Archive | November, 2009

Kameda vs Naito

30 Nov

Yesterday was the long-awaited boxing matching between challenger 23 year old 亀田興毅 (Kouki Kameda) and defending champion 35 year old 内藤大助 (Daisuke Naitou).

Daisuke Naito vs Koki Kameda promo poster

Before I talk about yesterday’s match, a little history.

Daisuke Naito made his professional boxing debut in 1996 at the age of 22.
After five years of professional boxing, he was undefeated and challenged the then-flyweight champion of Japan (Sakata Takehumi). He lost that match.
But he went to Thailand and fought for the world flyweight championship. Unfortunately, he lost again.

In 2004 (just before his 30th birthday), he finally became the Japan Flyweight Boxing champion.
And when he was 32 he became the World Flyweight Boxing Champion.

Daisuke Naito with the World Flyweight Champion trophy and belt, 2007.

And then there’s the controversial Kameda boxing family.
Koki Kameda and his two younger brothers (Daiki and Tomoki) have all been trained since they were very young to become professional boxers by their father.

They are infamous for making rude comments to opponents before and after matches (in Japan, such antics aren’t common at all) and for unsportsmanlike conduct.

In 2007, Daiki Kameda challenged Daisuke Naito for his World Flyweight Championship belt.
Naito retained his championship due to Daiki Kameda‘s misconduct during the match.
With encouragement from his father and older brother Koki, Daiki Kameda elbowed Daisuke Naito in the face and the picked him up and threw him to the mat.

Daiki Kameda throwing Daisuke Naito to the mat, 2007

After that match, the Kameda brothers’ father was banned from training his sons forever and Daiki Kameda was banned from boxing for a year.

Daiki Kameda shaved his head after the match to show his regret and he showed up unexpectedly at the home of Daisuke Naito and apologized in person.

The Kameda brothers have since toned down their attitude and became more respectful.

As for Koki Kameda, he wasn’t in the same weight-class as Daisuke Naito before.
In 2006 (at the age of 20), he became the World Lightweight Boxing champion in a match that some have said was fixed.

Koki Kameda, World Flyweight Champion 2006 hoisted by Sumo Yokozuna Asashoryu

But Koki Kameda recently moved up to the Flyweight class and yesterday he challenged Daisuke Naito for the championship.

Koki Kameda (23才) vs Daisuke Naito (35才) on 2009 November 29.

I won’t put a YouTube clip of the match in this post because it wasn’t a very exciting match.
But the challenger, Koki Kameda won in an unanimous decision.

The new World Flyweight Boxing champion (2009), Koki Kameda after the 2009 Nov 29 match.

So now their records are:
Daisuke Naito (former World Flyweight champ)
wins 35 (22 by KO)
loses 3
draws 3

Koki Kameda (current World Flyweight champ)
wins 21 (13 by KO)
loses 0
draws 0

I saw the Meiji train

29 Nov

It’s not such a big deal but I rode the 「山の手線」 (Yamanote Train Line) yesterday and I finally saw a Yamanote Line train that was painted brown and decorated with Meiji Chocolate ads to commemorate the 100th anniversary of both the Yamanote Line and Meiji Chocolate.

I wrote a post about these special trains when they debuted (click here to see it).

I was glad that I was finally able to see one of these trains because they will only run until next Friday (2009 December 4)!
Unfortunately though, I didn’t have my camera with me…so I was only able to take a photo of it with my cell-phone.

Here’s the photo I took:


27 Nov

I remember about fifteen years ago, it was on the news here in Japan that some Australian Redback Spiders were seen in Western Japan. And that someone got bitten by one.

They assume that the spiders hitched a ride to Japan onboard a cargo ship from Australia.

It was big news in Japan at the time because the Australian Redback Spider is a very poisonous spider in the Black Widow family…and before that Japan had no poisonous spiders.

Australian Redback Spider

In Japan, there are hornets, centipedes, and a few poisonous snakes…but until this spider arrived in the mid-’90s, there were no poisonous spiders here.

But after that initial news story, I had forgotten about that spider because there was no more mention of it on the news…and also it was seen on the other side of the country.

But the Australian Redback Spider is back in the news here in Japan again.

It seems that the population of this spider has greatly expanded in Japan.
The news said that this spider has been seen in other parts of Japan now too.

I guess the Australian Redback Spider has become a permanent resident in Japan.

It’s a dangerous spider but there is an anti-venom for it’s bite so there hasn’t been a single case of a person dieing from this spider’s bite in decades.

