Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Washington's Sakura Matsuri

Every Spring in Japan is marked by the annual Sakura Viewing festivals and parties. But when it comes to Cherry Blossom festivals, you may have not considered Washington D.C. Yes, that's right! We have a Sakura Matsuri right here in our nation's Capital. Our nation's lasting gift from Japan blooms this time of year and is celebrated with an annual National Cherry Blossom Festival complete with parades, viewing parties, and a multitude of Japanese themed events that will through April 17th 2016. 
For those who may not know the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift from then Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to Washington D.C. in an effort to strengthen ties between our two countries. This was actually the second gift as the first Sakura given to America were found to be infested thus burned in 1910. Over the years, Japan has contributed to the development of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C. and runs a series of events such as a paper lantern festival and a true Japanese Sakura Matsuri.
Enjoy Kudasai! 

For more information, please check local listings.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

JMSDF Appoints First Female Officer to Command a Destroyer

We at American Mishima would like to share with you some news we got from the Naval Forces News of Japan. The JMSDF appointed Commander Miho Otani to command the Asagiri-Class Destroyer Yamagiri(DD-152). The 44 year old Osaka native & Etajima Naval Academy Graduate becomes the first female officer to command a ship in the JMSDF. We wish Commander Otani Great Success and a personal がんばって ください!

Getting Real on Yonaguni Island

Japan's Defense Ministry has announced the opening of a new radar facility on Yonaguni Island. Never heard of it before? If you love underwater archeology (Or Ancient Astronaut Theory), chances are you have heard of the famous Yonaguni Monument. But getting back to our post, this move on the part of Japan's SDF is a significant one. The Defense Ministry has further announced that it has now stationed 160 troops to maintain this new radar facility on Yonaguni Island (part of Okinawa Prefecture) 60 miles from Taiwan giving Japan a back window into what the PRC is up to in the South China Seas. Naturally, there have been some fierce protests from Beijing that include calls for boycotts of Japanese products. All talk is fine but with the artificial island building (for the purpose of Militarizing the South China Sea) on the part of the PRC in international waters and claims of Chinese Sovereignty far beyond the shores of the Chinese mainland has forced Japan to step up it's game. By establishing this base, Japan will have an early warning should trouble break out with the Chinese Navy. We of course it doesn't come to that. As our Chinese friends would say "it's bad for business." Trust me, war is very bad business and nobody wants that. Let's continue to pray that cooler heads will prevail. 

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day

Seen here is yours truly on our wedding day taken March 26th 2016 at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in Granite Falls Washington. We shall have a followup story with many beautiful photos to follow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Taking No Chances

Seen here is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meeting with his top military advisors after deploying Patriot Advanced Capability 3 Missile Interceptors in response to the recent missile launches from North Korea. The last launch was capable of reaching Hiroshima thus such actions taken  as stated in the PM's Message:
"This morning I convened an urgent meeting of the National Security Council. I received a briefing from the Chief of Staff, Joint Staff and then confirmed the government’s response.
North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile cannot be tolerated. It is a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and a grave provocative action in terms of Japan’s security.
We will continue to take measures resolutely, acting in close cooperation with the international community. We will also take all possible measures to ensure the safety of the Japanese people under any circumstances." - Japan PM Shinzo Abe.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

一日の画像 - Picture of the Day: Kiki Alive!

Seen here is is a girl dressed as the Hayao Miyazaki character Kiki from the 1989 Studio Ghibli anime classic "Kiki's Delivery Service." This photo was taken at a real life bakery known as Kiki's Bakery in Yufuin Floral Village in Southwestern Japan. If you're a fan of this film then this will be a delightful destination not to be missed!
かわいい ね!