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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nissan Introduces ProPILOT Chairs

Building upon its own Intelligent Parking Chair—see HERE—that allows offices to work more efficiently by removing all of that wasted time and effort required for people to push their chair back to their desk after a meeting, or even for cleaning staff to ensure chairs are back in the right cubicle after the office’s daily clean. Apparently the daily clean does not exist yet in my work space—but whatever, here comes the new Nissan ProPILOT Chair

While Nissan is not suggesting that the Intelligent Parking Chair is the next step in the evolution in office management efficiency, it, and the ProPILOT Chair are meant to demonstrate Nissan’s autonomous driving technology.

The new ProPILOT Chair was designed to showcase queuing… that it can maintain a set safe distance between your car and the one in front of you.

In the case of the ProPilot Chair… how many times have you been standing in line waiting patiently to get into your neighborhood strip joint, when you are accidentally jostled by the person in front of you because, well, he just wasn’t paying enough attention to his surroundings in his rush to get inside the strip joint to begin passing out $20 bills to women young enough to be his daughter, should his marriage have lasted long enough for him to have had kids.

Well, Nissan knows nobody enjoys being jostled while in line, and neither does anyone appreciate a fender bender, unless said rear-ending is done with your wife or significant other. It’s Japan, so let’s say significant other.

To demonstrate its autonomous driving technology with superb queuing action, the Nissan ProPILOT Chair has motorized wheels and a camera installed, where the camera looks in front of the chair to ensure other chairs in front of it remain at a safe, non-crotch/stomach-jostling distance.

In the test, when a person at the front of the queue leaves their chair (presumably to enter the strip joint in my hilarious example), the ProPILOT Chair senses that the person has left (it no longer feels your a$$ on its back, I assume), and moves itself to the back of the line.

The second chair in the line now detects that there is space available in front of it, and moves forward. Ad infinitum.

Supposing that the chairs are nice and comfy, every person in the line can now arrive at the strip joint (the joke is beginning to wear thin, like the socks I am wearing today, darn it) relaxed and ready to have so much fun that when they arrive home, cologne needs to be drunk in order to cover-up the eau-du-embarrassment perfume wafted all over them by that 21-year-old exotic dancer who looks just like your wife used to look if you had ever married that girl 30 years ago.

The Nissan ProPILOT Chair can only guarantee the riders safety to and from destinations, but not from your wife or significant other.

While we should know this experiment is just for Nissan’s actual automobile safety assurances, apparently they ARE also testing the ProPILOT Chair between now and December with an eventual safe roll-out in 2017 for restaurants who apparently feel such technology will help its patrons arrive at their dinner tables in a safe manner thereby eliminating all those unfortunate deaths that seem to occur when walking customers bang into each other.

Somewhere envisioning a world with no functioning legs and a decline in women’s high heels (… Hey! Stop Nissan now!),
Andrew Joseph
PS: Just having fun here, my dad owned a Nissan, and the car was great! I may also have visited a strip joint or two in my youth and did indeed watch a married buddy splash cologne all over himself before he went back home to see his wife who was better-looking than any of the dancers he was putting through college. Ahhh, the good old days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Japan National Parks: Sanriku Fukkō National Park

We’ve finished looking at the six Kantō area National Parks of Japan, so over the next few days, lets take a look at the three (3) National Parks of the Tōhoku area: Towada-Hachimantai National Park; Sanriku Fukkō National Park, and the Bandai-Asahi National Park.

The first thing you may want to learn, is where the heck the Tōhoku area is! See the map below, noting that it’s the dark green area., which comprises 66,889.55 square kilometers (25,826.20 square miles).

What is a national park in Japan? See HERE.

The key for me, is that it has beauty that surpasses “normal, average” parks.

And, when it comes to Sanriku Fukkō National Park (三陸復興国立公園, Sanriku Fukkō Kokuritsu Kōen)—which translates to Sanriku Reconstruction National Park—it’s like a slice of heaven.

Hopefully you looked at the name of the park and noticed it had the word (in the English version, if you are like me) denoting “reconstruction”.

The Sanriku Fukkō National Park was only established on May 24, 2013… after the devastating March 11, 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake caused massive walls of water to damn near wipe out much of that Tōhoku area… with death and destruction, physical and mental anguish that continues to this day.

