Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Che" in and on Japan

[On] July 15 (in 1959) he arrived in Tokyo. Once more the diplomatic routine dictated numerous, not profitable, visits. He was taken aback by Japan’s industrialization, but also by its loss of national pride, its indisputable kowtowing to American power. When his asthma improved, he made three personal requests to his hosts: to see Mount Fuji, to take in a sumo-wrestling match, and to visit Hiroshima to pay belated homage to the victims of the atomic bomb he had deplored as a teenager. (p. 284, “Guevara Also Known as Che” by Paco Ignacio Taibo II, bold by the author)

[Alfred] Menéndez (a sugar expert at the Instituto Cubano de Esbilizacion del Azúcar) recalled Che’s reaction when he was told by the Cuban ambassador in Tokyo that he was expected to go the next day to lay a wreath at Japan’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, commemorating the men lost in World War II. Che reacted violently. “No way I’ll go! That was an imperialist army that killed millions of Asians…. And I won’t go. Where I will go is to Hiroshima, where the Americans killed one hundred thousand Japanese.” The diplomat spluttered and told him it was impossible, that it had already been arranged with the Japanese chancellor. Che was adamant, and told him: “It’s your problem, not mine. You made the arrangement without my authorization, and now you can go and undo it!”

Japan, an emerging economic power, was one of the most important stops on Che’s itinerary. He was excited about Japanese advances in the electronics field, and spent much of his time touring the highly mechanized factories of companies such as Mitsubishi and Toshiba. The Japanese bought a millown tons of sugar on the world market in foreign exchange, a third of it from Cuba, and Che hoped to raise the Cuban share.

His idea was to propose that the Japanese could pay for anything over their present quota in yen; the money would then remain in Japan and be spent by Cuba on Japanese products. Che asked for a meeting to be arranged with the Japanese foreign minister. The signs were bad even before the meeting took place, however, when the official suggested they meet at the landmark Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Imperial Hotel, instead of in his office. Menendez accompanied Che.

“Che made the proposal,” recalled Menéndez, “but the man said he couldn’t agree to it, that their economy was open and they couldn’t make that kind of agreement; they would continue to buy sugar, but without any obligations. Che asked him: ‘You’re under pressure from the fair-haired Northerners, aren’t you?’ and the Japanese said: “It’s true,’ at which Che told him there was no problem, that he understood the pressure they were under.”

... Once, in a traditional Japanese geisha house, where all the women in attendance were of a safe, advanced age, he enjoyed himself, drinking lots of sake and rising to mime the geisha’s dance steps… (pp. 431- 435, “Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life” by Jon Lee Anderson)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

And being Followed by Mosquitoes

Attacked by a mosquito this morning. I have such sweet blood. My work on mosquitoes is supposed to be over… But one thing that makes my mind easy is that I now know those mosquitoes that attack me during night time are not dengue agents.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Anyone, Give Me Ideas!! "Kimu-Taku's Acting"

I’m mentally busy. Since I know that I should “do” more, it places me in a “hurry-up” mental condition. The fact is I can get only a little done everyday, though. Ohhhhhh… I need more ideas.

After watching “Karei-naru Ichizoku (華麗なる一族),” in addition to “武士の一分(Love and Honor)” which I watched maybe last year, I notice that the way “Kimura Takuya (木村拓哉)” acts is just like that of the late “Matsuda Yusaku (松田優作).”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Followed by Bad Dreams

Exhausted when I got out of bed. Why are bad dreams following me? This morning, it was one of my primary-school classmates who was now a dentist. Who knows what kind of job he is holding now in his real life… Because of his malpractice, my teeth dropped off one by one. My mother did not seem particularly concerned. I have some muscle pain. What am I doing while in sleep??

And with members of my high school band. I was already retired from the band while still a 3rd-year student, and the tradition was that all section leaders, as I was one, maintain a degree of authority to younger generation. However, the members were totally ignoring me. So frustrating.

Several days ago, I finished “The Mahathir Administration” and started “The Bolivian Diary of Ernesto Che Guevara.” “The Mahathir Administration” is one of those stale poli-sci books, which didn’t inspire me at all. “The Bolivian Diary” is quite a different matter. Whatever political position you have, it’s impossible not to be inspired by this man’s life. In time, I go back to the two other books I’ve read about “Che” and write down how he saw Japan when he visited there. (As a matter of fact, I’ve done so. But those writings were forever gone with my old PC.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Work of Yamasaki Toyoko (This Time as TV Drama), Zoo and Unhappy Dream


Yesterday afternoon, I visited Singapore Zoo with my young friend. My first time there. I was happy to see elephants because a zoo without elephants (“zo” in Japanese) is only “o.” But polar bears look pathetic here at an equatorial zoo. (Pix: Polar bear, "Can anyone tell me why I'm here? Pygmy hippo, 「誰がカバやねん」)




Friday, May 23, 2008

Stitches Removed and All about Dengue Mosquitoes

I got the stitches removed. It was not cancerous. There’s no pain and the wound looks clean. The doctor said, “Leave it alone (to heal itself).” (Pix: May 19, left and 23, right)

Since Tuesday, I’ve been attending a small TV crew from Tokyo that came to learn about dengue fever for their anniversary program. All about mosquitoes. Quite tiring… One more day on Monday, going to the CDC.

