Blog Archive

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Osaka upsets former No. 1

Now, this is why I love sports! Low-ranked players or teams beating top-ranked (or former) is the biggest reason why sports is interesting to watch.

Naomi Osaka (Japanese-American tennis player) from Osaka, Japan, defeated former No. 1 ranked tennis player Serena Williams at the 2018 Miami Open. It wasn't a close match neither. It was two sets to none. Osaka won the first set with six games to three, and won the second set six games to two, thus winning the match.

Image result for naomi osakaFor people that don't know about her, Naomi Osaka was born from Osaka Japan with a Haitian father and a Japanese mother. Her family moved to Florida when she was three years old, and she started playing tennis when she was six years old. She made her breakthrough in 2015 and was ranked top 50 in the women's division. As of 22 March 2018, she jumped from 44th ranked to the 22nd ranked because of the win.

All I can say is congrats to her marvelous victory. For Serena, hope you have a great training and health for the next tournament.

Jay Nakamura

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Japanese Cult Members To Be Executed

On March 20th, 1995, Aum Shinrikyo (a Japanese cult) made a domestic terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway system that killed 27 people in total and sickened thousands of people. Cult leader Shoko Asahara and a dozen of members were arrested and sentenced to death.

Today (which is the 23rd anniversary of the attack), seven more cult members are sentenced to death by hanging at any time. They were relocated to five detention centers outside of Tokyo last week, and the time and place of executions have not been announced. 

If all 10 subway attack convicts are hanged, it would be the second-largest number executed on a single day in modern Japanese history, right behind 11 prisoners in 1911.

While it is a good thing because of the proverb "eye for an eye" or "what goes around comes around," some of the members said that it's unnecessary because it won't have any more explanation of their crimes. 

Despite them saying that the death penalty could stop the investigation, it can show that when it comes to gangs/cults, Japan does not take them lightly.

God Bless,
Jay Nakamura

Monday, March 19, 2018

Elementary Students Romantic Help

Majority of people that were asked for help are people that are either way older (40s and 50s), have a lot of experience with romance, or...the ones that have romantic advice yet never had any romantic experience whatsoever...

Never in my life that I have to get romantic advice from elementary school kids. In America, kids are not really keen on romance and love until they at least hit them puberty years (11-14 years old). So, they are really naive when it comes to romance.

However, I had a surprise when I found out that Japanese schoolkids are really knowledgeable about romance. A lot more knowledgeable than most people my age, and people my age suck at romance.
Image result for japanese school kids
There was a newspaper article about a man that wanted advice on how to be popular with girls his age. The man is not in his 20s but mid-40s. He's a 45-year-old male that's worried about finding a girlfriend and getting married.

I give him credit to at least ask for help.

So here is the kids' answer to his problem:

"We're not great with ladies so we can't say anything, but people who are popular really annoy us. We also sometimes scream 'People who live fulfilling lives are idiots.' But even if we do that, we don't become everyone's favorite. In any case, we've heard of the seven K's of becoming popular with women.
Being cool (kakkoii), not being dirty (kitanakunai), not smelling terrible (kusakunai), being clever (kashikoi), having a way with words (kuchi ga umai), being empathetic (kuki yomeru), and not comparing yourself to other people (kurabenai). At least that's what we've heard. Even if it's impossible, please do your best. 
And you're not trying to go for women in their twenties, since you're 45, are you? You have to go after women in their forties, right? But if you find it difficult, why not just stay single? We think that it's easier to live through life as a single person in this current age." 
That was literally the most shocking yet cutest advice I've ever heard.  And wow! I was kinda skeptical when they said it's from Japanese schoolkids because schoolkids did not have that kind of maturity.

It was WAY better advice that I've mostly hear in America. In America, there were two things that can make you popular with girls: having good looks or having a lot of money. If you have one of the other, then you're fine. If you have both, then you are set for life. However, if you don't have either of those, good luck...

It's just hearing that looks or the size of your wallet matters in romance is really depressing. So hearing something that is sincere makes it a lot better.

While I do feel really happy for the kids,...I feel kinda bad about romance in America. These kids haven't even been to puberty and they know the sincere way of romance. I do love America from the bottom of my heart, but dear God, romance in America sucks so bad.

To the kids, congrats on being taught that looks and a huge wallet don't matter. To the man, good luck on your romantic journey, and I hope you do way better than me.

Good advice,
Jay Nakamura

Friday, March 16, 2018

Gaijin Hunters

For my entire time learning about Japanese culture and language, there were some instances that I've come upon this term. It's been a while since I've last heard about this, but I am somewhat knowledgeable about with some help of some of the Japanese people I've met. That term is gaijin hunters. For people that do not know who they are, gaijin hunters are Japanese girls that are only interested in dating foreigners. And I mean ALL foreigners that gaijin hunters are interested.

