Tokyo Japan Quotes

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A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness. Imperial Hotel note paper, Tokyo Japan, 1922
Albert Einstein
The rain that fell on the city runs down the dark gutters and empties into the sea without even soaking the ground
Haruki Murakami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche)
Only the framing material," Lucas demurely, "obvious influences, Neo-Tokyo from Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Metal Gear Solid by Hideo Kojima, or as he's known in my crib, God.
Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge)
What comes from the heart will go to the heart
Renae Lucas-Hall
Unfortunately, much of the important information Ambassador Grew sent to Washington was largely overlooked or ignored, and dialogue between Washington and Tokyo was strained. This state of affairs is indicated by Grew’s cable on July 10, 1941, in which he pointed out that he had to go to the British ambassador in Tokyo, Sir Robert Craigie, to find out about discussions between the State Department and the Japanese ambassador in Washington. This occurred because the State Department kept the British ambassador in Washington abreast of events, who promptly informed the foreign secretary in London, who in turn informed their ambassador in Tokyo. Sir Robert then kindly passed the information to Ambassador Grew.
Dale A. Jenkins (Diplomats & Admirals: From Failed Negotiations and Tragic Misjudgments to Powerful Leaders and Heroic Deeds, the Untold Story of the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway)
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins." And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
Confession is for the confessor. It makes you feel good; it ruins the lives of everyone else. It’s a selfish thing to do. Don’t confess.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
You develop a kind of admiration for criminal genius and ruthless efficiency, and you forget that the criminal empire is built on human pain and suffering.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
Living right in the heart of Tokyo itself is quite like living in the mountains – in the midst of so many people, one hardly sees anyone.
Yūko Tsushima (Of Dogs and Walls)
Heroes are just people who have run out of choices.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
Tokyo is bigger than Kumamoto. And Japan is bigger than Tokyo. And even bigger than Japan... Even bigger than Japan is the inside of your head. Don't ever surrender yourself ― not to Japan, not to anything. You may think that what you're doing is for the sake of the nation, but let something take possession of you like that, and all you do is bring it down.
Natsume Sōseki (Sanshirō)
As the Japanese would say, I’d already eaten the poison, might as well lick the plate.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
Psychologically speaking (I’ll only wheel out the amateur psychology just this once, so bear with me), encounters that call up strong physical disgust or revulsion are often in fact projections of our own faults and weaknesses.
Haruki Murakami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche)
But: all journeys were return journeys. The farther one traveled, the nakeder one got, until, towards the end, ceasing to be animated by any scene, one was most oneself, a man in a bed surrounded by empty bottles. The man who says, "I've got a wife and kids" is far from home; at home he speaks of Japan. But he does not know - how could he? - that the scenes changing in the train window from Victoria Station to Tokyo Central are nothing compared to the change in himself; and travel writing, which cannot but be droll at the outset, moves from journalism to fiction, arriving promptly as the Kodama Echo at autobiography. From there any further travel makes a beeline to confession, the embarrassed monologue in a deserted bazaar. The anonymous hotel room in a strange city...
Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia)
I thought I heard an axe chop in the woods It broke the dream; and woke up dreaming on a train. It must have been a thousand years ago In some old mountain sawmill of Japan. A horde of excess poets and unwed girls And I that night prowled Tokyo like a bear Tracking the human future Of intelligence and despair.
Gary Snyder (Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems)
From New Year's Eve through the third of January, the streets of Tokyo grew quiet, as if all the people had disappeared.
Shogo Oketani (J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965)
The people believed that kotodama—the soul or spirit of language—resided in every word;
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
Japanese are one of the most punctual people he had ever worked with. They could, he imagined, put the Germans to shame in their high expectation for timeliness.
Vann Chow (The White Man and the Pachinko Girl (Tokyo Faces, #1))
Just remember when you're asking what Japan wants from you, make sure you ask what you want from yourself, too. Don't bury who you are to become who others think you should be.
Emiko Jean (Tokyo Dreaming (Tokyo Ever After, #2))
Men know how to read printed books; they do not know how to read the unprinted ones. They can play on a stringed harp, but not on a stringless one. Applying themselves to the superficial instead of the profound, how should they understand music or poetry?From the Saikontan, by Kojisei (circa 1600) cited in Haiku by Robert Blyth, circa 1947 Tokyo, p. 73.
To the woman in the restaurant today, the doll in her arms was the real child who still lived in her memories.
Shogo Oketani (J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965)
Tokyo is a very safe city. At night it becomes quiet the way New York never does.
Rick Kennedy (Little Adventures in Tokyo: 39 Thrills for the Urban Explorer)
Having a date with someone other than your ex-wife after being a married man for more than twenty five years was an important occasion alright, but wearing a tie she bought with such strong emotional value attached to it was a form of cowardice, a subconscious reluctance to let go.
Vann Chow (The White Man and the Pachinko Girl)
What alternative is there to the media’s “Us” versus “Them”? The danger is that if it is used to prop up this “righteous” position of “ours” all we will see from now on are ever more exacting and minute analyses of the “dirty” distortions in “their” thinking. Without some flexibility in our definitions we’ll remain forever stuck with the same old knee-jerk reactions, or worse, slide into complete apathy.
Haruki Murakami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche)
Johnny Battistini had gone to Japan once as a replacement drummer for a metal band past its prime ... a one-shot gig that he had talked about for years afterward. At the time, Theo had been frustrated by Johnny’s inability to describe Tokyo and why it had made such an impression on him. Although he spoke about it frequently ... he could never explain his fascination more clearly than: ‘It was just ... weird. It’s like a regular city, but then it’s all different and shit. But to them it’s not different. And that’s the really weird part!
Tad Williams (The War of the Flowers)
Along the way I stopped into a coffee shop. All around me normal, everyday city types were going about their normal, everyday affairs. Lovers were whispering to each other, businessmen were poring over spread sheets, college kids were planning their next ski trip and discussing the new Police album. We could have been in any city in Japan. Transplant this coffee shop scene to Yokohama or Fukuoka and nothing would seem out of place. In spite of which -- or, rather, all the more because -- here I was, sitting in this coffee shop, drinking my coffee, feeling a desperate loneliness. I alone was the outsider. I had no place here. Of course, by the same token, I couldn't really say I belonged to Tokyo and its coffee shops. But I had never felt this loneliness there. I could drink my coffee, read my book, pass the time of day without any special thought, all because I was part of the regular scenery. Here I had no ties to anyone. Fact is, I'd come to reclaim myself.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance)
The Professor noted two nymphs with strawberries on their heads, a DayGlo Amish lady, a mustachioed man in a rainbow apron. He wrote Saturday Night Fever, then crossed it out and wrote Drag Ball + Bollywood and underlined it twice.
La Carmina (Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo)
The book has had one unexpected side effect: by disdaining Koreans' complaints, it actually touches upon Japan's less-then-noble history with Korea, which is something the Ministry of Education has worked hard to keep out of the public school system. Apparently not knowing history means never having to say you're story.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
If you travel everywhere and find the same elements everywhere, somehow it reduces the value of the place (Curiosity, Tokyo, Japan)
Editorial Board of Approaching Hotel Designers (The Wisdom in Design. Approaching Hotel Designers)
Foreigners who think of Japan as a polite society have never ridden the Yamanote at rush hour. The
Barry Eisler (A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain #1))
Her eyes flashed, hot and angry, like lightening cutting through a red sunset.
