Monday, December 21, 2009

Intro World Current 103C: Dead Aid

>>Continued from an previous article

Uneasiness in Nicaragua

So, talking about my experience with Globalization. I also have some sort of doubt for rich countries "aiding" developing nations. Not the whole thing itself but I question some part of it. One of the reasons come from my previous experience when I visited there with my college friends from Friends World Program.

We did a several activities including interviewing an JICA's officer at their office Managua. Also we visited a site where a group of American high school kids were helping build houses for the poor locals.

Honestly I was feeling a sort of uneasiness already at this moment. But I wasn't sure if that was from what I simply sensed or just a biased taught comes from my head.

Actually, those US high schoolers were already saying that donating money and things to the Nicaraguan poor doesn't really help them. They said because it just made them wait, instead of working hard on their own to get their needs. And it might be just satisfying the riches' ego that they are doing something "good".

So, I agreed.

Anyway, we gave the Nicaraguan poor no shoes, no clothes, nothing. Instead, we spent time together helping build their houses, piling up bricks and carrying the materials.

We related to them in this way because of an new theory: better teach how to get foods rather than giving the foods.

However, this was only one shot project, so I again got quite confused. I was one of those from rich countries who can move around by transportation. Just like making a stop by when feel like. So I thought, for the locals, it was like that curious outsiders come by, did a thing or two, got satisfied and went back. I remember I was so moved by this field trip.


As a typical middle-class from Japan, I valued very much a kind of cross-cultural experience like this. More youth generations are learning a wide variety of realities and cultural differences. And those new generation are getting linked and sharing thoughts n visions. Some are already starting to work hard to design a better global social structure.

Anyway, so for now, Viva cross-cultural communication!

What you know n don't know, got experiences or not, if you can manage yourself or not, if you can get an emotional attachment or not, everything you think is important.

But before that, I gotta get over my personal challenge that I gotta get better diplomatic skills to communicate smoothly with a certain kind of people.

Alright, then, everybody double genki up in your field!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Intro World Current 103B: 無駄な援助,Dead Aid

>> continued from an previous article

Dambisa Moyo

I strongly sympathize with what Dambisa Moyo says on her book Dead Aid. And I'm also somewhat encouraged that a person like her finally stood up and came out to the global media. I'd like to see n hear more voice like hers in the world politics n economy.

You can check her interviews on youtube:

1. on bloom burg, 3/26/2009
2. at Oxford Literacy Festival, 4/17/2009
3. on Norway's news program, with a Norwegian politician, 4/18/2009

Sacrifice or Cooperation

During my stay in Latin American countries and India, I've heard a lot of a similar voice from locals saying, "we gotta say NO to them". Here, a meaning of "we" stands for those local peasants and/or manual laborers and "them" implies the system of capitalistic people n stuff.

Anyway, the way I understand an social issue like this is, "Leave us alone outsiders, we take care of ourselves on our own. You say aid but you just want more controlling power by taking our natural resource and cash it."

However, one thing I get confused is a reality that an international relation, or call it sacrifice or cooperation, is actually what our nations' prosperity based on. So, it is hard to point out only negative elements of the issue and deny the whole thing since it could possibly denies a base of our daily life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Intro World Current 103A: Africa Now

taken from

Those who are into an international relation between European n African countries in politics n economy may know already tho, today I wanna talk about Dambisa Moyo.

Elite from Africa

Recently I learned about this London based economist. She is an author of Dead Aid, published in the spring 2009. The book soon became the New York Times Best Seller.

According to Financial Times, "Moyo, who is in her thirties, was born in Zambia. Her father, the son of a South African mineworker, is an academic and anti-corruption campaigner; her mother, the chairwoman of the Indo-Zambian bank."

So she is an wow elite, she got a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and MBA in finance at the American University in DC., a Masters form Harvard University and completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University.

Excuse me, stay outside.

In her book, she basically says that all the "aid" from rich countries to Africa actually makes Africa's situation much worse. Unfortunately, it causes opposite of a desired result.

