Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Malware Virus Attacking Japanese Banks


Sounds like what you do when mucous threatens to roll out of your nostril and down onto the ground unbidden. Ursnif.

But no. Ursnif (aka Gozi) is trojan malware spread via spam in the e-mail targeting Japan—a top target—as well as North America, Europe and Australia.

While IT workers battle to contain and rid company computing systems of the troublesome malware, new attacks in Japan show that the hackers have developed new evasion techniques, ensuring that the virus keeps mutating.

My gal pal FFF, a reader of this here blog, alerted me of the situation… a battle of computer savvy of epic proportions featuring Ursnif/Gozi that has actually been going on for years.

Starting this past September, Japanese banks have been especially hard hit.

Along with targeting banks, the Japanese malware variation has been targeting user credentials for local webmail, cloud storage, cryptocurrency exchange platforms and e-commerce sites.

Ursnif/Gozi was first discovered in 2007 (Buddha-knows how long it was around before being discovered).

The original malware targeted only English-speaking countries… until 2010 when source code for the Trojan was accidentally leaked. That lead to the development of Ursnif v2 that adopted web-injection techniques and leverages a hidden virtual network computing (Hvnc) feature.

By the end of 2010, it was attacking banks in the U.S., U.K. and Europe (implying that the U.K. isn’t geographically part of Europe, despite its political exist from the European Union… it’s still Europe).

Now in 2017, Ursnif/Gozi is affecting banks in Japan, Australia, the U.S., Bulgaria, Czech Republic,  Poland and Spain (the latter four considered to be “Europe”) (You know I’m just being snide and sarcastic there.)

Apparently, of the banking malware currently attacking, Ursnif/Gozi is involved in 21% of them, just behind Zeus at 24%.

What does Ursnif do? The most up-to-date version of it performs: script-based browser manipulation, web injections, man-in-the-browser functionality, form grabbing, screen capture, session video grabbing and hidden VNC and SOCKS proxy attacks.

I won’t even pretend I know what some of that means.

I never even heard of this: malspam and exploit kits. I won’t even add a joke here.

Against Japan, malspam is the popular form of Ursnif delivery.

Malspam can be fake attachments pretending to be from financial services and payment card providers in Japan. Another malspam variant delivers an HTML link that triggers a download of a .zip file containing a JavaScript. The script launches a PowerShell script that fetches the Ursnif payload.

Why target Japan? “The history of organized cybercrime in Japan is not very long,” explains Kessem. “In most cases of malware migration, cybercriminal groups with adequate resources are looking for easier money, less security and an element of surprise for users who are less accustomed to their spam ploys and social engineering during the banking session.”
As a side note, I find spam to be interesting… 

Not the virus crap poor IT professionals have to dig through, but rather the simple cons that are begun with a simple e-mail from some stranger contacting you out of the blue asking for help in return from butt-loads of money. 

I had collected a whole mess of spam e-mails and was going to create a blog showing off the latest in cons via e-mail, but decided ultimately that I didn’t have enough time in the day to keep it going, having just one year ago accepted the job of coaching kids’ baseball and even hockey.

Of course there would have to be one featuring the classic Nigerian prince; help in funneling money out of some country where citizens are not allowed to withdraw money from a bank; e-mails from people who start by calling you ‘Darling’; and messages telling you that your e-mail or banking data information has been breached.

Did you know that I sometimes get spam sent to me apparently from my own e-mail account. It says it’s my address… but WTF? Do I note the e-mail as Junk or Spam, or will that sudden;y make ALL of the e-mails I send become Junk or Spam? I don’t know.

Trust me… if you receive an e-mail from me, unless I call you by your actual name somewhere in the e-mail - it ain’t from me. Personalizing any message is important (unless it’s the 3rd or more in a long chain of quick messages).

I recently rec’d vicious and profane messages directed to this blog as comments - some 3 a minute until I had over 300 comments over two separate attacks… but since I insist that all comments remain unpublished until I personally approve them, I could just designate them all as junk/spam.

What was annoying, was that after I wrote about the “attack” here in this blog, I received another flurry of commentary attacks.

I never responded to a single comment - mostly because I never “published” them and instead tagged them as junk/spam and then deleted them.

The hacker told me his name, his e-mail address and phone number. Why? I’m not sure, but I would bet that utilizing any of them could have actually opened up the door for further harassment.

Just yesterday, while at work, my cellphone rang. Not many people know the number. Certainly not the Canadian Revenue Agency, as some robotic message tried to tell me I had to call them or be arrested. Like I said, no one has that number. 

Here’s what a fellow complainant wrote about his/her issue with the same: 647-749-2251 phone number, phone HERE:

Automated message at 12:10 from the “CRA” stating there is a warrant out for my arrest for tax fraud. Need to call them back immediately. Called. "Officer" said they came to my house earlier with a Letter from CRA, nobody opened. So, I will be arrested. Police unit is on the way. Stay home don't hang up. You could avoid arrest if pay around 5000K. It could be done via Shoppers or Wallmart. Should buy 20 giftcards... 

Sadly, not everyone is hip to scams like this and might actually be concerned enough to do as requested.

People… the Canada Revenue Agency does not want gift cards. They would want their money, and would give you many different scenarios to pay back any money owed… perhaps even as determined in a court of law. Whatever. tax trouble? Call a lawyer.

Anyone asking you for money and you haven’t slept with them multiple times (for free) - why are you giving them money? Tell someone, ask for advice, proceed carefully.  

Anyhow… with regards to the CRA phone scam, no robot message is calling anybody to threaten them. The CRA has people who are robotic to do that.

I love how even the robotic message fails to use proper English grammar. I’m fairly sure that the CRA would have grammar that originated from someone from a native speaker.

Thank your lucky stars that there are people like FFF on the job keeping you as safe as humanly possible from the hacker.

And fer crissakes... help yourselves... if you see an e-mail that causes you pause... it's causing you pause for a reason... send it to the Junk or Spam folder. Look up the particulars online, and act accordingly.

Never open up "puzzling" material just because you are puzzled. Your IT department will thank you in their prayers to HAL later.

Hours after publishing this, I received a spam e-mail—a type I haven't received in a while: 

At least the "ru" designation on the e-mail provided is legitimate for mother Russia... but I've never been on Badoo. I don't even know what it is.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Just in case you didn't know it... in the books and movies of 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, the malfunctioning computer is named HAL... one letter each removed from IBM.
PPS: The monolith is meant to represent a fuel cell that is supposed to be part of more fuel required to ignite Jupiter into our solar system's second star. Most solar systems are binary or trinary star systems. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all gas giant planets that are lacking enough fuel to ignite into star like our sun, Sol. I think they are called brown dwarf stars, but gas giant planets will suffice. Now the movie should make more sense.   



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Japanese Flag Trading Card

Just a brief one today.

In searching up cards to research for my Pioneers of Aviation blog that I write once a week, I found the above card that was issued with a French chocolate company, Chocolat Pupier Jolies, in the 1930s or so era.

