A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

All the Prefectures I've Visited so Far in Japan After 6 Years / What Kind of brain do you have?

Video of the week:

Day 2325 ( Work but bored )
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Even though I'm really bored in the office, there is some random training going on that I pop in and out of. So I also have to help prepare some training packages. And I have to stay at work sometime until 7:30pm. It almost feels like torture. But it's work.

While heading home in the night, I stopped at a store name Aoyama to purchase a short sleeve working short. It was on sale and while getting the shirt, a staff member convinced me to apply for a credit card ... so I did.... I'm not so sure if I will get it but hey I tried.


Last week I performed some poems and here are the pics from the event:



Day 2326 ( Happy Emancipation Day Jamaica /Man rams Car into police station in southern Japan)
Friday, August 1, 2014

Today is a national holiday in Jamaica known as Emancipation day. 

Stayed at work today until 7:30 pm this evening, helping to make some stuff for an English camp next week. 

After work, I went to a Caribbean style restaurant that actually had Jamaican food. I bought Jerk chicken and rice and peas .... It was actually not too bad. Kinda pricey tho. 


Man rams car into police station in Kitakyushu

Police in Kitakyushu said Monday they have arrested a 54-year-old man after he drove his car through the entrance to a police station.
According to police, the incident occurred at the police station in Kokurakita Ward at around 11:50 p.m. Sunday. TV Asahi reported that the driver, identified as Shigemi Hisano, 54, drove his car through the glass doors and right up to the counter.
Nobody was hurt during the incident. Hisano was quoted as saying he hated police.
Police said Hisano was drunk at the time. 



Day 2327 ( Visiting Tochigi )
Saturday, August 2, 2014

Anybody who knows me, knows that I love traveling immensely ... within a country and internationally.
Went to Utsunomiya in Tochigi prefecture for the first time. The very first Japanese girl I dated was from this city. From there, I went to another famous part of Tochigi called Nikko. First I went to the highest waterfalls in Japan called Kegon no Taki ... or Kegon Waterfalls.

These photos somehow came out normal but it was actually raining like crazy. After the waterfalls, I had lunch then visited a lake not far from the waterfalls.

Later on in the evening, I visited an izakaya (Japanese style restaurant) and had some great Japanese food. I highly recommend the rural style izakayas in Japan...they are that much better than the urban ones.



Day 2328 ( World Heritage Site visit - Tosho-gu )
Sunday, August 3, 2014

So before Japan was unified as an economically powerful country, it was filled with wars and rumors of wars, known as the "Warring states period" or sengoku period. Basically all the states were just randomly fighting against each other for land or to get rid of the emperor or just anything. 

jidai. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sengoku_period

Until the 3 great unifiers of Japan.  They were:

Oda Nobunaga
The first unifier of Japan.

Toyomoti Hideyoshi 
The second Unifier of Japan; used to be a servant of Oda Nobunaga.

Tokygawa Ieyasu

The third Unifier of Japan; under his rule the Sengoku Period came to an end.

So yeah I visited the third guy's (Tokugawa Ieyasu) grave today in Nikko, Tochigi. Dude is like a demi-god in Japan. I was surprised to see the amount of foreigners here. But I was the only black guy around.... some how I always tend to notice this. 

People were praying to that tree on the left




Day 2329 ( All the Prefectures I've Visited so Far in Japan After 6 Years )
Monday, August 4, 2014

Another boring day at work, then met a friend of mine later on near the Yokohama station.


Japan has 47 prefectures or states... I'm trying to visit as much of them as possible.

Starting from the extreme south, I've been to the following prefectures:

1. Okinawa (47 on the map)

2. Fukuoka (40)
3. Kochi (39)
4. Hiroshima (34)

5. Okayama (33 lived here)
6. Shimane (32)
7. Tottori (31)
8. Nara (29)
9. Hyogo (28)
10. Osaka (27)

11. Kyoto (26 visited several times)
12. Shiga (25)
13. Aichi (23)
14. Shizuoka (22)
15. Yamanashi (19)
16. Fukui (18)
17. Ishikawa (17)
18. Toyama (16 working here)
19. Kanagawa (14 apartment is here)
20. Tokyo (13)
21. Chiba (12)
22.  Saitama (11)
23. Gunma (10)

24. Tochigi (9)

Ok so more than half of them I've already been to. I've passed through maybe 6 more but never really went there.



