Friday, June 30, 2006

Welcome to Graceland; Welcome to America

Koizumi does more Elvis Impersonations

The King Lives On!

Now that I got that out of the way, Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visits the estate of Elvis known universally as Graceland, with his buddy George Bush. For more on this fun trip, and exciting reason to come visit the U.S. please click: here.

Pink Cadillac

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to change direction a bit and talk about politics from my own unique view.

Many people ask me why I flop between conservative and liberal view points. They ask me, well what political party do you support? Whichever one is best suited to run the country and maintain the people's liberty, I tell them. After they give up on that idea, they ask me, well what's your political ideology? Whichever one is best suited to run the country and maintain the people's equalty and freedom. When my mind numbing answer confuses them, they just give up and politely listen to what I have to say. They don't listen to be polite, or because they have to, but they listen because what I have to say is something many (but not all) Americans lack. The ability to step out of the American 'mind set' and see our country from a foreigners eyes, then suddenly jump back in and explain the value and importance of America, Freedom, and Liberty for all. Including other nations? Yes.

But before you cite the Iraqi "occupation" as an evil, just look at these pictures of the Prime Minister of Japan. Once, Japan was a nation sworn to be the mortal enemy of America. They believed that the Emperor, an all mighty Sun God, was on their side and would aid them in the total destruction of the "American monster." They believed they could ally with the evils of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Now, in 2006 of the 21st century Japan is our greatest friend and ally. Germany and Japan follow the U.S. in global economic power, and yes, it was because the U.S. butted in and put its mighty nose where is (maybe) shouldn't have been. But the U.S. did it anyway, and now these countries all share in global supremacy, luxury, and peacefulness. Hello Iraq, how are you today?

Strike a Pose!

Let me state that I do not believe the War in Iraq had a very just cause. Yes Sadam Hussein was evil. No his people couldn't beg him to stop. The United States Supreme Court just put President Bush back into his place, and this represents the *will of the people. America's separations and balance of powers ensures that we control our freedoms... and although I don't see a justifiable reason to have invaded Iraq soil, the U.S. has an affinity for putting its mighty nose where it (maybe) shouldn't be. But we did it none-the-less. Hello Iraq, still not doing well? Maybe we can fix that.

Gold Frames

I've heard many protestors complain that our invasion in Iraq is unjust. I have to disagree. It was unwarranted for sure. It was handled roughly by the Bush Administration, without delicacy or grace, but I will say this, if you look at the United State's track record you will find that even though our political ideologies sometimes get imposed on others, it always turns out for the better.

Sure, Iraq faces hardship, turmoil, and hectic chaos on a day to day basis, but this is the immediate effect of losing a totalitarian regime. When you have lawlessness, you get this great divide of anarchists and apathetic innocents. I agree that the current situation in Iraq couldn't be worse. Is it the U.S.'s fault? No! Not entirely. The problems were deep seeded and were there before the U.S. ever came to occupy the area in the name of Democracy.

What of this Democracy? Is this just an evil the U.S. imposed hidden under the veil of sheep’s clothing to appear as merely 'nice sounding' words? If you think that the U.S. idea of Freedom and Democracy is this, if you think it's all a hoax to support its plan for world domination, then you have seen one too many bad movies. If you want to see the real truth, look at the Germany of today. Look at the stability, peace, and power of countries like Germany and Japan, and if you can still tell me that in 50 or 60 year Iraq won't be as strong, peaceful, and stable, or at the very least better off then before the United States intervened, then I will eat my hat. But in 60 years, if Iraq is better off, and I am right, then I am afraid I won't have enough hats for everyone else to eat.

Taking a walk towards future peace

Many, many, many people don't want the U.S. in Iraq, and they want us gone like yester-year. They think America is there only to take the Iraqi people's oil. How silly is this cover up? Come now, don't you think that's a bit far fetched? Are you projecting your fears that you will be limited by suppressive forces alien to yourself? It's not a conspiracy, and we don't want the oil for ourselves, we want to give it back to the people of Iraq. Here's the thing, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, Pakistan, and many of the Arab nations which have oil, are far wealthier and richer than the U.S. or any other nation. Then why is it they have poverty? Why do we see such hardship on the television? Who takes all their money? The rulers of those countries often take a fair share, the scraps then go to the highest bidder. But what happens if the country is destroyed and the governments are built back up using an existing model? A model known to work properly and well? Not only once, but three times. Should we not have faith it will work a fourth time too? If the people in Iraq can take control of their own country, have a democratic government they (the people!) can control, and the oil belongs to them, once they become stable, peaceful, and economically powerful will it all be in vein? It's a gamble for sure, but ask yourselves quite seriously, will it all have been in vein? I sure hope not.

