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Monday, September 25, 2017

Japan's WWII Clay Coin

Building upon what I discussed two days ago (HERE), here is another example of a country affected hard by metal shortages during WWII.

Japan - yeah, one of the bad guys in WWII, was struggling late in the war to continue its efforts to build warplanes and ships and other war weapons thanks to a lack of metal.

In an effort to avoid "waste" the Japanese government okayed the pressing of coins made of a red clay.

Yup. Clay. Heck... if you go to that blog I wrote two days ago, you'll see how, for one of its occupied territories in China, it created coins made of corrugated... the real term for what is generally known as cardboard.

Now... to be fair, the red clay coin pictured above - a 1 Sen coin - was never actually released to the public. Although, there is a report that it was "unofficially" circulated a few days before the war's end.

It was due out in 1945, things were looking bad for Japan... and it simply wasn't released.

The coins were created by the Kyowa Shinko Pottery Co., Ltd. in Arita Town, Saga-ken (Saga Prefecture) and by Kyoto Seto Manufacturing.

The coin is made up of:
  • Sanemasaka clay - 60%;
  • Izumiyama stone - 15%;
  • Red-eye clay - 15%;
  • Other material - 10%.
It's actually a nice looking coin, with an image of Mt. Fuji (akak Fuji-san) one one side of the coin.

And... because it's fun, there is also a brown clay version of the 1 Sen coin - also never circulated:

Both coins (regardless of clay color) weigh 0.8grams and are 15mm across.

Prices asked at various auction sites are anywhere from US $28 - $200.

Don't take any wooden nickels... or should you?
Andrew Joseph

Here's a few examples of wooden nickels from the U.S. Canada also had wooden nickels and are simply souvenir tokens given away at fairs and as promotional retail giveaways. This set is asking US$9 for the lot. A dime is placed beside for a sizing. They look to be "quarter" sized.

And, yeah... there is such a thing as a $3 bill. Above is mine, picked up in 1984, I believe when I visited there. Ain't nothing crooked about it. It's worth about US$20, and are generally picked from Bahamian circulation by curious tourists like myself.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tomioka-eki (富岡駅, Tomioka train station) in Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture) is going to re-open on October 21, 2017.

The key is re-open.

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 Magnitude earthquake, causing a massive tsunami that crashed onto the northeastern coast of the country killing about 20,000 people.

In the prefecture of Fukushima, the tsunami also knocked out power to the Daiichi nuclear electricity power generating facility there causing multiple near meltdowns, releasing fairly substantial amounts of radioactive materials into the surrounding air, water and ground... and also causing the evacuation of the area of a very large swathe of people in at first a 30 kilometer-wide range, later reduced to 20 kilometers. 

We all know about that... and if you want, you can do a search under "Fukushima" to see the many multiples of blogs I have written on damn near everything on the events.

Anyhow... back on March 11, the tsunami also destroyed the Tomioka Station (富岡駅 Tomioka-eki) railway station owned by East Japan Railway Company that was first built in 1898.
This is Tomioka Train Station on March of 2012 - nothing left. You can compare it with the image above by looking at the lines on the roadway. Yeah. Image credit HERE.
While the train station had been in a state of closure these past six-and-a-half years, a year or so back, JR East began the arduous task of building a new station... because... well, if people are going to eventually get back to a sense of normality, they need normal things.

The station was part of the Jōban Line, and was located 247 kilometers from the official starting point of the line at Nippori Station, but after the nuclear reactor problem, operations on the Jōban Line between Tatsuta Station and Nittaki Station were suspended indefinitely.

That original Tomioka train station - seen at the top of the article in a 2009 photo (credit HERE) - was a simple single island platform, and one side platform, connected by a footbridge, and, of course, a staffed ticket office.

In January 2015, work started on dismantling the remains of the station building and footbridge. On 14 September 2017, a train arrived at the station for the first time in over six years - it was just a test run.

Officially, service to the station will commence on October 21, 2017.

Here's the thing that I wonder about: The whole city of Tomioka was part of the evacuation zone due to the nuclear disaster issue.

While people have been allowed to enter this part of the evacuation zone since August of 2012, people were not allowed to stay overnight owing to the high radiation levels.