I had read a lot of articles and watched a couple of Youtube videos from The Japanese Man Yuta and Find Your Love in Japan. The articles said that gaijin hunters are shallow and manipulative to foreigners because they use foreigners as their significant others for these reasons:

1. They like the status of dating a foreigner because it makes other Japanese people jealous (especially making other Japanese women jealous)
2. They love the foreignness and how they're exotic
3. They want to learn a foreign language for them (mainly English)
4. Foreigners in Japan are considered to be rich so they use them for money
5. They have sexier bodies
Image result for gaijin hunter
And the list continues...

While the majority of hunters are Japanese college students, there are some instances that guys are hunters to foreign women. I did read a couple of stories where foreign women are targeted by male gaijin hunters and it was really scary for me.

The two biggest red flags to find for gaijin hunters are: they keep speaking in English despite the foreigners speaking Japanese to them and the unexpected confidence they have immediately when they met a foreigner. I am not generalizing to all Japanese people. There might be some Japanese people that are confident and they spoke to foreigners in Japanese, and there are others that are shy but they can speak decent English. I am just saying that all Japanese people have different personalities and there can be times that it'll be hard to find the difference between a normal Japanese person and a gaijin hunter.

I do understand in a foreigner's perspective that it was uncomfortable to be or encountered a Japanese gaijin hunter but at the same time, some foreigners might do the same thing with Japanese girls. In America, there's a term called "yellow fever" meaning that there are foreigners that only date Asian girls (especially Japanese girls). They almost have the same reasons and the same red flags that Japanese gaijin hunters have. You know it's like those few foreigners that said Japanese girls like white guys because they're white. I am not saying that all white guys think like that. It's just the 10% of the population would think like that. Everyone else would say that they don't mind the race of the woman as long as they're having a great time.

Plus, many foreigners that have "yellow fever" mainly would target on the Japanese girls that barely have any knowledge on the English language so they can get whatever they want, so they don't really want to mess with the ones that can speak English decently.

All I am saying is for Japanese people and foreigners to be concern about someone that only wants you because you're a foreigner or you're Japanese.

Moral of the story: It's more of a person than the color of their skin, their native language they've spoken, and their home country they were born.

Jay, what would happen if you meet a gaijin hunter? In all honesty,...I literally have no idea...

I am not saying that I would not know the gaijin hunter. I would know some of the red flags. It's mainly...I'll be mind-blown when any girl approached me. In America and around the world, about 99.9% of the time, thee guys would approach the girls. When I come to Japan, I'll be completely surprised if any Japanese girl or any girl, in general, would approach me. I'll be frozen with nervousoness and anxiety when that happens.

Stay safe, Jay Nakamura

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mario Day

Mario is always known as the most iconic gaming mascot in the world, and how do people celebrate the success of Mario? Having a full day dedicated to him of course!

March 10 is Mario Day, and it celebrates the main character (Mario) of the Nintendo's most well-known video game franchise, Super Mario. It was chosen on that day because of the abbreviation and how it was written: Mar10, which looks like Mario.

Nintendo celebrates Mario Day by slicing the Super Mario Run on iTunes and Google Play to half-off: from $10 to $5, and it'll run until March 25th. 

Last year, Nintendo celebrated Mario Day by working with Starlight Children's Foundation to give away colored hospital gowns, Mario-themed frames on Facebook, Nintendo games going on sale, and major events at the PAX East in Boston and the Kids' Choice Awards in Nickelodeon.

This year, Google Maps is joining in on the fun by giving viewers a chance to view Mario Kart as a position indicator when using the GPS navigation app on iOS and Android. In fact, viewers can even throw bananas and/or red shells during the navigation. 

And those events are only going on in America. Who knows what cool and wacky things that Japan have in store for Mario Day?

Now, because of this day, I am only playing Mario games, especially Mario sports games. So that means I am going to have a great day with Mario Strikers Charged and Mario Super Sluggers. Hopefully, I can beat my cousin again since he always beats me in baseball.

Happy Mario Day,
Jay Nakamura

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Naruto Is Still A Genin

Not a big fan of anime, but Naruto series has been a childhood memory for me, and I've been waiting until Monday evenings to watch the new dubbed episodes in Cartoon Network. (Note: Don't use Sasuke's tough attitude to pick up a girl...Didn't work out for me in the third grade...). So, I did watch most of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden series, and I really like it, and following through the story was not really that hard. It's just a "below-average student" that has unknown raw potential that can make him one of the greatest, or something like that.

