Monday, August 13, 2012

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day

Here's something you'd only see from Japanese Supporters. After losing to Korea in the Bronze Medal bout in Men's Football in this past 2012 London Olympics in Cardiff Wales, rather than leave angry and litter the stadium, the proud Japanese Supporters of the Samurai Blue quietly cleaned their supporter section before leaving the stadium. One more dignified thing to appreciate about Japanese Culture and something to learn from.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Tanabata Festival & Nisei Week

Below are images we took at this years Tanabata (Star) Festival in Little Tokyo. It so happens there is to be a large meteor shower taking place tonight. We would have loved to stick around for this year's Nisei Parade but with the heat our baby was done by one. Despite our early departure we were treated to some cold soba, tea, enchanting music of Okinawa and that sights and sounds of Little Tokyo that make every Tanabata Festival special. Please enjoy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Samurai Blue Loses Bronze, South Korea Greater Prize

Cardiff Wales was the stage set for the Bronze Medal match of Men's Football that would feature Asia's fiercest football rivalry Japan versus South Korea. Fresh off their 1-3 semifinal defeat to Mexico, the Samurai Blue 23's hoped to join with Nadeshiko Japan to walk away with a medal but as with last years Women's World Cup motivation may have played a major factor. You see at the beginning of the Olympic Tournament the South Korean Government had declared that any South Korean player who won a medal would be exempted from Military Service that all men in the R.O.C. have to do before age 29. This is done largely because they live under constant threat of war from their antagonistic brothers to the north who also happen to have a nuclear armed 4th largest army in the world. Beating Japan would be a source of national pride alone but having to interrupt your football career on the account of the hermit kingdom to the north was more than enough incentive to persevere to final victory. And who could blame them? Anyway, going back to the rivalry that has it's roots to the colonial occupation by Japan would lead to heavily contested match. But it was not in Japan's U-23's stars. Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young put one in at the 38th minute and kept the pressure on until Koo Ja-Cheol sealed Japan's fate in the 56th and denied Japan from there out. With the Bronze etched with South Korea's victory, Japan had made a good run that had taken them farther than most of the world Football powerhouses of Europe. They have nothing to be ashamed of. As for South Korea, I am not sure what was the bigger prize. Beating Japan? Winning the Bronze Medal? Or being exempt from military service? Probably a little bit of all three rolled into one. So on that note we at American Mishima would like to thank the Samurai Blue U-23 team for a job well done. Perhaps next time. And for the winners, American Mishima would like to congratulate the South Korean Team on their triple victory. South Korea is now the first Asian team to take a medal since the 1960's in the sport and it is well deserved. Congratulations South Korea!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

なでしこ日本: USA Defeats Nadeshiko Japan 2-1

In a hard fought 90 minute battle for the Women's Soccer Olympic Gold Medal Final, Japan lost to the USA 2-1. This is the third gold medal for the US and in what many would call the redemption rematch of last years Women's World Cup where Japan defeated the US. Anyway around this, things were going to be rough for both teams who were evenly matched and among friends. But there could only be one team who could win the gold. The momentum started for the US at the 7th minute by a goal from Carli Loyd and would remain a 1-0 match through to the half. But before anyone could get comfortable Azusa Iwabuchi tested Hope Solo's resolve and score Japan's only goal that equalized the game and stepped up the pressure for the US.
 But it would be Carli Loyd again at the 53rd minute who broke the deadlock and sealed the deal for the United States that would be held onto and heavily contested on the pitch by Nadeshiko Japan.
 We at American Mishima would like to congratulate our US Women's National Team for winning the Gold Medal at this years 2012 London Olympics. It was a well deserved win that will put this team in the annuls of Women's Soccer History. For all the talk about the 1999 crew it's this team that has become it's own. 
Congratulations USWNT!
As for our International away Team Nadeshiko Japan, we at American Mishima would also like to congratulate Nadeshiko Japan for a well fought run to the Gold Medal match and overall success in this Olympiad resulting in Japan achieving the Silver Medal in Women's Soccer. There is no shame or dismissing Japan's achievements in these Olympics for once again Japan has showed the world that is has become a force in World Sport that has put the world on notice and is here to stay. 
 Well done Nadeshiko Japan! 日本おめでとう!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Samurai Blue Falls Short to Mexico 1-3