But... on March 25, 2013 the nuclear evacuation zone was lifted by Japan... with the town of Tomioka rezoned into three areas defined by level of radiation. Low, medium and high. Uh-huh.

Tomioka's smart town government, however, was having none of that, and decided it would be best if the evacuation area was continued in its town for an additional four years.

Their thought process was: What's the point in allowing the people back into Tomioka if there's no proper infrastructure for them. That's why they wanted four more years.

In the zone with the highest radiation levels, no Tomioka resident could return home for at least five more years.

Only residents of Tomioka--and I mean registered residents--were even allow to go to Tomioka... with also else refused entry.

This is a small town in Japan. Everyone knows everyone... so that was actually fairly easy to police.

At the time of the disaster, the high-level radiation part of Tomioka (the northern section) had 4,500 residents. So they are screwed until 2018.

The central part of the town, which used to have 10,000 residents was designated as a residence restriction zone, in which the residents could return during daytime hours but have to leave at night.

The remaining zone of the southern part of Tomioka had about 1,500 residents, with restrictions lifted.

This is still as of 2013.

In a survey taken in 2013, some 40 percent of the Tomioka's residents said they would never return, while 43 percent were undecided.

While many people were concerned about the radiation, others were also worried that their livelihood was destroyed and what would they do now, and many also felt that if they did return to Tomioka, it would hurt their chances of receiving compensation from TEPCO (the Tokyo Electric Power Company) who owned the Daiichi nuclear facility and have been held accountable for not having proper safeguards in place to prevent the nuclear catastrophe.

The Daiichi safeguards issue prompted Japan to examine the rest of its nuclear power plants, eventually forcing the closure of all facilities until such time the safety features were upgraded - a process that continues to this day... though some nuclear plants have been restarted, while others are being delayed as local residents re-think the whole concept of "safe and clean" nuclear power stations to generate electricity.

On January 31, 2011, the town of Tomioka had a population of 15,839 people featuring 6,293 families.

Since the disaster, and since the lifting of the evacuation order, as of December 2014, it has a registered population of 14,141 people. That doesn't mean they are back... just that that many people are still officially registered as being part of Tomioka.

But it does show promise.

And now... upcoming in one months time... the town's Tomioka train station is open for business.

It's not just going to be a train stop... there will also be a place to get food and drink.

JR East announced the opening of Sakura Station Kinone (Kinnen) store with a retail shop and restaurant at the station. I wish I had an image of the new Tomioka Train Station, but I don't.

The shop and restaurant aspect are important.

There are still relatively few shops around the Tomioka train station--when the evacuation order was given on April 1, 2011... everyone left the town, except for one man who stayed to feed his animals. No... I don;t know what happened to him or his critters.

JR East figures that by adding more shops et al, it will provide residents with greater convenience and will help promote that the town of Tomioka is not only a viable place to live.... well... that's pretty much it.  

The store's name of "Sakura" means cherry... and was used "on purpose" to encourage people that Tomioka is a place to "put down roots."

The Sakura Station Kinone (Kinnen) convenience store will provide foods, beverages, tobacco, and something called a "newspaper", as well as hot foods such as noodles.

I assume that while most of the restrictions in the town have been lifted, some are still in place... but at least there's an attempt at bringing normalcy back for those brave enough to tray and rebuild their life.

Andrew Joseph

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A History Lesson About A Japanese Cardboard Coin

Let’s start at the beginning… well… in the middle of the beginning:

Manchukuo (満州国)—the State of Manchuria—was known by westerners as “Manchuria”, and was the designated official “homeland” of the Chinese ruling family’s ethnic group.

In 1931, Japan seized the territory of Manchiria following the Mukden Incident—a staged event by Japanese military personnel as a “reason” to invade Manchuria in northeastern China.

A year later, Japan installed its puppet government, naming Puyi, the last Qing emperor, as regent and emperor.

When Japan was defeated to close WWII in 1945, this Manchukuo's government was abolished in 1945, with territories formally claimed by the puppet state first seized in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945.

Of course, WWII’s end wasn’t officially signed until September of 1945, so that was just the USSR being a dink and trying to grab as much land as possible, knowing that since the war was still officially on, it could claim to own the Manchukuo territory, which could then be bargained back to China for some form of compensation.