It may have been part of a series showing world flags.

The French had a fascination with the Japanese and their art and way of life since the late 1870s.

It’s just a card that shows of the country’s Navy Rising Sun flag... but also showing Japan's military... probably already internationally known in the 1930s for its imperialistic military showings.  

Andrew Joseph

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Japanese Superman Comic Books - 1970s & 1980s

Up-up-and away!!!

Despite the photo above, I've never been a huge Superman fan.

I could never be Superman. Plus the guy was near-on invincible... except to magic and krypotnite. As such, I thought the only way to beat Superman was if you were say, an imp from the 5th dimension, or hard a heart made of green kryptonite - anything else, and he just let you win, or you had to go after something he loved and hold them hostage. Boring. And not just Wayne Boring. Wayne Boring was one of the earliest men to work on the Superman comic book stories... doing ghost work (unnamed).

I was a Batman guy... the guy had no super powers, but his dead parents left him a billion-dollar fortune and a butler. He trained to become the Batman...  he earned his Bat utility belt.

Anyone could train hard enough to become Batman if they had the billion dollar fortune and a butler... a you know, there but for the grace of god, crap. I was lazy... and preferred reading comic books rather than trying to emulate them.

Despite my preference for Batman over Superman, I read a lot of Superman stories - always hoping for that killer storyline that would make someone who was the original superhero into someone I could enjoy reading again.

Lots of people tried, and lots of people failed. I think the closest to seeing a Superman done correctly was the British version of Captain Marvel entitled Miracleman. You should seek out a copy and have your mind blown. I'm talking about the Eclipse Comics version in the 1980s. Best comic book storyline. Better than the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Better than The Watchmen. Excluding the first 100 issues each of The Amazing Spider-man and The Fantastic Four, nothing from Marvel even comes close. And yeah, there's been some terrific stuff from many a comic book company... but Miracleman... that sh!t is dark and scary and well-drawn and even better written.
A page from MIracleman #15. A kindness... where Kid Miracleman (thing Captain Marvel Jr.) is eliminated...
Sadly... when DC Comics decided to publish Superman in Japan, it had an opportunity to create storylines and artwork that the Japanese audience could have eaten up... instead, from 1978 thru the early 1980s, we have reprints.

Reprints of Superman art on covers that don't match the stories on the inside... and those stories... while entertaining, probably pale when compared to the stories and art comic book companies began to put out in the 1980s...

Marvel, in my opinion, was originally story driven... continuing plots and growth of characters... DC had self-contained stories, but the characters rarely seemed to age or grow as people or as superheroes.

The Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories of the 1960s  showed character growth, a look at the politics and social injustices going on in the US at that time, and featured the industries best artist.

The same duo turned Batman into the Dark Knight detective in the 1960s, too.

Neal Adams - his art was also featured in the X-Men and Avengers books of the 1970s... and not surprisingly, were the some of the best stories ever for that team.

Neal also did some art for Superman... not enough... but some... and the fact that when you look at books with his art... and even without knowing the artists, you just know that someone very good made a dull character look a helluva lot less dull.

Anyhow... let's look at the covers for a few of the Japanese Superman books of the 1970s-80s. The comics are color and black and white in the interior.

I'm pretty sure this was originally the cover of Superman #300... I can even recall buying it. As an anniversary issue, it was a re-telling of his origin story. This Japanese Volume 2 #1... I would have been 13 when this came out. On June 30, 1978, US$1 was 203.65 yen... basically...  it cost $1.40 for this comic book. What a rip. Granted the inside of the book was different from the cover... but still... we're talking about a reprint translated to Japanese, and a written article in Japanese... pages in black and white to save  on printing costs...  wow... what an over-priced comic book.

The original Superman 300 was released with a cover date of June 1976... so I was 11.
One of the most iconic Superman covers of all time. Originally Superman 233 with art by Neal Adams, they ruined it in this Volume 2 #2 issue...

I once bought a stripper boots... so I understand this cover. That's Star Sapphire, aka Carol Ferris, Green Lantern's sometime girlfriend.
I'm pretty sure I prefer this version of Star Sapphire. Enjoy... I've got nothing after this but plain old comic book covers...

Interesting how there was a 40-yen increase in  price for this issue over the previous ones... yeah.. Superman fails.

I think Supes is fighting the Parasite.

For you comic book collectors out there... I didn't even know these comic books existed. Granted I'm a bit North American centric when it comes to comic book collecting.

In fact, I have a lot of comic books that are Canadian covers or comics specifically made for Canadian audiences that the American-centric comic book market refuses to acknowledge.

I have a few British comics... and Russian, Swedish ones... and I know they exists in Greece, Denmark, Holland, Australia and New Zealand, India... everywhere... usually when I collect an international book, it is either a Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge version...

For sheer rarity, the foreign books of North American heroes... those are tough to find in a decent condition.

I suppose you could find these Japanese Superman books... but I bet you'd pay more for them than you would for American Superman books of the same vintage.

Good hunting.

Andrew "Never faster than a speeding bullet" Joseph

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sour Grapes, Maybe, And Far Too Expensive Grapes

More or less fresh from the fertile Internet comes an interesting YouTube video where some gaijin decided they would checkout Japan's fascination with over-priced fruit.

I'm also going to go off-topic.

Every time the world hears about Japan in a non-political news story, it more times than not is dictated by just "how much someone is paying for a"...

In the past, it means outrageous prices for a single tuna, a watermelon, for a melon...

This time its for budō (grapes, ぶどう) - for a variety known as Ruby Roman grapes, that for a perfectly aligned weight of grapes the gaijin twosome, accompanied by a local Japanese friend, purchased a handsome bunch of plump red grapes.

They did so for US$1,997. ¥216,000.

First off, where the fug did they get $1,977 dollars??!!

What the hell am I doing wrong with my life?

Secondly... WTF... why do the grapes cost that much?

Thirdly, you can read my 2016 blog on the Ruby Roman Grapes HERE.

The folks in the video (below) asked as much, but got a simple roundabout answer (perhaps because the question was lost in translation)... about HOW the price is determined, but not WHY.

We can assume it is a rare variety, it is ultra tasty, and thus scarcity of supply and demand helps determine the price the grapes can ultimately bear.

For example... if NO one bought these grapes, and they just withered on the grocery store shelf, then obviously the price is too high for the grapes.

Want to pay less for stuff... stop being the sucker that pays the super high price. The market will only bear what the market will bear.

It's like all the greedy people who feel the need to be the first to own the latest and best phones. Why?

I am sure some people out there can conceive of a perfectly great reason to have to own one the first day it arrives on sale.

I have an Apple iPhone 5S. Do you know how much I paid for it? $50. Canadian. Because I waited a few years and bought it from some kid who felt he needed something "better" and more expensive.

I use to to sit in the washroom at work and play Sudoku.

