Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Inconclusive War's Bittersweet End

This week marked the formal end to the United States longest and most expensive war in the "Graveyard of Empires" better known as Afghanistan. Like the Soviets before us, our troops fought bravely and were never defeated on the battlefield yet leave without any true sense of victory. What was it all for? Our leaders blew the opportunity to end it early with the capture of the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains and we never captured Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Worse, the Afghan Military seems incapable of keeping the country intact so long as their leaders continue to embrace tribalism over nationalism. While we'll still have a small force in the capital of Kabul, it smacks of another hard learned lesson that seems to have been ignored. 
When I was a kid I watched on live TV as the last U.S. Chopper lifted off the U.S. Embassy in Saigon ending our role in the Vietnam War. It was a sad sight. Our war in Vietnam was then our longest and costliest war which ended badly for us. So as we mark the end of the war in Afghanistan (A war that dragged on for 13 years with price tag that eclipsed Vietnam) one has to ask "Did we win?" Not really. Did we achieve our objectives? Yes and No. Did we leave a stable country ready to function in the world of nations? Probably not. Was it all worth it? You'll have to ask those brave men and women who put themselves on the line there while the rest of us did what President Bush told us what to do. To go on with our lives and go shopping. As the son of a Vietnam Vet all I can say for our tragic losses and largely unknown sacrifices and feats of heroism on the part of our troops is the Japanese phrase commonly used at the end of WWII MOTONAI - What a waste. Our troops should never be used like this again. The lesson of Vietnam was ignored and now we have a whole new generation of vets missing limbs and burdened with the scars of war also known as PTSD. Our troops deserve so much better.

Last Goeka Dance for 2014

Seen here is Mrs. Yagi Mihoko from Okayama Prefecture Japan performing a rarely seen Goeka Dance at the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo during December's final Goma Fire Ceremony. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Emperor Turns 81

We at American Mishima would like to wish the Heisei Emperor a happy 81st birthday.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

March for Revenge

Well almost! As seen here, Japanese actor Ken Matsudaira appears leading a procession of Samurai re-enactors in the streets of Ako, Hyogo Prefecture Japan to recreate the famous 47 Ako Ronin who martyred themselves on this date December 14th 1702 in their quest to avenge their lord. It is forever known as the ultimate act of loyalty in Samurai history.

Friday, December 12, 2014

New Audiobook Released!

After months of waiting, Ichiro Dreams In Color's Audiobook is finally available for sale just in time for the Winter Holidays!
For iTunes Please click:
Ichiro Dreams In Color on iTunes
Thank you!

Monday, December 1, 2014

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day: Respect

Seen here are Chinese Doctors bowing in respect for an eleven year old boy who had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer who upon his passing donated several of his organs to save other young lives. We don't always have good news to report out of the PRC but this touching moment of humanity caught our eye and moved us enough to share it with you here on American Mishima. While this is a tough choice for any family to endure, we wholeheartedly respect this life saving decision and that of the heroic young boy who will live on in spirit with those he has saved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mission Complete: A6M Zero Returns Home to Japan

Seen here in this AP photo by Eugene Hoshiko is a recovered Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter that was downed sometime in Papua New Guinea during WWII. She was brought to the United States and painstakingly restored over many years before being returned home to Japan after it's long patrol. The plane that once was the most feared plane in the skies in the early stages of the Great Pacific War has been put on public exhibition at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Prefecture. While the current display has the vintage fighter without its tail & rudder assembly, the owner Masahide Ishizuka hopes to have her in flying condition for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. We at American Mishima appreciate the efforts of both U.S. & Japanese recovery teams in their efforts to locate and recover both aircraft and missing airmen still listed as missing in action so that both the families of the lost airmen may find closure and the can be restored as living reminders of the sacrifices of these men who served their countries so long ago.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Veteran Actor Ken Takakura Dies at 83

The "Clint Eastwood" of Japan actor Ken Takakura passed away at the age of 83 at a Tokyo Hospital. He is best known in the west for his role opposite Michael Douglas in 1989's Black Rain. Better known as "Ken-San" to his friends and fans alike, Takakura was the star of many Yakuza & many action films. We at American Mishima agree with the Asahi Shimbum in saying that he was one of Japan's greatest actors.

