Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Art Photography :Stunning Landscape Photos Collection To Feel the Calm Of Nature

The nature art, or the landscape is one of the most amazing and stunning art photography also natural paintings , natural beauty, natural life. here is  a collection of photos of some of the most beautiful places in the planet.

Have a good time of these landscape photos and feel of the calm of the nature and I hope that these photos may change your mood to beter mood.

The Cook... by Lars van de Goor
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art Photography :Stunning Beautiful Moments Photos by Elena Karneeva

Camera can capture anything but nothing will be as the stunning felling as these photographs which was captured by the artist Elena Karneeva. Every thing is taken in the account when you want to get a stunning photographs. Light, angle, place, clothes, and a lot of parameters which affects the photograph beauty. Have a look at these photographs.

Lovely Moments
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Art Photography : Feeling of The Cold of The Morning

What an amazing cold morning. It's really amazing photographs that present to you the emotion  of the cold morning and make you feel it.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Art Photography :Stunning Photographs by Alvar Astulez

Rarely do I feel the urge to write a testimonial.....this one is easy! Alvar Astulez lets your mind wander to places that makes you smile. One has to remember that images are imprints of the photographer mind how he/she wants the images to be remembered. Alvar has an uncanny ability create stellar compositions, but also…. processes them to an amazing level. Alvar has raised the flickr bar as far as I am concerned. I have to state that Alvar’s photos are some of the most imitated (at least attempted) at flickr. My hat is off every time Alvar post a new photo and I use him an inspiration to keep myself going with flickr. This man delivers every time he post! Check out his photo stream……and you will keep coming back for more!

The reverence
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sexy Women of Japan

Sexy Japanese idol Ishizaki Chinami (surname 1st)
Hi... in looking for the next topic to go viral on the net, I thought - hey! Everybody loves a sexy woman! How about I put up once a week my pick for a sexy Japanese woman?

And then I thought - where the hell am I going to get the photos from? Oh yeah - the Internet. And, while that is indeed the easiest thing in the world for me to do, I also wanted to make life more difficult for myself.

If I am going to add photos of a sexy Japanese woman, the least I can do is add a biography about said model as well. After all, because I am a straight man and love women,  I am also sort of responsible... no gratuitous sex, or sexy, stuff if you will, unless I can make it readable as well.

I am a writer after all... shouldn't I add some words and continue to hone my craft as a wordsmith?

Yes, I should... but where the hell would I get a bio of said sexy woman? From the Internet, of course... but then I figured that 99 times out of 100 any biography of a sexy woman I could find with photos would be written in Japanese - and that wouldn't be cool for most of my readers who seem to hale from all corners of the globe (thank you very much).

Also, it would mean I would be ripping someone else's work off. That would be too easy, and not very cool of me.

Instead, let me direct you to a website called Japanese Sexy Woman Gallery. The creator has already done all the work for me/us, and all you need to do is click HERE and view to your heart's content. It's a damn fine site and some of you might go blind. Just don't blame me if your monthly tissue paper bill goes up.

While I haven't gone through all of the photos, there does not seem to be any nudity involved, but the women are in provocative poses. I just wouldn't open it up at work. That's a friendly warning.

Now I still might see if I can from time to time actually do a bio and photo spread of a sexy Japanese model for you - and women, I am not afraid to do one of a male model either... but it just seems like it would change the whole focus of this particular blog - whatever the heck that is.

I would like to grow my audience. If by some chance a random reader stumbles across this blog looking for smut, but also happens to check out some of my other blog entries... then I guess this plot of being a media whore worked.

Go... go and check out the Japanese Sexy Woman Gallery... just remember to drink lots of juice to rehydrate yourself and then come back here for the next interesting installment of Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife as I try to find something cool, interesting and factual to teach us all something new about Japan.

You're welcome.

Yours in one-handed typing,
Andrew Joseph

Conceptual Art: Surreal Art By Pete Revonkorpi

Pete Revonkorpi is a freelance illustrator from Jyväskylä, Finland. His work has been published in numerous finnish newspapers and magazines, and on international online magazines. Because of the flexibility of the medium, all of his works are done digitally, but with great care to maintain an organic and personal style. Ambient of Pesare’s (that’s his nickname on DeviantArt) paintings fascinates. Most of them look like koans with light touch of serenity, sorrow and love.

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Last Photo Of Niagara Falls Japanese Victim

Hey all... remember that horrible incident a few weeks back of that poor Japanese student studying English in Japan who tumbled over the so-called fence and over Niagara Falls plummeting to her death?

That story is HERE.

Well, as you know, the Japanese media did not release her name to the public, per her parents wishes. I'm not the Japanese media, and I didn't get her parents request. The poor unfortunate 19-year-old girl's name is Tokumasu Ayano.

Anyhow... that photo up above shows Tokumasu-san a couple of minutes before her unfortunate tumble, and is considered the last photo taken of her alive. That's her in the red sweater standing up on the edge of the fence over-looking the Horseshoe Falls of Niagara Falls, the edge of which is actually just to her right.

Andrew Joseph

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Japan Takes It Up The Ass

... wants you to take it like a man.
In what can only be seen as a desperate act by a desperate company, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) is planning to raise it rates between 10- and 15% for three years starting April 2012.

Not content with nearly causing a nuclear meltdown and irradiating half of Japan following the March 11, 2011 earthquake that spawned a massive tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima-ken (Fukushima prefecture) Dai-ichi TEPCO-owned nuclear power plant causing radioactive materials to be strewn into the air, ground and water, TEPCO feels it hasn't done enough to the people of Japan.

Along with the triple whammy mentioned above, three of the six reactors had to be shut down and much of the eastern seaboard of Japan--including Tokyo--were affected by power shortages. Even now, as of September 14, there are still some areas of the country without power, employment and a home thanks to the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster.

And yet, despite the hardships the people of Japan have faced and are facing - some of it due to the failure of TEPCO to adequately protect itself from disaster or to have a proper back-up plan in place, it has decided that in the interest of self-preservation, to add to the hardships of the people of Japan in the future to.

Well done, TEPCO. You have shown your humanitarian side admirably.

Uhhh... that's sarcasm, by the way. I only state that because you (TEPCO) are probably too ignorant to figure that out.

Nasty bastards! You don't kick a person when they are down!

Yes... we understand that you need to make a few yen to try and save your faltering business... but if you can't take the heat in the nuclear kitchen, get yourself out of the hellfire business!

TEPCO says it will try (really try, it promises) to cut charges of about 10% from a 4th year if it is able to eliminate an extra fee on fossil fuel power generation by resuming the reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata-ken (Niigata prefecture). That's right, we can save you Japanese suckers, we mean poor energy-starved Japanese suckers some money if we can start working another nuclear plant, because we (TEPCO) have shown we are more than probably capable of running a nuclear power plant business and industry into the proverbial ground.

Apparently - just so you all know - TEPCO has been talking to a government committee that has been looking at TEPCO's assets and costs, to try and figure a way that this privately-owned company doesn't go belly-up like some poor sucker forced to clean nuclear waste out of a failing reactor and then dying a hero for a country that has no idea who he was.