I have it, because as a baseball coach, I need to be available to relay valuable game on or game off data to parents on game days because of weather. That's why I got it.

I have used it maybe 15 times for phone calls in the 11 months I have owned it.

I did not have a phone before that.

I'm at work. I'm a home. I'm at baseball or hockey. I'm in the car.

I do not need to be constantly checking out inane messages from people about where they are or what they are doing. I'm doing my work. I'm relaxing at home. I'm being a safe driver. I'm educating kids.

Any texts, e-mails, etc... from people... it can wait. If you need me that badly for something - call me. I ain't checking messages unless I'm at home or at work.

The important phone call - and it better be effing important - call me.

WHY should I be at everyone else's beck and call? Suckers.

Old and outdated, some might consider... but I'm not a slave to everyone else. Really... suckers.

What's interesting, is that the youth and young adults of today believe that calling someone via a phone call is so out of fashion.

So why do we need the telephone aspect on an iPhone, for example?

All you need is a camera to do self-indulgent duckfaces (selfies) and to show the world just what you are eating and where - who cares... and a way to place said photos onto some anti-social media network... and a digital keyboard to input the data that tells everyone just what you are doing at that very moment.

When did people become boring?

I'm sure I'm boring... what with coaching kids in sports and life lessons (it's always more than just sports)... writing blogs that 3.3 million people have read these past eight years.... look at me... more people have read my stuff than most books written by authors.

I'm not saying I'm great. Far from it. I'm just saying that by not being on social media all the time, I am actually more social.

I know it sounds like sour grapes... but it's not. I'm a realist. Most of the time. Which is a helluva lot more than most people.

Speaking of sour grapes... let's look at those US$1,997 grapes.

Here's what I found out about the Ruby Roman grapes... the Ruby Roman is a variety of table grape grown and marketed entirely in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It is red in color and about the size of a ping-pong ball. The first Ruby Roman grapes went on sale in August 2008 for 100,000 Japanese yen (US$910) per 700-gram bunch, or $26 per grape.

As a table grape, the grapes are deemed not suitable for creating wine, juice or raisins, but simply good enough to eat.

The Ruby Roman has strict rules for selling; each grape must be over 20g and over 18% sugar.

There's also a "premium class" of Ruby Roman which requires the grape to be over 30g and where the entire fruit bunch must weigh at least 700g.

In 2010, only six bunches qualified for premium status. In 2011, no grape bunch made the cut.

So... yes... a rare grape... rarer still if the grapes are of a certain size.

Worth it? I suppose it depends on one's definition of "worth".

I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the same if I had the money (okay, probably not), but I can understand wanting to so something "stupid" like this at least once.

I've certainly blown unseemly large amounts of money on things... most of which I regret, some of which I have no opinion on. 

Was it really worth the money? Eye of the beholder. At least these guys are internet famous, and hopefully making a few bucks of the thing.

Me? I'm too stupid to make money. It's why I don't have ads on this blog.

To me, when things become about making money, then it is work.

I still have fun creating this blog (and others), and while I assume one can have fun and make money, I'd rather not do so with this blog. I'm sure the amount of fun would diminish, and I won't want to do this anymore.

By the way... Ruby Roman... while the letter "R" does exist as part of the Japanese alphabets (all three of them)... it is not a single letter "R", nor is it pronounced the way native English speakers pronounced it.

I suppose the name was chosen (by committee) because of the robust nature of the grape (like a fanciful description of Roman legionnaires from 2000 years ago), and was chosen more for it's international options than for its national (Japanese ones)... I wish they had used a more Japanese name - even calling it a "samurai red" or something.

I checked... there's no "Samurai Red Grape".

Andrew Joseph
PS: I was just going to write a short intro to the video sent my way by my bud, Julien... and then I got lost in my own rant. Sigh.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Japan—Where Livers Go To Die

Back in the day, which is to say when I was younger, when I lived in Japan (1990-1993) I was already the type of hardcore drinker of beer.

The first time I went drinking with the Japanese during the Ohtawara-shi O-Bon Matsuri (Festival) a few days after arriving in the Tochigi-ken city, after being offered glass after glass of the watery-looking drink called sochu (familiarly known as rice wine sake), it was laughingly commented upon that I was a hebidurinka... which Japlish for "heavy drinker", no so much a commentary on my then-svelte physique, but on my ability to drink copious quantities of their local hooch without turning red, stumbling around or becoming abusively wasted.

The photo above... that's me having my first - or rather having finished my first - shot of sochu. It went down like water... a much appreciated refreshment considering it was +9PM in August and somewhere around 36C, not counting the humidity.

Dionald Duck is my favorite comic book character, so seeing the mask at a kiosk, I bought it, unaware that it was only the little kids who wore such things at the festival. Perfect.

The orange cloak was something special people involved in the festival's organization received. I don't know why they gave it to me, but color me grateful. Too bad the darn thing was lost in my house fire a few years back.

Anyhow... when I drink, I just get more funny. Apparently everyone around me simply gets more hard of hearing, as I find I then have to talk louder.

This is an interesting situation since I had only recently developed the persona of being an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. Huh... alcohol gets rid of inhibitions? Smack me with a bonne homme stick.

That’s not to say I was an alcoholic who “needed” to drink every day rather than “wanted” to drink every day—because I wasn’t. I didn’t drink every day, nor did I ever sit alone at home in my apartment in Japan and have an alcoholic beverage.

I was a social drinker.

Yes, drinking, while sometimes providing you with poor fashion choices, can help you become brave enough to put your arm around a sexy woman like Melissa. Just a an AET friend. 
And no, I didn’t pop a cold one the minute someone rang my doorbell, though I admit sometimes a bit of conversation lubrication might have helped me overcome much of my nerves in having to try and speak Japanese to some random bell-ringer at my door.

When women were over, I didn’t even feel the need to get drunk, mostly because if I was going to put the moves on someone, I would insist my partner be willingly sober, and me capable of performing to the best of my abilities.

I do admit to having to ply a girlfriend—a certain real girlfriend I had for months and months off and on—with alcohol, as that seemed to help get her over her own inhibitions, as she seemed to come across as shy to most everyone else who met her. Southern Comfort… I was in like Flint.

Strangely, when she was near me, and I wasn’t blah-blah-blahing to anyone and everyone around me, she didn’t seem shy… then again… there may indeed have been some sort of alcoholic beverage around.

Before Japan, aside from having rum & Coke drinks, beer in all its myriad form were my preferred choice of brain muddling.

Like my dad’s brother, my uncle Harold, I could drink-drink-drink, and then drink some more… and rarely barf (four times in my life: after a break-up with the above girlfriend; after sucking back a bottle of vodka at a college party months before leaving for Japan, sucking back 34 shooters and 11 mixed drinks for my 34th birthday years after leaving Japan, and the earliest one as a 20-year-old in Quebec City after powering down a bottle of Caribou Juice… some red wine whiskey mix usually sipped slowly to keep you warm during the outdoor evening festivities of the Quebec Winter Carnival. You drink it from a large plastic cane-like item called a bonne homme stick (good man stick).