Monday, November 17, 2014

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day: Our Child's Shichi-Go-San

Seen here is our little Mia-Naoko (and yours truly) who had her Age 3 Shichi-Go-San Ceremony this last weekend at the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo Los Angeles. She was one of 80 children many of which were dressed in very elaborate traditional kimono for the occasion. Our child was of course no exception. We wish to thank both the Koyasan Temple and the Suehiro Kimono Agency for their help in making Mia's Shichi-Go-San a success. And of course we'd also like to thank our lucky little girl for being in her best behavior. We as her parents do this out of love and wish her all the best so she may have a happy successful life.
おめでとう みあちゃん!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The PRC's New J-31: A Stealth Contender or Just Another Chinese Knockoff?

Coinciding with President Obama's visit to the PRC for the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit and to urge officials in Beijing to halt cyber attacks and outright cyber theft, the PLA's Air Force deliberately conducted test flights of its new J-31 Stealth Fighter at an arms show in Zuhai. Its alleged that the design of this 5th Generation fighter is the result of Chinese hackers breaking into Lockheed Martin and stealing the plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to which the PLA appears to have produced their own knockoff copy that is missing some key elements or as Lockheed Martin calls "The Crown Jewels" of it's performance ratio & thrust vectoring capability.
While on the surface, the plane looks strangely like an American Stealth fighter (Gee, wonder how that happened?), it is their second Stealth fighter. The earlier J-20 also the product of Chinese hacking also bears a remarkable resemblance to the F-22 & canceled YF-23. Worse, like it's older brother the J-20, the J-31 is powered by a pair of Russian made Klimov RD-93 engines, the same power plant for the MIG-29. The rumor has it that a group of rogue Russian technicians helped them reconfigure these engines for the new plane but Chinese officials deny this. Surprised? Its been observed that this plane bleeds too much power and has to engage its afterburners at low altitude in order to avoid stalling. Nice Try but no fortune cookie!

The mentality behind this lack of originality on the part of the Chinese is difficult to ascertain. You would figure that the people who brought you 4000 years of complex mathematics and medicine could come up with something on their own without stealing someone else s ideas. You would think they would take more pride in their own ingenuity and not ride on the accomplishments of others. But No. If Japan can come up with their own Stealth Fighter (See Mitsubishi ATX-D F3 Shinshin), China has no excuse. This is not being competitive, this is being lazy! ばか!

Monday, November 10, 2014

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day: Hayao Miyazaki Receives Honorary Acedemy Award

Celebrated Animation Film Director & Studio Ghibli Founder  Hayao Miyazaki received an honorary Academy Award this past weekend before a standing ovation for his years of contributions to the world of Cinema. This is his second Oscar. He had previously  received an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003 for "Spirited Away." We at American Mishima congratulate Miyazakisama and will forever treasure his work on such films as My Neighbor Totoro and Kaze  Tachinu - The Wind Rises. おめでとう ございます!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Iconic WWII Internee Dies at 103

Ms. Fumiko Hayashida passed away in Seattle Washington this weekend at the age of 103. Ms. Hayashida as seen from her world famous photo that was taken on March 30th, 1942 carrying her then 13 month old daughter became the face of the 227 Nisei who were forced from their homes on Bainbridge Island. This was the result of President FDR's Executive Order 9066 forcing all people of Japanese Ancestry into "War Relocation Camps" which were nothing more than America's Concentration Camps during World War II. She was recorded to be the oldest living survivor of the fewer than 80 survivors of the Bainbridge Island expulsion. We at American Mishima wish her peace and safe journey to the Pureland.

A New Zero for the Heisei Generation

Introducing Japan's first Generation 5 Stealth Fighter: The Mitsubishi ATX-D F3 Shinshin. It is not only Japan's first Stealth fighter but it's the third fighter built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries since the end of WWII. This is bound to rattle some nerves in the PRC but this is a new era where Japan must meet the challenges to which the PRC and the DPRK have given rise to. 
Born out of necessity to replace Japan's aging fleet of 4th Generation fighters, the "Shinshin" as it will be called was developed after the U.S. Congress nixed Japan's desire to purchase F-22 Raptors in fear of compromising any Stealth Technological advantages. The F-3 is powered by two IHI X51 Turbofans and will have afterburners with thrust vectoring (a key component on the F-22). This will be a true Air Superiority single seat fighter with one two seat variant for training. They are expected to go into production in 2017 and into service by 2027. 
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries who once brought you the legendary A6M Zero had given this new multibillion yen Zero for the Heisei Generation the name ATD-X which is an acronym meaning "Advanced Technology Demonstrator – X". The aircraft is widely known in Japan as Shinshin (心神?, meaning "Spirit of the Heart"). We at American Mishima look forward to learning more about her over the coming years.
がんばれ 日本!