The "aid" money Europeans have been put doesn't reach to those in need, but it actually profits a small per cent of politicians n brokers. This eventually cause more corruption n inflation all over, and local operation get taken over by the capital so that peasants can't feed themselves.

Here again, we can see a popular mechanism "the rich get richer n the poor get poorer".

"Most Brits would be irritated if Michael Jackson started offering advice on how to resolve the credit crisis. Americans would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to tell them how to end the housing crisis. I don't see why Africans shouldn't be perturbed for the same reasons", she also says when asked about those Rock stars n Hollywood bigmans campaigning "save Africa".

I big up her for real. Speaking out straight, pointing out whats wrong with policies, n coming up with an alternative. And what I think whats important is that she is African from there. And she used to work for World Bank and Goldman Sachs, so she got reasons n her voice has a lot of meanings.

Turing over what had been said to be common sense about Africa, like "ohh poor Africans, war, hunger, poverty... so misrable. ok, let me aid you". And I think it is so valuable what she says.

In spring 2009, she was selected as The 2009 TIME 100 by Times Magazine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Introduction World Current 102: Perspective Reconsideration

The force of number: 数の論理

I've thought about what really "common sense" in Japan is. Think think, n re-think. I did understand the idea but I couldn't be sure who really drew the line. And I looked at those who taught us what it is now.

Im talking about the force of number in our system.

I think they are pretty well off in our society. Also their opinion, especially collective opinion, is said to be strong so that their voice tend to get carried out than those peasants out there.

Now we have this mass media. Yomiuri, Asahi, Nikkei, n more. But what is it that a purpose of this mass media?

What if you could manipulate the mass media, what would you wanna publicize? Can be many things, no. And possibly you could make up some stories, add some visual n sound effects, using some applications n pug-ins. That would be some interesting work, no.

Ok, so think, if all that is done to information itself? Who really educated them n why?

Public control: 大衆管理

This gotta be a well planned strategy that we don't even suspect anything anybody. However any form of ruling the mass exist world wide n its systems been around forever.

Alright, now looking at "international news". And think once again, who really are they broadcasting those news? What are they n where do they live? And look at their stockholders.

Now, aren't they, who fund the mass media, all friends? Doesn't matter if news talk about petroleum, energy, nuclear, crops, or investment itself, the mass media all talk with the same perspective.

Back to common sense. Is whatever that is really true or just that you are taught to believe in?

So I guess you jus do what you want n say what you want. Meanwhile, if you are in Japan, don't forget to remain being modest.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Introduction World Current 101: Perspective

Interest in the world

I'm so interested in what's goin on in the world.

During my 20's, I lived in Tennessee, California, Idaho, Costa Rica, Mexico, India, Kyoto, New York, n now I'm in Shitamachi Tokyo. It's been around more than a couple of cultures.

Even after my return to home, I learn a different perspective on the topic with Ken-U and Ma$amatixxx. It's so worthy to have friends like them.

Checking some online news n magazines, I focus on Who does What n How, and read n read trying to see things from more than one perspective as much as possible since Japanese mass media isn't functioning. People in those major companies work their ass off tho. Their TV news n news papers kinda miss digging for Who does What, How n Why. In my eyes, their stand point just isn't supposed to dig, especially, news relating to global politics n economy.

Independent International Journalist

Trying to satisfy my intellectual curiosity about the world, I check

This site really helped me right after the 911 happened. Following the US news channels like CNN n reading Japanese news sites online, but I wasn't getting anything. Then, read his news report. He wasn't saying anything like what the mass media was broadcasting. I slowly came to be certain that his analyses are credible.

If you are interested in world current and can read in Japanese, you gotta check this site.

Monday, November 16, 2009

世界動向入門 103B: Dead Aid (無駄な援助)

以前の記事「世界動向入門 103A: アフリカの今」からの続きです.


