Disgraced and barely repentant kabuki actor Ebizo still has some promotional activities. I found him in Ni-chome selling bottled tea at a vending machine. I love how Japanese consumer products still use famous actors and celebrities in Japanese costume in wood houses or by bamboo forests. Very nostalgic and sexy!
Current Japan PM’s wife offers him tough love
The last PM’s wife claimed to have traveled to Venus and to feed daily by eating the sun with her husband. Current Prime Minister’s wife Kan Nobuko wife said that if she lived her life again, she would not choose the life she had already lived. And her reports of tough love suggest that their daily life is full of volatile policy and personal conflicts.
From the BBC News (via tipster Christophe):
The prime minister’s wife said she supported him by giving him such a tough time at home, and that he preferred going to parliament for question time.
“My husband sometimes says to me: ‘I really hate going to the Diet because everyone is so mean and critical, but it’s a lot easier being subjected to this criticism at the Diet than fighting at home with you’,” she said.
“That’s a way to get him out of the house and go to the Diet, so maybe that’s the way I can support him.”
These would be unimaginable words spoken by the Stepfordly obedient and adoring wives of United States presidents. Is this a sign of freedom and power, or something else entirely?
Unmentioned in this new story is the role that Ms Kan reportedly played rehabilitating her husband’s political image after a sexual harassment scandal in the 1990s. Others credit her outspokenness to the powerless of Japanese women, whose statements do not carry much importance no matter how incendiary.
Oh, and apparently she wear very elegant kimonos and speaks in a vulgar manner. I will try to learn more about Ms Kan.
(Don’t worry, Kathryn, there’ll be more Nakano yankii hotties soon after this political detour).
Doll house where Times Square bomber lived in Connecticut
I don’t know why but I am captivated by this night shot of the Times Square bomber’s Connecticut home. It looks like a doll house. He lived there with his wife and two young children, and left each morning well dressed and headed for “Wall Street.”
Update: I am captivated by the domestic details: “There were packets of Nair, moisturizer with Arabic writing on the back, a makeup brush, a Japanese cherry blossom scent body spritzer, wrapping paper and gift bags that appeared to be for baby gifts.” (via New York Times)
Wishes at major shrine
Visiting a major shrine in Tokyo, I decided to stop and read some of the wishes written on wooden placards. I had thought they would all be about love and world peace. Of course, many are, but some are hilarious. Not sure if it’s bad to read others’ wishes, but they are public and I could not help myself.
Here are some of the best ones in English. Above: “I want a BMW 3 Series with real leather seats and a Bose sounds system and a GPS nav. system with a cute Japanese girl voice and seat warmers so my butt stays warm in the winter.”
“Simon has clear direction in his life and is determined to be + stay debt free with a house that owns . . . . He understands that it is all down to him– go for it tree!!!”
“Wish my daughter Linting (?) come to her senses + break away from Dario completely and never see him again. Wish good health, safe . . . Heal me + let me live a long healthy happy life.”
Below is what all the cards called ema in Japanese look like underneath the giant tree.
More wish cards after the jump.
Bomb found at school near house
Walking home before lunch, the small street near my house was blocked with police tape and many many young police men. Peering past the police line, I saw some official looking daddies in dark suits moving about. The location is just down the small street from the destroyed house and near or possibly inside the grounds of an elementary school.
My Japanese is so bad. After speaking to several of the police, I understood there was a missile. I asked if it came from North Korea, which has been recently threatening to launch a long-range missile in the Pacific. I was assured that it did not land today. Another cop told me it was 50 years old.
This is what North Korean’s 1998 Taepodong missile looks like.
Once home, the husband explained that World War II bombs are still being found throughout Tokyo. It’s probably not an immediate threat, but still kind of a shock after 60 years to feel the presence of the fire-bombing.
Old houses in Nakano
I’ve been biking down narrow streets to visit Gold’s Gym in Higashi Nakano, and have been admiring some of the old houses. Most of the neighborhood’s architecture is banal, tight-packed and, for the most part, forgettable. It’s striking to see the very few pre-war houses that survived the fire-bombing of Tokyo. Most are in disrepair, but still evocative of what must have been.