Well it was a great run leading up to this historic Olympic Match for Japan's U-23 team that would have led to the first time in Olympic history that a nation would have had both a men's and women's team compete for the gold medal. But this was not to be. After dominating the ball for the first twenty minutes with one goal in by Yuki Otsu, the Mexican team did what they are known for, seizing opportunities to score on their opponents mistakes. It was clear particularly by the second half that Mexico had the momentum to take the match as Japan's team made more critical errors leading to a 3-1 defeat to Mexico. We would have liked to seen Japan win and move onto the gold medal round but all is not lost. Japan will face regional rival South Korea for the Bronze while Mexico will face Soccer Superpower Brazil in Saturday's final match. In one sense, it is better that Japan did face this showdown with Brazil just yet. While Nadeshiko shut down Brazil's women's team, the men would have had their work cut out for them. Japan's U-23's have nothing to be ashamed of. They made it up to the Semi-finals and are still in medal contention. So we say to Japan's U-23's Ganbare kudasai! There is still one medal to be had until the next Olympics!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

なでしこ日本: Sportsmanship Nadeshiko Japan Style

The Age of the Samurai may be gone but not it's most endearing virtues of fighting with honor. This is most exemplified with the dignified play of Nadeshiko Japan during the London 2012 Olympics. Similar to what took place during the Women's World Cup of 2011(where players of Nadeshiko could not celebrate and bowed before members of our USWNT until our players told them it was OK, please enjoy your victory), Japan's players showed a level of class and respect to their defeated opponents you will not see from any other team. This is what true sportsmanship is all about. At the end of the day you have to go shake the other teams hands and walk out of there with your head held up high win or lose, a concept lost to many of this generation but hopefully not for the future generations that learn from Japan's example. We at American Mishima admire Nadeshiko Japan who we know will be gracious in victory or defeat come this Thursday in the fight for the Gold Medal in the Final Match of Women's Football (Soccer). As Americans we are obligated to support our home team, but know that this match will be between friends. It will be tough. But regardless of how it turns out, we'd like to share these images following the defeat of the French Team. You'll just never see such consolation and respect given to a defeated opponent as seen from these pictures. Enjoy!


Monday, August 6, 2012


We love both of these teams but in the end:
Ganbare 日本

広島記念, Last Surving Crew Member of the Enola Gay

In his own words, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay which dropped the first nuclear bomb over the city of Hiroshima August 6th, 1945.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

広島記念, 67th Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Anniversary

Here stands Junji Sarashina, the director of the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors. Mr. Sarashina himself is a survivor of these tragic wartime events that took place some 67 years ago. He along with Kaz Suyeshi (who was also in attendance) are among a dwindling population of Hibakusha still alive to attend one of these memorial services held every year on the Hiroshima anniversary at the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple. 

This was our 4th year we have attended these memorials. And as before, we were thanked by those survivors and their families who together with us gathered to pray for those lost in that wartime tragedy of so long ago. We at American Mishima are grateful and most fortunate to meet such individuals in our lifetime and to hear their stories that bring the human side of what took place come to life. It is hoped that after the World War Two Generation passes on that there will never be another atomic bombing anywhere in the world and no new Hibakusha to bear the scars and tears of such nuclear terrors.
Seen here: Hiroshima Survivor Kaz Seyushi holds our baby Mia-Naoko as we light candles for the people who suffered from the twin atomic bombings 67 years ago.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Samurai Blue Dispatch Egypt 3-0

Japan's Men's Football Team the Samurai Blue defeated the Egyptian Team 3-0 at Old Trafford today in the Olympic quarter finals. The Samurai Blue have made it to the semi-finals for the first time in 44 years where they will face Mexico on Tuesday. We at American Mishima look forward to this match against our (USA) southern arch rival nemesis Mexico and say おめでとうございます! がんばれ 日本!

Friday, August 3, 2012

なでしこ日本 Nadeshiko Defeats Barzil 2-0!

Nadeshiko Japan did again with a 2-0 win over powerful Brazil in a win or go home quarter final. They will next take on France. おめでとうなでしこ日本!