Raising its rates seems like a great plan - if you are TEPCO and already a company that does not know how to really service its customers--unless, of course, one considers good service to be some sort of corn-holing activity whereby the average Japanese power consumer is forced to drop their trousers, bend over and take a high hard spent nuclear rod up the butt.

Now some people pay good money for that type of intercourse, and TEPCO is hoping you will, too.

But, man... there isn't even the offer of a reach-around.

And why does TEPCO need your money, dear Japanese consumer? It's because it spent all of its money trying to get the power plants up and running so that there are no more electrical black-outs! Good for them.

Of course... then there's also that little matter of reparation payments that it has been asked forced to provide to people and businesses who have suffered through that little old irradiation incident that lasted a few weeks.

"Yes," screams TEPCO, "let them eat radioactive toilet cake! Everybody knows radioactive toilet cake tastes much better with Heinz!"

With that bad taste in one's mouth, TEPCO is robbing from Peter to pay Paul. Taking money from the poor Japanese energy consumer to pay off those nasty payments to these stupid people who were too slow and indigent to get out of the way of the nuclear radiation when it was spewed up on them.

For shame, TEPCO. For shame. You suck.

And Japan's government - should you allow them to anally probe the Japanese consumer to pay off their debt, shame on you too!

I'm betting TEPCO still managed to get their utility bills out to their happy customers on time.

This diatribe is by Andrew Joseph who enjoys spewing venom from atop his irradiated ivory soapbox paid for with the blood of innocent bloggers.

Art Photography : Stunning Photos From India

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Japan: Then & Now

Hi there... Matthew has helped me out yet again, as I am busy working on a blog that is taking me a long time to research and even longer to put together for you.

So... yesterday I took the time to create a blog to show the progress (or as it turns out, lack of progress) of Miss Universe Japan at the 2011 Miss Universe pageant. No photos, except of the winner, Miss Angola, but despite that, Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife had it' best (as of this writing) 24-hour period of blog reader activity.

There were over 4,300 hits! That's about half of my previous best month ever - which just so happened to have been August of 2011. As such, it's September 13, and this blog site has surpassed the previous high by about 1100 hits... with 17 days remaining.

As mentioned in THIS blog, I thought at first it was readers going to the site read up on the pageant... but instead, much to my chagrin, it was readers looking up the past 21 years of Miss Universe Japan. At first I was disappointed that not many people came to read up about the 2011 contest - but then, there are far better sites set up to provide the reader with better coverage on the pageant.

I appreciate the fact that so many of you have come to this blog site to look at the photos of the past 21 years of Miss Universe Japan, or to visit the site showing the National Costumes of the past 10 Japanese representatives!


As a treat, please check out this BBC News site that shows Japan in Before and After shots - or rather it shows Japan just after the 9.0 Magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011 and what it looks like as of September 11, 2011. In some places it still looks like a disaster zone, but through it all, you can still see how life in the afflicted areas is beginning to resemble a sense of normalcy. It's inspiring, and I hope you think so to.

Click here:

Click on the photo at the bottom. When it appears, view the photo, and then click on the button at the top right of the photo that says Now, and watch the transformation.

Cheers! And thanks again, Matthew!

Andrew Joseph

Art Photography : Stunning Landscape Photographs by Vadim Balakin

Nature photography refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants, and close-ups of natural scenes and textures. Nature photography tends to put a stronger emphasis on the aesthetic value of the photo than other photography genres, such as photojournalism and documentary photography.


Baltym Lake
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Monday, September 12, 2011

This Blogger Is Confused

Okay... I don't know what sucks more... the fact that I spent the time to do a write up on the Miss Universe pageant despite Miss Universe Japan getting blown out in the opening round, or the fact that I have had some some 500 hits on my blog since I posted the results at 11PM my time - it's now 11:50PM, September 12, 2011.

I was fascinated by how many people were coming to Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife to get their fill on my Miss Universe 2011 results. I kept telling my wife every minute how many visitors my site was getting as it just kept getting hit after freaking hit.

I was so proud of myself.

And then I did something stupid.

I examined what blog entries were getting hit. Apparently some 497 of the hits in the past 50 minutes are for the blog entry I wrote on the last 21 Miss Universe Japan contestants: HERE. It was written on July 31, 2011

Three readers actually checked out the blog I wrote on September 12, 2011 on the actual Miss Universe 2011  pageant. PAGEANT RESULTS.

I think I'm going to go puke.

I swear to whatever gods are listening, that I will never figure out how some blogs are popular, and some blogs are not. And I'm not even talking about this one - I just mean blogs in general. I don't understand blog readers. Man, I feel like an ass.

Andrew Joseph

There she is - Miss Universe 2011

Well, Japanese woman lovers... it wasn't Miss Japan. Miss Universe Japan did not make it out past the first round. And to be honest, while she looked great, she paled beside the women who did get through to the Top 16. This year's event was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and from what I could tell, they did a pretty nice job. On with the show...

The first round - everyone wore a similar dress - not a gown...

Here are the Top 16, not in the order of score, but in order revealed:
  1. Miss France
  2. Miss Kosovo
  3. Miss Colombia
  4. Miss China
  5. Miss Angola
  6. Miss Australia
  7. Miss Puerto Rico
  8. Miss Brazil
  9. Miss Netherlands
  10. Miss USA
  11. Miss Ukraine
  12. Miss Panama
  13. Miss Costa Rica
  14. Miss Portugal (voted into the next round by the fans)
  15. Miss Philippines
  16. Miss Venezuela
My only comment about this was that the cameramen seemed to focus in on the actual woman chosen BEFORE she was actually announced! What the heck is with that?! That's just wrong!

At this time, the best National Costume award was announced:
Best National Costume: Miss Panama.
To me, this award is actually less about the pageant contestant, and more about the fashion designer - still Miss Panama was a great choice.

Voted on by the contestants: 
  • Miss Congeniality: Miss Montenegro
  • Miss Photogenic: Miss Sweden
Next was the Swimsuit competition, as revealed to the audience, not by score - to chose the the Top 10. The winners are:
  1. Miss Australia
  2. Miss Costa Rica
  3. Miss France
  4. Miss Ukraine
  5. Miss Portugal
  6. Miss Panama
  7. Miss Philippines
  8. Miss Angola
  9. Miss China
  10. Miss Brazil
Next, these Top 10 faced down in the Evening Gown competition. The Top 5 are:
  1. Miss Ukraine
  2. Miss Philippines
  3. Miss China
  4. Miss Brazil
  5. Miss Angola
Right now I would like to state that aside from Miss Ukraine, I actually picked these four women to get this far. I also had Miss France in my top 5. 

The Top 5 then were asked a somewhat poignant question by a judge - picking the judges name from a fishbowl. Each woman was asked a different inane question, and I'm sorry, but I won't repeat those questions here. Barf. Still, the women did a great job, but all answered in their own language aided by a translator. Let's hope the translators didn't screw up their answers.

