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Fun / foon Tokyo
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Japanese 'maneki-neko' , or beckoning cat is full of pooh
Topic: Japanese life

"An employee of Disney Store Japan shows off Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals dressed in 'maneki-neko', or beckoning cat"

Posted by trek/taro at 4:27 PM JST
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taro friends
Topic: Me
My friends are more fun than this site....

Rob Pongi's lovechild,
Mo Kin
If that don't float your boat, there's always....

Today is ARSON DAY!
Topic: Japanese life


You folks in the Real World you still have time to celebrate March 29th:
ARSON DAY! when my favorite J-babe of all time, Yaoya Oshichi, started the Great Fire at Sugamo Temple.

Posted by trek/taro at 8:50 AM JST
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004
An amazing 10% of Japanese teachers can speak engRish
Topic: Japanese life
English teachers lack language skills, survey says
Yomiuri Shimbun / March 30

Only about 10 percent of public middle school teachers and 20 percent of public high school teachers have passed the Practical English Proficiency Test at pre-first level or higher, according to a survey by the Education, Science and Technology Ministry.

Posted by trek/taro at 2:05 PM JST
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Let's LOMO lucky!
Topic: Me
LOMO Climax Party
Sunday March 28, 2004
See: Let's LOMO lucky!Transendental LOMOtext
My car is charming texttext

See the entire Photolog at
tarotokyo photolog

Posted by trek/taro at 10:56 AM JST
Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 2:08 PM JST
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KILLER DOORS attack and kill thoughout Japan!
Topic: Japanese life

Boy dies after being stuck in revolving door in Tokyo
More... (Kyodo) TOKYO, Japan ....

My comment: These are no ordinary revolving doors, that you push but rather huge, compartments turned by a motor that fit up to 8 persons.
According to TBS TV news this morning (March 29), there have been 59 REPORTED cases of these powered doors attacking people.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:23 AM JST
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Monday, March 29, 2004
Japan's Dead Zone
Topic: Japanese life
Spreading ocean "dead zones" top list of threats at UN environment forum
Kyodo / Monday March 29, 1:54 PM
So-called "dead zones," oxygen-starved areas of the world's oceans that are devoid of fish, top the list of emerging environmental challenges, the United Nations Environment Program warned Monday ...
Dead zones have long afflicted the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, but are now spreading to other bodies of water... appearing off South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand....

Posted by trek/taro at 3:53 PM JST
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Sunday, March 28, 2004
Get eikaiwa "certifiable" for $295, hee, hee
Topic: adviceS
Schools around the world need you to teach English
Teach abroad for only US$295 | CAD$400
Online TEFL Course
A cutting-edge and convenient way to learn the latest TEFL methodology utilizing modern technology.
* Learn a transferable skill that?s in great demand
* Gain confidence and increase your versatility
* Fund your travels to exciting locations
* Embark on a fulfilling new {FG} experience

Posted by trek/taro at 12:59 PM JST
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Akebono is a cheater
Topic: Japanese life
210cm, 350+kg Akebono vs 185cm, 110kg Musashi... guess who wins?
Feast your eyes.

Akebono pile driver beats on the head of Musashi and is red carded in the 2nd Round. Restarts the 2nd Round with meaningless weak hits at Akebono fat. The 3rd Round has Akebono SLOWLY walking around and Musashi gamely neko punching fat.

Decision: Musashi wins on points 'cause Akebono is a cheater.

I guess Akebono had to figure out a way to lose since he was winning against a Japanese, hee, hee,
Musashi, Japan's K1 Champion VS Akebono
See the results posted on the official site at

K-1: Former yokozuna Akebono bites dust again in K-1 fight

Saturday March 27, 8:42 PM

Former sumo grand champion Akebono lost his second straight bout since making his K-1 debut last year when he was defeated by Musashi in a unanimous decision in the K-1 World Grand Prix in Saitama on Saturday evening.