Ahhh, good times.

You might wonder how I recall any of this… but aside from being a crying bubbling mess after the break-up in Japan, the rest of the time was just physical with little emotion.Worse yet, I recall every one else's alcohol-fueled slip-ups. But rest assured I am not the type to drink and tell. I can handle my liquor better than most.

I’m also one of those lucky buggers who never gets a hangover.

I can drink as much as I want, and maintain brain clarity. Without a hangover—even after those four barf-binges, I am clear the next day.Perhaps I could drink so much that I would die or slip into a coma, but I know how to drink far too much than is good for me, without doing that.

Practice, I suppose.

Uncle Harold could drink a bottle of booze and then go out and conduct the New Delhi Symphony Orchestra, or conductor of the Indian Army Marching Band… which were his jobs, by the way. The pained artiste, I suppose.

He can take the picture I'm painting, if I can take mine own self-portrait. He's been dead for 30 years.

Me? I may not have been able to function as well as him—he was a professional!

After winning a sake drinking contest against three people—two other AETs (assistant English teachers) and one high-ranking Japanese member of the prefectural board of education in Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture)—I went dancing. Now I did get kicked out of the hotel dance club, did break into a hotel forest diorama and awake from my alcohol-fueled coma with a stuffed deer peering down at me (I did NOT damage the diorama, as far as I could tell)… but the important lesson to be learned here as a 27-year-old (at that time), was that I awoke without a hangover, while the other two AETs were conspicuously absent from the conference for the next day, while the Japanese gentleman was functional but begging me to shut my big booming voice down to a level only a dog could hear.

Despite my adventures in spirits and whatever the hell Japanese rice wine is, beer was the drink most often plied down my pie hole while in Japan.

That's me on the right - drinking helps you make friends!
As an FYI, I haven't cumulatively drunk enough in the past 18 years to even equal a solid single night out in Japan. I don't enjoy it anymore, and don't feel the need to hide my true self behind a half-filled glass of alcohol.

To be quite honest... I've never really cared for the taste of alcohol and only really ever drank for the express purpose of the concept of excess. Look at me... I can drink more than anybody.

It hides all the other insecurities I had.

Now, those insecurities remain, but I don't really give a crap—so maybe I'm not so insecure as I thought I was. I'm cured!

Let’s take a closer look at the history of beer in Japan.

First off: The legal drinking age in Japan is 20. That is a handy bit of knowledge to have when approaching or being approached by a woman in a Japanese bar.

Secondly: In Japan—on virtually every street corner in every city, town, village and hamlet—have vending machines that dispense bottles and cans of pretty much any type of Japanese alcohol imaginable.

If you’ve got a few hundred yen, you can walk down the stairs of your apartment building, and purchase a beer, sake, or even wine.

I don’t believe I ever did that, despite the three machines parked on the eastern wall of the sake/convenience store located on the main floor of my apartment building (I was on the third floor directly above it).

I did purchase hot and cold coffees from time to time from the machines—Georgia coffee—but even from my friendly neighborhood sake dealer, I never bought alcohol. Hand to Buddha.

You know what… screw it… I think you’ve had enough.

Let’s pick up this topic tomorrow or maybe the next day, where it will be a look at Beer In Japan, rather than about Beer and Alcohol in Andrew.

Somewhere looking for gum,
Andrew Joseph
PS: I was tempted to leave this under "draft". Ha.
PPS: I had long ago determined that my reality is waaaaay more weird than most people's fantasy.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

1970 Japanese Lingerie Advertisement

What we have here, is, if you can believe it, a failure to communicate.

I recently fell down the rabbit hole looking for Alice when I came upon the magazine advertisement pictured above.

It’s a 1970 advertisement featuring a very sexy Japanese woman, which caught my eye… 1970… certainly… quite the radical shift from how companies were portraying the women of Japan in advertisements just a few years earlier… all done up in hard-to-unwrap kimono.

The plural of kimono is kimono…. like it would be for everything in Japan of which there is a multiple. There is no plural form. You could say there are many kimono, or there are 12 kimono… but it’s never there anything like six kimonos. Or tsunamis… just tsunami.

Anyhow… va-va-voom! When I think about Japanese woman, its the form above that is more realistic than the one of the tightly wound kimono-wearing woman.

Yes, I’m sure every woman in Japan has worn a kimono and probably owns at least one, but it’s nowadays just worn for special occasions.

But the Triumph ad above… well… despite what everyone on Pinterest or Tumblr or elsewhere on the Internet has to say, this is not a Triumph automobile advertisement.

I could tell, because I compared the company's crown logo with the car manufacturer's...  

This is a Triumph International the UK lingerie company, showing off, in this 1970 advertisement its wonderful sheer… what the fug is it… some sort of chemise or a negligee? Is it a babydoll? I don’t think it’s a baby doll because it doesn’t seem “flowing” at the base.

Actually, I think it is a Triumph Bra Slip.

I’m looking, but that bra ain’t slipping… but I get it.

Anyhow… I would imagine that even by the standards of the sexist 1970s, this ad, much like this blog today, is rife with sexism. But I'm using it ironically.

First off - a fine looking, if rather unspectacular product. Yeah it hugs the boobs. It comes in white.

In Japan, the Japanese love the color white, because it shows a purity of the soul... uh-huh. I hope that wasn't why they chose a white garment here... read on...

It’s night clothing undergarments… so we can be sure it’s not simply for sleeping… as evidenced by the fact that the other image in the advertisement shows a woman (I can’t tell if it’s the same Japanese model), sitting down, with a “gentleman” on her left, and another approaching so her face is crotch high on her right.

One woman. Two men. An advertisement for a sexy evening undergarment.

We’re talking MMF here. A threesome. Male-Male-Female.

I’m just throwing this out there, but in most occasions where a threesome exists - whether its a FFM or a MMF, if at least one of the F’s looks like our model, there ain’t no way that undergarment is going to ever be wearable again - torn to shreds in the hurry to get off, I mean get it off.

I’m assuming that things are going to be a bit rough here for our F.

What’s that around her right wrist? A chain.

Is she merely a slave to fashion, or to the men who want to take or give issue with her.

Now, the chain isn't locked... it's wrapped... implying she could remove herself from its bind at anytime she pleases. 

What’s that between her legs? A box? You know what I mean… I mean on the rocks below and between her open legged stance.

Forget the box… is that more chain? Is she standing on it, showing that she is able to throw of the shackles of her oppression… that she gives as well as she gets?

"I am woman, hear me roar, in my sexy new bra slip from Triumph. It's sexy enough to take on all comers."

It's probably just as well that I don't write copy for an advertising agency - even though I could do it, and do it very well.

Whatever… even if I had the translation of the words on the ad, I assume that all Japanese ads are simply weird anyway… and it is 1970… and while it doesn’t excuse it, it at least explains it.

