ReikiZen comments

Posted in: After immigration law, Arizona faces boycot calls See in context

Well according to this new law is that no law enforcement can stop or integrate anyone without probable cause? What constitutes probable cause then? If I happen to look Hispanic or whatever else law enforcement deems necessary then I am suspect? You don't have to be Hispanic for this to happen. I can't tell you how many times I have been with friends that get complements on how good their English is lol. What an insult as they were born here!!

People have told me I look native American but I am just dark complected. You can't just go around accusing people of being illegals as on what grounds? In America's case then that pretty much makes everyone a suspect then doesn't it. It is arrogant to think Hispanics are the only illegal aliens within it's borders. Maybe they represent the largest demographic but by no means the only one. All this law is going to do is make an already bios law worse and turn Arizona into a police state! It sets a dangerous president and next time maybe we will be the ones on the receiving end.

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Posted in: The downside of twittering as Japan goes at it 24 hours a day See in context

This kinda reminds me of an anime series I saw called Kino's Journey. There was an episode where in this one town no one would leave their homes and inter-Communication between people was nearly nonexistent. This was due in part to everyone knowing each other's thoughts lol. Twitter I guess in a way is no different. It gives people a means of saving face without physically interacting with one another. Although twitter really isn't any different then any other social networking tool like Facebook, Myspace, YouTube etc etc. Has it expanded our horizons and brought us closer together? That might be a bit of a stretch but in it's own way has helped bridge the communication gap and given people more of a voice if nothing else. Although to much of anything isn't good either as Twitter isn't the bible. On the flip side it does make one think though if this ultimate experiment we call the World Wide Web has worked? Does it just offer an excuse now for people to be more introverted and anti-social? A society living in the shadows so to speak.

It's just easier to hide behind our avatars and our alias's and see the world through an hourglass. It is always better to actually interact with people face to face and make a difference in the world instead of just twitting about it. This post is really a sign of our times and what it means to live in the information age. How exactly we interpret that and use it in our every days lives is entirely up to us. I think deep down there is an inherent need for people to be part of something bigger then themselves. Communication or lack thereof is really the biggest roadblock we have to face in this world. Although I am not sure Twitting is really the answer as I personally could never get everything I wanted to say in just a couple sound bites. At least JT give me that opportunity to fill in that gap. In retrospect though I guess Twitter has it's place but should never replace real communication with real people. It is only a tool after all and not an extension of our conscience.

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Posted in: Growing number of men have no close friends See in context

I have to disagree with this as is not always the case. As an outsider it is always going to be more difficult to have friends. Although I have used this to my advantage. What I find as one of the most important things to learn is distinguishing between the Hon'ne and Tatemae. This is probably one of the most important survival skills you can acquire which can be like decrypting Egyptian hieroglyphics. This applies to friendships as well and how well you are in-tune to these differences likely will determine how well it plays out when meeting people. Politeness can just as effectively be wielded to establish distance between individuals, as it can bring them together. Being addressed in polite formal language can be considered respectful and reassuring.

Although from someone you're trying to form a closer, more informal relationship with, that same language can seem cold and emotionally distant. A phrase can take on totally different connotations depending on the level of politeness used, the context in which it appeared, and the relationship established between you and the other person. On the flip side Japanese men need to take on the role of the leader more. Being indecisive and unsure of yourself are considered poor character traits which can effect the kinds of friendships and or relationships you are likely to encounter. The what if scenario likely plays a role here as well but to engage one must also do so in return. Fear of the unknown only creates more fear, misunderstanding and uncertainty. I don't know but it has worked for me.

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Posted in: Home of the Bravia See in context

Here is the problem. The current set of 3-D TVs don't come even close to producing the kind of effect Avatar was able to. This technology is better suited for projector technology as would be hard pressed reproducing this for TVs. What was really interesting about Avatar in the theatres was that even without the glasses which i tried you don't get that cross polarizing effect you normally get in almost all other cases. In contrast 3D TV sets are not nearly large enough to get the full effect in which the technology was designed. You are limited to your screen size and the effect will be limited within those confines. In contract DLP 3-D projectors have a wider spectrum and can give you depth perception and a more encompassing panoramic view. This is just not possible with the current generation of 3-D sets on the horizon. I personally am waiting more for 4-D or holographic technology to come into the picture. This is where the technology will truly show it's full potential but that is years away yet I think.

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Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

You know that's not going to happen. If any of you should know by now is that Japan isn't going to be pressured into changing anything unless it does so itself. I personally have mixed feelings on this matter. I don't condone the way in which they kill the dolphins but I am trying to see this from their perspective as well. The question now is how much of the population actually accepts this practice vs those which do not? Any outside interference is going to be looked at negatively and will only create more problems then it solves. I have to agree that this film will do nothing to help the cause regardless of what many of you may think.

This is Japan after and no amount of outside pressure is going to change that view. It really is going to be up to the Japanese people themselves to decide on this matter like it or not. The Cove would have been better received in Japan if it wasn't so one sided. This will just force Japan back onto it's xenophobic tendencies without offering any real solutions. Threats don't make progress as that might work in the west but has little effect here. The only real hope at this point is convincing the Japanese public that dolphins are unsuitable for human consumption. Good luck at that as The Cove has pretty much put a nail in the coffin of any real dialog anytime soon.

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Posted in: 'The Cove' wins Oscar for Best Documentary See in context

You misread what I was saying. I am merely looking at this from a health and food safety perspective. This is more likely to have a stronger impact then just saying it is wrong. I am not condoning killing dolphins or whales but I also respect other cultures and what they choose for their diet. Conservation is really what the focus should be on as with anything. How is putting this out in the open going to change anything! It is only going to anger the Japanese and put them on the defensive. It is always easier to criticize when looking from the outside without knowing all the facts. I also strongly resent you saying I don't care. I tend to look at things from both perspectives and not based on my own personal views. I meant I could care less in reference not to this issue but in regards to what the Japanese choose for their diet. I guess i should have been more clear on that point. Food health & safety should be put above all else and not as a means for profit which is unforgivable.

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Posted in: 'The Cove' wins Oscar for Best Documentary See in context

What really angers me about this is why all of a sudden people feel the need to attack Japan on this issue. I agree as if these activists really are concerned about the dangerous levels of toxin in dolphins. Then why don't they address this through other means like education, research and public awareness? This is only going to create more anger and miscommunication which benefits no one. If the Japanese people were educated in that eating dolphin was actually hazardous to their health. I think people then would want to know about it!

I personally am not looking at this from an animal activist point of view either as I frankly could care less. Dolphins, Whales etc. are just animals as far as I am concerned and not same as people. Doesn't mean though there shouldn't be regulation to keep their populations at sustainable levels. Putting out a documentary under the radar is only going to further anger all parties involved. We all need to respect each others culture which includes our diet and not pass judgement out of spite. There are more legal ways of handling these sort of issues which will get the point across in a far better light. These sort of covert tactics will only force the Japanese operations underground and thus harder to trace. Open dialog is aways the best method of negotiation as to keep both parties talking.

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Posted in: 'Hurt Locker' wins Best Picture, 5 other prizes; Bridges, Bullock, Mo'Nique, Waltz get Oscars See in context

Hurt locker was good but once again a war film takes center stage and proves nothing. OK so their job is dangerous but so are thousands of other jobs as well. In retrospect Avatar got snubbed in more ways then one. Avatar is really the future in how we will look at the movies. You look at a Broadway musicals like Cats or the Lion King. Are you going to call them on the carpet because they use makeup and costumes to enhance their performance and say it's not acting? The motion capture performance is every bit the actor and gone really is the need for hours of makeup and expensive complex set changes as the performance can focus on the actor. It is really just digital makeup but the performance is still all the actor.

I see huge potential for this but convincing Hollywood otherwise remains to be seen. People are just not used to seeing actors used in this light. As the technology advances this is going to become more and more an issue down the road. I am not saying Avatar deserved best picture but it should have picked up more awards then it did. In closing while The Hurt Locker was a decent movie I'm not sure it deserved best picture either. I like movies which actually challenge me to think and change my perception of things. In the end it was just another film about the justification of war which in the end benefits no one.

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Posted in: Disney animated film returns to studio's hand-drawn roots See in context

CGI in many aspects is getting to the point now of being a whole new medium in and of itself. If anything it is moving more towards live action then animation or anything else. You look at Avatar which was mostly CGI and motion capture but you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Cel-animation in contrast still offers a much broader range of topics, ideas, and imagination which you would have a very difficult time pulling off in a CGI format. Miyazaki is certainly a very good example of this. I have yet to see anything remotely close to his work as of yet in that format. All of the traditional animation masters are becoming fewer and fewer all the time. The risk of that knowledge being forgotten and not passed along to future generations is very real. My favorite animations of all time are still traditional and not CGI. I am happy Disney is at least trying to return to it's roots and keeping alive what has made them what they are today.

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Posted in: Jero to make U.S. West Coast singing debut See in context

I have to agree that the NY gangster look needs to go. It's really stupid but East Coast West Coast rivalry can get you killed if you are not careful. I wish it wasn't this way but people are very territorial when it comes to these things. I disagree though about Utada though as is doing better then Boa is at the moment. I even heard her on my local radio station which is in the Mid-Northwest which typically don't give Asian Artists much radio play. I do wish Jero the best of luck though. If he was smart I would start online first and get a following. A lot of new artists are going that way to start with. He will be able to reach a wider audience then just doing the west coast which won't get him far. Major mistake Boa has made is that she is trying to do to much at once.

Boa recently released Identify in Japan and trying to promote her US album at the same time is not a smart marketing strategy. There are only a very few A list Asian artists out there that could be successful in the west but it's possible with the right marketing strategy, promotion, and management. The fact that major recording artist are starting to take notice with artist like Namie, Koda Kumi, Lexy, Utada, Boa is a good start. Although more effort is needed for anyone to be truly successful in US Music Industry which is a meat grinder I agree. What really though is going to push any of these artists into the mainstream is doing something new and different which will grab people's attention. The market is already over-saturated enough as to have an edge you need you stick out from the crowd. Asian artists in general most certainly have the potential and hope to see it sooner then later.

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Posted in: Kim Yu-na wins figure skating gold with record score; Asada 2nd See in context

As i said in a previous post Kim Yu-na certainly deserved the Gold. Mao on the other hand was questionable on silver? She made 3 significant mistakes how does that classify as silver? It should be bases on the entire performance and not just certain elements which this new scoring systems seems to favor. Miki Ando if anything should have been silver without question. I also can understand crying just missing the metals but Mirai Nagasu sure seemed to be happy getting fourth lol. Mao on the other hand crying for silver as give me a break. Another person commented that Mao likely was being pushed to hard by the media and her coaches and expecting to much of her. This might be true to a point and might explain her extremely poor attitude but still is not an excuse as silver is nothing to squawk at.

If this was on the old scoring system Mao would have not even made the podium. I just hope she can get her act together as she has great potential but a true champion is not just measured by winning a metal but by your attitude and how you present yourself. As it stands right now Mao has lost all respect I once had for her. Kim-Yu-na on the other hand was a class act and it showed. She had the same pressure as Mao but didn't let it get to her. Even the US broadcasters has stated that Kim-Yu-na's performance as being among the best they had seen in Olympic competition. It's to bad as Miki or even Mirai would have been more appreciative then Mao was and is extremely unfortunate to witness wasn't it.

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Posted in: Well done ladies See in context

I agree this new scoring system needs to go. Let's say someone completed 2 triple triple axels. Yet they fell and missed key elements throughout the program. Should they deserve to get gold despite all the mistakes or any metal for that matter? If it was all just about jumps then why have music and choreography as what would be the point. Poor loser Plushenko felt this way as his comment was this isn't ice dancing. Well then why even bother finishing your program then if you felt that way? I personally would stop watching if skating was reduced to that. I agree as Mao seemed to be a poor sport about it as is unforgivable. Miki Ando and Mirai Nagasu deserved it more then Mao as they both staked amazing performances. I was especially impressed with Mirai as you would have though she won a gold metal by her forth place finish. She will be a force to be reckoned with in the future no doubt. Mao Asada may have gotten silver but she has lost all respect with me by her poor attitude. Kim Yu-na most certainly deserved the Gold as is an incredible performance.

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Posted in: Well done ladies See in context

There is one thing I don't like with this new scoring system. You can make mistakes and still manage to win a metal. No offence to Mao Asada as I am happy she got the silver but it really should have been Miki Ando. She skated a flawless performance with no mistakes and yet ended up 5th. Mao had two considerable mistakes but did land the most difficult jump in the competition. Mao should have gotten bronze and Miki silver. No reason she shouldn't have been up there as well. I like the old system where the entire performance was judged as a whole and not by mathematical equations which is hurting the sport. This was the same story in pairs skating and was shocked at how high the scores were even with falls. Yet those who skated clean performances got lower scores. Kim Yu-na most certainly deserved the gold as I won't have any argument there. Regardless though I hope Japan can accept both Miki's and Mao's performances as both did there best which is all anyone can ask for.

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Posted in: Lysacek won the Olympic gold; Plushenko won the argument See in context

I think it turned out like it should have. Getting any metal is a major accomplishment and Plushenko is just being a sore loser. I agree that figure skating is about the complete performance and not just about throwing the dog a bone to see it do new tricks. That is part why I enjoy skating and likely would loose interest as what would be the point otherwise. I personally miss the days of Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Christi Yamaguchi, Elvis Stojko and others which was even more about the performance then it even is today. Johnny Weir and others have addressed concerns that skating is becoming less of a art form and more of a display of mathematical equations which is hurting the sport. I tend to agree with that observation. Plushanko has no grounds as if anything the scoring system as it stands currently is more in his favor. While as Takahashi may have only gotten bronze he was a class act unlike Plushenko. That was the face of a true champion as I congratulate Japan for their first metal ever in the sport.

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Posted in: Namie Amuro turns down offer of special Grammy TV show See in context

OK I may have mis-worded that earlier comment. There has been for some time now an effort to try to get Asian artists more exposure in the west. Now before people start dissecting this just hear me out. There aren't many Asian artists out there with the talent that Namie has with maybe the exception of Mia. Although I haven't heard much from her lately. In comparison Namie is well out of her league. Utada, Koda Kumi, Boa, SoulHead, Heartsdales, Ayumi Hamasaki and a few select others are on my short list. Utada and Boa have steadily been gaining ground and are being requested more and more all the time. Lady Gaga is somewhat of an enigma as the music scene in the west has steadily been on a decline for some time now. Artists like Ne-Yo, Sean Garrett and a few others have been trying to change that but it's taking some time. They have also taken an interest in Asian Artists and working to get them more exposure. Ne-Yo for instance while in Korea requested Lexy to open for him much to her surprise no doubt. Lady Gaga has also supposedly talked about doing a collaboration with Koda Kumi but haven't heard anything on that as of yet. Biggest complaint among music fans back home is lack of musical diversity. The music industry now has become more about selling a product or image vs the music itself which is sad.

I am not saying this isn't true as well in Japan but not to the extent it is in the west. I also like the fact that Asian artists typically put out an album almost every year in comparison to 2 to 3 years back home. This might explain why new artist have such a hard time staying on top as to much money and effort is being put into promoting singles instead of promoting the artists themselves. Boa for instance has put out some 16 albums already in the past 10 years. That is impressive by any one's standards. Well at least it is in comparison to what the average western artist puts out in their entire career. This has benefited her a great deal as since her US Debut people have been steadily requesting more of her previous music which is only going to help her. I think there is a consensus among many in the west that artists like Namie and others can do for Asian artists what people like Selena, Enrique Iglesias, Jenifer Lopez, Mark Anthony have done for the Latin music scene. I don't know how many times I have been stopped by people asking what I was playing and being complemented on it. So the interest is there we just need better promotion. Ultimately of coarse I support Namie in whatever she does but it is my hope that Asian artists may finally get the recognition they have so long deserved and reinvigorate an industry which is slowly loosing significance.

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Posted in: Anna Umemiya's relationship with footballer over See in context

This is an interesting story but it does pose the question as to why it should matter she is of mixed heritage or not? I really feel sorry for how mixed Japanese or Nikkeijin by definition are treated as they are stuck in between two worlds. She was born in Tokyo and still people say she is not Japanese. Japan is too faced they claim that true Japanese are those born there and yet in this case they say the opposite. As far as I know the Japanese government only recognized linage up to third generation and anything beyond is foreigner. I think this is crap as your genetics don't change so why should your linage. Who's to say that the reason his parents were apposed was due more to her mixed heritage then anything else which is sad. Japanese Americans who can't speak Japanese I don't blame them as what would be the purpose unless they actually use it. Ninety Nine percent of Americans are of foreign dissent anyways and yet almost none speak their native tongue. From stories from my grandparents they said that their parents said it was important for them to be Americans and need to act as such.

You look at family records on Ellis Island and how names were changed to blend in with the population. Why did so many people feel it necessary to separate themselves from their nationality and culture. I personally would have loved to have spoken more then one language but that is just the way history played out. I am trying to make up for it now learning German and Japanese but I still feel I am that more then American as that by itself has no meaning. Nikkei who immigrate back to Japan due to work shortages are still not treated well even if both parents were full-blooded Nikkeijin. I really feel sorry for foreign kids born in Japan as they don't have an identity at all. Nothing like have a country of no origin over your head. Being born in Japan, should be granted Japanese nationality by birth. So Anna Umemiya being of mixed heritage doesn't make her any less Japanese. Just think about that for a moment as to what that actually means as who really is American or who really is Japanese or whatever. We were are immigrants at one point even in Japan so her relationship with Nakajima failing due to her mixed heritage it would be a really sad reason.

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Posted in: What do you think of Japan's TV coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics so far? See in context

If you can't get NBC website from Japan I recommend using a VPN tunnel. That will bypass any filters which might be in place. It seems strange why Japan would block this or even the US for that matter. HMA Pro VPN is the best one I have used but it is a subscription service. They do have a free online version if you can access it. If not you will need the subscription service one which is about 4,588.48 yen for six months or 7,218.60 yen for 12 months which isn't a bad deal really. If nothing else it's worth checking out. Under NBC's website click nations which will list all the participating athletes for every country and has quite a bit of info on them including Bio, Metal History, Vancouver Outlook, Photos and live video feeds. It isn't perfect but a lot more then you can get from within Japan no doubt. I just read all 94 of the Japanese Olympic profiles which was interesting. Well hope that helps.

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Posted in: As 'Avatar' conquers world, Fox also eyes local releases in Asia See in context

The US is a nation that has lost it's identity as well NationalistRE. What does it mean to be American anymore I don't know. What exactly is an American anyways as what does it mean to be Japanese? If you want to blame somebody blame corporations which are the plague of the world along with the media. You base your idealism on that and take it out on the American people. Just like in government the people don't have much say as to what big business does. Many Americans are upset at Hollywood and how they are misrepresenting the west. They want to be seen in a better light and have the world see the true America which Hollywood tends to exaggerate. Many Japanese base their views of Americans due to Hollywood as has so unrealistically been portrayed. Believe it or not just as an example some independent film makers have wanted to take on the somewhat sensitive topic of suicide in Japan and it' effect on pop culture.

Isn't it strange as to why would America care on doing such a film on Japan, interesting. You look at the film Babel which garnered Japan it's first supporting Actress nomination in 50 years with Rinko Kikuchi playing the part portrayal of a Japanese mute teenager living in Japan. On the flip side if a Japanese director or Chinese director were to do an American film you would say the same just because they are who they are. Japanese Americans are still Japanese. I frankly think this is a step in the right direction. There are some great foreign films out there and don't assume their aren't people out there who don't care about Japan and are not trying to seal their identity. Japan needs to stop looking at itself as being the only victim in existence as a sort of living Pandora. We all have something to learn from each other. Film is the one medium that has the potential to do that for better or for worse. It would be great to see more international film collaborations on all sides which I hope we get to at some point.

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Posted in: What do you think of Japan's TV coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics so far? See in context

I think you are being a bit unfair as I don't think most people here are wanting to change a nation's television programming to suit their tastes. I really resent that as i have more respect for this country then most gaijin do. The Olympic Games are not about winning metals or representing any particular country as far as I am concerned. The fundamental values of Olympism have the same meaning for every human being hoping to fulfill their ambitions and to build a better world. Those values are the search for excellence, fair play, respect for others and harmony between body and mind. It seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational values of good and respect for universal fundamental and ethical principles.

It is to draw the world’s attention to what humanity can achieve in the name of international understanding. This is what the Olympic Games represent. How do you expect to achieve this when the only side you ever see is your own. This is just my opinion but I enjoy seeing other countries compete regardless or culture or ethnicity. I also know of many Japanese that are dissatisfied with the TV coverage Japan has provided but would never admit that in public. In this instance the gaijin stereotype doesn't hold much water. You have similar minority population percentages in the west as well. Yet isn't it strange that those groups still seem to get represented despite their small demographics. I am not saying Japan needs to reinvent the wheel but the Olympic Games only comes around once every four years. It's not to much to ask and maybe just maybe we all can learn something along the way.

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Posted in: What do you think of Japan's TV coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics so far? See in context

Well you do have sponsors and the breaks are all part of the game. Although it is still far better coverage then you get in Japan. You watch a Baseball game and you often never know who won. When Ichiro Suzuki is playing of coarse you see that but as soon as he's not they don't even bother to finish the game usually. If a network back home did that they would get sued. The NBC website also has every athlete profiled from every country under the country section. I read the Japanese Olympic profiles, all 94 of them which was interesting. They even have statical info, Medals Record, Vancouver Outlook, News, Photos, Video etc. This is from every country represented. Newspapers often profile foreign athletes as well. Miki Ando’s just recently had a cover story on her in the New York Times.

In contract what Japanese network or newspaper would even bother doing this if they weren't Japanese. In regards to the article I did read it and while that is true to a point. Due to legal changes in broadcasting regulations almost nothing is live anymore. It is also at the discretion of local CBS affiliates as to how much or little they broadcast on specific sporting events. Since Prime Time coverage is the most popular not to mention time zone and viewership differences. Networks need to stagger the broadcasts to get as much viewership as possible during that time. Anyways NHK or whoever have the right to broadcast what they want but to say Japanese TV Coverage of the Vancouver Games is non bios in their programing is a bit of a stretch.

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Posted in: What do you think of Japan's TV coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics so far? See in context

That is not really true in many cases. One of my favorite segments of the games are the inspirational stories behind the athletes. In the west it isn't uncommon to see this. Both the Russian Pairs Skaters, Chinese Pairs as well as various other athletes get Prime Time coverage specials on them in many cases. Even if the US won no metals you would still see this regardless. CBS networks which represent some 6 in total broadcast Olympic Programing almost around the clock. It isn't just of the US athletes either. They show the entire segment whenever possible or cut between different venues or in Prime Time Coverage. If no US athlete are in it or get bumped out early on they still show it lol! Japan in contrast is another story as still can't seem to get beyond the stereotypes and extreme xenophobia even in Olympic competition which is sad.

This is not what the true meaning of the Olympic Games is support to represent. It should be more about breaking down borders and doing your best regardless of what county you represent. Why even have the Olympic Games then if no one is willing to at least meet the other half way. There is nothing wrong with nationalistic pride but not to the point of being arrogant. I am often asked where I come from and I respond. Would you you think of me differently if i told you? I usually get a somewhat puzzled look which is always amusing. I want to be seen not by my culture, nationality, or ethnicity but by my actions. The Olympic Games is not just about representing your country but bringing people together in the pursuit of a common goal. I have tremendous respect for Japan but it's about time they stop living in a bubble and embrace the world. Arrogance is bliss so they say and you cant expect to understand people if you don't make the effort at least to try. A world without boarders is a world I live to see one day.

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Posted in: Namie Amuro's 'PAST < FUTURE' hits No. 1 in 5 countries See in context

I can't believe Namie turned down an offer of special Grammy TV show interview with Lady Ga Ga. That would have been great exposure for her. Likely had something to do with being with her son and maybe her relationship with Atsushi Tamura and his fragile ego. This is kinda his area and comparisons likely would have been made between the two but damn. Not many Jpop artists get that kinda of big break and it's just sad. I love Namie so much but wish she could get some exposure over here. Along with Koda Kumi, SoulHead and Utada are the three i would most like to see get some more air play. I was shocked when I heard Koda's version of Kelly Clarkson's "Can We Go Back" played on the radio the other day. They haven't stopped getting requests ever since. Well I have heard that Lady Ga Ga and Namie might do a collaboration or maybe that was with Koda? Anyways I can't think of anyone more dissevering but I hope other opportunities like this come up later. Namie is just to good to not get some more recognition.

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Posted in: Namie Amuro turns down offer of special Grammy TV show See in context

Well I respect Namie but this isn't just any show. It would have been crazy exposure for her. I have been waiting for years for a Japanese artist to finally break through and Namie was at the top of my very short list. Boyfriend or not it isn't worth risking his ego over her career. I respect her decision but I hope it doesn't come back to haunt her later down the road. Regardless though Namie has my support.

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Posted in: The state of the language school industry See in context

I am not a teacher nor an educator but here is my take. Back home teaching a language is not mandatory or really encouraged where I come from. The teachers were mostly unquantified who may have spent some time in another country. What was even more disappointing is they weren't even native speakers mostly. It's pretty sad when the students in many cases knew more then what the teachers did. Something tells me Japan may be similar in some respects. The requirements for teaching English in Japan is well below what would be considered acceptable by US standards. Teaching English in Japan or elsewhere kinda has a bad stigma as you admitting to your failure as one back home. Universities may be somewhat better but this has been my experience. In contrast what good teachers do manage to make there way over here have many obstacles. Like back home many schools which have a foreign language on the curriculum are not that interested in it being there. It is more looked at like an extracurricular activity and not of much importance. As in Japan's case, qualified teachers at least in the school environment are discouraged by lack of support from teachers staff etc.

This even becomes more discouraging when all the regulations are put forth on how and in what way they can teach their class. Nothing like being reduced to teaching with your hands behind your back. Teaching English in Japan in the school environment at least is pointless until administrates start taking it seriously and as an important part of their curriculum. For those you which to learn meaningful English private classes and or organizations like EIKAIWA need to be more widespread, more easily available for those to wish to learn and more innovative in their approach to teaching. This eventually will improve I believe but getting enough on board to make any difference is going to be a major challenge, not to mention cost effective. It just seems at current that English in Japan has no substance and of little use to anyone. Although one area which shows promise is Cyber Classroom or something along those lines. This has been done on a somewhat smaller scale to great effect.

I myself attend a weekly class with a native speaker and a class of about 6 students. It is tapped so if I miss it i can always review. I basically pay every 6 months to a year. You avoid running into all the red tape of a traditional classroom environment and the teachers are motivated and well qualified. This could be a considerable cost savings and allow to focus on fewer more qualified and accreted teachers. I don't know just some ideas to put forth. It would be my dream one day to be able to interact with other students throughout the world in a sort of online language university. Teaching and learning as we go. Highly ambitious I know but it cold happen. Teaching English should be fun and interesting while being productive. By in large that is just not the case at present in the current program. If the state of teaching English in Japan is going to survive. New and more creative ways or teaching are going to need to be brought forth. English will never likely be used widespread but for those you have the desire to learn we need to do our best in proving students the best educational experience possible. This is a battle well worth fighting for.

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Posted in: U.S. warns Japan child custody laws could harm bilateral ties See in context

I don't get it. Both our governments are as bad as the media. One minute we talk about the importance of bilateral relations. The next minute I read something like this and wonder. There are far more pressing issues then this. It is not worth hurting relations over something so trivial. This is of coarse an important issue I agree but why make such a major spectacle over the matter. I have had lot of time to consider both sides and neither has a simple answer. Although I do agree that some change needs to happen in some form. Abuse has very little to do with why these abductions take place. It has more to do with society, culture and saving face then anything. This goes for both Japanese and foreigners alike. Anyone who has been around Japanese in general knows the difficulty in reading between the lines. What one believes or really thinks vs what is being said can be very vague and misleading. Body language, your behaviour, blood type (believe it or not,) the "What If" scenario, not sending clear signals can all be factors.

What are her true feelings? How should we raise our kids which likely will get the polite response. Her taking on the burden for you as to save face or embarrassment from you or others. Marriage in Japan is a strange animal to begin with and takes on a life all it's own. It's the sort of married roommate mentality that many Japanese men fall into after marriage. Japanese women on the other hand are not used to the more equal relationship mentality many in the west promote. Traditionally woman have always been the caretakers in Japanese society. What will people think how I am raising my kids? This shouldn't matter as is between parents but this might be going through her mind. These small signals many people likely miss for those you are not attuned to it. It is as the the eyes of the world are always watching you even behind closed doors. Therefore reassuring her she is doing the right thing is paramount!! The only way to resolve this is to understand the causes behind the effect before any real solution can be put forth. Be it Japanese men or otherwise. A change in a long outdated law though is a step in the right direction.

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Posted in: 'Avatar' wins best drama honor at Golden Globes See in context

For people with a narrow mind then maybe it didn't make much since but personally I liked it. It might not be anything new but it sure was in how it was presented. The acting wasn't that great in Titanic either but that didn't seem to effect it any. Avatar is following suit and likely will pass up Titanic within the week. That in and of itself is impressive however you look at it. It personally hit home with my farther being a disabled Vietnam Vet. He actually had trouble getting through the film. Although this wasn't out of anger. It was a sort of de ja vu all over again. Not to mention the since of guilt he still has concerning the war as to what did it really accomplish. Was it really worth all of the lives that were lost on both sides.For those in the military just hope you stay uninjured or manage to keep your head on straight. Not to mention keep from loosing anything in the process consider yourself lucky.

Once that happens you realise at just how disposable you are. Many who have ever dealt with the VA you know what I am talking about. The fact that the main character was a disabled vet was no coincidence. Avatar wasn't without it's flaws but what film isn't! The sooner we get our heads out of the sand. The sooner everyone will finally be in harmony with one another. Otherwise mankind has no future and it will pay the price. It was a great film and definitely is not to be missed. Don't wait until it comes out on DVD as that is not how it was meant to be seen. I personally have seen it three times but likely going to IMax next week. Whatever your views are on it's underlying message doesn't really matter. Just enjoy it for what it's worth. Going to the movies has once again become enjoyable which hasn't happened in a long time.

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Posted in: James Cameron attends Japan premiere of 'Avatar' See in context

Well you can't please everyone. Some people still think Star Wars is state of the art lol. If you see this in 2D you are missing how it was meant to be seen. If this is any indication of things to come I'm on board. Avatar was much better then I was expecting and while it wasn't Lord Of The Rings. It is a huge step foward for the industry. It's also rare I have a connection with characters I actually care about. Although if you have an attention span of 30 sec or less then I guess it not for you. For the rest of us enjoy a masterpiece in the making. Something tells me that the Japanese are going to connect with this more so then even we are for reasons I won't bother going into lol.

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Posted in: 'Avatar' blasts off with $232.2 million worldwide See in context

One last thing as you are missing out if you seen this in 2D. It isn't meant to be seen this way so be sure you see in 3D. Well enough said and I believe it debuts in Japan Wednesday!!

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Posted in: 'Avatar' blasts off with $232.2 million worldwide See in context

Well it is PG-13 but it isn't all the bad. There is some mild language but nothing worse then what you get watching normal TV these days. It takes itself pretty seriously for the most part. Whatever comedy there was was pretty tongue and cheek which worked well in this case. It was quite emotional but the subject material kinda strikes a nerve with me anyways. It did seem to have somewhat a harmonious tone set at least in certain aspects which gave it more credibility in my view at least.

This I believe will resonate a bit more with the Japanese as well as environmental types like myself. Although it has enough to go around. We are talking James Cameron after all so enough said as I don't want to spoil anything. In regards to kids I would say maybe 8 or 9. In our theatre there were some parents with kids around 5 or so and didn't seem to be a problem. I personally wouldn't take my a 5 year old but that's just me. I don't take recommendations lightly as this is a game changer as Lord Of The Rings was before it. It's rare I get excited about seeing a film a second time but this being the exception.

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Posted in: 'Avatar' blasts off with $232.2 million worldwide See in context

Well if any of you still have any doubts you won't be disappointed. I was unsure as well especially after the first trailer. Although that pretty much went out the window after about the first 5 minutes. I can see now what Cameron was up to for the past 12 years as has once again set a new benchmark for film. Up to this point 3D movies have seemed more of a gimmick then anything. This changes all that and is the best case I have seen yet for the technology. The characters are believable and is so fully realized that you forget you are watching a CGI film mostly. I couldn't tell the difference and was completely taken back at how realistic everything appeared to be. This has me even more excited now for future projects like Halo, Mass Effect and Battle Angel which Cameron has hinted on doing. When Avatar finally releases in Japan my guess it is going to definitely resonate with audiences. As while the story isn't new necessarily. Cameron's 12 year absence hasn't hurt his storytelling skills any. Not to mention if you are of the environment type this will most certainly hit a cord as it did me. I likely am going to take the whole family now as I can't recommend this highly enough.

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