Latest posts by Chris Salzberg from June, 2007
Japanese Enlist for Billy's Boot Camp
Billy's Boot Camp has hit Japan, and Japanese bloggers are talking all about the show's star, Billy Blanks. Athlete of the year in the USA Karete Hall of Fame and actor in a number of American action-adventure feature films, Blanks has now brought his show to Japan, where it is making the rounds of local TV stations, drawing reactions from bloggers.
Japan: Anti-freeze Toothpaste and Toxic Thomas
Last week, reports emerged that two Japanese companies were recalling thousands of Chinese toothpaste products sold to hotels across the country after the health ministry reported finding that they contained chemicals used in anti-freeze. At the same time, Sony announced that it was recalling 43,000 “Thomas the Tank Engine” wooden toys, which were found to be covered in paint with excessive levels of lead. Bloggers in Japan reacted with anger and disbelief.
Japan: Freak Accidents
TokyoMango reports on freak accidents in Tokyo in the news today: a 28-year old woman was strolling in Shinjuku when a sign from a pizza place fell on her head, leaving her in the hospital with a brain contusion, and a fancy day spa in an upscale neighborhood in Shibuya...
Japan: Video Art, Media and Zen
An interview with Montreal-born Japan-based video producer Michael Goldberg has been posted at gyaku. In the interview, Goldberg discusses his experience with media art movements in the 60s and 70s, as well as his recent documentary entitled “A ZEN LIFE” about Japanese author/translator D.T. Suzuki, widely credited as having introduced...
Japan: Confidential Police Files Leaked, Again
What do a group of sex crime victims, police informants, traffic violators, members of Japan's largest crime syndicate and a man being stalked by his girlfriend all have in common this week? They all had their personal information -- including names, addresses, photos, bank account numbers, private testimony, and interrogation reports -- leaked from a police officer's personal computer onto Japan's hugely popular bulletin board 2channel Tuesday morning. Japanese bloggers have responded to the leak with outrage and frustration.
Japan: Death of a Pop Star
Blogger shisaku has a great post about the death of Sakai Izumi, singer and songwriter for the group ZARD and “the Voice of the Lost Decade” in Japan.
Japan: The Disappearing Pension Accounts
For the past few weeks, pressure has been intensifying against the Japanese government over its apparent mismanagement of over 50 million public pension accounts belonging to millions of Japanese citizens. While the government has attempted to deflect attacks by issuing flyers pinning the blame on a former member of the opposition, many Japanese bloggers are not buying it.
Japan: Surveillance of Citizen Groups
Japan Observer compares coverage of revelations that “a special Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF) unit conducted surveillance against citizens’ groups and political parties opposed to the dispatch of JSDF troops to Iraq”, noting that, whereas the newspaper Asahi shimbun devoted the entire editorial page to the issue, Yomiuri shimbun buried...
Japan: The Matsuoka Suicide
The story is now over a week old, and yet the sensational suicide of Agriculture Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu, who hung himself in his apartment on May 28th and later died in hospital, is continuing to ripple through Japanese society. As others have noted elsewhere, while the rate of suicide within...
Japan: The Battle of Okinawa Again
Jeff at Jeff's Okinawa Blog reflects on the poetry of Wilfred Owen, whose poetry about World War I Jeff connects with the Battle of Okinawa (Japan). Jeff writes: “if there was ever an example of a person being meant to do something, being born for it, this is the one.”
Japan: Declining Language Skills
Ampontan has translated an interview by Nishinippon Shimbun with Mieno Yasushi, the former governer of the Bank of Japan, on the topic of “the state of contemporary Japanese education and how the Japanese language […] is commonly discussed by the people who use it every day.” Of his experience with...