United We Stand (Together)

American's are not as greedy or bad as movies make us look. Look at real examples like Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates (the richest men on Earth!) who give ALL of their wealth to the cause of charity, peace, and spreading of good will. Sure America has its problems, sure I don't agree with the unwarranted occupation, but look at America's track record. I think what we are doing in Iraq is important. Others will disagree, but I think we've proven ourselves time and time again as "Peace Keepers" and sitting back and doing nothing has never helped the cause of peace. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, and sometimes you have to tell others it's time to share. The fact that America upholds these important ideals of charity, equality, peace, kindness, moral values, and the like is only a testament to our true nature. This is the American idea of peace -freedom for every individual so that they may live in peace and harmony with their fellow mankind.

The problem isn't America forcing other's to follow good ideas of peace, equality, tollerance, etc., the problem lies in those who don't want to change because they like living in the unclean world -because it benefits them -even if others may suffer. But where's the justice in that? Others must suffer so Kings can be self gratifying and practice mammon? What if we did occupy Iraq? What if we gave a great promise that at the end of the day there is something greater. What if we informed you there is peace for everyone, and although the suffering may continue, you all can be free together and free to have the choice to be happy? What if that freedom of the suffering could be attained if only you'd work as hard as we did to get it? What if we showed you how? Yes, it won't be easy. We never said it would be. But it's there. It is real.

Japan and the U.S., friends forever!

Righting the wrongs was never supposed to be our job. Yet suddenly, there were so many wrongs in the world, and nobody was doing anything about it. America woke up, and like a mother who drags her child into the bath, although the young child kicks and screams and throws a fit, the parent knows better. Even though that child may cause harm to itself or to its parent by putting up a good fight, the parent knows a bath will do the child good. Sometimes we all need a good cleansing, and when you live in a world which has filled up with so much filth so adeptly, you have to grab it by the back of the ear and cleanse it. NO, I'm afraid we never asked to be the peace keepers of the world, but the world had a strange way of telling us to do so. On September 9/11 America woke up, and said, "Hey, it's time to give the world a bath, and clean up this vile muck of evil and oppression." All I can say is if you don't like it, then maybe YOU should have done something a long time ago about it.

Granted pushing people about and making them be like us is a bully type mentality, you might have to wonder, maybe that pushing around and stirring things up a bit only made you grow stronger? But it happened to Germany. It happened to Japan, and as history shows, they came out alright in the end. Japan even maintained its ancient and wonderful culture and history. Because they were free to do so. Iraq will enjoy the same freedom and maybe (to the chagrin of many Middle Eastern nations) in the future the man in the photos walking with the President of the United States won’t be the Prime Minister of Japan, but instead, the Prime Minister of Iraq. Did Iraq ask for us to burst into their country and force a new political ideology on them? No. Did they necessarily want it? Probably not. Is there great strife and hardship in Iraq now? Yes. Did America cause it? No. Did America bring awareness to the problems and then inflame them by poking them with a stick? Yes. Will Iraq prosper and benefit in the long run? Yes. Let's just hope that although the United States of America sometimes puts its nose where it doesn't belong, that the end result is beneficial for everyone. I think We have a good track record thus far. Although we may be a bit on the shy end of tact, our hearts are in the right place. So if you still hate America, then take it on faith, or look at the political science that backs up what I say and take it on historical evidence. Yet only time will tell for certain, I only pray that it is in God's will to have a more peaceful and harmonious future for all mankind.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lovely Sisters

Sayaka (left) and Yayoi (right).

YES, they are. Another reason I'm anxious to return to Japan, as you can see, is to be reunited with my lovely fiance. She's the one on the left.

I took this photo at Yayois Seijinshiki, or comming of age ceremony, which the Japanese celebrate when you turn 20 years old. It's fun to see all the young people get dressed up in kimonos and traditional Japanese clothes. It's wonderful to see this kind of cultural event, so if you're ever in Japan, try and find some ceremony going on (there practically one every month) and don't forget to bring your camera.

Moving to Japan!

Train tracks running through town.

As I prepare to make my move to Japan I realize how much stuff I've collected over the years. I have way too many DVDs, and now that everything is changing again, as the DVD format has gone Hi-Definition with Blue Ray and HD-DVDs I feel like my DVD collection is obsolete. It's a horrible feelings, considering how much money I've spent on it, but it must be sort of how everyone felt when the switch from VHS to DVD happened.

Getting ready to teach Japanese children the ways of English speaking will be fun. I'm looking forward to working as a JET teacher in Japan. I know it will be a blast.

Also, I can't wait to be back in Japan. Japan may have its downsides like every country, but it has many wonderful aspects. Almost NO petty crime. There is never any gun crimes since -guns don't kill people... people kill people. That phrase is tossed around America alot, but it's only true if there are no guns to kill people, because I really doubt that it's the guns fault altogether, but its stupid to hold the person accountable and not the fact that they managed to aquire a "weapon of lethat killing force" without so much as a hiccup. That's America for you! I feel safer in Japan.

On top of that, I really like the politeness and great service you get when dining out. Japan has many restuarants which cator to a wide variety of ethnic choices. In fact, Japan has more places to eat than any place I've seen, and much of the culture is based around food activity. Whether it is classic Japanese tea ceremony, giving food to your ancestors by placing their favorite treat on a shrine or grave, or just giving souveniers of specialty snacks from your region, or tabehodai and nomihodai (all you can eat and drink buffets), Japan has huge emphasis on the soothing and pleasant feelings of food and ceremony. It's something I miss a lot.

Not to forget about Japanese hot springs. Oh my goodness! There is nothing like sampling the natural heated water from Japan's volcanic underbelly. There are hotsprings everywhere, and you can tour Japan for a month, enjoy a new hotsprings every night, and still not has sampled 1/8ths of the countries readily available hotsprings. I can't wait to go relax in a soothing hotspring and just soak up the wonderful water and minerals.

I must admit that in Japan, I never once felt bored, and going back is something I greatly look forward too. In the next few weeks I'll be getting my computer and stuff all packed away, so don't expect too many posts between now and mid-August. I'll be sure to get Internet while I'm in Japan so I can update with photos, but you will all have to forgive the dry spell and be patient as I get re-grouped and re-situated.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 19, 2006

North Korea Missile launch, Japan shows concern, what could be worse?

Power & Dominion or desperation to be noticed?

A Woman Perishing: Japan's Sex Problem

The stubbornly defiant Communist country of North Korea has finished fueling their big missile, and preps its test launch. The concern of the Japanese grows, as North Korea has blatantly disregarded nuclear arms treaties, and in the past has demonstrated it's might by launching other "test" missiles (the ultimate phallic symbol) directly over mainland Japan. With animosity between the two countries, and North Koreas knack for defying all means of reaching peace... the Japanese do have a right to feel a little anxiety towards the hostile act of missiles shot in their 'general' direction. I know I'd feel uneasy about it. Click here for more.

Yet, even if North Korea launched a fully equipped nuclear missile and blew up Tokyo tomorrow, there is still one thing even more shocking than this. The treatment of women in Japan is beyond horrifying.

As of today, in the great 21st century (2006) Japan has a total of 40 Women's and children's battered shelters -most of them in Tokyo with no way for women to reach help. Until recently (basically last year) there were NO organizations in Japan devoted to the aid and assistance of battered, abused, beat, and oppressed women. In fact, there is little to no information on how to help, but the problem is dire.

A woman perishing would be the simplest way of explaining a woman's situation in Japan. This morning my Japanese fiancé calls me, in tears, to explain a case of sexual harassment. I will keep the company name anonymous, but let me explain her situation.

She is one of two women in a company which employs over a thousand people --those people being men. When she was hired, the head manage warned her that, "Sexual harassment may happen now and then, but you should just ignore it."

I was on the receiving end of that phone call too. Pretty soon some chauvinistic Japanese men are going to have an angry American gaijin pounding on their door at 3 AM for making him have to gather up his distraught fiancé for the umpteenth time only to have something worse happen. Now I genuinely love listening to my girl, and I’m there for her any time, but what I can’t stand is when she gets so bent out of shape because of some chauvinist pig. It gets under my collar when any guy treats a woman poorly, and it really riles me up when they do it to spite her. Chivalry (gallant or distinguished gentlemen with high ethical principles) is a Western concept for sure, because it is entirely lost on the Japanese man, I can assure you. If you ever want to hear women complain, listen to the foreign women in Japan discuss how often a Japanese man gawks or pushes his way past her with little to no concern for her, as if he was the only person worth caring about. It's all about the man, isn't it?

