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Monday, April 23, 2018

Japanese Actress Umeki Miyoshi

Last week, when I wrote about the Japan Sumo Association requesting a sumo event organizer ban young girls from taking part in a promotional event, I ended it with a clip from the second Bad News Bears movie.

And down the rabbit hole I went.

I then decided to do a search to see where cast members from that first The Bad News Bears movie were today, and found a 2016 article describing just such that on the movie’s 40th anniversary. You can read that HERE.

Anyhow… the article mentioned that—aside from my pre-teen crush on Tatum O’Neal (though I had a larger crush on Jodie Foster)—there were a couple of other kids who had acting experience before this, namely: Jackie Earle Haley (still love this guy’s work, such as The Human Target and Preacher - on TV, and Breaking Away - the most underrated movie ever, and other things), and a kid named Brandon Cruz.

Okay… I didn’t know who Brandon Cruz was… he played the poor Yankees pitcher in the original The Bad News Bears movie… you know the kid… 

And then I found out he was Eddie.

Eddie… as in the kid from the old Bill Bixby television show, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (before he was David Banner in The Incredible Hulk), an ABC television show I watched from September of 1969 thru March of 1972.

I never watched a rerun, but dammit, I can still sing the show's theme song to this very day! I just love the complexities of this phrase:

People let me tell you 'bout my best friend,
He’s a one boy cuddly toy — my up, my down, my pride and joy.

Ha. Brought a tear to my eye just there. Hang on… back in a moment.

Okay… Did you know that Cruz was the lead vocalist for The Dead Kennedys (my favorite punk group) from 2001-2003? I didn’t. Holy crap!!!!

Anyhow, on The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father television show (not the earlier (movie), the boy Eddie and his Father (mom had died), they had a housekeeper, a woman named Mrs. Livingstone, who was played by an actress named Umeki Miyoshi (surname first, 梅木 美代志), a Japanese woman.

Here’s a clip of the show, with special guest star Jodie Foster… who wasn’t as cute here as she would be later (in the Disney flicks, like Freaky Friday). I know she’s gay, but I still have a crush on her.

What’s interesting, is that even at this stage of the 20th century, Mrs. Livingstone is teaching Joey (Jodie Foster) the subservient Japanese woman’s way.


And, if the lesson is to be learned, Eddie finally earns Joey’s respect after he hits her.


Okay… I used to watch this show, and they weren’t all like this… I think. It has been 50 years…

By the way... when I looked for a clip of this show, I picked the first one I saw, and was pleasantly surprised to find Jodie Foster appearing in it, proving that even though I don't know what I'm going to write about, it all makes sense. 

Anyhow, the point is that while Mrs. Livingstone was Japanese on the show, her Japaneseness wasn’t always at the forefront… she was simply a valuable member of the family who helped resolve conflict the best way 1960s television could offer.
Cast of The Courtship Of Eddie's Father: Bill Bixby, Brandon Cruz and Umeki Miyoshi. 
Born on May 8, 1929, in Otaru, Hokkaido as the youngest of nine kids, she went through WWII, and began working as a nightclub singer using the name Nancy Umeki… probably because it sounded American.

Even though the US-led Allied Forces had just defeated Japan, and exploded for the first two and only two times a nuclear bomb meant to annihilate people in a war… Americans were generally held in high regard, as Japan could actually respect someone who was smart enough and strong enough to defeat it in battle.

She began recording for RCA Victor Japan from 1954-1954, doing mostly jazz, singing in both English and Japanese… something almost every modern Japanese singer does to this day, regardless of genre… but she did like American pop songs, too.

By 1955, she had crossed the Atlantic and was singing for her supper in the U.S., as a series regular on the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts, but continued to put out singles and albums from 1959 thru about 1961.

Because of her appearances on the Arthur Godfrey show, film director Joshua Logan decided to cast her in the 1957 movie, Sayonara… which was about an US ace fighter pilot during the Korean War (1950-1953)… now I haven’t seen the movie, but since I’m pretty sure Sayanora is “Goodbye” in Japan, and Japan is not in Korea, I would assume that the pilot, played by Marlon Brando, was stationed at an air force base in Japan.     

