The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh said; “We cannot prevail in the fight against terrorism unless we work together”, "Mr. Kono, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Madam Ohgi, President of the House of Councillors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Members of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan were among those present on the occasion.

I am acutely conscious of the honour you have bestowed upon me by giving me the rare opportunity to address this august House. It is a reflection of the goodwill and friendship that the people of our two countries have for each other. I bring you greetings from Parliament, Government and people of India.

Japan and India are civilisational neighbours. The common heritage of Buddhism is our oldest bond. Our two cultures have been enriched by mutual interaction throughout our history. The Indian monk, Bodhisena, came to Nara over a thousand years ago to be present at the consecration of Daibutsu at the Todaiji Temple. In more modern times, Tagore and Okakura Tenshin built new bridges of understanding between our two great Asian nations.

The modernisation of Japan based on advances in science and technology since the Meiji Restoration and the energy and spirit with which it rose after the Second war had a deep impact on our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He wanted India to develop close ties with Japan and learn from its experience.

It was Prime Minister Kishi who was instrumental in India being the first recipient of Japan’s ODA. Today India is the largest recipient of Japanese ODA and we are extremely grateful to the Government and people of Japan for this valuable assistance.

Japanese industry has played a valuable role in the development of Indian industries such as automobiles and petrochemicals. Japan was steadfast in its support when India went through a period of deep economic crisis in the early nineties.

In turn, India signed a separate peace treaty with Japan in 1952 in which all war claims against Japan were waived. The principled judgement of Justice Radha Binod Pal after the War is remembered even today in Japan.

These events reflect the depth of our friendship and the fact that we have stood by each other at critical moments in our history.

Each time I visit Japan I am truly inspired by your progress and deeply touched by your generosity. I will never forget my visit here in 1992. It was my first bilateral visit as India’s finance minister.

I had then come to express our gratitude for Japan’s help in dealing with an unprecedented economic crisis in 1991. That crisis gave us an opportunity to break out of an old mould and embark on a new path to progress through an open economy ready to compete in a globalising world. We looked towards Japan then to learn the virtues of resilience and dedication and how to create opportunity out of adversity.

Today, I return to Japan as the Prime Minister of a new India. Our economy in the past fifteen years has grown at an average growth rate of over 6 per cent per annum. In recent years, it has gained further momentum and the growth rate has accelerated to over 8 per cent per annum. India’s investment rate is now 30 per cent of our GDP. As a result of wide-ranging economic reforms initiated by our Government in the early 1990s, India’s economy has now acquired the resilience to accept the challenge and opportunity provided by economic globalisation and the emergence of a multi-polar world.

As an open society and an open economy, India is on the move. The success of our effort to transform India within the framework of a democratic polity is vital to peace and progress in Asia and the world. Never before in human history have over a billion people tried to banish poverty and modernise their society and economy within the framework of a plural functioning democracy.

We believe that India is now on a sustained path of high growth. We have developed a new model for service-led and technology-driven integration with the global economy. Today India has emerged as an important player in knowledge-based sectors like the information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Massive investments are being made in the expansion and modernization of our physical and social infrastructure consisting of roads, railways, telecommunications and ports. These developments will greatly add to the competitiveness and efficiency of India’s manufacturing sector. It is these developments and the changed international scenario that have I believe created the foundation for our two countries to rapidly develop our ties. I believe the time has come for our two ancient civilizations to build a strong contemporary relationship involving strategic and global partnership that will have a great significance for Asia and I believe for the world as a whole.

We are two major Asian countries who share the universally respected values of freedom, democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and commitment to the rule of law. We must draw on these common values and the enormous economic complementarities that exist between us to build a strong partnership of the highest mutual importance.

We also share the belief that both India and Japan must play their rightful and commensurate role in the emerging international order. Strong ties between India and Japan will be a major factor in building an open and inclusive Asia and in enhancing peace and stability in the Asian region and beyond.

Economic ties must be the bedrock of our relationship and a strong push is needed in this area. Our trade and investment ties are well below potential. This must change. In contrast, India’s trade with both China and Korea is booming and grew last year at around 40% with both countries. China’s trade with India is nearly three times India’s trade with Japan and Korea’s trade with India is almost equal to Japan’s trade with India. As I said this must change. To exploit the full potential of our economic cooperation, we need strong efforts by our two governments, business and industry. Looking to the future I believe that the most important area in which we can build this partnership is in the field of knowledge economy. The structure of our economies, the balance of our comparative advantages and the profile of our population are compelling reasons for this.

In the field of science and technology we need to accelerate the pace of cooperation in the growth sectors of the future such as nano-technology, biotechnology, life sciences and information and communication technologies. We must exploit synergies in the development of Indian software and Japanese hardware industries.

