Tag Archives: NYC

Did you hear about…?

1 Jun

Did you hear about these recent Japan-related news items?

  • Takeru Kobayashi, the hot-dog eating champion from Japan who won the annual Fourth Of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City six times just won a pizza-eating contest in California.He ate 5 ¾ pizzas in six minutes. Just beating American Joey Chestnut who ate 5 ½ pizzas.

    Kobayashi and Chestnut are always rivals at the hot-dog eating contests in New York every year. Joey Chestnut beat Kobayashi the last two years at the hot-dog contest.

    They both said that they will attend the hot-dog eating contest this July to continue their rivalry.

  • The Japanese ambassador to America offered an official apology from the Japanese government to a group of American WW2 veterans who were held POW by the Japanese military and forced to work in a labor camp.
  • A 20 year old Japanese man who had been drinking all night on Saturday and was still drunk on Sunday morning fell off of a train platform at a train station in Tokyo…and, as he was falling, grabbed onto the arm of a nearby 59 year old female commuter.They both fell off of the platform onto the train tracks.

    Luckily, no train was coming at the time.

    The man sustained minor injuries. The woman, though, broke her pelvis.

    The man is currently in police custody while they investigate whether he really did fall and pull the woman by accident…or if he jumped and pulled her intentionally.

News summary

28 May

A few items that were in the news recently:

  • Takamiyama, the first foreign sumo wrestler in Japan (he was Hawaiian (he’s become a naturalized Japanese years ago, though)), will retire this June.He’s already retired from wrestling about 25 years ago, but he has his own sumo stable (a training ring and dormitory for a group of wrestlers) and he will turn 65 years old this June, so he’s planning to completely retire from sumo next month.
  • 自由の女神像 (The Statue Of Liberty) in New York City had been off-limits to tourists since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks…but it has recently been reopened and now tourists can go all the way to the top again for the first time in nearly eight years.
  • North Korea tested nuclear weapons on last Monday and Tuesday. As a result, the Peace Clock in 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan) that counts the number of days that there has been no nuclear testing in the world had to be reset back to “00001”.

peace-clock

  • A police officer in France was arrested after he cut of the genitals of his cheating wife’s boyfriend with a box-cutter knife.
  • A woman was caught shoplifting from a Wal-Mart store in America and in an attempt to escape, she threw her infant child at the store’s security guards. Almost killing the baby.

ジミー・ミリキタニ

1 Apr

About three years ago my wife and I went to the Tokyo screening of the movie 「ミリキタニの猫」 (“The Cats Of Mirikitani“).

mirikitani

The movie is a documentary by Linda Hattendorf about ジミー・ツトム・ミ力谷 (Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani).

mirikitani-jimmy

In the beginning of the documentary, Linda Hattendorf simply films and interviews a homeless Japanese artist who lives on the street near her apartment in New York City selling his artwork (many of which features cats).

But then the “September 11th” attacks on the World Trade Center happen and Linda sees the artist, Jimmy Mirikitani, still on the street breathing the toxic dust in the air from the fallen towers…so she invites him into her apartment. And that’s when they change each other’s lives.

She discovers that he was born in California (and therefore was an American citizen) and raised in 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan).

When he was a young man, he moved back to America to pursue his dream to become an artist. But when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he was put in an internment camp and lost his U.S. citizenship.

A chain of events led to him becoming homeless and stateless. But with Linda’s help, he reacquired his American citizenship, located long-lost relatives, paid a visit to the internment camp that had caused him to resent the U.S. government (but revisiting it helped him to overcome the anger), and also visit his hometown in 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan).

She also helped him get an apartment of his own and a job teaching art.

It’s a touching story. You can read about it in more detail on the official website (Click here for the English version…or click here for the 日本語 (Japanese) version.)

The reason I’m writing a blog post about this story after it’s been three years since I watched the documentary is because I just found out there is a show of phots of  ジミー・ツトム・ミ力谷 (Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani) and a new painting by him at a vegetarian restaurant in 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) called Nagishokudo from March 29 until April 18, 2009.

If you’re in Tokyo, you should go see it if you have a chance (especially if you like vegetarian food since restaurants like that are fairly uncommon in Japan. (As for me, I’m definately not a vegetarian so I don’t think I’ll be going there for the art show)).

nine-eleven

11 Sep

Today is September 11.

For the past seven years all one needs to say is that date and everyone knows what is being referred to.
September 11, 2001. In the United States, it’s usually just called “9/11“.

I don’t need to say that I’m talking about today being the seventh anniversary of the four hijacked airplanes that were used by terrorists to bring down both World Trade Center buildings in New York City, crash into “ The Pentagon” government building in Washington DC, and a fourth failed attacked that potentially saved numerous lives due to the sacrifice of the heroes that crashed that plane into an empty field in Pennsylvania.
Do I?

Where were you when the 9/11 Attacks occurred?

In Japan, it was already late in the evening of September 11, 2001.
I was in the shower. My wife saw the “breaking news” on TV and she came to the bathroom to tell me that an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC.

I assumed it was just a small Cesna plane. Who would’ve guessed that hijackers could take over the cockpit of a passenger 747 and fly it into a skyscraper in a major metropolis?
And who would’ve guessed that they could fly a second 747 into the neighboring skyscraper?
And two more planes? One into the American military’s biggest building?

It was quite obvious that America was under attack.

Then the two towers came crashing down!

It was quite a sad, shocking event, wasn’t it!?

My wife and I stayed up for hours watching the TV news. It was impossible to sleep!

Condolences to the families of the victims.

Statue Of Liberty

31 Aug

Everyone knows the symbol of America, the Statue Of Liberty (or the full name: the Statue Of Liberty Enlightening The World, or in Japanese 自由の女神像 (which would translate to Statue of the Liberty Goddess).

But many visitors to Japan are surprised to see the 自由の女神像 (Statue of Liberty) in Tokyo. Like the one in NYC, it was a gift from France.

I’ve seen the one in New York and, of course, the one in Tokyo (pictured above)…but I was surprised to learn (from this Wikipedia site: in English or 日本語) that there replicas of the 自由の女神像 (Statue of Liberty) all over the world.

How many of them have you seen?

+++

Wanna see some more various photos that I’ve taken at different times / places around Tokyo?

靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine):

ミルクスタンド (Milk stand) at a train station. (If you buy a drink at one of these, it comes in a glass bottle. You stand there and finish the drink, then return the bottle. You’re not supposed to walk off with the drink):

In a supermarket:

The 大船観音 (Oofuna-Kannon) statue near 鎌倉 (Kamakura):

The first Hard Rock Cafe, Tokyo in 六本木 (Roppongi). When I came to Japan, it was the only HRC in Japan. Now there’s eight or nine around Japan, including two more in Tokyo (well, one of those isn’t actually in Tokyo…the Hard Rock Cafe, Narita Tokyo is in 千葉県成田市 (Narita, Chiba) near Tokyo.

Actually, I don’t eat at HRC.

At 三渓園 (Sankeien Gardens) in 横浜 (Yokohama):

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