Strangely, our gal Umeki Miyoshi was NOT the love interest of Brando’s character―that was Taka Miiko (surname first), still critics thought Umeki was great, awarding her the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress for her role of Katsumi Kelly (surname LAST).
Here is Umeki Miyoshi hugging fellow Oscar Award winner Red Buttons at The Academy Awards in 1958.
 Umeki Miyoshi was the very first Asian―male or female―to win an Academy Award for acting.

In fact, she is STILL the only Asian to have won an Academy Award for acting. As of 2018.

In 1958, she played Mei-Li in the Broadway musical production of Flower Drum Song, which not only ran for two years, but earned her a Tony award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.   

December 22, 1958 cover of Time magazine, with Umeki Miyoshi on the left.
In 1961 she reprised her roll as Mei-Li for the movie adaption, and also appeared in these movies:  Cry for Happy (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962) and A Girl Named Tamiko (1963).

Then, from 1969-1972, she appeared in the television adaption of the movie, The Courtship of Eddie's Father as Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper, for which she was again nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

But, when the show ended in 1972, Miyoshi-san retired from acting.

She had been married to television director Frederick Winfield "Wynn" Opie in 1958 until their divorce in 1967, and had one son, Michael H. Opie, born in 1964.

Following her divorce, she married Randall Hood in 1968, who adopted her son, who then became Michael Randall Hood.

She and Hood ran a Los Angeles, California-based company renting editing equipment to film studios and university film programs, until her husband’s death in 1976.

While Miyoshi lived in California for most of her post-retirement years, she did move to a place called Licking, Missouri to be near her son and his family.

I had to know, and found out that Licking, Missouri—with a 2010 census of 3,124 people—was named in pre-1880 as Buffalo Lick, before just Licking… and refers to a mineral lick near the town’s original site.

And if you don’t know what a mineral lick is, it’s a “salt lick”, where animals go and lick the ground to take in needed elements such as phosphorus, sodium, calcium iron, zine, etc.—something critters do often in the Spring to enhance growth of bone and muscle.    

As for Miyoshi Umeki… she lived in Licking, Missouri until her death at the age of 78 on August 28, 2007 from cancer complications.

In her honor, here’s Miyoshi Umeki singing Sayonora (1954):

Andrew Joseph

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Martian Moons May Have Been Formed By Large Impact On Mars

Today, since it’s Earth Day (April 22, 2018) let’s talk science… in particular astronomy… one of those topics I not only enjoy reading about but actually excelled in back in university… even though I have never peered through a telescope of any magnitude.

According to the April 18, 2018 issue of Science Advances, in the article entitled the “Origin of Phobos and Deimos by the impact of a Vesta-to-Ceres-sized body with Mars”… oh wait… I kind of just gave away the whole thing right there.

Before we get lost in space, for those who are interested, go to the bottom of this article and click on the link to the music video by M|A|R|R|S - Pump Up The Volume, a 1987 video with some cool music - helping birth  British acid house music - and some old-school video footage of early manned space flight.

Anyhow, according to the article, scientists from the Southwest Research Institute theorize that the small, misshapen moons of Mars—Phobos and Deimos—were formed after a single impact of the young proto-Mars and a dwarf-planet-sized object similar in size to the largest asteroids Vesta and Ceres.

Now, an object smashing into a planet to create a moon is not new news—Earth and Luna (our moon) was formed in a similar fashion, though the Earth impact is suspected to have been much, much larger than the Martian one.

Luna may have formed when a Mars-sized object crashed into the nascent Earth 4.5 billion years ago, and the resulting debris coalesced into the Earth-Moon system.

Scientists have been discussing the origins of Mars' two moon for a while, wondering if they were simply asteroids captured by the planet's gravity or if they were formed from the common form of an equatorial disk of debris.

While others had thought of an impact as the cause, test models were limited by low numerical resolution and overly simplified modeling techniques.

“Ours is the first self-consistent model to identify the type of impact needed to lead to the formation of Mars’ two small moons,” says lead author Dr. Robin Canup, an associate vice-president in the Southwest Research Institute Space Science and Engineering Division. Canup is one of the leading scientists using large-scale hydrodynamical simulations to model planet-scale collisions, including the prevailing Earth-Moon formation model.

