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.