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Byrd school 2010/9/21 02:33
Hey Tanya;

You arrived in Yokohama five years after I left. In 1966, what was the status of Area 1 & 2, the PX complex, etc?
Tell us what you saw...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

More on the eldery missing Japanese 2010/9/22 12:09
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100922f1.html
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

More on the eldery missing Japanese 2010/9/22 15:33
Reading Dave-san and Peter's links makes one wonder if there is a similar problem in the United States and, if not, how it is prevented.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Sayonara Okinawa 2010/9/23 03:49
The US Navy yesterday announced the first relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. 8.600 Marines will leave Okinama in the next few weeks.

About 9 thousand dependents will accompany this group.

More Marines will be moved to Tinian to build a training facility. Guam and Tinian are US commonwealth islands, part of the Northern Marianas. Reports say 34,000 Americans will eventually be moved to Guam and nearby islands by 2014.

The carrier base at Yokosuka, Japan will remain to accomodate the USS George Washington although there is interest in eventually moving this facility to Guam. A deep water port facility would have to be built to service the carrier.

The Japanese government will pay for about 60 percent of the cost of of the exit from Okinawa.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Japanese pronunciation help needed 2010/9/23 06:47
Hello Everyone - I'm giving a little talk and need help with the pronunciation of two Japanese words that I believe are the names of Japanese writers: Shikibu and Mirabai. Here is how I'm guessing that they are pronounced:
Shikibu - Is it pronounced She-key-boo?
Mirabai - Is it Meer-ah-bye or Meer-ah-bay or something else? Thanks to anyone who can help.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Japanese pronunciation help needed 2010/9/23 06:53
Whoops, I just discovered that Mirabai is an Indian woman poet - proper pronunciation is still needed if anyone knows.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Reply 2010/9/23 23:07
Barbara..your pronunciation as you explaned it sounds right. What is your talk about ?

Earic and all .If the base at Yokosuka goes then can Nigishi be far behind ? Why would the Navy need all of the housing if the base is not there ? No wonder the Jananese are willing to foot the bill for this..like a bad tenant..pay them to move. In a way it will be a sad event, for there will be no Americans that will have the oppertunity that we had to live work and experience this wonderful culture.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Lecture Series 2010/9/24 00:56
Thanks, Peter, for your help. To answer your question, on October 7, Jane Hirshorn, a poet, translator, essayist, and anthologist, will deliver the twelfth annual Emily Dickinson Lecture in American Poetry at Penn State University, and I've been asked to say a few words about why my husband and I established this lecture series, and then I'll introduce the speaker. Jane Hirshorn's poems have been influenced by Zen Buddhism, and she translates Japanese poems into Englsih; thus, the reference to Shibutsu as well as her interest in the Indian woman Hindu poet Mirabai (pronounced Meera-bye). The lecture is free and open to the public. Last year the speaker was Elizabeth Alexander, who was the Inaugural Poet for President Obama's Inaugural ceremony. Other speakers have included U.S. Poet Laureates Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove. Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous because these lectures draw about 200 people, occasionally as many as 400, and this is the first time I've been asked to speak and introduce the poet. If you hear a big sigh of relief on Oct. 7 when the lecture is over, that will be me.

Also, yes, so sad about the loss of the American presence at Yokosuka and possibly Negishi -- a great real estate coup for Japan! But it is theirs after all . . . and all of us were fortunate to have experienced Japan as we did. Someone needs to write a book about that experience.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Lecture Series, continued 2010/9/24 01:01
Whoops, my mind is a muddle. I know someone else named Hirshorn. The poet delivering the lecture is Jane Hirshfield! Reminder to myself, never push "submit" until you've edited your brain and your post! Well, I did say I was nervous.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

lecture 2010/9/24 04:26
Barbara

The lecture sounds interesting. Perhaps I can brush-up or get some insight on my Haiku. [such as it is] ..of course it depends..on what there serving at the reception..?

and don't worry, you'll be fine..just get her name right..there is always the..needs no introduction..ploy..better yet..introduce her in Japanese !