“A key result of the new work is the size of the impactor; we find that a large impactor — similar in size to the largest asteroids Vesta and Ceres — is needed, rather than a giant impactor,” Canup explains. “The model also predicts that the two moons are derived primarily from material originating in Mars, so their bulk compositions should be similar to that of Mars for most elements. However, heating of the ejecta and the low escape velocity from Mars suggests that water vapor would have been lost, implying that the moons will be dry if they formed by impact.”

The new Mars model invokes a much smaller impactor than considered previously. Earth’s diameter is about 8,000 miles, while Mars’ diameter is just over 4,200 miles. The Moon is just over 2,100 miles in diameter, about one-fourth the size of Earth.

While they formed in the same timeframe, Deimos and Phobos are very small, with diameters of only 7.5 miles and 14 miles respectively, and orbit very close to Mars.

The proposed Phobos-Deimos forming impactor would be between the size of the asteroid Vesta, which has a diameter of 326 miles, and the dwarf planet Ceres, which is 587 miles wide.

“We used state-of-the-art models to show that a Vesta-to-Ceres-sized impactor can produce a disk consistent with the formation of Mars’ small moons,” says the paper’s second author, Dr. Julien Salmon, an Southwest Research Instituteresearch scientist. “The outer portions of the disk accumulate into Phobos and Deimos, while the inner portions of the disk accumulate into larger moons that eventually spiral inward and are assimilated into Mars. Larger impacts advocated in prior works produce massive disks and more massive inner moons that prevent the survival of tiny moons like Phobos and Deimos.”

That's cool... but what the heck does any of this have to do with Japan?

Well, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has an upcoming Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) mission where it will try and determine the origin of the two moons of Mars.

The MMX mission is scheduled to launch in 2024, and will visit both moons with a planned landing on the surface of Phobos to take a surface sample before it returns to Earth in 2029.

“A primary objective of the MMX mission is to determine the origin of Mars’ moons, and having a model that predicts what the moons compositions would be if they formed by impact provides a key constraint for achieving that goal,” Canup acknowledges.

The mission will also take aboard a special NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) tool... of which I know little about, suffice to say that the JAXA mission is one that NASA is interested in.

As for the research done in the “Origin of Phobos and Deimos by the impact of a Vesta-to-Ceres-sized body with Mars,” it was funded by NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) in Silicon Valley, and by NASA’s Emerging Worlds program. The research was conducted as part of the Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET), a SSERVI team from SwRI’s office in Boulder, Colorado.

Andrew Joseph
PS: For your listening pleasure:

PPS: The image at the top of this article is from, and as it correctly states it is not to scale, but it does show how misshapen the two moons of Mars are.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Kyushu Volcano Erupts After 250-Year Siesta

Mount Iō (pronounced ee-oh), aka Mount Iwo, a volcano located in southern Japan, has erupted for the first time in 250 years.

It’s not an amazing feat - regardless of global media reporting it as though 250 years is a long time between eruptions.

Really, it’s not.

An active volcano, as defined by volcanologists, is a volcano that has had at least one eruption during the past 10,000 years. An active volcano might be erupting or dormant.

But you read that, right? 10,000 years between eruptions, and it is still considered to be “active”. In the life of a mountain or volcano, 250 years is nothing.

You can click HERE to have a look at a list I compiled of every single active volcano in Japan - all 118 of them.

And yeah… I put the list in alphabetical order and separated them by region.

And yeah… I some how missed this bloody volcano!!! Actually, I didn’t.

I can stop panicking.

It’s located under the nine listings of Kyushu volcanoes under the Kirishima listing.

Kirishima, in case you don’t want to look, consists of 18 small stratovolcanoes, which includes Mount Io (aka Mount Iwo).

While the Kirishima complex HAS erupted as recently as 2011, the Mount Io part of it hasn’t erupted since 1768.

Now, while I may have poo-poohed the severity of the Mount Io volcanic eruption, I shouldn’t have. People’s lives are at stake.

Warnings have been issued for towns near the 1,317-meter (4320.9 feet) high volcano, with the possibility of large rocks being spewed into the air by the eruption, but so far, only a large deposit of ash has been sent up into the air.

Like a dry fart.