Right now, the Sanriku Fukkō National Park consists of the former Rikuchū Kaigan National Park and Tanesashi Kaigan Hashikamidake Prefectural Natural Park, with further plans to add in the  Kesennuma Prefectural Natural Park, Kenjōsan Mangokuura Prefectural Natural Park, Matsushima Prefectural Natural Park and the Minami Sanriku Kinkasan Quasi-National Park.
Tanesashi Coast (種差海岸) - 2004 by Forrest O. Or, the world's worst water hazard in Golf For Giants.
The current national park goes along the Sanriku Coast of Japan from Hachinohe in Aomori-ken (Aomori Prefecture) through Iwate-ken (Iwate Prefecture) to Kesennuma in Miyagi-ken (Miyagi Prefecture), totaling 146.35 square kilometers (~56.51 square miles) in area.

Let’s see... if we add in the other would-be parks to the Sanriku Fukkō National Park area, we get: 146.35 + 139.02 + 54.1 + 99.33 + 210.79 = 649.59 square kilometers (~250.81 square miles)… which is a heck of a lot.

One of the more spectacular vantage points of the park is the view of Jyoudogahama. The image at  the very top was taken in 2007 - before the destruction of the area. It’s near Miyako-shi, Iwate-ken

The Jyoudogahama is officially nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty, as its white sandy beaches were said by an early 1600s priest to be like paradise mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures.

Andrew Joseph

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

aXis Marks The Spot

On this day, September 27,  in 1940, the Axis powers are formed as Germany, Italy, and Japan become allies with the signing of the Tripartite Pact in Berlin. The Pact provided for mutual assistance should any of the signatories suffer attack by any nation not already involved in the war.

This formalizing of the alliance was aimed directly at “neutral” America–designed to force the United States to think twice before venturing in on the side of the Allies.

The Pact also recognized the two spheres of influence. Japan acknowledged “the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe,” while Japan was granted lordship over “Greater East Asia.”

The Tripartite Pact aka, the Berlin Pact was signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop of Germany, Galeazzo Ciano of Italy and Saburō Kurusu of Japan.

Two months later on November 20, 1940, Hungary joined the military alliance, followed by Romania on November 23, 1940; Bulgaria on March 1, 1941, Yugoslavia on March 25, 1941… the German client state of Slovakia on November 24, 1940, and the Independent State of Croatia on June 14, 1941.

Here’s what the pact says:

The Governments of Japan, Germany, and Italy consider it as the condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations in the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and co-operate with one another in their efforts in Greater East Asia and the regions of Europe respectively wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things, calculated to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned. It is, furthermore, the desire of the three Governments to extend cooperation to nations in other spheres of the world that are inclined to direct their efforts along lines similar to their own for the purpose of realizing their ultimate object, world peace. Accordingly, the Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy have agreed as follows:[1]
  • ARTICLE 1. Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe.
  • ARTICLE 2. Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in Greater East Asia.
  • ARTICLE 3. Japan, Germany, and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict.
  • ARTICLE 4. With a view to implementing the present pact, joint technical commissions, to be appointed by the respective Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy, will meet without delay.
  • ARTICLE 5. Japan, Germany and Italy affirm that the above agreement affects in no way the political status existing at present between each of the three Contracting Powers and Soviet Russia.
  • ARTICLE 6. The present pact shall become valid immediately upon signature and shall remain in force ten years from the date on which it becomes effective. In due time, before the expiration of said term, the High Contracting Parties shall, at the request of any one of them, enter into negotiations for its renewal.
In faith whereof, the undersigned duly authorized by their respective governments have signed this pact and have affixed hereto their signatures.

The signing of the Pact was done in triplicate on September 27, 1940 in Berlin, in the 19th year of the Fascist era (Italy) or on the 27th day of the ninth month of the 15th year of Showa (the reign of Emperor Hirohito).

With this signing, the so-called Axis of Evil was formed.

Interesting, isn't it... all those other countries that signed the pact... Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, et al...

Finland, Thailand and Russia also considered signing the Pact, but all did not.

Japan attacked Thailand on December 8, 1941 at 2AM, with the Japanese ambassador, Tsubokami Teiji (surname first) explaining to Thailand's foreign minister, Direk Jayanama, that Japan only wanted permission for its troops to pass through Thailand to attack the British in Malaya and Burma.

While a ceasefire was quickly brokered, the Japanese offered Thailand a few option:
  1. to conclude a defensive–offensive alliance with Japan;
  2. to join the Tripartite Pact;
  3. to cooperate in Japanese military operations
  4. to agree to the joint defense of Thailand. 
Thailand opted for #3 - military cooperation but did not sign the Tripartite Pact. The Thailand prime minister did want to sign the Pact, but the foreign minister convinced him not to.