Day 2330 ( What Kind of Brain Do you have? )
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yet another meh day at work. But as soon as I got home, I started packing for my trip to Jamaica in 2 days. I also spoke for a while to a friend of mine living in the middle east. I'm being encouraged to think of a solid idea and just turn it into a business. Not sure what is a feasible plan now. A business woman that I was teaching English to last year was also encouraging me to do the same. But I do need a solid idea.... I will think of something !! I promise all of u readers ...  


Try out this brain game thing.... it apparently tells you what kind of brain you have. It says I have a philosophical brain




Day 2331 (  )
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Actually did some work today ! Created and printed some information then made quite a few calls. I say no more. I then did my Wednesday private lesson at starbucks... of course I stopped doing this while in Toyama, but while I'm here, I will do it. Tomorrow I head to Atlanta, then Jamaica for a little over a week. Wow I think this is going to be my shortest trip to Jamaica ... And most expensive !Maybe I should have waited until December.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Woman Robbed of Underwear While Going Home / Penis Shrine OK but 3D Vagina .. Not OK

Days 2318 – 2324 
Thursday, July 24 – Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Picture of the week :

Day 2318 (End of Term Drinking Party/Woman Robbed of Underwear While Going Home)
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today was the last working day at school, so they had a banquet of sorts near the Toyama station. They asked me to give a speech in Japanese. I was half drunk but I think this was one of the best speeches I've ever done in only Japanese.

After the banquet thing, I went to another Japanese style restaurant with a couple of the teachers. Then we did karaoke. I went back to my apartment at 1 am. And I have to leave out at 5 am tomorrow for a flight to Tokyo at 8:30. Yeah that's how it is in these parts without a car.


Woman robbed of underwear while walking home

A 28-year-old woman walking home in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward on Monday night was knocked down by an unknown man who forcibly removed her underwear and fled with it.
According to police, the incident occurred at around 11 p.m. TV Asahi quoted police as saying the man apparently followed the woman as she was walking home. He grabbed her on one shoulder and pushed her to the ground. The woman told police he reached up her skirt and pulled off her underwear.
Police said the woman was shaken but otherwise uninjured.
The man is described as being in his 20s or 30s, approximately 170 cm tall, and was wearing a T-shirt and dark pants.



Day 2319 ( Back To Yokohama / Japan's Penis Shrine OK but 3D Vagina .. Not OK )
Friday, July 25, 2014

Woke up at 5:30 am and caught a train to the Toyama station. I couldn't ride because I had luggage !! Then took a bus from the station to the airport. This took only about 20 mins as there was no traffic. Took 50 mins flight to Haneda then went to my apartment in Yokohama.  I haven't been here in a month. When I opened up my apartment, It smelled like old clothes. And some of my stuff had mildew !! Including my pillow.... I had to throw away quite a bit of stuff, and washed others.


Old news but still interesting. So there was quite a bit of controversy a few weeks ago about a lady who was jailed for making a 3D image of her vagina and turning it into a kayak.

Here's a note for your next trip to Japan: Don't build a vagina-shaped kayak. It could land you in jail.
Tokyo artist Megumi Igarashi was charged with distributing obscene material for providing 3-D images of her vagina to supporters in a crowd-funded project.
"It might be obscene if I were depicting actual sexual intercourse or sexual activity, but I'm just projecting a part of my body just as it is, and I don't consider that obscene," Igarashi said at a news conference Thursday.
Igarashi said a kayak modeled after her vagina was intended to build awareness of Japan's bias against discussion of that particular part of female anatomy.
It may have worked too well.

Igarashi, 42, who works under the name Rokudenshi-ko (which translates roughly as "good for nothing girl"), was arrested July 12. She was released after six days, but could be re-arrested and formally charged later. If convicted, she faces up to two years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Igarashi's arrest sparked a media frenzy, along with charges of hypocrisy. Pornography and sexual imagery are pervasive in Japanese society. It is not unusual to see men openly reading sexually explicit magazines and manga comics on trains and subways, or to see the same on sale in convenience stores within strolling distance of schools and playgrounds.
Manga are adult- or young-adult-oriented comic books or graphic novels, often with dark or sexually oriented themes. They are unique to Japan, but are increasingly popular overseas.
The Japanese parliament voted only last month to ban possession of child pornography, after years of international pressure. But legislators exempted explicit images of young children in manga and animation after publishers argued against restrictions on freedom of expression.
"It just shows that there is a double standard in Japanese society. It's a freedom of speech issue for men, but not when a women does it," said Jake Adelstein, a Tokyo journalist and authority on organized crime and the sex industry in Japan.

