Thursday, January 28, 2016

New American Air Power Arrives in Japan

In a show of force, the United States Air Force deployed half of the 525th Fighter Squadron from Alaska to Yokota Air Base in Japan. The F-22 Raptor is our biggest, baddest 5th Generation Air Superiority Stealth Fighter. No other air force has a plane that can rival the F-22. With recent tensions from North Korea and the Chinese Navy, this deployment is meant to send a strong message to anyone thinking of challenging American Resolve in the region. We sure hope it doesn't come to that but if it does, our allies will know we have their backs and will do what is necessary to provide peace & stability in the Far East.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Recovered Zero's First Flight Over Japan Since WWII

This week in January 2016 saw the first flight of a once wrecked A6M-Zero Fighter found in Papua New Guinea take it's first flight over Japan since WWII. According to the Associated Press, this plane that was found in the 1970's in a severe state of decay was recovered and restored by an American. It was later sold to Japanese businessman Masahiro Ishizuka who then brought the restored plane to Japan last September. To date, there are only a few Zeros left in the world in flyable condition.
While the plane was piloted by former U.S. Air Force pilot Skip Holm out of the Kanoya Naval Base in Kagoshima Prefecture, it should be noted that this symbolic departure point was one of the bases where many young Kamikaze pilots last took to the skies. Mr. Ishizuka is quoted as saying; “I wanted for the people of Japan and especially young people to know about this Zero airplane, as well as those who are old who remember the past. Each of them should have different thoughts and perspectives on this, but I just want people to know how Japan has developed its technology.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Remembering My Father

It was three years ago that I got the call that my father had passed away in the night. He went quickly from Pulmonary Fibrosis which doctors link to a scarring of his lungs from a "toxic substance" at the ages of 25-26. It was during the ages of 25-26 that my father Luis Eduardo Rosas-Luca was then an Avionics Specialist 4th Class serving in the United States Army in Vietnam where he had been repeatedly been exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange in an effort to deprive the Viet Cong of the sanctuary of the jungle for cover. My father lived an extraordinary life despite being shortened by ten years, he left large shoes to fill which to this day I continue to struggle to fill.
Since that time I had attempted to unite the surviving family in vain. No one can say I didn't try. But in that time I did accomplish one mission he never completed and that was to return of W.O. Douglas Niles's dog tags which I took to the Vietnam Memorial Wall when I went there this last June to induct my father into the Vietnam Memorial Fund's Virtual Honor Roll. And while some of my efforts bore no lasting fruit, the work continues as we work on a screen play dramatizing the story of his tour in Vietnam and continue to sell copies of his book MY FATHERS WAR IN VIETNAM AND THE LONG SHADOW OF THE HON CONG MOUNTAIN. And as we hold a private memorial service for him today at our Koyasan Buddhist Temple (for which he was given the honor of being presented a posthumous Buddhist name) we continue to remember all that he had taught us and the example by which he chose to live by. We hope somewhere out there he's pleased with our efforts. But there is much more to do and we must be ever mindful that as we continue to carry on his legacy, we too are creating our own legacy and must never forget those who came before us and showed us how to live. Until we meet again, smile from heaven dad because we are thinking of you.
Just as my fingernails are stained with the pigment from balsam flowers,
my heart is painted with the teachings of my parents.
Although the stars in the sky are countable,
the teachings of my parents are not.
Just as ships that run in the night are guided to safety by the North star,
I am guided by my parents who gave birth to me and watch over me. 
-Chinsagu No Hana

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Loving the Alien and the Death of David Bowie