Although Thailand eventually became a puppet-state to Japan, Thailand did attack its neighbors and extended its own boundaries to China. At this time, Thailand was a member of the Axis.

However, most of Thailand disagreed with the actions of its government, and a pro-Allies army of underground fighters disrupted things in their own country until 1944, when he was finally ousted.

While the Allies wanted the Thai prime minister brought up on war crime charges for aiding the Japanese, the Thai people rebelled saying he had merely acted in the best interests in protecting the people of Thailand from Japanese aggression. Plus Thailand had expanded its own territory by annexing parts of Malaya and Burma.

Andrew Joseph
PS: I actually wrote this one two months ago or more... one of the rare times I didn't accidentally publish it ahead of time!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Snake On A Mutha-Fuggin’ Train In Japan

With apologies to Samuel Jackson, Japan had a snake on a shinkansen “bullet train” on Monday.

Here’s the thing that was so Japanese, however: After making an unscheduled stop to remove the snake, it left one minute earlier and arrived at its destination exactly on time.

Originally thought to be a python, the snake turned out to be a rat snake only 30 centimeters (12-inches) long.

Found wrapped around a armrest on a super-express bullet train on the JR Tokai (Central Japan Railway Co.), a passenger in a reserved seat was apparently unaware that the rat snake was wrapped around his armrest - possibly for about 50 minutes - until a passenger behind him saw it and notified the conductor.

The snake did not belong to that passenger, and is suspected of having been brought onto the train accidentally in someone else’s luggage or perhaps wit the maintenance equipment.

The train crew made an announcement in the train asking if anyone had lost a snake—but no no one responded… so the unscheduled train stop was made at Hamamatsu-eki (Hamamatsu station) some 25 minutes later.

As mentioned, after the one-minute delay, the train was off and running, arriving on time at Hiroshima-eki (Hiroshima station).

Five years ago, a similar incident occurred with crew spotting a snake on an unoccupied seat.

It’s not know if either snake had purchased a ticket. :) 

The Japanese rat snake (Elaphe climacophora) is a medium-sized Japanese snake known as the aodaishō or "blue general". It is a non-venomous snake... but looking at the photo... it doesn't look blue... maybe a little sad at being stuck in a Tupperware container. 

Andrew “I effin’ hate snakes” Joseph

University Sexual Assault Club Gets Suspended Sentence

I am currently reading a book published by Stone Bridge Press called Womansword... which I am pretty sure is meant to be read as 'womans word'... but I think could also be read as 'woman sword', because I think it just might be more appropriate. I’ll provide my thoughts on that when I’m done ready the book in its entirety—but essentially it points out that when you are a woman in Japan, you are a still a second-class citizen.

Case in point, the male-only members of a university molestation club essentially getting a slap on the wrist after a gang-sexual and physical assault of a woman.

We’re not talking about someone with low mental capacity has difficulty distinguishing right from wrong, we are talking about five Japanese men at one of Tokyo’s top universities who thought it would be cool to form a club and sexually-assault women gang-style.

Now… I don’t mean to imply that smart people don’t commit violent crimes. They’re the ones who think they can get away with it.

University of Tokyo student (I assume an ex-student now), 21-year-old Matsumi Kensuke (surname first) brought shame upon himself, his family, his victim and real men everywhere for—with four club cohorts—forcing a female University of Tokyo student to get drunk so that they could then sexually assault her.

Called the (translated) University of Tokyo Birthday Research Group, the club’s goals were to get women drunk and then molest them.

Who the fug has goals like that? How do you find other people who think like that and agree that this is a good idea? Posters put up around the campus? Friendly chatter talking to fellow students at the bar?

Seriously, if I heard something about forming a club that was harmful like that, I’d beat the crap out of them all.

Did not one of these people think - hey, that’s not cool.

And if these people heard about and joined the club, surely someone else who didn’t join, heard about the club.

Was it it all a smokescreen? Did the members who joined the University of Tokyo Birthday Research Group think there was actually going to be scientific research about birthdays, but when they found out it wasn’t thought - what the heck, I’m here anyways, let’s go abuse some women?

The club was formed in April of this year, with what was hopefully (sounds stupid) it’s first and only assault on a woman occurring in May of 2016.