He said police also may have been spooked by the new 3-D technology. A man in suburban Tokyo was arrested in May for possession of several handguns produced on a 3-D printer. Handguns are tightly regulated in Japan and difficult to obtain.
"I understand where they are coming from. They may have wanted to send a message that this wouldn't be tolerated, but they overreacted," Adelstein said.
Ten Tokyo police officers marched into Igarashi's home last weekend, put her in handcuffs and confiscated dozens of her artworks – most of which she said reflect vagina-related themes.
Ironically, her arrest came months after the kayak project was completed. Igarashi said she raised about $10,000 through a crowd-funding website in September and October. For those who donated $30 or more, she provided a link to a site where a 3-D-printable image of her vagina could be downloaded.
The bright yellow kayak was completed shortly after.
An attorney for Igarashi said police officers apparently were not aware of the project until the artist re-sent a message in March to a supporter who had not downloaded the data earlier.
Igarashi said police officers at first did not seem to understand the concept of crowd-funding, but later said it was not relevant.
The case has produced widespread sympathy.
More than 20,000 people signed an online petition demanding Igarashi's release, according to her attorney. She was ordered released by a three-member appeals board after six days in jail – an unusual rebuke to prosecutors, who can hold suspects without bail or formal charges for up to 23 days, under some circumstances.
No word on the status of the kayak.

But guess what? These shrines are perfectly fine !!



Day 2320 ( Space Exploration )
Saturday, July 26, 2014

Went to the red brick warehouse (Akarenga) in one of the main parts of Yokohama today with one of my friends. We had a wonderful time. There was a space exploration thing going on there. But it  was wayyy over-rated. A bit boring actually. All we did was go into this big balloon house of sorts, they turned off the lights, then used a projector to mirror what the sky actually looks like. The facilitator was basically telling us where scorpio, cancer and some of the other horoscope stuff were located in the sky.

I also got a pic with me in a space suit.



Day 2321 (  )
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Performed at Harajuku, Tokyo tonight at the Jamaican restaurant there. Haven't done this in a while. But because I'm back in this area for now, I'm soaking up all I can from the city, before I'm shipped back out to the country side.


Day 2322 (  )
Monday, July 28, 2014

And just like that, I'm back in the office in Yokohama. Some were surprised to see me. But most were happy with lots of smiles :D that's a good sign. I got reacquainted with the office for a bit, and all sorts of news was flying around. I missed a huge meeting with our parent company,

even though I had to fill out a survey that they sent me in Toyama. I guess they didn't want to pull me from the school, for good reason .....  But long story.

After work, I did the usual thing that I always do on Mondays after work in the office. I went to the Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya.

Then I left there at about 10:30 pm.



Day 2323 (  )
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Second day of work in the office, and I was falling asleep watching some teachers being trained and doing presentations.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Marijuana/Weed Shop runs Out of Weed in Seattle / Heavy Use of Social Networks Can Destroy Marriages and Relationships

Photo of the Week:

Days 2311 – 2317 
Thursday, July 17 – Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 2311 ( Heavy Twitter use is bad for marriage: study)
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Started playing Uncharted 3 - Drake's Deception 

again after taking like a 1 year break. I got stuck in it because it has too many annoying puzzles. So I played it while watching a walk-through on youtube. 


Heavy Twitter use bad for marriage: study

I must admit that facebook got me in some mess more than once with relationships. I gather, I'm not the only one.  

Heavy Twitter use can lead to conflicts and other damaging effects on marriages and romantic relationships, a study says.

The study followed up on previous research which showed similar impacts for Facebook and raises questions about whether social network use in general is bad for relationships.
The study appearing in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that “active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce.”
The author, University of Missouri doctoral researcher Russell Clayton, concluded that these findings add to the evidence about social network use’s dark side for personal relationships.
Clayton’s research published in the same journal last year found that a high level of Facebook usage was associated with “negative relationship outcomes.”
The journal’s editor-in-chief Brenda Wiederhold said these findings highlight the need for more study on social network use.
“Since much of the social networking research is in its infancy, we do not know if other media, such as Instagram will also impact relationships in a negative way,” she said in a statement.
The latest study surveyed 581 adult Twitter users, asking about how often they use the social network and about what conflicts arose between participants’ current or former partners as a result of Twitter use.
Clayton found that the more often a respondent reported being active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with a partner.
The results “partially replicate” Clayton’s earlier research on Facebook use and negative relationship outcomes, he wrote.
“Based on the findings from both studies, Twitter and Facebook use can have damaging effects on romantic relationships,” he said in the study.
“That is, when (social networking) use becomes problematic in one’s romantic relationship, risk of negative relationship outcomes may follow.”

