Category: CrossCurrents

The Deep Interaction between Japanese and Koreans in Baseball as Embodied in Ichiro Suzuki

It was when Ichiro became the first base runner that I sensed something strange in the Korean supporters’ reaction. Every time the pitcher tried to pick Ichiro off and he would dive head first back to the base, they would roar in appreciation. Over something that is not directly related to the outcome, they were getting excited as if to say: “Make that so-and-so Ichiro grovel again!”

Not Quite “Japanese-like” People of the “Canada of Japan”

From what they’ve told me and?some materials I’ve found on the internet, the traits of Hokkaido folks can be characterized as follows. They can handle one-on-one situations with ease even with people they don’t know well. They readily accept outsiders. They have own personal views on almost anything. They don’t like to congregate unnecessarily. They don’t worry about “how others will see them” very much. “That’s why we’re on the same wavelength,” I thought when I found out. For good or for bad, I share these traits myself.

A Japanese-Style Get-together in a Canadian Setting

The end of the year is usually a time for a series of get-togethers like office parties, dinners and socializing at home. We Nikkei people, ijusha and resident Japanese folk, who probably celebrate the new year (o-shogatsu) as well, also enjoy get-togethers along with all the other minorities in multi-cultural Canada, whose format may vary from formal to casual, from traditional Japanese to “Canadian style” depending on age groups and professions.

Are Newspapers a Dying Medium?

According to some researchers of pre-war topics such as the history of the famed Asahi baseball club, copies of many of the Japanese-language newspapers that were in publication before World War II have either been destroyed or remain to be “unearthed.” I happen to be translating at the moment a fascinating Meiji era document, which was found by a dedicated researcher at a Nikkei archive centre in San Francsco’s Japan Town.

Group-to-Group vs Individual-to-Individual

To feel as though all of these different categories of people making up the Nikkei/ijusha community are somehow “all connected” is, I’ve realized, a rather Japanese sentiment. Among the oft-cited differences between the East and West, the one about the former being group-based societies and the latter individual-based societies is hard to refute, even if it’s very generalized.

CrossCurrents

Unlike North America, where wheat is still relatively plentiful, Japan relies on imported wheat for staples like bread and noodles. So rising price of wheat products is also driving Japanese consumers toward rice.

CrossCurrents

Having heard my share of live jazz, rock and classical concerts in the 60-plus years of my life so far, I very rarely get...