And the winners are, in reverse order:

Fourth Runner Up: Miss China
Third Runner Up: Miss Philippines
Second Runner-Up: Miss Brazil
First Runner-Up: Miss Ukraine

And the winner is: Miss Angola - she is Miss Universe 2011, and guys - she is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever - EVER seen. Here's a photo of this stunning beauty:
Miss Universe 2011 - Miss Angola

By Andrew Joseph

Miss Universe Japan National Costumes

Because I care, here's a photo gallery of Miss Universe Japan from 2002 - 2011 in their national costumes.

Maria Kamiyama

Maiko Itai

Emiri Miyasaka

Hiroko Mima

Riyo Mori

Was Miss Universe 2007.

Kurara Chibana

Won best National Costume at 2006 Miss Universe Pageant, and was 1st Runner-up Miss Universe.

Yukari Kazuya

Eri Machimoto

Miyako Miyazaki

Mina Chiba

And that's all for now until the actual Miss Universe 2011 pageant declares a winner.


Andrew Joseph

Sunday, September 11, 2011

No Love For Japanese Teenaged Girl Prostitutes

I'm just taking a breather today... for a little bit, anyway... I usually publish at 12:01AM my time (EST in Toronto), but it may be another 13 hours before I actually post something a tad more interesting than this particular blog. Has anyone checked out the last one I did on the movie- Battle Royale? It's a blood and gore movie, but with an interesting plot. Very watchable. It's Japanese, with English subtitles... though I am sure you can find a downloadable torrent in the language of your choice. 

Anyhow... I just wanted to express my shock and awe that my blog on Japanese teenaged girl prostitutes has dropped out of the Top 5 of hits in the Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife blog!

I mean, really??!! How can readers not want to read up on teenaged girls selling themselves?!

How can men's soccer suddenly be in the #5 spot?! I'm a man. I love soccer! But who doesn't also love teenaged girl prostitutes?! I do! I mean... to read about. Shocking. Tsk-tsk!

My readers boggle my mind, sometimes. Sometimes in a good way, and other times in a baffling way.

Today, September 12 - it's the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant.

I'll be sure to bring along my viewing analysis of Miss Universe Japan 2011 at the pageant... but, and I hope I am completely wrong, I don't think she has much of a chance this year. Sorry, Maria. I still think you are hot, though. I am just not that impressed with your national costume... and that's the first thing the judges see in the contest, I think.

But what about teenaged girl prostitutes??!!  I even wrote a second blog enabling you horny visitors a way to translate their coded text messages so you know  where, when, how much, etcetera!

Oh well... soccer is the most beloved sport in the world. I played for years and coached women's soccer for eight more... but as an ex-player - and a pretty damn good one, in my day - there's nothing like playing the actual sport. I do get a bit bored watching it, because I know in most instances that I could have done what these professionals are doing...

Unlike the Japanese teenaged girl professionals. I would have liked to have been a male prostitute and charged by the inch, but I didn't want to starve. Just kidding. I have a great, big...

... appetite.

And so do you, dear readers... but apparently for soccer and Miss Universe. Oh well... Miss Universe I can understand... Hey... you know I even wrote about Miss Universe and Soccer together! C'mon! It's the best of both worlds! Maybe if they were hooking, it might be more interesting to me as a blogger...


Cheers to all my loyal readers and to all of you who happen to accidentally click onto the blog while surfing the Internet for... whatever it is you are looking for - thanks for helping making September the best month yet - at least it looks like it's going to be that way by far!

Andrew Joseph

Art Photography : Stunning Gorgeous Uderwater Photos By Zena Hollaway

May I called this photos as "Underwater Angle", this is really one of the most amazing type of photographs.

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Battle Royale: Death To The Students!

Life is a game, it's a fight for survival...

Have you ever heard of the Millennium Education Reform Act? Let's hope you never have to!

As a former junior high school English teacher (an assistant English teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme) I was drawn to this... this movie called Battle Royale.

I watched it last night for the first time ever and would probably watch it again right now if I didn't feel the need to write down some words here for you all.

Battle Royale (バトル・ロワイアル) is a 2000 Japanese flick directed by Fukasaku Kinji (surname first) that was based on a book of the same name written by his son Fukasaku Kenta.

This is one freakingly good gore movie. It has a plot, too. I'll give you some details without spoiling it all for you, okay? Okay!

It's just past the millennium, and Japan's economy has collapsed, with 15 percent unemploymemt and 10 million people out of work.

As such, 800,000 students decide to boycott school, figuring what the heck is the point of working their butts off to only become unemployed as an adult.

As such, the adults lose confidence in the youth of today, and fear them. Their solution? The Millennium Education Reform Act, aka the B.R. Act.

Let's just say that every year, out of 43,000 grade 9 (third-year junior high school) classes--not necessarily schools, but classes--one class is chosen at random via lottery.

In this movie, we see one class of 42 kids (21 boys and 21 girls) taken on a field trip, gassed while on the bus, and then deposited on an island evacuated for the purposes of the government.

On this 10 kilometer diameter island, the kids are informed that they have three days... three days for only one student to survive... that they must kill their own classmates or be killed themselves, in a battle royale. Wrestling fans will know of what I speak.

To ensure that everyone plays the game, each student has a neck device placed on them... that will explode should they stay in one place too long, or get stuck in an ever-tightening no-stay zone, or if there is more than one survivor at the end of the three-day event. Boom!

Of course, none of the kids have ever heard of this B.R. Act, but they do now... most only believing it after two of their own are killed in a show of force by the government agency.

Each student is allowed to bring whatever personal items they had in their backpacks, plus they get a survival kit that contains: food, water, a map, compass, flashlight and a weapon.

Each kit contains a different weapon, and it's not just the typical guns and knives, though they are there. Maybe you get lucky, and maybe you don't.

Here's a list of some of the weapons:
machine gun;
GPS (Global Position System) locator;
stun gun;
binoculars (really?);
samurai sword;
pick axe;
pot lid (again, really?);
nunchuks (aka nunchaku);

There are more... but let's just say my favourite weapon was a hand grenade stuck in the head of a decapitated kid. Nice.

Oh... of the 42 students, two are transfer students that none of the kids have ever met before... just to throw a monkey wrench further into the works.

So... the Game Begins at Day 1 1:40AM, and ends on Day 3 at 4:30AM. Personally, I would have started and ended it at times when school actually begins and ends, but I suppose some would call that too hokey... even for a slasher film involving junior high school students.

There... that's pretty much all I'm going to tell you... except that one of my favourite scenes in the movie was a junior high school girl gun fight.

But don't worry about these kids... all of their parents have been notified that they are in the Battle Royale, so it's cool...

It's Lord Of The Flies, with a wicked Japanese twist, and I love this movie.. but then again, I am a sick bastard.

Lastly... besides the content of the book and film being a tad controversial, the largest amount of criticism was heaped on the movie's director for actually daring to use actual 15-year-olds in the movie! Realism! I respect that!