僕は,この「Dead Aid (無駄な援助)」の著者である Dambisa Moyoダンビサ・モヨ)の言い分にすごく強い共感を持った.やっとこういった人がグローバルステージの表舞台に出てきたのかと思うと,かなり頼もしく思えるし,もっとこうゆう人や意見が世の中に出てきてほしい.

youtube で彼女がテレビ出演している様子が見れます.もし英語が理解できなくても,彼女の話し方から伝わるものはあると思います.
on Bloomburg, 3/26/2009
at Oxford Literacy Festival, 4/17/2009
ノルウェーのニュース番組,司会者と政治家, 4/18/2009




でもここで思うのが,僕たちの国が繁栄できてるのは,こうゆう地域や人たちの・・・ 犠牲と呼ぶのか協力と呼ぶのか,そういった関係性の上で成り立ってる.だから,一つの問題を見て全体を否定することって,日々の生活の基礎までも否定してしまうことになるので,かなり複雑な気持ちです.


話は戻って「Dead Aid (無駄な援助)」ですが,僕も以前から「先進国」が「発展途上国」に”施す”金銭援助の実態にいっぱいクエスチョンを持っている.その主な原因の一つに,中米コスタリカに滞在中の2003年,隣国ニカラグアへ社会問題の研究で訪れ

僕たちはまず,ニカラグア首都マナグアの貧困地域で井戸掘り活動などしている日本の国際開発機構 JICA のオフィスへ出向き,担当官へインタビューしたりした.また今度は現場で従事している,あるアメリカ人






ただしこれも2週間っていうスケジュールの中でのスポット的な動きだったし,やっぱりそこに対しても思いは複雑だった.自分はバスで移動ができる立場で,彼らはその土地の人たち,って.「よそ者がちょこっと立ち寄って,ちょいちょいって何かして,うれしそうに帰っていった」ってだけじゃないか?って.一つ一 つのアクションに対して,選択肢が有るか無いかで大きな違いを感じて,かなり心が揺さぶられた.



なので,とりあえずは... ビバ!異文化間コミュニケーション!





we just go by genki genki!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

世界動向入門 103A: アフリカの今

taken from



僕は最近Dambisa Moyo (ダンビサ・モヨ)という女性のことを知りました.彼女は,ロンドン在住の経済学者でDead Aid (無駄な援助)」という本の著者.この本は,2009年の3月に出版されてすぐに New York Times Best Sellers に選ばれている.









そんな彼女は,今年の5月に Time Magazine の「世界で最も影響のある100人」に選ばれている. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

世界動向入門 102: 観点再考
















「私が思うに,実際にあなたたちが言って いる”ソレ”は誰かがバイアスかけてるものをまんま信じ込んでるだけではないのですか?」


Thursday, November 5, 2009

世界動向入門 101: 観点


Nochi は,世界がどう動いているのか興味を持っています.これは
今までの経験がそうさせてる.20 代という,人生においてその人のスタイルの土台となる時期に,カリフォルニア,コスタリカ,メキシコ,インド,京都,ニューヨーク,そして現在は東京,と住み歩いてきた.

日本帰国後でも Ken-U さんや Ma$amatixxx さんとの会話の中にでも,ちょくちょく関連のトピックがあったりでかなり学ぶことが多く,彼らの観点に直接触れれること自体貴重だ.




私はアメリカ滞在中の 2000 年頃から「








Saturday, October 24, 2009

休憩あと 3分

「最近また自由を」に対して再考はじめた Nochi です.

今日の DGA では,今までの様な「過去の出来事や見聞録」的な観点から離れまして,「今」!

そして,私が時間ある時にお出かけしたり遊んだりするのは渋谷・六本木・池袋・青山だったり・・・ もう何をもってしてアップタウンなのかダウンタウンなのかネオトーキョーなのか,とにかくストリートでは・・・

夜でもネオンで眩しくて 外で本読める
終電過ぎ 未だ多くの人でごった返してて
深夜なのに 両サイド 2 列のタクシービジネス大渋滞


」 ココではただの先入観
「ダークスーツ姿の男=上級ビジネスマン」 この方程式も成り立たない


65 年前,広島県呉にて仕事で戦艦造ってた俺のじいちゃん,もし生きてて今のトーキョー都心を見たらかなりくらうだろうなー.

