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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Smartphone app for testing HIV and Syphilis / Ex-adviser to Abe praises apartheid / South Africa slams column praising apartheid

HIV, Syphilis Tests? There's an App for That

by Jesse Emspak, Live Science Contributor  


There are gizmos that let your smartphone read credit cards, sync with your fitness wristband and even function as a TV remote control. Now you can add "run an HIV test" to the list.

A device invented by biomedical engineers at Columbia University turns a smartphone into a lab that can test human blood for the virus that causes AIDS or the bacteria that cause syphilis. The device is a dongle that attaches to the headphone jack, and requires no separate batteries. An app on the phone reads the results.
The dongle contains a lab on a chip. It consists of a one-time-use cassette — which has tiny channels as thin as a human hair — and a pump, which is operated by a mechanical button and draws blood from an inlet through the channels.

http://www.livescience.com/49692-blood-tests-hiv-syphilis-smartphone.html


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And to think that Tokyo won the bid for the 2020 Olympics is simply baffling.  

Ex-adviser to Abe praises apartheid as means of immigration control


By Elaine Lies and Takashi Umekawa - Japan Today



A former adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has praised apartheid as a model for how Japan could expand immigration, prompting the government’s top spokesman on Friday to emphasise that Japan’s immigration policy was based on equality.
Author Ayako Sono, considered part of Abe’s informal brain trust, set off a wave of online fury this week when she wrote in the conservative Sankei newspaper that South Africa’s former policies of racial separation had been good for whites, Asians and Africans.
Her comments could complicate Abe’s efforts to address a deepening labor shortage and his efforts to burnish the country’s image abroad, analysts say.
In a column entitled “Let Them In - But Keep a Distance”, Sono said Japan should open its doors to more foreign workers, especially to care for the growing numbers of elderly, but should make them live separately from Japanese.
“People can carry out business and research together, and socialise together, but they should live apart,” she wrote.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to comment on Sono’s remarks at a regular news conference, but added, “Our immigration policy is predicated on equality, which is guaranteed in Japan.”

A labour shortage has pushed the government to take steps to boost the numbers of highly skilled foreigners and expand a “trainee” program for blue collar workers that has been widely criticized for human rights abuses, but authorities insist the steps are not part of an “immigration policy”.
Sono served on a government educational panel in 2013 and has long advised Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Political analysts said her comments could well damage Japan at a time when Tokyo is ramping up its efforts to burnish the country’s image overseas.
“There’s a trend for people close to Abe and his way of thinking to emphasize the concept of ‘Japaneseness’ too much, and this could well lead to wariness on the part of people overseas,” said well-known Japanese author Atsuo Ito, whose works include the “The Mathematics of Politics”.
“The atmosphere in which Ms Sono can make these remarks came about when Abe took power.”
Sono’s comments prompted widespread outrage on social media, with some saying they were especially offensive given that Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Sono has landed in trouble for her remarks in the past, including a August 2013 magazine article - written during her tenure as an Abe adviser - criticizing women who went back to work after giving birth.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/former-adviser-to-abe-praises-apartheid?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-02-14_AM

BEST COMMENTS

39
jerseyboy
In a column entitled “Let Them In - But Keep a Distance”, Sono said Japan should open its doors to more foreign workers, especially to care for the growing numbers of elderly, but should make them live separately from Japanese.
With all respect, IMO, this opinion is not that far off the thinking of a significant number of older Japanese. I mean a foreigner still has difficulty trying to rent apartments without a Japanese sponsor, or in some cases cannot do so at all, because the residents don't want them in their building.
“There’s a trend for people close to Abe and his way of thinking to emphasize the concept of ‘Japaneseness’ too much,
No, you think?












37
HaileG
"Let them in but keep a distance" is what Japanese do to foreigners now. A certain number of us are let in but always kept far outside no matter how hard we try for acceptance. Her policy would only make the distancing less subtle and less deniable.