And on that note - toot,
Andrew Joseph

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Rare Look At The Ancient Far East

The above map sports just a tiny wedge of Japan—just above the box—which makes it eligible for this blog by my way of thinking... and man, is it a real beaut!

Despite the lack of respect shown to Japan, it predominantly shows of the eastern portion of China, India and Southeast Asia - complete with mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, towns, cities and kingdoms.

Created by Italian cartographer Giacomo Gastaldi, this four-sheet map was first created as a single map in 1559, with additional sections added in 1561, with additional sections of Indonesia and the islands of Java Minor added in 1565.

Within the map’s legend box on the right side, there are close to 100 place names that show the ancient and modern names of various places.

Apparently Gastaldi has relied upon information from the travels of Marco Polo, as well as other contemporary travelers to the Far East, including Marcus Fugger, whose family library owned one of the most important libraries compiled in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Some say the privately-owned Fugger library was better than the Vatican library.

This map, published in Rome, Italy in 1580 measures 30 x 30 inches (76.2 cm x 76.2), and is being offered for sale for US $128,000.

By the way… the sea, as named on the map, to the left of Japan is named “Mare de Mangi”… which, if translated word-by-word from its Italian into English reads “Sea of Eat”

Now… not the Sea of East… the Sea of Eat.

Also, note the spelling of Japan… Giapan… interesting…

Anyhow, should you have some spare money under your kotatsu, take a look at THIS website ( for this and other awesome (and other more affordable [not for me]) maps.

If you click on the linked word "THIS", in the sentence above, you can see images of this and other maps. By clicking on the image, a larger version will show up... and even then there's a button which will allow the image to fill the entire screen of your digital device, at which point you can easily read everything on the map provided you can translate 500-year-old Italian... I assume there's been come changes to the language since the map was published.

Andrew Joseph

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why Has Human Physical Evolution Stopped?

Perhaps my headline is a bit misleading, but researchers at the University of Tokyo have found that vertebrates may have conserved their basic anatomical architecture, or bodyplan, for over 500 million years by reusing their genes.

Simply put, reusing genes constrains diversification. 

Some background (ha-ha): Vertebrates are a group of animals that have vertebrae in their back, which is to say vertebrae are the individual, interlocking bones that form the spinal column. In humans, we have 33.

The vertebrates emerged more than 500 million years ago and diversified into a variety of species comprising a multitude of shapes, including humans and other mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.

After the diversification so many years ago, why haven’t the basic architecture of the vertebrates changed very much.

All vertebrates have retained their basic anatomical architecture through evolution spanning several hundred million years, and scientists had not yet pinned down why this is so, though the University of Tokyo thinks it might have an answer.

While previous studies had attributed the lack of anatomical diversification to the embryonic phase when vertebrates' basic architecture develops, recent studies highlighting the evolutionary conservation of this phase in what is called the developmental hourglass model. Nonetheless, why this embryonic phase was conserved through such a long evolutionary time scale remained unresolved.

The international collaborative group, EXPANDE consortium, led by associate professor Irie Naoki (surname first) of the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo tackled this problem by comparing the gene expression profiles during development of the embryos of eight species in a larger grouping of animals, called chordates, which comprises lancelets and tunicates, in addition to vertebrates.

Chordates… I had to look this up on Wikipedia, is an animal that possess a notochord (a cartilaginous skeletal rod supporting the body in all embryonic and some adult chordate animals), a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits (repeated filter-feeding openings that appear along the pharynx caudal to the mouth), an endostyle (an organ which assists lower-chordates in filter-feeding, secreting mucus which utilizes cilia to coat itself), and a post-anal tail (an extension of the body that runs past the anal opening. In some species, like humans, this feature is only present during the embryonic stage), for at least some period of their life cycle. Chordates are deuterostomes, as during the embryo development stage the anus forms before the mouth.

Clearer now? Sorta, but no, me neither.

Chordates can include creatures such as mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians (all of which are vertebrates), as well as sea squirts (tunicates) and lancelets (celpalochordates).

Okaaaaaay… still not getting it.

