Dread Natty Dread

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No, this is not the head of a black mop, nor is it the scalp of a Rastafarian. This walking natty dread is technically a dog. This dog reminds me of some of the voodoo demons that the Jamaican babysitter conjures to scare two misbehaving kids in the 80’s TV series, Amazing Stories.
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I have seen this strange beast wandering around the streets, like some sort of mutant caterpillar. Today it was sitting right in front of a sliding glass door, and wouldn’t budge, so pedestrians were forced to step over or walk around him to get in or out of the building.
He must really stink when he gets wet.

The Next Tarantino Scripts?

I read an interesting comment on my last post on Quentin Tarantino:

The screenplay of Quentin Tarantino’s Kung Fu movie has been leaked to the internet. It seems to be some sort of Japanese gangster flick. Link

The linked site contains two scripts:

The working title of the first script, a Japanese gangster/Kung Fu film is GREYHOUND. The second Tarantino script is a teenage crime story called HIGH SCHOOL SKY HIGH.

I think that this was spread by the author of the site, as the name of the author is “Rancor”. Does this person really have beef with Q.T., or are the scripts fake? Justin thinks that the scripts might have been put up by an ambitious writer looking to cash in on some publicity through a hoax.

BJ-League

No, it’s really not what it sounds like. It is another example of amusing example of English in Japan, but this time with a high-profile and the potential to make the BJ-League the laughing stock of English speaking basketball leagues the world over, even before it gets a crack at establishing itself.
The BJ-League is Japan’s new professional basketball league. The announcement of the league comes after Tabuse’s debut in the NBA, so Yuta-san has a pretty good fallback plan if he ever stops playing in the States.
The use of strange mutant English used in Japanese media and goods has been widely documented. For things such as Asse chocolate and cream-filled Collon cookies, it is amusing and part of the joy of living in Japan is spotting mistake-riddled English loaded with unintentional political incorrectness, double entendres, and faux paxs. After having taught English for 2 years, I can tell you that English education is in rough shape in Japan, due to the common fear of speaking and practicing conversation. Interestingly, Japanese students are relatively pretty good at reading and writing English. Let’s analyze the name BJ-League, keeping this in mind.
I am speculating that they chopped off the “assketball” from the “B” and grafted it on to “J-League“, AKA the professional Japanese soccer league. Sounds good in theory abbreviating “Basketball” and “Japan” to “BJ” and attaching “League”, but what they got was a good name for an X-rated video. For such a high profile venture as a professional sports league, why not run the proposed name by a panel of English speakers, or even just one dude who knows English, to check for errors and such? Now they’re stuck with it, and I can never take the league seriously. Ah, BJ-League… Those crazy, crazy Japanese.
Take a look at the teams on the BJ-League homepage, featuring the Sendai 89ers, the Niigata Albirex (here’s the cheerleader’s site), the Saitama Broncos, The Tokyo Apache, the Osaka Deinonychus, and the Oita Heat Devils. The Heat Devils’ logo really reminds me of Hot Wheels. How exciting can a national league with only 6 teams be? I guess only time will tell.

Thoughts on Two Upcoming Weddings

Some people run away from marriage and the responsibilities of a serious relationship as if it were the act of self-castration. I must admit, that when I first heard that some of my friends were getting married I felt frightened for them, as if they had told me that they were going to a far, unreachable place from which there would be no return. But then I thought about it, and it became clear that they were going to become better than they were before. Yes, after they get married, they will obligated to conduct themselves in ways that may not seem so fun, but will hopefully bring a deeper meaning to them as a family.
First, I would like to say congratulations to Chris and Brian, and to their respective fiances, Sarah and Rebecca. You women are doing these two a great service, and they know it, I know it, and all of our friends also know it as well. Building 2 story beer bongs, living in I.V. for three years, doing various dangerous things while enibriated (electric pickle, riding bikes, falling off of roofs, blowing shit up, etc…), and playing cruel jokes on each other lends me a special perspective on these two. It is obvious to me that without you, Chris and Brian would still be a bunch of primates, scratching their rears and flinging poo at each other.
Chris. Brian. You guys are also bringing something into the relationship. You will get to be the chief “male role model” of the house, and the corresponding duties. Countless afternoons spent perfecting your chillin’ and grillin’ techniques will be passed on to the next generation, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of both micro an macrobrews. Hurricane punch and long island iced tea awaits, although it will never again be served out of a 5 gallon water cooler. Instead, you guys will drink to get a nice buzz, not until you start urinating on cop cars, in front of cops hiding in the bushes, or anywhere in the proximity of an on-duty police officer for that matter. Having a female partner who wants to help you [as opposed to any guy who would] instead of laugh at you really has its advantages sometimes. It also means that you will be called in to kill any insects, rodents, or deal with any dangerous life forms (Update: Rebecca is the one who takes care of the insects).
Although you two are getting married, I hope that we can all still find some time every once in a while to go out and do nostalgic stuff. You know what I’m talking about- like blowing shit up!!! Do you remember how fun that was? Or sharing a nice keg of Sierra Nevada (that would be Rolling Rock for Chris) while enjoying grilled portobellos and thick chunks of meat. Maybe we can even take a trip into Mexico and go fishing sometime (no, not to TJ to see the spray painted donkeys).
Honestly though, I am truly happy for you guys.
Another Update: Congratulations to Joe “the Muppet” and Michiyo who got married (Mark posted some good photos from the ceremony) down in Kumamoto. Michiyo Fingerhut, hmmm… it’s going to take a while to get used to saying that. Best of luck in St. Louis, guys.