28
JeffLee
In Kobe, Rokko Island was built to house the gaijin, and keep them off the mainland. The brochures in the past advertising the place said something like, "Come and see the gaijin live and work!!
One of the Tokyo metro officials recently proposed the same: an artificial island in the bay for foreign residents.
It harks back to Dejima, during the 1600 or 1700s. So this isn't a new idea.








http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/former-adviser-to-abe-praises-apartheid?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-02-14_AM


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South Africa slams newspaper column praising apartheid


Japan Today



South Africa has protested after a prominent columnist in leading right-wing newspaper in Japan praised racial segregation under apartheid as a model for Japanese immigration policy, the paper said Sunday.
Mohau N Pheko, South Africa’s ambassador to Japan, accused novelist Ayako Sono of glorifying the system of apartheid in the column published on Wednesday in the Sankei Shimbun.
Sono, who was previously an adviser to the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on education reform, wrote that Japan needs immigrant workers to help care for its rapidly aging population—but that those workers should “live apart”, as they did in South Africa under apartheid.
Pheko’s letter of protest, according to a story published in the Sankei on Sunday, branded apartheid “a crime against humanity” and said it “must not be justified in the 21st century”.
All countries, the Sankei quoted her as saying, must fight discrimination “against others based on skin color or other standards”.
The newspaper did not publish the full letter online, and there was no immediate comment from the South African embassy in Tokyo or from officials in Pretoria on Sunday.
Sono’s column had sparked a backlash on social media, with commentators on Twitter branding it “madness” while others said it was “shocking” that the Sankei had published it.
When asked about the column on Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the government would “refrain from commenting on the personal views of a private individual”, adding that while Sono had been a member of a government panel she had left it two years previously.
“As for Japan’s immigration policy, equality for all under the law is guaranteed,” he said. “We will take appropriate steps under that policy.”
Sono defended herself in fresh comments published alongside excerpts from the ambassador’s letter in the Sankei on Sunday.
She said she was not proposing Japan implement apartheid policies, and that she “was only writing from my personal experience that it is difficult for people with different lifestyles to live together”.
The Sankei’s senior editor said that the newspaper does not tolerate discrimination, and the column reflects only the author’s opinion.
Japan’s rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce has prompted economists both in and outside the country to call for programs inviting young foreign workers to help support the world’s third largest economy.

However the country remains almost constitutionally allergic to immigration. Japan allows only a small number of unskilled workers in amid fears they would threaten the culture of consensus, and the government has said that less than two percent of the population is classed as “non-Japanese”.
The result for Japan, critics have told AFP previously, is ranks of poorly-protected employees brought in through the national back door, ripe for abuse and exploitation.
Abe has previously said he will expand an internship scheme implemented in the 1990s bringing tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country.
The prime minister has said foreign labor will increasingly be needed, particularly in the booming construction industry ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, and in healthcare.
Around a quarter of Japan’s 127-million population is aged 65 or over, according to government figures. This proportion is expected to rise to 40 percent over the coming decades.
In South Africa, race remains a dividing factor despite two decades of reconciliation efforts following the dismantling of apartheid.
BEST COMMENTS

34
warispeace
In 2005, as reported by the BBC, "An independent investigator for the UN says racism in Japan is deep and profound, and the government does not recognise the depth of the problem."
10 years on and we find that the Abe government now actually condones the problem with it's "no comment" reply to a very public expression of the "personal views of a private individual" who has received public funds for her involvement in the public affairs of the nation.




40
Sensato
When asked about the column on Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the government would “refrain from commenting on the personal views of a private individual”
The chief cabinet secretary's refusal to denounce Sono's endorsement of racial segregation conveys a lot about the policy of Japan's current government.
What if Suga had simply responded that the Japanese government is opposed to apartheid and supports racial equality (like leaders in virtually all other democracies most certainly would have done)? He would have risked fueling the ire of their staunch supporters from Japan's right wing — something the current ruling administration obviously avoids at all costs.




