Month: August 2009

Japan’s Election

Koizumi Shinjiro

Call me shallow, which my husband often does, but I was disappointed that Japan’s new Prime Minister Hatoyama, who defeated the long ruling LDP in a landslide yesterday, has the looks and charisma of a dead fish. So of course I was thrilled that the TV news coverage included endless coverage of former PM Koizumi’s attractive TV star son who managed to inherit daddy’s seat in a rare LDP and father-son win.

My favorite part of the coverage was when the expertly coiffed son teared up at a campaign press conference. This clip was on constant rotation last night. The boy knows how to act! If anyone can find the Youtube clip, I would be thrilled to post it. Here’s a small still:

Koizumi Shinjiro tear

Shinjiro, can you become the John-John Kennedy of Japan?

I also savored the grumpy old men who lost and complained that they were defeated by “assassin” female candidates who “stole” votes because they were young and pretty. Although I doubt the new party will change much, if anything, it was satisfying to see the old guard lamenting their lack of appeal.

Here’s one English language video clip about Koizumi Shinjiro and daddy-son politics in Japan.

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40,000 Page Views!

40,000 Page Views

Thank you, dear readers, for provoking this simple blog to surpass 40,000 hits. What started out as a personal reflection on some favorite topics and a way to stay in touch with old friends has exploded into an online sensation focused on Japanese male vanity, delinquency, fashion, slang, and always big men’s hair.

Through this blog, I have met fujoshi from throughout the English-reading world, young queens from Down Under and elsewhere, and the greatest Japanese blogger about otaku words, while simultaneously sharing inappropriate topics with my mother and in-laws. 失礼しました!

Most recently search traffic for Narimiya Hiroki has helped blasted traffic up to 7,000 views in August alone. Other popular posts include Mother-Daughter Boys Love, Japanese Men Behaving Badly, Paying $75 million for Her Ass?, Fundoshi v. Fujoshi. Popular searches include Madonna Ass, middle age gay, Yu Darvish, host Japanese, naked athletes, and the like. I can only imagine what those who have found my blog searching for more benign topics like Cindy McCain and Betty Ford have discovered reading this moe-focused blog.

Please let me know what you think of the blog, any suggestions, and any topics you’d like to know more about. Thank you very much for your kind attention to my often bizarre interests.

Marriage and Election Charm

Taro Aso, election campaign

On, no, he didn’t! The always gaffe-prone Prime Minister Taro Aso, one week before the election, told a group of university students that poor men are too low status to get married. This was in answer to a question about Japan’s unprecedentedly low birth rate.

Young people “better not get married with little money. .  It seems rather difficult to me that someone without any pay can be seen as an object of respect (worthy of a partner).”

To clarify matters, Aso cited his own experience. “I was late to marry even though I was not quite poor. I can’t say carelessly because I think it depends on the person.”

“Not quite poor” obliquely refers to the fact that his grandfather was prime minister, and his family is one of Japan’s richest, built in part on war-time slave labor. Despite his unfathomable wealth, he is known for his inability to read kanji.

Sadly, this walking disaster’s main challenger is another former prime minister’s grandson, with a shockingly expressionless face and what seem like dead fish eyes. No wonder there is so little excitement.

Dress code for US aircraft carrier

A friend has been invited for a private tour of a US aircraft carrier, and asked me what would be appropriate dress code. Other than anti-war protests, my only direct experience with the Navy is Cher’s “If I could turn back time.” For Cher, a super-sized wig, thong, minimal V-shaped fabric covering the front, metallic belt, fish nets, garters and high heeled boots seemed to make the sailors smile and dance in her video.

What would you recommend? Are double butt tattoos mandatory for aircraft visits?

Google Translate is horrible!

Mount Fuji, Hiroshige

My father-in-law and some friends climbed Mount Fuji last night. Recently a few hikers have died, and I heard the weather last night was poor. Fortunately, Docomo allows constant contact. Unfortunately, I used Google Translate to interpret my mother-in-law’s text message. Google Translate is incredibly BAD.

I have caused you worry. It arrived safely to the summit of Mount Fuji now. I’m fine with everyone safe. M**K* only start in the rain, climbed last year, this year, left the car and stop it. I’ll bet I can run in the car. When the rain started just after the long-GO来光in the clouds, so you could not see shit! To prepare future, they are likely to go down a mountain. Please be assured. Also Contact. Worry a lot, thank you. Everyone頑張RIMASHITA good! Thank you, mother –

Maybe Google Translate just wants to encourage me to learn Japanese faster and rely less on their service?

“New Half” Showhouse Guppy

New Half Showhouse Guppy

I spotted this sign in Shinjuku, and at first assumed it was yet another hostess bar. But, no, it’s a “new half” showhouse named Guppy.  “New half” or ニューハーフ (nyuu haafu) is a relatively recent slang for transgender and/or transsexuals, mostly male to female.

Although it’s obviously drawing on English, the slang doesn’t really make sense to me: what’s new about feeling that you are in the wrongly gendered body? And what’s half about gender change? These girls look all girl to me!

Several transsexuals are now popular TV idols, the most famous being the super-charming Haruna Ai (はるな愛). I love her official blog banner with “AI am a girl” headline. She’s on the little screen almost every night.

Haruna Ai blog

Happiness Realization Party

Happiness Realization Party

Election season is full of sound trucks and what often sounds like angry voices. The oddly named Happiness Realization Party was all ladies, all upbeat white gloves and smiles. They seemed so upbeat I wondered if they would share whatever drugs they were on. Or maybe they were surprised that even one person was paying attention to any politician. (BTW, I think this minor party is a cult).