If compensation to China did occur, I can’t say, but the territory was returned officially to China, by the USSR in 1946. Maybe they got free fried shrimp dumplings for a year or something… but I doubt it was done freely. 

Anyhow… while Japan occupied the Manchukuo territory, in my opinion, a great way to demoralize an invaded country’s people is to either blow up special landmarks or to replace its currency.

Replacing the currency is less violent, however, and Japan smartly used this tactic (as despicable as it was), in many of its invaded territories, including Manchukuo, the Philippines, Malaya, Burma, Netherlands Indies, and Oceania (used in British New Guinea, the Solomon and Gilbert Islands and other small island outposts).

Interesting enough, Manchukuo is NOT mentioned on the Wikipedia website about Japanese invasion money, officially known as Southern Development Bank Notes (Japanese: 大東亜戦争軍票 Dai Tō-A Sensō gunpyō, "Greater East Asia War military scrip") - HERE.

Of course, Japan’s aggression against China began nearly a decade before the official start of WWII… and China is often forgotten as being a victim of Imperial Japanese aggression because the country was occupied by Japan before WWII started…

Beginning in 19332, Japan minted coins for the puppet state of Manchukuo, featuring various coins of bronze and copper-nickel.

But, beginning in 1944, Japan realized that the whole war against Asia plus the U.S. wasn’t going as pleasantly as it had initially thought… and realized that it needed to get its hands on as much metal as possible to continue building airplanes and ships and other military items.

As such, coinage for territories outside of Japan were picked to have its metal replaced. No one gave a crap about Manchukuo, so it took the metal coins from circulation and replaced them with coins made of red fiber—a corrugated… cardboard, if you will.

1 Fen coin made of cardboard. No! It's corrugated!

These red fiber coins were issued in Manchukuo in 1944 and 1945, and are described within the Standard Catalog of World Coins as being “red or brown fiber.”

Only two denominations were produced: one (1) and five (5) fen coins.

5 Fen coin made of corrugated... the correct term for what people call cardboard.

I wish I could tell you how many of each coin was produced, but unfortunately, I can’t.

If those numbers exist, they are in Japanese, locked within a Japanese ministry archives, or more than likely destroyed by the peoples of Manchukuo after the country’s liberation from Japan (and the USSR).

The coins are not expensive to purchase, apparently… I saw a value for the 1 Fen coin at around US$3, and 5 Fen coin at US$7.50.

An interesting pair of curios to be sure.

The red ink stamp denotes it is part of Japanese occupation. I think. It makes sense. Unless the stamp was always there...

And… because sometimes I just don’t know when to stop writing, creating money out of a new “ingredient” during WWII is hardly limited to Japan. 

In Canada, we have a five-cent coin since 1921, made of nickel… and call it a nickel.

I won’t discuss the KA_CHING!!!! 1920 five-cent coin, but from 1919 and earlier, the five-cent coin was known as a five-cent silver, because that’s what it was made off. Canada switched to a less expensive metal because oft times there was more than five cents worth of silver in a five-cent coin.

It’s also why Canada stopped minting pennies (copper one-cent pieces) in 2012. Originally it did have copper in it: In 1858, it contained 95% copper, 4% tin, 1% zinc (bronze). The ingredients remained the same, but in different amounts until 1997-1999, when it contained: 98.4% zinc, 1.6% copper plating. Between 2000-2012, the coins were made of 94% steel, 1.5% nickel, and 4.5% copper plating.

The coins cost more than one cent to produce, so it was done away with. If a product costs $1.52, we round down to $1.50. If it’s $1.53, we round up to $1.55. This is for cash transactions only, however. For credit or debit card purchases, the actual amount is charged.        
Anyhow… Canada… the five-cent nickel coins from 1921-1942…

Because of materials shortages during WWII for war materials production, the coins metal was changed to brass… well, actually tombac, a type of brass, used in 1942 and 1943. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, it produced 8,000 tombac “nickels” in 1944—but apparently only one has ever come to light.

The 1942 brass tombac five-cent coin. Beaver on the reverse, King George VI on the obverse. The front/obverse is always the reigning monarch.