Through the lense of T. Utsushigawa

Last night I found a picture taken by my maternal great-grandfather of the City Market of Los Angeles, over 96 years ago. I don’t know much about T. Utsushigawa, save for what my mom has told me.
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City Market of Los Angeles, California, 9th & San Pedro Street, August 8th 1910. Shot by T. Utsushigawa (click on the picture for a larger version).
According to my mom, my great-grandfather established himself as a prominent photographer, but like most Americans of Japanese descent he lost everything when he was interred in the concentration camps of World War II.
This picture has great value to me because it is a tangible piece of heritage, part of his life and occupation. Thanks to the Library of Congress photo archive, I was able to see an America that he lived in. If you look closely, you will notice that the cars in the crowded parking lot are, in fact, covered wagons (or horse drawn carriages if you prefer). It almost looks as if he was there right after the taming of the Wild West.
This is the only picture that I can find, but hopefully more can be uncovered with a more extensive search.

Fragging Biker Punks and Hunting from Home

How are the police going to deal with motorcyclists that cause a nuisance late at night and pose a danger to other motorists?

Cops will also be armed with paintball rifles, nail guns to shoot out tires and can now use unmarked Black Wing motorcycles to keep watch on the roads. (from this article)

Paintball guns I can understand, but nail guns (this is kind of off topic, but here’s another interesting story involving a nail gun-Operation Magician)? Someone’s been playing a little too much Quake or something. Hmmm, a cop shooting the tires out from under a young punk with a nail gun while riding a motorcycle. What could possibly go wrong? What if the cop mistakenly draws a bead on the motorcyclist’s head and only realizes that what he thought was a paintball gun was in fact a nail gun after he squeezes the trigger (Headshot!)? Does anyone else see anything that could possibly go wrong with these measures? I can already envision some fed-up cops freezing their paintballs and jacking up the velocity past recommended levels.
Does anyone remember The Jackal (the movie kind of based on The Day of The Jackal, not Carlos the Jackal, which is worth watching for the scene where Willis’s character adjusts the aim of the remote controlled .50 cal) with Bruce Willis and Jack Black? Well, some Texan is selling 10 shots from a .22 rigged so that it can be used over the internet. I like the idea, but if I’m going hunting over the internet I want to use a larger caliber rifle with the option to toggle between semi, tri-burst, fully-automatic, and grenade launcher settings to compensate for any lag issues.

Leapfrogging Microcosms

It’s crazy what you can find when Googling your name and the name of people that you know. For example, I found out that my high school friends Gary Dote (at Halocrazed) and Daniel Chong (posting at chickennuggets) are also blogging. It’s good to hear from old friends, even if just through their posts.
It’s interesting to hear stories from people who have read my postings, as I enjoy hearing feedback and exchanging stories and opinions. But my favorite story by far comes from Joe Debiec.
I posted my thoughts about Joe leaving a McDonalds bag full of feces on top of my Civic after going to a cheesy disco party in Miyazaki, thinking that I was just recording a funny (in retrospect, not at that present moment) story for posterity. Well, it turns out that his professor, who has written letters of recommendation for him and whom he still corresponds with, did a search on Google and found this post. The professor then brought the post to his attention, teasingly chastising him for his primitive behavior. Now, that post generated some truly gratifying results and that is part of the joy of posting.
Other thoughts on Google as a social navigation tool:
Ego-googling, and Justin’s attempts to boost his page rank under a search for my name, has also made me aware of the existence of another Adam T. Yoshida. I wonder how many people have met or will meet me, only to mistake me for this other Adam T. Yoshida. How many of my former friends and acquaintances were shocked to find out that I wasn’t a real American or think that I have transformed into someone who is very vocal about his right wing views.
Many people write insulting things about this prolific Canadian, and though I am not this individual and do not share his political views I can’t help but feel disgusted about the lack of good things said about our collective name. I feel defensive of this other Adam T. Yoshida, even though we’ve never met each other or directly corresponded. It sounds superficial, but that’s how I feel. I’m kind of surprised that no Adam T. Yoshida hater has left any comments on this blog, but then again once you read Higo Blog it should be pretty clear that it isn’t written by the Canadian Adam T. Yoshida. For now, I am operating under the assumption that I am the only American Adam T. Yoshida in existence.

Yo! Jimbo Blog

Jamie “Slice Bush” Mackay has started up The Republic of Mackistan, chronicling his experiences as a JET in Aso-gun. Here’s a little excerpt:

Imagine you have been sent to a new land, virtually unreachable from the home you used to know. Upon arrival in this truly “foreign” country, you are shipped off like a newly acquired zoo animal (Cuddly Dominion) to a ginormous pit in the earth, put on exhibit for all to see. This massive dent in the earth is surrounded by sheer walls of rock 500 meters high, unclimbable except for a breed of animals known as “shogakkusei,” which are mysteriously and ritualistically herded up and down these walls every year. Within the natural barriers of earth lies a giant volcano spewing its deadly sulfur breath into the air as a constant reminder that your existence is at NATURE’s mercy.


Jamie and I shared in a fair share of good/interesting times last year. We almost got blown away during a hippie music festival on top of Mt. Aso, went hitchhiking through half of Kyushu (come to think of it, this qualifies as part of the hitchhiking experience), and have dazed recollections of past parties and hashes. Keep on eye on his blog to see what life in Aso as an obvious gaijin is all about.