So my poor dear calls me in torrents of sobs as she explains that the men, ALL the men, in her company use just the proper amount of rudeness to have no etiquette what so ever. As she explained to me: The guys all use the bathroom, but when they are done, they just walk out into the office area with their pants half down, unzipped, clear shot of anything still dangling. It's sooo gross!

Now it's bad enough when you experience a grandpa, crude uncle, or anyone who does this type of rudimentary thing at home, walking around with his fly undone and God only know what kind of things hanging out, but in America you rarely see this in public, not unless you're in some back country red neck truck stop outside of Hicksville. To actually have to experience this in a sterile work environment -repeatedly- to the annoyance of others, but more so do those delicate minorities which may feel more discomfort, would be shocking to anyone, I should think.

Of course, having a western background, my fiancé is prone to think more independently than your average native Japanese citizen. And in Japanese society the main thing is not to disrupt the "wa" or rather, peace and harmony. The homogeneous society of Japan would rather turn a blind eye than fix the problem. What's worse is that they would rather turn a blind eye than even do the right thing. Nobody will speak out for fear that they would disrupt the harmonious flow of society, but many Japanese men take advantage of this situation to make their male supremacy and domination over the woman known. The oppression continues.

As the guys, in broad sight of my fiancé rudely zip up in front of her and often go far enough to flaunt themselves in bad taste, my fiancé went to her boss to address her discomfort. Oh boy, here's a stand up example of a human being folks. This guy has a wife and three kids, but is currently having an affair with not one, but two other women -in which he spends company dollars to wine and dine. But until the day my girl confronted him, I’m sure he believed that his infidelity was the least of his worries. So after three months of this kind of abuse and harassment, my fiancé complained to her boss (a guy desperately over compensating for his deep affection for his own male member). Now understand that unless it is an official sexual harassment lawsuit written in paper, signed, stamped, double-stamped, and following all the proper channels the Japanese man is not obliged to take the complaint to heart; or even (for that matter) listen to what the woman needs to say. I say “needs” to say, because addressing the issue is the first step in making other’s aware of the problem which needs fixing. It’s something that has to be addressed in Japanese society. And much like the formality of the process of filling out all kinds of forms, the energy and attention that goes into this process is no less important than the energy and time and attention which must be spent addressing gender equality and fair treatment of women in Japan. There is quite another level of seriousness going on here all together.

Sayaka complained to which her boss joked, "So how much are you gonna' sue me for?" She looked at him shocked and reiterated her point. She mentioned how uncomfortable it made her feel and that she would like him to request the other men to have a little more manner and bathroom etiquette. For this he ignored her request. She was going against her "womanly duty" to be subservient, obedient, towards man -and so she was rudely disregarded. So much for making an effort; I believe that in Japanese there is NO such word for “gentleman.” The closer you come to Japan’s ‘dark side’ the more you will find it’s a country consisting of one giant twisted cult'ure devoting its sacrifice to penis worship, known as kanamara matsuri (festival of the steel 'errect' penis), for more click: here. That sacrifice being the dignity of the nation in regards to how they treat their women.

Yes, you are seeing it correctly -it's a giant phallic dildo aka penis.

Here is a great double standard in Japanese society. The man expects the woman to conform to his male fantasy of how a woman should act and be. Yet, Japanese society promotes that everyone remain peaceful and un― confrontational. In a sense, the society neither propels anyone to stand up for the right thing, but rather, supports the great apathy of sitting back and doing nothing while the problem festers and gets more and more ridiculous.

As all the Japanese men chuckle and pat themselves on the back for messing around with the 'chick' at work, nobody lifts a finger to do the good, proper, or just thing. In fact if a woman went into the police to complain about her husband or some form of sexual harassment they would probably just tell her there was nothing that could be done and then try to console her as she drowns in an overwhelming sea of fatalism and dead ends. It's better to go along with the crowd than it is to stand out in a crowd -this is the Japanese way of harmony. Yet I say there won't be harmony until people stop doing the proper thing according to society, and start doing the GOOD and right thing -period; regardless of what society may think. My fiancé has her most challenging obstacles to come, and maybe it bothers me more than it should, but it hits a little too close to home if you catch my meaning.

Coming back to the issue of women who are abused in Japan. The physical abuse is mostly a domestic problem, as in most cases, but with the ill-treatment and blatant disregard of women in general, and in the public sphere, think about how much worse the oppression can be inside the Japanese household. Also, because the man is "king" in Japan, any woman who is abused cannot go to a friend or relatives house for help because she would risk ruining her husband’s reputation. It’s more important for the woman to take it bending over than it is for her to stand up for herself and have her husband lose face. I say that if these chauvinistic bastards wouldn't treat their women so bad, they wouldn't have to worry about losing face in the first place.

