Are We There Yet? Mining the Minutes to London
For those ready for your next big heaping spoonful of media spectacle, the countdown has reached 16 days, 10 hours, and 43 minutes to the start of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games in London. Shoot. Now it’s 42 minutes. I need to write fast. To see a countdown clock, try the London 2012 site. It keeps the clock ticking at the top of the page. Furiously ticking. 10...
See if you can learn this in your spare time: Students work on sit-down choreography for the song “We Go Together.” See post above for more on these students from the University of the Ryukyus as they prepare to stage the musical Grease. We’re one of a kind Like dip di-dip di-dip Doo-bop a doo-bee doo Our names are signed Boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-e-dy Shoo-by...
More on Futenma: Thoughts from a think tank
Here is a new article arguing that local unhappiness over the presence of U.S. military bases on Okinawa will not be changed much by the latest round of agreements to shift some Marines off the island. The piece comes from two researchers with The Rand Corporation, a well-known non-partisan think tank with its headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., but other offices around the world. Rand looks...
Developing peace: Where to stick a helicopter base
With the 40th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan coming up Tuesday, we’ve seen much related activity and lately on the island. That includes a new poll on political opinion about the U.S. military presence here, another call for other parts of Japan to relieve Okinawa’s longtime task as home of many U.S. military bases, and organized protest marches to remind the...
On the way home: Here is a video of a few people we saw while waiting in the downtown Osaka Hankyu train station. This was at the end of the work day as we waited to catch up with the Sato family, our old friends from Chapel Hill. I shot several minutes of this, caught up in the flow of folks toward the waiting trains. The commute, of course, lasted for a couple of hours. So just take what...
Genki Generation: Here is a segment of a dance that our second-year students performed at the end-of-the-school-year party. Not only do they study English, they have fun. The tune is ‘Gee’ from the Korean girl group Shojo Jidai, or in English, Girls’ Generation. Some good dancers in this crowd. And by the way, there was no alcohol served at this event.
A sip for lasting health: Here is a minute of video showing folks capturing the special springwater as it cascades in three streams from the spring over a stone roof and into a pool at Kiyomizu-dera. Just about every visitor stops for a drink. In case you’re worried about public health, a machine just out of sight uses ultraviolet light to sterilize the scoops. When they’re done...
A moment of fulfillment: Some people visit Japan’s most treasured temples to admire the history and architecture. Others seek the chance to connect spiritually. Such was the case for Misako and her relatives after they spent some time at Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple, to pray. The old wooden temple, first built back in the 700s, sits on the ridge overlooking Kyoto. We see her here as...
Standing and Spelling: This is Kevin taking a turn at the Japan Times Spelling Bee in Tokyo. Scroll down for a lengthier item on the outcome. This gives you a short view of the action. If you’ve ever watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee from Washington, D.C., on TV, you know that some contestants ask all sorts of allowable questions: What’s the language of origin? Are there...
Many parents, many lenses: You might enjoy the sea of parents shooting photos and video prior to the Japan Times Spelling Bee in Tokyo. This was during a pause to take a group photo. You’ll see and definitely hear the Times photographer as he sets up the shoot. See item below.
For a look at Okinawans at work
Here is a quick chance to learn a bit more about Okinawan people. Click here to go to a page on my course blog for Media English II here at the University of the Ryukyus. Even though they are studying English, not journalism, my students played along and eagerly accepted an assignment to interview people about their jobs. We posted their brief profiles on the blog for the world to see. You may...
Old myths and newsy experiments
This is more about journalism and less about Okinawa but worth the moment. Click here to see a story about myths about life in San Francisco. The piece by Tania Khadder investigates some of the must-be-true sort of stories about city life. Article is titled Tales of the City, with nice graphic design by Juan Leguizamon. The piece is the lead story for now in The Bold Italic — I really...
Tiger Tempo: Every sports team in Japan needs its own rooting section. They are usually led by a person (or two or three) wearing gloves and tooting actively on a whistle. Being part of a section like this takes endurance. You can’t ease up. When you team is up to bat, you’re going to be making coordinated noise. This is the group in the left-field slope watching their Hanshin...
Not Swinging in the Rain: We were interested to see Lastings Milledge playing left field for the Yakult Swallows in the exhibition game in Okinawa. In this video, he draws a walk during a rainy at-bat. Milledge, 26, signed a contract in late December paying him a reported one-year salary of $570,000, with bonuses possible. We’ll enjoy the chance to track MIlledge’s progress in Japan...