It’s unfortunate that the Australian Redback Spider has come to Japan…but at least the highly venomous (and creepy) Australian Funnel-web Spider isn’t here!

The "Australian Funnelweb Spider" has large fangs and a deadly venom


23 Nov

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, today is the Japanese holiday 「勤労感謝の日」 (Labor Day).

And also, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, we went to the park together today. We enjoyed the time together outdoors in the nice weather by playing ball and having lunch.

It was a nice day.

A few photos I took in the park:


Autumn leaves

The weather today in Tokyo was mostly sunny and 14°C. The weather was nice for the entire three-day weekend.

How about where you live? What did you do this weekend? How was the weather?

Kirin Beer’s 120th

22 Nov

Kirin Beer is 120 years old.

To commemorate, they are selling beer in retro cans in all of their past designs.
The blue can from the 「明治時代」 (Meiji Period), white can from the 「大正時代」 (Taisho Period), gold can from the 「昭和時代」 (Showa Period), and the current silver can from the current 「平成時代」 (Heisei Period).

Of course, I have bought many of the current silver cans. I don’t save those once they’re empty…but I like to save special edition unique beer cans.

I already have the gold 「昭和時代」 (Showa Period) special Kirin Beer can.

I want the other two.

Re-issue special edition "Meiji Period" Kirin Beer can

Re-issue special edition "Taisho Period" Kirin Beer can

How about you? Do you save special-edition or unusual beer cans?


22 Nov

It’s a three-day weekend in Japan now.
Tomorrow is 「勤労感謝の日」 (“Labor Day“) in Japan. (Click here to see my short FAQ about this holiday.)

My daughters heard that the American TV series 「プリズン・ブレイク」 (“Prison Break“) is good.
The first four seasons are currently available for rental on DVD at stores in Japan.

So we rented the first four episodes of season one of this series.
We’re gonna watch it tonight.

I haven’t watched an American TV series in years. We watch normal Japanese TV shows.

Have you seen this American show? Is it good? (Don’t tell me how it ends 😉 ).

And then tomorrow, the five of us are gonna go to a nearby park, play catch and have a picnic lunch together.
My kids are teenagers now, so they spend alot of their free-time with their friends…but we try to enjoy time together as a family.

History timeline

21 Nov

By no ways a complete list, but here is a timeline of some highlights of world history.

Japan-related dates are written in red.

  • 1281: Mongolia was conquering most of Asia. As the Mongolian Navy was heading to Japan to invade, a giant typhoon sunk their entire fleet. Thus saving Japan.
    That typhoon was called 「神風」 (“Kamikaze“), which means “Divine Wind“, in Japan.The World War 2 Kamikaze pilots were named after this typhoon.
  • 1346: The Black Plague started and eventually killed nearly half of Europe’s population.
  • 1492: Christopher Columbus lands in America. But he believed he was in India and called the inhabitants “Indians“.
  • 1603: 「江戸時代」 (The “Edo Period“) begins in Japan.
  • 1680: The 将軍 (Shougun), Tsunayoshi, loved dogs and enacted a number of laws protecting dogs and making harming them a criminal offense.He is therefore often called “The Dog Shogun”.
  • 1776: America declares it’s independence from England.
  • 1789: French Revolution began.
  • 1804: Napoleon became the Emperor of France.
  • 1854: U.S. Naval Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to open to trade with the West.At first Japan resisted and the island of Odaiba was built in Tokyo Bay to defend Japan from the American forces. But Perry’s fleet of black ships were too intimidating and Japan enacted law to allow trade with the West in general and America in particular.The resulting influx of American goods and culture sparked Japan’s “Westernization”.

An Ukiyoe portrait of Cmdr. Perry. His name is written as 「ぺルリ」 ("Peruri") because that's what it sounded like to the Japanese when Perry said his name with his American accent.

  • 1859: Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin Of Species“.
  • 1861: The U.S. Civil War began.
  • 1868: 「明治時代」 (The “Meiji Period“) started in Japan. This was a period of modernization.
  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
  • 1904: The Russia-Japan War began. Russia underestimated Japan and lost the war.
  • 1905: Albert Einstein published his “Theory Of Relativity” (E=MC?)
  • 1912: The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic sunk.
  • 1914 – 1918: World War 1.
  • 1937: The zeppelin Hindenberg exploded over the U.S. state of New Jersey.
  • 1939 – 1945: World War 2.
  • 1941 December 7: Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • 1945 August 6: America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of 広島 (Hiroshima).
  • 1945 August 9: America dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan. This time on the city of 長崎 (Nagasaki).
  • 1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space, starting the “Space Race” to the moon between America and Russia.
  • 1964: Tokyo, Japan hosted the Summer Olympics. The first Olympic games hosted in an Asian city.
  • 1969: U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first (and so far, only) man to walk on the moon.
  • 1972: Sapporo, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
  • 1990 October 17: I (“Tokyo Five”) came to Japan.
  • 1995 January 17: 「阪神淡路大震災」 (Hanshin-awajidai-shinsai), (“The Kobe Earthquake“) destroyed the city of 神戸 (Kobe, Japan).