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

'Fifty Shades of Grey' arouses sex toy boom / Man arrested for drugging, raping over 100 women in fake clinical study /


Black History Month Event in Tokyo 

Come out this Saturday, February 21st to listen to music, poetry and see 3 Black authors in Japan present excerpts  from their books.

Myself (Dave), Baye of the Japan Times and Stefhen the Doodu Boy presents :
3 The Hard Way 

Location: - One Oak Bar in Nishi Azabu, Tokyo. Nearest stations are Hiroo and Roppongi Exit 3.
http://www.one-aok-bar.com/

Time: - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

It's FREE and promises to be smashing and mesmerizing !!!


Click below for more details.
https://www.facebook.com/events/886690911382756/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming 



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'Fifty Shades of Grey' arouses sex toy boom


- By Japan Today

The erotic bestselling novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” was devoured across the world by millions, from British housewives to Guantanamo Bay inmates.
Now manufacturers and retailers are hoping that its Valentine’s Day movie release will fuel a boom in sex toy and bondage accessory sales.
The expected blockbuster (screens) 20 minutes of lovemaking between Grey, played by British actor Jamie Dornan who shot to stardom playing a serial killer on BBC series “The Fall,” and Steele, portrayed by Melanie Griffith’s daughter Dakota Johnson.
American sex shops are stocking up on everything from blindfolds to bondage gear, determined to ride the wave of celluloid-inspired desire.
“Fifty Shades of Grey was the most influential cultural phenomenon for sex toys’ sales that I’ve seen,” says Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, which has stores in New York and Seattle.
Her company has added 20 especially branded “Fifty Shades” items and says appetites have been whetted by film trailers.
“We’re ready to respond,” Cavanah told AFP.
Those willing to shell out the big bucks can indulge in an “Ultimate Date Night Set” for $152, which includes a “greedy rabbit” vibrator. Those on a tighter budget might prefer a “vibrating bullet” for $13.





Cavanah says the release of the novel, written by former TV executive, British mother-of-two E L James, fueled a 40% sales increase at Babeland’s SoHo store in Manhattan alone.
Sales jumped more than 500 percent for pleasure balls, used by Steele to gear up for sex with Grey, as well as riding crops and cuffs which also feature prominently, she said.
British company Lovehoney worked closely with James to design official “Fifty Shades” sex toys in late 2012 and before the movie release have branched out into luxurious items.
Lovehoney co-owner Neal Slateford told AFP that the books were instrumental in making sex toys and bondage mainstream, and says he is expecting a large increase in sales.
“Bondage play, which was previously a relatively niche activity, suddenly became something that was enjoyed and talked about by millions of people,” he said.
The books have been translated into 50 languages, and have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, making it one of the fastest-selling book series ever.
It’s perhaps so mainstream that US discount retail giant Target, which specializes in everyday items, is selling “Fifty Shades of Grey” lubricant, blindfolds and “love rings.”
Slateford credited the books and growing acceptance of sexual openness with causing “the adult sex toy industry to explode.”
“We have experienced spikes in sales after each movie trailer has been released which gives us a good indication of just how influential this movie will be,” he added.
Its official spin-off merchandise includes replicas from the books such as handcuffs, a riding crop, spanking paddle, blindfold, the silver balls and now high-end luxury bondage items.
US manufacturer California Exotic Novelties says its sales of pleasure balls more than doubled from 800-900,000 a year to a million in six months following the release of the books.
CEO Susan Colvin says the company is prepared for a corresponding increase in sales after the movie.
“We expect—and hope—there will be an increase in sales,” she said.
Lisa Berman, CEO of publicly listed, West Coast-based sexual wellness retailer Peekay, agreed.
“Just having the movie come out will have a positive impact on sales for our entire industry,” she said.
And she doesn’t think it’ll be a one-hit wonder.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features acquired the rights to James’ entire trilogy—which includes follow-up reads “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed.”
The industry “is more prepared knowing there’s a movie, a DVD, then likely a second movie, a second DVD, and a third movie, a third DVD,” said Berman.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/fifty-shades-of-grey-arouses-sex-toy-boom?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-02-06_PM