So, I was watching the recent episode of the Boruto series, and the genin team of Metal, Iwabe, and Denki was making a film about the basics of being a genin (a ninja newbie), and present it to Naruto the Hokage (basically the president of the Leaf Village). However, Naruto would be included in the film as an example.

But Jay, Naruto is a Hokage! Why does he have to be part of the film?

Well, this might become of a shocker but Naruto explains that since there are a lot of events going on at the beginning of the Naruto series, he never fully took the Chunin Exams. So technically, Naruto is still a genin!

Image result for shocked face

Yes, even I am surprised about it, and (again) I am not a huge anime fan.

But think about it, Naruto tried about four times to fully take the exams but here are the results.

  • First Chuunin Exams: Naruto made it to the second round of the finals before the exams being interrupted by Orochimaru, and the rest of the event was canceled.
  • Second Chuunin Exams: Can't make it because he was with Jiraya to train harder
  • Third Chuunin Exams: Wasn't held because of the Fourth Great Ninja War
So technically, it's not Naruto's fault at all. He was just really unlucky those events happened that made him not fully complete the Chuunin Exams.

Even Konohamaru "defeated" Naruto and passed the Chuunin Exams. Well technically, Naruto uses Sage Mode during the battle, and it was against the rules, and Naruto was immediately disqualified. So Konohamaru became a Chuunin after the battle. It's one of those times that you have to follow the rules, even though you want to win at all costs. Kids, follow the rules and you won't be disqualified like Naruto.

While many think of Naruto as a knuckle-headed ninja, he's not really a newbie when it comes to tactics. After his epic victory against Sasuke (that costs him an arm), Iruka-sensei brought tons of books to Naruto that made his brain fried, almost every day. But it paid off since he's now one of the top fighters in the ninja world with unbreakable brawns and a fresh strategic mind. 

For people that are kinda confused about the process, let me put it in another perspective. Think of Donal Trump! He didn't have any experience with politics and he's now the President of the United States of America. It's kinda like that!...ūnin_Exams I

And now you know,
Jay Nakamura

Monday, March 5, 2018

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

While I was studying for my chemistry class (sorry for the really late delay...), I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that talked about takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or the broken heart syndrome. I was really surprised about it since I read the video about "broken heart syndrome" and the first thing that pops in my head was a video dealing with a society vocabulary that talks about people being broken up by their significant other.

In fact, that can happen!! The main factor of the syndrome is a huge amount of stress and anxiety, which was 85% of the cases that deals with physical or emotional events. Events such as grief of death for a loved one, fear of public speaking, arguing with a spouse, relationship disagreements, broken up, rejection, betrayal, and financial problems.

So technically, can die from getting rejected by a cute girl...

But look on the bright side. There are times that it can be positive. For instance, getting married to a man/woman that you loved, winning a jackpot or a sporting event, or a wedding.

The physical symptoms are acute asthma, surgery, chemotherapy, and stroke. It is common for postmenopausal women between the ages of 48-55 years old.

It was first identified in Japan in the 1990s and it had spread globally, especially in Western countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, etc. There have been articles talking about it on ABC News, Fox News, The Seattle Times, and Independent. So yeah, a lot of people have heard about it.

But Jay, how did the broken heart syndrome work? Well, here's how it works! The syndrome has a temporary distribution of one's heart's normal pumping function, while the remainder of the heart functions normally or even with even more forceful contractions. The body releases a vast amount of chemicals that deal with stress and this sudden flow can shock the heart muscle, leaving it unable to pump normally.

The heart muscle has the potential to be so deeply affected that the heart is insufficiently capable of pumping blood into the body, and it is fatal and can lead to death.

So again, you can die from being rejected, broken up by a significant other, or worried about earning enough money.
Image result for scared gif

But don't be scared. It's a 5% chance that it can actually be fatal, and treatment is mainly being in the hospital for a couple of months at max.

The reason I found this interesting is that it was really surprising because it does have a similar outcome for people that are dealing with an extreme amount of stress or it's like a small version of a heart attack.

Hope you learned something new,
Jay Nakamura

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Parkland Shooting

I was really disappointed about this news article because it shows that Americans are still having those kinds of problems.

For those that didn't know, there was a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which is about 50 miles away from downtown Miami on Valentine's Day. As a result, there were 17 deaths, and it was named one of the deadliest school shootings since the Sandy Hook shootings in December 2012. The guy (which can't put his name but you can Google the news to find his name) blended in the crowd of high schoolers, put on a mask and used the fire alarms to open fire on the crowds. He was arrested at a park one hour later.

