Tag Archives: Japan

Korean Fall Harvest Festival: A Time for Food, Family, and Telling Japan to Passive-Aggressively Fuck Off

Republic of Korea Navy (대한민국 해군): Happy Chuseok (추석)/Hangawi (한가위)

The Republic of Korea Navy (ROK) wishes everyone a Happy Korean Harvest Festival. Also, eat dicks, Japan (via: https://www.facebook.com/ilovenavy)

Ah, Chuseok (추석), Korean Harvest Festival, a time for families to come together, honoring their ancestors, indulging in a plethora of  rice cakes, fruits, and other delights  of a bountiful harvest,  all while getting pissed on wonderful seasonal rice wines.

The ROK Navy would like to take this beautiful autumnal moment to extend their heartfelt well-wishes for a happy and joyous Chuseok (즐거운 한가위 되세요), evoking the beauty of this Asian fall festival through images of copious fruits ready for harvest on fall-colored tree branches (because, duh, autumn) and flying birds (Asians love Asian-y looking birds). Also, the ROK Navy would like to let everyone know, especially Japan, that during this joyous Chuseok: DOKDO IS KOREAN TERRITORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Chuseok, and stay ever-vigilant, friends, because you never know what those shifty Japanese might do while you’re drunk, full of mochi Korean mochi Songpyeon, and enjoying seasonal, Sumo Korean Sumo definitely NOT AT ALL related to Japan, Ssireum matches.

Because, Fuck It, I’m Shinzo Abe, Dammit

Japanese Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer Celebrates 2020 Tokyo Olympics Selection

Prime Minister Abe alluded to future Olympics conducted entirely on yet to-be-built Aircraft Carriers, editing his remarks to say “Helicopter Destroyers”  while making hand quotes, but continued: “Yeah, we’re gonna need a lot of those for the ‘Olympics’ (more hand quotes).”

Only days after Tokyo rallied to claim the International Olympic Committee’s selection to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined a massive new proposal to fully incorporate the Olympics as a major new cornerstone of his current economic initiatives.

Prime Minister Abe met with the press Thursday morning to outline his new philosophy.

“After winning this bid to host the 2020 Olympics, and analyzing the economic benefits and employment opportunities of such massive public spending, I, and by default, the Japanese government, have decided to move to a fully Olympics-based Economy” said Abe during his time outlining his new vision for the nation.

He proceeded to detail the major tenets of his new plan.

“For this new economic direction to succeed, we’ll have to win all future Olympic bids, both Winter and Summer. We will base our entire economy around building for, and conducting future Olympics. This will help to fuel massive public construction projects throughout our nation, allowing the government to pump money into area economies, creating jobs for all, and really cool buildings that look like the future. It’ll be just like the 1980s again, but better! Remember how cool it was when we just built airports everywhere without a care in the world? We’ll also challenge ourselves by setting the bar higher, sometimes randomly changing it up, like holding a Winter Olympics in Okinawa, or a Summer Olympics on reclaimed land we created just for that Olympics, possibly having an entire Olympics on the decks of a bunch of newly-minted Aircraft Carriers, or um, whatever you people are calling them, “Helicopter Destroyers (Hand quotes).”

Abe went further into auxiliary added benefits, such as doubling or tripling the nations mascot creation industry, currently the third largest industry in the nation, as well as the potential for a massive upward spike (pun intended) that continual international guests will bring to the Japanese Whore Economy (Nikkei: JWE),

While Abe’s new plan immediately awed the Japanese public, who have become experts at listening to anything that comes out of the Prime Minister’s mouth and believing it, some brash reporters, perhaps new to the job and not yet acclimated to the press club’s norm of avoiding tough, un-vetted questions,  grilled Abe on his new direction and its lack of international vision.

Abe responded to his critics with the same gleaming smile that won best in show during the IOC selection process. “Well, you see, we’re creating a highly skilled, events staff workforce, fully adept at running massive international functions. To stimulate global exchange, we’ll surely lend our honed Olympics-hosting abilities to other nations to kick-start their events. Our builders and logistics people can be cross-trained and sent abroad to assist with the soccer World Cups, Super Bowls, NBA All Star Week, and that silly World Cup of that sport that takes days per game and uses weird S&M bats.”

Abe’s ego may have become as bloated as his ever-rising approval rating, and some are beginning to believe that he has superpowers or mind control abilities, skills that apparently translated well to his dealings with the IOC.

In off-the-cuff remarks after his main presentation on Thursday, Abe walked directly amid the crowd of reporters, fielding questions like either Jesus or an American talk show host, assisting and reviving at least two reporters who fainted in his presence, and passing out onigiri rice that appeared magically from his hands to hungry journalists,  all while casually delving into more of what spurred him towards his new economic model.

Boardwalk Empire Napkin Scene

The Genesis of a New Path for Japan (Pic via: http://www.uproxx.com/tv/)

“Yeah, I told the IOC there were no problems at all with that whole Fukushima disaster and they completely bought it! I didn’t even frame it as “for Tokyo,” I just told ‘em it wasn’t a problem AT ALL! Who knew you  could just clear an entire mess like that by just saying it wasn’t an issue? During that final coffee break I pointed out that Istanbul’s a disturbing mess of weird, potential secular terrorists and that Madrid is perennially a hive of unemployed wasters, but that was all just icing on the cake. After we won, during a day or two of prostitutes and binge drinking to celebrate, I thought it would be cool if we could just keep this train rolling forever. So I drew some shit on a napkin in some snack bar at like 5am and handed it to Taro Aso. The rest is history.”

And so Japan charts a bold new path on the global economic stage, the post-modern, Olympics-Based Economy.

99 Logos and a Bitch, Each One

Japan Next Logo

Well, there it is, Japan’s new logo “to be used by Japanese agencies and corporations around the world to promote Japanese culture embodying the idea of Cool Japan.”  After reviewing some 99 entries, the pencil pushing desk jockeys on the Committee to Waste Japan’s Time finally waded thru the apparent complete dearth of ideas and creativity to select this stunning little piece on my left here, courtesy of Kashiwa Sato (whose site melts my fucking brain). Mr. Saito obviously took his inspiration from looking in the mirror every day:

Kashiwa Sato is Japan NextWhile the mind boggles at how there could have been 99 entries worse than this one, I’m willing to roll with it if we perhaps fine tune what we’ve already got. As such, let me propose a few edits and recommendations:

Japan Next Anime Hair

JAPAN: STILL RIDING ANIME

If you want to use your “Cool Japan” or “Japan Next” logo to promote wacky Japanese culture and you’re not going to use school girls and tentacle rape, you might as well give your logo some cool anime spikey hair. Just a slight turn, as seen on the right here, takes Sato’s logo from ungodly conventional and pedestrian to “the Naruto of shitty logos.” You could even put one of those toilet bowl swirlies in the middle of it to make anime fans all cream their pants.

ADDED BONUS: The logo highlights the one disaster that hasn’t destroyed Japan this past year. Japan has not been bombarded with meteors or asteroids……….yet………..

Japan Next Logo Backwards

JAPAN: OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY

On the left, you’ll see an edit to Satos’s logo that more adequately reflects Japanese aesthetics.  I was wondering why the initial logo reflected a Western “left to right” model of forward progression when the majority of Japanese books, magazines, manga, and other materials tend to start from the right and progress to the left.

ADDED BONUS: For Western eyes, this logo better explains the actual progession of the Japanese political system and economy.

Japan is Melting

JAPAN MELTING

Finally, on the right, I believe we have the best possible way to sell Sato’s yawn-inducing logo and assure that it brings peoples’ thoughts back to Japan.

This logo will let the world know that despite being forgotten by the entire media of the world, Japan isn’t going anywhere “Next” at this moment, still dealing with a MASSIVE NUCLEAR WASTELAND, giant cleanup, destroyed industries, corrupt corporations still fucking the populace, an inept government, stale economy, apathetic people, and a complete and utter loss in prominence of all the stuff they try to sell to the world as “Cool Japan.”

RANDOM ASIDE: During the creation of #Quakebook there was a great deal of Western-guilt debate on using the Japanese “Rising Sun” icon in any other way than in its original form, for fear of offending the Japanese people, to the point where logos for the book were rearranged and reworked. I suppose this was all silly Western political correctness, as it’s readily apparent that the J-gov couldn’t give too fucks about mucking around with their countries symbology.

Maybe it only hurts when foreigners do it.

As a final note, my favorite logo idea can be found here at Politicomix, which would scare the the Dukboki straight out of Korea and their completely irrational fear of “Fan Death.” That’s a ballsy stance I could really get behind.

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Craig is currently a freelance writer whose works appear on his two blogs (here and here), as well as occasional pieces on Japan and ESL for Language House. He fashions himself as something of a humorist, with a passion for social media, international politics, technology, beer, Asia, New Jersey, the Pacific Northwest (Seattle-ish), puppies, both Footballs, and pizza. He can be found ranting about all of the above and more via Google+ and Twitter.

I Vow to Ride This Shitty White Whale into the Ground

I stand here before you today as the newly elected Prime Minister of Japan. I’m not sure how this actually happened. The other day I was pissing off South Korea, taking a non-Japanese war criminal stance even though I once thought they were kinda/maybe war criminals, and before that, I was doing a pretty ho-hum job as a finance minister, mostly just coming away with a well arranged pencil case and a big pile of potentially important paperwork I never finished.

If I had to describe myself as an ice cream flavor, I’d pick vanilla. Vanilla doesn’t scare anyone. It’s not threatening. I’m not going to jumble your senses. I’m not going to stir the pot. I’m just going to keep on being vanilla. Don’t think there will be any real vanilla beans in me either. That would be overpowering. I’m just regular vanilla, made with fake vanilla flavoring, the way Japan likes it.

I guess I got this job because people hate Ozawa. He’s more of a mint ice cream with peanut butter chunks. The public is always interested in his outlandishness, but his flavor is so divisive and repulsive that they fear actually trying him. He could also be Neopolitan, but only after the vanilla is gone. Neopolitan ice cream is weird. Americans like that kind of ice cream, but to me, it offers too many choices and ideas and an unbalanced mix of tastes.

I promise to just phone things in here, and ride the status quo like those before me.  Judging from the 1970s-era microphone array in front of me, the public wants Japan moving backwards. As such, I’m happy to oblige.

I may or may not have my hand in various tills. Who really knows, right?

I vow to ride this shitty white whale of an economy and a nuclear disaster into the ground. Whales can’t live on the ground. Then we can either eat it or not eat it, depending on what you think would be best, because again, I wouldn’t want to stir the pot with any wild decisions.

Thank You,

Yoshihiko Noda

 

PS: Not only am I boring, but I look like a mudfish or an eel! Use that endlessly in articles on me!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Providing Man-Solutions Since 1980

There are certain instances in time that a man never forgets…

They’re locked into his head as “man moments” for all eternity. He’ll fondly recall them often and without prompting, over and over again for the duration of his lifetime, likely expecting his feats to be carried down as oral legends on through to future generations.

Over two thousand years ago, these moments  would have been something akin to Alexander the Great breaking the back of the Persian Empire at Gaugamela. Now, they’re more likely to be finding a quick route to a party around massive fourth of July fireworks traffic (WHICH I totally did in 2002 by parking across the Sea Bright bridge in the Holy Cross parking lot, walking across the bridge to the fireworks on the beach, catching them, hiking back over the bridge, hopping in the car and taking the back route via Seven Bridges Road to get to my friend’s party in Long Branch in 20 minutes instead of the TWO HOURS it took anyone else to make it to the party. IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!).

I bring this up because I’m currently being put to my greatest man challenge of all time. The wife, having existed in the world of Japan for most of her life, is now trying to adapt to life in the States. I’m constantly posed with problems that require on-the-spot man solutions.

The Creepy Mexican Marionette Puppet Clown thing is a warning to those that might seek to pilfer the soccer ball from the vent

Perhaps my crowning achievement was my solution to the air conditioning problem yesterday. In our transitional period, we’re staying with my ‘rents, who love a constant stream of cold air at a temperature that would kill most Japanese people.

The wife was slowly dying, so we taped the vent shut, closed the door, and opened the windows to the hot and humid world outside, allowing her to live like a shut-in hikikomori in relative comfort, packing on Mt. Everest expedition winter gear for journeys to kitchen and bathroom.

But alas, the tape was no solution.  Condensation was gathering on the tape and dripping down the paint, an event that would drive my mother, a member of the Martha Stewart Army of Perfect Household Percetion, completely insane.

What were we to do?

Like the great Alexander, it was time to put up or shut up. While my dad unscrewed the vent and peered at it in desperation, wondering how equilibrium could be achieved between two womens’ warring viewpoints, we were starring at defeat without a single solution to save us.

That was when I saw it…

Recently unpacked and laying on the ground, was my magical soccer ball, sitting there, waiting for its epic glory, a perfect sphere. The vent was cylindrical. Like two pieces of something important, I looked to the circular vent hole and back at the spherical soccer ball.  Then, like a two-year old sticking cylinder shapes in the cylinder holes and triangle shapes in the triangle holes, I quickly (and without a lot of practical thought) picked up the soccer ball and jammed it in the vent.

I struck a pose like Napoleon standing upon a mountain of victory.

