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Skyline

14 Apr

My first car in Japan was a Nissan Skyline.

The Skyline is a nice car!

So, it was a nice surprise when I went to the shopping mall today with my family (in the car we have now, a Toyota) and I saw that they had vintage Nissan Skyline cars from the 1950s to the 1990s on display!

Here are a few photos I took:

1957 Nissan Skyline: 

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1962 Nissan Skyline:

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1965 Nissan Skyline:

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Mine wasn’t this old. I had a 1986 Nissan Skyline Turbo years ago.

Aliens in Tokyo

15 Aug

Did you know that there are aliens in Tokyo?

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Have you ever seen these aliens in Tokyo?

Do you know where they are?
I’ll give you a hint:  Do you know where 「中野ブロードウェイ」is?

Let me introduce you to…

13 Nov

I have written a number of posts about interesting people. Most of whose stories are related to Japan in some way.
Maybe you haven’t seen many of them…so I decided to put links to all of them on a new page that I titled “Who’s Who?“.

Please check them out and leave comments to let me know what you think.

The new page is here.

The Emperor honored a great actor

7 Nov

Last Thursday (November 3rd) was 「文化の日」 (“Culture Day”), a Japanese holiday on which the Japanese Emperor personally presents medals and awards to people who have contributed to Japan culturally in some way.

At this year’s ceremony, the Emperor presented awards to novelists, historians, scientists and actor 大滝秀治 (Hideji Otaki).

Japanese actor Hideji Otaki

Mr. Otaki has acted for over sixty years and has starred in numerous Japanese movies. But, for me, his greatest role will be as the grouchy father in the Kincho bug spray TV commercials a few years ago.

There’s one commercial in particular that I like. In this one, he asks his “son” what’s so special about Kincho bug spray and as his son begins to explain, he yells 「つまらん!お前の話はつまらん!」 (“Boring! What you say is boring!”).
I have always liked that commercial.
Here it is:

(On the subject of Culture Day awards, my wife’s late grandfather received a medal from the Emperor on 「文化の日」 (Culture Day) a number of years ago for his fifty years of service as a volunteer in the Tokyo Fire Department.)

Does your country have any ceremonies similar to Japan’s Culture Day awards that honors citizens’ contributions to the country?
And are there actors in your country like Hideji Otaki?

An American professor is turning Japanese

29 Apr

Columbia University professor of Japanese Studies Donald Keene has been teaching and translating the Japanese language since 1955.

He just retired at the age of 88.

Professor Keene's recent press conference with the Japanese media.

Professor Keene made the news in Japan a couple of days ago when he announced that now that he’s retired, he plans to immigrate to Japan and become a naturalized Japanese citizen.

Some of his friends and co-workers in America expressed concerned that now may not be the best time to move to Japan because of the current nuclear power plant disaster. But Dr. Keene replied that, in his opinion, now is the perfect time to show his support for his intended adopted homeland during this hardship.

What do you think about naturalization? Do you think if someone immigrates to another country, they should become a naturalized citizen? Or is a Permanent Resident Visa enough?
If you immigrated somewhere which would you choose?

Best movie quotes

31 Mar

Sometimes quotes from songs and movies become so well-known and often used that eventually many people don’t even know that the expression came from a pop song or movie.

For example, have you ever heard this quote:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Do you know where that simple but inspiring quote is from?

It’s a line in the song “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon that was written for his son Sean Lennon.

John Lennon's "Double Fantasy" album (which includes the song "Beautiful Boy")

Here are some of the most often quoted lines from movies that I could think of off the top of my head (in no particular order):

I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse!

-Marlon Brando (from “The Godfather“)

(I have a feeling) we’re not in Kansas anymore

-Judy Garland (from “The Wizard Of Oz“)

Go ahead, make my day!

-Clint Eastwood (from “Sudden Impact“)

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

-Strother Martin (from “Cool Hand Luke“)

Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!

-Charlton Heston (from “Planet Of The Apes“)

Have you seen any of these movies? Surely you’ve heard those quotes before. Did you know they were from those movies?
What other famous movie quotes can you think of?

They’re coming back to Tokyo

4 Mar

In 1980, Wendy’s, the American fast-food restaurant, opened their first restaurant in Tokyo and from there they opened many more shops around Japan.

But in 2009, Wendy’s closed all of their shops in Japan.

It says "Wendy's Hamburger"

Well, Wendy’s just announced yesterday that they will be re-entering the Japanese market. They will be bring the Wendy’s restaurants back to Japan.
The first shops are due to open in Tokyo this autumn.

Also coming back to Japan is the 「ハヤブサ」新幹線 (“Hayabusa” bullet-train).

This was a line started in 1958 but discontinued in 2009.

Well, I saw an ad at a train station that tomorrow (2011 March 5) the 「ハヤブサ」 (“Hayabusa”) bullet train will re-commence.
It will connect Tokyo to Shin-Aomori in northern Japan.

There a brand new slick 「ハヤブサ」 (“Hayabusa”) train that will make it’s debut tomorrow when the bullet-train service begins.

From left to right, Tokyo's skyline becomes more and more modern.

Do you like Wendy’s?

Have you ever ridden a bullet train before?