Should you wish to view this movie, check the Foreign Movie section... god, no, not at Blockbuster!, but at a place where you can purchase movies... or you could try a torrent download site. Just do yourselves a favour and watch this flick!

I give Battle Royale 9.5 decapitated heads out of 10! I always leave room for improvement.

I have also heard that there might be a recently converted 3D version of this movie! That might make it 10 out of 10!

And... just so you know, I will provide a movie review here from time to time... it's just so difficult when I spend so much time writing for you all. Hee!

Keep reading! I have some real neat stuff planned that I am sure will either amuse you or fear me.

Andrew Joseph

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Love Me Two Times

Here's an aside about what I was going through in Japan. I found a slip of paper stuffed into my diary, and it could have been written at any time within the first two years of my life living in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan. I've edited it a bit.

Why is it that I keep on getting women with self-destructive personalities chasing after me?

I effing hate it.

Is it because I'm the some-what nice stable guy with a good sense of humour who seems to have it going all around me? Wow... if they only knew. But then, maybe I would have it all together if it wasn't for them. Yeah... probably.

I have never really chased a woman in my life. I have lusted after them - sure. That's what being a hetero-sexual guy is all about. It's part of the genetic make-up. I've always, at least since arriving here in Japan, pretty much just sat back and let the chips fall where they may.

I wonder why I was so infatuated with Ashley. She was my first girlfriend here in Japan... and we met on our second day in Tokyo, Japan arriving in late July of 1990 - she from Augusta, Georgia, USA and me from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She was 21, me 25. I was a virgin.

Not from lack of trying, mind you... or perhaps it was a lack of trying. I was always too damn shy to talk to women, let alone ask them out. The ones I did ask out were already my friend by then... a useless, no-win situation. Guys... if you are friends with a woman, but you want more, that's a tough road to travel. It can be done, but is it worth the hassle?

Guys usually want convenience... we'll take what is around us, unless something better comes along.

It's the only explanation I can come up with for not making a play for Kristine. Ahhh, Kristine. I met her essentially my first day in Japan. I was walking through the lobby of the atrium, when this ultra sexy kitten sitting on a couch with a pair of crutches beside her and her ankle all bandaged up shouted out to me as I passed by.

"Hey! Hi!" she said. I replied in kind, probably a tad stunned that someone as pretty as her would deign acknowledge my existence let alone start up a conversation with me.

She was/is pretty, smart and has a wicked sense of humour. She was a take-charge type of person, and having always been shy my entire life (despite having been a journalist for the Toronto Star newspaper - that was work, so it was different, I guess), I was only too glad to accept her invite to join her and her group for a look around Tokyo.

To be honest, I was actually very afraid to leave the hotel by myself... I was just going to look around the lobby and perhaps peer out the front doors to see what Tokyo was like. I had/have no concept of how to speak the language and didn't know what to expect from the Japanese. But that first adventure out with Kristine and the rest of her Kinki block kids... well, it pretty much set the table as far as what Japan and the Japanese were like.
Briefly, because I did write about it once before: HERE - we went out, got lost, saw a soapland massage parlour, saw a transvestite call out to us, nearly died (me, anyways) and then were led back to our hotel by a very nice Japanese businessman who went completely out of his for several kilometers to lead us back to our hotel.

Sex, death and kindness.

Kristine, unfortunately, lives 500 kilometers west of me. the distance is not conducive to having a relationship... because despite wanting sex, I also wanted a relationship. I'm pretty sure I could have got both from my special K, but circumstances of distance dictated otherwise.

That left Ashley... again, I have no idea why she felt the need to hook up with me that second evening, as all of the new assistant English teachers (AETs) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme got together for the first time with some of the returnees... but she did. It was her lead. I just followed.

I've always been a kind of go-with-the-flow kind of guy, much to my chagrin. I'm envious of those leader types.

People seem to think I'm a leader here because I am outspoken, everybody here in Ohtawara seems to really like me, I make friends easily despite not knowing how to speak the language, and also because I actually give a crap about what is going on in people's life--both the Japanese and us, gaijin (foreigners). I try to put people at ease. I try and listen to people and offer advice. It might not be the right advice, but at least I offer some and try to help.

You wouldn't believe how many female teachers I have had personal one-on-one conversations with since I arrived! It's like when I showed my shock at how much this place is a male-dominated society... that first day at my OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office or my first day at Ohtawara Chu Gakko (Ohtawara Junior High School)... I was politely asked by a woman if I wanted a cup of o-cha... green tea.

I had learned very early on before leaving Toronto that it's impolite to reject hospitality in Japan. I had already tasted o-cha, and wasn't overly impressed by it. Still, every day now for the past two years, I have had maybe six or seven cups of it a day. There are strong differences between the teas, as I am sure every place uses a different brand of green tea... and you know what, after about two days of seven cups a day, I started to like it, and would look forward to it... but here's my point.

It was only the female teachers or OBOE workers who would make the tea and serve it to the men. Ever. I went to help the women once, and was told by some of the male teachers not to. So I did it again the next day. That was when I gained the respect of every woman in that school.

I guess word spread like wildfire, because I soon had women--married and single--coming up to me to ask my advice about their sexist husband, boyfriend or how to find a man who wasn't a a sexist pig. I told some of them to look for a non-Japanese guy and pray he isn't a sexist pig.

Though I am of Indian descent (the dot, not the feather), I was born in London, England, and lived my life in Canada from the age of 3 to 25 before arriving here in this small little rice-field city of Ohtawara.

Indian men are pretty chauvinistic. The Brits were, though perhaps not this decade... and the Japanese men are... wow... what century is this? Despite my background, my parents raised me well. My folks shared everything. So, not every Indian is a sexist pig, because my dad sure as hell wasn't one.

Also... growing up in Canada, I've really only known what it is like to be a Canadian. I am Canadian. Though I think I am developing Japanese tendencies, as I often catch myself bowing in acquiesce while on the telephone. So... with good parenting and living in a much free-er society than most, I consider myself to not be a chauvinistic bastard. I certainly have never tried to take advantage of a woman, I'm pretty sure I never will.

But here... what the hell is going on? Now that I am out of those virgin doldrums - thanks Ashley! - I seem to draw women who are flawed. Needy. Unable to think outside of themselves to think about "us".

It really pisses me off.

The only time I did find a woman who thought about "us" was in Thailand, were two women dated me separately and together without jealousy or without any ulterior motive. It was go out, have fun together, share a few laughs, have physical contact - sex... it was no big deal... but let me tell you... it was a big deal.

Any guy who just wants sex is not a man. A real man wants it all: Go out, have fun together, share a few laughs, and then have physical contact... yes I just repeated myself, because it bears repeating.

Any man, or any woman for that matter, who just wants sex without any of the above... they are flawed.

Now... I admit that I have had sex with women without any of that other good stuff... but it was NEVER, ever by MY choice. Sure it takes two to Tango (three to form a Conga line, but only one to do the Twist), but when the flow of blood travels down from your brain to elsewhere and the woman is hot to trot, common sense tends not to prevail.