とにかく,グローバリゼーションの最先端の一端を担ってる「あそこら辺」のカルチャーが,今の私のメインのフィールドワークの場所の一つ,それは ting called, Tokyo Educatoin of Midground.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

休憩 10分

「おはようございまーす! いつもお世話になってまーす! また,ヨロシクお願いしまーす!」 な日々を送ったり,「いらっしゃいませー」言ってみたり,...what the fuck??? are you fuckin stupid? なことをされたり目撃したり,帰国してからの 2 年間何とかサバイブしてきましたね.

my mental, cocoro, went up and down like a roller coaster

10 年以上前に教えてくれたことを思い出したり,集団の中では「空気を読む」をしてみたり・・・,




live straight, clever diplomacy, get a tact, with passion, give it up? change a direction, idealistic or realistic, why dualism tho? keep doing what you've been doing, n stop doing that shit, or just remain still...

...almost there, i know. get physical, just get sweat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Intermediate Latin America 203: Costa Rica, Rich Coast

>> Continued from an previous article.

Facing own contradiction: 矛盾と向き合う

"No Struggle, No Stress" isn't always true when it comes to dealing with our own contradiction, of course you gotta be cool and chilled tho.

For get-away vacations, an peaceful atmosphere is what you want. Manuel Antonio too offers that nice n cozy vibes. However, this element can be disturbed by people from outside the community. And I think this has been happening ever since the beginning of human migration.

I remember that I was kinda irritated and felt discomfort when a group of young Gringos were around. Backed up by the power of the US dollar, many of them looked so disrespectful for the local people n nature. I knew they are a kind of people who work straight n pay taxes as good middle class back their home country.

Every time I saw young gringo persons throw a trash or bottle or even talking arrogantly to locals, it was just so disgusting. During my stay, I often encountered this type of people: young n light skinned, n usually grouped up. This made me think of Japanese tourists in South East Asian countries.

And looking back, now I can accept this thought come in my mind... I'm the same shit, no?

Let me think one more time. Who were they who caused these Coastal Development Issues environmentally n emotionally? Tourists, back packers, foreigners, n vacationists like myself, basically those outsiders with money were the ones who would be the main cause in this little beach community.

Wow, how contradicted I was. It was so easy to point out at them n talk shit like criticizing. Yet it took me at least a couple of years to realize that I was the same middle-class stupid spoiled brat in the eyes of others. I couldn't see anything at that time.

We are all intertwined and linked with each other, even if it's not seen. We all have feelings, doesn't matter in home or foreign countries. Because of this, we can live at the fullest. And all types of social issues exist because of this too.


I remember a conversation between one local and I.

One sunny day, we were just chillin under the palm shade. He looked at shoreline n pointed out at a group of Gringas having fun, and he said,

"They come here romping around, get drunk n caused some troubles. But they buy me beer, buy me food, n give me sex. Everything free."

"I teach them how to surf, have them take my boat, and rent out them parasols. That's how I earn my living here. Many of us locals live off of like that."

Summary: 要約

I think that we all have unseen relationships with those around. Ultimately, perhaps we all rely on and influence on each other.

However, in this time, we youth n global generation gotta take care of some kind of awareness. For the positive future, we gotta show respect for others. And I believe that's where all development n betterment come to a movement. And this will be later called "culture".


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Intermediate Latin America 203: Costa Rica, Rich Coast

Courtesy of Adrian Almquist

>> continued from an
previous article.

Today's topic is a short story of a Costa Rica's small beach community I stayed back in the day.

Intermediate Latin America 203: Costa Rica, Rich Coast

Manuel Antonio: マヌエル・アントニオ

During the dry season, 2003, I often stayed at a genki, or 元気, Mexicana
Roxy's Apt. in Manuel Antonio, a petite village by the Pacific. Manuel Antonio is known among Ticos for one of their popular get away destinations.

As I visited there more n more, I started to see some issues. One that was obviously going on was a Coastal Development Issue.

More people come into the area, more business chances will come too. So those with capitals, predominantly Europeans n Gringos, would buy a land n build a condominium or a nice villa for business purposes. The community appeared to be etting developed as a nice beach town.

However, in the backside of their buildings, there were many puddles that colored dirty como greyish n smell like a sewage. That's right, drain was exposed n sewage was directly runnig outside the building into near by stream.