Triumph International is still a top-level lingerie producer - one of the tops on the planet… and shop, began as a corset factory in southern Germany back in 1886, and continues to this day with a presence in over 120 countries selling its lingerie and underwear, of which I am pretty sure I have crumpled into a wadded ball in the corner of some darkened room at some point in time.

Andrew "create obvious pun about triumphing over whatever" Joseph 

Friday, November 17, 2017

It’s Official: Japanese More Apologetic Than Canadians

To quote my friend Julien, with the Japanese now proving that they are more apologetic than Canadians, “it is throwing everything off track.”

Pun intended by Julien, apparently the management of the Tsukuba Express line apologized to everyone after its scheduled train left 20 seconds early.

The express line train running between Tokyo and Tsukuba City  was scheduled to leave Minami Nagereyama Station (just north of Tokyo) at 9:44:40AM… but instead left at 9:44:20… 20 terrible seconds earlier.

While the early departure does not appear to have affected any customers—at least no one complained about it—the train line was sufficiently embarrassed by their obvious incompetence.

In their official statement, the company says: “The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation.”

Perhaps the crew was asked to do penance by performing seppuka - ritualistic suicide by personal disembowelment while a second lops off your head from behind.

It only seems fair.

Now… the statement does mention that the train crew main not have performed the departure operation.

That might be more serious… perhaps they failed to look out on the station to check for straggling passengers… or maybe they failed to cry out that the train was about to depart… things that might have taken the necessary 20 seconds.

While those types of things—I’m not saying that was what the problem was—could cause a customer to be miss the train because they failed to understand it was about to leave… or, for passengers already aboard, without the warning, someone could have been jerked off their feet when the train “suddenly” started up.

I know the trains are pretty smooth… but who knows.

I assume that the vocal commands aboard the train are performed automatically - perhaps by a touch of a button… or… they are timed… and if the train left prematurely, that may be why warning messages were not conveyed.

I’m just offering an explanation as to why the train company believes that leaving 20 seconds early is a serious breach of conduct.

If I’m wrong, I apologize for misleading anyone.

It’s not the same as a 20-second EARLY apology, but then again, we Canadians aren’t No. 1 anymore.

Sorry about that,
Andrew Joseph 
PS: Where are my manners? It appears the shock of no longer being No. 1 has caused me to step in No. 2. Thank-you, Julien, for the heads up on this story.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Japanese Mathematics Trick

I'm pretty dumb at math, which is probably why I am a writer.

However, the Japanese seem to have this neat trick for quickly, and correctly solving two or three digit number multiplication.

I'm not talking about 2 x 3 x 4 = buggered if I know,

But I am talking about 123 x 321 = 39483.

Granted we adults would probably just try and find a calculator, or maybe those of you smarter than me might try and input it onto an on-line calculator, or still other young ones might simply just copy and paste the equation into the search engine as it will promptly throw the answer out for you at your computer's calculator.

But, for those you you who are still in school, where you aren't allowed to use a calculator or use anything digital—and have to show your work—the Japanese have a neat mathematical trick to solve any number of multiplication.

It's how to multiply using lines:

I admit that I still don't get it... I'm probably the only Brown guy who can't do math... but maybe many of you will.

Maybe you could explain it to me?

Andrew Joseph


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sumo Wrestler Causes HUGE Sumo Scandal

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is.

Sumo Grand Champion Harumafuji has smashed a beer bottle on the head of another wrestler.

We used to see such things back when the WWE was the WWF and even before that became big on such fare as Maple Leaf Wrestling or Stampede Wrestling here in Canada.

Wait… Harumafuji wasn’t in the ring?

And this is sumo wrestling… not real wrestling… er, sports entertainment wrestling? Oh.

I still don’t see what the big deal is.

Reports are sketchy as to where and why… but Harumafuji has publicly apologized for his actions, so we can assume it did happen.

The where is important.

If the two sumo wrestlers were out at a restaurant, or sitting at the lunch table eating one of their many daily meals of chanko (stew), had an argument and then Harumafuji picked up a beer bottle and smashed it over the other’s head… well, that’s bad, but not as bad as…

If the two were in the training area, had an argument, and Harumafuji got so mad he waddled over to the kitchen to grab a brewski, waddled back to the training area and then waddled after the unnamed sumo wrestler before whacking him over the head. That’s worse.

Also… did Haraumafuji break the bottle over the other wrestler’s actual head, or smash it across his face?

Did he smash the bottle on a something and come at him with the jagged edges?

Did Harumafuji hit him on the head by creeping up on him from behind, or manning up to smash him face-to-face?

And why did he need to hit him with a beer bottle? Truth be told, a high-ranking sumo wrestler’s palms are as hard as stone, and being slapped is like being hit by a cement mixer truck… so maybe the beer bottle was ‘softer’.

What size beer bottle? Those huge ones they have for parties, or the smaller ones for personal usage?

What brand of beer was it? Someone is missing out on a great advertising campaign!
A thirst for mayhem and murder...
What was the name of the poor lower-level sumo wrestler who had to clean up the spilled beer?

Did the other sumo wrestler have to go to the hospital? Did Harumafuji get arrested for assault? Why not?

If not, why is the story even a media story?

Is all forgiven? Will Harumafuji face disciplinary action for embarrassing the Japan Sumo Association (JSA)?

Will Harumafuji’ stable bosses have to commit seppuka (ritualistic suicide by disembowelment and head lopping) for having embarrassed the stable, the JSA, Donald Trump and the Japanese people?

How is this Kim Jong-un’s fault? How is it not?

As you can see, I have lots of questions… some of which are legitimate.

Okay, stupidity aside—mine that is—let's look at the stupidity of Harumafuji.

An artist's rendition of what the sumo fight looked like. Stoopid artist. The victim should have eyes, not a blanked out brown box. And it was beer, no sochu (sake). Okay... I'm just kidding around...
 Just the facts.

Harumafuji, a yokozunasumo’s highest rank, that one is elected to, is a 33-year-old Mongolian born as Davaanyam Byambadorj.

At a recent party for sumo wrestlers of Mongolian decent, Harumafuji did indeed smash a beer bottle over the head of sumo wrestler Takanoiwa, 27, hurting him badly enough to leave him hospitalized with a fractured skull.

While Harumafuji refused to give details of the event, he did speak to reporters saying: "I sincerely apologize for causing trouble."

The JSA did speak out about the incident, punishing Harumafuji with a suspension from the upcoming 15-day sumo event in Fukuoka.

On November 14, (yesterday), Harumafuji was to have visited the stable where Takanoiwa trains, to offer a personal apology.

Actually, he is apologizing to the stable, NOT providing a personal apology to Takanoiwa, who is hospitalized still.

Of course, since sumo in Japan is akin to hockey in Canada, the media is having a field day with the real-life sumo beer bash.

Sumo’s yokozuna rank are supposed to be above reproach.