Day 2312 ( Seattle's First legal pot shop runs out of marijuana)
Friday, July 18, 2014

Jogged to work this morning, did 2 classes then got seriously soaked in the rain while heading home. Luckily I had my umbrella but it did little justice against the torrential rain. Lightning, thunder and all. It was sudden and scary. 

When I got home, my good friend here in Japan recommended we start playing an online game on the PS3. I am hardly busy so why not?  We started playing Red Dead Redemption online with the PS3. 

It is like Grand Theft Auto but in the wild wild west. 


Seattle's first legal pot shop runs out of marijuana

Seattle’s first and only recreational marijuana store had to close on Friday after running out of stock in just three days since Washington became the second U.S. state to allow pot sales to adults.
Cannabis City opened in Seattle on Tuesday with at least 10 pounds (4.5 kgs) of marijuana for sale, and by close of business Thursday it was all gone. A message on the store’s phone line said it would re-open on July 21.
There were widespread concerns that shortages of pot would afflict retailers this week after the state issued its first 25 licenses to outlets, under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in November 2012.
Some business owners planned to limit the amount of marijuana early customers could buy to try to make stocks last.
Amber McGowan, manager at Cannabis City, told Reuters the store would likely not have enough inventory to stay open for all of its regularly scheduled business hours until a delivery that was due next week.

She said the shop was only able to stay open as long as it had by limiting customers to 0.2 ounces (six grams) per purchase, rather than the legal limit of 1.0 ounce (28 grams).
The roll-out of recreational sales in Colorado and then Washington comes as a broader trend of liberalization and pro-pot activism takes hold in the United States.
Progress in Washington has been slow, however, with state regulators still processing more than 300 license applications, and approved growers producing only limited harvests so far.
Industry insiders say the shortages are likely to be only temporary, caused in part by the short notice many retailers had to prepare for opening, and a surge of pent-up demand.
This week, Colorado estimated that state’s total marijuana demand for this year at 130 tons.
“A year from now, product is likely going to be far more available,” said Sean Green, chief executive officer of Kouchlock Productions, a marijuana producer in Washington.
Another local supplier, Wow Weed, said they were trying to help the stores, but that there was only so much they could do.

“We have been hearing from retailers off the hook. My voice mail is full every single day,” said Wow’s Susy Wilson. “It’s the same people calling over and over, hoping I’ll pull something out of thin air.”
Frustrated consumers in Seattle, a city of some 630,000 people, made light of the shortages, with one Twitter user urging outlets to adopt a green “Pot Light” system for their windows to show they had stock - similar to the Hot Light employed by a well-known donut brand.


Day 2313 ( Hurt Locker / Latin Dance Lesson 3)

Stayed home and watched a 2008 movie called Hurt Locker, about some American military guys in Iraq? Afghanistan? Not even sure... But yeah one of those middle east desert places. I kinda like these movies.   

I give it a 7 / 10


In the evening, I went to yet another Latin party of sorts. Are you noticing that I'm enjoying these? This time they brought a professional from Cuba to teach us salsa, bachata, and merengue. It was even more crazy fun, because my Jamaican friend was there. So we combined the bachata stuff with some Jamaican dances like "willy bounce" and "pon di river". Much to the delight of the others there. 

This Cuban Lady was teaching us.
My elbow needs some lotion

As you you see ... It was maaad fun... I could do this everyday. 

Day 2314 ( Jamaican Cook out/link up in Takaoka, Toyama )
Sunday, July 20, 2014 (6 years 4 months)

My Jamaican friends in the neighboring city of Takaoka, picked me up this afternoon for us to do a sort of cook out thing. It was 9 of us... All Jamaicans.

We had curry goat, fried chicken, carrot juice, mashed potato salad. It was a great time. 

Haven't had curry goat or lamb... whatever this curry was, in a while. After taking the train back with a couple of the Jamaicans, I walked/ran 3 miles/4.8 Km from the Toyama station, back to my apartment. 