Manuel Antonio was just getting developed for those visitors like myself n many other foreigners as well as Ticos. Ironically, the more people enjoyed relaxing Ecotourism boom, more issues arose.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ラテンアメリカ 中級 203: コスタリカ,リッチコースト

Courtesy of Adrian Almquist

以前の記事「Intermediate Latin America 201: Rich Coast, Costa Ricaからの続き.
Pura Vida = Pure Life = 純粋人生.んー,あったかい,ラテンアメリカ第三世界スタイル.それでは今回は,現地で過ごしたあるビーチコミュニティーでのお話です.

ラテンアメリカ 中級 203 : コスタリカ,リッチコースト

Manuel Antonio: マヌエル・アントニオ



僕は雨季と乾季通じて合計四ヶ月ほど,そこのビーチ沿いに住んでいた Roxy という元気なメヒカーナのちっちゃな部屋に居候的滞在スタイル.ビーチライフを満喫しながら勉強していました.そこで見えてきたものが「海岸開発問題」.



Facing own contradiction: 矛盾と向き合う









Can you feel it?, or you can't, or you just don't feel it, or you just don't wanna even see it?





Summary: 要約




Anyway, we are the globalization, to di world!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Intermediate Latin America 201: Rich Coast, Costa Rica

If you don't know what's up with Costa Rica, have a look at this
previous article. Now you know Costa Rica is where Pura Vida rules everything. Yes, that is Pura Life. Aright, academia vamonos con la Third World vibes!

ラテンアメリカ中級 201: リッチコースト,コスタリカ

グローバルバナナ: Global Banana

Bananas taste good n are so global but have the bitter truth.

By living in the Third World like Costa Rica, you could feel that your perception on the world n globalization shifts from that of advanced countries like Japan n the US. Why? I think it's a stand point in an international society.

For example, bananas are obviously one of the top popular imported fruits you can buy at any grocery stores for 24/7 in advanced countries. Costa Rica too produces them as one of their main exports, and of course they earns big income.

In Costa Rica, many foreign companies including Banana Big Three, Chiquita, Del Monte, n Dole, own huge properties for plantations and they provide to the US n EU markets. This global banana relationship is very similar to the one with Japan and the Philippines.

So far, yeah, viva globalizacion, no? You buy land, hire locals, have them produce bananas, you import the product, n they get paid. Ok, everybody happy?

Now, at the field, you have this growing social issue. That is a health n environmental problem definitely caused by synthetic chemicals = 化学合成物質.

I learned this kind of social issue during the Latin American Reality field trip organized by Friends World Program / Global College in Costa Rica.

Where we visited was one of Dole plantations by Costa Rica's Caribbean region. In a flat n wet land, they grow bananas. We walked around and saw some operations like, cut, carry n wash bananas when it's still so green.

And that synthetic chemicals the trouble maker was behind their smile. Preservative, insecticides, n fertilizers are said to be the key players to be blamed for this issue, however, that the use of synthetic chemicals is part of our money making system by global companies, in this case Dole. So easy to talk about but don't know if we can ever stop this chain.

Anyway, the environment and locals' health are getting contaminated. With a lack of medical care n a workers union, the situation was pretty serious. And I think it's always the poor n uneducated are the one gets chained this kind of negative spiral, so the issue itself doesn't get much attention.

So, an outcome so far is unfortunate that the locals are getting weak, the land becomes poor n the companies make millions profit.

It's so not easy to realize that our society is made up of some one's harsh reality. You gotta decide what's really useful or 便利 n what's good n what's not. If you are too passive n believe what they tell you, you will jus end up with as just a consumer for all the things in life.

After all, each one of us gotta look at and ask ourselves "are we really ok?" Contemplate n feel inside, then again ask ourselves, "now what do I want to do?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ラテンアメリカ 中級 201: リッチコースト,コスタリカ

以前の記事「Introduction Latin America 201」からの続きでお話します.プーラビーダの国,コスタリカ.Pura Vida = Pure Life = 純粋人生.んー,やっぱり面白い,ラテンアメリカ第三世界スタイル.それでは今回は,5年ほど前の出来事を元にしますが現地で見聞した輸出用作物のお話を社会勉強風にアレンジしてお届けします.

