Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Last Blog For the Semester

This, English Seminar Ⅱ was tough for me. Why was it? That's because I've not thought about race and ethnicity seriously before. Although I knew that there are many issues of race and ethnicity, maybe I was keeping away from the complicated, difficult problems. Somewhere in my mind, I was saying, "I have nothing to do with them." However, learning and discussing about the problems, it made me think that this is the thing we all have to know and lead to solution. In addition, I learned that we need to be careful using words that it may suggest discrimination, neglection, or any bad aspects. Hereafter, I want to consider about those problems and I hope I can help people who have different cultures from mine.
Thank you very much!!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

International Marriage

Many of my friends admire the international marriage. One of my friend said, "Japanese guys are sucks! They are not cool, they are unkind to women...and they are poor to tell love!!" Wow, radical thinking!! Yes, it is said that Japanese men are bad to entertain women. However, I think it's pretty difficult when we talk about international marriage.
I saw the article about Japanese women marring non-Japanese. The first case was with Egyptian man. When they were having dates, they didn't have any problems but after they got married, the man made her not go out alone, try to wear veil, and so on as the teaching of Islam. The woman was astonished and they separated soon. The other case was with French man. It was about their married life that when his wife was drying futon and slaping it in the sun, he got mad and made her stop:"Why are you scattering out dust in the air??" Because of - a love of cleanliness - French nationality? The last case was with Amercan. The article said that in general, American regard the relationship with wife more important than that of children. (Japanese is opposite.) So, it often leads to the conflict. (Do you think so, Scott?)
The final comment for this was to recognize the difference and compromise is the most important thing. Yes, it is true and I thought this is quite similar solution for the racial and ethnic problem. The answer is not only the one, but understanding each other, remove which is superior or inferior would decrease discriminaiton.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Diversity in Wristband - Spread from "Whiteband"




I didn’t know that many kinds of new wristband have been made! It is well known that the whiteband was made for the contribution for poverty and many people all over the world once wore it (still…?I don’t know). They are like these: greenband for saving the forest to stop global warming, redband for stamping out AIDS, blueband for children who are abused, light-purpleband for animal protection, and so on. There are many, so if you are interested, please search! One that hooked me is zebraband, which is like in the picture. A French soccer player, Thierry Henry is the founder. This is a campaign to eradicate the racial discrimination.
“THE SYMBOL OF THE CAMPAIGN IS THE BLACK AND WHITE WRISTBAND. PLAYERS AND FANS HAVE BEEN WEARING THEM TO SHOW THEY SUPPORT THIERRY HENRY’S CAMPAIGN AND THEIR DISGUST AT RACIST BEHAVIOUR IN STADIUMS AND IN THE GAME.” http://www.nike.com/standupspeakup/en/home.jsp?page=home
I think this is a good thing to make many people think about races. Not only adult but also children see soccer, so that it may help them realize the racial discrimination is a cruel thing to do. I think the education of race and ethnic in childhood bring a great effect in order to build a discord-less society.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Pray for Blue Ribbon


Last friday night, I went to hear the speech of Sakie Yokota, mother of Megumi Yokota who was kidnapped by North Korea. Before I listen, even though I see the issue and cries of the victims on TV, I couldn't think of it seriously as it felt as a too faraway problem from myself. However, listeng to her speech directly, it really made me think what if it happen to me or people close to me. Her voice reached me and the tears run my cheeks. But although I feel sympathy and wanted to help, the fact only notice me that I'm powerless. I know I'm just a citizen and don't have any authority, but it made me sad that I can't do anything for a solution.
After the speech, I discussed with my friend a little about what can we do, and our answer was "to tell and pass down to many people and the next generation" not to forget the tragedy and not to happen again. It's quite difficult that people who haven't experience the situation to tell the issue or it may sometimes be rude to do that, but I think that(to tell and pass) is what Mrs. Yokota want to do, so it may not be bad to do that. Of course, the most thing which motivate her for activities is a strong will to relieve Megumi, and another thing is "to make a lot of people know the tragedy and realize her pain". That's what she said. She is a tough lady. I also want to pray for the Blue Ribbon.

*Blue Ribbon's blue means that the color of the Sea of Japan which set apart Japan and Northe Korea, where near(geographically) but far(mentally) country and the color of the sky which only connects families of kidnapped victims.
http://www.rnet.gr.jp/blueribon/

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Year in Singapore

This winter, I went to Singapore, where my dad lives because of his business. I was looking forward to spending new year in Singapore, because I thought they would celebrate flamboyant. But as I countdown, “3,2,1… A Happy New Year!”, the atmosphere was pretty calm. I was staying at the hotel and could see fireworks rose, but there was no noise.
Do you know why? Maybe only I was the one who was ignorant. Yes, they celebrate Chinese New Year, which in Japanese kyuushougatsu. One of the reason is that the about 70% of the population in Singapore is Chinese, however indeed, many of the Asian countries celebrate it. I heard that Japan used to, too, but we changed to the Western way for our economic development. I wonder what the people who have experienced the transition of the new year's tradition in passed Japan felt. Was it sad to ababdon for the economy or was it happy to get close to the West?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whose Cafe?

When I was walking Aoyama Street., an interesting signboard jumped into my eyes.
Immigrant’s Cafe
“What?” I was really fascinated by the name and I searched on the internet.
They say they “welcome you with American style service from English speaking staff. Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisines are prepared by experienced chefs whom have traveled extensively throughout Asia, bringing back original styles and flavors. The wait staff are from many different countries including, Australia, America, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, Mexico” in their homepage. (http://www.immigrantscafe.com/)
My first impression was that there are many kinds of immigrants, so this may not be a proper name for a café. I wonder the person whom has found this café. What is the nationality? How old is he/she? Did he/she learn anything about immigrants? Why only Asian food is ‘immigrational’ for him/her? However, hiring multinational people is a wonderful thing and it made me want to go there! And, food sound and seems yummy!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Wonderful Experience -Speech Interview-

This evening, I went to Shibuya to interview a non-Japanese person with my English Seminar Ⅱ’s friends. We went to Segafredo, an Italian café (it’s a chain, like American Starbucks). I was really nervous. When I decide a person to interview, my heart beat got faster. It was tough to talk to someone you don’t know. I wanted to escape. I went to the bathroom many times, and as I looked at may watch, I noticed more than 1 hour had passed!! Finally, I made up my mind to go! It was a couple. First, they looked me doubtfully, but as I introduced myself eagerly, they made a smile and cheerfully accepted the interview. I interviewed the husband. He is an Italian and works in Japan for about 4 years. He said he can talk 4 languages: Italian, English, French, and little Japanese. We talked more other than interview questions and had a great time. I also took a picture. The couple was so nice and friendly. I was touched by their kindness. (I’ll tell more in my speech!)
My friends also met good people. One of my friends said she gonna have a party with the interviewee someday! Wow!! Anyway, it was really a fantastic experience. I enjoyed coming in contact with someone I don’t know and talking about the cultural differences. I could broaden my mental horizon. In addition, I was impressed by the kind-hearted, open-minded foreigners (←is this a bad word to use these days?). I wondered what will the Japanese, including me, do if a stranger comes up and talks to. I think many Japanese would be suspicious and not answer. This is the national character. I know Japan has been changing, but still, it is intolerance to foreigners, I think. We should learn that. In short, today’s event was really, really wonderful experience and it made me think more about people.