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http://corterleather.bigcartel.com/product/for-japan

If you are in Japan donations to help relief efforts are easy enough to make through the Post Office ATMs, or the many convenience stores. But for those who don’t have to time to figure out how to make a donation from abroad, need a little incentive, or all of the above, but still want to contribute, here is a nice way of doing so. And it is incomparably more aesthetically appealing than those silly-looking colorful rubber things

For the next week or two, Corter Leather (handmade in New England) will be offering a special “For Japan” edition bracelet. Each one is $20, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross towards relief efforts in Japan. The bracelet comes in three sizes, is a natural 9 oz bracelet, with a hand painted red button to show support. Each comes in a nice cloth bag. Out of respect, there is no branding, no fancy packaging- just a reminder to help and remember.

Others have already mentioned this opportunity: http://neaststyle.com/2011/03/14/japan-by-corter-leather/, http://dreamsofperfection.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/corter-leather-for-japan-bracelet/, just to mention a few.

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春の波

おだやかなれよ

彼岸潮(ひがんしお)

逃げ水ならば

胸痛むまじ

–M.I.

Well, I’ll never forget how to say this now.

I don’t know if the accompanying hand-motions are part of some international sign-language, but if they are not, perhaps they should be. Originally produced by Fuji TV, if you can believe that.

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Hope THIS GUY didn’t steal anybody’s name…

See the Murakami Haruki short story published in the New Yorker, and available in a collection of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

If they had Darwin Awards for criminals and bad-ass awards for 18-year-old girls this would take the cake:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/news/20100531p2a00m0na010000c.html

More from the Mainichi on the Koyanagi File (interviews with WWII naval officers) mentioned in an earlier post. The documents are due to be released this month.

For a bit of levity. Check out the slideshow here from Global Post, and try to keep a straight face while reading the captions. Whoever wrote the captions had a rascally sense of humor.

Top secret interviews with WW2 Japanese navy brass to be published in April according to Mainichi. Read the full article here:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/features/archive/news/2010/03/20100313p2a00m0na021000c.html?inb=rs&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mdn%2Fall+%28Mainichi+Daily+News+-+All+Stories%29

Wow. Talk about presence of mind. Note to self and all. there is some space between the rails and the train, specifically a 1.06m x 30cm space. Read all about it:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/news/20100216p2a00m0na010000c.html?inb=rs&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mdn%2Fall+%28Mainichi+Daily+News+-+All+Stories%29

And he tells his story today:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/news/20100217p2a00m0na015000c.html?inb=rs&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mdn%2Fall+%28Mainichi+Daily+News+-+All+Stories%29

Kojima Nobuo (小島信夫) wrote the short story “American School” (アメリカンスクール) the same year as “Stars” (星). The similarities in tone and approach are readily noticeable. Although written in 1954, the story is set in 1948 in the midst of the US occupation of Japan. It centers on a visit of a group of Japanese teachers of English to a school run by the Occupation forces, hence the title.

The characters are archetypes and the lampooning of the contemporaneous social realities is representative of Kojima’s satiric approach. Personal relationships between the characters drive the story, the majority of which centers on a group march to the American school. Isa, a cowardly fellow who is scared to death of speaking English—yes he is an English teacher—wants only to be left alone. Yamada, a sycophant to authority and overweening jackass to everyone else, is above all an opportunist (there is a similar character in “Stars”). Yamada sees Isa as a non-hacker and desires to publicly humiliate him. Isa, in turn, despises Yamada. Michiko, the only woman in the group and very popular with the Occupation forces, sticks close to Isa, for a variety of reasons. The most apparent reason is that he has something she wants.

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