Before I deploy to Japan, I’ve been getting into the swing of things Japanese. What I am not doing: The latest craze sweeping through Japan is ‘oculolinctus’ – eyeball licking as an expression of affection. It is also called worming and was uncovered by Naver Matome, a Japanese website.
On a lark, I responded to an email from a writer seeking an editor on Japan’s Craigslist. She said she was looking for an experienced editor for her novella (a short novel of about 35,000 words.) I responded and received a reply back that was interesting, if not honest.
She told me flat-out the fact that I was a naval officer was not going to work. But she said it would be due to my disgust of the subject matter. Her novella was against the American military and her perception concerning the lack of honor of some of our members. I thanked her for her honesty. That could have been painful. I really am not looking for any more projects, but it caught my eye. Time to put that thing on a strict 24-hour watch. My eye, that is…
If I live off base when I deploy to Japan, I want to be ready. So that means apartment shopping. Craigslist – as usual – seems to have quite a stable of ready places to check out. I will say, being a lumbering American, that I am highly suspicious when a place advertises itself as: 198ft² – Tiniest apartment ever? But sure is cheap!
The bathrooms in Japan befuddled me last time I was there. From the above “tiny/cheap” place, here is the bathroom shot and some relevant details below:
Asagaya Station, (12 min. walk ) JR Chuou Line ( Kaisoku ) / JR Chuou Soubu Line
***22 minutes to 東京 (Tokyo）***
***27 minutes to 六本木(Roppongi)***
***18 minutes to 渋谷(Shibuya)***
***8 minutes to 新宿(Shinjuku)***
***29 minutes to 麻布十番(Azabujuban)***
***32 minutes to 田町(Tamachi) from 阿佐ヶ谷(Asagaya)***
Monthly maintenance fee:2000
Key money: 0mth
Agency Fee: 1mth
I love how the toilet connects to the sink which connects to the shower!
I love reading advertisments. For bikes, cars, rentals, you name it and I’ve probably read it on the Tokyo Craigslist. Like for this Honda Clubman GB250-4:
This is actually a good bike even though it looks boring…
Should you be looking for something really boring (I know it sounds weird to put it like that) then this bike might be perfect for….
It is less boring than the train for sure.
As for history I can tell you it used to belong to an old jet engine mechanic who was working as a civilian contractor in Yokota. For those of you who doesn’t know that place it is like the outback of Tokyo.
He rode it once a week to go to church with his retarded child on the back. Now he is about to leave and his bike has to be sold…
Everything (apart from the boringness) is good on the bike, few little dents and stuff, also the tires are a few little cracks. So if you wish to race it at the track you might wanna change the shoes.
I don’t think it is boring!
In my quest to acquaint myself with Japan prior to deploying over there, I have kept one eye open to all things Japanese. But you won’t find me drinking Sankt Gallen’s Un, Kono Kuro.
Part of being a Navy Sailor and moving to another country involves transportation. In the Middle East, I was stationed at two bases. At one, I lived on base and just essentially worked a lot. So there was no need for a car. And at the other, Bahrain, I lived about a mile from base. Sometimes (not always), the OpsO at my command gave me a lift. Or I walked.
But in my next deployment to Japan, things might be different. For one thing, the Japanese drivers are aggressive and do what they want. (And they drive on the wrong side of the road.) It would be easy to get a motorcycle, like this beauty, a Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, featured on Craigslist Tokyo for 7000 dollars or 70000 JPY:
For some reason a 1948 Harley Panhead is being offered for $2K. I sense a scam-eroo, but it is one sweet ride:
Another car with a price too low is this 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe, a 996 for $18K:
I always liked Zs, so I can’t be blamed if I wanted to grab this Nisan Fairlady-Z for $10K:
But oddly, the one car that captured my attention is this wittle ‘bishi Pajero-Mini:
The Mitsubishi is only 2.4K in American dollars. (The term shaken, mentioned in the ad, is some sort of Japanese certification.) Who drives a yellow Jeep? Maybe me. . .
When I hear the word scramble, I think of eggs or jets. This particular story is about Japan scrambling combat fighters near the Kurile islands:
Two Russian fighter jets briefly entered Japan’s air space near disputed islands and the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, prompting Japan to scramble combat fighters and lodge a protest, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.
Russia, which is currently holding military manoeuvres around the disputed Kurile islands, denied any such intrusion took place.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is expected to visit Moscow later this month to discuss territorial matters.
Thursday was Japan’s “Northern Territories Day”, when rallies are traditionally held calling for the return of the disputed islands it calls the Northern Territories.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had told a rally he was determined to press ahead with negotiations with Russia for the return of the islands.
Japan’s “Northern Territories Day?” Good idea. You have to protect your territory.
If you know both the references in the title, you are more culturally attuned than I. The first, tseuke-yaeba, refers to the practice known as snaggletoothing, like the band TYB48 and their pointy smiles:
Americans regularly fork over $5,000 to fix a crooked smile with braces. But in Japan, women are spending about $400 for just the opposite. On the other side of the planet, imperfect teeth are becoming a thing of beauty.
Japan’s beauty trend, dubbed “tseuke-yaeba,” has reached a fever pitch, with young women paying hundreds for snaggleteeth.
The procedure first made headlines in 2011, but it has grown in popularity since then, even spawning a Japanese pop girl group whose members sport the snaggletooth look. The girl group, TYB48 or “Tseuke-Yaeba 48,” was created by the Taro Masuoka—the very same dentist who pioneered the procedure.
As for Minami Minegishi, she is the singer of the girl group AKB48. And the pop star shaved her head for staying at her boyfriend’s house overnight:
The real life sorrow of a J-pop fantasy reaches millions.