Tyffani Clark Kemp (Bittersweet (The Kaveesh, #1))
your visit?’ ‘My superiors wish to come aboard to
Anthony Grey (Tokyo Bay: A Novel of Japan)
I want to conquer my own weak spirit and put the gas attack behind me.
Haruki Murakami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche)
Hostesses aren't seen as victims by many of the police; they're seen as victimizers, greedy, manipulative prostitutes. Especially the foreign hostesses.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
I was really delighted when in June that year the U.S State Department put Japan on a watch list of countries doing a piss-poor job of addressing human trafficking problems. In terms of willingness to act, Japan was ranked only slightly above North Korea. For the Japanese, that was like pushing a button. Never underestimate the power of national humiliation to make the Japanese government get off its lazy ass.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
Chad could put a solar panel on every roof in the country and yet become a barren desert due to the irresponsible environmental policies of distant foreigners. Even powerful nations such as China and Japan are not ecologically sovereign. To protect Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo from destructive floods and typhoons, the Chinese and Japanese will have to persuade the Russian and American governments to abandon their “business as usual” approach.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Japan is a startling clash of the deeply traditional and the spiritual. The intensely current and the superficial. It’s ancient, but futuristic. Conservative, yet hedonistic. Sleek skyscrapers graze the clouds like trees seeking sun in a man-made rainforest. Their concrete foundations often fertilized by the bodies of locals run afoul of the yakuza. It’s a homogenous island nation with a quaint surface and a Twin Peaks underbelly. The polite, insular, and eerily innocuous, living symbiotically with the perverse, extroverted, and bizarre. Fashion-forward and fashion-retarded. You could make similar generalizations about most cultures of course, but Japan’s beautiful contrasts were better than most."--Parker Choi
Robet Jung
Hajime Tanabe was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1885. After studying at Tokyo University, he was appointed associate professor of philosophy at Kyoto University, where he was an active member of what became known as the Kyoto School of philosophy.
Will Buckingham (The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (DK Big Ideas))
Yōshoku is the Japanese take on Western foods; much of it was created during the Meiji period (1868-1912), when, after centuries of isolation, Japan began importing goods and ideas from the outside world, including food. Yōshoku dishes such as hambaagu (salisbury steak in brown sauce), curry rice, potato croquettes, and "spaghetti naporitan" are now much-loved comfort food. They're also so unlike the dishes that inspired them that they tend to be really hard for Westerners to appreciate.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
You learn to let go of what you want to be the truth and find out what is the truth, and you report it as it is, not as you wish it was. It’s an important job. Journalists are the one thing in this country that keeps the forces in power in check.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
The biggest question for me was always this: how did this man get away with allegedly raping woman after woman for more than a decade, and why didn't the police catch him sooner? It's not that the police have a bad attitude toward crimes against foreign women-it's all women. They still don't seem to anticipate how stalking behaviour such as the kind demonstrated by Obara can lead to serious injury and even death. I think-and since I'm not writing for the newspaper, I can actually express my opinion here- that sexual assault against women was always a low-priority crime for the police.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
With chopsticks, I cut through the dark-skinned egg, releasing molten yoke into waiting broth. Face bathed in the warming steam, I tasted. Sheltered from the rain Soothing train, ramen-numbed brain I reap contentment With the Zen meal consumed and consumed by the Zen meal, I exited back into the chaotic Tokyo night.
Gordon Vanstone (Rainy Day Ramen and the Cosmic Pachinko)
...He said defensively, "But from now on, Japan is sure to develop." "Japan's headed for a fall," the man said coolly. Say a thing like that in Kumamoto and you'd get a punch in the nose, or be called a traitor. The atmosphere Sanshiro grew up in left no room in his head for such an idea. Just because he was young, was the man having some fun at his expense? The man kept on grinning. Yet his way of talking was perfectly composed. Not knowing what to think, Sanshiro held his tongue. His companion went on, "Tokyo is bigger than Kumamoto. Japan is bigger than Tokyo. And what's bigger than Japan is..." He paused and looked at Sanshiro, who was listening intently. "...the inside of your head. That's bigger than Japan. Don't let yourself get bogged down. You may believe your way of thinking is for the good of the nation, but you could actually be bringing it down." When he heard this, Sanshiro felt he had indeed left Kumamoto. And he realized, too, what a small person his Kumamoto self had been.
Natsume Sōseki (Sanshirō)
Something about Tokyo's exuberant modernism made Iris and me feel like the city existed just to make us happy: Cheer up! the waving maneki-neko cats seemed to whisper. You're in Tokyo! Iris and I came back with a list of Tokyo attractions we never made it to on our first trip, a list about a month long. And we started to drive Laurie insane by breaking into misty-eyed reminiscences about our cherry blossom days in Japan.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
I was angry that, although human trafficking was rampant in the country at the time, the Japanese police and the Japanese government didn't care and didn't want to deal with it. I can't really blame the police that much. The laws are the laws, and without any real anti-human trafficking ordinances on the books, what were they supposed to do? The problem didn't start with the cops; it started way above them. I decided to bust the Japanese government as far as I could.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
There are succulent loins of fatty pork fried in scales of thin bread crumbs and served with bowls of thickened Worcestershire and dabs of fiery mustard. Giant pots of curry, dark and brooding as a sudden summer storm, where apples and onions and huge hunks of meat are simmered into submission over hours. Or days. There is okonomiyaki, the great geologic mass of carbs and cabbage and pork fat that would feel more at home on a stoner's coffee table than a Japanese tatami mat.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
Hence there are many things that governments, corporations and individuals can do to avoid climate change. But to be effective, they must be done on a global level. When it comes to climate, countries are just not sovereign. They are at the mercy of actions taken by people on the other side of the planet. The Republic of Kiribati – an islands nation in the Pacific Ocean – could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero and nevertheless be submerged under the rising waves if other countries don’t follow suit. Chad could put a solar panel on every roof in the country and yet become a barren desert due to the irresponsible environmental policies of distant foreigners. Even powerful nations such as China and Japan are not ecologically sovereign. To protect Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo from destructive floods and typhoons, the Chinese and Japanese will have to convince the Russian and American governments to abandon their ‘business as usual’ approach.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
March 9–10, 1945, 334 B-29 aircraft dropped tons of jellied gasoline—napalm—and high explosives on Tokyo. The resulting firestorm killed an estimated 100,000 people and completely burned out 15.8 square miles of the city. The fire-bombing raids continued and by July 1945, all but five of Japan’s major cities had been razed and hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians had been killed. This was total warfare, an attack aimed at the destruction of a nation, not just its military targets.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus)
While you can sell ramen relatively expensively in Japan, you can’t do it in America. People will unblinkingly pay $ 20 a plate for spaghetti pomodoro—which is just canned tomatoes and boxed pasta—but they will bitch to the high heavens about forking over $ 20 for a bowl of soup that requires three or four or five different cooked and composed components to put together. Plus, you will rake yourself over the coals looking for ingredients that even approximate what you can buy down the alley from your shop in Tokyo.