What the fug is a sea squirt? This is a type of sea squirt:
Komodo National Park Gold-mouth sea squirt (Polycarpa aurata), by Nhobgood Nick Hobgood in 2006.
The sea squirt above, while looking like a human heart thrown into the water for a week, is actually quite pretty in its coloration. Still, that must have been one brave diver who first picked up this type of sea squirt... and even braver is the person who looked at that and said " I wonder if I can eat that?"   
And yes, humans eat them. Maybe not this particular variety, but many others, such as these live sea squirts known as a sea pineapple, found for sale at a market, Busan, South Korea:

I'm pretty sure these sea pineapples don't taste like "land" pineapples, but I've been wrong before. I'm not wrong this time. Photo by ProjectManhattan
By the way, another type of tunicate is a similar-looking creature called “sea pork” which luckily for it does not taste like real pork.

Examples of sea pork on the beaches of Hilton Head, South Carolina, US: photo from 
A lancelet is 32 species of fish-like critters that tend to bury themselves in the sandy waters, exposing only their head.

This is a lancelet:
Lancelet feeding on plankton. Photo by Colin Gray

Chordates include: humans, alligators, pandas, crows, sharks, salamanders, and much, much more.

The University of Tokyo researchers identified and compared the genetic data on these species, and found that most of the genes acting around the developmental phase, which shapes the vertebrates' basic architecture, were pleiotropic genes—genes producing more than one effect—that were reused repeatedly.

Notably, the researchers found a strong correlation between the ratio of such repeatedly recruited genes and evolutionary constraints.

One plausible scenario is that the embryonic phase, in which the vertebrates' basic architecture develops, is enriched with repeatedly reused genes, which constrain evolutionary diversification. In other words, it helps prevent mutations.

Of course, mutations are what got us to where we are, and what we are, today.

You all know the old chicken and the egg scenario and conundrum about which came first… well, obviously eggs were around long before there were chickens. And, whatever laid the egg that would become the first chicken, wasn’t a chicken… it was something that had a mutatable gene within it. 

Since gene recruitment is commonly observed during evolution in a variety of organisms, the study's findings promise to provide a basis for better understanding what kind of trait is likely or not so likely to evolve.

"In the beginning, I wasn't expecting to find what we discovered. In fact, I was reluctant to do the analysis that led to our main finding because I thought it would be meaningless," says Irie. "Considering our knowledge of its contribution to the evolution of many new traits, gene recruitment could be a double-edged sword in that its recurrence constrains evolution. Our findings raised a lot of additional questions in my mind for further inquiry."

Thank you to the folks at the University of Tokyo for continuing to send me their press released on their scientific research gains!

Andrew Joseph

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Japan PM Abe Shares Commonalities With U.S. President Trump

I don’t have a pony in this race between Japan prime minister Abe Shinzo (surname first) and U.S. president Donald Trump. But I sure do enjoy a race.

First, let’s take a look at the relationship between the two leaders.

When U.S. president Trump was first elected, he commented on how Japan didn’t seem to be paying its fair share for the protection given it by the bases employed on Japan.

But when the two leaders would meet, everything was buddy-buddy… though there was that minor kerfuffle when Trump did realize the Japanese first-lady could speak very good English… but minor… amusing, but minor.

Recently, Trump has publicly attacked Japan over a perceived trade deficit, and refused to provide Japan with an exemption to new steel tariffs that was given to other allies.

Abe, was aghast that Japan wasn’t afforded the same level of diplomacy as other allies, and was further taken aback by Trump’s newfound diplomacy towards North Korea—though that was more of Trump realizing he shouldn’t have poked the bear by insinuating that the U.S. would fire missiles at the northern troublemaker that has, in the past, repeatedly test flown missiles over Japan.

These missile tests had helped Abe strengthen his ploy of wanting to re-write Japan’s Constitution, which was created (essentially) by the United States for it, at the conclusion of WWII. The crux of it is that Abe wants to revoke the part that says Japan can not have its own military.

But with South Korea and the U.S. set to meet with North Korea to avoid an escalation of hawkish behavior, Abe suddenly finds his case or a military and thus changes to Japan’s Constitution are no longer a concern for the populace.

And then there’s the popularity ratings for each. While president Trump’s popularity ratings are nothing to write home about, neither are Abe’s, as his government has recently come under fire for a slew of improprieties.