Day 2315 ( The Grey / The Walking Dead /19 yo Woman Tries to Kill family but Ends up killing only Her Son)
Monday, July 21, 2014

After those activities on Saturday and Sunday, I stayed in all day today, and it was boring. I seem to be disliking holidays now .... Today is known as sea day in Japan ... A national holiday dedicated to the sea/ocean. So yeah I watched a 2012 film recommended to me by my Jamaican friend. It's called The Grey ... starring Liam Neeson .... Same dude that came in Taken ( really great) and Taken 2 (which was a huge flop for me).

I give it a 6.5/10 .... At some points there was just too much talking and no action.... And personally I think the plot was lacking..... Pretty much a man and some others surviving a plane crash, fighting wolves, and missing his girlfriend and daughter... That's it. It wasn't too bad though... My friends in Jamaica also recommended that I watch the series called The Walking Dead.  

I am not a fan of zombies ... I much prefer vampires or ware-wolves :).... So I was a bit skeptical. The first episode was ok. Not feeling it too much but it was ok. 


These recent sad stories in Japan I tell you. 

19-year-old mother arrested after car crash kills 1-year-old son

Police in Fukuoka have arrested a 19-year-old mother for vehicular manslaughter after she crashed her car, killing her 1-year-old son. Her 23-year-old husband was also injured in the crash.
According to police, the incident occurred at around 4 a.m. Friday in the city’s Nishi Ward. NTV quoted police as saying the family of three were in a car being driven by the woman when it accelerated and slammed into a traffic light pole.
Police said the boy, who was sitting in a child seat in the back, suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital. The woman’s husband, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, suffered a fracture in his lower back, while the woman sustained only minor injuries.
Police quoted the woman, who is a student, as saying, “My husband had betrayed me. So I thought I would kill us all at one time, and so at that stoplight, I decided to slam on the accelerator and end our lives.”
Police said the family was on their way to the husband’s relatives after an argument.


Day 2316 ( Check out Personalize With Vinyl )
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today, the second year students had some form of inter-class track and field event in the raging heat..... It was interesting. 

In the evening, I had grilled beef (yakiniku), chicken, shrimp and lots of food. Very close to my apartment. It's hard to say but my apartment in Toyama is in a much better location than my apartment in Yokohama. I can't believe initially I was complaining.   
Ishiyaki bibimbap and yakiniku
I pretty much live right next to a mall and loads of restaurants just 1 or 2 minutes away. 


Check out Personalize With Vinyl 

A Jamaican here in Japan is also trying to venture into the business world like myself. So she started printing messages on items like cups and t-shirts etc etc. at a price. 

Take my picture

Check out her website and facebook page at



Day 2317 ( Benesse - Owner of Berlitz in Trouble )
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today, the 3rd years had a 2 hour inter-class football competition. It was really exciting. But to my surprise, many of the classes with lots of soccer club members, lost their matches. It was the strangest thing to me. Only to find out that some of the other guys who were not in the soccer club, actually play for some under 15 semi-professional teams. But at the school they choose to join some other club. 


Benesse struggling to deal with massive theft of customer data

This is the parent company of Berlitz that I did an interview with a couple of months ago and got turned down. 

Education service provider Benesse Corporation is under fire after a large amount of customer data was stolen from the company’s private data banks. Since the news broke last week, the company has been struggling to identify the scope of the problem and how it occurred.

Benesse says that a part-time employee of a subcontractor with access to its database copied the names and addresses of at least 7.6 million customers, including info on children. The employee, who has not been publicly identified, is believed to have sold the info to advertising and other companies.
Benesse said its affiliate company Synform Co oversaw its database operations. However, it has now been learned that Synform outsourced some of its business to other companies, TBS reported. Police, who are investigating the leak as a case of data theft, said a systems engineer at one of the firms outsourced by Synform has admitted copying the data but claimed he had no idea it was Benesse data he was giving away.

Police said that the systems engineer was given the job at the end of last year and it was at that time that he began copying large amounts of private customer data through the end of January with the intention of selling it, TBS reported.
Police said the stolen data was sold at least twice before ending up with Tokushima company JustSystems Corp which used it to send ads to Benesse customers.
A JustSystems spokesman told a news conference that the firm was unaware it was buying stolen data and said it would erase the information from its database. However, Benesse has asked JustSystems not to do so, saying that data erasure will hamper its investigation into the trail of the stolen data.