I was really saddened by the horrible events because it's a reminder that it can happen on any school around the nation. It was so bad that my family didn't watch any television for the entire day because they are worried if they did, they would automatically go to the news to see more information about the shooting. Honestly, I wouldn't blame them. 

And now...the debate about guns comes back up...

Some people said that America needs to ban guns to stop violence like Japan and other Asian countries. Some said that more guns can help people protect themselves from mass shootings since one dead body is better than a dozen of dead bodies. 

There were many comments from Yahoo that I can really relate to and (to me) can be a lot better. There were comments that said American youth today are more selfish, disrespectful, only show respect to people that are "normal" AKA obsessed with power, money, sex, and just being a plain dumba--. On the comments, it explained that was one of the many reasons why America's younger generations are "the worst generation" because they are not taught to show compassion and kindness to everyone. 

And by that, I completely agree to that. That's why I want to teach a lot of younger kids to be nice to everyone because they're fighting battles that they don't know, and any encouragement from anyone can make their days better. 

Finally, when I was looking at his photo, it kinda reminded me of myself when I was in high school. I was always being bullied because I was different from everyone, even if I changed schools. Everyone had their own groups and they've known each other for almost years, and I had almost no one. No group to hang out with, and I was new to everyone. So, I mostly spent almost my entire high school life by myself playing with the soccer ball that I sneaked to school from my house. 

So, I can understand him perfectly because I had that darkness inside of my heart and it was just painful for me to carry that pain and suffering every day knowing that I felt all alone when I was in high school.  However, the one thing that made me different from that guy was that I know there will be better times outside of high school. And it did! I made a lot of great people from different places and even in different countries, learned a lot of new things, and I finally achieved my childhood dream of going to Japan. So, better things did happen after high school. A lot of people and I included said to not give up no matter how hard and suffering that pain was. 

So overall, I just want kids my age and younger to learn how to be compassionate to one another no matter how different they are, the cliche "if you see something, say something", and finally just be nice to one another because again you don't know what battles they're facing inside or outside of school.

All love,
Jay Nakamura

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Story Time: My Worst Pick-Up Line

Since today's Valentine's Day (well it's over in Japan but still), a lot of people have been either happy because they get to spend time with their significant other or with their friends, or sad because it's a reminder that you're single and lonely for the "most romantic day of the year".

However, I've heard a guy from my local radio station that said Name the worst pick up line you tried to impress a girl. When I heard that sentence, I automatically cringed because I still remember the worst pick-up line I used to impress a girl. And now I am going to share it with you guys! I want to share it with the guys because they are worried about saying something that's really embarrassing and cringy to try impressing a girl, and my story would think OK, at least I am not that bad! Also, it's one of those stories for the women I've met that told me I don't suck at talking to girls. This story would be one of MANY instances of why I suck at girls.

So grab your popcorn and your barf bags because it's story time:

I was a senior in high school and I was taking a computer class as an elective. I sat on the first computer of the third row, and beside me was an empty seat. While I was minding my own business and tried to finish my classwork, the teacher assigned one of the students to an empty seat right next to me. 
When I saw the girl she was really pretty and cute! My heart was beating so fast and my mind went crazy because a pretty girl like her was sitting next to me. It was like winning a lottery for $10,000. So, when she sat down, we both introduced ourselves before we get back to work. From time to time during the period, I made small talk to her, asked for help with the schoolwork, and given her small compliments such as "you're pretty" and "you have really nice hair" and stuff like. Short and sweet. I was really surprised that I did really well despite my entire body was overheating like an average iPhone on a daily basis.
 Don't use your barf bags yet.

So, at that last time, I asked her where is she from, and she said that she was from Vietnam and moved to America when she was in middle school. So, I idiotically told her well my dad was part of the American Army when they fought in the Vietnman War. And we both shocked beyond belief!
Image result for barf gif

I literally told a Vietnamese girl that my dad fought in the Vietnam War!

Like no matter how many times that I played that moment in my head, I f---ing cringed so hard because on why the actual f--- I said that to someone! I know in her mind she thought Is this dude f---ing serious???

I didn't mean to harm her or anything like that! I just want to at least impress her a little and that comment just popped out of my mouth from nowhere and it just... *cringe*

For those people that said it doesn't sound so bad, think about this scenario. There's a cute Japanese girl you want to talk to and you want to impress her by any means necessary. Suddenly, after you heard that she's from Japan, you blindly told her Well, my father was part of World War II when he faced against the Japanese. Name one Japanese girl that won't cringe at that!

