Tag Archives: Brazil

World Cup 2014

13 Jun

The FIFA soccer championship World Cup matches are currently being played in Brazil.

The first game was yesterday.  Home team Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1.

This is the first World Cup with any Japanese referees. Three Japanese referees officiated yesterday’s Brazil – Croatia game.

The games that Japan and the games that America are scheduled to play are here:

fifa

Dates / times shown are Brazil time (Japan Standard Time is twelve hours later)

Do you watch the World Cup?

I’ve never been very interested in soccer. I watched a few World Cup games when Japan co-hosted the games with Korea in 2002. I think I’ll give it another try, and watch some of the games that Japan and America play. Maybe I’ll become a soccer fan. 😉

McDonalds “World Cup” menu

29 May

Do you know the FIFA soccer “World Cup“? Do you watch it?

It’s like the Olympics or “Super Bowl” for soccer.

I remember when Korea and Japan co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 and many matches were held in the Tokyo area. I tried to get interested in the event. I watched the games that Japan played, as well as the games that America played.

But, if I’m honest, I find soccer pretty boring.

I guess I’m in the minority with that opinion though because soccer, especially the World Cup, is very popular around the world.
In Japan, too.

It wasn’t always like that. When I first came to Japan, soccer wasn’t very popular here. Baseball was by far the most popular sport in Japan then.
When Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, soccer-fever took off in Japan. And it’s been very popular here since.

Anyways, in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil from 2014 June 12th – July 13th, McDonalds in Japan is offering a special “World Cup” menu.

It says 「一番ウマい国はどこだ。」 (“Which country is the best?”)

They offer a Brazilian BBQ burger, German pork sandwich, Italian Risotto balls, Chicken McNuggets with Italian Basil and Cheese dip, JapaneseRamune” floats, and more.

Is McDonalds doing a World Cup campaign like this in your country too?

Congratulations Brazil

3 Oct

Last night at about 2:00AM (Japan Standard Time (JST)), it was announced that the 2016 Summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The four cities that were candidates to host the games in 2016 were Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), and Tokyo (Japan).

Chicago was the first city to get eliminated in the IOC (International Olympic Committee)’s voting process yesterday, then Tokyo was eliminated…which left Madrid and Rio in the running.
At that point, they said that they would announce the winning city in 90 minutes. Was the intermission meant to add to the anticipation?

Anyways, if you click here, you can read the comments that wrote on a post I wrote last month about the four candidate cities. I wrote the comments while I was watching the IOC’s vote.

In 2016, when Brazil hosts the Olympics, it will be the first time that the Olympic Games were held in South America.
So, it’s actually good that Rio won their bid to host the games (even though I would have liked to have the Olympics here in Tokyo!).

Similarly, in 1964, when Tokyo hosted the Olympics, it was the first time that the Olympic Games were held in Asia.

The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.

(The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.)

Sister cities

27 Sep

Many cities in the world have a 姉妹都市 (“sister city“) partnership with a city in another country. Some cities have more than one “sister city”.

Tokyo, for example, has eleven sister cities.
– 中国北京市 (Beijing, China)
– Berlin, Germany
– Cairo, Egypt
– Jakarta, Indonesia
– Moscow, Russia
– New South Wales, Australia
– New York City, America
– Paris, France
– Rome, Italy
– Sao Paulo, Brazil, and
– Seoul, Korea
are Tokyo’s sister cities.

Cities make “sister city” contracts with other cities in the world to help promote each other’s culture, industry and tourism.

I just found out that the city I grew up in…Clearwater, Florida, USA is a sister city with 日本国長野市 (Nagano, Japan).

And that this year (2009) is the 50th year that Clearwater, Florida and Nagano, Japan have been sister cities.
To celebrate, both Nagano and Clearwater are doing more than usual to promote each other’s culture.

I also found out that every year, a small group of American students and teachers spend two weeks of the summer in Nagano, Japan…and a similar small Japanese group from Nagano visit Clearwater, Florida.
I wish I knew about that when I was a teenager in Florida! I might have applied for the program!

I remember, though, when I was in elementary school, a group of teachers from Japan visited my school in Florida. I guess they were from Nagano. I remember that they seemed very interested in my school lunch and what I thought of it (I know now that it’s because American school lunches are so very different from Japanese ones!).

What city do you live in? What’s your town’s “sister city”? Have you ever visited the sister city?

I have been to Nagano once. In 1998, to see the ’98 Olympics that were hosted by Nagano, Japan.
And I’ve only been back to visit Clearwater, Florida once since I moved to Tokyo in 1990 (in 2004, my family and I visited Florida for a couple weeks in the summer).

As for Tokyo’s sister cities, years ago, I visited Seoul, Korea and New York City once each.

IOC decision in one month

2 Sep

In one month from today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce which of the four candidate cities has been chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The 2016 Olympics will be in either Tokyo (Japan), Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), or Rio De Janeiro (Brazil).

2016 Olympic Candidate Cities logos

2016 Olympic Candidate Cities logos

I don’t know the meaning of the other three logos, but the symbol on the Tokyo logo is a musubi knot…which is a symbol of happiness and blessings (or condolances, depending on the colors and arrangement).