Any partnership of minds involves greater people-to-people contact. I would like to see more students in India learning the Japanese language. Japanese has already been introduced as an optional foreign language in our secondary schools. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Abe and I will be launching the “Investing in the Future Initiative” and we hope to see thousands of our youth learning Japanese in the next few years.

Another area of mutual interest is energy security. Our region as a whole needs the assurance of the security of energy supplies, and the efficient functioning of energy markets. We have therefore an equal stake in promoting defence cooperation, including the protection of sea-lanes to secure our trade and energy flows. Like Japan, India sees nuclear power as a viable and clean energy source to meet its growing energy requirements. We seek Japan’s support in helping put in place innovative and forward-looking approaches of the international community to make this possible. At the same time, I would like to confirm that India’s commitment to work for universal nuclear disarmament remains unshakeable.

Terrorism is a common threat to our peace and is threatening the harmony and fabric of our open societies. It is of course a complex problem that has many faces, many causes and respects no geographical barriers. We cannot prevail in the fight against terrorism unless we work together.

I am very pleased that India and Japan are working together to revitalize and reform the United Nations, and the U.N. Security Council, making them more relevant to our times. Both of us have a vital stake in the enhanced effectiveness of the United Nations and its various organs. To that end we must intensify our cooperation for an orderly and equitable management of the interdependence of nations in an increasingly globalised world that we live in.

As the largest and most developed democracies of Asia, we have a mutual stake in each other’s progress and prosperity. We are determined to provide an investment friendly economic environment in India. I invite Japanese companies to expand their presence in India. Prime Minister Abe and I will launch negotiations that will lead to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to encourage greater flows of trade, investment and technology between our two countries.

I firmly believe that our partnership has the potential to create an “arc of advantage and prosperity” across Asia, laying the foundation for the creation of an Asian Economic Community.

These hopes and aspirations of an expanded India-Japan partnership will become a reality only if we increase exchanges between the two countries at all levels. We have agreed to establish a high level Energy Dialogue but such foras must be established in many more areas, not least of all between our trade and industry.

The friendship between people is the cornerstone of any strategic partnership. I am delighted to hear of the popularity of “Odori Maharaja” among the young people in Japan. Our children were delighted to see your own “Odori Asimo” – the dancing robots! I believe the number of Indian restaurants in Japan has increased phenomenally. I assure you that ‘sushi’ and ‘tempura’ are equally becoming popular in India!

The year 2007 is the India-Japan Friendship Year and the year of India-Japan Tourism Exchanges. We also hope to substantially increase air connectivity between our two countries. I invite the young and older Japanese to visit India and to see for themselves the many splendours of both ancient and modern India.

The idea of a new partnership between Japan and India has found its moment today. I come here to give concrete shape to the idea so that future generations in the two countries will be able to thank us for the part we are trying to play in making the 21st century an Asian century.”




Gaza, Stripped

"I think if people see this footage they'll say, "oh my God that's horrible," and then go on eating their dinners." [Quote from the movie "Hotel Rwanda" (2004)]

Watch this, Don't close yours eyes; cuz WE ALL are supporting Israel (Thru your purchase at Starbucks, McDonald, Nestle, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Cocacola, Disney, Danone, Evian, L'Oreal, SaraLee, Johnson & Johnson, NOKIA)

Lord, forgive me since I've bought gallons of coffee at Starbucks, Nestle, my PC installed Intel cpu & Windows, my cell phone is Nokia...


A New Hope

On this planet, Gaza strip has just been bombed by Israel. Those soldiers have been torturing Palestinians, and killing fathers in front of the children. A number of people died of diarrhea secondary to infection in Zimbabwe. Their tap water and sewege got mixed. Kids speak back and kill their parents in Japan. Many lost jobs and became homeless in the US. India and Pakistan does not get along with each other. Wherever you go, there seems to be no place that is peaceful, without any tragedy and conflict.

Upon the end of this year, as well as the beginning of a new year to come, I hope, wish and pray for the global peace, since I still have to live, survive the next year whether I like it or not. I just wish things go well around the earth. I am now wondering that how long we all have to go through or witness a slew of sufferings like that ... Nevertheless, I believe, that is when our true hope and faith are tested ... so let us pray to the Lord ...


The Death of Ai Iijima

It was a story of one former runaway girl. She had gone through a variety of experiences such as sniffing paint thinner (A paint thinner/organic solvent chemicals junkie), cohabitation that once used to be considered immoral back in those days in Japan, survived an attempted rape case, then started working in pubs, finally landed on adult film industry as soon-would-be an popular porn star prior to become a very popular TV talent thus a celebrity in Japan.