While Trump still likes to talk bombastically about Fake News, Russians working with Hillary Clinton (uh… if they were working WITH her, doesn’t that mean they were against Trump? So why would he want anything to do with Russia?)… and then there’s the whole cabinet shuffle with people he thought would be loyal to him suddenly being fired or asked to leave or “quitting freely of their own volition”… and of course Stormy Daniels.

Stormy, regardless of her profession, slept with Trump when he was married with current wife and first lady Melania.

Now, most women, even if there was a chance that something like that had happened, would be right royally pissed, and if you believe the news, her body language suggests it is true… or at the very least she believes it to have happened.

Why indeed did Trump’s personal lawyer give up his own money to pay Stormy off to keep quiet about an alleged affair?

I know, lawyers are generally very good people, who are always looking out for the best interests of the people they represent, no matter if they are guilty or innocent. Ha. I almost kept a straight face.

There’s that old joke:
Q: What do you call 10,00 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?
A: A good start.

Now, I happen to like lawyers, and thought about being one myself, but I didn’t think I would be happy doing it. I know not all lawyers are slimy or deserving to be at the bottom of the sea, but public perception of lawyers says otherwise… unless you need one, of course.

I won’t even go into the details of the story, as I’m sure you already know because you ant to know, and don’t know because it’s all fake news. Convenient, however, that everything negative is always fake news. It would seem that political loyalty strains common sense, which should NEVER be the case.

Parties… just choose the candidate who actually covers most of how you actually believe. It worked for Nazi Germany. Is that joke too soon?

Anyhow, in Japan, while Abe hasn’t slept with any hot, big-boobed “blondes” (that we are aware of), he has been implicated in a political scandal that is known as “cronyism”…

Allegations roil about that Abe’s Finance Ministry gave huge discounts in land sales to two education institutions that are linked to associates of himself and his wife… oh, and then there was the cover up.

However, the Finance Ministry last month admitted that it did alter documents relating to the sale of land in Osaka to a nationalist school with links to Akie Abe (Abe’s wife), including deleting her name and the prime minister’s name from the papers.

Abe and his wife are denying any wrongdoing, which I suppose could be true… it simply could have been an overzealous politico doing all of this in the hopes of currying political favor with Abe, and thus without Abe’s knowledge.

And then there’s the Finance Ministry sex scandal, which as far as sex scandals go, is pretty weenie.

Vice-finance minister Fukuda Junichi (surname first… I like how the word “vice” is in his job title” is accused of sexually harassing female journalists (that’s not cool) with sexually suggestive comments directed their way.

Apparently there’s audio recordings of the harassment, so it makes one wonder how he is wanting to sue Shukan Shincho magazine for defamation.

This past Monday, the magazine released an audio recording (damn those journalists) where a man says to a female reporter in a restaurant or bar: “Can I touch your breasts?”

Obviously the magazine alleges the man is Fukuda.

In a statement, Fukuda says: “I don’t think I uttered unpleasant words to a female reporter that can be labeled as sexual harassment.”

He said-fake news.

Now while the Ministry isn’t calling for his resignation yet—allegations are merely allegations until they are proven to be true or false—but has asked for any other reporters to come forward if they think they were harassed by Fukuda, telling them to contact a lawyer rather than the Ministry directly, to ensure neutrality is maintained. Good for them.

Apparently the Shukan Shincho magazine article mentions “several” women—all unidentified—as stating Fukuda made unwelcome advances or sexually comments during one-on-one meetings.

Now, this isn’t Abe, but it is his government.

After Fukuda publicly denied making the statement, the magazine posted an audio clip on YouTube, of a man (that apparently sounds like Fukuda) says: “Can I touch your breast?” “Should we have an affair when the budget is enacted?” and “I will tie your hands.”

Impressive. regardless of who is actually speaking, how quickly does the topic of bondage appear in anyone’s conversation?

In the video, the voice of the woman was removed sop as to protect her identity, but the weekly magazine reports that she had repeatedly asked Fukuda to stop the conversation. I am unaware if she actually called him by his name, because while not 100% proof (it doesn’t have to be him for her to have used that name), it does add fuel to the fire.

Fukuda says that he did not have any conversations as alleged with any female journalist, although he might have “played with words” at an entertainment establishment where “women serve customers.”