I'm talking about Japanese women and gaijin women.. each who have tried to get what they thought they wanted--sex--from me perhaps to validate their own pathetic existence.

But that's not what I am here on this planet for.

I am not here to validate you.

I am here to validate me... and despite liking sex a lot and being quite good at it, that's not the be-all and end-all for me.

I want - have always wanted to find the right person with whom I could be happy with the rest of my life.

I have chased after Ashley more than anyone else here because she was my first... and I suppose I feel some sort of stupid attachment to her.

But shy Shoko too afraid to come out and date me by herself... stalker chick, Junko who only wanted sex, sex and more sex... Karen who wants me for a boyfriend (tried to ingratiate herself with my mother--successfully), but I only want sex, and not her for a girlfriend, so we've not done anything yet... Cathy, who wanted to feel loved and thought by offering me sex would help her achieve that... and a host of others I have never mentioned to you before.

I think only Canadian girl Christine was the only one who had it together. She didn't want a relationship per se, but was confident in herself, and simply enjoyed sex... no strings attached. I messed that one up by allowing Ashley to come back to me.

I have never chased a woman... they have all chased after me, broken up with me and then got back with me.

I think it's because if you were stupid enough to let me go, I sure as hell am not going to chase after you. But, when you think you have your crap together and realize your life would be better with me included, then, if I am able, I might welcome you back.

I said might.

I'm getting older, and a tad wiser.

Maybe I should seriously start scoping out who I want to be with and maybe I should make the first move... that way I don't just have needy, psychotic women chasing after me.

Someone who is smart, charming, witty and beautiful.

Why can't I have it all? I have all of those characteristics, but via more masculine verbiage. I deserve it.

That's it! I'm going to do it.

Then I won't be such a miserable prick... at least that's how I feel internally. Poor Matthew. He's my buddy and fellow AET who lives here in Ohtawara with me, but teaches at the junior high schools outside of town. He puts up with my moody moods stoically and has done a great job of bringing me out of them. It's a pity I have allowed myself to slip back down whenever another woman tries to become involved in my life.

I'm not blaming the whole female species for me being less than happy internally. But there sure have been a lot of them. Why don't the non-needy ones chase me?

Maybe I should just forgo women for a while and just concentrate on enjoying Japan and Japan alone? That was why I originally came here, wasn't it? No... it was to get laid.

But, mission accomplished, by some 25+ different women. Not bad for a guy who had a girlfriend for a year and didn't cheat on her. Maybe I should be more like Canadian Christine... enjoy have sex when it's available but don't worry about it.

But you know what... when you haven't had sex until you were nearly 26... there's always that nagging feeling that the last time you had sex might actually BE the last time you have sex.

Somewhere, enjoying Japan for the first time--again,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by the Doors: MORRISONRULES!
PS: And you know what... I did do what I said I would do. I decided to forget about women for awhile, to spurn their advances, and not advance on them (not that I did). It took a little getting used to... but over the next little while, you will start to see a change in the way I started to live my life. You know what the only problem was? I developed a different type of stress.. one that only food could help.
PPS: Over the next little while: The rise of Andrew Joseph... which unfortunately means his stomach. But even that can't last. Nothing ever does with Andrew, he writes in the 3rd person narrative.
PPPS: So...I whine quite a bit in this entry. But that's okay. I'm sharing. I have nothing to hide. Nothing at all. I think it's time to start letting myself become more... me.

Death Notices Means Yen For Money

Either some people are greedy or some people are prudent. 

Relatives of 3,250 missing Japanese people thought to have been killed during the March 11, 2011 9.0 Magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami have made official claims to local Japanese authorities, says Japan's f Justice Ministry.

While the National Police Agency has stated in a press release on September 6, 2011 that there are some 4,223 people listed missing in Iwate-ken (Iwate Prefecture), Miyagi-ken (Miyagi Prefecture) and Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture), death notices filed to local authorities say that the 3,250 people listed are part of the officially recognized 3,281 missing people from those prefectures.  

By filing these death notices, relatives are now able to withdraw money from bank accounts of the missing to receive insurance benefits - a welcome relief for some struggling to survive after much of the north east coast's economic infrastructure was devastated during the twin disasters and Fukushima-ken's near meltdown at the Dai-ichi (Big One) nuclear power plant.

In some cases, the death registration process has not yet been completed or applications have been withdrawn, according to the officials. The Justice Ministry instructed local governments in June to simplify the process for accepting death notices for people who went missing in the disasters.

The NPA data showed a total of 15,769 people were killed in 12 prefectures, including 9,444 in Miyagi, 4,656 in Iwate and 1,603 in Fukushima. The number of missing totaled 4,227 in six prefectures, including 2,283 in Miyagi, 1,698 in Iwate, 242 in Fukushima, two in Chiba and one each in Aomori and Ibaraki.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

Friday, September 9, 2011

Orphaned Kids Get Coping Centers

After the twin disasters of an 9.0 Magnitude earthquake an subsequent massive tsunami struck the north eastern coast of Japan back on March 11, 2011 , the country's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has announced it will open mental health care facilities for those children who lost their parents in Iwate-ken (Iwate Prefecture), Miyagi-ken (Miyagi Prefecture) and Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture).

A conservative estimate puts the total to over 1,500 children trying to cope with the death of one or both parents.

The facilities will include psychiatrists to provide more care for these children, fueled by a Y7.2-billion (~Cdn/US $92.5 million) infusion as noted by the first extra budget following the disaster.

According to Health sources, for children aged 17 and under, there were a total of 234 orphans as of August 31, 2011:
  • 93 in Iwate;
  • 120 in Miyagi;
  • 21 in Fukushima

Government numbers also put the number of children who lost one parent at 1,295:
  • 445 in Iwate;
  • 711 in Miyagi;
  • 139 in Fukushima.

The Ministry fears that without proper care, the mental well-being of these children could worsen over time.

The problem, however, despite how much money the government throws at the problem, is that there are only about 300 children's psychiatrists in the whole country,and there are many child counseling centers already lacking enough mental health care providers.

To help alleviate this shortfall, these new care centers are looking to create a system to bring in local school counselors, experts at child counseling offices, pediatricians and volunteers to exchange information.

A care team will be formed in each municipality to continue providing mental health care while monitoring the overall emotional state of the children who have moved in with relatives or are now trying to cope with a life with a single parent.

These care centers are being set up to have study sessions and will provide on-the-job training for caregivers like counselors and volunteers in an effort to provide a better quality service.

Click HERE to read a pretty crappy story about what Japan is also doing for its disaster orphans and one girl's particularly horrible tale of survival. It was originally a CNN World story, which was where I found the photo up above.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

Soccer Fans & Coin Collectors Unite

Here's a cool news item - Taisei Coins Corporation has begun taking order for its minting of coins/medals honouring the Japanese women's World Cup of Soccer triumph over the USA, 3-1.

The Japanese team, nicknamed the Nadeshiko, was a surprise victor over the stronger American team. You can read about that win HERE, as I attempted to write it as the game was progressing.