Pix via Nekobaba

Posted by trek/taro at 11:00 AM JST
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Saturday, March 27, 2004
Japanese ladies love lushes
Topic: Japanese life
Note this picture is from the Wasada University famous "Super Free" drinking/rape club.
Women teed off by teetotalers
(Mainichi and wire reports, March 27, 2004)
Young Japanese women are almost 10 times more likely to prefer a boyfriend who drinks than one who abstains from alcohol, according to a survey by brewer Takara Holdings Inc.
Takara's survey found that 60.6 percent of women in their 20s or 30s wanted a boyfriend who boozed as opposed to just 6.6 percent who preferred he either didn't drink or was easily intoxicated.

Posted by trek/taro at 11:46 PM JST
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Stargate found at Tokyo Dome!
Topic: Japanese life
For more details about the Tokyo Dome Stargate...

Posted by trek/taro at 2:46 PM JST
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"DANGER! DANGER! Will Robinson"
Topic: Japanese Tech

See the Japanese video of our new Robot Overlords here at
Click on the link that says QT6_format or wmf_format
This above picture is via the English article at

See also the description in my my Japanese blog.

Posted by trek/taro at 1:58 AM JST
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Friday, March 26, 2004
Czech it out!
Topic: Japanese life

See the full-size picture and comments on the site........For the first time since they've been keeping records of these things, 4 highest division sumo wrestler enter today, the 12th day of the current Spring tournament in Osaka....<

Posted by trek/taro at 3:34 PM JST
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Get ChipsCan 2004
Topic: Japanese life
get chips can
"GET chipscan 2004," the Japanese solution!All your chips and drinks in one huge can.

Posted by trek/taro at 2:30 PM JST
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Tokyo SkyPerfecTV schedules for April
Topic: FAQ

AXN Ch 725

LaLa TV Ch 372

Sex in the City is now playing

Super Channel Ch 360

Discovery Ch 321

Cartoon Network Ch 726

BBC Ch 252 oddly Japanese only???
I guess add +9 hours to GMT on the British schedule

and oh yeh, farking FOX Ch 722 is Japanese only

Posted by trek/taro at 1:44 PM JST
Updated: Friday, July 30, 2004 4:12 PM KDT
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Tokyo courts, bah!
Topic: Media
Last week, the Tokyo District Court ordered a publisher not to distribute the magazine with an article about the divorce of the daughter of former prime minister Tanaka. The Court called it an "invasion of privacy." However, 740,000 of the 770,000 copies printed had sold like hotcakes. Now the Yahoo eBay price is 2,000yen per copy about $18!
Tokyo court bans weekly's publication over Tanaka's daughter
Kyodo / Wednesday March 17, 12:30 AM

The Tokyo District Court has issued a temporary injunction banning the publication of Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine which had planned to run in its latest issue a story about the eldest daughter of House of Representatives member Makiko Tanaka, the daughter's lawyer said Tuesday....
In its March 25 issue to be published Wednesday, the popular weekly, published by the Tokyo-based Bungei Shunju Ltd., planned to run what it calls an "exclusive scoop" on Tanaka's eldest daughter.
According to her lawyer, the story says that the daughter got married despite her parents' fierce opposition and divorced after only one year and returned from Los Angeles....
Her parents are Tanaka and her husband Naoki. Tanaka, the daughter of the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, is widely known as an outspoken politician and has served as foreign minister.

Notice how this story fails to name the "daughter" who is the secret love-child of Makiko-chan and Taro. Maybe she doesn't have a name.

Court halts weekly over story on Tanaka daughter

Posted by trek/taro at 1:35 PM JST
Updated: Friday, March 26, 2004 1:50 PM JST
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Wal-Mart in Japan
Topic: Japanese life
Sorry, but just this once I'm gonna NEKOBAKA this entire article, FAIR USE because nobody is reading this blog. It will be removed by 10pm March 26 Tokyo time.
Japan: The American Revolution
Thu Mar 25, 6:33 PM ET

Full text--
Wal-Mart's entree into Japan is Seiyu, the country's fifth-largest grocer, a 400-store chain with $8.9 billion in sales. When it agreed to sell Wal-Mart a 6% stake, the company was nearly bankrupt and had little to distinguish itself from its competitors, says Seiyu President Masao Kikuchi. Two years later it still seems to be struggling. Revenue fell 17% as it posted a loss of $65 million in 2003. Walk around a Seiyu store and you will be hard-pressed to notice any difference from before.

