A Japanese company that began life as a renowned temple builder has gone bankrupt. Not so unusual, except that this company, commissioned by the Japanese royal family, when Buddhism was becoming popular in Japan, began building temples in 578 AD.Continue Reading No Comments
This car show is held in Tokyo once every two years. In the most recent one, there were 42 world debuts of either improved models of existing cars like the Prius, or else concept cars, some very futuristic. Though many of the manufacturers represented at this show were Japanese, there was a strong showing by Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Peugeot and many other foreign manufacturers.Continue Reading No Comments
In November, a wooden ship with seven decomposed bodies in it was found floating off the coast of the Japan Sea. It was spotted by fishermen in the strait that separates Korea and Japan.Continue Reading No Comments
Climb Mount Fuji,
But slowly, slowly!
(Haiku by Kobayashi Issa)
There’s a well-known Japanese proverb that says, “A wise man will climb Mt Fuji once; a fool will climb Mt Fuji twice.” I have just returned from climbing Mount Fuji for the second time. Why did I do it again? Mainly to get photos for this website. Here’s the story; first a little background (the next two paragraphs below are taken direct from my book ‘Fukushima and the coming Tokyo earthquake: and what it will mean for a fragile world economy’). Buy it and learn lots, grasshopper.
You could say that Japan has five seasons. From June 10th or so to mid/late July is the rainy season when, though it is warm, the cloud cover and frequent rain keeps the temperatures in the low twenties. After that, the temperature and soars and the humidity is very hard to take, no matter how long you’ve lived in Japan. It’s a bit like being in a sauna with your clothes on, and nights are only marginal easier to take than daytimes. Many of my friends head off to Europe for August to escape what one of my friends calls, “the blast furnace”.Continue Reading No Comments