There are two sets of medals, each with three coins - a set in gold (I'm assuming gold-coloured or gold-plate), and one in silver (apparently a silver, white copper).

The medal's obverse depict:
  • the FIFA World Cup woman's trophy, complete with a small amount of black, red and yellow bunting to represent host country Germany;
  • one with a Japanese player running past a US defender with the ball - also with the black, red and yellow bunting, and atop it in black letters the score of the match: 3-1;
  •  one of the Nadeshiko celebrating while holding aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy, and again with the black, red and yellow bunting.
Reverse of soccer medal
The medal's reverse is a pennant shaped like a stylized version of Germany's classic coat-of-arms featuring an Eagle symbol, but with the banners of the countries that played in the tourney. Okay... this is a guess by me.... see photo to right. As well, this coin looks like it has the Eagles head pointing right, when I believe it should be pointing to the left. I've posted a pic of the coat of arms at the end of the article. Maybe it's an error! Coin Collectors be aware!

Should you wish to get your nerdy numismatic (coin collecting) hands on these cool medals, the gold medals cost ¥31,500, while the silvery ones cost ¥15,750.

You can order then from the Taisei website at
Just be warned that the site is in Japanese. You might be able to get by using Google Translate, however.

Andrew Joseph

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Take A Trip On The Wild Side

You guys want to read a cool blog? It's by my buddy Mike Rogers in Tokyo. He does a cool blog entitled Marketing Japan. He's as eclectic as I am only more intelligent. I hate him. 

In this blog, I am linking you over to his most recent entry, Meeting the Rich and Famous in Japan? Sure. No Problem. Happens All the Time

I couldn't top his blog - not that I am trying to, but I am burnt out after doing so many blog entries yesterday. I had my best day of blog visitors yet! Y'all come back, now, heah?

Andrew Joseph 

Translation of Mysterious Man in Video

Hey... a few days back, my friend Matthew pointed out a cool video that I shared with you - HERE.

Another blogger has found a site that offers a definintion (in English) of that the heck themysterious man in the video is saying.

Check out THIS SITE from  to find out what the mysterious man at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is saying in his haz-mat radiation suit.

Andrew Joseph

Japan Women's Soccer Team Heads To 2012 Olympics

Thanks to its own dominant play, and a loss by China's Steel Roses at home to Australia, 1-0, Japan's Women's soccer team - the Nadeshiko - has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The loss by Japan guarantees that Japan will advance, as only the top two teams move on to the Olympics in this the final Asian qualifying tournament being held at Jinan, China.

Earlier, on Thursday, September 8th, Japan played to a 1-1 draw against North Korea. Despite the tie, 
Japan sits in first place in the six team standings with 10 points and a 3W, 1D, 0L record - two points ahead of North Korea at 2W, 2D, 0L. Australia with the win now has six points and is in third with a 2W, 2L record, while China drops down to fourth place with five points and 1W, 2D, 1L. South Korea at 1W, 1D, 2L  and Thailand at 0W, 4L have already been eliminated. 

In Japan's match against North Korea, the Japanese were badly outplayed.

Japan had opened the scoring in the 83rd minute when Nagasato Yuki took a shot that first deflected off North Korea keeper Jo Yun Mi and then off fullback Kim Nam Hui before finding the back of the net.

Despite having the win in the bag, Japan faltered two minutes into stoppage time, when Kim Jo Ran scored the equalizer for North Korea.

"We allowed the late equalizer after some mistakes, and we can't do anything about what happened," explains Japan head coach Sasaki Norio. "The good thing was that we scored from limited chances. We just have to regroup and play well in our next match."

Japanese midfielder Miyama Aya says: "We knew exactly how they were going to attack in that situation (sending a long ball into the box), so it's a shame we allowed them to equalize.

"We needed to move the ball around in the dying stages. The way we lost the ball wasn't good at all. But I don't think we need to be so upset because we didn't lose," she said.

The tournament ends Sunday, September 11, 2011 with the top two teams qualify for the Olympics - and Japan is one of them. Each team plays that day:

Japan vs China; South Korea vs Australia; Thailand vs North Korea.

The race is on to see who will join Japan at the Olympics. This last set of matches on September 11 has several scenarios at play:
  • If North Korea beats Thailand, North Korea qualifies.
  • If North Korea ties Thailand then: 1) If Australia beats South Korea, Australia qualifies; 2) any other result North Korea qualifies.
  • Should North Korea lose to Thailand then 1) if Australia beats South Korea, Australia qualifies; 2) or if there is any other Australia result, should China defeat Japan, then China qualifies; 3) and should there be any other result between China and Japan, then North Korea qualifies.
It makes sense to me. Read it slowly. And while the soccer gods are often crazy, as long as Japan fields a full team, it won't lose to China. And, North Korea, as evidenced by its strong play against Japan, should really have no problem against Thailand which has yet to win a game this tournament and has only scored once and given up 13 goals (They popped one goal in a 5-1 loss to Australia back on September 3, 2011).

By Andrew Joseph

Dr. Feelgood Redux

Reprinted by popular demand--because I accidentally posted a story for this morning (my time) yesterday evening--is my first experience at a Japanese hospital.

Cue ominous music.


It's not for the weak of heart or stomach.

Originally written for your perusal back in December of 2009 when this blog was getting about 400 hits a month... I repeat it again today considering I get well over that in a single day now... so some of you may have missed it the first time. Count yourselves lucky.

Regardless... for all of your new readers who accidentally stumble across this blog searching for data and photos on Miss Universe or information on soccer, thanks for sticking around... it makes me feel good.

Enjoy my blast from the past HERE.

Somewhere trying to tie up my hospital gown
(but secretly enjoying showing off my butt),
Andrew Joseph
Enjoy some Motley Crue while you are at it: DRUGS

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

I haven't done much about my own life in Japan in a while - I was having too much fun writing about former and current Miss Universe Japan contestants.

So... tell ya what... I'll do stuff about my life every once in a while... say once every Thursday, and bring facts and fun stuff to you about Japan.

I'm an ego maniac, but I also care about teaching you guys something.

Why do I write about my life of 20 years ago here? Well... it helps teach me many things about what life was like for a gaijin (foreigner) living in Japan, plus it helps me focus on what is going on around me in 2011, believe it or not. Same crap, different era?

I'm going to combine a couple of days here:

Sunday, October 13, 1991. I awake in Mibu, Tochigi-ken, Japan with my ex-girlfriend Ashley (from Georgia, USA) lying beside me on the floor of Cathy's (from Bath, England) apartment. Cathy likes me and had been playing footsie and more last night while I pounded booze to forget that I ever slept with her and to forget that I'm at a party with my ex-girlfriend, when I should be back in Ohtawara-shi (my adopted hometown) trying to meet some willing and able young Japanese woman to teach English too. That's my euphemism for sex - at least for today's blog.

I'm an assistant English teacher (AET) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme, and have been here in Japan for 15 months. I've had a great time living and working with the Japanese folk, who have, while not necessarily treated me as an equal, have treated me better than that. It's like I am their guest in this country, so they feel obligated to look out for me.

