Posts tagged ‘http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com’

October 6, 2011

Sesshu Toyo and historical art in Japan (1420-1506)

Sesshu Toyo and historical art in Japan (1420-1506)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sesshu Toyo during his lifetime was highly revered in Japan and China because of his artistic talent related to the visual arts. He was educated with the intent of being a Rinzai Zen Buddhist priest and the importance of interaction between China and Japan was the norm in this period for the elites within society.

Chinese Song Dynasty landscape art was very important to Sesshu Toyo unlike Ming Dynasty art which didn’t have the same creativity according to him.  However, other aspects of the Ming Dynasty appealed to Sesshu Toyo and this notably applies to temples built in this period.

His art work titled “Sansui Chokan” (Long Landscape Scroll) highlights the richness of Sesshu Toyo. However, with the psyche of culture being very different from Western norms whereby individual artists desire to highlight themselves, this logic did not enter the mindset of many Japanese artists because of cultural differences in this period.

Therefore, many art pieces may state Sesshu Toyo by bearing his signature or seal but many of these paintings were done by his pupils or were copies of his work. This complicates things for art lovers who are lay people but the discerning eye of experts have distinguished his artwork based on several factors.

Xia Gui and other Chinese artists influenced Sesshu Toyo but he had a distinctive style despite this. This applies to a more pronounced variance related to light and shadow and his lines were heavier. Other areas were notably different and this applies to the depiction of space and dimensional attributes.

My personal favorite piece is the “Huike Offering His Arm to Bodhidharma” because you have a clear spiritual dimension. This stunning artwork was done in 1496 and is based on the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, and below him is Huike who became the second patriarch.

Despite Huike cutting off his arm after being rejected many times by Bodhidharma you don’t feel any warmth or reverence. Instead a battle of minds is at play and the aloofness provides a mystical aspect because while Bodhidharma is depicted with a different aura and power, this does not deter or infringe on the thinking of Huike. Therefore, does the real power belong to Bodhidharma or Huike?

Many interpretations can be given but in the painting it appears that Huike desires knowledge and he will do anything to obtain this. However, does he desire the knowledge in order to reach another dimension? 

If Huike revered Bodhidharma then why doesn’t he offer the arm with respect or at least seek eye contact and to express his piety by kneeling?  It seems that the arm which was offered and the knowledge that Huike desires from Bodhidharma, is a means to an end and that he seeks to reach deeper into the spiritual world but seeks to surpass his master.

Of course, you will have many different interpretations and different cultural and religious thinking alongside individualism and other areas. However, the painting does not show “love,” “piety” or “trust” but instead it shows realism and coldness.

Could it be that the depiction is a duplicate and in truth the meaning is far from what it is perceived to be?  In other words, Bodhidharma is Zen Buddhism and Huike is Sesshu Toyo and the arm depicts his love of art.

This may appear far-fetched to many individuals but this artwork was done near the end of his life. Also, it is reported that he was punished for loving art more than studying Zen Buddhism when he was much younger. Therefore, while Zen Buddhism was a powerful reality within his mindset the pull of art was also deeply embedded within his soul and psyche.

Irrespective of personal views about this remarkable piece of art it is clear that Sesshu Toyo enriched this world.

 

http://www.japanese-arts.net/painting/zen_sesshu.htm 

http://www.dharmanet.org/Zenart.htm

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

October 4, 2011

Supreme Court in Japan: Karoshi verdict after tragic work related suicide

Supreme Court in Japan: Karoshi verdict after tragic work related suicide

Olivier LeCourt and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Yuji Uendan tragically committed suicide after bouts of depression related to overwork and poor environmental conditions. Despite only being 23 years old he couldn’t take anymore and saw no way out. Therefore, depression, extreme tiredness, and poor working conditions tilted him over the edge.

This tragic incident happened in 1999 and after many years of wrangling the Tokyo High Court in 2009 ruled against Nikon Corp. and a Nagoya based temporary employment agency.  However, the verdict was contested and sent to the Supreme Court.

Nikon Corp. and the temporary employment agency disputed the verdict in 2009 because of several factors.  Therefore, the case continued to drag on but finally the Supreme Court has dismissed their objections and told both companies to pay 70 million yen to the mother of Yuji Uendan.