Actually, when the tombac five-cent coin was introduced in 1942, Canada also issued a standard “nickel” coin… perhaps to either not freak out the people, or because the tombac was only introduced later in the year… not sure.  I could ask the Mint, but I noticed on their site that they say the tombac coins were produced 1942-1946… and that’s simply not true. 

In 1944 and 1945, the Royal Canadian Mint went away from brass to produce a steel “nickel” coated with nickel and chrome plated. I’ve not seen one, but apparently there are also a small number of the steel/chrome nickels produced WITHOUT the chrome plating, but only in 1944.

The United States, of course, produced a steel penny in 1943 to replace the copper material needed for war materials… but the real money is if you find a bronze 1943 penny nowadays worth around $100,000 depending on condition. Ka-ching!

What’s the point of all this? Well, besides the fact that the war efforts of the U.S., Canada and Japan—just three examples—forced each to alter the way they produce coinage, but in the case of Canada and the U.S., you get a chance to see a wee bit of incompetence… which is the only such coins as mentioned above could have been released—even a single coin.

By the way… I’m not calling anyone at the various Mints ‘stupid’… just that they need(ed) to work on their quality assurance and/or security.

Canada, by the way… after releasing the tombac brass five-cent coin in 1942, received complaints from some of the populace that its round, usual “nickel” shape was too easy to confuse with the similar colored “penny” (one-cent coin). So… in 1943, it altered the shape of the formerly smooth-sided five-cent coin, designing it for 1943 and for a number of years afterwards with 12-sides. Now that’s customer service.

As an eight-years, after finding a 1943 Canadian silver quarter behind the floor quarter rounds (or whatever they are called) of the house we just moved in, I began to collect coins as a numismatic (coin collector)… made more frenetic by the family going to the Queen Elizabeth building at that year’s CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), where a dealer was selling individual coins. I even subscribed to the Canadian Coin News newspaper as a kid… later used to hide copies of Playboy and Penthouse magazine as I became a teenager.

I collected until the price of silver went through the rough raising prices to stupid levels, which never properly adjusted when the price of silver went down.

Anyhow… I just thought it interesting to note that during the war Japan—already struggling with diminished metals for its crazy WWII war efforts—wasn’t about to waste metal of any kind for coinage in a country it conquered.

Tune in tomorrow when I talk about one special Japanese war coin from its own country.

Can’t buy me love with a cardboard coin,
Andrew "Ain't worth a plug nickel" Joseph

Friday, September 22, 2017

Conveyor Belt Sushi Luggage

I’m sure the above photo is just a marketing ploy by some Japanese company selling overwraps for luggage that look like sushi.

It’s funny on multiple levels seeing as how Japan invented the conveyor belt sushi shop.

For the uninitiated, at such conveyor line sushi shops, the chefs place specific color quarter plates on the line, with a couple of pieces of sushi. The conveyor belt line winds around the establishment, and at any time the customer—who is eating directly behind the conveyor, can pull off a quarter dish of their favorite sushi and eat it.

At the end of the day, you take your empty quarter plate up, and are charged appropriately.

The quarter plates are actually color coded.

For example, a yellow rimmed quarter plate always contains shrimp sushi and krab sushi (not crab sushi).

A blue rimmed quarter plate might hold a more expensive eel sushi.

Green rimmed might be an expensive tuna…

The point is, when you were finished eating, you took you empty plates up to the cashier who counted out the different color plates, knowing that each plate has a certain ¥-value.

Yellows are ¥100 yen; Green ¥240; Blue ¥175… just as an example.

Which is why placing these sushi baggage wraps atop an airport luggage container is an amusing proposition.

Andrew Joseph
PS: The egg sushi, seen second from the lower right, is my favorite. That and eel.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Duke’s 1890 Trading Card: Flower Day, Japan

A long, time ago, in a country far away, a tobacco company created a set of cards to amuse its consumers.

In 1890, the Duke’s Cigarettes set of cards featuring the theme of “Holidays” was released, featuring 50 cards, each representing a “holiday” from somewhere around the planet.

While the art from this series is generally considered to be spectacular, holy crap does the data on the reverse leave a lot to be desired.