Here is a Japanese envelope with a musubi to give a monetary gift to newlyweds at a wedding ceremony:

shugi-bukuro

As it stands right now, the IOC announced that 72% of Japanese people support the 2016 Olympics being hosted in Tokyo…the lowest local support rate of the four cities (93% of Spanish people support Madrid’s bid).
Although having local support is an important factor in the IOC’s decision…it’s not the only factor.

(Tokyo can) offer the safest, securest, most risk-free and most dependable bid. This is especially critical considering today’s uncertain environment.

–Ichiro Kono, Tokyo Olympic bid leader.

Which of the four cities do you think should host the 2016 Summer Olympics? (Please vote in this poll, and also add additional comments, such as your reasons and which city you live in, in this post’s Comments section):

今週の天気予報

26 Aug

The weather has been very nice these days in Tokyo.
And it’s forecast to continue like this…until Sunday.
The 天気予報 (weather forecast) says it’ll rain on Sunday, August 30th.

Weather forecast for Tokyo from August 26 - Sept 1

Weather forecast for Tokyo from August 26 - Sept 1

It says:

  • Wed, Aug 26: Sunny / partly cloudy (22-28°C) (20% chance of rain (COR))
  • Thur, Aug 27: Sunny / partly cloudy (23-29°C) (20% COR)
  • Fri, Aug 28: Mostly sunny (23-31°C) (10% COR)
  • Sat, Aug 29: Sunny / partly cloudy (25-31°C) (20% COR)
  • Sun, Aug 30: Scattered rain (24-29°C) (50% COR)
  • Mon, Aug 31: Cloudy (23-27°C) (40% COR)
  • Tues, Sept 1: Cloudy (22-27°C) (40% COR)

So, if you’re in Tokyo and plan to do some outdoor activities this weekend, doing them on Saturday rather than Sunday, if possible, would probably be a good idea.

If you’re looking for an idea for something to do this weekend in Tokyo…there’ll be the annual Brazilian Samba Fesival in 浅草 (Asakusa, Tokyo) on Saturday.

2016 Olympics in Tokyo

17 Apr

This October (2009), the International Olympic Committee will announce which city is chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The four finalist cities are Tokyo, Japan; Chicago, USA; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Madrid, Spain.

I believe Tokyo should be chosen to host the games…Tokyo is safe and clean, the public transportation is extremely punctual and affordable, their is plenty of interesting places to see in the city, the food is excellent, and it’s a beautiful city.

Here is one of the official promotional videos for Tokyo’s campaign to win the 2016 Olympics host-city bid. Watch it and see why I love living here:

Friday The 13th

13 Feb

今日は十三日の金曜日 (Today is Friday the 13th).

Are you superstitious?

I wonder why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky.

In Japan, the unlucky numbers are four and nine.
American hospitals and hotels don’t have a thirteenth floors (the floor above the twelfth floor is the fourteenth)…in Japanese hospitals and hotels there are no fourth floors.

And old Japanese telephones didn’t have a numeral written on the “four” number slot (old phones were rotary, not push-button). You could dial a “4”…but it wasn’t written.
They don’t make telephone like that anymore, though.

Also, nothing in Japan comes in sets of four (dishes, cups, Chicken McNuggets, etc) are sold in sets of five, usually.
If you give a present to Japanese people…don’t give a set of four.

Unlike “13” in the West, I can tell you exactly why “4” (and to a lesser extent, “9”) are unlucky in Japan.
In the Japanese language, one of the possible pronunciations for “four” (「四」) is “shi“…and “death” (「死」) is also pronounced “shi“.
“Nine” (「九」) can be pronounced “ku“…and “pain” or “bitterness” 「苦」 can be pronounced as “ku“, also.

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明日は「バレンタイン・デー」 (Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ♥).

When I came home from work yesterday, my wife and daughters were all in the kitchen making homemade Valentines chocolates.

It smelled wonderful!

I wonder how much is for me. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Click here to read my “Valentines Day” FAQ. And click here to read another post in which I wrote about “Valentines Day” in Japan.

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On October 2nd of this year, the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be chosen.

Tokyo is one of the four finalist cities. The other three are Chicago, Rio, and Madrid.

Here are the the four 2016 Olympic Applicant City logos:

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

If Tokyo is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, I might volunteer my help. It would be fun.

Brazilian-Japanese

17 Jun

This week is the 100 year anniversary of the mass immigration of Japanese to Brazil.

In the early 1900’s, Brazil’s economy (which was still poor) was better than Japan’s…so in June 1908, the first ship of Japanese emigrants left Japan for Brazil.

They were mostly farmers who got jobs as laborers on Brazilian coffee plantations.

Supposedly, the language barrier and culture shock was too much for most to bear and many wanted to return to Japan…but were forbidden by the coffee plantation owners.

Many of the Japanese were finally able to buy their own farmland and start their own farms. And they began raising families in Brazil, so roots were set.

But after WWII, Japan’s economy became much better than Brazil’s…so to return the favor to Brazil for allowing so many poor farmers to immigrate, Japan began allowing Brazilians of Japanese descent to come to Japan and get a special visa to allow them to live and work here.

There are many Brazilians of Japanese descent. Brazil has the largest number of Japanese people outside of Japan.

But most of the Brazilians who come to Japan have a hard time. Many can’t speak Japanese very well. They usually get low paying labor jobs in factories and their children are unable to keep up in school.

Here’s a picture of the first Japanese to immigrate to Brazil in 1908: