the Tokyo Physical Therapy Association is gaining traction
Nice word play.
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"I’m going to build a box that connects between the TV and antenna that blocks the NHK frequency. I’ll sell it for 10,000 yen. You never have to pay the subscription.
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Taj and a few others nailed it friends; "The locals see the tree as themselves....", "You can't underestimate the symbolism of this tree." & "this is the people of Rikuzentakata themselves who want to see this tree saved." I spent the better part of last year doing PTSD relief work in Tohoku including a fair amount of time in Rikuzentakata. Clearly the majority of people posting here, those fixated on the price tag, have not been to Tohoku let alone Rikuzentakata. On one hand I find their insensitivity deeply offensive, but on the other, it is totally understandable, after all it IS a lot of money. That said, the scope of the damage and the depth of the trauma is something that those who haven't experienced it, just can not wrap their brains around let alone their hearts.
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We gaiijin are generally looked upon as an entertainer, much like non threatening clowns, transient and ethereal, with no possible threat to the locals, much like Mr James
Anecdotal side note - the actor who plays "Mr James" is in fact a very talented & experienced entertainer who has lived in Japan for many years. He is a respected professional magician and a former Ringling Brother's Clown.
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Can't say I'd expect much for the live-action film, though. Tony is just too quirky a character for an actor who was picked mainly on his physical resemblence (okay, just the beard, probably) to handle.
Both Jonathan Sherr (who is playing Tony) and Tony are friends of mine. Jonathan grew the beard for this role, is much taller than Tony and really doesn't look much like him at all. He is very talented actor and comic improviser who is more than capable of portraying Tony and his "quirks". If the movie turns out bad I'm sure it won't be Jonathan's fault.
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