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Man arrested for drugging, raping over 100 women in fake clinical study



- By Japan Today

Japanese police have arrested a man for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting more than 100 women who believed they were taking part in a medical study, detectives and local media said Tuesday.
Detectives say scores of women responded to advertisements seeking volunteers for “clinical research measuring blood pressure during sleep” over two years to November 2013.
They believe Hideyuki Noguchi, 54, gave the women sedatives after luring them to hotels and hot spring resorts.

Once the women were unconscious, he raped them and filmed each assault, police said.
Footage of the attacks was posted on the Internet or sold to producers of porn films, allegedly netting Noguchi more than 10 million yen, TBS and other broadcasters said.
Noguchi is not known to have any medical training or expertise.
A spokesman for police in Chiba said officers had confirmed at least 39 victims, aged from their teens to their 40s in Tokyo, Chiba, Osaka, Tochigi and Shizuoka.
Detectives believe they are just a fraction of the total number of women whom Noguchi attacked, thought to number well over 100, media reports said.
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Poll reveals what we already know: Japanese toilets make no sense


- By Rocket News




Between the futuristic “Blade Runner”-esque toilets and the slightly terrifying (but healthier for you) traditional squatters, Japanese restrooms can be a bit intimidating for a first-time user. And even for those who have lived in Japan for a while, using a public toilet can still be a daunting task. So to better understand restroom woes for those coming from overseas, Japanese toilet manufacturer Toto recently surveyed 600 foreigners living in Japan about toilets in the country and what confuses them most.
First up on Toto’s toilet survey was a question about toilet choice. That is, if you were at a public restroom with Western-style (aka one you sit on) or traditional Japanese squat toilets, which stall would you go into? Unsurprisingly, over 80% answered that they preferred to sit rather than squat.
The next question asked those surveyed to think back to when they first came to Japan and to remember the biggest problems they had when answering the call of nature in a public restroom. Most people said that they had no idea how to use a Japanese squat toilet when they first saw one. Even foreigners who came from countries with squat toilets were a little confused exactly how to use the Japanese ones. One of the Americans polled said that he actually thought you were supposed to sit right on the toilet bowl.

And besides the squatters, many people recalled their utter confusion the first time they sat down on a modern Japanese “washlet” toilet (see photo below). The many buttons on the seat or nearby control panel overwhelmed many and utterly confused people used to simpler toilets that don’t need to be plugged in. And until you can read Japanese, you have to rely on the little drawings that still won’t help you out much. The futuristic toilets of Japan may look cool, but many people were intimidated at first.
When asked about if they use the bidet function on the modern Japanese toilets, the number one answer was that it did a good job of cleaning up and some said they even preferred the bidet to toilet paper. And for others, they liked to use the bidet because they were already used to using water via the bum gun to clean themselves in their home country.
Perhaps the answer that should make Japan the proudest was when 93.6% of those surveyed said that Japanese publics are cleaner than those back home. And at the end of the day, even with the squatting and the confusing computer-like toilets, you can’t argue with a nice, clean public restroom.
How do your experiences with toilets in Japan line up with this survey? 

External Link: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/01/19/poll-reveals-what-we-already-know-japanese-toilets-make-no-sense-confuse-us-all/


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And if you haven't seen it yet, check out my music video .... Baby mi love yuh.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination? / Recent Happenings in my Yokohama and Toyama Life / My Music Video


Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination?


by Rocknews 24 via Japan Today


Does this video make you want to visit Japan? You be the judge.



