long Student Regent Referendum at the University of the Philippines (UP). The referendum will ratify the guidelines for the selection of the highest student official in the country's premier state university.