For those optimistic people saying you guys must have made up after that incident! Nope, she never even looked at me for the entire school year. Even when I tried to ask for help, she ignored me and helped someone else. We had a party and she gave everyone chocolate chip cookies except me. Overall, she doesn't want to interact with me by any means, and honestly, I don't really blame her.

Moral of the story: For the guys that are worried about saying something to impress a girl, don't worry! You'll do fine. Just don't do the same mistake I made! Also for the ladies, this memory is one of many examples as to why I suck with girls. 

Happy Valentine's Day,
Jay Nakamura

Friday, February 9, 2018

Journey to Japan: The Dream Come True

The 12-hour flight was a rocky one. I watched Your Name (which I was super surprised that I didn't cry on that movie), a Japanese movie about a boyfriend fighting a professional boxer for his girlfriend's heart, and an Indonesian movie about a war against the Indonesians and the Dutch. They were all great movies, but I was super happy that I finally get to see Your Name. There was a Japanese guy and (my prediction) an American guy. The American guy was kinda friendly, but the Japanese guy was not so friendly. It didn't really bother me since I was more focused on the movies and trying to not sleep awkwardly in the seat.

After countless delicious Japanese meals and listening to many old American songs from the 2000s, my father tapped me on the shoulder to show me something. He opened the window and my eyes opened very wide from the view I saw. We were passing through Chiba, which I found out it was kinda rural and I thought that it was kinda suburban or a small metropolitan city since it was near Tokyo. All I can think of was happiness. After countless days of studying Japanese language and culture, meeting many Japanese people from HelloTalk and Lang-8, and pleading my mother into letting me go. After all those time of learning Japanese in general ever since I was in elementary school, this was all I can think of: I made it. I finally made it to Japan after all these years.

We landed at Narita International Airport, and I grabbed all of the stuff from my chair before leaving the airplane. While moving to the customs area, I met an American who was meeting his girlfriend at Tokyo. He told me that it was his fourth time leaving the country, and the recent one he went was in China. I was really surprised that he was super young and he went to that many countries. I told him that it was my first time in Japan and outside of America, and he told me to not worry and I'll have a great time. It was a bumpy start at the customs area since I done the visitation card incorrectly, and we were trying to find the bags that took us 10 minutes. My father bought us bus passes to the hotel and we have to wait outside for the bus to come. My allergies were acting up a little so I sneezed a couple of times and I had snot hanging from my nose. I tried to use a face mask to cover it, but my father said that it was a bad idea because "If a black man was wearing a face mask, that means they know we're up to something." ...and the 'race' talk is back again...

I forgot to get the SIM card for my phone just in case I need it for the internet and calls all around the country, but since my dad was kinda impatient and wandered around the area looking for some answers as to why the bus was taking so long, I changed my mind and waited on the spot until the bus came.

Finally, the bus came. Before we left, I called my best friend from Yokohama and told her that I made it to Japan and now headed to Intercontinental Yokohama Grand at Minatomirai. She was excited that I finally made it, but the call was cut short since I saw the sign that means "No phone-calls allowed". So, I told her good-bye before the bus leaves to Yokohama. It took us 90 minutes to go to Yokohama, and it was really dark to see the places. Despite that, I did saw some buildings in Japan and it looked pretty nice!

We made it to Intercontinental Yokohama Grand, and we checked in on the 18th floor. During our check-in, I have spoken in somewhat broken Japanese and used some English for some instances. Overall, the worker was pleased that I spoke in Japanese. I was impressed on myself that I've done it in the first try.

Image result for intercontinental yokohama grand
We went into our room, and it was great. There was clean bed sheets, a 20-inch flat screen TV, and a minibar that we've never touched for the entire time. The best part was the view! We get to see Yokohama Cosmo World, World Porters, Ramen Noodles Cup Museum, and a little of the Yokohama Brick House. I was so amazed on the view and took pictures of the view and the room so I can show it to my family and friends.

We were too tired from the trip that we immediately went to take a bath (we didn't know how to turn the shower on so we took baths for the entire time as well). As I was running the bathwater, I was so shocked that the water was clear light blue. It was the first culture shock that I had because, in Louisiana, it was just clear white. Seeing clear light blue bathwater was a shock, and I thought that water in Japan was that clean!

After my bath, I watched a little Japanese television. There was a futsal (indoor soccer) game on, FOX channel was on with Japanese subtitles and Japanese dubbed, and TV Tokyo. TV Tokyo was the best since they had decent TV shows. After 20 minutes of TV, I went to bed. The bed was so soft and comfortable that I went into a deep sleep immediately.

As I sleep, I keep thinking that it's so great to finally come into my second-favorite country (besides my home country of America).