A Day at the Doujunkai

Uenoshita Doujunkai
Click the photo for a slideshow.

The Dojunkai Apartments : The
Beginning of Apartment Living

 The current mainstream steel reinforced
concrete apartments that were built prior to
World War II are called Dojunkai apartments.
The Dojunkai was a foundation established
following the Great Kanto Earthquake to help
victims in need of shelter. It was an external
body of the Interior Ministry and was funded
by contributions from within Japan and
overseas. The Dojunkai supplied 12,000
housing units, including 2,500 apartments,
between 1926 and 1941. All of the
apartments were reinforced concrete structures
that placed a premium on earthquake
resistance and most of the properties were
three stories in height. In addition to having
proper electricity, plumbing and gas, each of
the units was equipped with flush toilets. At
the time they were built, these housing units
were well known and admired for their
leading-edge conveniences and technologies
such as elevators, steam heaters, telephones
and baths. The aforementioned comforts
proved to be very popular despite the
concern that the apartment style of housing
might not be well accepted as a part of
Japanese lifestyle.

Quoted from http://xrl.us/oq6bk

Brian Peterson

Photographer Brian Peterson of Zokyo fame and I have been working on a new project for the past couple weeks, working for hours a day with an open Skype call going, usually with at least a couple others on the line, discussing every little detail of how to put together our new site, Magnesium.

It’s almost ready to go, but I thought I’d spread around a little link love for the search thingies.

Delivering Soup By Bicycle

Just yesterday, I was talking to my sister Leslie about how much less people rely on cars here in Japan Tokyo than they do in the states – as an example, I told her how I had seen on old man making deliveries for a Chinese restaurant. He was in his seventies and made his deliveries by bicycle. He had a half-dozen bowls of soup in ceramic bowls balanced on a wooden tray, balanced on his shoulder, on a bicycle.
Today at lunch, I saw a much younger delivery guy with a couple of bowls and I happened to have my camera ready, so I got this picture:

soupguy.jpg

It’s not uncommon to see a woman with two or three children on a bike, or perhaps a business man with an umbrella riding in the rain. Police, of course, do most of their patrolling by bike.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the longer average lifespan in Japan?

Markov Blogging

Does this sound like me?


The Sensei (Teacher or Doctor) as the landlady referred to him, arrived with an audience of five, whether that number is actual or perceived. The Japan expat bloggers are some of his radio addresses. They were global nomads.

She was a woman buried on the stereo singing Corcovado and I’m here with you as being the most popular leaders of the strange equipment and wires and blinking lights jammed in next to the washer.

I explained that it was kind of natural extension to the basement with just a candle to investigate a strange sight in Japan has almost nothing to do with those square packages of instant noodles you can buy in the old house, way past my bed time…

Time Magazine used to calibrate mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. November 05, 2003 Be Prepared to be sold to anonymous bidder, the day before halloween…

My camera gained a scuff to to the suggestion that the truer side is the option of having registered users, I guess, or at least turn off comments. For now, I’m closing comments on these little private spaces will become more and more bad guys.

After a while, a particle accelerator is coupled with electric motor technology?

Something that doesn’t exactly behave like either of those nice, slow rainy fall Saturdays that relieve you of the coffee. Hmmm. Not as good as I call them. Those, being the most popular leaders of the popular anti-spam plugins.
(When I see one I like, I may actually plug it in…) You may remember it well, but you’re thinking of somebody else.

You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those nice, slow rainy fall Saturdays that relieve you of the world of reality which the judging spectator fails to see, knows more while the spectator knows less; and, wherever there is no way to get these into Bob’s Neighborhood Project.

A very limited audience in a bitterly hostile land. It would be helped greatly if Donald Rumsfeld went to Koishikawa shokubutsuen where Yuka and I were deciding what to do some work on the subway…

I took a bunch of entries from this site and fed them into JanusNode a program that does a lot of neat things with text – one of which is to calculate word frequencies and generate pseudo text using Markov chains. If you’re on a Mac with OS X, (not Panther,) go and get this program and play with it.

Oh – It can also generate a weekly diet for you:
If you want to lose weight try to allow yourself just a mélange of surrealist Asian foods and frozen mushrooms.

This week, I suggest, eat as follows:
– Monday: Consume some fanciful carefully-selected expensive mushrooms that smell fresh.
– Tuesday: Allow yourself Canadian frozen parboiled pickled eggs that are sold illegally.
– Wednesday: Limit yourself to poached poached sculptured Chinese raw Indian foods whose name you can spell.
– Thursday: Allow yourself chemical Canadian difficult crabs that begin with the letter ‘M’.
– Friday: Allow yourself a little baked sour crackers purchased in bulk.
– Saturday: Get by on just some Italian sculptured cold sculptured diet drinks that you find.
– Sunday: Consume a little freshly-killed fanciful Asian Norwegian spices that begin with the letter ‘H’.

(Via boingboing)

I guess I’m not alone

I really think it’s time America got rid of this incompetent, evil man.

Personally, I wish they were bringing him up on war crimes.
Donald Rumsfeld describes his intellect to a dubious onlooker

Yahoo! News – Twenty-Six House Democrats Push to Fire Rumsfeld


Twenty-Six House Democrats Push to Fire Rumsfeld

Mon Nov 10, 6:54 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of more than two dozen House of Representatives Democrats on Monday said they had introduced a resolution urging President Bush (news – web sites) to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

“This resolution would make official what so many members of Congress already believe — that the soldiers in Iraq (news – web sites) and America’s foreign policy would be helped greatly if Donald Rumsfeld would leave,” Rep. Charles Rangel of New York said in a statement.

Time Magazine Editing History

Time Magazine used to have an article that made Bush look foolish. They have recently removed it from their website.

This is an unethical and wrong move on the part of Time.

I’ve lost a lot of respect for the quality of writing at Time over the years, but this goes beyond anything of which I would have imagined them capable. It of course brings to mind the famous phrase by Orwell:

Who controls the past, controls the future.
Who controls the present, controls the past.

—- 1984 by George Orwell

TIME: Why We Didn’t Remove Saddam
By GEORGE (H.W.) BUSH AND BRENT SCOWCROFT

Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in “mission creep,” and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.’s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different–and perhaps barren–outcome.

Via slashdot

Continue reading Time Magazine Editing History

Donald Rumsfeld Lies

Ocala Star Banner

Feb. 20, a month before the invasion, Rumsfeld fielded a question about whether Americans would be greeted as liberators if they invaded Iraq.

“Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?” Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS’ “The News Hour.”

“There is no question but that they would be welcomed,” Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces.

Sept. 25:

“Before the war in Iraq, you stated the case very eloquently and you said . . . they would welcome us with open arms,” Sinclair Broadcasting anchor Morris Jones said to Rumsfeld as the prelude to a question.

The defense chief quickly cut him off.
“Never said that,” he said. “Never did. You may remember it well, but you’re thinking of somebody else. You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said.”