Last Wednesday was terrible. I’ll write down what happened if I have the energy to do so.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dream from Hell

Hellish dream!!

It was an express way in America. Gigantic trucks are speeding along the way while bullying a tiny car. And the car decided to set the score with them and started passing them by driving underneath them. The tiny car was slashing the tyres of each truck as it passes them…

A mountain covered by snow and ice. Where is it?? People are there, including me, but it doesn’t seem that they are climbing up the mountain. What are they doing then?? From high up, a big chunk of rocks broke off and fell down upon some of the people. This chunk went further down destroying countless structures in its way before it finally stopped. The survivors were tending those who had been buried under what the rock left behind. Amazingly, some buildings were intact though they were dislocated by pushed by the rock. A few moments later, another chunk (this time much smaller but large enough to cause major damage) fell down from the same point of the mountain burying more people… I was there at the scene and unharmed and I also witnessed how the rocks were falling by satellite videos.

In a wintery US, I am with a group of people again but have no idea who they are. It appears it was a provincial college town. There is a shop where several kinds of sweets and bread are sold. Quite uninteresting. But a guy was placing some large pieces of “maguro” into the shop’s display cabinet. I thought about buying a few but I wondered how I could cook or slice them so that I possibly with others can eat them while they were still fresh and edible. After all I didn’t any.

Yet again, a group of people. This time all Asian-looking. I didn’t understand even a word of the language they were speaking. Among them, there is a man who speaks English and someone asked him where he was from. He answered Canada. “Why did you come down to the US?” I think he replied that’s because of “publicity.” Or it may have been something else. But he replied with one word that starts with “p.”

At a dormitory-like lodging, there are many beds arranged close together. I was still with the Asians. Horrifying!! My bed was right next to the one for K, who originally invited me to Singapore and left here with a huge amount of mess behind. I loudly complained. To him and to others. It seems that he could afford to ignore my complaints only because of his “age,” and others, who knew nothing about what had happened between K and me, were nonchalant. Oh no… Please help me get out of this dream.

I woke up with a pounding heart two days in a row. Am I going crazy?? 昨日の夜、「そうか」のみなさんのありがたいお題目をまたもや聞いてしまったからなぁ。

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Woke up with a Pounding Heart...



「Google Ads」は、ずっとまったく的外れなままだが、万里さんの「パンツの面目ふんどしの沽券」から日本男児の「精神的支柱」としての個所についてちょっと記したら、「褌」「ふんどし」「フンドシ」「日本興亜」の4つが画面に並んでいる。「日本興亜」は損害保険会社。何でかな?Incision のことを書いたからかな。ずっと、的外れのままでいてほしい。

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Wound Nicely Healing, Dengue/Chikungunya and Takabatake/Fujiwara

Almost a week after the incision. The itchiness is due more to the plaster I’m wearing almost 24 hours a day rather than to the wound itself.

I believe that it’s nicely healing. I can’t wait another week to have the stitches removed!!

Today, I read through some past Straits Times articles on dengue fever and chikungunya fever and summarized them into a short report in a preparation for an interpretation work for a Japanese TV station crew scheduled next week and the one after. On 23rd, regrettably, I won’t be available because it is the day when the stitches will be removed.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Psycho Expertise Wanted

When I’m not sure in a dark bedroom wthether I’m imaging or just dreaming, or even actively thinking, what state is my brain in? Sometimes, I say to myself, of course with no word uttered, in a condition that appears somewhere between being awake and in sleep, “This is a very vivid dream and I should write about it!” In this condition, my brain is apparently keen and alert. So, I’m not really sleeping. But clearly I’m not awake either. What is the psycho-specialty to answer this?



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"You Killed My Son!!"... but a Beautiful Day to Me...





Today has been a multicultural/multinational day. In my home country, anything like this is hard, if not impossible, to have.

When I woke up, I found an SMS message from a Chinese friend and a missed call from a Japanese friend. (These days, my phone has no ringtone. Any ringtone is annoying to me. Anyway the quickest way to make me unhappy is to disturb my sleep.) On train to see the director this afternoon, I talked to the Japanese friend (whose call I had missed, in Japanese) and had some serious biz talks with the director at her house. At the Nee Ann City Kinokuniya, where I dropped by to buy the book above, I found yet another friend who is French, and he was in the Japanese book section with a few guidebooks to find out where to visit in the Kansai area and I talked with him for some time. I exchanged messages with the Chinese friend and a Korean friend on my way home. From home, I e-mailed another Korean friend/classmate. And I talked with my “Big Sis” Hazel over the internet. How beautiful and inspiring. But to have this kind of environment, it took me almost eight years...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nomo and Nomura... Simply Incompatible, Spritual Significance of "Fundoshi," and My Wish to Japanese Learners









I’ve attended four “Meetup” meetings in three weeks. A good attendance rate, isn’t it? Completely understanding any “what if” attempt is misguided and futile, I still have to wonder what my life would be now if I had joined the group eight years earlier. Yet this is my wondering, while trying not to package in a group each of the members I’ve met. There is no doubt that I’m getting some different kind of satisfaction by meeting them.