So pretend with me that tomorrow Tokyo blows up. BOOM! Who cares? Look at the size of this problem. As of the year 2006 there are only 40 shelters for battered and abused people in all of Japan. There are nearly half a million such shelters in North America alone. Women in Japan, many coming into the country to be exploited in the ‘adult’ industry so obsessed with flesh that when they are no longer in demand many are forced to marry any Japanese slob, who probably doesn’t care a fig about the woman, in order that she may stay in the country. Your average woman (it doesn’t matter) whether Philippino, Brazilian, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, European, or American are not allowed to seek outside help, because society's pressure keeps them down, and they are expected to politely and humbly keep quiet, retract, and feel terrorized in their own homes. This is so wrong it makes me sick. I should think any moral and just human being would be more shocked by the situation of women in Japan than if Tokyo were to be blown off the face of the earth by North Korea. And what's worse is the great 'helpless' feeling everyone feels when Japanese society won't permit anybody to make a stand.

This is something which must change. The side effects are already obvious, I mean, I am marrying a Japanese woman who is often mistaken for a movie talent celebrity she is so gorgeous, and she like many others are choosing foreigners -not necessarily because we're better, but because it's the better option. It makes me extremely lucky, and it makes all those Japanese guys poor pathetic sobs.

Now I love Japan. Overall Japanese society and culture is great. There are many wonderful, kind, and honorable Japanese men. But on a whole, there is cause for concern. The truth is hard to deal with, and this is the darkest and ugliest side to the country that I’ve ever seen, and it’s definitely an impending issue that needs more attention, but the truth is there are ways we can all help. The hardest way is to become directly involved. The other ways are through charitable events and support of your favorite charities. For those of you who know Japanese, please head on over to Sankaku Navi's website by clicking: here, for Battered Womens' and Childrens' shelters and learn about the despair which many Japanese women have to face every day in Japan.

The bottom line is this. We can complain and bring attention to the problem as much as we want, but it's going to continue and persist as long as the Japanese themselves do nothing about it. You can begin change from outside the box, but only true change and transformation can happen from within. I only pray that the Japanese don't let their women perish and allow the problem to last another hundred years. I wouldn't want it to last even one more year. If anything I would wish that the term 'gender equality' becomes Japan's new political agenda. It way beyond time for a revolution, and changing their way of thinking is the least of the Japanese concerns. Cultural progress won't be easy, but it must be done, otherwise you'll see Japan revert back into a primitive Neanderthal-like mentality -if it's not reached that point already. Japanese men first have to learn a little decency, respect, and chivalry towards their women, also women need to stand up for themselves like my Sayaka and actually have their (her) needs, feelings, and opinions seriously considered, and in the meantime, try not to let North Korea blow up Tokyo.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Japan, standardized tests, and how I memorized Finnegan's Wake

Nihonjin ni naritai by

It's not that I don't have the inclination to Blog recently, but I've been busy re-packing boxes and getting ready to head back to Japan. I've got a lot of paper work, things on my mind, and also my kanji writing/reading has dropped considerably in the three years I've been away.

The good thing is I know my memories will come flooding back when I return to the land of the rising sun. Hopefully I won't miss my beautiful native homeland too much. I didn't the first time, but I knew how fast a year goes by when you’re having fun. It seems like only a matter of weeks, months at the most, and then suddenly it’s a distant memory. Yet I'm not the type that easily gets homesick. Actually, I don't think I've ever been homesick in my life... and I've done my fair share of world traveling. I guess I'd be categorized as the 'adventurous' type.

Anyhoo... It will be nice to see all my old friends again, hang out, and study Japanese again. This year I promise to pass the Ni-kyu proficiency exam. This is the 2nd grade exam, which means for those who pass, have a Japanese proficiency of a graduating high schooler or first year college student. This will be great just for my self esteem, but it's also something many people in Japan do -for some reason the Japanese seem to be 'test happy.'

It all has to do with a standardized education system which teaches lots of facts but little to no application for the relevancy of the information being learned. For example, you can ask a Japanese person when the greatest 'historical' events of Japan occurred, and many Japanese would spout off the dates as if they were second nature, or more accurately, a programmed machine ready to respond to that very question. This is the standardized memorization at work, but there is no real knowledge in dates. If you were to ask them what the events meant for the country of Japan, why did it happen, and what did the ramifications of the event entail... they'd most like tell you they don't know 'trivia' like that. Really, the event itself becomes less important than the date. The fact that it happened was enough, but this type of thinking has gotten the Japanese into trouble with there neighbors China and Korea, on numerous occassions, on hot-topic historical sensativities which the Japanese qualify as a fact of being. It may seem insensative to outsiders, but in Japan, this is the standardized way. And for a homogeneous society of millions of people all trying to be the same the standardized way is the only way.

Standardized tests are one of my weaknesses. For example, I don't think I've ever scored greater than a C+ on any standardized test in my life. However, give me the chance to do a research essay and I'm all about the A++ grade. As a third year college student trying to keep my GPA up, it was a battle just to get B's with all the professors who were to standardized in their teaching methods. It wasn't until I found some teachers who mixed things up, had new techniques, a passion for teaching, and actually took the time to think up new original ways of getting an idea across that actually helped me understand that all those other professors were just too lazy to get excited about real teaching.

Standardized tests to me mean monotony and puts you exactly where 'they' want you... inside the mold. For the thinkers who like to think outside of the box, the standardized methods of teaching are an outdated nightmare. Everyone learns differently, and memorizing dates and filling in little circles on a bubble sheet only mean that at the end of the day you remember quite distinctly that 1492 was circle "B" darkened in with 2HB pencil lead. World changing events end up getting summarized into "1776" equals circle 'A' without so much as a thought to the ramifications of the event. Who really cares why the new world was discovered, it just was? Who cares about when the Declaration of Independence was signed? It's not like there is a national holiday celebrating that fact? And this is the 'great' thinking that goes on behind standardized tests. I'm glad my teachers didn't think that was enough. I learned that more was always expected from me... and so the endless nights of reading and writing. Memorizing not specific facts or dates but entire paragraphs and pages of information. My teacher liked to call it ‘Memory Theater’ and no amount of standard memorization would have allowed me the luxury of memorizing such large quantities of information. I had to be taught a new means to which I was later fully capable of doing. You don’t know what a memorization nightmare is until you are required to memorize three pages of James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.” And the only way something like this is possible is not by one standardized method, but by many different techniques aimed at getting your mind to tackle any subject from many numerous angles. Since our memories are 'associative' and less like 'data-input' machines, it would make sense to have a numerous means of association techniques to help memorize and strengthen our memorization. This way what we do memorize stays in the 'long term' memory vs. standardized tests type of memorization which often dissipates from the short term memory bank a few months or even weeks after you fill in the little circle 'D'; or whatever.

Yet passing a language test, like the Ni-Kyu exam, which originally would have seemed impossible for me now seems very achievable. All those "unorthodox" teaching methods by genuine teachers who cared, taught me some radical analytical thinking skills, and ended up giving me the proper tools I need to use my brain more fully. As I head to Japan to teach under the thumb of a very rigid and standardized system, I can't help but think I'll be driven insane by the Japanese unflinching 'by the book' methods. But maybe I can introduce a little something more 'radical' in the hopes that young minds will benefit. It's only something a gaikokujin (foreigner) could get away with in the first place. Yet it is a challenge I am looking forward to as a JET teacher.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Gorie Rocks

Gori in Hawaii

Gorie, a big hairy 'not so handsome' Japanese man known for his physical homour and slap-stick routines dresses up as a girl and does his version of the song "Micky." The comedian (one of my personal favorites) shot up the Japanese Billboard to number #1 spot in 2005 for his rendition of Micky. He also does a U.S. 'English' Version of the song, but it's so 'odd' and funny to watch it in the original Japanese. Here is some 'wacky' Japanese commedy at work, and another hillarious video, enjoy!

Kellie Pickler MTV

Kellie Pickler MTV

The adorable Kelly Pickler, from the hit TV series American Idol, interviews celebrities for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the MTV movie awards. She is adorable and genuinely funny! I couldn't stop laughing. This is what you get when you mix your slice of Americana country grown southern bell of a girl and put her in the crazy glamour and glitz of the superficial Hollywood. Go Pickler!

Even though it's not Japanese, every now and then you come across something so funny you can't help but want to share it with everybody. This video is one of those moments, so I hope you all like it as much as I did. I'll find a good Japanese video for you all to enjoy soon, but this video posting on my blog is a new experiment, so bare with me, and in the meantime enjoy!