May 11, 2016 - midnight - the group managed to coerce a female student to go with them, where they forced alcohol into he until she was fully intoxicated, forced her to strip.

They then groped her upper body.

They took turns lying atop her back and twisting her face around to kiss her.

Matsumi—along with being the ringleader—was accused of slapping her on the back numerous times, using a hair dryer to blow hot air on her genitals and pouring a cup of hot ramen noodles on her breasts.

I’m a pretty imaginative guy when it comes to consensual sexual relations between myself and a woman, but a cup of ramen noodles?!

That takes time to make. Did Matsumi say - hang on guys - you continue to squeeze and fondle her even while she resists, while I go and make some hot ramen noodles.

Did the others question why he wasn’t making a snack for them? Or did they already figure that Matsumi was a weird fug and that they figured he would pour the hot liquid on her breasts? Did he add the flavor packet? Was he that fugged up? I’m sorry - that sounds insensitive, but I’d like to know just how screwed up this guy’s mind really was.

So… while I am unsure just how long the physical assault continued on this poor person, and if it truly was just relegated to upper body attacks, without penetration of any kind… not that that matters as fare as the abject helplessness the victim felt and probably still feels, we can rest assure that Japan’s fantastic justice system will make things better.

Oh wait… is this the same Justice System that takes into account just how pathetically remorseful one is for he crimes (not helpful if you show defiance because you aren’t actually guilty)?

What did they do now?

Matsumi - the ring-leader - received two years in prison, suspended four years.

Presiding judge Shimada Hajime (surname first), when passing sentence agreed that Matsumi’s behavior was worthy worthy of strong condemnation because it disrespected the victim…

(did you see the …?)

However, judge Shimada says that because Matsumi had shown enough remorse for his actions, there was room for rehabilitation.

On September 20, 2016, another defendant—Komoto Taichi (surname first), 22—who was part of the sexual assault received 18 months in prison, suspended for three years.

Matsumoto Koko is reported to be another club member, standing trial under another judge.

Back in 2006, members of the Kyoto University American football team were convicted of forcing female university students to drink to the point of unconsciousness so they could rape them. Holy fug. What is wrong with people?! Committing a felony with all these witnesses around you… hell, not having the balls to stand up and say this is wrong? Oh that the race of men could sink so low.

Oh… and how about these beauts—the ring leader a former student from the famous Waseda University named Wada Shinchiro (surname first), who formed a rape club known as Super Free. It wasn’t just for one to rape a woman and then brag about it, no, it was the gang-rape mentality.

Should you have the stomach for it, I wrote about the Super Free rape club HERE.

Andrew Joseph
PS: If you are wondering about the photo above, Google "No Not Happy Birthday" and see the Warner Brother's cartoon. It's just about assault, not sexual assault.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Japan’s National Parks: Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park

Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park (秩父多摩甲斐国立公園, Chichibu Tama Kai Kokuritsu Kōen) is one of Japan’s 32 National Parks—this 1,216 square kilometer park is located in the Kantō area of Japan at the intersection of Saitama-ken, Yamanashi-ken, Nagano-ken and Tokyo-ken. This is the last of six national parks in the Kantō region.

The lovely parkland encompasses five rivers, hiking trails, ancient shrines and lots of mountains, with eight of them inching over 2,000 meters in height.  The rivers are: Fufuki (富士川, Fuji-kawa or Fuji-gawa); Tama (多摩川, Tama-gawa); Ara (荒川, Ara-kawa); and  Shinano (信濃川,  Shinano-gawa) the longest river in Japan.

Approaching from Saitama-ken, sites to see include the Nakatsu Canyon (中津峡, Nakatsu-kyō), a 10-kilometer long ditch carved by the Nakatsu River - a tributary of the Ara-kawa. This is on the Saitama-ken part of the park. There’s also the Tochimoto Sekisho Historical Site (栃本関所跡, Tochimoto Sekisho-ato) with a small hamlet located there, retaining its feudal era look.