Her name was Ai Iijima.

The news of her death seemed to have spread all over Japan. In addition, the news went across the Sea of Japan & East China Sea. She became the most googled person in the P.R. China. In her early life, it had been full of tragedy and adventurous experience. However, as she became famous on TV, her blunt/candid statements about everything around her got attention among lay people who watch TV in Japan. As a consequence, she became a sex symbol among young Japanese male, then also established the same position even among Chinese men. In her autobiography, she wrote everything that people want to know about her, which would be considered embarrassing, something that anyone would not want to reveal much less as a celebrity. Her past deed was condensed in the book, according to various sources in the Internet.

After gaining popularity among TV viewers, her life turned around. She started living in a luxurous mansion at the heart of Tokyo, where living expense is quite expensive on the planet. Nevertheless, she had been suffering from intractable deep rooted disease. I am not talking about her pyelonephritis that she suffered. It was unceasing thirst and loneliness that she once revealed stopping by at a police station nearby her place. Nobody will ever know the truth about her despair. Yet, we all can tell that the very desperate, lonely life must have deeply affected her late life having read articles about her death and life before it.

She got money, popularity, a nice house, and her new business was just started. Everything finally seemed to got settled in such a way that everybody else would want. This part of her life could be compared to "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoi. When everything seems to start going well, Mr. Ilyich died in the midst of deep despair and loneliness. As opposed to the Tolstoi's literature, Ms. Ai Iijima got some friends who were supportive, however, the common denomenator would be the unbearable loneliness of both two different persons. There is no evidence, however I'm sure that she decided to convert herself to lead a better life that can be accepted by anyone in the society. As the conversion occurred, she started suffering from pyelonephritis just like Ivan Ilyich also suffered from an unknown disease for a certain amount of time.

When you are a delinquent student, you feel you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. You will probably feel that your life will last forever. You will waste your time and you don't care that you're wasting it due to the feeling of eternity. Later in your life, you will be made to realize that you are not living your life, rather you are allowed to live on the planet by the grace of God & the Nature. You do realize that your life must end at a certain point. Her death truly must be a sensational, shocking incident indeed, particularly those who are familiar with her TV programs or her past porn movies and so forth. As for me, her life, her death itself seems like the Tolestoi's literature somehow.

Let me pray her Rest in Peace, in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amin.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoi
Platonic Sex by Ai Iijima* (* Deceased)


The Power of Babel

Pondering alone taking a shower, something irrelevant to this holiday season though it is Christmas Eve. Why my primary language Japanese, my mother tongue has such diversity in reading and pronounciation though we share the same character with Chinese? Then I came up with a few different words that contain the same character "人". This character basically means a person or a man in general. You can add this particular character either before or after another character, or even in the middle of other characters. For instance, if you're a Japanese learner try reading them.

>>>QUIZ JAPAN!!<<<
* Read each word and enumerate its pronounciation, then if possible, its meaning too.

1) 人間
2) 罪人
3) 武人
4) 狩人
5) 防人
6) 何人
7) 舎人

Can you pronounce them right? Can you guess their meanings? I hope so for Japanese persons, I really do. Since some of them are historically quite important words and notions. One of my acquaintance once asked me if I'm still fluent in Japanese. As a matter of course I am. However, I had no opportunity to show my proficiency so far. I had no chance to prove myself that my Japanese proficiency is still as good as someone who has been living in Japan. So I tried to come up with as many words as possible that use the character "人" but with different pronounciation.

Then I came up with those 7 words. I felt great relief as I was able to think of different words that share the same character. Why you need to memorize them all? The answer is simple. If you can't read Chinese characters (Kanji), you can't read newspapers nor catch up with higher education such as the one in University. Well, I'm sure readers must be eager to know the answers, so let me put them first.


1) 人間(NINN・GENN) A Human
2) 罪人(TSUMI・BITO/ZAI・NINN) A Sinner / A Criminal
3) 武人(BU・JINN) An old fashioned Warrior rather than a modern soldier
4) 狩人(KARI・UDO) A Hunter (& A former singer Duo...lol)
5) 防人(SAKI・MORI) A special garrison at Kyushu post during ancient Japan
6) 何人(NANN・PITO) Anyone in Legal term: e.g. "Any person shall not be allowed ..."
7) 舎人(TO・NERI) A Chamberlain/an officer of court ceremony in the Imperial Palace

During compulsory education that consists of Elementary & Junior High School, we learn at least 1000 Chinese characters during the former followed by 3000 more during the latter, in addition to 50 Hiragana characters, 50 Katakana characters and 26 Alphabet & 10 arabic digits(1, 2, 3 ... 0). 4000 characters are still NEVER enough to read a newspaper from cover to cover. You should be able to memorize at least 10000 Chinese characters in order to enter, survive & graduate from a University for sure. If you are language major such as Classical Japanese or Classical Chinese, the number would be more.