Look closer, though, and you see a revolution in the works. Fifty-three Wal-Martians have converged to move Seiyu's point-of-sale and inventory tracking systems over to the standard Wal-Mart setup. It will take three years for them to switch over all 400 stores, and then they'll move on to Seiyu's distribution centers. Store managers will know how many items of each individual brand were sold, how many are on the shelf and how many are in the warehouse.

The future of Japanese shopping as Wal-Mart sees it lies in the Futamatagawa store, near Yokohama. First, the company moved most general merchandise upstairs and put all the food onto the first floor. The entrance has been turned into a wide, inviting funnel crammed with fresh fruits and vegetables. A greeter hands out baskets to arriving customers and answers questions. Wal-Mart has made the elevators to the parking lot big enough to hold shopping carts and has radically increased the number of cash registers. Sales of food at the store are up 50% from last year.

But not everything is going according to plan. On the second floor, even though clothing prices have been cut by 20% as generics replaced brand items, sales have fallen 10%. The Japanese, apparently, like their brands. Still, overall revenue at the Futamatagawa store has risen 17% since Wal-Mart made its changes.

The real challenge for Wal-Mart will be dealing with the convoluted and opaque Japanese distribution system. Realizing that many manufacturers will sell only through their traditional wholesalers, Wal-Mart has decided to work with them when necessary and help educate them in how to cut their own costs. To wean suppliers away from middlemen, Wal-Mart holds out the carrot of access to its 5,000 outlets around the world. At the same time it's trying to encourage Seiyu buyers to turn to Wal-Mart's global partners like Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Kellogg.

Wal-Mart is learning from Seiyu, as well. Its systems will have to adapt to the rigor of Japanese shoppers, many of whom can tell just by tasting a piece of fish whether it has ever been frozen; prices can drop five times a day as the fish ages.

Posted by trek/taro at 1:19 PM JST
Updated: Friday, March 26, 2004 1:20 PM JST
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Hitachi ruins the worldwide launch of the iPod-mini
Topic: Japanese Tech
iPod mini
iPod Mini was released Feb in USA and in April Worldwide
Arrrg, I needed to get a cheap second iPod with recording functionality for Mrs Taro and now they will neither ship to Japan nor sell a jPod-mini here.

Global iPod mini launch delayed
Apple delays the global launch of its popular iPod mini by three months due to US demand.

BBC / 25 March.
...reports of shops being out of stock and a thriving export trade on eBay...Greg Joswiak, Apple's VP of Hardware Product Marketing, told BBC News Online that...the problem lies with the miniature hard disc drive at the heart of the iPod mini: Apple is buying all the stock of drives as fast as Hitachi can manufacture them. "We're actually consuming just about all the 4GB, one-inch drives they make. As they make more, we'll get more," said Mr Joswiak.

Farking Hitachi, go figure.

Posted by trek/taro at 11:34 AM JST
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"Clone Wars" in Japan
Topic: Media

Star Wars: Clone Wars

(Episodes 11-20)
Begins March 29 (Mon.)
Every Mon. thru Fri. 19:00-19:05, 24:30-24:35
Star Wars: Clone Wars continues the saga where the live action feature film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones left off - at the beginning of the Clone Wars....
Cartoon Network Japan, Clone Wars info
On SkyPerfecTV Channel 726 Or read my foul Japanese site were my insane provider, Jens Spinnet, tries to ban English from personal blogs. Sheesh.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:39 AM JST
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US pet/spouse visas
Q: How long does it take a Japanese to get spousal visa's for work in the States?

For a US spousal visa, see
Best amount of time is 3 weeks.
Worst time amount of time is 8+ months.
Average time amount of time is about 3 months.

BOTTOM LINE: Always plan ahead.

The smart idea is to apply for the "pre-entry" spousal visa, the " I-130 petition", get the pre-approval, then hold on to the pre-approval papers till the time they are actually needed: "after an immigrant petition is approved, can the foreign relative start the second step".

"U.S. military personnel and American citizens who are long-term residents of Japan do not need to appear at the Embassy and are strongly encouraged to send in their I-130 petitions by mail. "
Find your exact situation and choose the proceedure here

Posted by trek/taro at 9:02 AM JST
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