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Catching up

A lot of news has been happening since my own personal tragedy, and I’ve not been posting about it for various reasons. Now’s the time to get back on track.

To start, here’s a bunch of stuff about Japan.

BoingBoing: Japan sees first-ever decrease in coins

Dealing with the coinage is one of the more interesting aspects of being in Japan.

BoingBoing: Japanese universities offering classes/programs in manga

I wonder how much of a learning curve there is for those classes. Are students expected to be Japanese people who have grown up reading the manga?

BoingBoing: Japan’s coolest vending machines

Because the world can’t get enough of the Japanese vending machine.

BoingBoing: Japanese lobster-vending machine

This is just bizarre. But okay.

Global Voices Online: Hitler comparisons

I haven’t actually read this yet, but it would appear that a blogger is drawing a comparison between Hitler’s Germany and Koizumi’s Japan. He/she is worried about the possible “remilitarization” of the country after Koizumi’s sweeping victory concerning the postal reforms. Given that Koizumi is leaving the prime minister position next year, and given that the postal reforms will help Japan immensely by chewing out some pork barrel projects, I’m not sure where this person is coming from, but again, I haven’t read the article ;P

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: Japan cattle wranglers tie hopes to ‘dream’ beef (Reuters)

Beefy.

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: Smokers Welcome at ‘Sin City’ in Japan (AP)

I think this is highly appropriate.

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: Japanese woman calls cops over unreliable hitman (Reuters)

This news item made my day.

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: Japan Noodle Maker to Film TV Ad in Space (AP)

After the creation of ramen that could be eaten in space, this is a no-brainer.

Here are a couple of non-Japan Asian news stories:

CNN: Starbucks shop opens at Great Wall

Someday there will be a Starbucks on the top of Mount Everest. (If there’s not one there already…)

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: N.Korea introduces first ‘credit card’ (Reuters)

I just love the first sentence:

North Korea announced on Friday the introduction of the Stalinist country’s first credit card, but just how it would work was unclear.

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough: Shanghai Publishes Guide to Spot Beggars (AP)

:>

Now, to finish this huge Japan/Asian roundup, I’d like to mention my favorite Japan blogs:

Sushicam is fun as always. Not only are Jeff’s pictures superb, but he’s always ready with a witty comment, such as the following:

Japanese TV is quite a bit different from American TV. First of all, its done almost entirely in Japanese… (tries to keep a straight face…fails..)

;>

I am way behind on Justin Klein’s blog, and that’s because he writes uberposts and fills them with awesome pictures. Definitely worth a read if you want an in-depth look at Kyoto and the other places he’s visited.

I have really been enjoying Miklos Fejer’s blog, Miyakonojo. His is more slice of life than anything else, which I love, and his writing is clean and clever. Something very exciting is happening for him right now, and I’m thrilled that I get to read about it.

And that’s it for now. Sometime soon I hope to catch up on my Japan News, which I haven’t been reading at all (sorry, Japundit!).