Intermediate Latin America 201: Rich Coast, Costa Rica

Global Banana: グローバルバナナ


例えばバナナ.我々先進国のスーパーで24/7売られている輸入品.コスタリカでもバナナは主な輸出用作物の一つとしてとして植民地時代から大規模に生産されていて,国として大きな収入を得ている.現在コスタリカでは,Del Monte,Chiquita,そして Dole といった,いわゆるバナナビッグ 3 などが主に大規模農園を所有していて,アメリカやヨーロッパの市場に供給している.バナナに限って言えば,日本市場とフィリピンや台湾の生産現場の構図に似ている.今の我々はこういった世界的な流通システムの恩恵を受けている.

そして,ところ変わってコスタリカの生産現場.歴史的・政治経済的なグローバリゼーションに起因する深刻な社会問題の一つ,土壌汚染や人体への直接的な健康問題や環境問題がある.その大きな原因となっているのは強力なsynthetic chemicals = 化学合物質.


私が訪れたのは,コスタリカ東部カリブ海に面する熱帯雨林を切り開いて開拓された,地平線いっぱいにまで広がる広大なバナナ農場.そこは前述の世界のバナナビッグ 3 の一つ, Dole の所有する土地.











Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dancehallogy 101D: Behind Food Issue

Dear you, you and you out there,

How much do you care of your food, daily diet?
Did you know what's added to that food, our cruelty, and a global foods industrial structure?

OK, so now you know what's up. Let's keep going.

Think of "Behind Food Issue" with Hibikilla

Q. What do you suggest us who live in a megalopolice?

"One way is that everybody gets together at Shibuya Amrax for Party Hard Tuesday. This will help to get that wild instinct back. With its sound system and bass, you wouldn't need a normal and logical thinking, in a place like there- a place you feel with your body and soul rather than to think in a head."

Q. Sounds like a religious ceremony, no?

"Yes, part of it is. Like they go to a church and get together on Sunday, on Tuesday night people are gathered there. It's alike. Meet friends, report something, drink together, and just talk. And I believe that there is a meaning. If I'm asked what that meaning is, it is "getting something back", I think."

"Law- enforcement and social expectation, so what? Like that. More of sentience thing. Get that back, I think."

Q. Have you looked for an answer? And ever thought to spread that?

"No. I just do like that. It wouldn't be anything if I force my thoughts on others."

"It's just fun, just enjoyable. Yet I have no doubt that there are many messages there and you could get close to truth."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dancehallogy 101C: Behind Food Issue

To continue growing and evolving, Japan society has been blazing its unique, original culture to di world. And in the big capital metropolis Tokyo dancehall scene there is a man with full of vibes edgy lyrics, named Hibikilla. His thoughts bring our consciousness to the next level.

I went to interview him to learn about his view point on food issue and behind the scene.

Think of "Behind Food Issue" with Hibikilla

continued from an article "Dancehallogy 101B: Behind Food Issue"

Q. So, in my eyes, they judge you by how one dresses.

"Talking about a Superman and a monster though, not only a sports community but an ordinary society too wants monsters. In a company setting as an example, they want salarymen who don't mind to work over time as if they are servants. A direction of it is like a monster. As for artists, they push you to release 5 song or even 10 songs in a month, so that they can earn much more. A whole society looks like going that direction."

"It's like a stressful society in which one is required to become a monster."

"So, eventually one would luck a sense of balance. As a result, his/her everyday life becomes imbalanced."

"Many people seem to have already forgotten that in Jamaica there are lots of Christians. And a number of church per citizen is said to be one of the highest in the world. Other than Christianism, people there follow Rasta or Islam. All of them read a book, Bible or Koran, based on stories back from 2,000 - 4,000 yrs ago. Because a society is made up with those people, they as human beings don't overextend themselves. It means a society in which one doesn't become a monster. Actually it's a society made up by lots of supermen. So I suppose that a music comes from that kind of society is Reggae."