You would think that a country like Japan, rich as it is in both traditional culture and technical innovation, as well as plenty of weird and wacky things you’ll never see elsewhere, would be a huge hit with tourists. But as it turns out, Japan is actually not such a popular destination for people traveling abroad.
Tourism from abroad brings in around 900 billion yen per year for Japan. To put it in perspective, France makes around 5 trillion, the UK 3 trillion, Germany 3.7 trillion, and America 11 trillion yen from tourism. It might look like just a matter of zeroes on paper, but that’s a significant difference.
So just why is this beautiful country which has so much to offer such an unpopular holiday destination?


Publicity problems

Firstly, Japan needs more and better quality advertising. With the world now connected by the Internet, you can easily communicate with people half-way around the globe as though they’re right there with you in your room, and people are becoming more interested in other cultures. Japan needs to be able to self-promote, and articulate to the wider world exactly why people should come and visit.


China has size on its side, Thailand has its resorts and backpacker culture, Cambodia has its historical ruins; people visiting Asia for the first time have so much choice on where to go, so proper promotion is extremely important for a country hoping to stand out on a platter already crowded with delicacies. And right now, Japan just isn’t getting itself out there enough.


But what about cool Japan, the government drive to get more foreigners interested in Japan?
There have been attempts to come up with advertising campaigns, certainly, but they’ve fallen woefully short. Celebrities have huge star attraction here, but the PR gurus don’t seem to have caught on that using Japanese stars to advertise Japan just doesn’t work, since people outside of the country often have no clue who they are unless they already interested in Japan, hence these ads are essentially preaching to the choir. Japanese boy band Arashi’s tourism advert, a part of the government’s official Visit Japan campaign, seems more like a music video aimed at teenage girls; not exactly the demographic with the money to spend on flights, hotels and sightseeing.
Are Japan’s woeful tourism figures all the fault of the Japan Tourism Agency? Not quite. 
Skytree-high costs

The top reasons people from Europe and the USA don’t come to Japan is that it’s both too far and too expensive. Since the island is pretty much tethered where it is, there’s not much that can be done about the former, but surely there could be some workarounds regarding the latter. Accommodation and transport are very expensive and on top of that are the costs of food, souvenirs and so on, so with a high-valued yen people are bound to look to cheaper options such as Asia, where even the poorest of student travelers can survive.


Lost in translation

Then there’s the fact that it’s not very easy to go on holiday here without knowing the language, because of the comparatively low level of English of most native Japanese folks. Even in the midst of Tokyo you can find yourself stuck due to language issues, and once you get out of the city there are still many supposed sightseeing spots that don’t have any English signs. Japanese also isn’t like languages which use the Roman alphabet, so travellers can’t simply type a written word into their dictionary or translation app (though hopefully one day soon they’ll be able to scan them), so the average not-overly-adventurous traveler is severely limited when they find they can’t even read restaurant menus or the names written on signs at train stations. Japanese people also tend to be quite shy and reserved, even if they do have a smattering of English, unlike other countries where people will go out of their way to try to communicate with you even if they don’t speak a word of your language.

Japanese-only convenience


Japan is often said to be an incredibly convenient place, epitomized by the ubiquitous conbini, and this is true if you are actually living there. Unfortunately, it can still be very inconvenient for travelers and people staying short-term.


Firstly, actually getting into the city can be a bit of a pain since its busiest international airport, Narita, is located quite far out of central Tokyo. Then, when you want to pay for your train or bus ticket you might find yourself in a bit of a bind since Japan is still a mostly cash society and there are many places that do not accept credit cards. On top of that, ATMs that accept foreign cards are few and far between and are often closed outside of regular business hours; something we’ve noted before as a particular irk of living in Japan. And forget hopping online to check your route or research places to visit as, despite Japan’s reputation as a technologically advanced country, there are still very few places with Wi-Fi, free or otherwise. You also can’t buy cheap mobile phones with disposable SIM cards, making keeping in touch with other members of your group difficult.
All in all these factors all contribute to the reality that people aren’t going to be inclined to come and visit unless they already have an interest in Japan.
But all is not lost.