I was a TV and manga kid. I was watching TV for many hours everyday, sometimes only because the TV set was kept turned on, regardless of the program that happened to be on. Having said that, the cartoons I was watching on TV or reading were quite different from the ones they are interested in, it appears. Watching TV cartoons in the 70s, they should be able to learn about the Japanese society at the time. My wish is that all of them maintain their interest in the Japanese language and learn that its culture, like any other, has many faces. And each face has an often entwined history with other faces.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I've Got Stitched, Got Stitched, La La La

It’s really grooooooooss to look at the stitches. It’s now becoming a bit itchy but it means my body is trying to heal the wound.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Incision at Skin Centre, "Dare-ga Kaba-yanen," Books I Bought and I Didn't

This afternoon, I went through a small incision and got stitched four times at the National Skin Centre, to prevent an unlikely event of future growth of tumor. No pain.






Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kids' Day -- May 5




Sunday, May 04, 2008

I Want "T-Shirt-kun"

I slept ok with no vivid dream that remains with me now. But I slept far into the afternoon. I don’t know why… but it may be my mood fluctuations especially after a fairly good day that I had yesterday.

「Tシャツくん」がほしいなぁ。 それから、商標登録も真剣に考えたい。おとといだったか、特許庁のウェブサイトにある文章を「見た」けど、「読む」気にならん……。数年前に「太平洋クラブ・ライオンズ」の帽子を「復刻」して、デザインが本物っぽくなかったにもかかわらず販売を始めた人が、今度は昭和50年当時の「広島カープ」復刻ジャージーを帽子とセットにして売り出している。 濃緑の「NANKAI」ジャージーも……。このまま放っておけない気分。

Already Exhausted When I Woke up


I had a nightmare yet again, this time about my family, relatives and a former workplace, all rolled into one. I was working for the company in a small but many-storied building. It seems I returned to this company while all knowing its business is bullshit and the company was going under. I was even teaching a class. I felt so exhausted when I woke up.

The boss noticed me that one of my aunts contacted the company asking about my mother’s health condition and the boss asked me to hide… I was hiding in a classroom but after a while came out. Walking down the staircases, I met a woman whom I somehow believed was one of my cousins. I had expected an aunt if I would see anyone. And beside her there were three or four other cousins waiting for me for talks.

Having got an approval from the boss, we went out to a nearby coffee shop and talked. It was raining. I told them that I wished to see them much earlier when the situation was not so acute. It was an amicable encounter with them after about 30 years, though I didn’t recognize any of them.

Back home in Kyoto, a few people, apparently my cousins again, were trying to move a cupboard from the kitchen. They failed to keep the balance and the cupboard fell onto one of them. He seriously damaged, even broke, his neck.

In a square pool just large enough for a person, the man was floating not realizing he is most likely dead from his neck injury. However, the moment he moved, his face distorted in an unendurable pain.

I don’t remember if any appeared in the dream of this early morning but some of the recurring scenes in my dreams are my Osaka apartment and its owner and a neighborhood shop where I would buy cans of beer or bottles of vodka. Almost invariably, I move around the town by bicycle, which I actually was doing in the real life.

And my old family house in Kyoto is lent to an auntie I’m not acquainted with. Nevertheless, I still go there to see my mother.

The images are often quite different from the real ones, but somehow I recognize everything in dreams.

I’m still new to “Meetup” meetings. But I can say that they are an, if not the, ideal as people don’t hesitate to communicate in foreign languages, whether in Japanese, French or Chinese. When people talk in any language whereof I have only a little knowledge (French and Chinese), I become all ears to try to pick up a word or two. And then, I wonder why some people try to stick to an environment where only their native languages are spoken for a variety of negative reasons.

Friday, May 02, 2008




そして、人の名前が覚えられない、思い出せない……。情けないペースで数ページづつ読んでいる「Mahathir's Administration」には当然ながら、アジア通貨危機について書かれているが、昨日の夜は「George Soros」の名前が出てこなくて叫びたいほどイライラした。「Ros」という音だけがアタマに響いて、出てくるのは元イスラエルのロビイストでクリントンの中東和平交渉を担当した「Denis Ross」の名前ばかり。「Soros」にたどり着くまで眠れなかった……。「Mahathir’s Administration」の索引はまったく物足りない。残念ながらマレー語を理解しない読者を想定していないし、索引の件数がまったく足りない。


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Antigravitational Hair


Hawks Researcher That I am

I added an entry to my third blog (「あの頃の南海ホークス」). For this blog, I’m like a very serious researcher, cross-checking and cross-referencing because there are obvious mistakes and conflicting pieces of information, e.g. dates and game results, in published records. It’s taking up so much time of mine when I should be very active to find a steady job. Sorry, big sis Hazel…

As I expected, my nose is almost bleeding because of air-conditioning wind. But without a much cooler air, I can’t sleep!!