Ivan Orkin (Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint)
As Japan negotiated with the Axis Powers in Europe, Vichy France, and the Soviet Union for settlements that would allow for easier territorial expansion in Southeast Asia, the US cut off negotiations with Japan. Washington, according to historian Richard Storry, became convinced that Japan was “redrawing the map of Asia so as to exclude the West.”142 As sanctions tightened, American ambassador to Tokyo Joseph Grew insightfully noted in his diary, “The vicious circle of reprisals and counter reprisals is on . . . The obvious conclusion is eventual war.”143
Graham Allison (Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
get wound up. Kimura was a short, stocky fellow with a tight-permed hairstyle reminiscent of the yakuza from my internship story. When he was sober, he was a great guy. He was a mean drunk, however, and he’d been putting it away all night. He kept picking on me as we entered the next izakaya, and once we were sitting down, he looked over at me and sneered. “I look at you, Adelstein, and I can’t figure out how we lost the war. How could we lose to a bunch of sloppy Americans? Barbarians with no discipline, no culture, and no honor. It beats me. Long live the Emperor!
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
What to eat? You've crossed a dozen time zones to get here and you want to make every meal count. Do you start at an izakaya, a Japanese pub, and eat raw fish and grilled chicken parts and fried tofu, all washed down with a river of cold sake? Do you seek out the familiar nourishment of noodles- ramen, udon, soba- and let the warmth and beauty of this cuisine slip gloriously past your lips? Or maybe you wade into the vast unknown, throw yourself entirely into the world of unfamiliar flavors: a bowl of salt-roasted eel, a mound of sticky fermented soybeans, a nine-course kaiseki feast.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
I've talked to three women who have had very unpleasant experiences with the police after being raped. Each of them was made to wait between three and eight hours before being taken to a hospital for examination. During the time, all of them were allowed or encouraged to go to the bathroom, thus, of course, destroying the physical evidence. Rape kits are not a standard item at police stations, and very few officers know how to use them, thought I've been told that rape kits themselves do exist. In a country were rape is not considered a serious crime, it's not surprising that people like Obara flourish.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
The fire bombings were no secret. Ordinary Americans read about the raids in their newspapers. Thoughtful people understood that strategic bombing of cities raised profound ethical questions. “I remember Mr. Stimson [the secretary of war] saying to me,” Oppenheimer later remarked, “that he thought it appalling that there should be no protest over the air raids which we were conducting against Japan, which in the case of Tokyo led to such extraordinarily heavy loss of life. He didn’t say that the air strikes shouldn’t be carried on, but he did think there was something wrong with a country where no one questioned that. . . .
Kai Bird (American Prometheus)
How specialized do restaurants get in Japan? Every weekday at lunchtime, people queue up on a side street just south of Ningyōchō Station, in an old Tokyo neighborhood. They're waiting to get into Tamahide, a restaurant that (at lunchtime) serves one dish, oyakodon. Written with the characters for "parent" and "child," oyakodon is a runny chicken omelet (get it?) served over rice. There are very few ingredients to this dish: chicken, egg, and rice, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. There is no vegetarian version, no low-carb salad version, no side dishes other than a tiny dish of pickles perched atop the lid of your bowl. If you're not in the mood for diced chicken meat, however, you can order the dish with chicken liver or ground chicken.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
Westerners are very beautiful, aren’t they?” he said. Sanshirō could think of nothing to say in reply. He nodded and smiled. “We Japanese are sad-looking things next to them. We can beat the Russians, we can become a ‘first-class power,’ but it doesn’t make any difference. We still have the same faces, the same feeble little bodies. Just look at the houses we live in, the gardens we build around them. They’re just what you’d expect from faces like this. —Oh yes, this is your first trip to Tokyo, isn’t it? You’ve never seen Mount Fuji. We go by it a little farther on. Have a look. It’s the finest thing Japan has to offer, the only thing we have to boast about. The trouble is, of course, it’s just a natural object. It’s been sitting there for all time. We didn’t make it.
Natsume Sōseki (Sanshiro)
There are a dozen factors that make Japanese food so special- ingredient obsession, technical precision, thousands of years of meticulous refinement- but chief among them is one simple concept: specialization. In the Western world, where miso-braised short ribs share menu space with white truffle ceviche, restaurants cast massive nets to try to catch as many fish as possible, but in Japan, the secret to success is choosing one thing and doing it fucking well. Forever. There are people who dedicate their entire lives to grilling beef intestines, slicing blowfish, kneading buckwheat into tangles of chewy noodles- microdisciplines with infinite room for improvement. The concept of shokunin, an artisan deeply and singularly dedicated to his or her craft, is at the core of Japanese culture.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
White bread in Japan is a steroidal megaloaf called shokupan. Brioche-like and great for toasting, shokupan is sold in bags of four, six, or eight perfectly square slices, without heels. Where do the heels go? Out back with the imperfect vegetables? I bought shokupan several times before figuring out why the four-, six, and eight-slice sacks all sold for the same price. It's the same loaf, cut into thicker or thinner slices. Eight-slice shokupan is similar in thickness to Wonder bread. Six-slice shokupan is like what we buy in Seattle as Texas Toast (the fresh kind, not the frozen garlic bread). A piece of four-slice shokupan is like a Stephen King paperback. It would make a slot toaster cry out in pain. Iris and I liked the six-slice bread best and usually ate it toasted with melted butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
As we walked off the plank, we were greeted by a swarm of felines that clearly knew the boat's arrival time. There were cats stretched out on the dock, cats lounging in the morning sun, cats playing and fighting one another, and cats cleaning themselves. Calicos, tabbies, tuxedoes, ginger, and black cats. At the end of the dock were crates that had been converted into blanket-covered little cat apartments. Tails stuck out from inside the shelters. The few buildings on the street were adorned with graffiti of cats. A Japanese tourist couple also getting off the boat were more prepared than us- they had bonito flake treats to dole out to the felines. But the local fishermen sorted their wares in sheds by the road were the real treat-givers. They threw out small fish to the cats. The lucky cats on the receiving end pranced by us with fish heads and tails sticking out from either side of their mouths.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
Careless of her own life, the princess sought to protect the precious new life first. This is in contrast to her cousins, Princesses Akiko and Noriko, who shoved their imperial guards in front of them." Mariko stops and takes one overexcited breath. Her cheeks are flushed. She is dreamy-eyed. This is what gets her excited. Good to know. "They compare you to the empress after the 1923 earthquake!" The empress rolled up her sleeves and laid bricks for a new school. She refused to leave until the town was fed, the children safe. There is a famous picture of her hugging a mother who lost her son, both of their cheeks coated in dust. "They end with calling you our very own royal." Words fail me. Mariko seems to know I need a private moment. She places the article in my lap, then glides out the door. When she's gone, I pick it up. I rub my thumb over the last sentence of the article. It's not the royal part that warms me. No, it's the other two words. Very own, it says. Very own. Yes. That's me. A true daughter of Japan.