Monday, November 3, 2014

ばか! Are They Serious? North Korea's Latest Maritime Threat

North Korea has once again stunned the world in their use of retro technology. Recently put out to sea, this Soviet Era Golf Class Diesel that was originally built in 1958 then later taken apart then reverse engineered and further re-dubbed by the North Korean Navy as Romeo Class is out on the prowl. While this reverse engineered throwback to the Dr. Strangelove Era has yet to be outfitted with ballistic missiles, it still retains its original torpedo launch capability which according to the South Korean Government is believed to have fired a torpedo at a South Korean vessel in the Yellow Sea March of 2010 which resulted in the South Korean vessel sinking. While being a maritime menace to South Korean vessels we don't believe Japan's JMSDF or the U.S. Navy will be shaking in their boots any time soon. Nice Try Baby Kim! Go home, you're drunk! ばか!

Ichiro Dreams In Color Animated Trailer

Here is our first animated promotional trailer for our first illustrated children's book Ichiro Dreams In Color which was both illustrated and written by Louis Edward Rosas. For those who don't already know this is a cautionary tale of how children play in a post war society.

Inspired by real life events, Ichiro combines the author's own childhood growing up in the Post Vietnam Era by a sea side airport where World War II dramas were filmed, thus enabling the author to see waves of vintage Japanese prop planes fly overhead. Combined with the real life experience of Hiroshima Survivor Kazu Suyeshi, Ichiro blends into this panoramic rendering of fiction and thought provoking wonder. To date our best review on Amazon came from a Montessori teacher who read our book to her students who later went outside and pointed at the skies. To order your own copy please visit: Ichiro Dreams In Color.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Soldier and the Samurai Teaser Trailer

Seen here is the first Promotional Trailer for American Mishima's epic generational saga: THE SOLDIER AND THE SAMURAI by Louis Edward Rosas.This book is available on While this is is only a visual representation made from an earlier film, we hope that this book will one day be made into a full length feature film that will convey the story's epic scale for all to behold!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Japan's New Stealth Fighter

Seen here (or not seen) is the new JASDF Stealth Fighter on display at Kadena Air Base in Japan.

No Seriously!
Japan's Self Defense Forces do not own any Stealth Fighters.
At least not yet...
 Here is a full scale mockup of the F-35J Model for the future JASDF.
It's good to see they are planning ahead. Pay attention PRC.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hatamoto Video Promo

Here is our latest video to promote our American Mishima Samurai Short Story Drama: HATAMOTO.
This book is written by Louis Edward Rosas and is available Amazon and iTunes Store.
Please enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Sons Tribute to his Father

In conjunction with the release of MY FATHER'S WAR IN VIETNAM AND THE LONG SHADOW OF THE HON CONG MOUNTAIN by American Mishima author Louis Edward Rosas, we pay tribute to my late father Luis Eduardo Rosas-Luca in the first of two videos featuring photos which he took during his tour of the Central Highlands of Vietnam 1965-1966. Please Enjoy.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Belated Banzai: Japanese Balloon Bomb Blowns Up in B.C.