I appreciate that.

I also appreciate that there are many omen here who will sleep with me, but I get the sneaking suspicion that there are a lot of mother's and father's who don't want me anywhere near their sex-starved daughters.

That's okay... I'm sure that's true of parents damn near everywhere. You're a great guy Andrew, but we don't want you sleeping with our daughter.

But, like in life, nature finds a way.

It's raining hard today. I squeeze some toothpaste into my mouth and use my finger as a toothbrush, gargle with a shot of Southern Comfort and I'm ready to take on the world - except that I have bed head. I hate bed head messing up my hair.

Ashley does the same, but turns on the water faucet instead. Huh! And she calls herself a southerner?!

Cathy must still be passed out, so we tip-toe past a few other drunken AETs and make our way out and over to the train station and head north for home.

It' still raining when we arrive in Nishinasuno-machi where Ashley lives, so I have a soggy 25-minute bicycle ride back to my apartment in Ohtawara-shi (City of Ohtawara).

I enter, strip and then sleep from 11AM to 4PM when that bastard friend of mine - Matthew calls to see how I survived the night. He's a great guy despite his penchant for bad timing and phone calls.

I'm unsure where Karen was last night. Se also wants to sleep with me - but only after we are boyfriend girlfriend, and while i want the sex, I'm unsure I want or need her commitment to me.

Matthew can tell that I am too out of it to talk -probably could smell my distillery-like breath through the phone, and wisely keeps the conversation short.

I don't have a drinking problem.

I drink. Get drunk and fall down. No problem.

Sorry... that's an old joke... but then, this is an old story. I don't drink at home by myself... only when I'm with others, it seems. Unfortunately, I don't get to spend a lot of time by myself. Unfortunately, says my liver. The rest of me is pretty damn sure it's enjoying itself immensely.

Besides, aside from the lack of sleep and copious quantities of imbibed fermented products, I don't get hang-overs. So in truth, I never learn a lesson.

Since I'm up, I clean up the place a bit, relax, have bacon and eggs for dinner and watch old videos of western television.

It's a lost day in the annals of Andrew.

Oh... but two of my fish decided that with me out of the apartment yesterday, that would be the perfect time to die. One large calico goldfish was lying dead at the bottom of my aquarium, and a large lionhead that would have cost me $100 back in Toronto (but only $10 converted here) has jumped out of the tank to kill itself. Perhaps in a fit of despair at the thought of losing its buddy the calico.

Or maybe, the chocolate oranda goldfish finally had enough and killed the calico and the lionehad and tossed the lionhead out of the tank either before he began smelling up the place or to make it look like a suicide. He might have wanted to do the same to the calico goldfish... but I came home too soon.

I think my goldfish hate me.

Proof of that can be found on these two old blogs showing a comic book story I wrote about them. Stupid sushi. STORY1 and STORY2

Somewhere my brain hurts,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by Freddy Fender: BADHAIR

PS: I know I said I was going to combine a few days... but dammit... I made a four-line entry in my diary into this massive blog entry.

2011 Miss Universe Japan

Photo taken on Sept. 5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This is the story of the current Miss Universe Japan 2011 Kamiyama Maria (surname first). Born on February 17, 1987 and from Osaka, Japan, the beautiful woman is 1.68 meters (5'-6") tall.

I'm having a bugger of a time finding a lot of data on Maria.

Here's what I have found:

As far as stories go - she's not what we in the business call juicy. No scandals, no skeletons... just a warm, intelligent and beautiful person with a gaijin (foreigner) first name representing Japan.

So... what's with the name Maria? Let's see if we can get her to open up a bit. 

She was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2011 on June 17, 2011 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo, Japan. and is all set to compete in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant on September 12, 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Maria was born in Tokyo and is a graduate of Seikei University studying English. She spent two years in Hawaii after graduation and worked at American Eagle Outfitters there.

“It was a great time,” she says. “I remember going shopping at Walmart just in a bikini and flip flops. It felt natural, but when I came back to Tokyo, I thought I can’t do that anymore.”

Until the Miss Universe Japan pageant, Maria was a salesperson at a Ginza-area clothing store in Tokyo.

So far... she doesn't appear overly ambitious.

Then, perhaps after being told for the 1000th time that she was gorgeous, she thought about entering the Miss Universe Japan pageant.

“I always thought that beauty contestants lived in another world,” notes Maria, “but I also thought that being in one would give me the chance to make a difference in my life and help others. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my family, when I applied because I was a bit embarrassed. I was still in Hawaii when the Tokyo audition was held, so I had to go to the Osaka one when I returned to Japan. I asked my sister to come with me and then I told her. After a second audition, my parents found out and said, ‘No, that is not you.’”

But, while they didn't really think she had it in her, her parents supported her decision and followed her to the Miss Japan contest in Tokyo. When she won, there was a loud scream.

“That was my mother. She cried and went crazy,” explains Maria.

Maria says she is fully aware that Japanese women have a stereotypical image worldwide... one where they are afraid to express their true feelings and opinions in a male-dominated society. She wanted to change that.

"I think I am a fairly opinionated person, so I hope I can give a good impression.”

She also knows that the March 11 disaster will be a topic of conversation whenever she goes abroad. “I have been to Tohoku a couple of times to do volunteer work. We played with children in Miyagi and Fukushima and Sendai. The first time I was really sad because everything was a mess. But when I met the children, they were so genki (energetic) and that lifted my spirits. I want to tell everyone: ‘Thank you for helping us.’ Japanese have a resilient spirit and we will recover.”

For Maria Kamiyama, the children are everything, and is interested in their health issues, especially vaccinations. “I know there are a lot of children suffering overseas, too, and I want to make sure that people in Japan are aware of that.”

While Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife was unable to get the scoop on her name - and yes, she is 100% Japanese and isn't the author's love-child, despite his protestations to the contrary... but Maria is normal... if not a tad boring despite her good looks. She's not stupid, though. Just kind of ordinary... maybe even like the girl next door if you were lucky enough to live next door to a Miss Universe contestant, of course.

Says Maria: "Well, I don’t like heights. Ghosts scare me. I cried when I saw Sean Penn’s film ‘Into the Wild.’ If I could have dinner with any movie star, it would be Angelina Jolie. I like surfing, hip-hop dancing, the music of Alicia Keys and Jack Johnson, and cooking. Please try my salmon with sautéed onions.”

She also likes surfing, dancing and singing. 

And despite her great figure--she says that while in training 80% of her food is healthy and the remainder is whatever food she wants--she loves sweets and: "if you really want to make me happy, just give me a cheesecake and a fork and I’ll eat the whole lot. Well, maybe not until after the final.”

To the left is an official head shot of Maria Kamiyama taken at the 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

Japan Ties Uzbekistan In Men's WC Soccer Qualifying

Japan midfielder Hasebe Makoto gets ready to play the ball past an Uzebekistan player.
In what can only be called a discouraging result, Japan, Asia's reigning champs, were forced to come from behind to tie home team Uzbekistan in Tashkent in the 3rd round of qualifying for the men's 2014 World Cup soccer tourney.