I collect tobacco cards—specifically the 17 sets (or so) based on the Wills’s 1910 Aviation series of 50 cards.

After the initial set of 50 cards in 1910, in 1911, different tobacco companies released variations of sets in both 75- and 85-card series, with some different cards, and some identical in every way except one has a black ink reverse, and the other a green ink reverse.

The Duke’s set… they only ever offered a particular series just the once… but it being some 20 years older than mine, it has a certain $ premium…

if you look at the reverse of the Holidays card below, you will note that at no point does it actually mention WHEN the holiday is. Even a general date… like the first Thursday of XX month. Or say when it approximately begins.

Maybe say that this is an ancient cultural aspect of Japan going back some 1500 years, and is now known as ‘hanami’ - flower blossom viewing, especially as the plum and cherry trees bloom.

That’s when people stroll about in their gay attire and sip a delicious tea and write lovely gut-wrenching poems about love and spring…

I do find it interesting that poems written (at least as of 1890), were hung “upon some friendly bough.”

Does that mean that others could come along and read your crappy haiku?

“I love’em in frills
I love’em in lace,
But I love’em the best
When they sit on my… never mind. You get the idea… people are going to judge you.

I would imagine it was the brave romantic poet who left his poetry hanging about for others to enjoy.

He stood before the judge that day
And picked his nose like fury
He rolled them into little balls
And flicked them at the jury.

or… the world’s shortest poem, entitled: “Fleas”

I’m here all week folks. Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your server.

No... I do not claim ownership as originator of those poems. I a mean Godzilla haiku creator, however... so I recommend you do a search above for "Godzilla haiku" and see what comes up... like one's lunch. 

Anyhow… the Duke’s Holiday Card could have used some better information.  

I suppose, however, since few people had any common knowledge of Japan, seeing this card and reading all about the gay attire (I know what it means!!!) in 1890, it must have been a step across the globe for people’s imagination.

Andrew Joseph

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

You ever heard the old song “Anything You Can Do”, written in 1946? I’m sure you know it or have heard snippets of it…

Here… have a listen:

The song is from the 1946 musical “Annie Get Your Gun”, and should you have deigned not to have a listen to the oldie but goodie, I'll tell you that it’s a song with a single male singer and a single female singer, who are basically having an argument about who’s the best.

The best what?  Ahhh, there’s the rub.    

As most people are aware, North Korea is being a real dick right now, testing its long-range missile program every few days or so by launching a missile, causing it to fly OVER Japan… to land in the ocean

What’s the big whoop?

Well, it not only flies OVER Japan—without approval… but what if the missile fails during the flight?

It’s called a missile test… sometimes it passes, sometimes it fails. So… whenever North Korea brazenly fires a missile over Japanese lands, Japan blasts out warning sirens for its populace to take shelter, in case it fails and plummets to the ground.

Why does North Korea do this? Is it angry at Japan?

Well, d’uh… yes… it is angry at Japan. Mainly because it’s not North Korea and a not a socialist state like it is, and therefore it is weak and beneath contempt.

Then there’s the fact that Japan is an ally to the United States of America. Say what you will about President Trump, he might be considered by some within his own country as a bully, and as such he sure hates it when others then he’s weak.

It’s actually nothing personal against president Trump. North Korea enjoys testing the mettle of each new president… seeing what it can get away with… what sort of response North Korea receives… its high-stakes politicking, and Japan is caught in the middle.

And yes, it is also North Korea showing the world not to fug with it, because it is developing nuclear-delivery missiles that can hit targets as far away as the U.S., should it want or need to.

North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-un is a cagey bugger. The thing to know first, is that he is smart.

It is my firm belief that he’s not stupid enough to fire a nuclear weapon at US territory Guam, as it has threatened to do.

It has no desire to actually drop a missile onto Japan—though if one should actually fail and land on Japan—oops… we didn’t mean to do that.

No.. the name of the game is intimidation.

Like all bullies, you have to continue to put it out there that you are a bad dude. You have to do bad stuff.

But, instead of smacking around some bespectacled little kid with asthma, North Korea is flexing its nuclear might.

