Monday, April 02, 2007

Normality restored..........

For at least a couple of weeks anyway.

Still, its good to be home. Nothing makes you appreciate Japan like a couple week spent under the Army's thumb working in Korea. I can read the papers, understand the TV and cook for myself again.

Of course, I do have to make particular adjustments to the daily routine. For example, I have to return to the custom of showering in the evening as well as in the morning....on the road I just pass out fall asleep watching TV on the bed and then shower in the morning. Back here at home, under the time honored male tradition of always being prepared to "get some"-a before bed shower is mandatory. Without that, there is no "some" to be had. Remind me to tell you about the whole thing with the towel sometime...........

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And of course, it now being April in Japan that means many things are going on. 1) The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom-they have been for a week.


Glad I did not miss them!

Second, its the beginning of the new work year and school year in Japan. The TV news today had several stories and video of Shinnyushain(新入社員) . As the university year ends in mid March, most of the new hires out of college start working at their companies this week. Depending on the size and temperament of the company, the ceremony can be fancy or simple. There is almost always some type of ceremony though.



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Speaking of starting a new job, and owing to the fact that he has neither a retirement plan from the North Koreans or the American Army, deserter and internee, Charles Jenkins has found a job selling souvenirs. From Japan Probe:



Jenkins-san has been working at the souvenir shop at Sado Island’s History and Traditional Museum. According to the video report above, Jenkins has announced that 2% of all the money he makes from selling items at the store will be donated to the organization for Japanese families of North Korean abduction victims. From the looks of the video, Jenkins himself is turning out to be a pretty big tourist draw, and visitors love to have their picture taken with him. Jenkins came to Japan with his Japanese abductee wife, Hitomi Soga, a few years ago and found work as a groundskeeper at the museum last summer [it has also been announced that Soga found a new job at a nursing home]. Working in the souvenir shop was probably a good idea on behalf of the management, since it will draw all the visitors who want to meet Jenkins towards the rice crackers he is encouraging visitors to buy. It’s not as glamorous as teaching English to North Korean spies, but it does pay the bills, apparently.


Apparently he has not learned Japanese, which seems surprising to me. I would have thought for sure he would have by now, especially when you consider he learned Korean.Then again maybe not.
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And speaking of the Hermit Kingdom, Japan has deployed its first Patriot PAC-3 missiles in response to the threat posed by North Korean No Dongs and TaepoDong missiles:



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Did Abe-san apologize or did he not, for the remarks about Comfort Women? It would seem the jury is still out. Or as they used to say during Watergate, a non-apology, apology.


Enquiring minds want to know!

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Finally, the Mainichi Shimbun has advice for women who need to get back in shape. So does Expat at Large. (Adult theme matter alert!)

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It's good to be back!

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