Q. Are you saying that we in the 1st world are producing monsters as many as possible?

"Well, it's like... take suppliments and go work out, instead of eating food. It doesn't have to be a suppliment though, it could be anything like overworking or attending a juku from an early childhood."

Q. I know many have said "I can't do that. No time and no money for it" when asked to rethink their eating habit.

"It's better to cook oneself"

"The Tenyo incident made me think that it wasn't a industrial-strength. It was designed to be consumed at home. My first impression was that there were so many who consume frozen foods at home."

"What is made in a processed food factory is a product, an industrial product. So, without being taught, one should sense a risk if s/he keeps eating only that. It's so important to have senses, like sixth sense or instinct."

"Eventually, one should believe in her/his own instinct more. Life is like that, one keeps adding up small things. Believe in own sense that something may be wrong, so s/he focuses on retraining on that. One gets that sense back easily once goes to mountain or ocean."


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dancehallogy 101B: Behind Food Issue

To continue growing and evolving, Japan society has been blazing its unique, original culture to di world. And in the big capital metropolis Tokyo dancehall scene there is a man with full of vibes edgy lyrics, named Hibikilla. His thoughts bring our consciousness to the next level.

I went to interview him to learn about his view point on food issue and behind the scene.

Think of "Behind Food Issue" with Hibikilla

continued from a previous article "Dancehallogy 101A: Behind Food Issue"

Q. What did you have in mind for a song "What's cooking? feat. Everton Blender"?

"Briefly, the song is about 'rethink of food'. I made this song with Everton Blender when he was in Tokyo. He is a Rastaman, and was staying in a hotel room with a kitchen."

"I had been wanting to make a song like that since my girl friend is into that."

"They say wearing, eating, and housing are the main three elements in life. Obviously, everybody cares about 'wearing', however, what about 'eating'? I thought something wasn't right. Isn't it also important?"

"They are all Rastamans. Munga, Movado and Beenie Man too. Everybody takes care of food they eat even though they all look gangstas."


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dancehallogy 101A: Behind Food Issue

Food, one of the most important foundations world wide.
We all know this for sure.

In Japanese reality, this super simple fact tends to be maltreated daily, especially among younger generations including us in 30's.

"I don't give a shaitze, coz ain't got no time", a very typical phrase we use.

Because of these indifferent supporters dem, process food and food additive industry make huge money, we don't see a human act of cruelty. So, even though we have so much good food around us, we don't know much about their back ground.

Follow me on Japanese food issue as I substitute Dancehallogy for reggae culture that is full of rebel spirits.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Introduction Latin America 101B: Mexico

May 2003 - Aug. 2004
Aug.2005 - Dec. 2005
Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Contd. from the previous article

003. Experiential Studies

One of the things I learned in Mexico is balancing out punctuality. This means similar to be appropriate, moderate, and/or easy.

Stereo typical of Latin culture may go easy on punctuality, and Mexicanos with Latin vibes too. In Japan, you gotta be on time, normally showing up to an appointment at least 10 minutes before. This was how we were taught on punctuality. However, Things are different in Mexico.

For example, a party suppose to start by 7pm. It would be appropriate to arrive there 1-2 hours pass 7pm. Why? If you arrive by 7pm sharp, they are gonna be embarrassed. I have done this. And I was advised, "oye, japones, suabe suabe". it was like, "yo, Japanese, easy easy".

I was also teaching Japanese classes, I remember that all the students come in a classroom and sit down after the bell rang. Once they were in a classroom, they were all focused tho.

It was like that even with adult professionals too. When I participated this seminar in D.F., all the participants sat down a while after the planned time.

Appointment with a dentist, I had a station like that too. It was 2pm, so I showed up by 2pm. The dentist wasn't there. His secretary told me that he was gonna be back soon, and I was conducted to sit on a couch to wait for him, just a bit. Ok, I opened a magazine and waited for him. A while passed, I finished the magazine. He finally came back with a coffee in his hand. I thought it came my turn finally. Yet he was like "Hi, Nochi. Ok, so let me finish this patient. And your turn will soon come. Sit down the couch and relax"... I was like "what? what the hell is the patient before me?"