They are the heroes of Japan. They are supposed to be the best of the best, and the best-behaved for the honor of the sport,m and of the Japanese nation. 

While unsaid, I’m betting it is noted that such horribly violent behavior in a yokozuna might be because Harumafuji is Mongolian and not Japanese… again… unsaid… at least in polite circles.

Debuting in sumo in 2001, Harumafuji was promoted to the rank of yokozuna in 2012. There are six tournaments a year, and Harumafuji has won a total of nine, winning last September’s tourney.  

The incident is the latest scandal to rock the sport of sumo in recent years following investigations into hazing and match-fixing.

In 2010, then-yokozuna Asashoryu, also from Mongolia, retired from the sport after allegations he had attacked a man outside a Tokyo nightclub during a tournament.

Maybe it’s because I was a gaijin, too, but my favorite o-zumo was the great Musahimaru. I saw his first prime time match, and quickly concluded that one day he would become a yokozuna, because he was essentially built like a square block of marble.

When I met him in my hometown of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, I told him as much, and much smiles, hand grasping and “Yeah, brah” were uttered. You can read the full story of my encounter with Musashimaru HERE.

A photo of the soon-to-be yokozuna Musashimaru that I took when we met in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken.

He was the very first non-Japanese yokozuna.

Now, after Asashoryu being forced to retire, and Harumafuji’s violence, maybe I should point out that it’s not all gaijin who are trouble.

Mushashimaru is from America Samoa… the others are from Mongolia.

I’m not saying all Mongolians are trouble, but you can bet someone is.

Anyhow, while Musahimaru won a total of 12 championships over his career (with epic battles against Taknohana and Wakanohana and the first gaijin great the ozeki-ranked Konishiki - man those were all great battles), I should point out that Asashoryu was one of the best yokozuna ever.

Asashoryu ended up with a total of 25 championships - fourth on the all-time list.

I do miss watching sumo.
Andrew Joseph
PS: Usually, all the photos I place in this blog are "Large"... but today, it's "Extra-Large".

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Japanese Researchers Say There Was Only 13% Chance Of Dinosaur Extinction

Talk about unlucky.

While it is largely acknowledged by scientists, that a large asteroid strike about 66 million years ago is responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs so we human beings could have oil, a team of researchers from Japan's Tohoku University have determined that there was only a 13% chance of the asteroid causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, and an 87% chance that they should have survived the global catastrophe.

The researchers say that if the asteroid had struck virtually anywhere else on Earth other than where the 10 km (6.2 mile) wide rock smashed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico—the dinosaurs would have survived, but probably would not have oil to warm their houses.

You can tell which parts I am adding, right?

Earth (flattened out) 66 million years ago. That red dot is Utah, but where Mexico is... that's where the Yucatan asteroid strike was.
While an asteroid strike anywhere would still have meant the complete and utter destruction of any dinosaur nearby, it need not have meant the downfall of dinosaurs....

In the Yucatan strike, vaporized rock and soot was ejected into the atmosphere in huge amounts, blocking out sunlight, causing a nuclear winter effect, disrupting photosynthesis and triggering the collapse of the food chain.

The Tohoku University researchers have theorized that the severity of the climate changes would vary depending on where the asteroid hit.

For example, if it hit in an area where there is a larger amount of sedimentary organic material, it would have thrown up more soot into the stratosphere, cooling the Earth quicker than if it hit in places with lower hydrocarbon concentrations.

To test the idea, the researchers used a global climate model to estimate the temperature anomalies that would be caused by different levels of soot in the stratosphere.

Based on the hydrocarbon-rich rock at the impact site, the test showed that soot thrown into the atmosphere would cool the Earth by eight to 11° C (14 to 20° F) on average, with a drop as drastic as 17° C (31° F) over land and five to 7° C (9 to 13 F) in the seawater, to a depth of 50 m (164 ft).

Also, rainfall over land would have dropped by 70 to 85 percent.

Add it up, and goodbye all life on Earth (maybe).

The Tohoku team then looked at how widespread these hydrocarbon-rich areas would have been at the time. The researchers found that they were mostly marine coastal margins, concentrated along shorelines where algae could deposit more organic matter into the sediment. These areas, the team found, covered just 13 percent of the Earth's surface.

As such, if the asteroid had struck any place other than the 13 percent where there's a hydrocarbon-rich area... IE that 87 percent of the planet,  the dinosaurs would more than likely had survived.

The researchers aren't saying that it still wouldn't have been a catastrophic event - it would have been... and yes, many species of life at that time would still have found the news levels of temperature unacceptable for survival...

Who's to say if all of the prey of the carnivores dies, then what's a poor meat eater to do? Die.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Andrew "wishes he was a paleontologist" Joseph
PS: At one point in my life - probably like most kids - I wanted to hunt for dinosaurs. But at some point in time in late high school and university, I forgot... and I lost out.
I still buy books on dinosaurs (and space)...

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Japanese Bat-Tank

When it comes to weird toys, I would think that Japan takes the cake.

I don't really have much evidence to back up that claim, but what the heck... here's a 1960s-era Batman toy for the Japanese market: Bat-Tank.

I don't know if it's weird or not... Batman COULD have a tank... afterall, he's just a weird rich guy who dresses up in a Bat suit to combat crime because he saw his parents gunned down when he was a child.

It looks like tin toy... and hopefully it makes a noise when it moves (a push car)...

Okay... I stand corrected... this isn't a good example of Japanese weird toys, but is instead another fine example of greed in Andrew.

I want one.

Andrew Joseph 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

1960s Japanese Batman Pachinko Game

Back in 1967, Japan went crazy for all-things Batman, thanks to the self-titled U.S. Batman television show being shown there.

Along with comic books, and record-picture books, and Bat-toys galore, there was this cute "pachinko" game.

What we have are the game itself - above... and the outer cover of the game box below.

Robin: "Batman! Whaddaya think about the new paint job I had done for the Batmobile? Bitchin'! By the way... I'm too young to drive!"

Andrew Joseph

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Japanese 1960s Batman Record Books


Since I appear to be on a Batman kick (POW!), here are what I thought were Batman comic books from 1967 Japan.

They are comic books, but they are also record books. They contain a record, which you play and read along with the story-telling going on.

They are Ba-to-man full-color Japanese exclusive 1967 Batman record-books.

The comic book stories and record audio is in Japanese.

The 1966-67 American Batman television program was a huge hit in Japan when it was released a bit after the North American debut... and the Japanese simply couldn't get enough of the Dynamic Duo.

Robin: "Why is that Nazi-guy only have a head floating in a bubble, but seems to have a jacket? And WTF is that monocle laser doing to Ralph Dibny's arm?! Holy Elongated Man!

Robin: "Holy Ginga Din! These elephants have pink-eye!"

Batman: Look out, Robin, old chum!    Robin: Angkor What?     

