Thursday, June 22, 2017

American Mishima Remembers Kaz Suyeishi 1927-2017

There are few opportunities in life to meet such an extraordinary being. It is said when such people leave us, they leave their burdens behind for us to carry in their memory. Last night, it was learned that our long time resident Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Attack Survivor) Kaz Suyeishi had quietly passed away at the age of 90. The Atomic bomb dropped on the City of Hiroshima that had forever changed her life had finally claimed her. She was a kind gentile soul and an advocate for peace. We will be forever grateful for generosity, kindness, and message of peace and forgiveness. Her personal story helped inspire our Children's book Ichiro Dreams in Color and became the subject of the animated film HIBAKUSHA. The annual A-Bomb Rememorial Service held every year at the Koyasan Temple will not be the same without her. We at American Mishima will forever treasure her memory and sincerely wish Miss Suyeishi safe passage to the land of liberation. May her legacy continue on so she may smile upon us who remember her from heaven. 
Arigatou & Sayonara
Mary Kazuye Suyeishi

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former Princess Becomes Supreme Priestess at Ise Jingu Shrine

Mrs. Sayoku Kuroda formerly known as Princess Nori (daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) is said to have assumed to post of Supreme Priestess at the Ise Shrine in Japan this past Monday. She replaces the 86 year old sister of Emperor Akihito Atsuko Ikeda who had held the position for the last 29 years. This is an important position that serves as the representative for the emperor. 
We at American Mishima wish her great success.

South Korea's Moon Renegs on Japan's 2015 Comfort Women Settlment

South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in recently stated in an interview that he wants the reject the 2015 Settlement Agreement made by his predecessor and the government of Japan. In the Agreement, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe formally apologized for Japan's wartime mistreatment of Korean women who were forced to work in Imperial Japanese Army Brothels during WWII. As part of that agreement, Japan has paid 1 Billion Japanese Yen (Equivalent to 9 million USD) in compensation to the few aging survivors and their families. As part of that agreement, the government of South Korea had declared the matter settled and agreed to end once and for all calls for any further apologies from Japan. So what happened? Japan has met its part of the deal disbursing the agreed funds into a South Korean fund and the PM has expressed his apologies and remorse for the suffering of these women. But then South Korea impeached their former President Park Geun-hye over corruption and now the new president feels the agreement made under the former president is not enough. This of course opens a whole new can of worms and both countries have been down this road before. The past cannot be undone but Japan has taken responsibility and settled the issue with South Korea. New demands for greater compensation and more apologies may impact bilateral relations. On the course of greater instability by the DPRK, South Korea will need Japan as an ally. No dollar amount cannot erase the crimes of the past. From our perspective, the dollar amount in the 2015 settlement does not adequately compensate for the scale of the crime. But that's what South Korea Agreed to. When you consider how few elderly Comfort Women are still alive, it is not within reason. That being said, call for new apologies will serve no purpose. We hope Moon will find a way to back down from his own campaign rhetoric and either agree to the terms of the 2015 settlement or find a better solution to a problem he chose to champion.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tragedy at Sea: Seven American Sailors Killed in Collission Aboard USS Fitzgerald

As many of you may well know by now, the American Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer U.S.S. Fitzgerald (DDG-62) was involved in a major collision with the Philippine flagged container vessel ACX Crystal that resulted in the deaths of seven American sailors. The incident was reported to have taken place at 0230hrs in busy shipping lanes 60 miles from the Izu Peninsula. While no crew members of the larger ACX Crystal were reported injured, the damage to the smaller destroyer trapped sailors in their berthing compartments as they slept injuring scores of crew members including the ships captain Cmdr. Bryce Benson who was later airlifted by Japanese Maritime SDF helicopters back to Yokosuka. 
During the first 24 hours, the seven dead sailors were initially listed as missing which prompted a massive air sea search & rescue operation on the part of the JMSDF and Japanese Coast Guard. Sadly, the seven missing sailors were later discovered in the flooded berthing compartments. 
Dramatic photos reveal the severe damage to the hull, what's not seen is the damage below the water line. As one can see from the above photo of the ACX Crystal, it has what is called a "Bulbous Bow" below the waterline. The impact of which cannot be seen above the waterline is what caused the most damage to the destroyer. It is there where much of the flooding occurred. 
The following names listed below are of the seven American Sailors who lost their lives. We at American Mishima respectfully a raise them a slow hand salute in tribute to these seven souls who will join those countless American Sailors still on patrol. 

Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Japananese Whalers Resume Hunt

It was announced in Tokyo last Wednesday that the Japanese Whaling Fleet will put to sea and resume their hunt only this time in Japanese waters. They say their quota for 2017 is to "Capture" 43 Minke Whales and 134 Sei Whales to examine their stomach contents. Note the key phrase capture in place of kill. Their primary factory ship the Nishhin Maru is noted for its catch & release program BECAUSE IT DOES NOT EXIST! What possible research can be gained from examining stomach contents of so many whales? In the last ten years alone, the Japanese Whaling fleet has killed close to 700+ whales per year on the grounds of examining stomach contents. Who are they kidding? After each hunt whale meat suddenly appears on Japanese market shelves. This is consumed by less than 3% of the population largely older people who indulge in this holdover from the lean times of the American Occupation.
There's simply no excuse for it at the same time little can be done about it. While this blog is largely Pro-Japan, this is one issue we cannot support. This is not to say we object to some remote Japanese fishing village looking to feed its people with a single whale. In those situations we know its what they have to do to survive. But on a large scale commercial level, Japan has no excuse. Japan is no longer starving like they were at the end of WWII thus there is no need for this. Those who understand the issue know we are not ranting in the defense of some stupid fish. These are intelligent species and if after spending years examining stomach contents of thousands still requires scientific research with no real scientific value, then they ought to stop lying about their intentions and abide the international whaling committee's ruling suspending commercial whaling once and for all. You don't have to agree with us but that's just our opinion and we're sticking to it.