Sunday, September 23, 2012

ばんざい! Japanase GSDF Forces Defy Beijing Invading Guam!

In a stunning unprecedented move, Japanese military force known as the Ground Self Defense Force in the most provocative show of military force since the end of WWII, defied Beijing and invaded Guam. なに? That makes about as much sense as America invading Iraq to avenge 9/11! なんちゃて! No seriously. We're kidding. Actually this photo is of Japan's GSDF participating in joint maneuvers with the armed forces of the United States military to demonstrate Japan's ability to defend remote islands such as the disputed Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea. With tensions high between China and Japan, we hope this dispute simmers over without any armed conflict. We can't see the PRC with all it's economic success going to war over a couple uninhabited rocks in the sea. Maybe in Mao's day but not today. But if the very unlikelihood comes to fruition, you know whose side we'll be on. Good luck boys & stay frosty! がんばってください!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Aoi Miyazaki to appear in new Edo Period Feature

For those of you who loved Aoi Miyazaki in the NHK Taiga Drama Atsuhime, you'll be happy to know she is appearing in a new Edo Period drama "Tenchi Meisatsu": The Samurai Astronomer. This film is the latest work of Yojiro Takita best known for his 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winning film "Okuribito" aka Departures (Which we featured in our earlier Films for Obon posts). Tenchi as it is being called is the biographical drama of the 17th-century Edo Period math whiz Harumi Shibukawa, best known today for devising a new, more accurate calendar. But science & math aside, we are guaranteed some tempers will meet some sword action to liven up this story. After all this was still the Age of the Samurai. This is likely going to appeal mostly to the home audience but if you love science or love seeing Aoi Miyazaki outwitting another opponent at goh, then keep your eyes out for this feature when it becomes available here. It might actually illuminate our view on Edo Period science as well as entertain. So please enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day

As time goes by, the memories of the tragic events of 9/11/2001 begin to fade for many but not for those who directly suffered.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day From History

Bakufu Samurai take Giza plateau. なに? No seriously. In 1864, the Ikeda Diplomatic Mission to Europe to persuade France to close the port of Yokohama to foreign trade ended in failure but left us this great photo of Samurai in full kamishimo, katana, & jingasa hats posing in front of the Great Sphinx. Incredible is it not?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Japan Foundation Los Angeles Open House

Thursday August 30th, the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles held it's first Open House at it's new Miracle Mile Location at 5700 Wilshire Blvd location across from the Screen Actors Guild & La Brea Tar Pits - Page Museum complex. For those not familiar with JFLA, they are a non-profit organization who is financed by endowment by the Japanese Government and private donations to help promote Japanese language and culture. We have attended many of their events before but this was the first time we attended an open house as the old Little Tokyo Location was not as convenient. Upon arrival on this hot August day, visitors were greeted by JFLA's director Misako Ito and the staff which welcomed scores of visitors and school children. Once inside, visitors were cooled to some nice air conditioning and treated to a small Shamisen concert & tea and a variety of Japanese snacks provided in their screening room where visitors could watch both documentaries and small features from Japan.

The interior featured beautiful kimono displays on loan from the Kimono Agency of North Hollywood. There were also wicker displays as well as Ikibana. In the back there was a class room where school children tried their hands and Japanese Calligraphy with ink & brush while a few feet over was a large gallery that featured photographs taken by American Students in Japan.  The Japan Foundation has a vast library of books, dvds, and learning materials to help foster the study of both Japanese language and cultural understanding. For anyone who is looking to learn about Japan or learn Japanese this is the best place in LA you can go to do that. The staff is very helpful and much like a public library, you can apply for a small $2.00 fee for a JFLA book card that will allow you to borrow books and instructional dvds you can take home to study with. JFLA offers special events everything from Shamisen shows like the recent Abeya concert, to Kabuki, Taiko, and lectures as well as conversation series where any person can meet and speak Japanese Language regardless of level.  Leaving the old Little Tokyo location, new location is very spacious and easy to get to.  You'll also find that the staff is both very helpful and friendly.
They do have a large children's section and children's events which makes a great place to teach a child Japanese or introduce Japanese culture. They do have a large Manga section and Animae DVD that can be screened there.
If you are looking to pursue JLPT studies or simply take the exam, this is the place to go. You can use their computers, research material, or simply utilize the library to enhance your studies. American Mishima highly recommends the JFLA and wishes them continued success!  

To find out more about  Japan Foundation  their website @
To find out more on Kimono Agency and their beautiful kimono rentals please visit: