He is a cat, came from the future. He is blue, no ears, stands on two feet, loves dora-yaki and have a special four-dimentional pocket which there are any sort of gadgets from the future.
His name is Doramemon (ドラえもん). He was a yellow cat formed robot but one day, a mouse ate his ears and he turned into blue with fear. Since then, he is so scared of mice.
So although Doraemon is a cat, a cat form robot, he doesn't hunt any mice.
Nobita is a school boy who doesn't like studying and wimpy. Very wimpy.
Nobita is an absolute looser. He is always bullied by two kids, Gian and Suneo.
Gian is a big fat kid and quite violent, ahem, very violent for a primary school kid, I must say.
One of his phrase is "your things are mine and my things are mine too."
He's not physically strong so he's always with Gian. Yes, he's just a bum-bag. Also he's mean to Nobita.
Look, he's showing his collection of mini-cars and tells them that they can take any of those they like. But, not Nobita. "Because" Suneo says, "Nobita is not capable to remodel the car". Yes, kids are cruel, I know but how frustrating.
Is Doraemon just a pure dream of all the kids who used to be bullied at school?
Nobita is also not so clever. Doraemon once said to him "If entire Japan lows to your level, that's the end of the world!" I agree. I hope all Japanese guys don't be so wimpy although it seems like the number of herbivorous boys are increasing….
As Nobita is so wimp that even his goodess, Shizuka comes to save him. How embarrassing, really.
He's not the type I'd like to be a friend with at school.
Anyways, Doraemon was with my childhood. On Friday evenings, at 19:30 on channel 10. This has been on more than 25 years as far as I know. And even decades later, I still have moments I wish Doraemon was here.
In the four-dimentional pocket, Doraemon has everything and whenever Nobita is in trouble he takes out a special gadget from the pocket.
Here are some of my favorites which I dream I could have them, really.
When Doraemon takes a gadget out, he shout,
This is a little propeller made of bamboo and is actually a kids' toy. You hold the stick part in between two hands and rapidly rub it. The propeller spins and flies up in the air.
This takecopter's got an idea from this toy. Only the difference is you put this on the top of the head and you can fly.
They usually get out of Nobita's window.
This is "Honyaku Konnyaku" (Translator devil's tongue)
Devil's tongue taste quite fishy if it's not cooked and it seems like they bite it raw.
I don't know if I'd like that but just eating this a little, you can speak any languages. I won't complain for that.
With this, no more hard time of learning languages and I can go anywhere!
This is "Dokodemo Door" (Anywhere door) and this is I want the most.
Before opening the door, you tell the door where you want to go and open it. Here you are, you are there!
Fantastic. We don't need airplane anymore. I can drink as much as I want and I just bring this door to go home straight from the bar, hihi.
Even now, as adults, we talk about all these gadgets of Doraemon and say "oh, I wish I had this and that." Doraemon roots in Japanese' soul.
I guess this is so real. It's a little exaggerated but at school, there are wimpy boys, bullies and bum-bags. When we were small, we didn't know that life we had was only temporal and people could change. The life was cruel for wimpy kids and for the bullies, wimpy kids were just easy targets. And this life has been repeated for generations.
I lived and saw Doraemon world. Only difference was there was never be Doraemon. I can't tell you the ending of Doraemon, but the ending of the real world I lived turned out to be a little kind.
10 years later, a bully kid apologized to our Nobita. It was a quite shocking moment according to some friends who were there by accident. I wasn't. I didn't go to that reunion.
I heard that our Nobita accepted our Giant's apology, but as if it was nothing so important. I imagine that actually it was Giant who was suffering all those years but not Nobita.
In the TV, they are still primary school kids and Nobita still cries and asks Doraemon for a help. But we have all grown up. We still wishes the existence of Doraemon but also we watch it with some sort of nostalgia.
Here is a little bit of Doraemon from the first episode in case you've never seen it.
A Japanese construction company, Daiwa House Group revealed that there were unpaid salaries for overtime work for two years, between 2009 and 2010 to 40% of its employees.
And the amount was 3.2 billion yen.
There was an inspection done by the Labor Standards Inspection Office and they'd found out that there were many overtime work hours which hadn't been informed.
Daiwa House was saying that it was equivalent to about 6 to 7 extra houra a month for each employee. But this doesn't include the construction workers in the actual field. Also it's hard to imagine the company paid until 2008 and "some how" they forgot to declare these two years.
Officially, we can only work 40 hours a week in Japan and if the company needs thier workers to work overtime, they have to present certain document to the Labor Standards Inspection Office. This is for to protect employees…. in theory.
As most of us know, this doesn't function well. If they can not work officially, they hid it and it's called "service overtime work". What ever the law comes out, the reality doesn't change. If they have to stay, they stay and work.
This time, Daiwa House had a bad luck but it seems like the situation is more or less the same in any companies, and most of the time a family of the employees informs to the Labor Standards Inspection Office to save their husbands or fathers from obligated "service" overtime work.
I have once worked in a stock company. I knew it was tempporal and needed to save money, so I registered myself as a tempo stuff. They sent me to this stock company as a data imput.
The team I was located was small, there were about 10 girls and a boss. 6 of them were full-workers and there were two tempo girls, then me and another girl who stopped coming to the office in day 2…
Our "official" woking hour was 9 to 17:30. The first day and the second day, the girl who taught us work said to us to go at around 17:30. But I noticed that no one didn't seem to stand up or even started tidying up, including those two tempo girls.
When we left, no one didn't look at us but bowed their head only to show that they knew we were leaving. "Strange" I thought.
Look, my parents never worked at office or for a company. I wouldn't know how Japanese salary men worked. And there, for the first time, I saw it.
The day three, another tempo girl dropped. I knew she wouldn't come to the office because when we left the day before, she told me that the job was too difficult for her and she wouldn't complete what they expect. Hmm, she was a little slow but I just told her to relax and within a week, she'd get used to it. But she didn't show up, no one knew why, besides me and the person in charge was quite annoyed by that. The tempo office phoned our boss a little after that the girl had quit.
Anyway, I stayed. The job was boring, typing in enormous numbers which were actually the price of stocks the companies bought and sold. It was so enormous that I forgot it was actual money amount. After one hour of entering the numbers, the sum messed up and you have to do it again. They gave me a super calculator which you can sum up to billions. Sometimes you keep going back to calculate just to find out the missing 1 yen… Horrible…
17:30 came, no one told me to go. I started peeping others. No one moved, kept working as if it was still 11 o'clock in the morning. At 18:00, I poked one of the temp girls, Kato san. She looked a bit shocked.
"Kato san, why no one goes home?"
"We normally stay back" Kato san whispered.
"But until what time?"
"Well… normally they let us go around 19:30 or 20:00 but full-timers stay until late"
At 18:15 I stood up and went up to boss' desk and told him that I had to go because I have evening classes. He asked me if I had them every evening. I said yes and "unfortunately" I could only stayed until 18:00 the latest. He told me that he understood.
I left the building.
And went to the gym for a swim.
Later I became close to one of them and she told me that she was so tired despite of what she earned. They had no life outside of work. Sometimes they stay until 23:00 and even worked on Saturdays as a service overtime work. Just because the boss stays late or came to work. They check the timecard something around 20:00 to show officially they finished working and kept working.
Kato san told me that she couldn't go because she was scared that other workers might say something for not being a team worker, and she was a little jealous of me leaving earlier without any problems.
The curious thing is that if you leave earlier than others, no one will complain. But many people get that stage because of the tension runs through the office. They will send you a vibes of "why can you go when all of us are working?"
The silence pressure.
I ignored completely. The evenings were mine. I have a life.
After 8 months, I left Japan to London. It was my first and the last experience in Japanese office and I think it was enough. If any of those people who were working in that office, I'm sorry I lied. It's prescribed, isn't it?
Daiwa House can make nice adv like this. Hope soon no companies abuse their employees anymore under the name of "service" overtime work.
More Japanese behaviour
More Japanese costum
Basho was introduced to Haiku from Yoshitada. After the death of Yoshitada, he was even more into Haiku and at the age of 28, this future master of haiku dedicated his first haiku collection to Iga Tenmangu (伊賀天満宮) which is known as a Dios de literature and wisdom.
Shinkansen runs through Kyuushuu finally!
People were very excited, so was JR. BUT… a day before the opening, a big chaos happened in Japan, up north.
JR Kyuushuu no longer could celebrate this officially, however they started running.