Emiko Jean (Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After, #1))
I first came to Hokkaido for two reasons: miso ramen and uni, the island's most famous foods and two items on my short list for Last Supper constituents. The only thing they share in common, besides a home, is the intense fits of joy they deliver: the former made from an unholy mix of pork-bone broth, thick miso paste, and wok-crisped pork belly (with the optional addition of a slab of melting Hokkaido butter), the latter arguably the sexiest food on earth, yolk-orange tongues of raw sea urchin roe with a habit-forming blend of fat and umami, sweetness and brine. Fall for uni at your own peril; like heroin and high-stakes poker, it's an expensive addiction that's tough to kick. But my dead-simple plan- to binge on both and catch the first flight back to Tokyo- has been upended by a steam locomotive and Whole Foods foliage, and suddenly Hokkaido seems much bigger than an urchin and a bowl of soup. No one told me about the rolling farmlands, the Fuji-like volcanoes, the stunning national parks, one stacked on top of the other. Nobody said there would be wine. And cheese. And bread.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
For my first home-cooked meal in Tokyo, I took an assortment of beautiful Japanese ingredients and did what came naturally: I made Chinese food. I stir-fried some beautifully marbled kurobuta (Berkshire breed) pork with bok choy, ginger, and leeks, sauced it with soy sauce, mirin, and vinegar, and served it over rice, sprinkled with shichimi tōgarashi seven-spice mixture. This seemed like a reasonable act of Japanese-Chinese fusion. I made some quick-pickled cucumbers on the side. This was before we discovered that anything you do to a Japanese cucumber diminishes it. I should have known this; once I interviewed a Japanese-American farmer who grows more than a hundred Asian vegetables in Washington state. Naturally, I asked him about his personal favorite. Cucumber, he said. "How do you prepare it?" I asked. "Slice and eat." The whole meal was about the same as something I'd make at home, but I cooked it in Japan. It was like the SpongeBob SquarePants episode where SpongeBob has to work the night shift at the Krusty Krab, and he keeps saying things like, "I'm chopping lettuce... at night!" I was slicing cucumbers... in Tokyo!
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
Other than chicken and rice, you'll find Tokyo restaurants specializing in fried pork cutlets, curry rice, ramen, udon, soba, gyōza, beef tongue, tempura, takoyaki, yakitori, Korean-style grilled beef, sushi, okonomiyaki, mixed rice dishes, fried chicken, and dozens of other dishes. Furthermore, even if you know something about Japanese food, it's common to come across a restaurant whose menu or plastic food display indicates that it specializes in a particular food you've never seen before and can't quite decipher. Out of this tradition of single-purpose restaurants, Japan has created homegrown fast-food chains. McDonald's and KFC exist in Tokyo but are outnumbered by Japanese chains like Yoshinoya (beef-and-rice bowl), CoCo Ichiban (curry rice), Hanamaru Udon, Gindaco (takoyaki), Lotteria (burgers), Tenya (tempura), Freshness Burger, Ringer Hut (Nagasaki-style noodles), and Mister Donut (pizza) (just kidding). Since the Japanese are generally slim and healthy and I don't know how to read a Japanese newspaper, it was unclear to me whether Japan's fast-food chains are blamed for every social ill, but it seems like it would be hard to pin a high suicide rate on Mister Donut.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
In the early 1990s, before Japan’s bubble economy burst, a leading newspaper in the U.S. published a large photo taken on a winter’s morning of rush-hour commuters in Shinjuku Station (or possibly Tokyo Station—the same applies to both) heading down the stairs. As if by agreement, all the commuters were gazing downward, their expressions strained and unhappy, looking more like lifeless fish packed in a can than people. The article said, “Japan may be affluent, but most Japanese look like this, heads downcast and unhappy-looking.” The photo became famous. Tsukuru had no idea if most Japanese were, as the article claimed, unhappy. But the real reason that most passengers descending the stairs at Shinjuku Station during their packed morning commute were looking down was less that they were unhappy than that they were concerned about their footing. Don’t slip on the stairs, don’t lose a shoe—these are the major issues on the minds of the commuters in the mammoth station during rush hour. There was no explanation of this, no context for the photograph. Certainly it was hard to view this mass of people, clad in dark overcoats, their heads down, as happy. And of course it’s logical to see a country where people can’t commute in the morning without fear of losing their shoes as an unhappy society.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
The art department proper I thought much inferior to that of the Tokyo Exhibition of 1890. Fine things there were, but few. Evidence, perhaps, of the eagerness with which the nation is turning all its energies and talents in directions where money is to be made; for in those larger departments where art is combined with industry,—such as ceramics, enamels, inlaid work, embroideries,—no finer and costlier work could ever have been shown. Indeed, the high value of certain articles on display suggested a reply to a Japanese friend who observed, thoughtfully, "If China adopts Western industrial methods, she will be able to underbid us in all the markets of the world." "Perhaps in cheap production," I made answer. "But there is no reason why Japan should depend wholly upon cheapness of production. I think she may rely more securely upon her superiority in art and good taste. The art-genius of a people may have a special value against which all competition by cheap labor is vain. Among Western nations, France offers an example. Her wealth is not due to her ability to underbid her neighbors. Her goods are the dearest in the world: she deals in things of luxury and beauty. But they sell in all civilized countries because they are the best of their kind. Why should not Japan become the France of the Further East?