A Japanese pop starlet recorded a tearful video and shaved her head, a traditional gesture of contrition, to apologize for breaking her band’s cardinal rule: no dating.
“If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band. Everything I did is entirely my fault. I am so sorry,” said Minami Minegishi, 20, during the nearly four minute video that has been seen nearly 6.9 million times.
Her phenomenally successful band AKB48 consists of about 90 girls from their mid-teens to early 20s, who are strongly marketed on their sex appeal. The band’s management forbids the members from dating boys for fear that it might shatter the illusion that their male fans might end up with them one day. . .
TYB48 and AKB48? Very catchy. . .
It is rather typical of a periodical named The Diplomat to write an opening paragraph like this: While Japan’s dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has been notable for a number of reasons — mostly negative — one of the few positive elements has been the refusal of either side to send in the military. That may have changed with the recent deployment of Chengdu J-10 and Mitsubishi/Boeing F-15 fighter aircraft after a Chinese Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft headed toward the islands, but so far, at least, the confrontations have been limited to coast guard and other maritime paramilitary organizations.
One of the few positive elements? RGR that, sticking to diplomacy will only go so far.
Redemption is one of life’s great gifts. And the story of former Yakuza toughie Tatsuya Shindo, who runs a Japanese “snack” club called June Bride, is among the better examples I’ve heard of it:
June Bride’s proprietor is Tatsuya Shindo, and he is not a barman. From the age of 20, Shindo peddled stimulants in and around Tokyo for a gangster family under the nationwide Sumiyoshi-kai yakuza syndicate. After several stints in jail, he decided to start offering something else entirely: the gospel.
“I know how bad I was and the bad things I have done,” says Shindo, 39, thin-framed and sporting a devilish bit of chin stubble. “At the same time, I know how much I was forgiven by God. So I wanted to engage myself in God’s work.”
Now, inside this converted bar, the former gangster presides over the Friends of Sinners Jesus Christ Church, where he takes the pulpit and preaches to former troublemakers on the mend. “They are seeking divine intervention,” says Shindo, a Kawaguchi native, of his congregants. “They want God to help them with their problems.”
I suppose the cynic would look askew at Tatsuya. So be it. He need not care.
You wanna know what it is like sleeping in the enlisted berthing compartment on an aircraft carrier? Check out the Capsule & Sauna Century Shibuya in Tokyo:
Although I doubt the Capsule & Sauna Century Shibuya smells like socks.
I wrote earlier about my trip on a Japanese train. And today, I was reminded of that transit in a story on a Navy Sailor.
At the Haiki Station in Nagasaki Prefecture, Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel Lewis Stiles was discovered dead, in civilian clothes without any belongings, surrounded by seven or eight alcoholic drink cans.
Something is not right with this picture, not with PO2′s death. Not with the head injury he suffered. RIP Shipmate. . .
It is clear that a politician is not understood if enemies cannot decide if he is weak in foreign affairs or a military hawk:
Political opponents have criticized Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as a weak leader who easily gives in to foreign demands to avoid confrontation in territorial disputes.
Others have long suggested that deep down, the prime minister was a defense hawk who wanted to see a greater role for the Japanese military.
At a lavish naval ceremony on Sunday, Mr. Noda – a son of a lifelong Self-Defense Forces soldier – delivered a speech in front of hundreds of Japanese troops that offered a glimpse of that hawkish side.
Sun-tzu would be so proud. Keep your enemies guessing.
Don posted the following comment about the Mount Fuji post. I think you will enjoy the story, as well as the gouge:
Take a sleeping bag, even in August. I climbed Fuji in 1986 while an active duty Marine with three other Marines on liberty time off. The pictures of the sunrise I captured on 35mm film are unbelievable. The night was cold but did not get below freezing, maybe 35 F.
About three weeks later our Gunny and LT had the bright idea of doing a Fuji climb race challenge. First one up gets extra liberty at the next port. Sounds good, but being an NCO at the time I recommended everyone to pack their sleeping bags. Too much weight for the challenge, most just packed a poncho liner and some didn’t even do that. Also, I told the LT that we had already climbed Fuji and that climbing Fuji twice was bad according to local Japanese folklore. He said fine, you can stay back do guard duty that he had another unit lined up to care of our barracks and armory shared coverage.
So we went on the “race”. So first Marine up made it in up under 2.5 hours, we had a few guys that could run the 3 mi pft under 16 minutes so it was a challenge. But they were not packing anything. Me and my and Marines who climbed Fuji before came in just under four hours, but we where packing food, water, sleeping bags, our poncho liners and booze (whiskey).
That night it got bitter cold that night, water froze.. My guys were good to go and LT and Gunny wanted to “share” my guys resources. I went off and bottom line there was a bunch of Marines shivering in the cold with no food and water because of a race. My guys shared what we could but it wasn’t enough except the booze we brought. Once we got on top we shared and some imbibed too much to the point of getting branded by a hot iron.
As you climb Fuji you can get your wooden walking stick (which none of us bought) branded with a hot iron at the escalating stations with the elevation in meters. At the top some oxygen deprived and drunk Marines got branded with Fuji 3,700 +/- meters (I don’t remember the exact elevation).
I enjoy reading your blog despite you being a Berkley grad and a swabbie. I have never posted on your blog, even though reading it for the past couple months but this particular post peaked my interest because I have direct experience in climbing Fuji. If you climb Fuji, be prepared.
For any of you considering hiking Mount Fuji, the Japanese forum GaijinPot, has some good gouge. Definitely pack warm clothes and good shoes. . .