    A collapsed overpass after the Kobe Earthquake; 1995 January.

  • 1998: Nagano, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
  • 2001 September 11: Both of the World Trade Center in New York City, USA and The Pentagon in Washington D.C. are attacked by commercial airplanes hijacked by terrorists. Both of the towers in NYC were destroyed completely.
  • I know that I left out many important dates. Feel free to write any that you can think of in the comments section of this post.

    And did you witness any historic events?

    Poor Baikinman

    18 Nov

    When my kids were young, they used to love a popular Japanese cartoon called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).

    This cartoon is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most characters. A new one is constantly being introduced by the 90-year old artist!
    I wrote a post about the world record. Click here to read it.

    Anpanman‘s artist, Yanase Takashi, grew up in the city of Kochi, Japan.
    Last month, the city decided to honor Mr. Yanase and the characters he created that have become a part of Japanese culture by renaming a street “Yanase Takashi Road” and placing large, stone statues on the street of the cartoon’s six main characters.

    Well, late last Sunday, someone destroyed the statue of the cartoon’s main “villain”, 「バイキンマン」 (“Baikinman“).

    Baikinman has two antennae on his head. But some cut off one of the statue’s antennae. In Japan, vandalism isn’t very common.

    Here’s what the statue used to look like:

    And this is what the vandal did to it:


    14 Nov

    Last November 12 was the Emperor of Japan’s 20th anniversary on the throne (I mentioned it on this post).

    A special ceremony was held to mark the occasion. The Emperor gave a speech at the ceremony…he said, among other things, that he hopes that the younger generations won’t forget the horrors of WW2 and repeat the mistakes.

    The Japanese Emperor & Empress at the ceremony to mark the Emperor's 20th anniversary on the throne.

    The Japanese Emperor & Empress at the ceremony to mark the Emperor's 20th anniversary on the throne.

    And U.S. President Obama was in Tokyo yesterday and today. He met with Japan’s Prime Minister and also with the Emperor of Japan.


    U.S. President Obama meeting the Emperor of Japan.

    If you’re in Japan this weekend, you may notice children who are three, five and seven years old dressed in kimono and visiting shrines with their families.

    That’s because it’s now the time of the 「七五三」 (“7-5-3 Festival“).

    As I wrote on my main website’s FAQ page, on or around November 15, girls aged 3 and 7 and boys aged 5 are dressed up (girls in kimono, boys in kimono or suit) and go to a shrine with their families for blessings for a long healthy life.
    Afterwards, they are given special candies and are often brought by their parents to a photo studio to have their portrait taken.

    And also, Quintin Tarantino and Brad Pitt were in Tokyo together recently to promote their new movie “Inglourious Basterds“.


    Brad Pitt and Quintin Tarintino promoting "Inglourious Basterds" in Tokyo.

    This movie will premiere in Tokyo on 20 November…the same time that the new TV commercial for the Japanese cell-phone company “Softbank” will air.
    Quintin Tarintino will appear in this new commercial.

    Last year, Brad Pitt was in the Tv commercials for Softbank…but then Softbank began making a commercial “series” that showed the adventures of the “White Family“.

    The father in the “White Family” is a dog! The son is an African-American. The wife and daughter are regular Japanese though.

    They’re kinda funny commercials.

    And now in the newest Softbank commercial, Quintin Tarintino will play the White Family’s uncle, “Tara-chan“!


    Still from the new "Softbank" commercial featuring Quintin Tarntino.

    Victor Stabin interview

    12 Nov

    Have you read the interviews I did with a number of interesting people?
    They’re on the “Interviews” page of my main website (Click here to visit it).

    Well, I just added an interview that I did with Victor Stabin to that page.

    Do you know who Victor Stabin is?

    He’s the artist who designed the album cover for KISS‘s 1980 release titled “Unmasked“.


    His artwork is very fascinating.



    I have not listened to KISSUnmasked” since Jesus was in diapers.

    Victor Stabin

    Victor Stabin’s interview with me is very interesting…Check it out.

    My “Interviews” page: Click here
    My interview with Victor Stabin: Click here.