Lafcadio Hearn (Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life)
The clearest signs of Hakodate's current greatness, though, can be found clustered around its central train station, in the morning market, where blocks and blocks of pristine seafood explode onto the sidewalks like an edible aquarium, showcasing the might of the Japanese fishing industry. Hokkaido is ground zero for the world's high-end sushi culture. The cold waters off the island have long been home to Japan's A-list of seafood: hairy crab, salmon, scallops, squid, and, of course, uni. The word "Hokkaido" attached to any of these creatures commands a premium at market, one that the finest sushi chefs around the world are all too happy to pay. Most of the Hokkaido haul is shipped off to the Tsukiji market in Tokyo, where it's auctioned and scattered piece by piece around Japan and the big cities of the world. But the island keeps a small portion of the good stuff for itself, most of which seems to be concentrated in a two-hundred-meter stretch in Hakodate. Everything here glistens with that sparkly sea essence, and nearly everything is meant to be consumed in the moment. Live sea urchins, piled high in hillocks of purple spikes, are split with scissors and scraped out raw with chopsticks. Scallops are blowtorched in their shells until their edges char and their sweet liquor concentrates. Somewhere, surely, a young fishmonger will spoon salmon roe directly into your mouth for the right price.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
Japan is obsessed with French pastry. Yes, I know everyone who has access to French pastry is obsessed with it, but in Tokyo they've taken it another level. When a patissier becomes sufficiently famous in Paris, they open a shop in Tokyo; the department store food halls feature Pierre Herme, Henri Charpentier, and Sadaharu Aoki, who was born in Tokyo but became famous for his Japanese-influenced pastries in Paris before opening shops in his hometown. And don't forget the famous Mister Donut, which I just made up. Our favorite French pastry shop is run by a Japanese chef, Terai Norihiko, who studied in France and Belgium and opened a small shop called Aigre-Douce, in the Mejiro neighborhood. Aigre-Douce is a pastry museum, the kind of place where everything looks too beautiful to eat. On her first couple of visits, Iris chose a gooey caramel brownie concoction, but she and Laurie soon sparred over the affections of Wallace, a round two-layer cake with lime cream atop chocolate, separated by a paper-thin square chocolate wafer. "Wallace is a one-woman man," said Laurie. Iris giggled in the way eight-year-olds do at anything that smacks of romance. We never figured out why they named a cake Wallace. I blame IKEA. I've always been more interested in chocolate than fruit desserts, but for some reason, perhaps because it was summer and the fruit desserts looked so good and I was not quite myself the whole month, I gravitated toward the blackberry and raspberry items, like a cup of raspberry puree with chantilly cream and a layer of sponge cake.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
The hot case at a kombini features tonkatsu, fried chicken, menchikatsu (a breaded hamburger patty), Chinese pork buns, potato croquettes, and seafood items such as breaded squid legs or oysters. In a bit of international solidarity, you'll see corn dogs, often labeled "Amerikandoggu." One day for lunch I stopped at 7-Eleven and brought home a pouch of "Gold Label" beef curry, steamed rice, inarizushi (sushi rice in a pouch of sweetened fried tofu), cold noodle salad, and a banana. Putting together lunch for the whole family from an American 7-Eleven would be as appetizing as scavenging among seaside medical waste, but this fun to shop for and fun to eat. Instant ramen is as popular in Japan as it is in college dorms worldwide, and while the selection of flavors is wider than at an American grocery, it serves a predictable ecological niche as the food of last resort for those with no money or no time. (Frozen ramen, on the other hand, can be very good; if you have access to a Japanese supermarket, look for Myojo Chukazanmai brand.) That's how I saw it, at least, until stumbling on the ramen topping section in the 7-Eleven refrigerator case, where you can buy shrink-wrapped packets of popular fresh ramen toppings such as braised pork belly and fermented bamboo shoots. With a quick stop at a convenience store, you can turn instant ramen into a serious meal. The pork belly is rolled and tied, braised, chilled, and then sliced into thick circular slices like Italian pancetta. This is one of the best things you can do with pork, and I don't say that lightly.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
Fish at breakfast is sometimes himono (semi-dried fish, intensely flavored and chewy, the Japanese equivalent of a breakfast of kippered herring or smoked salmon) and sometimes a small fillet of rich, well-salted broiled fish. Japanese cooks are expert at cutting and preparing fish with nothing but salt and high heat to produce deep flavor and a variety of textures: a little crispy over here, melting and juicy there. Some of this is technique and some is the result of a turbo-charged supply chain that scoops small, flavorful fish out of the ocean and deposits them on breakfast tables with only the briefest pause at Tsukiji fish market and a salt cure in the kitchen. By now, I've finished my fish and am drinking miso soup. Where you find a bowl of rice, miso shiru is likely lurking somewhere nearby. It is most often just like the soup you've had at the beginning of a sushi meal in the West, with wakame seaweed and bits of tofu, but Iris and I were always excited when our soup bowls were filled with the shells of tiny shijimi clams. Clams and miso are one of those predestined culinary combos- what clams and chorizo are to Spain, clams and miso are to Japan. Shijimi clams are fingernail-sized, and they are eaten for the briny essence they release into the broth, not for what Mario Batali has called "the little bit of snot" in the shell. Miso-clam broth is among the most complex soup bases you'll ever taste, but it comes together in minutes, not the hours of simmering and skimming involved in making European stocks. As Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat explain in their book Japanese Hot Pots, this is because so many fermented Japanese ingredients are, in a sense, already "cooked" through beneficial bacterial and fungal actions. Japanese food has a reputation for crossing the line from subtlety into blandness, but a good miso-clam soup is an umami bomb that begins with dashi made from kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) or niboshi (a school of tiny dried sardines), adds rich miso pressed through a strainer for smoothness, and is then enriched with the salty clam essence.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
In theory, toppings can include almost anything, but 95 percent of the ramen you consume in Japan will be topped with chashu, Chinese-style roasted pork. In a perfect world, that means luscious slices of marinated belly or shoulder, carefully basted over a low temperature until the fat has rendered and the meat collapses with a hard stare. Beyond the pork, the only other sure bet in a bowl of ramen is negi, thinly sliced green onion, little islands of allium sting in a sea of richness. Pickled bamboo shoots (menma), sheets of nori, bean sprouts, fish cake, raw garlic, and soy-soaked eggs are common constituents, but of course there is a whole world of outlier ingredients that make it into more esoteric bowls, which we'll get into later. While shape and size will vary depending on region and style, ramen noodles all share one thing in common: alkaline salts. Called kansui in Japanese, alkaline salts are what give the noodles a yellow tint and allow them to stand up to the blistering heat of the soup without degrading into a gummy mass. In fact, in the sprawling ecosystem of noodle soups, it may be the alkaline noodle alone that unites the ramen universe: "If it doesn't have kansui, it's not ramen," Kamimura says. Noodles and toppings are paramount in the ramen formula, but the broth is undoubtedly the soul of the bowl, there to unite the disparate tastes and textures at work in the dish. This is where a ramen chef makes his name. Broth can be made from an encyclopedia of flora and fauna: chicken, pork, fish, mushrooms, root vegetables, herbs, spices. Ramen broth isn't about nuance; it's about impact, which is why making most soup involves high heat, long cooking times, and giant heaps of chicken bones, pork bones, or both. Tare is the flavor base that anchors each bowl, that special potion- usually just an ounce or two of concentrated liquid- that bends ramen into one camp or another. In Sapporo, tare is made with miso. In Tokyo, soy sauce takes the lead. At enterprising ramen joints, you'll find tare made with up to two dozen ingredients, an apothecary's stash of dried fish and fungus and esoteric add-ons. The objective of tare is essentially the core objective of Japanese food itself: to pack as much umami as possible into every bite.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