Robin: "Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed! Shut the hell up and get in! I'm driving, old man!"    Batman: "Even though I hate guns... shotgun!"
Obviously I am presenting an incomplete set… I’ve looked, but can not find No. 1 or No. 2… alas. If there are more than six, well... let me know... I've got more comedy in me waiting to come out.

Oh... and just so you know, I just made up the captions under the images above... at no point do those ¥70 books says anything like that... I think...

Andrew Joseph
PS: My opening line is all wrong. Batgirl (played by Yvonne Craig - she was also the green woman in the Star Trek original series, who danced for Cpt. Kirk)was the one who kicked in the 1966 TV show. Not once did Batgirl ever hit anyone with her fist. She may have tossed baddies around and kicked them, but never a punch was thrown. Batman… perhaps because kicking someone isn’t a cool thing for a guy to have done in 1966, never kicked (I think). Just punches, throws and karate chops to the back of the neck.
PPS: By the way, in the new Star Trek movies, the woman who played the green woman (Uhura's roomie), that was Rachel Nichols, who was the lead in Continuum, as well as the gorgeous sidekick in the 2011 Conan live-action flick which starred Jason Momoa, who is currently taking on the role of Aquaman, alongside Batman, in the Justice League movie coming out... now? Full circle, baby, and unplanned, to boot. Pun intended.

Friday, November 10, 2017

1950s-Era Japanese Superman Comic Books

I had found some covers of a Japanese Batman comic book, and had mistakenly thought they were from a 1966-67 Japanese manga created by Kawata Jiro specifically for the Japanese audience.

It turns out, that they were for an actual "American" DC Batman comic book featuring translated material (from English) for the Japanese market.

While I performed further research on these Batman comic books, I discovered that I couldn't discover much of anything.

Instead, what I found were Japanese issued Superman comic books... issued, I believe in the 1950s and or early 1960s.

These eight covers, seen below, are full-blown reprints of 1948 and 1949 comic books originally published by DC Comics in English, but here, fully translated into Japanese for the Japanese market.

They even have the tiny DC Comics shield on them.

While only one appears to be from a Superman comic, one shows Superboy, while others are team-ups from World's Finest Comics (the worst comic book series ever, as the stories are all pretty much crap... I have about 60 of them, and they are each one horrible).

One even has a Batman cover, and is actually a full on reprint of a Batman comic.

There are two issues, however, which seem to have covers done by a Japanese artist... but I wonder if the contents are original or a full blown reprint.

These eight comic books recently were sold for US$300 apiece, with the first issue grabbing $500 - even in the sorry condition that they are all in.

Anyhow, until I can find out anything on the Batman comics, which I believe are from the 1960s and 1970s, enjoy these Superman covers as relics of a by-gone era.

Superman (aka Zu-pa-Man) #1, originally published as Superman #53 from 1948.

Superman #2, originally published as World's Finest Comics #39 from 1949.

Superman #3, originally published as Adventure Comics #139 from 1949. Adventure Comics, as of 1949, was the comic book vehicle for Superboy stories, so I must assume that this Japanese Superman book was about Superboy.

Superman #4. This cover art looks Japanese in style, mostly because most DC 1940s era robots looked more square than humanoid... but even still, my main reason for believing this to be Japanese artwork is that I can NOT find a corresponding American comic book cover. It's too bad, because this really is a nice piece of art. Anybody know where it is from?

Superman #5. This is the other bit of artwork that I believe ifs of a Japanese origin. I can not find a corresponding American Batman comic cover. Also, that ain't Ace the Bathound pulling the sled. And why does Robin have a shorts on? Is that why the comic book is called Superman? Where is Superman? Where's Batman? Could a cover featuring Robin the Boy Wonder really pull kids in to buy the book? The publisher sure thought so! Anyhow, I now know that this comic reprints Star Spangled Comics #85 from 1948.

Superman #6, originally published as Batman #49 from 1948. Again... we have a Batman comic book under the Japanese Superman comic book banner. What gives... oh yeah... everyone knows that Batman is better than Superman.

Superman #7, originally published as World's Finest Comics #42, published in 1949. Again, because I believe that Batman is more popular than Superman, we have a Batman-Superman team-up.

Superman #8, originally published as World's Finest Comics #34, in 1948. Since Superman can fly and has no need for a car, I can only assume this cover depicts Batman, Robin and Superman having fun doing some mini car racing. I think Batman is smiling... proof positive that World's Finest Comics were only that in name only.
Were there any more Japanese Superman comics other than these eight issues? I have no clue.

I found these comics over at Collecting Superman, HERE.

Andrew Joseph

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Calmness Of Being Koi And Other Fishy Stories

I wonder, sometimes, what I should write about on any given day.

I had thought it was perhaps related to whatever mood I am in—yes, I will write something based on my mood, such as this maudlin piece now… but I am very easily swayed when I espy something interesting.

Which is where my loyal readers come in—sending me tweets and newspaper links, and even links to website comment sections, where the dullest of humanity often exists only to spout of their immoral social beliefs on everything from religion and/or politics.  Have you noticed how quickly it degenerates into a racial commentary or worse yet a chance for some grammar snob to point out everyone’s foibles without actually commenting on the original point which could easily have been: “Dogs or cats, which is worse when it rains?”

Fortunately, I don’t run a website, and instead only have a blog - and yet, the blog is sometimes assailed by morons, who have nothing better to do than to insult others, much in the same way I just insulted morons.

I was going to write about how European artists had been inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e artists after seeing an article about how Hokusai did the same: HERE.

Strangely, despite having an interest in ukiyo-e, and fascinated by good art, I just wasn’t in the mood to be creative today.

A retired baseball pitcher I admired died in a plane crash yesterday… I could have said something about my first meeting of Roy Halladay, but in truth I never met him, ever knew too much about him, but man could he throw a baseball (for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies - Philadelphia, of course, is where the first home of the president of the United States before the White House was erected in Washington). Besides, while I suppose I could write about him for my Pioneers of Aviation blog, there’s no link with Japan—It’s A Wonderful Rife.

I’m kindda stalling here… hoping some great topic will suddenly throw itself at me.

I could write about POTUS (President of the United States) Donald J. Trump and his visit to Japan as part of his Asian tour to tick off North Korea. Actually, it’s a bout showing support for the rest of Asia in defiance of the nuclear bullying tactics of North Korea.

True or false.

The president of the United States had dinner with the Japanese politicos, and was served steak.

No… no Japanese Kobe beef, but rather good ol American steak.

Who goes to Japan and orders American?

Well, I suppose I did when I arrived in Japan and dated a beautiful young woman from Augusta, Georgia, U.S.

But I was dating, and she was amenable to this young (at the time) virgin.

At least I ate the food. I’m talking about Japanese food, though I like where your mind was going.

My buddy Matthew and I, had/have a mutual friend named Jeff, who arrived in Japan at the same time as I did from Toronto, Matthew from NY state, and he from Californication.

Jeff, in all the time I knew him - which was essentially three years on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme - would never knowingly eat Japanese — and he married a Japanese local! I still meant food eating, but I like where your mind was going.

