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Movie Review: 好きっていいなよ。—Suki tte Iina Yo
time Dec 11 , 2014 by Admin JCS PC_blog 0

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"Say ‘I love you’" is a Japanese manga by Kanae Hazuki.  It was adapted into a movie starring Haruna Kawaguchi and Sota Fukushi.  It’s ridiculously romantic.  

One line summary: A high school girl who doesn’t trust anyone, starts opening up to people after falling in love with the right guy.  

It’s always a struggle to watch a manga be adapted into a feature, especially because the manga is so much longer.  There’s way more character development that a 2 hour movie couldn’t possibly ever account for- for instance, the main character Mei doesn’t just suddenly become Miss Popular- there’s some struggle for her to make a friend, and find herself, so to speak.  

I’m also a little bit iffed out by stories where characters just kiss all of the time.  There’s a funny segment about how the hero of the story, Yamato, wards off Mei’s stalker by kissing her.  Because clearly, that works better than calling the police, etc. 

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The reviews are generally positive on iTunes, and I’d definitely say that the first review is spot on.  ”Neither good nor bad” 4 stars.  However, it’s uplifting and hopeful, and just peachy.  

You can find  好きって言いなよ。 only on iTunes Japan, and iTunes Japan gift cards are available through JapanCodeSupply.

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Some of the silliest things I've been asked.
time Dec 10 , 2014 by Admin JCS PC_blog 0

As a Japanese American, or Nikkei-jin, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Japan, or about being Japanese.  These questions are mostly all harmless, and some of them are really stupid.  Other ones are really annoying.  

So, here’s my attempt to shed some light on the subject.  This post will inevitably be biased, but bear with me.  At least it’s short (I have a hundred more of these ready, if I get a positive review).  

Q: Do Japanese people eat sushi for every meal?
A: Japanese people don’t eat sushi every day. 

 

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I recently had the total misfortune of going on a business trip to Japan with an enormous culture vulture.  This dude literally thought that everything in Japan was pokemon, studio Ghibli and sushi.  He wanted to eat sushi for every meal possible.  Do Americans eat hamburgers every day?  Do Indian people eat curry every day?  Nope.  Right.  C’mon guys. 

Also, this is a big one for you too: 

 

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Q: Doesn’t the Japanese writing system go up and down, with three different kinds of writing styles?  How do you keep up? 
A: Because I can read and write.

 

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I know that this question isn’t actually stupid, but the thing is, it’s just a part of the language.  There is no greater mystery to it, and Japanese is a way easier language than English.  To keep it as simple as possible, kanji is the writing system that is borrowed from the Chinese.  It’s more symbolic, with meaning behind each character.  Even if you don’t recognize a character, it’s easy for you to figure out what someone meant to write.  Hiragana is essentially the Japanese alphabet.  Hiragana is the writing style that is phonetic, so that you can read letter to letter.  Katakana is the exact same as hiragana, but used primarily for “borrowed words”.  Foreign words, usually Western words are written in katakana.  As far as the writing structure going up and down goes, Japanese can also go left to right. 

Q: Do Japanese people celebrate Christmas? 
A: Yes, but in the strictly materialistic way. 

 

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Lose all religiosity.  Only presents. And pretty much the second coming of Valentine’s Day for couples.  It’s not an official holiday, and there aren’t very many christians in Japan.  For the more elderly couples, many hotels host dinner shows featuring major singers, actors, and actresses. 

Maybe it’s a really good time for you to buy someone a gift from JapanCodeSupply.  All gift cards are available through JapanCodeSupply

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Southern All Stars サザンオールスターズ is patriotic (again)
time Dec 09 , 2014 by Admin JCS PC_blog 0

Southern All Stars (サザンオールスターズ) is a Japanese pop rock band formed in 1978.  They celebrated their 35th anniversary with their newest single, "東京VICTORY" ("Tokyo Victory"), in light of Japan hosting the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.  

 

 

Back in the day in 1940, Japan was supposed to host both the summer and winter olympics (because they used to have them in the same year then).  For obvious historical reasons, it was cancelled.  Since then, Japan hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.  

That's actually quite a few Olympics that one country has had the privilege of hosting.  The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is a considerable feat, due to the recent Earthquake and nuclear tragedies in March 2011.  

In a recent interview, Southern All Stars was quoted to have said, that "Tokyo Victory" is meant to be a morale boost during these darker times.  Japan as a nation still hasn't recovered from the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011.  The reputation of the country was ruined, with accusations and blames for radioactivity in the Pacific against Japan.  

Hopefully the 2020 Olympics will be a safe and wonderful event to remember.  

Here's to another entertaining promotion video (music video) by Southern All Stars: "天国オン・ザ・ビーチ" ("Heaven on the Beach")

My parents would rock out to this stuff.  A little bit of Japanese culture for you.  

Unfortunately, サザンオールスターズ pulled off a similar stunt as Taylor Swift against iTunes, so you'll have to purchase some recohoku credit through JapanCodeSupply and find their singles there. 

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