As Japan recovered from the post-war depression, okonomiyaki became the cornerstone of Hiroshima's nascent restaurant culture. And with new variables- noodles, protein, fishy powders- added to the equation, it became an increasingly fungible concept. Half a century later it still defies easy description. Okonomi means "whatever you like," yaki means "grill," but smashed together they do little to paint a clear picture. Invariably, writers, cooks, and oko officials revert to analogies: some call it a cabbage crepe; others a savory pancake or an omelet. Guidebooks, unhelpfully, refer to it as Japanese pizza, though okonomiyaki looks and tastes nothing like pizza. Otafuku, for its part, does little to clarify the situation, comparing okonomiyaki in turn to Turkish pide, Indian chapati, and Mexican tacos. There are two overarching categories of okonomiyaki Hiroshima style, with a layer of noodles and a heavy cabbage presence, and Osaka or Kansai style, made with a base of eggs, flour, dashi, and grated nagaimo, sticky mountain yam. More than the ingredients themselves, the difference lies in the structure: whereas okonomiyaki in Hiroshima is carefully layered, a savory circle with five or six distinct layers, the ingredients in Osaka-style okonomiyaki are mixed together before cooking. The latter is so simple to cook that many restaurants let you do it yourself on table side teppans. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, on the other hand, is complicated enough that even the cooks who dedicate their lives to its construction still don't get it right most of the time. (Some people consider monjayaki, a runny mass of meat and vegetables popularized in Tokyo's Tsukishima district, to be part of the okonomiyaki family, but if so, it's no more than a distant cousin.) Otafuku entered the picture in 1938 as a rice vinegar manufacturer. Their original factory near Yokogawa Station burned down in the nuclear attack, but in 1946 they started making vinegar again. In 1950 Otafuku began production of Worcestershire sauce, but local cooks complained that it was too spicy and too thin, that it didn't cling to okonomiyaki, which was becoming the nutritional staple of Hiroshima life. So Otafuku used fruit- originally orange and peach, later Middle Eastern dates- to thicken and sweeten the sauce, and added the now-iconic Otafuku label with the six virtues that the chubby-cheeked lady of Otafuku, a traditional character from Japanese folklore, is supposed to represent, including a little nose for modesty, big ears for good listening, and a large forehead for wisdom.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
Liberal democracy and capitalism remain the essential, indeed the only, framework for the political and economic organization of modern societies. Rapid economic modernization is closing the gap between many former Third World countries and the industrialized North. With European integration and North American free trade, the web of economic ties within each region will thicken, and sharp cultural boundaries will become increasingly fuzzy. Implementation of the free trade regime of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will further erode interregional boundaries. Increased global competition has forced companies across cultural boundaries to try to adopt “best-practice” techniques like lean manufacturing from whatever source they come from. The worldwide recession of the 1990s has put great pressure on Japanese and German companies to scale back their culturally distinctive and paternalistic labor policies in favor of a more purely liberal model. The modern communications revolution abets this convergence by facilitating economic globalization and by propagating the spread of ideas at enormous speed. But in our age, there can be substantial pressures for cultural differentiation even as the world homogenizes in other respects. Modern liberal political and economic institutions not only coexist with religion and other traditional elements of culture but many actually work better in conjunction with them. If many of the most important remaining social problems are essentially cultural in nature and if the chief differences among societies are not political, ideological, or even institutional but rather cultural, it stands to reason that societies will hang on to these areas of cultural distinctiveness and that the latter will become all the more salient and important in the years to come. Awareness of cultural difference will be abetted, paradoxically, by the same communications technology that has made the global village possible. There is a strong liberal faith that people around the world are basically similar under the surface and that greater communications will bring deeper understanding and cooperation. In many instances, unfortunately, that familiarity breeds contempt rather than sympathy. Something like this process has been going on between the United States and Asia in the past decade. Americans have come to realize that Japan is not simply a fellow capitalist democracy but has rather different ways of practicing both capitalism and democracy. One result, among others, is sthe emergence of the revisionist school among specialists on Japan, who are less sympathetic to Tokyo and argue for tougher trade policies. And Asians are made vividly aware through the media of crime, drugs, family breakdown, and other American social problems, and many have decided that the United States is not such an attractive model after all. Lee Kwan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, has emerged as a spokesman for a kind of Asian revisionism on the United States, which argues that liberal democracy is not an appropriate political model for the Confucian societies.10 The very convergence of major institutions makes peoples all the more intent on preserving those elements of distinctiveness they continue to possess.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
Chinese family businesses instinctively thought of ways of hiding income from the tax collector. The situation is quite different in Japan, where the family is weaker and individuals are pulled in different directions by the various vertical authority structures standing above them. The entire Japanese nation, with the emperor at the top, is, in a sense, the ie of all ies, and calls forth a degree of moral obligation and emotional attachment that the Chinese emperor never enjoyed. Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese have had less of a we-against-them attitude toward outsiders and are much more likely to identify with family, lineage, or region as with nation. The dark side to the Japanese sense of nationalism and proclivity to trust one another is their lack of trust for people who are not Japanese. The problems faced by non-Japanese living in Japan, such as the sizable Korean community, have been widely noted. Distrust of non-Japanese is also evident in the practices of many Japanese multinationals operating in other countries. While aspects of the Japanese lean manufacturing system have been imported with great success into the United States, Japanese transplants have been much less successful integrating into local American supplier networks. Japanese auto companies building assembly plants in the United States, for example, have tended to bring over with them the suppliers in their network organizations from Japan. According to one study, some ninety percent of the parts for Japanese cars assembled in America come from Japan or from subsidiaries of Japanese companies in America.43 This is perhaps predictable given the cultural differences between the Japanese assembler and the American subcontractor but has understandably led to hard feelings between the two. To take another example, while Japanese multinationals have hired a great number of native executives to run their overseas businesses, these people are seldom treated like executives at the same level in Japan. An American working for a subdivision of a Japanese company in the United States might aspire to rise within that organization but is very unlikely to be asked to move to Tokyo or even to a higher post outside the United States.44 There are exceptions. Sony America, for example, with its largely American staff, is highly autonomous and often influences its parent in Japan. But by and large, the Japanese radius of trust can be fully extended only to other Japanese.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
However, our kind Nigerian friend failed to mention that not only is stripping in Japan a full-contact sport above the waist, but also apparently having shots poured over your breasts and sucked off your nipples by strange Japanese men is as commonplace as the gyrations to be overheard in the dark quarters where much more than private dances went on.
Chelsea Haywood (90-Day Geisha: My Time as a Tokyo Hostess)
It’s not how much you do that counts, it’s what you get done.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says By MARTIN FACKLER TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Thursday criticized an American textbook that he said inaccurately depicted Japan’s actions during World War II, opening a new front in a battle to sway American views of the country’s wartime history. Speaking in Parliament, Mr. Abe pledged to increase efforts to fight what he called mistaken views abroad concerning Japan’s wartime actions, when the Japanese military conquered much of Asia. He singled out a high school history textbook published by McGraw-Hill Education that he said contained the sort of negative portrayals that Japan must do more to combat. In particular, he objected to a description of women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the war, a highly fraught issue in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. The textbook is used in some public schools in California. “I just looked at a document, McGraw-Hill’s textbook, and I was shocked,” The Japan Times quoted Mr. Abe as saying during a meeting of a parliamentary budget committee. “This kind of textbook is being used in the United States, as we did not protest the things we should have, or we failed to correct the things we should have.” McGraw-Hill has defended its textbook, saying
However, while it may be true that the open-air stalls did help get the economy going again to some degree and feed some of the hungry masses (government rationing being so inadequate that a Tokyo District Court judge who refused to eat anything purchased illegally died of malnutrition), the men who ran them were anything but altruistic.
