An alternative look at life in the Land of the Rising Sun, coming from its southernmost prefecture, the island of Okinawa.
Posted By Dave on July 8th, 2014


Those who have known me a while will know that I just about kept my body shape in control (mainly in Okinawa through sweating generally due to the heat and humidity) or because of walking so much with my car dying.  It definitely wasn’t due to exercise though!  But after a couple of months of being back in England […]


Archive for December, 2008

2009: Resolutions of the New Year variety

Posted By Dave on December 30th, 2008

Well Santa Claus has been and gone (and he made a visit to my school even, as the photo testifies), and he has been pretty kind as always to me this year. But Christmas Day has been and gone and in 2 days a brand new year starts. So I thought it would be appropriate to think about some New Years resolutions (not sure what my fascination is about writing New Years with uppercase first letters; maybe finding out should be resolution number one). So let’s start thinking about the future, or “Let’s enjoying the future thinking together” as my students would undoubtedly say.

1. Continue my quest to be more popular than the incumbent Japanese Prime Minister – Currently I think I’m right on target with this one, having read that the current PM, Taro Aso, now has an approval rating of 21%. That probably puts him on a par with Hitler, Mugabe and GW Bush. If my own personal popularity meter drops below that then I know I’m in trouble. I just have to hope the election which will inevitably be called in 2009 doesn’t bring someone to power with a personality and some policies that are marginally different from what the LDP has, or I’ll be in trouble.

2. Sort my life out – Important one now. 2009 is going to mean a lot of decisions for me, and probably some of the biggest of my life are going to have to be made in the next month or so. I’m not overwhelmed with joy that I’m going to be entering the job market at what is the worst time in a generation. I’ve got a few choices about what I should do but I have to come to a firm decision in the next month so it’s not just on my mind all the time. Have been thinking about it now for the past couple of months and it’s just slowly building up. No doubt once 2009 comes and my contract ending is only 8 months away it will get even bigger.

3. Get into the ocean more – This is one that I know one particular reader of this site will appreciate. I’ve been out of the water for probably the most time since I’ve come to Japan and I really need to make up for it in 2009. It could be my last year in Okinawa and I want to make the most of my time living in one of the best diving spots in Asia. The car has taken up a lot of my time and money this year, and I have reaped some rewards in the form of a very quick car and a trophy sitting on my TV collecting dust (don’t worry mother, I’ll do the dusting in 2009!) but it has been at the expense of doing something else I love. Will try to get into the water at least once a weekend if at all possible

4. Make the most of every day – This links in with the previous 3 actually. I keep looking as 2009 as potentially the last year I will spend in Okinawa. I sincerely hope that is the case, but have to be prepared in case it is. So I need to make the most of every lesson at school, of every time I go to Starbucks and buy vastly overpriced coffee, and of every dive. If I can do that then I’ll end my contract here on August 1st as a happy person.

Not hugely looking forward to 2009, but there’s no doubting it’s going to be a pivotal year for me. Finally, thanks to everyone who took the time to read articles in my blog, from the US military lockdown, to yet another Prime Minister in Japan, to the exploits with my car. Every reader and comment you make is valued, so thank you for making them, and I wish you all a happy and successful 2009.

Iijima Ai death: predicted 3 years ago?

Posted By Dave on December 27th, 2008

This is a rather spooky update I have just read on another excellent Japan commentary page, NewzJapan.  Now I’m not a big believer of these fortune tellers, but Ai visited one in Taiwan in 2005 and the fortune teller informed her that she would die 3 years later.  She joked about what they said on the TV show and even said to the camera, “Maybe you can use this video three years from now!”  That’s the kind of thing that sends a brief shiver down your spine and gets you thinking a little.

Anyway, I don’t steal people’s thunder so go see what NewzJapan has to say about it.  I will include the video below though so you can see for yourself.


Iijima Ai found dead: possible suicide?

Posted By Dave on December 24th, 2008


An update for you, but unfortunately not the type of story I would like to be posting about late on Christmas Eve. Earlier today, former adult star and media personality Ai Iijima was found dead in her apartment. She was found in the living room of her residence dressed normally, suggesting death either by illness or suicide. This story comes from Kyodo News:

Former porn star Ai Iijima found dead at Tokyo apartment

Wednesday 24th December, 08:40 PM JST

TOKYO : Former television personality Ai Iijima was found dead at her condominium unit in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Wednesday afternoon, less than two years after she announced her retirement from show business, police said.

Iijima, 36, was found lying in the living room in casual clothes and with no obvious injuries, police said, adding they believe she either died of an illness or committed suicide. An autopsy will be conducted on Thursday.

Iijima’s body was found around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday by an acquaintance who paid a visit to the condo after Iijima had stopped responding to communications from her several days ago. The acquaintance had the resident manager open Iijima’s unit on the 21st floor of the condominium building.

Iijima gained popularity in the 1990s as a variety show host and for other roles. Her autobiographical novel “Platonic Sex,” published in 2000, became a bestseller and was made into a movie as well as a television drama.

In 2006, she made public that her health was not good due to a kidney disease and other problems. She announced her retirement in March last year, saying, “It is impossible to survive in the entertainment industry if I cannot find my goal and dream, and cannot keep trying.”



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