A friend just directed me to a Financial Times article that had some harsh words for Japanese trade policy. The article, entitled “Truth Behind Japan’s Free and Open Market,” takes Hyundai as an example of a company that should have succeeded in the Japanese market, but was forced to withdraw for a few reasons. The author seems aroused with righteous indignation at the idea that a Korean auto manufacturer could fail in Japan, and he attacks Japan for betraying the free market ethic. Pretending I don’t know that his first book attacked Japan for the same thing back in 1993 and that his most recent book urges American to abandon the religion of free trade, I’d like to talk about this.
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Tagged free trade, FTA, Honda, Hyundai, Japan, Korea, LG, Nissan, Samsung, Toyota, TPP, US
Living abroad strikes everyone just a little bit differently. I know Americans in Japan who will do any number of things when they get homesick — buy a Coke, listen to Springsteen, organize a football game. Me? I watch Westerns. It’s the quintessential American form and there are plenty that everyone should see. This may not seem like it has to do with Japan, but these are the movies I’m watching when I think of home. Here are twenty of my go-to Westerns.
Okay, that one doesn’t count. The Great Train Robbery (1903) can be found on YouTube. If you have ten minutes and want to watch a classic Western, have at it. My twenty begin here, in alphabetical order.
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Tagged Akira Kurosawa, Andy Devine, Brad Pitt, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Charles Bronson, Chief Dan George, Clint Eastwood, Dean Martin, Dodge City, Dustin Hoffman, Edmond O'Brien, Eli Wallach, Ernest Borgnine, Errol Flynn, film, Gary Cooper, Gene Hackman, Great Train Robbery, Gregory Peck, Hailee Steinfeld, Henry Fonda, High Noon, Howard Hawks, James Coburn, Jane Darwell, Japan, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Stewart, John Carradine, John Ford, John Wayne, Josh Brolin, Karl Malden, Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef, Little Big Man, Matt Damon, Maureen O'Hara, Montgomery Clift, Morgan Freeman, movies, My Darling Clementine, Olivia de Havilland, Paul Newman, Red River, Ricky Nelson, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande, Robert Redford, Robert Vaughn, Seven Samurai, Stagecoach, Steve McQueen, Strother Martin, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, The Gunfighter, The Magnificent Seven, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Searchers, The Wild Bunch, True Grit, Unforgiven, Vera Miles, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Westerns, William Holden, Woody Strode, Yul Brynner
This post is horribly late, but that’s no big deal.
Hanami [花見] is the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing. This year, the week that cherry blossoms were in bloom was the second week of April, so the blossoms have already long gone. However, just as they were blooming, I went with my friend Trevor — who was visiting from NYC — to Shinjuku Gyoen to have a gander. I’m still waiting for Trevor’s higher-resolution photos, but I thought I’d update mine for the time being.
Well, my computer’s broken. I’m sure it’ll be a whole ton of fun bringing it to a repair shop and figuring out what’s wrong in Japanese. No posts for now, but several in the tube for when I’m up and running again. Stand by.
For my American readers, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten caught up in all that Hunger Games hullabaloo over the past week or so. Suzanne Collins’ novel for young adults dropped in 2008, and you probably know the rest. The film adaptation of the first book of the series was released in the US on March 23rd and had a remarkably strong opening weekend. In all the excitement, though, I’d like to remind everyone — though I’ve already seen plenty of reminders out there — that Japan has something [potentially] better to offer.
Over the past few weeks, Jeremy Lin has become a role model in the Asian American community. Being a Taiwanese-American making it in the NBA is a big deal, although I would argue it was just as big a deal that he was an economics major from Harvard — one of the other two NBA players from Harvard was Jewish, another underrepresented demographic in the sport. The truth is that Asians have already found their way into American sports. From Ichiro Suzuki to Yao Ming, Michelle Kwan to Apollo Anton Ono, Dat Nguyen to Tiger Woods, Asians and Asian Americans have reached the very highest ranks of American athletics; Jeremy Lin is just the latest in a long line. Almost anyone can name an Asian star athlete, but can everyone name an Asian Hollywood star? Some of you are making this face now.
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Tagged 47 Ronin, Academy Awards, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Asian Americans, Asians, Christopher Nolan, George Takei, Hollywood, Inception, Jeffrey Wright, Jeremy Lin, John Cho, Ken Watanabe, Last Samurai, Letters From Iwo Jima, Lucy Liu, Memoirs of a Geisha, Oscars