Misako Hida in her article called The Land of Karoshi comments that “The late Mr. Uendan had worked for nearly 16 months as an inspector of semiconductor producing equipment in the subdued yellowish light of a clean-room at a Nikon factory in Kumagaya, dressed from head to toe in a white dust-free garment. The young man was employed by the manufacturing contractor Nextar (currently known as Atest) and was temping at his employer’s client, Nikon, a major Japanese camera and optical equipment maker.”

“Uendan worked 11-hour rotating day and night shifts with overtime and extra business trips that brought his work hours to as long as 250 hours a month at times. In his final stretch of work at the factory, he had worked 15 straight days without a day off. He was suffering from stomachaches, insomnia, numbness of extremities. His weight had dropped 13 kilograms.”

On the fatal day when Yuji Uendan took his life he had wrote“The time I spent has been wasted” on a board. He committed suicide in his apartment in Kumagaya City, Saitama, after continuously working for 15 days. All warning signs were ignored including the loss of 13 kilograms, insomnia and issues related to depression.

“Karoshi” (death from overwork) is a serious problem in Japan because working long hours and having few holidays is putting too much pressure on many workers. Laws that have been passed are vague and open to manipulation and bullying and poor working conditions are other areas of problems in Japan.

The sad reality is that for the past decade more than 30,000 people commit suicide every year in Japan and this figure is much higher than the tragic tsunami which killed around 20,000 people.  Therefore, over 300,000 Japanese nationals have killed themselves in the last decade and while the factors will be complex and vary, it is clear that overwork is claiming the lives of many Japanese people.

Of course many Japanese companies protect workers but it is abundantly clear that many don’t. Also, many foreign companies which have tight regulations in Europe and North America about working long hours don’t apply the same standards in Japan. Therefore, Japanese companies and international companies are both exploiting the goodwill of Japanese workers.

Some individuals like Hiroshi Kawahito, Secretary General of the National Defence Council for Victims of Karoshi, believes that around 5,000 people a year commit suicide because of overwork. However, the real figure from karoshi related suicides each year is difficult to verify but the figure will indeed be high like Hiroshi Kawahito states.

In the article by Misako Hida it is stated that “Too much overtime, which virtually precludes worker use of paid vacations, is a serious issue,” says a lawyer, Kosuke Hori, who is previous Director General of the Labour Lawyers Association of Japan. Japan has not ratified any ILO worktime-related conventions, including Convention 132 concerning Holidays with Pay and Convention 1 concerning Hours of Work.”

“The domestic Labor Standards Law does not cap the amount of overtime under certain conditions. “When it comes to working hours,” Mr. Morioka writes in his book. “In Japan, nothing in the way of international labor standards exists.”

Therefore, the decision by the Supreme Court is very important and issues related to karoshi needs to be challenged because how many more victims will this claim before something is finally done?

The verdict is a stepping stone in the right direction but much more needs to be done in order to protect workers in Japan.

http://www.cpi-media.co.jp/kawahito/index_e.htm

http://ilsforjournalists.itcilo.org/en/home/press-room/the-land-of-karoshi

http://moderntokyotimes.com

October 2, 2011

Fukushima and sound early advice by Sir John Beddington helped many

Fukushima and sound early advice by Sir John Beddington helped many

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

March 11 in Tokyo was a very eventful day because the powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake violently shook the capital of Japan many times. Having resided in Tokyo for many years then earthquakes are nothing new and usually you just go with the flow and soon it is over.  However, this day was very different because the force was enormous and it felt like the ground was going to open up.

The first few hours witnessed aftershock after aftershock and it seemed like it wasn’t going to end.  In Yurakcho and Ginza, where I was aimlessly wandering around, the high octane nature of fashion suddenly felt unimportant and the notion of reality was like an illusion.

After several hours of uncertainty people in Tokyo were still unaware about what was happening in distant Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima.  The news on television was mentioning that a tsunami had followed the original earthquake but information was patchy. Therefore, during this period most people in Tokyo believed that tens of people or a few hundred people may have died but nobody could have imagined the real devastation.

