Haiku reflections on Japan, International or other matters

Takei-n action

It’s April Fools Day

But I have to say that I

would trust George Takei …


.. if he’s serious about running for Congress in his state of California.  I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.  Other actors/celebrities who have been a lot less likeable – whatever about knowledgeable – have gone for politics and this guy, in contrast, is very likeable and knowledgeable.

Like other on-line comments I’ve read, if it’s true I’d nearly move to the US just to vote for the guy.

Well, April Fool’s Day or not, he should go ahead with it.  I won’t say anymore in case it’s a joke.  But I hope it’s not him takei-n the piss.  He’s got a very good sense of humour but I don’t think he’d joke lightly about this.

Elsewhere, Japan is getting ready to take on North Korea for all that missile launching they’ve been carrying on with, in Japan’s – way too close for comfort – direction. As it’s actually self-defence they have a right to do so and there is no threat of changing the constitution to allow it.   And Japan should stand up for itself, with or without the help of the US (I wonder what George Takei thinks of that). I just hope that it does not lead Japan down a dangerous path as there are way too many right-wingers in Japan who would take the chance to change the constitution and become all-out aggressive again.   Shinzo Abe as I’ve said before is quite the militarist himself.

Haiku reflections on Japan, International or other matters

Amour et paix

Hiroshima mon

Amour’s vibrant light did shine

to a good old age


Emmanuèle Riva, the French star of Hiroshima mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais), has passed away at the age of 89.  While she has been in more recent films, and theatre also, the only other film I have seen her in was Amour (2012), where she played an elderly woman in physical and mental decline who is cared for by her devoted husband.  Her role earned her an Oscar nomination at the age of 85, the oldest to date for an actress. Jean-Louis Trignant and Isabelle Hubbert co-starred in that film as her husband and daughter and both were also excellent.  I remember that film as one of the most moving films I’ve ever seen.

Hiroshima Mon Amour, with Eiji Okada playing her lover, as I’ve mentioned here before, was excellent and in a time of increasing nuclear danger around the world, it’s timely to remember it again.

Speaking of World War II, I happen to have recently seen The Wind Rises, a studio Ghibli animated film about the man who built the spitfire plane for the Japanese military in World War II.  The version shown that I had recorded was dubbed in English and so one day I set down to watch it.  It cut off prematurely just a half hour away from the end of the film which was really annoying but just by pure chance, the same channel showed it again just last week, this time in Japanese with English subtitles (as I prefer to watch it) so I recorded it again.  I’m hoping to watch it right through this time.   I must say I had presumed the character to be an unpleasant militaristic nationalist but he is portrayed as a very normal fair man who just happened to have been hired to build this plane as he was renowned for his engineering know-how.    I’ll sit down and watch it again in a while.

A documentary shown on the same channel about the Ghibli production studio also aired last night but I recorded it as it was on too late (more the early morning than the night – why? Who knows).   It refers specifically to The Wind Rises and another animated film of Ghibli’s, so who knows we might find out more about this character.

Things are pretty heated over in the US at the moment with nationalism of a different type and an equally scary type to that in Germany and Japan in World War II.   Actually, even scarier considering how much the free world is supposed to have moved on.   Trump must not be allowed get away with this ban, mainly directed at seven particular muslim-majority countries,  even if he does have republican control of the White House.   It’s crazy over there and very frightening undoubtedly for the immigrants trying to get into the country and for all legal and illegal immigrants of any nationality already over there.  Bravo to the various city leaders and others who have defied his ban thus far, but there is a lot more to be done.

Haiku reflections on Japan, International or other matters

Happy new year 2017

Less earthquakes, poor weather

more gems in cinema and

happy blog writing


Well, 2017 is fast approaching, just less than half a day left for me here but just a couple of hours away for Japan.   How amazing it would be to celebrate New Year’s in Tokyo.  I might try for next year.  Apparently, the countdown is going to be a second or more longer this year to ensure that world clocks match up with atomic clocks.  Sounds odd to me but I guess we have to make sure those atom seconds aren’t running ahead of us!  It will be odd for people who don’t know of this – they might be thinking ‘hey that was way too silent why isn’t everyone celebrating! Oh ok here we are!’

Speaking of silence, I’m re-reading the novel by Shusaku Endo and am finding it as brilliant as when I read it first.  The film Silence is coming out tomorrow in the UK and Ireland so I’ve got that in my diary to go and see.

Glad to see Shinzo Abe made his visit to Pearl Harbour.  That went as expected.   I saw an interesting documentary this week on a British television channel, known for good quality and credible documentaries, alleging that Pearl Harbour may just have happened with the prior knowledge, via newly discovered intelligence, of Churchill and Roosevelt, both hoping to bring the US into the war.  They apparently just let Japan get on with this attack much to the shock of certain senior navy staff who were unaware of this going on and genuinely were shocked when they found out (so Tora tora tora still is factual in depicting the shock of certain senior staff)

Meanwhile, Abe also has to keep on the good side of Russia who they are trying to negotiate with over the Kuril islands.   Putin is arrogant as ever in his negotiations.

While I don’t think it takes much to antagonise China, you can’t blame China and South Korea for wondering why Abe stays silent on apologies or at least expressions of ‘condolence and regret’ for Japan’s treatment of their two countries during and prior to World War II.  Maybe he thinks he does not need to given the fact that prior, less hawkish, Japanese prime ministers have done enough apologising which he maybe didn’t agree with at the time – ‘Right! That’s enough apologising to you two – we’re done!’   I know he needs the US on his side considering North Korea is threatening and China are always on the ready but I find his behaviour all so obsequious when it comes to the US, and now Russia.

I hope 2017 is a good year for people in Japan – less earthquakes, threatened or real, less freaky weather, less threats from their neighbour North Korea, more equality for women in the workplace and hopefully more good films come out of Japan (over anything else in my opinion as someone looking in).  I hope to make this a year I get to travel to Japan by which time I’ll have improved my Japanese a whole lot more.    Even if I haven’t, I’d survive no problem on what I have.

I hope 2017 is a good one for you all blog writers out there !!