Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy 2020!

あけまして おめでとう おめでとう!
Happy New Year! Reiwa 1, Year of the Rat.
As been our decade long tradition, we feature the Japanese Emperor on the first blogpost of every year. This being Reiwa 1, Emperor Naruhito now takes center stage with Empress Masako before a crowd the Imperial Household Agency estimates to be around 68,000 well-wishers. We hope this will be a successful year for you and yours as well as our own endeavors as we seek to offer our works in other languages. As we noted in our last blogpost, we at American Mishima have been very busy writing and promoting our books on top of raising two small children so our blogposts may be less frequent than in year's past but we do hope you check in from time to time. Thank you for all your love and support. Happy New Years!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


This week in Japan saw the new Reiwa Emperor Naruhito proclaim his Enthronement in a series of sacred Shinto rites that formalize his ascent to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Like the Emeritus Heisei Emperor before him, he wished to for the happiness of the Japanese people and pledged the following:
"I pledge hereby that I shall act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always wishing for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world, turning my thoughts to the people and standing by them," Naruhito said.
We at American Mishima wish Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, peace and happiness throughout the Reiwa Era. Long may they reign. ばんざい! ばんざい! ばんざい!

Ten Years Later

What was once court-ordered therapy, became a blog, became a writing career. Yes, it was ten years ago that we started this American Mishima blog. Ten years of writing over 500 blogposts of Japanese-American interests and updates on our related books and projects. Initially, our blog was going to be named Osaka Not Oaxaca due to my late father's insistence that I give up my dreams of ever visiting Japan and focus on nearby Mexico. Not liking that idea, we chose to go with American Mishima and within that week, someone in Japan declared we had the best name for a blog page. Through this blog, we have covered culture, music, politics, art, and our personal projects such as videos, plays, books, and story ideas. While it is true, we have not posted as much lately, it is because we have been focused on producing more content for our books. We averaged around 64 posts a year here. Where we go from here is anyone's guess. We may continue from time to time but we are not sure what our level of commitment will be given our current production progress and personal schedules. We have shared some good times, and some bad ones here. I am not saying this is over, but we are taking a step back to focus on our upcoming books and screenplays. While we have never had more than 10,000 visits per year or more than 30 subscribed followers, we still thank you for your readership and support. 
ども ありがとう ございます!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Third Book in Trilogy Released

In case you're wondering we haven't been posting lately, its because we have been busy writing and editing books. This year, we set out to try a new experiment by creating a short story ideally meant for television that would have a Twilight Zone feel to it. That book became Robot Planet. What we didn't expect is that not only would people complain that it was a short story, but that they wanted more. So what started as a small experiment turned into a three-book trilogy we now call The Contact Chronicles of Robot Planet and Contact at Fiery Cross.  
That said, we are pleased to announce the release of the third book in our Science Fiction saga, What Shadows May Follow available in paperback and eBook editions.  To order your copy, please click on the following link here: WHAT SHADOWS MAY FOLLOW - Thank you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä Glider Turned Reality

Last week at Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, we attended a lecture hosted by Kazuhiko Hachiya, the owner, builder, and pilot of the M-02J Experimental ultra-light aircraft modeled after the Mehve glider featured in the 1984 Studio Ghibli film The Valley of the Wind.
Inspired by the animated Hayao Miyazaki film in High School, Hachiya set out on a thirty year quest to turn this fantasy into reality. Naturally, this wasn’t going to come cheap, so in the late 1990’s he created a email application in Japan known as Post Pet which popularized email for the masses at a time when only business saw its use. With the success of Post Pet came the resources to embark on his quest. Along the way, Hachiya learned to hang glide, fly ultra-light aircraft, and then build the first unpowered prototype known as the M-02. To date, the total cost of ownership has amounted to $1.2 million US Dollars and counting.
Not having an aviation or engineering background led to a lot of trial and error along the way. He would go through issues with airframe stability, jet engine problems, and general flight characteristics to be worked out. But in the end, he managed to bring his second prototype the M-0J2 to life. The small eight-foot craft is essentially a flying wing with no cockpit or vertical stabilizer. The pilot must rely on shifting weight like a hang glider in order to control pitch and yaw. The pilot must also fly the craft lying down for the controls are not set up for standing flight as in the anime classic. The ceiling for this craft is around 400 feet with a flying time of ten minutes with its current fuel capacity. From the looks of things, this looks like it would take a lot of physical endurance to pilot this bird like craft.
Having no commercial sponsorship, Hachiya has struggled to keep his project afloat. He did find a publisher to write a book in Japanese about his achievement and even sought and got the blessing from Hayao Miyazaki himself to use the name Mehve who said, “please use the name, I don’t mind” with the added note from the famed beloved animator, “Please don’t die.” How cool of Miyazaki! Could you imagine if this was Disney? They would have sent an army of lawyers to ensure the Mehve would never see flight and the builder crushed in litigation so they could have their royalties. Fortunately, Studio Ghibli is not like that. We wish we could say the same for anime fans who get all bummed to see an "Oji-san" fly the Mehve insead of some cute post-pubescent anime girl with unrealistic boobs and unnatural eyes. We say to them, give the man his due! After all, he had the balls and the passion to build this thing which is more than your average fan will ever do. 
Despite Hachiya’s success, he has managed to go through two jet engines and looks like he will need a third. It’s unclear if his volunteers have ever heard of the FOD walk (Foreign Object Debris) but he’s lost two engines to FOD despite putting a protective screen over the jet intake. His scheduled California flight in Corona was cancelled due to this problem. Fortunately, he did manage to fly the Mehve at this year’s OSHKOSH Air Show to the thrill of thousands. We hope he can resolve his remaining issues to one day build another aircraft. It truly is a wonderful bird to see fly. We invite you hear to see this work of living aeronautical art take flight. Please enjoy.
To learn more or to help fund the Mehve, please visit: Open Sky