Surely supreme leader Kim Jong-un realizes that if it goes to war against anyone, it’s own country will be vaporized with counter nuclear attacks… and woe to all those poor dumb countries unlucky enough to be near it when it happens… like China or South Korea… we know it as MAD… mutual assured destruction… and it is a nuclear detente that the world has been forced to live with since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb or two on Japan and poached as many of Nazi Germany’s top scientists as it could ahead of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic), now for better or worse know just as Russia.

So… North Korea is flexing its muscles.

What can the rest of the world do?

Countries are busting North Korean acquaintance China to try and keep them under control. They are  begging China to stop feeding supplies to North Korea. China says it will—as far as the requested embargoes go, but it will continue to trade with North Korea… mostly because it needs to for its own economic continuance. Besides… it wasn’t on the embargo list.

What do you do with a bully?

You stand up to them. You flex back and hope like hell the bully doesn’t decide to lash out. Most of the time… in real life… they say that a bully is just as afraid of you as you are afraid of them. I don’t know about that.

But if you are a big country, with lots of friends, with lots of weapons… you can create an imaginary line and flex away to show the bully that you are unafraid.

So… after North Korea performed its sixth nuclear underground test on September 3, 2017, the United Nations imposed sanctions against North Korea.

North Korea said, WTF, and in a show of “we’re not afraid” launched its latest missile over Hokkaido, Japan this past weekend… where the missile (non-nuclear) landed far off in the sea to the east of Japan. 

America said WTF… and so on September 18, 2017—and with permission—the U.S. military flew 10 total aircraft featuring advanced bombers and stealth jets over the Korean Peninsula and near Japan in drills with South Korean and Japanese warplanes….

It was done by South Korea and Japan just to remind North Korea that it has weapons and isn’t afraid to use them… and it has a big buddy in the U.S…. so don’t start none, if ya don’t want none.

Really… that’s what’s going on. Posturing. Whipping out the old penis to see who has the bigger one, and then peeing all over the place to see who can pee farthest and longest.

The Fly-by by the U.S., South Korea and Japan featured:
  • two Rockwell B-1B Lancer bombers from the U.S.;
  • four Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIF-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) fighters  from the U.S;
  • four McDonnell Douglas F-15K Slam Eagle fighter jets from South Korea.
Hmm… so what the heck did Japan send? Well… keep in mind that after WWII, Japan was not allowed to develop a military… which is one reason why Japan allows the U.S. to maintain military bases on its islands.

During the South Korean flyovers, the U.S. and South Korean planes practiced attacks by releasing live weapons at a firing range in South Korea.

The U.S. warplanes also conducted formation training with Japanese fighter jets (these aircraft are part of Japan’s Self Defense Forces… and is a fun way of saying it’s a non-aggressive military that’s not a military) over waters near the southern island of Kyushu.

This past weekend, the official North Korean state media quoted supreme leader Kim Jong-un as saying his country’s goal “is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option” for the North.

What that means, is that North Korea wants to make sure it is strong enough to repel any possible attempts by the U.S. or other forces by having as much nuclear might as others do.

Take what you want from Kim Jong-un’s statement, but it sounds like he’s saying he just wants to be
left alone.

Well… I believe that he wants to unify Korea by annexing South Korea into the glorious totalitarian regime under one supreme leader Kim Jong-un… he just doesn’t want the U.S. to get involved in any war it starts, because otherwise he’ll attack the U.S.

The plan, as I see it:
  • North Korea attacks South Korea.
  • Anyone who tries to help South Korea, gets bombed by North Korea.
That’s the plan.

Of course, North Korea has not stated such grandiose plans officially, but I’d bet heavily that that’s the plan. 

The simplest option would be for South Korea to arm itself in a similar fashion… but do we need yet another country with nuclear capabilities? No… so it could ask ally U.S.A to bring back and park its nuclear weapons in the general vicinity in a visible act of hopeful deterrence towards North Korea.

What would happen then? North Korea would threaten back… telling the U.S. to gets is missiles away from the Korean (Cuban) Missile Crisis… only unlike the former Soviet Union which blinked and backed down in October of 1962, supreme leader Kim Jong-un wants everyone to believe he won’t blink.

We aren’t there yet… but that’s my best guess as to where we are heading.