We'd shared the Chinese characters with Chinese up until the Cultural Revolution. Since then they simplified characters thus the old-fashioned classical Chinese characters remains in Japan. Even in Japan, some characters are modernized, so the real old-fashioned characters may exist in places like Taiwan or so I suppose. Anyway, don't get discouraged folks, Life is a learning process. Happy Learning !


Dr Mori's How the Greed Stole Christmas

"And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." (John 2:16/King James Version)

This is Christmas, to celebrate the birth of the Lord, not the time to sell so-called Christmas gifts... I was wondering where our true Christmas was gone. Is it still here on the earth or forever disappeared? Has our Christmas and its true meaning and value of it been reduced, diluted and contaminated by something that has nothing to do with the Lord? Santa Clause is alright, he may have added a new flavour to our Christmas, but Santa Clause is NOT the main character of the event. It is HIM, the Lord Jesus Christ himself, no matter what you believe, agree or disagree.

Here comes our greedy Capitalistic merchandise mind-set. "Let's sell something a little more expensive than the usual price since people want to buy stuff or travel to other places at this season."

*Beverage companies put special decoration with the cap & bottle of their products.
*Musicians sell Christmas version album.
*Ice cream / cake companies sell specially decorated sweets.
*Fastfood shop will have Christmas/Family value set...
*Supermarkets put all the interior decoration and promote buying for your loved ones.

All of which have nothing to do with our Christmas...
Now I am yearning, craving for the silent, non-materialistic Christmas no matter how it is against our contemporary way of celebrating it ...


Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II dies

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer Jim Heintz, Associated Press Writer – Fri Dec 5, 9:49 am ET

MOSCOW – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, who presided over a vast post-Soviet revival of faith but struggled against the influence of other churches, died Friday at age 79

The Moscow Patriarchate said he died at his residence outside Moscow, but did not give a cause of death. Alexy had long suffered from a heart ailment.

Alexy became leader of the church in 1990, as the officially atheist Soviet Union was loosening its restrictions on religion. After the Soviet Union collapsed the following year, the church's popularity surged. Church domes that had been stripped of their gold under the Soviets were regilded, churches that had been converted into warehouses or left to rot in neglect were painstakingly restored and hours-long services on major religious holidays were broadcast live on national television.

By the time of Alexy's death, the church's flock was estimated to include about two-thirds of Russia's 142 million people, making it the world's largest Orthodox church.

But Alexy often complained that Russia's new religious freedom put the church under severe pressure and he bitterly resented what he said were attempts by other Christian churches to poach adherents among people who he said should have belonged to the Orthodox church.

These complaints focused on the Roman Catholic Church, and Alexy refused to agree to a papal visit to Russia unless the proselytization issue was resolved.

Those tensions aside, Pope Benedict XVI praised Alexy on Friday.

"I am pleased to recall the efforts of the late patriarch for the rebirth of the church after the severe ideological oppression which led to the martyrdom of so many witnesses to the Christian faith. I also recall his courageous battle for the defense of human and Gospel values," the pope said in a message of condolence to the Russian church.

Alexy lived long enough to see another major religious dispute resolved. In 2007, he signed a pact with Metropolitan Laurus, the leader of the breakaway Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, to bring the churches closer together. The U.S.-based Church Outside Russia had split off in 1927, after the Moscow church's leader declared loyalty to the Communist government.

Alexy successfully lobbied for the 1997 passage of a religion law that places restrictions on the activities of religions other than Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. Under his leadership, the church also vehemently opposed schismatic Orthodox churches in neighboring Ukraine, claiming the Ukrainian church should remain under Moscow's control.

A top representative of Russia's Muslims praised Alexy's efforts to restore religion's prominence in post-Soviet Russia.

"All the activities of this man were devoted to unifying our country, developing state-religion relations and the dialogue of Russia's traditional faiths," said Albir Krangov, a deputy chairman of the Muslim Central Spiritual Administration, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.

In a demonstration of the close relations between church and state, President Dmitry Medvedev canceled plans to travel from India to Italy, so he can return for the funeral, whose date has not been announced. "He was a great citizen of Russia. A man in whose destiny the whole difficult experience of our country's changes in the 20th century are reflected," Medvedev said.

Under Alexy, the church's influence grew strong enough that some public schools instituted mandatory religion courses — a move that human rights advocates criticized as likely to increase xenophobia.

"The church strengthened nationalism, without a doubt," said Alexander Verkhovsky of the Moscow human rights group SOVA. But he also gave the church under Alexy credit for speaking out against violent, radical nationalists.

