2014/12/24

Fukushima Lives

Fukushima-ken neighbors Ibaraki-ken (our fair prefecture) to our north.

After March 11, 2011, many people in other countries have viewed the entire area as if it no longer existed.  This view is very distorted and far from objective.   Certainly, there are problems - mostly due to the damage of the tusnami, and of course due to the resulting catastrophe of the nuclear power plant meltdowns.  But Fukushima is alive and its people carry on as exemplified in this video about one young woman's determination to help preserve and be part of the local traditions.


2014/12/02

"Ware Tada Taru (wo) Shiru"

Written on a tsukubai (stone water basin) at Ryoan-ji temple, Kyoto.    It means "one already has all one needs".

At Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

I am resuming posting to this blog...

2014/08/29

2014/08/11

Kumamon!

Kumamon is Japan's most popular mascot. 

Kumamon represents Kumamoto Prefecture which is located on the island of Kyushu, just across Shimabara Bay from Nagasaki Prefecture.   When the Kyushu Shinkansen was completed a few years ago, Kumamoto Prefecture decided to create a mascot to promote tourism and trade.  Kumamon was born.  Kuma is the Japanese word for "bear", so naturally, Kumamon is a bear.

The character has become very popular throughout Japan.   He has been such a success that he brought in over US$1.25 Billion in just two years! 

Here is a video song about Kumamon with English subtitles.  It was filmed at Kumamoto Castle - one of the three best castles in Japan.   Warning: possible "cute" overdose.   :)

2014/08/09

Hibakusha - Never Forget


A mother and daughter in Nagasaki three days after the bombing, their faces showing injuries from the attack.

Hibakusha means "explosion affected people" and is used to refer to survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Their numbers decline each year and before they are all gone, efforts are being made to record their stories so that future generations will not be without their unique insight.

Nagasaki was A-bombed on August 9, 1945.   The bomb exploded at 11:02 in the morning.    The true number of casualties will probably never be known, but conservatively 75,000 people died by the end of 1945 as a result of the Nagasaki A-bomb.

Here is the story of one of Nagasaki's hibakusha.  One reason that their testimony is so valuable is that there was an official blackout of information about the bombings by the US Government.   Even people who were against the bombings, such as General Douglas MacArthur,  participated in keeping photos, reports, and medical information from being disseminated.   This gave the government time to establish its fictional narrative of why the bombings were "justified" and allow them to continue to develop even more powerful weapons.   This was largely successful and it was not until many decades later that classified photos, reports, and government documents regarding the decision to use these weapons came to light.  By then, most Americans believed the official narrative and accepted it as fact and were not interested in hearing the bitter truth.

So let us listen to the hibakusha and may we never forget what happened nor ever stop working to bring an end to nuclear weapons and to learn to settle our differences without resorting to warfare of any kind.  We can chose peace if we want it.

One long time project seeking an end to nuclear weapons is from the UCLA School of Medicine and is called "Children of the Atomic Bomb". 





2014/07/30

Pacific Health Crisis

As many readers know, I had a nearly fatal health crisis of my own a little over two years ago.  Its cause was the same as that causing the health crisis in America, the Pacific, and every other place in the world where people are imitating the Standard American Diet (or SAD).   It is a food borne pandemic.  Food borne in the sense that it is being caused by what we eat.


In Japan, I spent 18 days in hospital and received excellent care (even the food was good) and thankfully the insurance system here kept my costs low.  But I got similar (bad) advice as I would have gotten in America, and that advice was partly responsible for my own crisis in the first place.  So this problem is not unique to America.

In the United States of America there is a financial and political crisis being brought about by the cost of dealing with the general health crisis.  Amazing as it seems, that is true.  None in politics dare actually face the situation squarely because -as with many other issues over there- powerful monied interests profit from it - from food producers to medical providers to insurance companies.  They in turn finance the legislators who are supposed to write new laws to deal with the issue.  Good luck.

Individually there is a simple solution to most of the problems such as I had.  The solution is to stop eating processed foods, any form of animal based food, along with oils, added salt, and sugars.  Simple.   Not always easy, mind you, but simple.   You don't need to write a congressman or even vote. 

On a national or regional or global level it is more difficult.   But one doctor who I have a lot of respect for is offering his solution.   Rather than provide money (that we don't have) to pay for all the standard medical responses (which only address symptoms) to disease , he proposes to focus on prevention.  What a concept!

Here is Dr. John McDougall, MD with his presentation on solving the health crisis.   If you are not familiar with his work you'll want to listen about what he learned practicing medicine at a sugar plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii.  If you know that background, you can skip to about 15 minutes in when he begins to define our problem and then enumerates his solutions.  Please give him your attention and consider carefully what he says.

We need to tackle this thing.  For our health, for our countries, for our finances, for our children.  This is big.  And WE do have the power!



Doubt it?  By following the recommendations of Dr. McDougall and the other doctors listed in the right hand collumn of this blog, I lost 40 lbs and lowered my blood pressure from over 160/110 to normal and my blood work numbers to optimal.  So have many others.  No meds required!  Just watch what you eat and exercise a bit everyday. 

Be well.  It's up to you.