Eventually,  even a bully that doesn’t want to fight might have to in order to try and save face. That’s where we’ll see if ego is more powerful than common sense.


How much do bomb shelters cost? And… what's the best way to kill a mutant? I better watch Beneath The Planet Of The Apes again. Man, that movie sucked.

Andrew Joseph
PS: For fun, read the political analysis written by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau, Toronto Star: HERE. In it, he says: "Experts believe Kim is rational, not mad, and that he wants to avoid nuclear war. But they have long feared that Kim might be provoked by loose Trump language into miscalculating, launching a strike..." Okay... maybe you don't have to click on the link now - but I would. Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Japanese Woman Now Oldest Person On Planet

It's kind of the suckiest title to own, because it means someone has to die ahead of you... but
Tajima Nabi (田島 ナビ, surname first) is now the oldest person on Earth at the age of 117 years of age after the recent passing of Jamaica's Violet Brown on September 15, 2017 (dying at the age of 117 years and 189 days).

Born August 4, 1900, in what was once Wan Village, but now part of Kikai Town in Kagoshima, Tijima is proof that the Japanese don't really move far from where they were born, now living in Kikai, Kagoshima-ken... the same place...

At 117-years of age (and I think 48 days), Tajima is now the oldest Japanese person ever (this means oldest officially recorded and documented person). Heck, she's the oldest Asian person ever... whatever that means.

The photo above is recent (relative to 117 years), with Tajima finding out in 2016 that she was now the second-oldest person on the planet Earth... or she's celebrating VJ Day (Victory over Japan Day)... or she's simply doing the Japanese penchant (since forever) for flashing the peace sign whenever anyone with a camera shows up.

Come one... I'm sure she has a sense of humor! I'm just having fun with her. I'm hoping to make it past half her age... and who knows.

Classic zen:
Which would you rather be? The dead butterfly or the live caterpillar.
The dead butterfly... it has achieved the next stage of metamorphosis... while the caterpillar may not make it to that level.

It doesn't mean you have to die... it just means that sometimes... when someone has reached a whole new level - like say reaching 100 years of age - well... they've made it... and despite all your own current potential, you may never get to their level... we could get hit by a bus on the way home tomorrow...

Tajima, bless her, has nine kids—seven sons and two daughters, 28 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and 35 great-great-grandchildren.

Wikipedia also says she has great-great-great grandkids, but does not provide a number, so I will discount at this time (or simply not include them).

I don't get this part... but maybe I do... it says that as of September 15, 2017, Tajima is the last surviving person born in the 19th century... so I guess the 20th century did not begin until January 1, 1901... which I guess is what Wikipedia is getting to.

It means that all other pretenders to Tajima's silver (hair) crown were born in 1901 and later.

And... since we all want to know what the secret to Tajima's success at achieving such an age could be due to... aside from genetics she says the key is sleeping well and eating delicious things... what... like Krispy Kreme glazed donuts?

No? Has she ever had one? Tajim may not know what delicious foods are, confusing them with the term "healthy."

Let's see... nope... she likes to eat ramen noodles and rice mackerel sushi. I'm not sure why the word "rice" needs to be in the phrase "rice mackerel sushi" as I suppose a sushi requires rice... and while I'm sure there's nothing wrong with mackerel, I prefer eel.

When she says ramen... I'm assuming she doesn't mean that cup of hot water ramen noodle stuff.

Tajima has been around for the birth of the aeroplane/airplane, WWI, WWII and the atomic age, Korea, Vietnam, the first flight to the moon, record players, radio, television, transistor radios, Walkmans, personal telephones, cell phones, smart phones, Dance Dance Revolution, Women getting the right to vote, the death of Beta and LaserDiscs, 8-Track, Cassettes, CDs, DVDs, pirating stuff, 100 years of Mitsubishi, rolling a barrel hoop for fun to mind-numbing brainless fun with video games.

What fun, Tajima-san! What fun! It doesn't matter if you ever experienced any or all of that crap and fun stuff... you were there... you have a unique story to tell... oh please let her have told her story!

Even a story about a common person is uncommon now. It's a unique perceptive into living in a time long... well... for Tajima, it's not lost...

The queen is dead! Long live the Queen.

Banzai, banzai, banzai!
Andrew Joseph