Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Things that make my head hurt.......

It was a news filled day yesterday while I sat and slept the night away.......
Lest there be any doubt about it, I am sick. Ergo this will be short. I will watch the Presidents speech tomorrow and with sufficient energy I'll have some comment on it.

Lets start with the big news in Japan, namely that a US submarine collided with a Japanese super tanker in the Persian Gulf. (Actually it was outside of the straits of Hormuz so that may be technically incorrect..). I learned once again that Kanji is a great medium to convey ideas visually...provided one knows the short cuts they use.

For example, the Asahi Shinbun, a left of center paper the S.O. likes (and is delivered to us each AM) had this headline: 日本船と米原潜、接触.It translates to Japan ship and America submarine contact. However it really means that that an American submarine and and Japanese tanker collided. What I discovered yet again, was the annoying Japanese habit of dropping kanji from the sentence to make the headline fit the paper. Native Japanese understand it from the context. Idiots like me wonder where the other part of the word went. For example: the proper word for submarine in Japanese is sensuikan (潜水艦), however in the paper's headline they only printed the first kanji. Same with atomic powered submarine(genshisensuikan): 原子潜水艦, which becomes gensenn (原潜) in the paper. Makes sense to Japanese, drives me nuts and makes me have to BEG the S.O. to help me with the morning paper. (Incidentally, in the article they did spell the words out in Kanji...). Why? I have no idea, probably to give the S.O. yet one more thing to lord over me. And to remind me again of my own failures.

On the same front page was also the news that the Defense Agency was now a ministry. That's a big deal here in Japan because it puts the Defense Establishment on the same footing as the opther ministries and implies other things to come vis a vis the role of the Self Defense forces and Japanese policy here in Asia. The next step to be seen is whether Prime Minister Abe will move to repeal Article 9 of the Japanese constitiution.

One final bit of news is that Momofuku Ando, the man who invented instant ramen and founded Nissin Foods, died last Friday in Osaka Prefecture of heart failure at 96 years of age. Anyone who has ever relied on this outstanding invention to restore nutrients to one's body during a hangover (as I have on several occasions...), realizes what a great man he truly was. He believed that “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.”

Also, Monday was Coming of Age day in Japan. 20 year olds donned suits and Kimono's and went to Shrines and City Halls to hear abou their acension to the status of adulthood.

Maybe the US Congress needs a "Coming of Age Day". From what I have seen on TV, there are a lot of Congressmen (and others) who are not being very adult right about now.

Got to get back to bed..........

Japundit found a some great links to some live Japan Web cams. Check them out! Here is one of Mt Fuji.

I hate not feeling well. And to add insult to injury, I have this to worry about!

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