The patriarch was born Alexei Mikhailovich Ridiger on Feb. 23, 1929 in Tallinn, Estonia. The son of a priest, Alexy often accompanied his parents on pilgrimages to churches and monasteries, and he helped his father minister to prisoners in Nazi concentration camps in Estonia. It was during those visits that Alexy decided to pursue a religious life.

Under Soviet rule, this was not an easy choice. Lenin and Stalin suppressed religion and thousands of churches were destroyed or converted to other uses, such as museums devoted to atheism or, in some cases, stables. Many priests and parishioners were persecuted for their beliefs.

The persecution eased somewhat during World War II, when Stalin discovered that the church could be used as a propaganda tool in the fight against the Nazis. But the Soviet authorities never fully loosened their grip, penetrating the church at the highest levels.

Alexy was ordained in 1950, progressed through the Orthodox hierarchy, and was consecrated Bishop of Tallinn and Estonia in 1961.

The British-based Keston Institute, which monitors religious freedom in former Communist countries, has cited research suggesting that Alexy's career may have been aided by assistance he gave the KGB while a young priest in Tallinn. Orthodox Church officials vehemently denied the allegations.
Correspondent Daniella Petroff in Rome contributed to this report.



Memoire of Gaijin

Here I am staying in a country as a Gaijin, a Foreigner. My primary purpose is to study certain subjects as a student, however my memory really sucks nowadays. I know it's just a same old story; as you age, your memorization skill decreases ... but I don't buy this obviously.

As once I have read in an article, I can recall an effect called "Foreign Language Effect". This was, if I'm not mistaken, probably written in a Psychology journal or so. The theory stated that your thinking process drastically decreases when you are using a language that is not your primary language. Here I am, writing this weblog in my secondary language, going through what exactly the theory is intended to mention. It takes double or triple just to come up with words or phrases appropriate enough to express what I really want to say or write compared with when I do the same in my primary language.

Studying subjects in Foreign language itself is hard as anyone can imagine. However, the true difficulty lies in somewhere else I believe. Speed for mental processing decreases, so the amount of information that you can receive in a certain amount of time drops accordingly. Thus you will only get at most half or in the worst case, maybe only 5% of information you'd like to attain could be obtained compared with when you perform the same process in your most familiar language.

If you find whatever you read or listen looks or sounds so unfamiliar to you, your mind, subconscious, I suppose, will probably block what you are trying to internalize/memorize. In addition to aforementioned reduced amount of information, now your own mind keeps information away from you although no matter how your conscious awareness would like to understand, analyze and then finally memorize the material that you are reading or listening.

In the process of studying, you might suddently feel the emergence of your primary language though you did not intend to do so. Once I've gone through this phenomenon when I was taking an exam on Histology Laboratory. A microscope was placed at each station and there were 2 questions per each device. The time that is allocated for each station was 10 to 15 seconds. Even if I took the same exam in my primary language, I would probably encounter much difficulty; much less in my secondary language, a Foreign language ...

After this incident, I realized that my internal primary language actually is blocking my mental process that is supposed to be performed in the Foreign language. Then I decided to stop thinking in my primary language, forcing myself not to use it whenever I study or read study materials.

In addition, when you practice Medicine in your secondary language, you must be quite fluent in the language considering risks that you might take if you are not. You should be able to converse with your patients without difficulties, get enough information in order to diagnose and prescribe medications. No mistake is allowed, then your difficulties in the secondary language is no longer permitted or forgiven since you are expected to behave as a professional.

Here again, as facing headaches and an early senior moment, I am still trying to internalize concepts and knowledge in Anatomy, Histology for future Surgery, Pathology courses. Looking forward to studying those Clinical Medicine subjects could be the motivation for me to keep reading otherwise tedious subjects. Yes, a physiologically-minded person will like subjects such as Physiology, Biochemistry or Pharmacology rather than those aforementioned subjects of Morphology.

Any memory enhance supplements except Mnemonics? Let us know...


L & D configuration

Human relations is just like chemistry. We have bonds, be it as weak as hydrogen bond, or be it as strong as covalent bond...just like this general chemistry, a very specific chemistry is of our daily concern, which is Love.

Love can be sweet, however, it could harm yourlife. It is just like consumption of some sort of artificial sweet can be quite harmful to your health condition. Thus, Love can be Destructive...henceforth we have L and D configuration of this sweet product of life.

I started writing this without giving much thought. Thus I have no idea where I am going to land, or how I am going to end up. I may just want to verbalize some of the emotional debris that I recently notice. Otherwise I may want to arrange my thoughts on this issue just to avoid thinking about the reality that I am in.