While the Asian Group C bracket is considered a tough one, Japan still should have done better. Despite playing on a bumpy surface, Japan gave up an early goal to Uzbekistan midfielder Server Djeparov in the 8th minute of the match.

And it might have been worse. One minute earlier, a spunky Uzbekistan team playing at Pakhator Stadium nearly grabbed the lead then when midfielder Timur Kapadze hit the crossbar from just outside the box. One minute later team captain Djeparov got ahold of a loose ball after a the Japanese defence could not clear a cros from Uzbekistan's Alexander Geynrikh.

The Japanese Blue Samurai were playing without Honda Keisuke and Nakamura Kengo (surrnames first), but still made a game of it and poured on the pressure after that initial goal.

Still, a long-range shot from Uzbekistan's Victor Karpenko nearly caught Japanese goalie Kawashima Eiji napping.

But just before the half, Japan nearly scored the equalizer when Lee Tadanari hot the post with a shot.

After the second half began, Japan scored in the 65th minute when Okazaki Shinji nodded home a Josida Maja cross.

Now fully awake, goalie Kawashima preserved the single point with a beautiful save in the dying seconds.

With the single point, Japan's record stands at 1 W, 1D after two matches for four points and  the lead in Group C.

Uzebkistan is in second with a 1W, 1D record and four points, but is in second owing to giving up a goal to the visiting Japanese team.

North Korea sits with three points from 1W and 1L, having beaten Tajikistan earlier in the day, while Tajikistan remain pointless following two losses. Tajikistan took the place of Syria at the last moment after it was discovered Syria had used an ineligible player during 2nd round qualifying.

Japan's next game is October 11th at home in Osaka versus Tajikistan - yes, a month from now after two games in five days.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

Art Photography: Nature's smile

The main intention behind is only to show that even Nature also teaches us that keep smiling however you are as I’m. Carefully observe the smiling faces of nature in different geographies. This type of photographs is the most amazing photographs that I ever seen.

Read more »

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How Japanese Children Were Smarter Than The Wright Brothers

A couple of weeks ago (August 25, 2011) I hopefully taught you all something about Japan's aviation pioneer Ninomiya Chuhachi (surname first). You can read that story HERE

Despite the length of the article, I only really delved into his attempts at flight.

At this time, I want to discuss how all Japanese children were was smarter than the Wright Brothers who were the first to create a heavier-than-air (airplane or aeroplane - I actually like this old style spelling!) craft. And, the Wright Brother's were pretty damn smart!

It all comes down to being screwed. Or rather a screw, as in propellers - an underrated component in the race to build a functional air craft!

The Wright Brothers and Ninomiya had different ideas - polar opposites, if you will, on the size and rotational speed of propellers - and believe it or not, a self-taught Japanese man got the physics right.

Orville and Wilbur Wright preferred to utilize two slow-spinning propellers, which they derived from their bicycle building profession. Essentially, they geared down the engine shaft speed with a bicycle chain to drive each propeller. Photos of the Wright Flyer show a larger heavy sprocket on each propeller which caused a reduction in spin and thus in sped.

Our man Ninomiya - well, through independent study, he arrived at a different conclusion... though both he and the Wright Brothers did not know of the other's findings.

Always the inquisitive lad, Ninomiya checked out the foreign ships that had only recently begun to legally enter Japanese ports again after a 300 year ban. In 1883, when he was 16, Ninomiya would row out to anchored ships off the island of Shikoku where he lived. It was there that he got his first look at the propellers that helped move the ships - and he drew diagrams of every single one he could spot... and then he made miniature models of each.

It was these models which helped Ninomiya learn about the principles of flight, as he continually redesigned these models to get what he considered a perfect propeller.

The Japanese have a small wooden toy called a taketombo (bamboo dragonfly) that is essentially a propeller on a stick that one places between the palms and then by sliding the hands quickly, flight of the taketombo is achieved.

Taketombo - bamboo propeller toy
It's pretty cool, and I had one when I was living in Japan - a gift from a student at Ichinosawa Primary School in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan. It was stepped on by my dog one day, and it broke, which is too bad because I think my son and I could have a few laughs with it now. I'll have to find one somewhere!

While it was in inexpensive gift (maybe) for the child who gave it to me, back when Ninomiya was young, he had to make his own taketombo by carving his own bamboo with a borrowed knife. The goal, of course, was to make the best flying taketombo ever - to fly longer and higher than everyone else!

By learning what propeller shape to weigh ration, along with propeller speed (slide of the hand), Japanese children everywhere learned the aeronautical relationship between propeller pitch, propeller size and propeller speed and how subtle differences can make the difference in a good flight or a great one. Here's a slow-motion video of one in flight HERE.

That is what the Wright Brothers did not know. In fact, most pioneer aviation designers failed to recognize the aeronautical skills tiny Japanese kids learned years previous - that you get better propulsion - a more efficient propeller - from shorter, faster turning blades.

And this is what Ninomiya applied to his airplane models.

Some other achievements of Ninomiya includes his taxi system for aircraft. When he was 22 years of age back in 1888 - some 20 years before the Wright Brothers achieved flight, Ninomiya saw his first bicycle in Japan. After a single ride (and how wobbly it was) he realized a pair of bike tires on a plane would not work, and that for great stability, two on the wings and one on the nose would work. Check out an airplane today. Essentially wheels on the wing and one on the nose.

Ninomiya also tested wind resistance by creating a wind tunnel back in 1891. Okay, not really. What he did was continually jump off a bridge into a river while holding an umbrella. By holding the open umbrella at different angles, he studied how air was captured and helped keep him aloft (if even for a brief moment).

On April 29, 1891, Ninomiya finished his first model airplane that he called Karasu (the Crow), as these birds had first taught him the best way to fly - with rigid wings. You really should have read my earlier article. Regardless, he painted a crow's head on the front of his model.

So: The Karasu MODEL was a single-wing plane (monoplane) with a dihedral wing (upward wing angle - an angle determined from his umbrella bridge jumping) and a 45 centimeter wingspan. It used a rubber band motor that powered a four-blade pusher propeller (the propeller sits behind the engine) was built of bamboo.

That first flight achieved a distance of 10 meters, and 36 meters the next day... both times landing unharmed on the model's tricycle wheel system.

For a man-made flight, Ninomiya was no dummy. He knew a rubberband wasn't going to cut it. A fuel powered engine would be needed.

For his new Tamamushi (Jewel Beetle) model, he designed it to fit a 12-horsepower motorcycle engine. And... just so you know, current aeronautical engineers say that the plane's design was just perfect for that particular horsepower. Unfortunately, motorcycle engines were few and far between in Japan... so he needed to purchase one from elsewhere... and while saving up money for it, he discovered that the Wright Brothers had beaten him to the punch.

Still, perhaps he could have enjoyed some smug satisfaction in knowing that he - and the rest of Japan's children - were smarter than the Wright Brothers on the construction of a better propeller - and all thanks to a simple toy called a taketombo.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph
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