Just when you thought the last gasp of the Showa Era had been exhaled, an Imperial Japanese Army Balloon Bomb was blown up in the Monashee Mountains in British Columbia earlier this month. Yes, that’s right! An IJA WWII Balloon bomb one of 9000 launched up into the Jet Stream with the intention of exploding over the North American mainland was detonated by a Canadian Bomb Disposal Unit after its discovery by Canadian Forrest Workers. According the RCMP, the bomb was half buried into the dirt and too big for removal. Thus they attached C-4 explosives and detonated the WWII relic which posed a danger to anyone who might encounter it. Originally hatched up as a plan to create havoc upon the forests of the Pacific North West, these Balloon Bombs made their way to North America within three days after launch from the Japanese Home Islands. While the concept seemed ingenious on paper, the plan proved to be ineffective in making any impact on the war effort to delay Japan’s inevitable defeat. As far as history is concerned, one school teacher in Oregon and five of her students were the only recorded casualties from these 9000 bombs which were ironically assembled by Japanese school children.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


We are pleased to announce the release of our first ever non-American Mishima book written by yours truly about my late father Luis Eduardo Rosas and his role in the Vietnam War has been published.  It is available through the link below in both hardcover and ebook (for the MAC OS / IPhone / IPad only). Please enjoy!

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day : Koyasan Temple Welcomes Newlyweds

Seen here is our dear friend & resident Buddhist Clergy the Reverend Ryuzen Hayashi of the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo and his new wife Asami. They were married in Japan earlier this last spring and were given an informal LA reception by members of the Koyasan Temple. We at American Mishima wish them many happy years together. おめでとう ございます!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day - Japanese Sailors Paying Respects to Former Foes

Seen here are the training officers of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Ships JDS Kashima, JDS Setoyuki and JDS Asagiri at the HMAS Kuttabul Memorial. They were there on a three day port of call to Sydney Australia to salute the 9 Royal Australian Navy and two Royal Navy sailors who were lost when the ferry the HMAS Kuttabul was sunk by a IJN Midget Sub June 1st, 1942. Now that's respect!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vietnam Book Kickstarter Campaign

We've run into some unexpected snags in producing our Vietnam book. While we are about finished, we need some help to complete it. To learn more please click our link to our limited Kickstarter project. We appreciate your consideration and support. Thank you. My Father's War In Vietnam Kickstarter Project

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Political Statement or Bad Taste?

Seen here (in this Exclusivepix photo) are Chinese WWII re-enactors or mall employees at a shopping mall in the Chinese city of Taiyuan performing executions of Imperial Japanese Army Soldiers to mark the 77th anniversary of the Japanese invasion of the Chinese mainland. While this might have been done to promote sales this Anti-Japanese themed mock executions is clearly in bad taste. While this might not offend anyone in China who still harbor hard feelings about the war, it's not the way to move forward. While this is just one man's opinion, the fact remains that the war is over and mock beheadings are no laughing matter.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New American Mishima Audiobook Release!

We are pleased to announce the release of our new Audiobook version of our Samurai short story HATAMOTO produced by Bill Forchion. It is available on and will soon be available on Amazon and ITunes. To Download your copy please visit: HATAMOTO Audiobook on Thank you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hiroshima Hibakusha A-Bomb Survivors 2014

This last Sunday August 3rd three days before the 69th anniversary of the first atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saw the annual memorial service held at the Los Angeles Koyasan Temple in Little Tokyo. We were pleased to see that Hiroshima Survivor Ms. Kazu Suyeishi and Nagasaki Survivor Junji Sarashina were able to attend as well as other members of the American Society of Hiroshima / Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors (ASA), JACCC, & other Buddhist Clergy from other temples in attendance. This was the most attended memorial service we have seen since we started attending them five years ago. As with every year the Hiroshima Peace Flame was brought out and candles were lit. Incense and prayers offered. While it inevitable that the Hibakusha will be leaving us soon that their memory and the lessons learned by their experiences live on to educate future generations. 
 Hiroshima Peace Flame 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Obon - Some Personal Thoughts for the Future