This was a guy who would go to Dunkin’ Donouts to get a sandwich, rather than eat the fantastic sushi, sashimi, kontatsu or whatever. I don’t begrudge him… then again, he wasn’t the POTUS.

Now, in deference to president Trump, The last time I can recall an American president dining on fantastic Japanese food, that president barfed on the Japanese prime minister before passing out.

Now no one was drunk, but apparently the POTUS George H Bush was dehydrated before all that and wasn’t feeling well… but at least he tried the food.

When in Rome, and all that crap. 

Still, POTUS Trump, to be fair, ate food from a Japanese restaurant. It just happened to be beef from America. I dpon't know where the steak came from... but I know the burger he also ate came from Minato’s Burger Shack. The guy had a burger and a steak at the same meal.

Maybe Japanese portions of American food are built for Japanese people, and not for Americans. It's okay, I'm not criticizing POTUS Trump here. I'd do the same.    

By the way, when POTUS Obama had sushi, he spent $300 for a plate, while POTUS Trump's burger meal was $10... though I expect the technology require to keep it hot, plus transportation costs from wherever Minato’s Burger Shack is to POTUS Trump's table, not including any carbon footprint - but who cares,m because the US. doesn't believe in climate change any more.

I did enjoy POTUS Trump being POTUS Trump when in a photo opp that made me want to puke, he and prime minister Abe had boxes of koi food, and stood up on high slowly shaking fish food down in to the waiting maw of 10s of giant koi (think goldfish on steroids).

The POTUS Trump being POTUS Trump moment came when his ADHD kicked in and he dumped his pack into the water below, probably choking some poor fish. Maybe it’s good that he didn’t eat the food, lest he be served a koi-man’s sushi later that night.

I’ve owned fish as pets since I was about 4 - so nearly a lot of years - and I can tell you that one of the main reasons to actually own fish as pets is that they provide a means for relaxing the brain.

Feeding fish is considered cathartic… unless you are an eager four-year-old, who overfeeds the fish to the point of death.

It’s supposed to be a zen-like thing… calmly feed the fish… zone out… forget about Never POTUS Hillary getting more votes than you. Didn’t POTUS Trump say that like one million illegal immigrants voted in the U.S.

Was he implying that someone how illegal immigrants were able to circumvent the electoral process?  Dis he imply that they all voted for Ms. Clinton and not POTUS Trump? Did that many people in total actually vote - illegal or not? That’ll teach all you folks who did not do their due diligence and vote. Look what you did. Bad neighbor.

Anyhow… I don’t really have anything to say, so I’ll just end today’s blog for now. Sorry… I just didn’t feel like writing today.

Andrew "I like writing POTUS" Joseph

Japlish T-Shirt

First: If you would like music to read the following blog to, allow me to suggest The Pursuit of Happiness and their song I’m An Adult Now. Play with another tab open so you can listen and hear it at the same time. I think it was filmed on Queen Street West in Toronto where I would hang out on Saturdays. I was 21 when this song came out. 

Okay… pay attention to me.

Take a look at the above photo.

There’s a funny message on he tee-shirt the guy is wearing.

You Guys… I know… I had to look for a while too, because wowsers, is that woman sexy! I didn’t even know there was a guy in the photo. That sexy haircut matches the shape of her face perfectly.

So yeah… guy… shirt… English message. 

I love the fact that the Japanese seem to love the English-language enough that they want to plaster it all over their bodies in the form of tee-shirts.

I myself profess my love of Japan via this blog, but also via tee-shirts covered in Japanese-language writing.

My two shirts are a Jurassic Park version, and one of a kitty angrily attacking city buildings while screaming: Please feed me, I am hungry” and other stuff I haven’t been able to translate.

And that’s the key… I haven’t been able to translate it… but that’s because I can’t.

But the above shirt, worn by Japanese actor Mukai Akira (surname first), should be able to read the English on his shirt, seeing as how all Japanese kids learn English in junior high school and high school, and some even learning it in elementary school.

I mean that they should be able to recognize and read the only 26 letters involved in English (as opposed to the 1,945 or so kanji one needs to be considered literate in Japanese, as well as the 72 letters each in the katakana and hiragana alphabets - all three used by the Japanese.

In other words, there’s a lot of letters for me to get if I was to try and decode my tee-shirt. I’ve done my best in gleaning what I have already gleaned…. I’m reasonably certain that my shirt does NOT contain any Japanese vulgarities, but I can state I am 100% certain.

However, even the most goofy of kids in a junior high school would be able to figure out that the shirt worn by Mukai contains a naughty word.

In case you can’t read it, the shirt says:
Please trust me
I am asshole

First, the shirt is not grammatically correct. It should read: Please trust me (period) I am an asshole (period).

The shirt does NOT need the two periods, because the two phrases are on separate shirt lines. Which is good, for the shirt.

I am unsure if the shirt’s message, however, is meant to me “honest” - as in the wearer is an “asshole” and he wants you to trust him (he’s being honest!!!)

Or, ironic… I’m an asshole… and if you trust me, you would essentially be stupid… I’ll screw ya, because I’m an asshole.

That sort of irony. Or is it sarcasm… fug… I don’t know… I get English, and even understand it, but I usually don’t know why.

All I know is if I were that incredible, stupid pretty woman beside him, I might think that Mukai is being dumb in calling himself and asshole.

Man, she’s gorgeous.  

Second most interesting factoid, is that Mukai actually though that tee-shirt was something appropriate to wear on television. Doesn’t anyone on the tv show recognize that his shirt could be considered in bad taste?

The most interesting fact, however, is that someone actually made that tee-shirt:
Please trust me
I am asshole

That tee-shirt designer and manufacture and seller—which in this case I assume is all the same person, only because I can’t or don’t want to believe there are more complicit individuals—actually thought to his or her self:

(SFX of TV flashback with harp)

T-S designer: “ Hmm… I should create a tee-shirt design today! What shall I write?
Oka-san: “Ryuichi! It’s time for lunch!”
T-S designer: “Okay, Mother. I just need to come up with a tee-shirt message!”
Oka-san: “We’re having Cup Noodle!”
T-S designer: “My favorite… kso… okay: Please trust me/I am asshole.”

Yes, I really do think that that is how Japlish messages are created.

I know… after all, I used to live in my parent’s basement until I left for Japan at the almost age of 26.  

On the outside of my bedroom door I had an Indiana Jones poster that simply read: “Trust Him”… so I kindda get the tee-shirt message.
Man… I can’t stop looking at the woman, who is probably half my age… no wait… that thought just did it. I can stop looking now.

Andrew Joseph
PS: The photo was taken from
I used Google Translate to see just what was written about the photo:

(Haiyū no mukai satoshi, kanzen ni atama ga okashiku naru `shinjite kudasai. Watashi wa ketsunoanadesu')
English: Actor Mukai Akira is completely out of order, "Believe me, I am a hole in asss"