As for the book, someone could print-out this forum..poof..a book..[check your printer ribbon]
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: lecture; also, Donald Richie 2010/9/24 15:27
Thanks for the smile, Peter -- I'll keep your needs-no-introduction ploy in mind for future reference. You're welcome to come to the lecture with questions about your fine haiku -- is haiku both a singular and a plural word?

Speaking of writing a book about Americans living in Japan, does anyone know the prolific author Donald Richie who has written *The Japan Journals: 1947-2004* and *The Inland Sea* among more than 100 other titles listed on Amazon. I stopped counting after 100. His topic seems to be exclusively Japan, and some of you may want to read the many good reviews at Amazon.com. I had not heard of him until reading a book review this evening of the two titles above in the Bloomsbury Review:
http://www.bloomsburyreview.com/Archives/2005/Japan%20Journals.pdf
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Guam 2010/9/25 00:45
Eric, thanks for the latest update on the Marines moving to Guam. Guam is so small I don't see how they can accommodate the influx, but it will be a boon to their economy. You can stand in the middle of the island and see the ocean on each side. I hope we can keep our base at Yokosuka, as we all had a great time in Japan and I would hate to see young Americans missing out on those good times as well.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Barbara 2010/9/25 01:52
Haiku..Hmmmm..not sure if singular or pural.
My "guess" is its either but that would be a good question for your speaker.
As for Donald Richie, I never knew of him but his works sound really interesting..its on my list..Have you read any of his works ?
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Barbara - thoughts on Donald Richie 2010/9/25 09:53
Donald Richie's books sound like they'd be worth looking up - thanks for telling us about them. I looked up Richie in the NY Times archives, and in the NY Review of Books - neither had any mention of him or his writings, which sounds really strange. Many of his books seems to be about Japanese film, and I notice also that Richie worked as a curator of films in NYC for many years.

The article in bloomsbury makes a curious comment - it mentioned Richie's surprise that he never was accepted in Japan, in spite of having lived there for 50 years, which doesn't sound that surprising to those of us who have also been there - I'm wondering how much he knew of Japanese history or culture. Then he also mentions that he never learned any Japanese - that is also curious, considering his life-long interest in Japan, and his living there for so long. How does one even expect to feel "Japanese" or expect to be accepted if one never learns the language? It means he never made serious efforts at talking to any Japanese, I suppose. It sounds like Richie may just have lived on the "Bluff" and spoken to expatriates like himself.

Nonetheless, when we return to NYC I will see if the NY Library system carries any of his books - and see what I find.

Hope everyone is well, and that you all had a good summer. We're still in the Berkshires, in Western Massachusetts, enjoying some Indian summer - the temperature has been in the 80's, the glorious fall colors are beginning to show, and since most tourists have gone home, we have the area to ourselves. Our lake is home to a family of 4 blue herons - they are becoming less shy, along with the kingfishers, and so are easy to observe. The geese are noisily practicing their formations in readiness for their trip south for winter.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

More on Richie 2010/9/25 10:53
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Richie
Also if you go to You tube you will see short films he did and interviews.
I just watched "Wargames"..didn't get it
could someone help me out understanding this ?

Apparently he could speak Japanese very well but couldn't read or write it.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Clarification 2010/9/25 23:02
"Wargames is a short film by Richie and is on You tube..NOT the American full length film with Mathew Brodrick about a military super computer inadvertantly trying to start global thermonucelar war ..sorry for the confusion..
Richies Wargames is either deeply insightful
or bunk..I can't tell which..any deep thinkers out there ? [yes even Wally]
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Guam ? 2010/9/26 04:08
Just now the Japanese government seems to be speaking with two voices.

In the case of removing US Marines from Okinawa, the government is paying 60 percent of the cost of relocating to Guam, thereby reducing the defense umbrella provided by the US.