I feel that I start realizing the complexity of Love. Beyond gender difference, or race, creed, religion, ethnicity, anything you could think of, love exists and unites all of us together. I still have no wisdom to elucidate the complex web of life and love.


Ichiro's Path

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." This is actually a quote from Sir Winston Churchill. However you may think this is the quote of a statement that Major Leager Ichiro Suzuki made.

I had never been proud of my birthplace nor had I ever liked watching baseball game, ever, before this Hero of Japan; it was only when I came to know that Ichiro's birthplace is actually a few miles away from my parents home, I realized something was changing inside of me. One of my good friends once asked me if I wanted to see a batting center that Ichiro had been practicing. Giving him no sign of hesitation, I replied with full of joy and excitement, YES. Within a matter of thirty minutes or so, I stepped on the soil where Ichiro must have put footprint and walked around.

Since I prefered watching animation and cop drama and so forth, baseball had been my worst enemy; many TV programs were postponed their broadcasting or simply cancelled whenever the baseball season arrived. Furious was my child soul that projected anger towards this game of loathe; I always wished and hoped that baseball game to be vanished from the surface of this planet. Only baseball game that I liked was College Baseball. It made sense to me to support my University baseball team since I chose to enter the Univ. with full of my conscious awareness and willingness, but not the case for a local Professional baseball team or so. I did not choose to be born in the city where I grew up !

After a few decades passed since my birth, there emerged such a local, quite local and patriotic feeling on the Prefecture that I grew up. I had never consider myself to be an Aichi Prefecturure local; Nagoya, which is my birthplace and 3rd or 4th biggest cities among Japan, was more famous than Aichi prefecture that holds Nagoya city, so I consider myself to be a Nagoya citizen, not Aichi Prefecture local.

Having said them all, Ichiro blew my mind and changed everything. I owe much to him though I never met him in person. However it does not matter nor would it whether or not I meet him in person, taking into consideration that nobody, or to be exact, most of us have not, ever met Jesus Christ or Buddha or Mohammad the Prophet but they are still our inspiration and guiding paths even today and most importantly, without actually meeting them.

Ichiro knew exactly what he really wanted by the time he graduated from his elementary school, then junior high school and when choosing a high school, he made a great desicion to enter the path to the professional baseball by also giving up the path pursuing a career based upon academic competence preceded by going to a prestigious University or so that they say he could have been able to.

Route 41, National Highway, has somewhat been known as Nobel Laureate Road of Japan. Many of Japanese Nobel Laureate have somehow, something to do with the road. One was born nearby the road and grew up, one had a birthplace then moved away, e.t.c. Ichiro's birthplace is also located near the road, my parents home is just a little away from the road and I am sure, if Ichiro were running from the place to the road, it would be just a matter of within 15 seconds or so, from home base to 1st base or things like that.

I may not be as successful as those heroes; Nobel Laureate or world record breaking and creating Hero, Ichiro, however, I would like to live on the great feeling of sharing something in common with him for sure.


Soup-Nazi Reich Japan

After I mentioned the sitcom "Seinfeld" here, I had a stimulating discussion about the program with a friend of mine, which led me to feel inclined to watch the show once again. So I did it on the YouTube. Then I found a quite bizarre fact in my country, inspired by a famous episode of a tough, kicking ass, discipline fanatic, my way or highway otherwise broadway chef, so-called "Soup Nazi". The guy is just an epitome of discipline, order, concentaration and dedication to his job as a soup chef with a few emotional expression that are left for yelling and so forth.

To make my point here as quick as I can, let me say this; a guy like him is everywhere in Japan. In fact, many of Japanese LOVE a guy like the Soup Nazi chef. Although I do NOT like the way they treat their customers at all, many of people make a long que lining up in front of the restaurant talking about how good their dishes they serve are, how long they have been waiting for, how different magazines put their advertisement for the restaurant with different compliments and so forth.

One of the most typical one would be a Ramen shop. Ramen, that came here originally from China a long time ago, has been modified to fit the tongue of Japanese people thus now became a part of Japanese food consisted of noodle component and soup component. That's right, a yelling Ramen chef is The Soup Nazi in Japan. "Hey ... Welcome !". A typical chef would shout, followed by his workers under him yelling even louder than him. It does not matter whether you have money to eat or not. A ramen soup-nazi chef will decide if you are ALLOWED to eat his masterpiece or not. You would rather avoid any soup-nazi entanglement. In fact, yes, No question asked. You line up, wait for up to an hour, allowed to get in, sit down, sip a glass of water, waiting for a young apprentice coming to you to ask your order, wait another 5 minutes or so, then the masterpiece might be yours if not doing anything wrong or offensive against the head of the shop, Der Fuh:rer of Ramen Nazi.