A vision I had this morning; At the end of my life I will have succumbed to the effects of dementia from the Agent Orange I inherited from my father's exposure during the Vietnam War. I had been in bed for days in the company of one of my grown up daughters. Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable sound of approaching helicopters I had not heard in many years. A smile had come to my face. “What is it?” she asked. “That sound. I know that sound.” “What sound?” she asked. “That’s the sound of the Air Cavalry!” I exclaimed. I suddenly became excited the way I did when I would hear Military helicopters fly over our house when I was a kid. For the first time in days I got out of bed strangely wearing OD Green fatigue pants & t-shirt with my father’s dog tags around my neck. I stretched my legs and arms and walked outside into the knee high wild grasses of a tree lined clearing. I looked and felt young again as if I were in my twenties. I could feel the breeze of the rustling the leaves of the surrounding trees as the sound of the Hueys got louder and louder before coming into view. “You see them?” I asked. “See what dad?” “Up there!”I pointed. I looked up into the clear blue skies and pointed to a dozen Bell UH-1 B models circling around. I wanted to puff smoke and in my mind I did. As the Hueys circled in closer you could see the door gunners manning the M-60’s keeping watch as a lead ship came into the LZ. I stretched my arms into the clearing and waved down. The lead Huey came in and set down right in front of me. Like a young boy filled with excitement I raced to the chopper and there standing in the open side door was my father wearing a flight helmet, flakjacket, and his OD green fatigues with the patch of the 1st Air Cavalry on his shoulder. He looked into my eyes and extended his hand as he smiled and said in his native Spanish: “Subir te’ Mijito,” (climb on board son). I took his hand and climbed into the chopper and sat in the middle seat as my dad shook his head to the pilot that we were good to go. As he sat down I clenched my father’s hand and smiled as we lifted out the LZ and into the heavens. The long shadow of the Vietnam War that haunted my father’s life and that of my own faded into the white mists as we passed over the Hon Cong Mountain and the Song Ba River content that we were now at peace. Until we meet again. 

Louis Edward Rosas III. 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last Crewman of Enola Gay is Dead

69 years ago no one could have ever imagined the destructive weapon about to be unleashed upon the City of Hiroshima and its doomed inhabitants. But that was war and here we are today. So as Obon season comes to a close, the last surviving crewman of the infamous B-29 Enola Gay (which dropped the bomb over Hiroshima) Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk has passed away of natural causes at the age of 93.

Van Kirk flew many missions in North Africa and Europe against the Nazi's but it was his one mission against Japan that made him synonymous with the deaths of over 140,000 people and ending the war. He was once asked if he would do it again. His complex answer goes as such: "Under the same circumstances -- and the key words are 'the same circumstances' -- yes, I would do it again. We were in a war for five years. We were fighting an enemy that had a reputation for never surrendering, never accepting defeat. It's really hard to talk about morality and war in the same sentence. In a war, there are so many questionable things done. Where was the morality in the bombing of Coventry, or the bombing of Dresden, or the Bataan death march, or the Rape of Nanking, or the bombing of Pearl Harbor? I believe that when you're in a war, a nation must have the courage to do what it must to win the war with a minimum loss of lives." Van Kirk would write about this and many more detailed accounts of his experience in his book "My True Course." His passing marks another close for the Showa Era and that of those Hibakusha still alive.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Obon Memories: Terminal Island

While many people visit Temples and the graves of their ancestors this Obon, let us not forget entire communities that have also passed on. For this we chose to visit the Terminal Island Memorial in San Pedro California with it's iconic stone Tori Gate that stands without color like a faded memory of the lively once thriving Japanese-American Community that was bulldozed by the US Navy after the forced internment of all US Citizens of Japanese Ancestry.  When you arrive there it is hard to believe that this barren strip of wharf was once home to some 3000 Nikkei and their families with houses, trees, and a real Shinto Jinja. All that remains are the ghostly reminders of the people that spoke their own distinct dialect of Japanese and once made this place unique. While it is off the beaten path there are many signs that will show you the way there. It is if the spirits of the place want you to visit and during Obon it is the perfect time to do it. Gassho!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hatsubon: When Obon Gets Personal

Every second weekend in July has the annual Obon festival throughout the many temples in Little Tokyo. This year however became most personal. If you have been reading our blog you'll know that we have had two deaths in our family this year making us a family in mourning also known as "Hatsubon." Traditionally Hatsubon family members attend the Obon service and offer a candle and memorial plaque to the deceased family members. In my case I offered two candles, one for my uncle Enrique Rosas and for my father Luis Rosas. No members of uncle's family were in attendance thus I represented them as well as my own. My mother was too ill to travel from Arizona so her sister Irma Dominguez stood in for her in her place.
Seen here are the two memorial plaques representing our family. Green candle for Enrique Rosas and Red Candle for Luis Rosas.
Additional offerings to our ancestors were also made at the bamboo altar seen below.
An offering of rice and water is made here for the hungry spirits that come at Obon.
Despite our losses, The Rosas Clan will live on.