In the case of the Chinese ship captain held by Japanese authorities for fishing in Japanese waters, then released after pressure from China, the Japanese government says it wants to participate more broadly in a strategic dialogue and cooperate more closely with the US on China and North Korea.

I'm curious as to how America will do a better job from Guam, 1,500 miles away from Japan...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Eric 2010/9/26 05:12
One issue is political, the other is military. There not speaking out of the both sides of their mouths, they are working both sides of the street, a wise and astute move..speak softly and carry a big stick. If Japan is invaded I would guess that the Marines could swim from there in what..a couple of days...
I would love Kaoru's take on this..Helloo..
Could someone explain this Wargames film to me..??
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Donald Richie 2010/9/26 08:25
Steffi, my first reaction on reading the reviews of Donald Ritchie's books in the Bloomsbury Review was similar to yours, and I was interested to read your views. Thanks to Peter's link, my views changed after reading the Wikipedia entry for Ritchie -- now why didn't I think of that in the first place?

Or, for that matter, why did'nt I think of YouTube.com. where I watched David Ritchie's "War Games"? Peter, although I would like to read Ritchie's "The Japan Journals: 1947-2004," based on his diaries, I haven't read any of his books yet, so I don't really know what he's up to. Like Peter, I found "War Games" puzzling. My first reaction was WHAT? I'm an optimist and hope the video is not "bunk," and if not "deeply insightful," it may be at least worthy of serious consideration. My speculation follows:

What the video may be presenting is a koan (a Japanese term for paradox, "used to train Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment," according to Webster's Dictionary). I think that through simple black and white images (black traditionally represents evil and white, good) Ritchie illustrates the capacity for violence within human nature. If you watch the expressions on the boys faces, you'll see a variety of reactions to the goat and then the violence; not all of the boys are as willing to participate as the few who start it; but peer pressure, especially among young boys, can be powerful. We also see mob behavior expressed by adults. It takes only one charismatic individual to reach into the darkest depths of human nature and create anarchy. I'm not sure about the imagery of the goat and wondered why the goat did not leave the boys when released. Where is Kaoru when we need him? In Western religious culture a lamb rather than a goat might be used. I thought the video's approach, moving from tenderness for the goat to unprovoked violence was not only distasteful but also powerfully moving, made more so by the innocent victim-goat not leaving. By watching this video, if it is indeed a koan, we are forced to abandon our first reasoned response to the film and turn to our feelings to grasp the inner meaning(s). In connection with this video, I'm thinking of William Golden's book "Lord of the Flies," later made into a movie, about young boys on an island having to govern themselves. Anyone see it? Would love to hear other interpretations of "War Games" -- it's not a long video and will make you wonder about it's meaning.

I've surrounded myself with six books of Jane Hirshfield's poetry, so if my posts become sparse or erratic, that's where I'll be.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Richie 2010/9/26 12:08
Barbara..I found your comments and observations helpful, and insightful. I may well watch it again and see if I can find more meaning in it. I too thought of the "Lord of the Flies" which I read many years ago and also saw the movie. My wife Janet did a paper on it. perhaps shouldn't go into anaylisis here, but I can see some
simplified similarities. Maybe I'm too much of a nuts and bolts guy, but black and white films may not be the struggle between good and evil. it may just be less cheaper to film in 8 mm than 35..and in color. Yet he intended to mean something ..no ? The goat?? the horns ??
I like Koans [ok wally go for it..chocolate or vanilla] Like the sound of one hand clapping. This stuff is probably better on peyote, but I wouldn't know. There is some stuff like modern art that I will just have to struggle with.
I was in Tokyo and went to movie of a zen monk meditating. After about an hour I left. I don't know if this was a movie, a still photo or what. Just a guy sitting there doing, nothing. I was torn between being feeling that I had gained some deep insight and that I [and a couple of hundred other people] where being put on. Maybe thats what the producer intended. Yoko Ono would have loved it. At least the movie was free.
Where is Kaoru when you need him.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

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