Category: Japan-related



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I’m back from Japan!

I came back 2 weeks ago actually… but I’m still not done with sorting and posting my photos, much less writing about the trip. -.-; It was a good trip though; my second one to Japan, and the experience was very different from the past one.

I wonder how this interest in Japan began… I can’t pinpoint a particular incident or time when it started, but I’m guessing that it happened after I came into contact with Japanese dramas, and later music. Depending solely on translations later became unsatisfying, and I took up the opportunity to learn Japanese during my university years (having interest in the language and being able to fulfill the elective credits I needed as well was certainly a good reason to enroll in those classes). Being able to understand some of the language allowed me to enjoy shows that weren’t translated, as well as look up information on Japanese sites, and learning more made me even more interested in the country, its culture and the people.

Japan is one of those countries that I’d love to visit again and again – there are just so many things I want to see and experience (and eat)! Living there is another matter though. A longer trip sometime in the near future would be nice – I’ve been wanting to go to Disney Sea, explore Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo, see Himeji Castle, and return for another trip to Hokkaido… I wonder how many trips it will take for me to be able to do that. At least Japan is relatively near!




Japan Quake as Seen from Twitter

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During the earthquake in Japan, telecommunication systems went down. Since many people didn’t have any reception on their phones, they turned to twitter, email and other online sources to update their status and check if their loved ones are safe as well.

This list of tweets was translated by Jun Shiomitsu. A friend shared the link with me, and I’d like to share it with everyone as well. These short stories warmed my heart, and I hope that they will touch you as well.

Please continue to stand by the people in Japan as they go through this tough period.

Japanese people have been very open on Twitter about their experiences following the quake. These snippets of what moved them and touched them during these very trying times are heart-warming. I have attempted a rough translation on some of them so that you can have a read.

Please continue to pray for the people in Japan.

I hope these mini-stories will bring strength and encouragement to my friends and family in Japan by letting them know that, not only does the world sympathize with them, it looks up to them in admiration! My thoughts are with you.




On the earthquke in Japan

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A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on Friday (today), unleashing a monster 10-metre high tsunami that sent ships crashing into the shore and carried cars through the streets of coastal towns. Many injuries were reported from Pacific coastal areas of the main Honshu island and the capital Tokyo, police said, while TV footage showed widespread flooding in the area.

The quake, which hit at 14:46 pm (0546 GMT) and lasted about two minutes, strongly rattled buildings in greater Tokyo, the world’s largest urban area and home to some 30 million people. The first quake struck just under 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by several aftershocks, one as strong as 7.1.

The mega-city of Tokyo sits on the intersection of three continental plates — the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates — which are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure.

The government’s Earthquake Research Committee has warned of a 70 per cent chance that a great, magnitude-eight quake will strike within the next 30 years in the Kanto plains, home to Tokyo’s vast urban sprawl. The last time a “Big One” hit Tokyo was in 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake claimed more than 140,000 lives, many of them in fires. In 1855, the Ansei Edo quake also devastated the city. In 1995, the Kobe earthquake killed more then 6,400 people.

Source: CNA

When I started learning Japanese a few years ago, I clearly remember my Japanese teacher mentioning about this huge earthquake that was predicted to hit Japan some time during this couple of decades. I believe that he was talking about the Tokai Earthquake, since that seems to have happened about once every 110 years. But in any case, it left me thinking about whether an earthquake would be happening in Japan when I was there last June – thankfully nothing happened though.

I was shocked to read about the quake in Japan today. I had the expectation that one was going to happen some time, but today’s event honestly caught me by surprise. Seeing the pictures being posted online, the articles being posted on news sites and so on… it pains me to see the amount of destruction the quake has caused, and the amount of lives it has claimed. I’m glad to know that most of the people I follow on Twitter or their blogs are safe, but reading their tweets on what was happening in real time – where they were when the quake occurred, what was happening and how they felt – made me understand that sort of fear, even if just a little. I’m still waiting to see updates from some people, and I really hope that they’re safe! :(

For those of us living in Singapore, or other areas which do not experience many natural disasters – we should really be thankful of what we have. We’re really fortunate to be in a place where we’re safe from these things. Gowing up in a place like this, I think it’s really easy to take what we have for granted. But even though we may not experience such events ourselves, and there’s really nothing we can do to prevent these natrual disasters from happening, I hope that we will be able to empathise with the people who have to go through these, and not just think that it doesn’t concern us. To be honest, I don’t like reading news about disasters because it really pains me, but I reckon that feeling sad is better than not feeling anything for those people at all.

My heart goes out to all the people who have lost their belongings, or even worse, their loves ones because of the quake. And for the people in Japan whom I’ve yet to hear from, please, please be safe…




Dolly Wink in Singapore

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Dolly Wink was previously brought in at Watsons in January and June this year, but they were only sold for a limited time due to the low stock situation in Japan. It’s back at Watsons again now, and seeing that most of the larger Watsons are stocking it (compared to only the NAC branch last time), I’m guessing that it might be permanent now? The nail polishes are here as well. The retail price is marked up as always, but there’s always a price to pay for the convenience.

While I’ve never tried their false lashes (seen a number of good reviews though), I have their eyeliner and I like it! It goes on easily and the packaging is really cute as well. Seeing that the shelves are usually almost empty when I pass by, the range must be doing pretty well here, and perhaps that’s a chance that the new range of mascaras and eye shadows will be brought in in future?

Their brouchure is nicely done, and you can view it here, or download it. Since everything is in Japanese, I’ve translated the tutorial parts, and they’re included in the download as well. :) I can’t guarantee that the translations are very accurate though…




逃走中 (Run For Money)

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Someone uploaded the latest episode of Tousouchuu (2010年11月23日 「逃走中2010~激動明治の大事変~」) on YouTube, and I checked it out since I’ve heard good things about the show and recognised some of the people participating in the latest episode.

Run For Money

逃走中 (Run For Money) is essentially a massive game of tag, which goes on for about 90 minutes (the time, rules and setting vary with each episode, and I’ll base what I type here on the one that I watched, but they generally don’t differ too much). The players have to escape from the Hunters, and with each second that they survive in the game, the more money they can potentially get. All players are given a cell phone (which cannot be switched to silent mode), a watch and a map.

Before the actual game starts, the opening game is carried out. Boxes enclosing the hunters are placed a fixed distance before the contestants, and the contestants take turns to play the game. Once certain conditions are fulfilled, the hunter box opens and the game officially begins.

The participants get to interact with other characters in the game, and they might be asked to perform some jobs, which they then have the choice of accepting or declining. Accepting the job earns them some “money” which would come in useful during the game, but also puts them at a higher risk of getting caught while they are working. There are also missions along the way, which tie in with a story that’s related to the setting of the particular episode. As with the jobs, it is not compulsary for players to participate in the missions, but being successful in the mission means that all players would have a lower chance of being caught.

In this game, the longer the players survive, the more their winnings will be. However, once caught by the hunters, the game ends for them and they will go home empty-handed. One way that the players can ensure that they go home with some money is to surrender during the game, and the amount that they get is then determined by how long they have been in the game until the point they surrendered. The players that manage to survive until the game ends will get the maximum amount of prize money available.

The concept behind the game is fairly simple, but the creators of the show have executed it well, which makes it entertaining to watch, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s interesting to see how the participants behave under such a stressful situation, and the range of behaviours that you can see is reflective of what you see in real life as well. In a way, the feeling I get when I’m watching this is similar to when I’m watching The Amazing Race (which I really enjoy as well!).