There is perhaps no greater musical influence in this writer's life than that of David Bowie. For over 40 years his music has captivated us, his style influenced us, and often motivated us to express ourselves and be different as we were always meant to be. As time, styles, fashion, and the like goes, Bowie who was born in 1947 as David Robert Jones found his musical niche as the Man Who Sold The World and brought us the Alien persona Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Out of the decay of the 60's Love Generation, Bowie defied all conventions and blurred gender lines and genres. Glitter Rock, Glam, Goth, and even Punk Rock owes much to his influence and beyond as this self described Master of reinvention periodically shed his skin and like some chameleon would emerge in an entirely new guise and sound as he did as the Thin White Duke or later in Station to Station or when he appeared with Klaus Nomi.Never the imitator, Bowie was always one step ahead of the curve whose appeal spanned the globe and beyond. There will never be another like him. How fortunate of us to have lived in his time. Now in the wake of his passing at age 69 to Liver Cancer, we take stock and reflect on the Man Who Fell To Earth and gave us the soundtrack to much of our youth and the most interesting of times before returning to stardust as one day we shall all do ourselves. And now to borrow a line from his breakout1969 hit Space Oddity, "The stars look very different today." And indeed they do. Our hearts go out to his son Duncan Jones, his wife Iman, and their daughter Alexandria Jones. We at American Mishima are forever grateful and thank Mr. Bowie for an extraordinary soundtrack to this existence on this planet and in this very life.
Godspeed and Be Welcomed in Nirvana. 
And Ziggy Played....Guitar!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Toshiro Mifune to get Star on Walk of Fame!

Legendary film great Toshiro Mifune is set to get a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 2016. Mifune (1920-1997) who served as an aerial photographer in Manchuria during WWII never intended to be an actor. He had heard the Toho Studios needed some electricians and applied for work. But when he arrived for the interview and asked to read some lines on a script, he exploded and stormed out of the interview. Luckily for us, his temperament caught the eye of film director Akira Kurosawa who chased after him and talked him into being in his movie and the rest is history. He would go on to be known in the West as the "John Wayne of Japan." Mifune initially starred in early post war film noir films like The Lower Depths but quickly became known for his role in the Seven Samurai, a role which became his all time favorite. He would go on to play such legendary Samurai roles such as The Musashi Samurai Trilogy, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Red Lion, Red Beard, and others. While no date has been released as to when the ceremony will take place, yours truly will try to be there. To date, Akira Kurosawa does not have a star but his star that he created will.This is an honor that is long overdo and we at American Mishima are happy to see it happen.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Heisei Emperor Greets New Years Well Wishers

Seen here are photos first published in Japan Today of His Majesty Emperor Akihito as he greets the throngs of well wishers who annually flock to the Imperial Palace to catch a glimpse of their symbolic monarch who to this day at age 82 remains very popular with the Japanese People. Please enjoy!
 Thousands make this annual trek to the Imperial Palace on New Years. 
 Seen here is both the Emperor and Empress along with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess as well as other members of the Royal Family.
We at American Mishima wish Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko as well as the rest of the Royal family and the People of Japan a very Happy New Years!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Heisei Emperor's New Year Message

As been our tradition here on American Mishima, we like to post HRM Emperor Akihito's New Year's address to Japan and to the world. Here is his 2016 New Years Message:

"As last year was the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, it was a year in which many of us spent much time thinking about the war. In welcoming the new year, I would like to renew my prayer for peace both for our country and our people.

It will soon be five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and it pains me to think that there are still people who cannot return to the places they used to live and those who must endure the hardships of living in temporary housing. I hope that these people will take good care of their health through the cold winter, and that further progress will be made in the recovery of the afflicted areas.

Our country Japan is indeed blessed with beautiful nature, but at the same time, we are prone to natural disasters. It is my sincere hope that each and every Japanese cultivate an awareness of disaster prevention and continue to look out for each other and be prepared to protect themselves at all times.

May the new year bring happiness to the people of our country and the people around the world."

Happy New Years 2016!

Seen here are thousands of balloons released at the stroke of midnight marking the arrival of the year (Gregorian Calendar) 2016 New Years Celebration at the old Tokyo Tower. Happy New Years everyone!
あけまして おめでとう ございます!