I sometimes wonder why Japanese would go to ramen shop or many other places with the same psycho-social structure, willingly, just to be scolded by this kind of authoritative, blunt, rude, dominant type of professional including Taxi driver, Sushi chef, Driving School instructor. Soup-Nazi might be funny for you, but if you see real Soup-Nazis in Japan, you would probably want to get out of the place for sure.

Nowadays, things are changed and there seem to be lesser Soup-Nazi type of ramen shop or Sushi restaurant in Japan. However, this type of ramen shop still is, somehow, popular among people here. Many of them have something that they stick to, called "Kodawari", meaning having no spare, having particularity, to make their dishes just unique and special. Usually most of Japanese do not care about uniqueness or originality, since many want to be as normal as everybody else not to be standing in a closed community. Nevertheless, a Soup-Nazi shop owner, is different. He (mostly a male person) is the one who has been devoting his life thus energy into the pursuit of The Ultimate dish that you could ever dream of. He is the connoisseur that can tell which one is the Real McCoy and which one Bullshit. He is the judge, the king, self-proclaimed achiever in the process of on-going, never ending achievement, and most importantly, he is the head of his own clan that should be succeeded by the successor, the heir to the throne.

A Soup-Nazi chef could look harsh and tough, but he lost everything redundant in order to pursue what he believes is important. No smile nor any fancy service at all just because those things would ruin his career and the pursuit of the ultimate taste he has been searching for. Therefore, at least I can say this. A real Japanese Soup-Nazi is trustworthy in his judgment of the taste; his dedication and training in the judgment of taste is more than you could imagine. A real one smokes nothing, drinks few, seldom talks with full of concentration on freshness of fish, vegetable, pure water, fine salt and so forth. It can be compared to a sort of Martial Art or something. Oh by the way, a real Soup-Nazi type of Japanese chef does not like fancy advertisement at all. So I hope you make good friends here in Japan and ask them if they know any Soup-Nazi Sushi Chef or Ramen Chef nearby...

Now, your journey in the hunt for the Japanese Soup-Nazi has just begun ...


The International Association of Awkward Friends (IAAF)

Friendship between a man and a woman is just as awkward as that between Seinfeld and Elaine. I talked to myself recalling the episode that I watched in "Seinfeld". As brilliant and witty as he can be, Seinfeld was trying to elaborate his statements just to clarify what is implied in the situation when he was facing his best, but somehow radiating very subtle "Just-a-kind-of, just-a-little-bit-more-than-just-friends" vibes on him, friend Elaine.

Obviously they cared so much about each other, being well aware of their gender difference, to the extent that they came to realize that each of them may have wanted each other... as such, which made the particular episode of thrilling, funny and even quite profound. Love can be said of having a few different subdivision; Agape, Filia and Eros, namely unconditional pure love of care to others, love of brotherhood, and sensual love between man and woman. When someone says that the person loves you, the primary implication, I believe, is that of deep care to other people.

However, there lies confusion here. When a man and a woman get to know each other and get so close, their affection between them can be contaminated by other things. You might blame your friend of opposite sex by saying that he or she confused you. Nevertheless, it could be actually your internal confusion about your love and care to your friend taking your friend's gender into consideration, pondering how nice he or she has been to you and to be with you no matter how your actual partner such as boyfriend or girlfriend treated you or no matter how your life treated you with regards to your "relationship" matter.

Then the whole perspective on your friend might change and you might think your friend can be another man or woman that you could have been attracted to as such. Doubt, Denial, Consideration, Realization and then Confirmation ... I made this process up just like the process of acceptance of your forthcoming death, however, I would imagine things would go this way just like that judging from the Seinfeld show. In the case of the show, however, they put additional process at the end, Action. After discussion over their friendship and affection, they decided to do, well, as you can tell, an actual intercourse upon consensus. I would guess this is actually consensus gentium, general agreement from the viewers as well since Seinfeld and Elaine in the show look just good together.

Aside from the show, in the process of actual friendship, you may experience jealousy, even desire to possess your friend exclusively, or slight urge of the denial of existence of your friend's significant other or even the friendship itself !!!, when your friend got a partner besides you. There is tension going on here that primarily begins from your own mind. I would say you don't have to admit it if you do not want to since it is the process of pain and feeling of defeat and disgrace that, again, I'd imagine, everyone would feel upon the "accident". Even the word "friend" can be harsh when tossed on you by referring to your frienship as "Just Friends". It conveys the feeling of detach and cutting the lifeline between two locations.

