Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pray for Japan

All six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been connected to external power on Tuesday according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. This news brings a little bit of relief even the nuclear crisis is still far from over with the high radiation and contaminated food found in some produces, but expert says no need to fear radioactive contamination of food, rain if proper steps taken.

So let's keep praying for Japan....

(A picture designed by Mu63n)
I have a friend who share the same passion about Japan, he has great skills in drawing and art designing and he really is into anime, he designs the above picture for me and if you'd like to see more of his drawing you can visit his devianART profile, Mu63n.

Talking about anime, last weekend I joined the Animania 2011 in Sydney and here are some of my shots

(A stall organizing a donation for disasters in Japan)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Over the past week I have been watching TV and searching the news on the web for all the latest updates on the disaster and nuclear crises in Japan, and today a little article on News really caught my attention. A nine-year-old Toshihito Aisawa pictured at an evacuation centre in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, with two handwritten signs as he continues his search for his father, mother, grandmother, and two cousins lost in the quake and tsunami. One is written their names, on the other 'I will come again tomorrow'.
This 'I-won't-give-up' kid reminds me of one word that Japanese people used everyday, Ganbaru, which could be loosely translated as ' doing one's best and hanging on to the bitter end' or 'please keep up your hard work until your goal is achieved.'
Ganbaru is, for one thing, a process-oriented concept that emphasizes the moral significance of an effort, or doryoku. What is important is that one makes the sincerest effort possible, and the outcome of that effort is secondary at best. In other words, in the value system of ganbaru, the process of making an effort is intentionally dissociated from the outcome that the effort brings, so that the effort can be evaluated and admired on its own merit.
The imperative form 'Ganbate' or 'Ganbare' is also a very popular term to encourage someone undertaking a very difficult tasks. The term also means work hard and patiently, Do your best, Don't give up , Hang in there!

Ganbare Nippon!


(from some sources)
Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan's largest earthquake

It was 2.46 PM on Friday March 11 when the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan struck Tohoku region and towns swamped by tsunami  afterwards..

The news on NHK world are really heartbreaking.

My deepest condolences..

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan..

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tokyo Top Picks

One reader emailed me few months ago asking for some info about Tokyo, and I just got another email with same topic. Not that I am a travel expert but  I'd  like to share my favorite places in Tokyo as well, so here are my 'must visits' in Tokyo:
  1. Tokyo Disney Resort. When I was kid my favorite comic book was 'Donald Duck' so this theme park was on my top list when I visited Tokyo for the first time. Actually this Disneyland is 'outside' Tokyo, it's in Chiba to be exact. Known as the first Disneyland to be built outside America, it's now the most visited theme park in the world.
  2. Shibuya - Harajuku.I put these two vibrant precincts as one since I love to walk from Shibuya Station where you can find the Hachiko statue up to Harajuku station, strolling down the streets and enjoying the street fashion scene. Harajuku is particularly attractive for young people. On the west side of JR Harajuku station you will find Meiji-jingu Shrine, located in the heart of a city's forest, is another charming side of Harajuku precinct.
  3. Akihabara . This 'Electric Town' is the capital of Otaku industry, the Tokyo Anime Centre in the UDX building stages regular anime marketing events and merchandising fair for local and foreign anime-junkies. 
  4. Asakusa. After strolling around the vibrant and modern side of Tokyo, let's go to the birthplace of the Edo culture  that established Tokyo. Asakusa will charm and amuse you with its traditional Japanese atmosphere. Ancient Buddhist temples and shrines stand alongside shopping districts and traditional crafts, all within walking distance from Asakusa station.
  5. Odaiba, it's a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay linked by the Rainbow Bridge. Don't miss the Fuji TV building where you can go up to the observatory deck for free. If you are visiting Tokyo end of this month, you could be part of Tokyo Anime Fair 2011 at Tokyo Big Sight from March 24-27, 2011. I did plan to go to Tokyo for this biggest Anime Fair in the world but unfortunately I won't make it since another urgent trip plan came up.. so disappointed though. 
  6. Tsukiji Market. If you love Japanese food especially sushi and sashimi you'd love this biggest fish market in the world!
I can go on and on about Tokyo but if you are visiting Tokyo for 3-4 days, these places would amuse you enough so that you'd plan your next visit.

(Rainbow Bridge)

(Kaminarimon gate, Asakusa)
Friday, March 4, 2011


Benshi is a narrator who stands beside silent films reading out the intertitles to audience and explaining the action. 
If you are into Japanese film and culture, you will get a chance to hear Kataoka Ichiro in action when the 1933 Japanese silent-film classic, The Water Magician, screens at the Playhouse on March 6 as part of Screen Live series. Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the Japan's greatest directors, the film tells a griping tale of a woman's love and sacrifice. Actress Takako Irie stars as a water juggler in a travelling circus who falls in love with a coach driver. The Water Magician, set in 1890, is one of the surviving silent films and features three trademark Mizoguchi elements: ill-fated women, extreme emotion and tragic love.
The film intertitles are in English but Ichiro will perform the film in Japanese, Ichiro will demonstrate why benshi were so beloved that many developed their own following among Japanese cinema-goers.More than 7000 benshi were working in Japan at the peak of the silent-film era. Today, a small group of benshi specialist continue to hone their skills, many are descendants of Matsuda Shunsui, a child benshi in the pre-war period who devoted himself to preserving the films and performance style of Japanese silent cinema.

(The Water Magician)

(Source: SMH)