Not only this, but Fukushima was not even on the radar in Tokyo during the early period and most people, me included, just watched the breaking news on wide television screens in buildings where they are available.  The train system was in shut-down mode and the aftershocks were many, therefore, it was all about biding your time and trying to contact friends if possible or somehow finding your way home.

The next few days felt extremely strange in Kanagawa, Tokyo and Saitama, where I am based.  Also, more details were emerging about Fukushima and the Daiichi nuclear plant and this story was picked on by the global media.

At the same time it was becoming more apparent that thousands of people had perished and by the end of a week or so then clearly this figure was rising to the tens of thousands. Images of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima were being shown daily and the footage was horrendous. This applies to images of the tsunami sweeping away villages and towns and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Many international news agencies were painting a picture that was genuine with regards to the tsunami but completely over the top when it came to Fukushima.  This created a panic and many embassies closed and vast numbers of foreign nationals began to leave.

Of course, at no point was I going to leave because Tokyo is my home and for better or worse it is my shared city along with my beloved Manchester.  However, just like in all events you had a voice of reason amidst the scaremongers and this voice of reason belonged to Sir John Beddington.

In my earlier article called British scientific adviser: nothing to fear outside of Fukushima exclusion zone which I wrote on March 17 in Tokyo, I highlight this man of wisdom and deep knowledge.  I commented that “The British Embassy in Tokyo on March 15th invited the Government’s Chief Scientific Professor, Sir John Beddington, to answer deep and difficult questions related to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  Sir John Beddington replied and gave detailed information about the most likely outcome and his opinion about events which have been reported in the press.”

Sir John Beddington stated “…what I would really re-emphasise is that this is very problematic for the area and the immediate vicinity and one has to have concerns for the people working there. Beyond the 20 or 30 kilometres, it’s really not an issue for health.”

Therefore, after reading the full transcript of what Sir John Beddington stated I felt re-assured and completely vindicated about telling people to stay in Tokyo. This applies to a few individuals I know who hit the panic button.

Turning back to my article I stated that “at all times, it appears that the British point of view is that Tokyo is very safe and the same applies to all areas outside of the exclusion zone of the Fukushima nuclear plant but 30km was mentioned to be extremely safe, therefore, the exclusion zone may be added if developments become severe and meltdown actually happens.”

Sir John Beddington was a tower of strength in the following days and weeks after March 11. Of course some of his views may have changed given the release of further information but the fundamentals will remain the same.

On the other side you had scaremongers and one writer for the BBC was clearly out of order.  Therefore, in another article I commented that “According to Rupert Wingfield-Hayes you would believe that all Tokyoites are panicking and are in a flux because of events since the devastating earthquake.  He states in his article called “The eerie quiet of Tokyo hides Japan’s shock and anxiety,” which was published by the BBC, that “The threat to Tokyo’s 30 million people is invisible.  Everyone is now asking themselves the same question.  When does the crisis unfolding at the Fukushima nuclear plant 150 miles (240km) to the north cross that invisible line when you decide the risk of staying here is too high?”

Sadly you had many Rupert Wingfield-Hayes who were adding fuel to the fire but luckily words of wisdom were being stated by people of deep knowledge like Sir John Beddington.

Therefore, relatives and friends in many lands were hanging on his words and if only the media heeded his sound advice.  However, you have many agendas and this applies to environmentalists, anti-nuclear lobby, and many other factors.

Yet for people like myself, I followed the advice of Sir John Beddington and after reading his pearls of wisdom I just knuckled down and got on with life.  After all, Tokyoites were very lucky to escape the ravages of the earthquake, tsunami and radiation from Fukushima.

The British Embassy in Tokyo  http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/03/17/british-scientific-adviser-nothing-to-fear-outside-of-fukushima-exclusion-zone/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/03/21/the-reality-and-unreality-of-tokyo-amidst-the-hype-of-the-media/

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
 

 
September 30, 2011

Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyoites and people who reside in Japan have another powerful K-pop track to listen to because the latest tune by Kan Mi Youn is a fabulous track. Therefore, the growing trend of high quality sounds from “Korean cool” is being maintained by this exquisite lady from South Korea.

Kan Mi Youn once more hit the heights because “the angel of K-pop” certainly pleased her fans and with this lovely track more will be following. “Won’t Meet You” was energetic, fantastic beat, exquisite dancing movements from this stunning lady and of course a voice which graces the ear. 