The number of foreign visitors to Japan has been increasing recently, and during the New Year period, department stores reportedly saw three times more foreigners coming to their start-of-year sales than the previous year. More places including shrines are stepping up their game and starting to provide Wi-Fi access, and Tokyo Metro has launched a free Wi-Fi service aimed at tourists across 143 of their stations.


Furthermore, a bank on the road leading to the Grand Shrine at Ise has begun offering a foreign currency exchange service since many people were saying that it was inconvenient not to have any exchange services nearby. These are all signs that Japanese companies are starting to think more about catering to people visiting from overseas. The growth in tourists can also be attributed to the recent weakening of the yen brought about by Abenomics, making things cheaper for Americans and Europeans, and department stores are publicizing the fact that duty-free shopping is available for foreign visitors.


And of course with Tokyo hosting the Olympics in 2020, the country is going to experience a definite surge in foreign visitors. The questions now are whether or not Japan will be ready for them, and if the Games will have a lasting effect on the tourism industry in the future.

Source: Naver Matome

http://www.japantoday.com/category/travel/view/why-is-japan-such-an-unpopular-tourist-destination?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-01-18_PM

External link - http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/01/16/why-is-japan-such-an-unpopular-tourist-destination/

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Recent happenings as I approach the final lap of living in Toyama

Day 2480 (Interstellar)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Watched one of the best movies I've seen in a looooong while. Interstellar. This totally geeked me out and took me to different world, pun intended for who saw it.




Day 2481 ( Hangingout with some Jamaican sisters )
Saturday, January 3, 2015

Just chilled with some of my friends for the evening




Day 2482 ( Ice Skating !!!)
Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tried ice skating for the first time. It was scary and fun at the same time. There was this 8 year old girl killing it on the ice. Even occasionally teaching us.





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Day 2488 ( More Reggae in Toyama )
Saturday, January 10, 2015

Went to a not so bad reggae party today, after returning to Toyama from Yokohama. For the first time in my life of traveling, my flight got cancelled before actually getting back to Toyama. The reason? Heavy snow.




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Day 2494 ( Japanese Calligraphy )
Friday, January 16, 2015

So yesterday, I was at work sitting and waiting for the clock to strike 4:15 so I could run home. Because this new term, the board of education decided to turn up the work and the amount of  classes I teach. Suddenly, I got a call from this lady I promised that I would practice Japanese Calligraphy with on Sundays. Only to find out that the lady was already at the school waiting for me, to take me to a real calligraphy teacher without any form of warning, prior arrangement or anything. Is she stalking me? I was free so I decided to go. But ended up having to buy some stuff. A total of 4000 yen (US $40) worth of stuff that I didn't plan to pay for.

I complied because I was gonna have to pay for it anyway, whether now or later. I thought the calligraphy thing was easy before trying it but maaan its a challenge. And the teacher is strict.


Ai - Love 

Kin/kane - Money or gold



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Day 2507 ( Fake Facebook Profile )
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Woke up this morning to a message from a friend of mine saying she saw a pic looking like me on facebook, this is the pic



I looked on the pic long and hard... then it dawned on me... THAT IS ME !!! with a another name !!! But I am 100% sure I know who did it, or at least who is behind it. Oh boy. I will just leave it at that. It has since been removed.

On a another note, I found a friend who is skilled at drawing people. She drew a pic of my sister and her child.


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Day 2517 ( JET Festival in Toyama )
Sunday, February 8, 2015

The J.E.T English teachers (if you don't know who they are, read my book) in Toyama put on a yearly festival thing with displays and stuff from different countries. I did a performance and also taught patois (Jamaican dialect) lessons to some people in Japanese. I was surprised that so many people came to the class. It was a good day. I realize now that almost every single time at these exciting events, I go back home with a headache that lasts for at least 2 days. That's if I don't take a tablet.








Oh I bought a selfie stick 









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And friends, readers, and loved ones, the moment you've all been waiting for.... the world Premier of

My new music video  
Baby mi love yuh - written and edited by Dave Collymore, directed by Big Mike Productions