Then both of you, "friends", may not want to talk about your frienship any longer. Or it could be just only you who do not want to see or hear from your friend. Tragedy is when your friend got a partner but you don't. But the point of discussion here is not that case; when both of you notice something different from a regular, normal friendship and start being conscious of your friend as a person of opposite sex, I'm sure there would be the emergence of this nowhere-to-go awkwardness.

Thus the establishement of the International Association of Awkward Friends (IAAF). It is for everyone that has once had, or currently has a friend that goes through awkward situations, feelings or actual friendship with your friend of opposite sex. The IAAF does not endorse gay/lesbian orientation yet, however, does encourage any that experienced friendship of heterosexual of a man and a woman to join and support the activity. You might think it would be a lot easier if things went just like Seinfeld and Elaine; they kept talking about their friendship on and on merely to avoid the awkwardness after the intercourse ! So their awkwardness would not be of your reference if you would like to lead a normal ethical life. The IAAF is still on search of the solutions to resolve this awkwardness; if the conclusion is just to live with it, then so be it since there is nothing we can do. However, I am quite sure there must be this awkward situations and the way people go about them.

If we could care and love everyone in the globe just like the way you care and love someone that you fell in love for the first time in your life, this world would be a lot better, a lot easier to live. Our problem is not to come up with this idea, but how we can practice this simple thing.


Kuki ga Yomeru Neuropsychiatry (Subtle Energy Neuropsychiatry)

One article in the Wikipedia looked quite intriguing to me since it was talking about different perspectives on mind/brain from Neurological or Psychiatric standpoints. It would not be too much to mention if I said that frame of reference or way of thinking in doings things we do normally in our daily lives or saying and expressing things we try to let others know, is usually unknown, hidden and not noticed until conscious awareness reveals its entity to the public sight. However, having so many practical professionals or researchers on human mind or human body system, we tend to avoid question such as "What is Mind" or "What is Life" and so forth.

Thus the article "Causal pluralism" got my attention. Neurology traditionally looks at the causes of (mental) disorders from an 'inside-the-skin' perspective, Neuropathology from 'genetics' perspective, whereas Psychiatry looks at 'outside-the-skin' causation, which includes personal, interpersonal, cultural factor that influences one's mental well-being. This outside-the-skin approach seems to be promising in showing how our complicated, profound web of meaning of a Life affects our body physiology through the brain and nervous system to the extent the owner of the brain feels that he or she could not handle the external stressor any longer.

Nevertheless nobody actually has done so; nobody actually showed how 'outside-the-skin' strategy reveals the mechanism of how the mental process grasps information from the outside and then interprets that into biochemical substrates following protein expression after genetic decoding and so forth.
If you translate the above-mentioned phenomenon into other form, you would understand the statement I made here. How this invisible non-materialistic chunk of information actually does have effect on the human brain and then creates the illusion that we call Mind? Is it solely, purely the subject of neuroinformatics or neural circuit engineering? If so, why those subjects do not seem to be in compatible with, let us say, Literature or Fine Arts? Do we need Super-Super computer that emulates human mind, emotion and those kinds?

Eastern tradition or even the primitive root of the Western tradition has already answered the question but we all just dismissed it. Vital force, be it of its existence or be it the notion of that, had long been known to people throughout generations up until a few hundred years ago. Naturopathic herbal remedies with some additional work by miracles or divine intervention were enough for curing and caring diseases, not even to mention there were not enough medical intervention available back then.

Pneuma, Vis Vitae, Qi, Ki, are the same vital force or bioenergy in definition or in characters, however, this bioenergy once played a major role and still does in contemporary Japan, in understanding human relations and concomitant stressful life situations, then psycho-emotional experience in one's mind, appetite loss, headache, e.t.c. Lack of the energy or stagnation, blockage of its flow, is believed to cause some problems in our mind-body system that would later be manifested as apparent symptoms if not treated appropriately and immediately once the potential etiology is doubted.

As it is energy, it can penetrate the skin easily like other energy of radiation does. There are so many healers nowadays, Qi-Gong, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Hands Healing, Royal Touch, e.t.c., however, I am now quite sure that they all talk about the same bioenergy. When you are full of aggression, it could make somebody else or yourself SICK with the aid of activated but unbalanced Autonomic Nervous system and its counter-part Endocrine system.

The reason why I mentioned the notion of the bioenergy still plays a role in Japan is that we DO have the expression of "Kuki ga yome nai." (Literally, "He can't read the air", "He can't get it" to be exact, impling the person is too dull to sense the sutble pressure, suggestion or signs sent by others, which usually is conveyed through this bioenegy Ki.) About myself, I can't get the energy sutble enough as requested since I always try to verbalize things like this and express it. (Sensed information need not to be let out). You guys should not do that that much if you dream of coming and living in Japan !