Vlogging Japan

This is a short advertisement/visual travelogue/vlog (video log) for the “Diamond Route” in northern Japan: Ibaraki, Tochigi and Fukushima prefectures. What do you think? Especially those of you who are from that area. Does it represent your home prefecture accurately?

It’s very much of a mini-movie, isn’t it? Definitely influenced by Hollywood-style “samurai movies”. It was a bit dizzying, too.

Here’s another in the series:

I like this one better because of all the food. 🍜

See more here.

Creative project: What kind of tourist ad or vlog would you make for your hometown? Your university? Tokyo or Kyoto or another city? Japan in general?

Becoming a citizen

Becoming a citizen of the U.S. may be something not many people really want to do these days, but this practice civics test for people to become naturalized citizens is a good review for people who are already citizens. I wonder if our current president could pass this test (especially question 9). Here are a few examples:

civics-test-q4

civics-test-q7

civics-test-q8

“Naturalization is the process to voluntarily become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. You may be eligible if you can show continuous U.S. residence for three to five years, are at least 18 years old, and demonstrate good moral character and loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. You must also take the English and civics test, unless you qualify for an exemption.” (from the Explore My Options page)

The application process for permanent residents to become citizens is $640. That’s a lot of money.

I was a little nervous taking this practice test. Like a TOEIC or TOEFL test, I should pass with flying colors, right?

i-passed

This story from a couple of years ago said that high school students in one US state had to pass a civics test to graduate. I don’t think this is too much to ask. And I think that people running for president, congress, and any other public office should have to take one.

These are the requirements for becoming a Japanese citizen. Again with the “good moral character”! Where’s the practice test for that? These requirements are pretty much the same as those for becoming a US citizen. Except you’re not allowed to hold dual citizenship in Japan.

becoming-a-japanese-citizen


Writing prompt: What does being a citizen of Japan mean to you? Would you ever give up your Japanese citizenship to become a citizen of another country? Why do you think some immigrants to Japan become naturalized citizens? Do you know any?

Doing it his way

No, this is not about the US president’s choice of songs for his inaugural ball (or Sinatra’s daughter’s reaction to it).

It’s about a 10-year-old boy in Japan who decided he didn’t want to be “the nail that sticks out and is pounded in” by following societal norms that made him miserable. He decided to do things his own way.

“Japan’s 10-Year-Old Philosopher, Published Author, and Grade School Dropout” (from Tofugu)

Reading this, I sometimes thought he was just being a self-centered pre-teen, and sometimes that he was a lot more self-aware than many adults I know. It’s complicated.

One great debate topic:

“I think schools should be places you can go if you want to. People who like schools can go to school, like my sister. It means school is a good fit for them. So, I’ve never thought about changing the environment in schools. I didn’t “fit” school, so I chose not to go. It’s that simple. What needs to change is “yourself,” not schools or other people.”

I also was not aware of the Rocket Project for Talented Children. It’s great to see programs like this in Japan.

“Say whatever you want, but say it well!”

“a misspelling is a lack of respect”

I like the Edgar Allen Poe decoration hanging from their rearview mirror (though doing that appears to be illegal in many US states … how about in Japan?). But then, so is graffiti

What are some differences between graffiti and street art? Would you like to see more of the latter around the streets of Tokyo?

Two articles to read about street art in Tokyo:

Explore the Street Art and Murals of Tokyo’s Tennozu Isle” (from Spoon and Tamago)

“Street artists in Japan try to wipe out conservative views toward graffiti” (from Japan Times)