And this is the advs. Very colourful and cheerful. I don't think they made this to cheer up Touhoku, it was just pure excitement and I think that's why I like it.
Kyuushuu is the last island of four main islands of Japan. It's the place where christianity first arrived, therefore, the first foreigner arrived. Nagasaki was the only place the merchants from Spain, Portugal and Holland could enter. It was the melted pot in Japan at that time. Tafel Anatomie (Ontleedkundige Tafelen in Duch) was brought in to Nagasaki and translated by a Japanese doctor, Genpaku Sugita (杉田玄白) and a Dutch scholar, Ryoutaku Maeno (前野良沢).
I've only visited a little of Nagasaki and Fukuoka. In Nagasaki, there were tram cars running across the city, the houses built on the steeps had terracotta roofs, which I didn't feel like I was in Japan unless they spoke.
In Kyuushuu, there are many Christians after the long battle. Actually I had a classmate from Kagoshima in university who was baptized Catholic. For me it sounded peculiar a Japanese who was born to be Christian, but if you think about the history, it's understandable.
This adv, somehow gives me an energy. I don't know who they are and I don't think they are all actors. They simply must be happy for this Kyuushuu Shinkansen. "One Kyuushuu"
There is a back story of this adv. When they finished making it, it was a film of more than two hours. Of course, they must've wanted to show all Kyuushuu and it's big. Then they cut here, cut there and reduced to 3 to 4 minutes. Still long for one adv though. So another selection was done and finally they made one minute adv.
However, they couldn't get rid of the rest. There are many versions available in Youtube. This is a 3 minutes version, Shinkansen starts from Kagoshima then going up to Fukuoka. It shows small villages, little towns, bigger cities, industories, farm and tall buildings.
I like to see the active volcano, Sakurajima in Kagoshima. I heard in Kumamoto, roof tile shokunin earn a lot as typhoons pass by Kumamoto so often. There are many spots related to Japanese old mythology in Miyazaki.
I don't know much about Kyuushuu.
Let's go to Kyuushuu.
Happy Easter and Feliz Semana Santa.
More about Japanese trains
As there is a table manner in western world, there is one in Japan. Especially the manner over chopsticks are numerous. This time I like to introduce the most major ones which actually I didn’t know the names. All the names end with “bashi” o “hashi” and these mean chopsticks.
Oden (おでん) is a one of Japanese typical winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as daikon radish (the creamish colour one at the front), processed fish cakes (the brown one at the back), kelp or boiled eggs cooked in a light soy based broth.
In different regions, ingredients are often changed.
First, just look and listen to this video.
It's a beautiful image and the sound. When it reaches this level, the word is no longer needed. In the last few days, I've been listening to this repeatedly. Just magnificent.
This is an ad for a new mobile phone "Touch Wood SH-08C" that Japanese mobile company, NTT Docomo was going to release in early March this year but with some problems they have in Japan, it had been on hold. But it seems like finally this is available in Docomo shops since the 6th of April.
This is a very organic bean shaped mobile which is made of hinoki tree.
Hinoki grows only in Japan, used for houses, furniture, ships or even sculptures. It has a special aroma and Japanese people like the smell of hinoki.
The design is very simple, it only has tree buttons for "talk", "lock" and "hang up".
The way sits in the hand is so beautiful.
With one touch, shortcut menu will show up.
It does look like those high-tech phones (we call smart phone in Japan) but it's not unfortunately.
This Touch Wood, you can change the setting depending on which hand user you are. Amazing.
Touch Wood is not iPhone nor Android, yet it costs 77,910 yen (about 647€) at the shop. Hmm, I think I prefer getting my offer of Black Berry Curve, perhaps… Oh, but it's so beautiful, isn't it?
Today, I found this new Japanese soft drink, Shouyu Saidaa (soy source soda). In the west of Japan, in between Honshu (the biggest island) and Shikoku (the smallest of four main islands of Japan), there is a little island called Shodo Shima (小豆島). This island apparently produces good soy source (shouyu/ 醤油or正油) and now one of shouyu company has made soda with soy source.
According to Takashi Hirose, a novelist who has written several books about nuclear power and the accidents related to nuclear, the benefit from the nuclear power plant is only for the politician who approved it, the muninciple of the town and the constractor.