Tag Archives: U.S.

Japan compared to America…statistically

23 Jul

From the NationMaster website, I found a long list of interesting statistics comparing Japan and America (any countries can be compared on that website…but since I was born in America and have been living in Japan for more than half of my life, I decided to compare those two countries.)

According to that website:

– America has three times as much crime as Japan,
– America has the world’s highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Japan has the third (was the second highest until China surpassed Japan recently),
– American school classrooms have an average of 18 students per class, and Japan has an average of 35.
30% of Americans are considered obese but only 3.2% of Japanese are.
– Japan has a 99% literacy rate, America’s is 86%
– America drinks 10 times as many soft drinks as Japan…but Japan drinks 71% more alcohol than America.

U.S. Independence Day by numbers

5 Jul

Today is already July 5th in Japan, and America’s 「独立記念日」 (Independence Day) isn’t obserevd in Japan (obviously)…but, as I’m American, I thought I’d write a post about it.

Kind of a “Didja know…?” post.

So, did you know that…

– three U.S. Presidents died on July 4th? (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day…1826 July 4th, and James Monroe died on 1831 July 4th.)

– Heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne was married on 1982 July 4th (thirty years ago yesterday).

– There were (at least) two movies with Fourth of July-related titles…”Independence Day” and “Born On The Fourth of July“.

– Tom Cruise starred in the aforementioned “Born On The Fourth of July” and he nearly was born on that day…his birthday is July 3rd.

Can you think of any other July 4th coincidences or interesting trivia?

Are you American? How do you celebrate America’s Independence Day? (Even better…are you not American but celebrate the holiday??)

Ichiro played for America in game against Japan in Tokyo

26 Mar

The American Major League Baseball (MLB) teams Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics (A’s) are here in Tokyo, Japan now to play a total of six pre-season games at the Tokyo Dome.

They’re scheduled to play two games against each other on 2012 March 28th and 29th.

But before those games, the two American teams will play games against the Japanese baseball teams the Tokyo Giants and the (Osaka) Hanshin Tigers.

Today the Seattle Mariners played the Hanshin Tigers and lost.

Ichiro (Suzuki) and the Seattle Mariners lost to the Hanshin Tigers in the Tokyo Dome today.

And then, after that game, the Oakland A’s played the Tokyo Giants and won.

This was third-generation Japanese, Ken Suzuki's (of the Oakland A's) first trip to Japan.
The A's beat the Tokyo Giants in today's game.

Tomorrow, the two Japanese teams and the two American teams will change opponents (it will be Oakland A’s vs Hanshin Tigers and then the Seattle Mariners vs Tokyo Giants).

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(Images in this post are from SeattlePi.com, VancouverSun.com, and 読売新聞.co.jp).

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100 year old Japanese trees in America

25 Mar

Did you know that there are 3,000 Japanese さくら (Sakura (Cherry Blossom)) trees in Washington DC, America?

Japanese Sakura in Washington, DC (photo from Yahoo! News)

Did you know that those trees were a gift of friendship to America from Japan? And that the first two trees were planted near the White House by the then American “First Lady” and wife of the Japanese Ambassador to America?

I knew all of that already and I also knew that there are Japanese-style 花見 (“Cherry Blossom Viewing” parties) in Washington DC every spring when the flowers are in bloom.

But I didn’t know that Japan gave the trees to America in March 1912. One hundred years ago this month.
And I also didn’t know that the first two trees (the ones planted by the wives of the then U.S. President and Japanese Ambassador) are still standing in the same spot the were planted in Washington DC in 1912.

So, this year’s 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) in Washington DC is special because it’s the one-hundredth anniversary of the gift of the trees from Japan.

The さくら (Cherry Blossoms) are already in bloom in Washington DC because of unusually warm weather in America now.

Another event to help mark the occasion took place in New York City earlier this month.
2012 March 1-6 was called “Japan Week” in NYC.

I don’t know much about this event but from looking at their website, it appears that visitors could experience a lot of Japanese culture that week in New York.

A woman playing the "Koto" (Japanese harp-like instrument) at "Japan Week" in NYC.