For about first 6 months in Mexico, I couldn't understand this at all. Instead, I was frustrated, "Why? You lazy Mexicanos". At one point, my frustration reached a peak and I got mental hysteric. So, I asked for a guidance to this US born lady whos been in Mexico for over 25 years. She simply explained me that is just how it is in Mexico. Hmm, did I understand? I had to, right? Then I thought of myself, "is it just me having a tiny heart?" "Didn't I just trying to convey only what I want? without knowing any local rhythm?" "Am I subconsciously disrespecting locals?" So, I looked for an answer inside me.

Then my perspective got broaden, I thought. I came to be thinking like "ok, so... that's why we Japanese are said to be stressed out by tiny little things easily and tend to be luck of emotional expression?"

If so, my personal issue is part of that local issues. And if you look at this from outside, this little local issue could be called culture. And if that is culture, it is a cultural issue. Therefore, if you think of what to gain for the future of Japanese culture, acceptance gotta be one of the things we need to get used to for real.
"I'm in Mexico, go with the flow."

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Introduction Latin America 101A: Mexico

May 2003 - Aug. 2004
Aug.2005 - Dec. 2005
Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Latin America, from the border of the US to the rest of whole area of America Continent. Super interesting cultures. I got attracted by Latinamerican culture especially Mexican one when I was living in LA. Slowly I became pulled by so-called Third World vibes of Mexico. Ay mis amigos en Mexico, gracias a dios, sabe?

Bueno, I lived in Mexico for about a year and a half in total from 2003 to 2005.

Introduction Latin America 101A: Mexico

001. Informacion General

Size of the land of Mexico is about 5 times bigger than Japan. An official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos de Mexico.

Although almost all of its 100 millions of population speaks Spanish and practice Christianism, language and culture of local natives Nahuatl is also cared for and preserved.

The northern border is faced to the US and around there the climate tend to be really dry that sometimes sandstorm occurs. The south is faced to Guatemala and there you can call it tropics.

And the city I lived called Cuernavaca which is located in little south of the central, about 1,500m above sea level. Cuernavaca got a nick name "La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera", so all year around the climate is nice n mild that a variety of colorful flowers are everywhere all the time. It felt so good to live there, sabe.

The capital city Ciudad de Mexico aka D.F. is said to be one of the world's most crowded single city that over 20 million people live and work in the metropolitan D.F. So a traffic jam on highways and in subways during rush hours are like Tokyo, Seoul, New York, you know one of those the biggest cities.

002. Los Vecinos

Mexican ethical groups in my eyes.

Rate of blood mixture varies tho. In the north, local people tend to have lighter skin that indicates more Caucasians DNA. In the south, you see more darker skin locals that native blood is strongly preserved.

Almost all Mexicanos I met knew about Japan and they even knew the people in Japan aren't Chinese. So they called me Japones anyway.

Social structure of Mexico at glance seems to be very similar to those other Third World countries, that a very little percentage of group of people run the nation, its business and politics. In case of Mexico, descendants of Spaniards aka los conquestadores hold a majority of monopolizing business. As well as the gap between rich and poor are so obvious.

While many of light skin people live up in gated residential area, some dark skin people beg around the corner and sell some cheap products like gums and flowers with bear feet. However I didn't see homeless people, and I came to wonder why. I asked one of my field advisers Senor Polo who has lived in Japan as well as worked in the US. He told me something interesting. Unlike Japan and/or the US, so-called First World nations, families in Mexico don't give up on family members and throw them out on street. Hmm, warm, very warm heart Mexicanos.

And a stereo typical of Mexicans are positive and happy, and I think it is true. This good vibes are shared with other Latin American and Caribbean nations too. General impression of Mexican people are happy and easy while hard working and romantic.

One of my Mexican friends one day said, "Nochi, there is no way not to approach her when you meet a beautiful woman". He taught me so simple yet vital thing in life. His attitude, carrying positive vibes, moving forward, that's like respectful seems like working hard towards own happiness. Looked like they don't get stuck with negative causes.

This is like totally centered by Yang energy, sabes, Yin-Yang as Tao as Eastern philosophy describes the interconnectedness of the world.