Saturday, May 30, 2009

Golden Week trip to Hiroshima

Golden Week trip to Hiroshima - 4.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I spent one day of my Golden Week holidays in early May visiting nearby Hiroshima with Mike, a college student studying in Shimane, and his wife, Kim.

We had a nice day of sightseeing, shopping and eating.

I made a vlog about the first part of our day, which we spent at the Peace Park and Peace Memorial Museum.

You can see it on my YouTube channel Here.

I'll post a 2nd vlog soon with footage of us eating okonomiyaki and walking around the city.

More pics can be seen at my Flickr page by clicking on the pic above.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Penn Says:Japanese Rape Game

Penn is a famous magician/comedian/actor in America.

He has an interesting channel on YouTube that I subscribe to.

I agree with most of what he says here - a well thought out and interesting discussion.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to Make Bento (Japanese Boxed Lunch)

I often see this channel's videos, since the channel is labeled "Guru" on YouTube, just like my channel. So their videos are often above mine on the "top rated" or most viewed lists.

I haven't really watched one before, but I have to admit, I watched this one all the way thru - just fascinated by how a bento is made.
I've seen my kids open amazing looking bento lunches for years now, and I always wondered if they were hard to make.

While this example features some over-the-top features for cuteness and interest, it's actually not that far from the reality I've often seen at school.


Monday, May 25, 2009

2009 May Grand Sumo Tournament - Day 15 - Final Day

A nice summary of the final day of action, from NHK world channel -so all the commentary is in English.

It was a great tournament - one of the most exciting I've seen during my five years watching SUMO.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Asashoryu: Sumo's big bad boy 2 朝青龍 明徳

An interesting 3-part interview with the Grand Champion - Asashoryu. The CNN interviewer asks questions in English and Asa responds in Japanese with English dub over.

Go to the YT page and you can click on parts 1 and 3.


Tokyo Day 13 - Hakuho v Harumafuji - May 22, 2009

A great match between two fantastic foes with an unexpected and thrilling finish!

I love SUMO! :D


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kansai Men's Students Finals 2009

This is college level kendo. I'm not sure how many of my students, who are playing kendo in Jr High School, go on to compete at the college level.

At about the 2:45 mark in this video, you see a good example of the "tsuki" attack, or neck thrust, that is actually not allowed at the Jr High level.

And the very end of the video contains some quick points.

I'll be editing and posting a kendo video of my own very soon.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tokyo Day 4 - Harumafuji v Goeido - May 13, 2009

My coverage of the current sumo tournament is well under way on my new YouTube channel I have dedicated to SUMO. :)

Check it out!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Japanese TV #2 - TFP2 with Rookies(ルーキーズ)and Arashi (嵐)

pretty good example of the type of TV I watch here in Japan, when I'm not watching Sumo.

I can't really follow along well enough with a drama or comedy - the actors just speak too fast for me to get it all - but I do enjoy the occasional funny game show, like Tokyo Friend Park (TFP2).

I'll be posting a few more of these clips on my TaishaJason channel on YouTube.


Friday, May 01, 2009

Summer movies in Japan

Hello All -

Well it seems to start earlier and earlier each year - the coming of the summer movie season.

When Sony started releasing the Spider-Man films during the first week of May, it started a trend of kicking off the summer "blockbuster" movie slate even earlier than the standard Memorial Day weekend start of decades past.

So this weekend in America you get the first big popcorn muncher of the season - "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

When does this movie come out at theaters in Japan you may ask...

August 22nd! That's right, almost 4 months later! Which means, in this year when I'll be going home to San Diego in late July, I will miss seeing this movie on the big screen. It won't still be playing in America when I get home and it won't have opened here in Japan before I leave. Sucks! In fact, based on the internet buzz and reviews I'm seeing today, the movie will most likely be out on DVD back in the States by late August.

This happened last year with another big comic based movie (that actually turned out to be very, very good - unlike what I'm hearing about Wolverine) - "Iron Man" came out in May last year and didn't open here in Japan until September! I could have bought the DVD from Amazon in America and watched it before having a chance to see it on the big screen here. But I waited and I'm glad I did, as it was a great big-screen movie. (And I bought the DVD too)

I fare better with most of the rest of the summer fare I really want to see, with the exception of the latest from Pixar - "Up."
It opens around Memorial Day weekend (May 29th) in America, but doesn't open here until December 19th - the Japanese market is holding it back as a Winter holiday movie here. So I'll miss it on the big screen as well.
Same thing happend with "Wall-E" last year - but with that one they also only released it to the big screen here in my area dubbed in Japanese so I waited to see it on DVD so I could watch it in English.

Other summer movies I'm looking forward to this year include:

Star Trek - opens May 29th here in Japan

Terminator Salvation (T4) - opens about three weeks after America (21 May) here in Japan on June 13th

Transformers 2 - Revenge (as it's called here) - opens in Japan on June 20th
This movie actually opens a few days before it opens in America on June 24th. Which is interesting since the first film did well here, but not Pirates of the Carribean well. Heck, I may have to go see it and make a vlog about it and spoil it for everyone in the States for a change. LOL

Harry Potter 6 - opens July 15th (same day as in the States). This franchise is immensely popular here, so I'm not surprised we don't have to wait for this one.

Another July opening here is Monsters v Aliens, an animated 3D film that looks like a lot of fun. It opened in March in the States. Luckily, the amazing new movie theater in my area has a nice 3D theater within its 10 screens, so I can see it in 3D.

As for more adult fare - it can be hit or miss. Something like Angels and Demons will open at about the same time, but something like "Knocked Up" from a few years ago won't even be released here on the big screen - comedies don't play well here. Dramas depend entirely on who the star is - if it's got Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp, then it gets released here.

Something like Land of the Lost - which has Will Ferrell - a big star in America but no big deal here - and is based on an old American TV show - doesn't even have a Japanese release date listed on the IMDB. Since it comes out in June in America, it's another one I'll probably miss on the big screen.

OK - well, it's a big holiday week coming up here next week - 4 holidays in a row known as Golden Week - but not much is playing at the local theater for me to go see. I saw Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino last week (it just opened here) and I don't think there is much else coming until Angels and Demons in mid May. (Unless you count 17 Again - which is getting a timely release here as Zac Efron has become popular here due to the strong DVD rentals of the High School Musical franchise here and the fact that the Disney channel is a popular cable channel here)

Right now, I'm most excited about Star Trek and the new Terminator - can't wait to see both!