Kajukansa

Kajukansa is a mascot that promotes oranges from Kagoshima. His body is composed by four varieties of satsuma oranges:

Kajukansa

In the past, Kagoshima prefecture was known as Satsuma, and from there the first satsuma oranges were exported overseas. In Spain, in the Valencia region (where I come from), “satsumas” are also cultivated; most of the regional production is used to make industrial juice.

Kajukansa, the superhero of the orange, is one of the characters that appears in a TV show for kids called “The Hayato Satsuma warriors” that promotes the consumption of local oranges while showing interesting sightseeing spots and explaining the history of the area.

This is one of the episodes of the TV show. Kajukansa comes into action at minute 8!


The interesting part starts after minute 8.

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Meeting People in Singapore

I started the month of October landing in Singapore. It was the third time I visited the city-state: the first time on holiday and the second time for work. The city is so compact, “perfect” and “easy to use” that even if you stay for a short period of time you will start feeling like at home. Every time I land in Changi, the international airport of Singapore, I can’t avoid thinking about A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The government of Singapore has done a magnificent job creating an utopic city: Asian financial center, one of the busiest ports in the world, spotless streets, luxury all around, impressive public transportation, full employment (the unemployment rate is around 2%~3%), etc.

One of the things I like the most about Singapore is how well the different cultures from all around the world mix together. The Indian neighborhood (Little India) is next to the Arab neighborhood (Arab Street) and if you cross to the other side of the river you will go into the Chinese neighborhood… which is characterized by its colonial style architecture! There’s people from all around the world coexisting in the same city. For example, I was visiting our new offices in Singapore, and none of the employees was Singaporean: there are four Americans, three Chinese, two Malays, one Indonesian, one German and one Russian. Almost all of them have been living in Singapore between 3 and 5 years, and they say they are quite happy with their life in the city.

On my second day there, sailing in a catamaran near Sentosa island I met a guy that was born in Singapore. He finished his university studies and after finishing his two years of mandatory military service he decided to continue with his career in the military. He’s been working for five years in a team working with drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). He told me that, even being a small city, it has 200,000 personnel serving in the military. I asked him if he thought it was necessary to spend so much money in something that could potentially kill millions of people and he responded: “It is important to have an army even if we don’t use it, because to foreign eyes it gives the impression that we are a powerful country. We can’t allow ourselves to look weak, specially having China around the corner”. I kept asking him questions about the drones that they were using, the kind of training they do, the simulations and if it looked like Ender’s Game. He told me that in Singapore they use Heron-1 UAVs made in Israel that can’t fly very high and don’t have the autonomy of the American MQ-1 Predators, but they are a first step to be able to compete with the Americans. One of the dilemmas that Daniel Suarez presents in his last novel Kill Decision (recommended if you are interested in drones) is the problems that United States could face if somebody could be able to hijack MQ-1 Predators and would use the them to create confusion in the Middle East by pretending that it was an attack carried by United States. One of the main characters in the novel suggests that it could be better to open the market and let all kind of drones to proliferate. The conversation ended when he was curious to know how come I knew so much about drones, I suggested him Kill Decision 😉 but he didn’t seem to show much interest.

In the same boat, a beautiful girl started to ask me questions about Japan and Spain. Sitting next to me, both of us facing the horizon, with a thoughtful face she told me that she was born in Indonesia but when she was 2 years old all her family moved to Singapore. She is 25 years old now but she has almost not travelled farther than Malaysia and Indonesia. “Life is good here! I like a lot Singapore, but more and more I feel like getting out of here, life is short and I want to discover the world!”, she told me in a nostalgic tone and she confessed to me that she really wanted to leave but she couldn’t because “something” (she didn’t tell me what) had her tied to Singapore.

“What are you missing in Singapore?” – I asked her.

“Culture, there are few genuine things from Singapore” – she answered and went on – “there’s barely any theaters, museums, or anything. The city is full of malls. The people work, buy, work, buy and go home early to watch television because there’s not much else to do. Or they keep working to earn more money”.

“The truth is that Singapore is designed like that by our government to have more efficient workers, so that they can focus on studying, working and buying so that money flows” – said the drone guy meddling in the conversation.

We turned around and nodded with approval.

——-

Here you have a video that shows pretty well the sensation that Singapore is a city designed by an expert Sim City player:

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Spain Stereotypes vs. Japan Stereotypes

My friend Zordor sends me these two short videos that made my day. Stereotypes might seem absurd, but they are important as they are the image that a country projects to the rest of the world. When I tell Japanese people that I have just met that I am from Spain, almost all of them start telling me about La Tomatina or la Sagrada Familia; both are the most well-known Spanish things for the Japanese people.

Via Pisito en Madrid

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A Geek in Japan available for Kindle

My book A Geek in Japan has been on sale for more than a year now and it has been a success thanks to you!

I’m very happy to announce that now it is also available for kindle as A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony – Ebook. Buying it you are getting the “Optimized version for larger screens” with color pictures that looks awesome on Kindle Fire or the iPad!

On the next picture you can see the paperback version next to the cover page on the Kindle for Ipad.

A Geek in Japan Kindle

And this is how it looks like in a “traditional” Kindle. The photos look pretty sharp and contrasted, I’m very happy with the result.

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

Thanks for reading me once again and thanks even more if you buy A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony – Ebook right now! :)

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Rurouni Kenshin Live-Action Movie

I recently saw the adaptation of the anime Rurouni Kenshin to a live-action movie and I found it fabulous! Visually speaking the movie is impressive; while at the same time its plot is very entertaining. Maybe one of its problems is that it tries to be too faithfull to the anime and it assumes that the viewer knows some details only known by those that have read the manga or have seen the anime series; however I think that it’s worth watching for everybody and I highly recommend it.

Rurouni Kenshin Live-Action Movie

Rurouni Kenshin Live-Action Movie

Rurouni Kenshin Live-Action Movie

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