Author Archive

Oct
25

The Internet is a wonderful place

Posted by on Saturday, 25 October, 2008

Yeah, I just got to say it. The Internet *is* a wonderful place sometimes. It can make you feel happy when everything else just sucks. The ultimate treasurebox of pleasure and delight is of course Youtube; and here are two hits from this year that I discovered much too late – but they are already timeless classics and I enjoy them incredibly: (both via Waxy.org)

My Hope by Sweetafton23

Ready on the floor by Little Boots (on Tenorion)

Aug
30

Countdown to H&M in Tokyo

Posted by on Saturday, 30 August, 2008

Many Swedes, like myself, have a special love-hate relationship with the likes of H&M and IKEA – publicly we might say that we despise them for being providers of cheap crappy goods and marching towards world expansion in an imperialistic manner. Privately, however, we all shop (or have shopped) furniture at IKEA, praising them for their low prices and relatively good quality, and we secretly buy lots of basic wear at H&M because of their equally low prices and decent quality.

So, it is actually with excitement that I note that it’s just two weeks until H&M open their first store ever in Japan, in Ginza’s exclusive shopping district in central Tokyo. Opening date is set to September 13 when the new “GINZA gCUBE” opens up – the “g” apparently stands for “good” as in “good food,” “good life,” and “good fashion.” (Although, I suspect that originally the “g” stands for “gas” as the building is owned by Tokyo Gas Company)

You can see the exact location of the building here:

大きな地図で見る

Aug
24

All in all – a disastrous Olympics for the Swedes

Posted by on Sunday, 24 August, 2008

Ara Abrahamian - Swedish wrestler
Well, tomorrow is the last day of the 2008 Olympic Games and being a Swede, you got to think “Thank You, the disaster is finally over….Let’s forget about Beijing and concentrate on London!”

With one day left (without any hopes of more medals), Sweden ended up with five medals; four silvers and one bronze. That places us at 56th place in the country medal rankings. Sweden DID have one more bronze, but you all know that it was taken back by IOC due to Ara Abrahamian’s “unsportsmanship behavior” last week. There’s no denying that his behavior was child like and should go punished, but the fact remains that his actions were in part justifiable as the latest news reveal: “Ara Abrahamian was right” I guess it is a big comfort to him (and to his fellow Swedes) to know that he was unfairly treated in his semifinal match.

Anyway, back to the fiasco that is the Swedish Olympic performance of 2008. To get an idea of how bad it has been, here are the statistics from the last few Games:

Athens 2004: 4 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze (19th place)
Sydney 2000: 4 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze (18th place)
Atlanta 1996: 2 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze (29th place)
Barcelona 1992: 1 gold, 7 silver, 4 bronze (27th place)
Seoul 1988: no gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze (32nd place)
Los Angeles 1984: 2 gold, 11 silver, 6 bronze (16th place)
Moscow 1980: 3 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze (11th place)

By this point, I got tired of writing each game’s medals, so I looked back and tried to find a worse games for the Swedes. Mexico City 1968 saw only four Swedish medals, but two of them were gold. In Rome 1960, Sweden took six medals, of which only one was gold, so you could say that Beijing 2008 was the worst Olympics games for the Swedes in at least 48 years…

However, in such times as these, you have to find happiness from somewhere, and living in Japan you have to join the Japanese in joy for their successful Olympic Games! Japan are in 8th place overall in Beijing; with a total of 25 medals (9 gold, 6 silver, 10 bronze) – which is pretty good, although not as impressive as in Athens were they managed to bring home 37 medals!

Aug
16

What Japanese wants to watch on TV during summer

Posted by on Saturday, 16 August, 2008

John Stamos
In answer to the poll “What foreign TV series do you want to view thoroughly this summer holiday?”, in itself not such a strange question, there were some in my opinion highly unexpected results – please see below:

1. Full House
2. Bewitched
3. Columbo
4. 24
5. ER
6. Dae Jang-geum (Korean)
7. X-Files
8. Winter Sonata (Korean)
9. Knight Rider
10.Beverly Hills 90210
11.Prison Break
12.Lost
13.CSI
14.Desperate Housewives
15.Sex and the City
16.Heroes
17.Ally McBeal
18.Jumong (Korean)
19.All In (Korean)
20.Friends

Well, what can you say? I must say that I’m really surprised that the top 3 are virtual classics by now, although calling “Full House” a classic might be a bit of a stretch. I was aware of the show’s popularity here in Japan since before, but I didn’t think it was the thought to be the most popular show ever! Also, I’m wondering about Bewitched – how come that is so popular here? Was there some kind of revival after the Nicole Kidman movie, or something? Also, I definitely thought that “Winter Sonata” was going to be the highest ranked Korean drama, but perhaps everyone has already seen it 100+ times, so they see no need in renting it and watching it yet again….

Here is a link to the original poll results on Goo (in Japanese)

Jul
30

The wonderful world of OKASHI

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

I received a piece of Japanese candy (“okashi” or “wagashi” in Japanese) today which had this wonderful English text on the package:

Wagashi

The spirit of OKASHI. It is what gives a peaceful and pleasant mind to the human race. All the time, man seeks romance in the OKASHI. We have been working hard and carefully, and work on. To weave the romance and the fancy into each OKASHI. This, at last, we have made up “The HAKATA SEIYO-WAGASHI.” If you taste the feeling and the spirit of the OKASHI which value tradition and living in the times, there is no pleasure better than it.

If anyone can translate for me what it actually means, I’d be very happy….