Simply put, “Won’t Meet You” was A-one and even for house/trance vultures like me, I can feel my heart melt to yet another amazing track from “the angel of K-pop.” Kan Mi Youn is having an amazing 2011 and I thought “Paparazzi” would have been hard to beat but “Won’t Meet You” hits every chord and so much more.

The preview of “Won’t Meet You” looked promising but the real McCoy was even better than imagined. Not only is the track the real McCoy but Kan Mi Youn is the “triple McCoy” and clearly this special lady graces international music.

In Tokyo and throughout Japan the K-pop scene is growing and while you have many fantastic groups and soloists within K-pop, I firmly believe that Kan Mi Youn stands out because of her verve.  Her voice appeals to the ear and Kan Mi Youn plays to her strengths and this applies to style, panache, and stunning looks irrespective of hair color – but the brief blonde look in the video certainly increased an already high temperature.

Therefore, with the music market in Japan being huge it will be interesting to see how this track does in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe and throughout Japan.

Fashion wise, perfect because “if you have it then you don’t need to flaunt it” and clearly the sex appeal of Kan Mi Youn is an added bonus. Throughout the video of “Won’t Meet You” she looked snazzy and so adorable and the movement to the track worked perfectly.

In the track Kan Mi Youn sings:

My mind is in and out in and out
My mind is in and out in and out
Mind is in in Mind is out out
My mind is in and out in and out

You love me, you love me
You whisper in my ear every day
But today you’re with this girl, tomorrow, with that girl
You met them behind my back and got caught

If you keep saying that it’s not (do you think I’ll forgive you)
If you say you only love me (do you think it’ll be okay)
What about the other girls?
If they are just friends, do you kiss your friends?

I won’t meet you, won’t meet you, won’t meet you
Why would I meet you, I won’t meet you
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know
But I meet you again, why am I meeting you again
I won’t meet you, I will never meet you, for real
I don’t know, I can’t help it, I meet you again

* repeat

Don’t meet other girls (promise with me)
Please just love me alone (pinky swear)
I know I can’t trust you but
Like a fool, I fall for you again

repeat (x2)

The track is certainly a hit when it comes to a catchy beat, sweet voice, lovely dancing moves, exquisite singer, style, amazing fashion sense which matched the tune, and a high octane track which hits the heights immediately.

If you are new to K-pop then Kan Mi Youn is the lady to follow because the “angel of K-pop” doesn’t disappoint one iota.  On the contrary, this stunning music artist makes you want to search and check other K-pop soloists and other groups.

However, no matter how much you search you only have one soloist who is the real McCoy, and this applies to Kan Mi Youn, who is adorable and elegant beyond words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz1zjpWOB2c Kan Mi Youn and “Won’t Meet You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 28, 2011

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Korean pop (K-pop) is whirling its way throughout Asia and beyond because of great singers, fantastic imagery, passion, an abundance of talent, and sheer quality.  Of course you will have great artists in all nations but currently it is the K-pop scene which is dynamic, forward thinking, and expressing “Korean cool.”

This article was written just before the beautiful and exquisite Kan Mi Youn releases her latest record called “Won’t Meet You” on September 29. Therefore, comments will be made once her latest tune is released but the teaser points to yet another powerful song like “Paparazzi” but with a completely different format.

Recent tunes that have made a big splash in South Korea in the last few months or have just been released include “Syndrome” by Chocolat, “So Cool” by Sistar, “Top Girl” by G.na, “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk and “Step” by Kara.  Other tunes have also hit the streets of South Korea, Japan and much further afield.  However, these tracks stand out from an international point of view because of energy, connection and vibrancy.

“I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk was an instant success and the style, lyrics and video all came together.  The ending of the video is a little over dramatic but the scene of the body on the ground while holding a lady was a good touch.  If other tracks by Bang Yong Guk have the same energy and creativity then surely his career will bloom.

The track “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk would certainly appeal internationally because despite the dramatic scenes of the video the singer gives you “a raw street image.”

“Syndrome” by Chocolat impacted on the charts and was full of energy and will appeal to the market it is aimed at. Not the raw energy of Bang Yong Guk but clearly a different style of music and shouldn’t really compare. 

Clearly Chocolat have a bright future and “Syndrome” is a track which would do well in Japan. It will be interesting to see how these beautiful and talented ladies progress over the next twelve months because they have so much to offer and I can’t wait for their next track.

“Top Girl” by G.na was turned into a lovely track by this very elegant lady who sings with a lovely melodic voice.  Energy is one thing that all these tracks have and clearly K-pop is doing this to a T.

The track “Top Girl” itself was average with regards to the lyrics but G.na made it special because of her individualistic style and vibrant nature.  G.na is certainly adding to the K-pop buzz and long may she continue to bless the world with her talents.

“So Cool” by Sistar was a catchy tune but the video was a mismatch of energy, uncertainty of where it should go and then back to girl power.  Music wise, a track which will appeal because of the raw energy of the group and the sex appeal adds to the dimension because they are all stunning ladies.

I get the feeling that Sistar are about to reach new heights because they certainly have something special about them.  The track “So Cool” seemed to contain them in the video after reaching a high. Therefore, listening is where the power of the track belongs and these ladies provide such a positive image and work together elegantly.

“Step” by Kara had a great beat, lively lyrics despite simplicity, movement, vibrancy, and a strong connection with the listener who likes this style of music.  All ladies ooze power, energy, freedom and you can feel their passion when you watch the video or you can hear their love of music when you listen to the track.

Kara is a group which is widely respected in Japan and they project such a positive image of K-pop.

Overall, in the last few months you have had many fantastic tunes coming out of the K-pop scene and clearly not all the great tracks have been mentioned.  However, K-pop is rising and with so many groups and solo artists around then the future looks fantastic for “Korean cool.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5wO8ejwVRI “Top Girl” by G.na

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n “Step” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ucP3UhrhF8  Chocolat – Syndrome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrx5dWxcJ4  Bang Yong Guk – I Remember

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj3q0ZChgFE  Sistar – So Cool

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/04/korean-pop-music-continues-to-hit-the-heights-in-japan/   – Article highlighting K-pop by Modern Tokyo Times

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/22/kanstyle-magazine-to-open-up-south-korean-fashion-k-pop-culture-in-japan/ – Highlighting Kanstyle Magazine

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/27/kan-mi-youn-and-k-pop-new-powerful-song-to-be-released-on-sep-29/ – Kan Mi Youn

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 27, 2011

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beautiful and elegant Kan Mi Youn who is blessed with a lovely voice will release her new song on September 29.  A short preview of “Won’t Meet You” looks full of energy and vibrancy and the lady from South Korea will hopefully visit Japan in the near future. 

Kan Mi Youn is extremely talented and her song “Paparazzi” was a classic.  Full of energy from start to finish and with a catchy tune which hits you straight away.  If “Won’t Meet You” is anything like “Paparazzi” then it will be another fantastic tune.

However, knowing Kan Mi Youn it may even surpass “Paparazzi” because this music artist is very special. Also, with the growing appeal of K-pop in Japan then it will be interesting to see how “Won’t Meet You” fairs in the land of the rising sun.

The 30-second release certainly teases because the exquisite Kan Mi Youn plays three roles in the video.  Her characters apply to a stunningly sexy star and no acting was needed for this part and the other two images are a flash doctor and a quaint and estranged patient who still looks adorable. 

Her fans are counting the days before “Won’t Meet You” is released.  Appropriately her single “Going Crazy” is apt because many people are going crazy while waiting for her latest tune. 

“Going Crazy” was another lovely hit from Kan Mi Youn and for international lovers of music then this is one lady who appeals globally.  Kan Mi Youn is graceful, stunning, and bubbly.

Also, tracks like “Paparazzi,” and “Going Crazy” are buzzing with energy and backed-up by her lovely voice and stylish moves.  The videos express a lady who is in control and highlight a real gem.  Therefore, I know that “Won’t Meet You” will be another success because like the most delicious wine this young lady matures musically with each new song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.allkpop.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 19, 2011

Japan may send Ground Self-Defense Force engineers to assist South Sudan

Japan may send Ground Self-Defense Force engineers to assist South Sudan

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The new nation of South Sudan may witness Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) engineers to this newly declared nation state.  This move would be welcomed by South Sudan and would be a step in the right direction for the government of Japan. After all, it is clear that China is intent on mere exploitation of resources in Africa and it is in the interest of Japan to show this continent that they have genuine concerns and are willing to help at the highest level.

If Prime Minister Noda approves this it will greatly assist the United Nations peacekeeping operation and show the clear hand of friendship to political leaders in Juba.  South Sudan needs outside nations and agencies to assist this new nation state which faces an uphill struggle in many areas.

In the past the Khartoum Arab-Islamic dominated regime was responsible for millions of Africans being killed in southern Sudan. At the same time the brutal Khartoum regime turned against African Muslims in Darfur.  The leadership in South Sudan is greatly influenced by the binding force of Christianity but all southern Sudanese are pulling together in political circles irrespective of religion. Animism also remains strong in South Sudan and this new nation state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic.

PM Noda will likely announce that GSDF will help the United Nations in South Sudan during his visit to New York this week.  If, like expected, PM Noda does announce this noble act then it will show the international community that Japan is serious about helping nations which badly need support.

Japan clearly needs to step up its effort internationally because the “quietist policy” of the past did not serve this nation. Historical constraints must be brushed aside because Japan is democratic and a responsible nation state which gives economic assistance to nations throughout the world.

The Information Minister of South Sudan, Benjamin Marial, welcomed the news because he and other political leaders in this new nation need the support of the international community because the region remains volatile. This assistance would help to build the infrastructure and also highlight that Japan is a friend of South Sudan.

The professionalism, techniques, and skills of the GSDF would help South Sudan and show the political leadership that major powers throughout the world are concerned about this nation state.  Therefore, it is a win-win situation for all concerned parties.

Some divisions remain because of instability in the region and logistical factors which may hinder the operations of the GSDF. However, the Foreign Ministry in Japan believes that the venture is extremely important and it will highlight the new leader of Japan being serious about international affairs.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/english/index.html ABOUT JGSDF

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
September 17, 2011

Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a Stunning Cosplay lady from Mexico

Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a Stunning Cosplay lady from Mexico

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE) is a stunning cosplayer from Mexico and her astonishing looks means that this talented lady can play various classy characters with ultimate ease.  Not only this, but Veronica clearly loves Japanese cosplay and international cosplay and this can be seen by her diverse and exquisite images.

Veronica is from Mexico City and this elegant young lady will turn 26 years old on September 19.  However, despite her young age it is apparent that cosplay runs through her veins because Veronica first started doing cosplay eleven years ago.

This charming lady is extremely busy and she is also a cosmaker and does cosplay commission when time permits.  Veronica prefers to wear cosplay in a natural environment rather than enter contests.  This is a blessing in disguise for cosplayers who enter contests because Veronica with her elegance and style would certainly be challenging for number one spot.

Veronica is extremely articulate and her Alice in Wonderland image shows her stunning beauty and this is matched by a beautiful pose which melts the heart.

Mexican magazines have highlighted Veronica and this enabled many people to see a glimpse of her world and clearly her lovely features hit a chord. Veronica who is also a cosmaker is a perfect example of cosplay and how this art form is gracing the world.

Victoria Centeno (Cosplay Girl) was recently highlighted on Modern Tokyo Times and both Victoria and Veronica are a cut above.  This applies to elegance, style, panache and both ladies ooze sophistication and open-up a world where cosplay, modeling, art and class come together.

Veronica is also invited to important cosplay conventions and for more than 5 years this graceful and stunning lady travelled all over Mexico and participated as a guest and luckily for the cosplay world she will continue to bless conventions in the future.

Cosplay appeals to Veronica because she can play and enter the world of her favourite characters. Also, Veronica loves cosplay because it increases self-confidence and natural skills like sewing, crafts, and learning about other cultures, is part of the cosplay world.

Veronica also gets great satisfaction when people recognize her cosplay and appreciate all the hard work put into the costume, make up, visual image, intricate designs and entering the world of the character on show.  This, to Veronica, is much more rewarding than trying to win competitions.

This fact, and the emphasis by Veronica on meeting new friends with similar interests, and being a cosmaker, is ample evidence that this lady is a true cosplayer.