Are dogs more humane than us?

21 Jan

In the news recently there have been stories about parents killing their own children, an American woman who let her ten-year old son get a tattoo, a nurse in Japan who enjoyed torturing her patients, a ship’s captain in Italy who abandoned the ship he crashed while his passengers were stranded on board to die, and other terrible stories about people mistreating other people who they were supposed to help and protect.

Of course, there are stories about people who act honorably too. The Italian Coast Guard officer who berated the aforementioned captain is one recent example.

But there were another two stories in the news recently too.
A dog in Australia and another one in Korea risked their own lives to save their respective families.

In Australia, a family with two daughters aged two and seven had a pet dog that loved the children.
One day last week, the two girls were in their backyard with the dog playing…but there was a very deadly Brown Snake there too!

The highly venomous Australian Brown Snake

The girls didn’t notice the snake, but the snake noticed them and it wasn’t pleased by their presence.
Just as the snake coiled to attack the girls, the dog saw the snake and didn’t hesitate to protect the girls.
The dog jumped on the snake and killed it…but not before the snake bit the dog.
The dog was rushed to the veterinarian to receive anti-venom treatment and is expected to recover…and will be get a “hero’s welcome” when he returns to his home.

The puppy in Korea was hiking with his elderly owner in the cold Korean winter last week when the old man slipped and fell.
He was knocked unconscious and would have frozen to death by the time his family found him…by his dog laid on top of him and keep him alive with his own body heat.
The young dog nearly froze to death himself to save his owner.

These dogs acted more humanly than some humans do.

The life of Japanese college students compared to that of American ones

5 Jan

Look at this video of A Vision of (American) Students Today:

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And compare it to A Vision of Japanese University Students:

You’ve been in America too long when…

19 Dec

Many people who live for an extended time in another country make “You’ve been in (such-and-such country) for too long when…” type jokes.

They can be interesting to read because you can tell something about their native culture by the types of things that they find peculiar about another country.

I found a list titled 「日本人がアメリカに長くいすぎたと実感するのはこんなとき」 (Roughly: “You’ve been living in America too long when… (by Japanese people)”).

It’s a list of things that Japanese people who have been living in America for a long period find unusual about American culture.

To tell the truth, I’ve been living in Japan longer now than I lived in America so I can understand the Japanese people’s reactions.

Here is some of the list:

You’ve been living in America too long when… (by Japanese people):

◎ you wear a T-shirt even in winter.
◎ you blow your nose in public
◎ you don’t wear skirts any more.
◎ you feel you’re lucky when a train is only five minutes late.
◎ you  say ‘Thank you’ to a cashier in a store.
◎ you don’t carry an umbrella.
◎ you cross a street when the light is still red.
◎ you wear your shoes indoors.
◎ you understand measuring units such as Fahrenheit, miles, gallons and inches.

If you’re unfamiliar with Japanese culture, you may find that list confusing.
I’ll try to explain them a bit…

◎ About “wearing a T-shirt in winter”…foreigners, especially Americans, have an image amongst Japanese of wearing T-shirts all year–even when it’s cold outside.
◎ Regarding “blowing your nose in public”…it’s considered bad manners in Japan.
◎ About “skirts”…Japanese girls wear them more often than Americans do. Generally speaking.
◎ As for “feeling lucky about a train being ‘only’ five minutes late”…public transportation in Japan is extremely punctual. Announcements and apologies can be heard in train stations in Japan if a train is even a minute late.
◎ About “thanking store clerks”…people in Japan, especially Tokyo, don’t usually do that.
◎ “Umbrellas”…people in Japan use them. I know when I lived in America, I have no recollection of ever seeing anyone use an umbrella.
◎ About “jay-walking (crossing before the light changes)”…most people in Japan wait for the light—even if there are no cars on the road.
◎ About “shoes indoors”…in Japan, people take their shoes off when they enter a house.
◎ About “measuring units”…Japan uses, as most other countries do, the metric system.

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Then, of course, there are “You know you’ve been in Japan too long…” jokes, too:

(The cartoon images in this post were found on “Google Images“).