Right now, both leaders seem to be wearing their Teflon suits, as nothing seems to be sticking, regardless of the veracity of the fake news that permeates global journalism.

Abe is meeting with Trump (I believe that was supposed to have happened as of Tuesday, April 17 - yesterday)… so we’ll see if they play a cordial game of golf or attempt to whack each other with a sand wedge.

While the latter would never happen, it will be interesting to see their body language in front of the fake media later.

Everything I write is a lie,
Andrew Joseph
PS: my sign off is a paradox… if I am lying, then everything is actually true, meaning the liar (me) is lying.
If I am telling the truth, then my admission that everything I write is a lie then becomes a lie, as EVERYTHING implies EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Matchbox Labels Of Japan - Part 5

Today, since Toronto had an ice storm for two days, where the winds blew one meter of snow up to my front door, and it's now +7C, I thought we'd take a look at some weird images on Japanese match box labels.

Things that make one wonder just why such symbolism was chosen.

All these matchbox labels are from the 1880s up till maybe the 1930s. While the matches may have been made in Japan, the companies that produce them may be from other locales... or, despite the matches being made in Japan are for markets outside of Japan, and as such they assume users don't know much about Japan, as I found Chinese dragons and temples on the art, as well as symbolism from India.

Weird, right... then again... in Japan, the most famous adage revolves around "the nail that stands up, get's hammered down", implying that individualism in Japan is not the social ideal. I'm pretty sure that's not what this matchbox art is saying, but why else is it there, except a hammer strikes hard, just like one wants a match head to.. if not that, then I'm lost.
A thumbs up for the two lucky Japanese dragons. A rule of thumb says that Japanese dragons are depicted with three claws per foot, while Chinese dragons have four or five claws per foot. It looks like these dragons could be part of a Where's Waldo book, what with the striped shirt.
Safety Matches with a gun image? For the pro-gun lobby, sure; for the anti-gun lobby, if no one had guns, no one would need a gun, but I suppose everyone might need a knife to protect themself.
Yeah, nothing says safety matches from Japan quite like a typewriter typing out the words 'trade mark'.
Yes, it's not just tobacco that can be smoked, as this stoned goddess floating on clouds shows... or maybe it's just a woman in a kimono with tufts of marijuana wafting about.
Lightly stamped under "The Pipe" line, are the words "Impregnated Safety Matches".. because every time I think impregnated, I'm 99 percent sure I'm thinking not enough safety was utilized. I suppose this brand might be a longer stick match specifically for pipe smokers... if not, then it's just a boring piece of art.
That's the second-biggest cock, I've ever seen... rooster that is. That's a joke, son. A bon mot, a witticism. It's interesting that the brand is "The Cock and Boy" when the boy is actually depicted as an angel... wings and all... and since he has a horn, we could assume the angel is the archangel Gabriel blowing his horn... and when Gabriel blows his horn, Gabriel is announcing Judgement Day... so smoke'em if you got'em. Why the fug is Gabriel riding a giant chicken? I know that would be scary and all, but it's hardly impressive when announcing that Judgement Day is nigh upon us. Oh... right... "nobody here but us chickens." Of course, this horn looks more like a bugle than the elongated English horn type I would expect.
Less frightening, but more confusing, is a monkey in a crib holding a bugle. Mama, baby wants you to clean his spit valve... and a banana would be nice. And maybe a bigger crib. And maybe explain what any of this has to do with matches?
One might look at this image of a white dog with black splotches and immediately think of Nipper, the mascot of HMV (His Master's Voice). It's possible, but in every incarnation I've ever seen of the imagery, Nipper is always on the right side of the gramophone, with his head just about to enter the horn. In the original 1899 painting, Nipper is listening to a cylinder phonograph, while the imagery on the records has Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone. The gramophone horn is always brass, and not sculpted to look like a flower... as such, to avoid any copyright infringements, I think the Teikoku Match company has done a nice job... using it to capitalize on the new technology.
Robots in Japan? That's one of those iconic symbols of the country that people outside of it think of when you mention Japan. This imagery is geared to the success of Robot Brand.
If anyone out there knows of any books on the subject of matchbox label art, let me know, please. I don't think I want to start a new hobby, but I would be curious to learn more.


Andrew Joseph