To be honest, the Tochimoto Sekisho Historical Site looks like any other place I've ever visited in Japan outside of Tokyo and Osaka. Image from
If you are coming from the Yamaashi-ken side, there’s the:
  • Daibosatsu Pass (大菩薩峠, Daibosatsu-tōge) that cuts through three mountains peaking at around 1,900 meters. Lots of flowers to see at certain times of the year;
  • Mitake Shosēn Gorge (御岳昇仙峡 Mitake Shosēn-kyō) carved by a tributary of the Fuefuki River - lots of birds in the gorge, plus the Shosēnkyō Museum of Art, which mainly displays shadow play (paper puppets) and kirigami (see HERE) exhibits. Oh… and apparently plenty of traffic jams;
  • Nishizawa Canyon (西沢渓谷, Nishizawa-keikoku) carved by the Fuefuki River, there are lots of stream pools, a nice walking trail, and plenty of waterfalls including Nanatsugama-godan Fall (七ツ釜五段ノ滝, Nanatsugama-Godan-no-Taki), one of the best 100 falls in Japan.
The Nanatsugama-godan Waterfall is one of the prettiest waterfalls in the world, in my opinion.
From Nagano, the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park has the Chikuma River Upstream Course (千曲川源流コース) through the mountains where in Mōkiba you can see azaleas in June and an entrance to the famous Jūmonji Pass (十文字峠)… no wait… the pass has nothing to do with that excellent Robin Williams movie. It goes right to Mount Kobushi (甲武信岳) which rises to 2,475 meters above sea level.

Jūmonji... pass. Image from
If you are coming from the Tokyo side, you can see Mount Mitake (a measly 929 meters high) and Mount Mito that’s 1,628 meters high and famous for its Fagus Japonica, which isn’t what I thought, as it is a species of tree known as the Japanese Blue Beech (Inubuna, aka ‘dog buna’).

Now, the smaller Mount Mitake is considered to be a sacred mountain where the shinto Musashi-Mitake Shrine (武蔵御嶽神社, Musashi Mitake Jinja) was first erected in 90 B.C. It houses a Zaōgonge statue made in 736AD… and since we are all lazier than the ancient Japanese, you can now take a cable car up to see it.

By the way… if you look up Zaōgonge on-line… there are four entries exactly the same, with NO explanation of just what the Zaōgonge statue is all about. There are 28 images in Google—but not one of them actually shows the statue.

So… since I may be working against myself by using English, if anyone out there can find me a link to an image or a description of what the hell the Zaōgonge statue is all about, it would be greatly appreciated.  

Andrew “One of the best 100 gaijin not currently living in Japan” Joseph
PS: Image at very top is from, showing the Mitake Shosēn Gorge.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Video Game Developer Gets Squeezed At Tokyo Trade Show

For video gamers trying out a new VR game—it was all about the chikan—sexual groping.

Maybe I have become a bit more prudish in my age, but needing to play a video game where one gets to grope a mannequin in order to get a reaction from a VR (virtual reality) anime female figure is just plain stupid.

As you can see above (the gamer obviously doesn’t know how to grope - not really), the animated figure in the back (the video game) looks like a high school student.

I understand the difference between fantasy and reality, but I am worried that many people do not.

Not everyone has a firm grasp on reality, as you can see every time you look at the news.

This action at last week’s Tokyo Game Show was actually halted by show organizers probably because they are involved in trade shows, and not specifically just video games.

I like video games. I just bought one for the far superior PS3 system (who wants to pay $80 for a PS4 video game and then have to pay (on-line charges) to play it?

I like women, too, but again who wants to pay to play?

But… when software developer M2 Co had their exhibition booth set up so visitors could snap on a set of VR glasses and then touch the mannequin to make the it seem as though the gamer was successfully grabbing high school girl boob—well… that’s just wrong.

According to M2 Co, the demonstration was to show how it can turn flat images into 3D images… uh… I’m pretty sure that’s been done for many years and years now.

That was their reasoning to create a chikan/molestor video game demonstrator.

And… what is equally disheartening, is the fact that so many people (men) lined up to get their pervert on before complaints caused the demo to be shut down.

Now… lest we jump all over the video game industry, the Tokyo Game Show’s exhibitors—including Sony Corp.—pretty much had just family-rated entertainment in mind, as most companies showed off their VR games and tech.

Although… the Tokyo Game Show did offer up a bunch of scantily-clad women—booth babes—at many exhibitor stands.

Having organized the participation of exhibitors at some 350 different annual trade shows around the world over a 13-year period, I can honestly state that not once had one of my clients ever asked for a booth babe.

I did see a few at a trade show here in Toronto about eight years ago, but that practice is now on the wane.

Hey - I’m all for people earning a few bucks legally dressed up (I would imagine that got its start at auto shows), but there must be better ways.

Sadly at the Tokyo Game Show, touching the mannequin boob was about as close to reality as it was going to get.

Andrew Joseph