Veronica hopes one day to visit Japan in order to experience the “culture, history, traditions, architecture, beliefs, and legends.” Also, with Veronica’s stunning looks and images which focus on “cuteness” then kawaii culture and fashion in Harajuku would surely interest this elegant lady.

Modelling and photography also appeals to Veronica and clearly both suit this talented lady.  Veronica also describes her style as “cute” because nearly all of her cosplay is based on characters which are cute.

The readership of Modern Tokyo Times will certainly support Veronica when she says her style is “cute” but add a little more by stating “amazingly cute and elegant.”

Hopefully one day this charming lady will grace Tokyo and Japan because “cosplay is in her heart” and her love of knowledge means that Veronica is a special lady.

 

http://puchyslove.blogspot.com/ – Please visit Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

http://puchys.deviantart.com/ Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

https://www.facebook.com/PuchysLOVECosplay Veronica Jullian (PuchysLOVE)

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 15, 2011

Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly on his blog: Fukushima to Wakayama

Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly on his blog: Fukushima to Wakayama

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times  

Typhoon Talas

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks candidly and openly about his first week in office on his blog and he must be a little spellbound by the speed of events.  This does not only apply to being the new leader of Japan but to the reality of concerns at the moment.

PM Noda visited the disaster areas which were hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami and the sad legacy of the nuclear crisis which continues in Fukushima. Not only this, he also visited areas hit by the recent typhoon and saw the devastation at first hand.  All of this will have hit home to PM Noda the reality of the ongoing problems that many people face in Japan in areas hit by natural disasters. Also, in the case of Fukushima it is part “man-made” or fully “man-made” depending on your thinking but nature triggered this crisis and human failings added to the nightmare.

Therefore, the new leader of Japan could be forgiven if he thought he was in a war stricken country with so much devastation happening this year in Japan.  However, this is not the case because this is the reality of the potent forces of nature which have killed tens of thousands of people in Japan this year.

The new leader of Japan took office on September 2 and immediately he focused on understanding the “real needs” of people who have suffered so much.  On September 8 he visited Fukushima and this was followed by visiting Mie, Nara, and Wakayama, the following day and on September 10 the new leader of Japan visited Miyagi and Iwate.

During his visit to Fukushima he inspected TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the protective clothing will have brought home to him how brave the workers are and how loyal they are.  PM Noda commented that “The devoted efforts of the workers at the site are supporting this country.  With these feelings of appreciation, I encouraged the persons involved to the fullest extent of my power.”

PM Noda also witnessed how locals in Date are trying to decontaminate radioactive materials and on September 9 further funds were promised with the announcement of a 220 billion yen budget aimed at the decontamination of radioactivity. He also stressed the need for the central government to cooperate with local municipalities and to target this funding on areas which had been designated for evacuation.    

PM Noda also told the Governor of Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, that “Without the revival of Fukushima, there can be no revitalization of a vibrant Japan.” Yuhei Sato relayed important information and requests were stated in order to restore faith in Fukushima. It is also important for the central government to relate to local politicians and people who have been hit by this tragedy and this meeting was a good way to show the sincerity of the new Cabinet.

The visit to Mie, Nara, and Wakayama, on September 9 applies to the devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Talas. PM Noda commented that “I felt very poignantly the depth of the traces of the damage from Typhoon 12 and the horror of the concentrated heavy rain and landslides.  I instructed that, with lifesaving as the foremost priority, all-out efforts are to be made towards emergency countermeasures for this disaster, including the relief and rescue of the victims, that it is imperative to strive to grasp the situation of damage in a rapid and accurate manner, and that efforts are to be made with a sense of urgency, in cooperation with the related prefectural offices and local authorities.”

The prime minister also met Mayor Teramoto of Nachikatsuura who lost his daughter to the destructive typhoon and on September 9 his wife had still not been found. PM Noda was deeply impressed by Mayor Teramoto because while politicians are often lambasted you also see the human face and real bravery of individuals like Mayor Teramoto.