Robert Whiting (Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan (Vintage Departures))
Cedar Capital Group Tokyo: Owning vs Renting Heavy Equipment You have some projects underway. It is either you gear up and buy your own equipment, extend your company’s capabilities and add them these equipment to your business’ asset or you just need to rent a unit and cut the cost. How do you decide when to buy and rent the equipment anyway? We have learned a lot of pros and cons of renting and buying. It is important to evaluate your company’s current situation and capabilities including your financial plans to carefully consider which method you will use in acquiring the equipment. Here is a review of the things which you should bear in mind before deciding when to buy and when to rent equipment: 1. Budget The budget is one of the most important factors in any start of the business. Do you have enough capital to buy a new equipment? If so, will it be practical to use that money to buy or is it more rational to rent and save the cost? You should not look only on the first few months of operation but foresee the future need of the equipment to be used. Although buying may be a larger one-time financial outlay, the cost of renting can add up quickly, and over a long period of time can end up costing you more – especially if the equipment isn’t being used for the entire rental period. And don’t forget: when you own, you can see a return on your investment when you sell. 2. Duration of Project Time frame is important to know how long you will need the equipment. It is more practical to rent the machine if you are only using it for a short period of time. Renting also makes more sense if you are using the equipment for only a specific task. The risk, of course, is the increasing cost of rental when the equipment is not used the entire time. Fortunately, many rental companies in Singapore, Tokyo, Japan and Seoul South Korea only require payment for the actual time the machine is being used. On the other hand, if you are working on a long project and would be using the machine frequently, it is more advisable to buy your own equipment. The complaints on damage on the parts of the equipment can still be charged on you if you are renting it. It becomes worse if you wear the machine out so it would be better if you purchase your own.
Alana Barnet
Ryogoku Kokugikan* Ryogoku, the largest sumo stadium in Japan with a capacity of 10,000 spectators, holds grand tournaments of basho in January, May and September. These magnificent 15-day long tournaments are filled with ceremonies and rituals that are as interesting as the wrestling matches themselves.   The competition begins around 9am each day, with amateur matches, and progress in order of seniority as the day continues.
Wanderlust Pocket Guides (Tokyo Travel Guide - Best of Tokyo - Your #1 Itinerary Planner for What to See, Do, and Eat in Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Travel Guide, Tokyo Travel, Tokyo Japan) (Wanderlust Pocket Guides - Japan))
People like to say the West is a guilt-based culture, while that of Japan is based on shame, with the chief distinction being that the former is an internalized emotion while the latter depends on the presence of a group. But
Barry Eisler (A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain #1))
An even more extreme example of a onetime grand gesture yielding results is a story involving Peter Shankman, an entrepreneur and social media pioneer. As a popular speaker, Shankman spends much of his time flying. He eventually realized that thirty thousand feet was an ideal environment for him to focus. As he explained in a blog post, “Locked in a seat with nothing in front of me, nothing to distract me, nothing to set off my ‘Ooh! Shiny!’ DNA, I have nothing to do but be at one with my thoughts.” It was sometime after this realization that Shankman signed a book contract that gave him only two weeks to finish the entire manuscript. Meeting this deadline would require incredible concentration. To achieve this state, Shankman did something unconventional. He booked a round-trip business-class ticket to Tokyo. He wrote during the whole flight to Japan, drank an espresso in the business class lounge once he arrived in Japan, then turned around and flew back, once again writing the whole way—arriving back in the States only thirty hours after he first left with a completed manuscript now in hand. “The trip cost $4,000 and was worth every penny,” he explained.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side...To them, we have a solemn ensure that their sacrifice will help make this a better and safer world in which to live.”—Admiral Nimitz at the official surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay.
Bathroom Readers' Institute (Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Salutes the Armed Forces)
Carlton Church review – Why Tokyo is populated? How Tokyo became the largest city? Apparently Tokyo Japan has been one of the largest global cities for hundreds of years. One of the primary reasons for its growth is the fact that it has been a political hotspot since they Edo period. Many of the feudal lords of Japan needed to be in Edo for a significant part of the year and this has led to a situation where increasing numbers of the population was attracted to the city. There were many people with some power base throughout Japan but it became increasingly clear that those who have the real power were the ones who were residing in Edo. Eventually Tokyo Japan emerged as both the cultural and the political center for the entire Japan and this only contributed to its rapid growth which made it increasingly popular for all people living in Japan. After World War II substantial rebuilding of the city was necessary and it was especially after the war that extraordinary growth was seen and because major industries came especially to Tokyo and Osaka, these were the cities where the most growth took place. The fact remains that there are fewer opportunities for people who are living far from the cities of Japan and this is why any increasing number of people come to the city. There are many reasons why Japan is acknowledged as the greatest city The Japanese railways is widely acknowledged to be the most sophisticated railway system in the world. There is more than 100 surface routes which is operated by Japan’s railways as well as 13 subway lines and over the years Japanese railway engineers has accomplished some amazing feats which is unequalled in any other part of the world. Most places in the city of Tokyo Japan can be reached by train and a relatively short walk. Very few global cities can make this same boast. Crossing the street especially outside Shibuya station which is one of the busiest crossings on the planet with literally thousands of people crossing at the same time. However, this street crossing symbolizes one of the trademarks of Tokyo Japan and its major tourism attractions. It lies not so much in old buildings but rather in the masses of people who come together for some type of cultural celebration. There is also the religious centers in Japan such as Carlton Church and others. Tokyo Japan has also been chosen as the city that will host the Olympics in 2020 and for many reasons this is considered to be the best possible venue. A technological Metropolitan No other country exports more critical technologies then Japan and therefore it should come as no surprise that the neighborhood electronics store look more like theme parks than electronic stores. At quickly becomes clear when one looks at such a spectacle that the Japanese people are completely infatuated with technology and they make no effort to hide that infatuation. People planning to visit Japan should heed the warnings from travel organizations and also the many complaints which is lodged by travelers who have become victims of fraud. It is important to do extensive research regarding the available options and to read every possible review which is available regarding travel agencies. A safe option will always be to visit the website of Carlton Church and to make use of their services when travelling to and from Japan.
jessica pilar
You did the only thing you could. That was the right thing. No story is worth dying for, no story is worth your family dying for. Heroes are just people who have run out of choices. You still had a choice. You made the right choice.” I
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
When I think of overcoming obstacles, I’m reminded of one our West Coast Baptist College graduates, Nathan Kinoshita, missionary to Tokyo, Japan. When Nathan and his wife, Ruth, went to Tokyo to begin church planting, the city was credited as the most expensive city in the world in which to live. It bumps up and down on the list (as of this writing, it is the sixth most expensive city), but it remains high. The expense not only impacted their personal living needs (for $2,500 per month, they rent a five hundred-square-foot apartment for their family of five), but it impacted their ministry needs as well. To rent even a small building in which to hold services for three hours each Sunday costs them $7,000 per month. On top of that, Japan is not known as a mission field that is particularly responsive to the gospel. So the Kinoshitas were looking at months, possibly years, before a self-supporting church would be established. Many people would have said, “It can’t be done. It’s too expensive. There are too many obstacles. The people don’t want to hear anyway.” I’m thankful Nathan Kinoshita didn’t say that. He found an apartment for his family and rolled up his sleeves and went to work sharing the gospel. Today, a mere five and a half years later, the City Baptist Church of Tokyo is strong, healthy, and growing. Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off the goal. Passion is what we need to overcome the obstacles.