Due to the beauty of physics and scientific shit, we later kinda guessed that the air in the ball was the perfect buffer between the warm, humid air and the cold air coming from the vent. I can’t say I really thought about that at the time, but I will say I’d thought of it in future re-tellings of this tale (Hint: Eventually the vent will be a tiger’s mouth).

The wife is now marginally surviving her borderline hikikomori life, the mother is kind of, somewhat able to deal with the vent not being on the wall, and Alexander the Great can eat a dick, cause I’m fucking amazing!!!!

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

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I’ll certainly be telling this story when I’m an 85-year old Alzheimer’s patient to a male nurse named Eduardo in a rest home somewhere in Florida or Arizona. He’ll nod in feigned-approval, knowing it’s best to just let me release some steam, and at at least it’s not the fucking fireworks story for the 1,000th time or telling him they’re secretly poisoning my soup again. It’s best never to get involved in affairs regarding old people and soup.  It never really ends well….

An Intricate Look into the Mind of a Japanese Politician (AKA: You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round, Like a Record, Baby, Right Round, Right Round)

Japanese Political Decision Making Wheel

When Arrow Lands Between Sectors, Take Limo to Park, Lure Homeless Man into Limo, Clean Him Up, Secretly Trade Lives (click to zoom)

Neon-Pink Enlightenment & Mad Sea Captains

Eastward Expansion

She tried as hard as any of them to win the war and she picked her battles well…

It was the late eighties or early nineties, all the kids hanging out on the beach sporting jams and loud neon colors. I rocked a crazy neon pink shirt scattered with random newspaper clippings about surf heights and how ‘gnarly’ the waves were. There were a few curses words hidden on it, making it the epitome of cool in my little 10-year-old universe.

I was a little righteous bad-ass.

My bad-assery was short-lived though, mom taking it upon herself to destroy and deflate any illusions of coolness.

She pointed to one headline on the shirt, “Mom was right…”

There it was, clear as day, a headline positioned over my heart like she’d bought me slavery apparel. From then on, whenever she saw me in the shirt, she nodded and smiled, throwing it out there again, hoping to let it sink into my brain and grow like she was on-boarding me to a household corporate culture.

I continued to rock the shirt, trying to ignore the tiny headline, hidden among all the other lines scattered about the shirt, but whenever returning from the mischievous adventures of any average ten-year-old  she was always there to remind me again:

“Mom was right…”

…And so the battle raged, her first volleys having damaged my ship, but my imminent teenage cannons eagerly prepping for return fire.

As a college student I ran off to Colorado to free myself from the reigns, to find my independence, strike it rich like all the other American vagabonds that head west for some perceived notion of enlightenment.

In an ironic twist of fate, Colorado was exactly where she’d run from New Jersey to blossom too…

I found myself a few year later at what might be considered an adult, still trapped under parental funding to aid medical insurance, something akin to a second rent, but with shitty levels of care. I gotten to the point where I couldn’t make ends meet and couldn’t exist in the world I’d grown up in without parental help and they were far to slow to remove themselves from the equation as their own parents might have.

Somehow, despite the distance, the strings were still attached. I’d need to quit the word I’d grown up in.

I cobbled together a plan with the girl (at the time). She was stuck in the same boat, our silly little coddled generation. We’d run away together like a Bruce Springsteen song and strike it rich on our own in Asia. The west had failed to enlighten us, but the far east could surely solve our woes.

I brought my hammer down upon the chains and shattered them, running fast and deep for Asia. We didn’t all make it over here, the girl needed to find her own path to enlightenment and I lost her somewhere along the way, keeping my rudder pointing east like a mad captain Ahab (or west-i-er, if you pay attention to flight patterns and don’t fly Emirates).

I washed up upon these shores without much knowledge of the place. I’d thrown a dart at a map with some relation to the ex (Korea, but edited for better surfing opportunities…and never tell a Korean they’re somewhat related to Japan).

Some come here as dedicated otaku, ready to bask in anime and maid-cafes. Some men come here for the pussy,  seemingly possible for even the most hapless foreigner. Others come here for a quick dose of how the other half (of the world) lives.

I came here to escape mom and make my own way.

My first memories of Japan are getting angry at the toilet for shooting me in the face with water. I’m often intensely crabby about the whole place, but the whole thing, the whole 4 years (as of last week) have been my own. It’s been 100% mine, the trials, tribulations, insanity and joy have all been my creation, no strings attached…

…And it all started with a pink neon shirt…

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