The following day took the prime minister to Iwate and Miyagi and in Rikuzentakata (Iwate) the leader of Japan saw the utter devastation that was created by the tsunami. In the fishing port of Kesennuma a more optimistic note was seen because the fishing sector is starting again and PM Noda commented that he “…could feel vitality towards reconstruction” and that “the critical issues for my Cabinet are recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami disaster, including bringing the situation at the nuclear plant under stable control.”  

The new leader of Japan is under no illusions about the problems that he and his Cabinet faces and he also appears to be more determined to focus on the debt issue.  The mass media in Japan is mainly unforgiving but the early steps by the new leader of Japan show compassion, sincerity, the need to listen to people on the ground and a call to collective responsibility.

http://nodasblog.kantei.go.jp/  – Prime Minister of Japan – Yoshihiko Noda’s blog 

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 14, 2011

Tokyo fashion: Jiyugaoka is trendy and a great place to relax

Tokyo fashion: Jiyugaoka is trendy and a great place to relax

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Tokyo is a state of the art mega-city and for fashion lovers you are spoilt for choice and outside the main names like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya, you have several quaint and stylish neighborhoods. This certainly applies to Jiyugaoka therefore in Tokyo this suburb is highly desirable for living or visiting for refined shopping and finding hidden gems. 

The atmosphere of Jiyugaoka is exquisite and it appeals to people of all ages because despite being busy, it is still much smaller than the well-known areas of Tokyo. Also, the buzz for people who adore fashion is that you can find gems while leisurely walking around.

In recent surveys for the best place to reside in Tokyo it is more than apparent that Jiyugoaka is high on the list and is either placed in top spot or in the top three depending on respective surveys.  Therefore, the reputation is very high and it is well deserved.

Fashion and shopping for other products is a joy in Jiyugaoka and you have roughly 1,000 shops in this leafy suburb.  Students and the younger generation are attracted because of this factor and the serene nature is where youth can forget about all the mundane problems of life. 

Also, this part of Tokyo is well-known for sweets and you have a plethora of places to eat and enjoy delicious cakes. The Jiyugaoka Roll Ya cake shop and Dalloyau are just two names that spring to mind and the Gataeu Opera at the latter named shop is scrumptious.

Another famous place is Sweets Forest and in this store you have so many dessert shops to pick from that you are simply spoilt for choice. Indeed, it is the variety and choice which makes this place so popular.

Or if you prefer a more Japanese theme then Kosoan is a place to visit and enjoy afternoon tea. The lovely Japanese garden at Kosoan makes your stay a joy and it is a lovely place to drink delicious tea and enjoy a nice afternoon lunch.  The Japanese garden is the icing on the cake and this is what is so nice about Jiyugaoka.

Alongside the stylish fashion boutiques you are spoilt for choice if beauty and care is an important priority.  This applies to Jiyugaoka providing many outlets which cater for beauty and you have a plethora of top notch hair salons, massage places, nail salons, esthetic salons and other shops related to beauty and health.

The boutiques are plentiful and the nature of the layout means that often you will find a new place that you missed the time before. Also, the independent nature of the shops is a pleasure and while browsing around you can soak up the atmosphere.

Jumpin’ Kiki and Beach Walk shops also remind you that this part of Tokyo is a family based area and these and other shops cater for children.  Therefore, all generations can enjoy the atmosphere, the nature of the shopping, independent boutiques, exquisite cake shops and the natural buzz of this sophisticated part of Tokyo.

Another major plus is that you have many nice bars and cafes whereby you can sit out in the fresh air and watch the world go by. In Tokyo this is a huge plus and adds to the ambience of Jiyugaoka. 

Therefore, irrespective if you are a Tokyoite or you are visiting Japan on holiday or staying for a short break. Jiyugaoka is well-worth a visit because of the elegant fashion, cake shops, café bars, beauticians, restaurants and quaint shops in this lovely suburb.

In Jiyugaoka you see the best of Tokyo and you have a suburb which appeals to different generations. Also, for people who adore fashion then you can enjoy browsing around and visiting independent stores which cater for many different tastes.

http://www.tokyo2seoul.com/Tokyo/Jiyugaoka  

http://sweets-forest.com/index2.php  

http://kosoan.co.jp /

http://www.jiyugaoka-rollya.jp/

http://www.tokyoworklife.com/discover_tokyo/006.html 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com