Paul Chappell (Out of Commission: Getting Every Christian Back to the Great Commission)
The province’s most lucrative agricultural export market was Matsutake pine mushrooms, prized in Japan for their fragrance and taste. Consumers in Tokyo and Kyoto were willing to pay up to 10,000 yen (US$110) for the best specimens.34 Chinese consumers preferred the caterpillar fungus Cordyceps sinensis, which consumed its host, the ghost moth caterpillar, from inside out as it hibernated on the mountain grasslands. But rising demand and intense competition is driving foragers to collect earlier in the year, sometimes before the fungus has had time to release spores. This means it has no way to reproduce. Production has plummeted over the past twenty years, driving up the price of the fungus to almost twice the price of gold, gram for gram.35 Many Chinese believe this ghoulish parasite, known in Tibetan as yartsa gunbu, or bu, is variously a cure for cancer, an aphrodisiac, and a tonic for long-distance runners.
Jonathan Watts (When A Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind—Or Destroy It)
Toshiba and Hitachi made better sets at the time, only they showed them on the Ginza in Tokyo and in the big-city department stores, making it pretty clear that farmers were not particularly welcome in such elegant surroundings. Matsushita went to the farmers and sold its televisions door-to-door, something no one in Japan had ever done before for anything more expensive than cotton pants or aprons.
Peter F. Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Routledge Classics))
Carlton Church Warning - Nuclear Fraud Scheme North Korea has been producing different nuclear weapons since last year. They have sent warning on the neighboring countries about their plan for a nuclear test. Not just South Korea, but other countries like China, U.S., and Japan have stated their complaints. Even the United Nations has been alarmed by North Korea’s move. During the last period of World War, a bomb has been used to attack Japan. Happened on 6th of August 1945, Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb just 10 kilometers away from Tokyo. This is why people and organizations like Carlton Church who’s against the use of nuclear power for production of armory in war. Many protested that it is a threat to mankind and environment. Groups who are in favor of the nuclear use explained its advantage. They say it can be helpful in generating electricity that can be used for residential and commercial purposes. They also expound how it is better to use than coal mining as it is “less harmful to the environment.” Nuclear Use: Good or Bad? Groups who are against the use of nuclear reactor and weapons try to persuade people about its catastrophic result to the environment and humankind. If such facility will be used to create weapons, there is a possibility for another world war. But the pro-nuclear groups discuss the good effects that can be gained from it. They give details on how greenhouse gas effect of coal-burning can emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants such as sulfur dioxide nitrogen oxide, and toxic compounds of mercury to the atmosphere every year. Burning coal can produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity but it also amounts to over two pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. They also added that the amount of carbon dioxide it produces contributes to climate change. Sulfur dioxide may cause the formation of acid rain and nitrogen oxide, if combined with VOCs, will form smog. Nuclear power plants do not emit harmful pollutants or other toxic gases. Generating energy from nuclear involves intricate process, but as a result, it produces heat. These plants have cooling towers that release water vapor. If the facility has been properly managed it may not contribute disturbance in the atmosphere. It may sound better to use compared to coal. But studies have shown that the vapor that came from nuclear plants have an effect to some coastal plants. The heated water that was released goes back to lakes and seas, and then the heat will eventually diffuse into surface warming. As a result of the increased water temperature on the ocean bodies, it changes the way carbon dioxide is transferred within the air. In effect, major shifts in weather patterns such as hurricanes may occur. It does not stop there. The nuclear power plant produces radioactive waste, which amounts to 20 metric tons yearly. Exposure to high-level radiation is extremely harmful and fatal to human and animals. The waste material must be stored carefully in remote locations for many years. Carlton Church and other anti-nuclear groups persuade the public to initiate banning of the manufacturing of nuclear products and give warnings about its health hazards and environmental effects.
Japan had donated $ 246,000 in disaster relief for the stricken city, exceeding the combined relief pledges of every other nation in the world. When a prominent Japanese seismologist arrived from Tokyo to lend his expertise to the rebuilding effort, he was waylaid in the streets and beaten by a mob.
Ian W. Toll (Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942)
People like to say the West is a guilt-based culture, while that of Japan is based on shame, with the chief distinction being that the former is an internalized emotion while the latter depends on the presence of a group. But I can tell you as the Tiresias of these two worlds that the distinction is less important than people would have you believe. Guilt is what happens when there isn’t a group to shame you. Regret, horror, atrocity—if the group doesn’t care, we simply invent a God who does. A God who might be swayed by the subsequent good acts, or at least efforts, of an erstwhile wrongdoer.
Barry Eisler (A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain #1))
The bombing of the main islands of Japan was now possible, and in the most massive of the raids, a firebombing of Tokyo, more than eighty thousand people died in the huge inferno in a single night.
James Salter (All That Is)
We passed a building ad with a Japanese businessman who had a huge white cat's face poking out from behind his head, and a slogan written in Japanese that looked very happy based on the pink-and-red coloring of the letters. Hold up. Excuse me? "What's that ad for?" I asked. Uncle Masa said, "It's a political ad. That man is running for parliament." "Why the cat?" I approved, obviously, but it made no sense. Emiko said, "Cats are revered in Japan. You will see many shops with cat figurines on display. They're called maneki-neko, or 'beckoning cats.' They're considered good luck." I didn't like all their rules, but a country that revered cats had potential.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
You're always drinking apple juice. Do you have a Vitamin C deficiency?" "The only deficiency I have is the sixteen years I spent on this planet not knowing how good apple juice could be." "Isn't it the same everywhere?" "That's what I would have thought, till I tried it here. The apples here are just next-level delicious and perfect. The juice is naturally sweet, refreshing, and satisfying.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
It was sometime after this realization that Shankman signed a book contract that gave him only two weeks to finish the entire manuscript. Meeting this deadline would require incredible concentration. To achieve this state, Shankman did something unconventional. He booked a round-trip business-class ticket to Tokyo. He wrote during the whole flight to Japan, drank an espresso in the business class lounge once he arrived in Japan, then turned around and flew back, once again writing the whole way—arriving back in the States only thirty hours after he first left with a completed manuscript now in hand. “The trip cost $4,000 and was worth every penny,” he explained.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Eight. Never put your personal opinions into a story; let someone else do it for you. That’s why experts and commentators exist. Objectivity is a subjective thing.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
What is remarkable about his study is that it respects all of Japan’s sacred cows–that the rock core of the city won’t be much affected, that people will respond as humanely and efficiently as they do in government reports, that no important officials will perish, that skyscrapers will stand–and still it predicts Armageddon.
Michael Lewis (How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street)
By law the life-insurance companies were not required to pay on deaths caused by earthquakes. But in Japan the law often comes second–in 1923 the insurance companies were ordered to pay money they didn’t owe. In a crisis no Japanese company is really private; the insurance companies have been effectively nationalized. They have been told to pay whatever they can without depleting their domestic-securities portfolios. It is their peculiar charm that they don’t argue.
Michael Lewis (How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street)
I’ll do my best.” “Don’t do your best. Use your brain. Get results. Effort doesn’t count for shit. I appreciate it, but it’s the results that count.” “All right, I’ll do a half-assed job, but I’ll bring back something interesting.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
You sure you don’t need any pussy?” “No, I’m okay.” “Is it because you like boys?” “Not that I’m aware of.
Jake Adelstein (Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan)
First of all, it’s the size. New York City has some 30,000 restaurants; Tokyo, 300,000. (Take a moment to let that sink in, please.)
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)