Archive for July 26, 2011

Fukushima residents have no rights?

I just saw the most shocking video on YouTube. Safecast recently posted on Twitter a link to a video uploaded by Perjorativeglut on YouTube. Essentially, bureaucrats attended a meeting with local residents and seemed to have made a promise that they weren’t willing to keep. The video starts with the most important question, “…people in Fukushima have the right to avoid radiation exposure and live a healthy life, too. Don’t you think so?” The bureaucrat refused to answer. This is in stark contrast to the messages that NHK the national news broadcaster has been saying. Apparently all the Fukushima residents want nothing more than to return home. I think I smell propaganda.

Please get the word out and share this YouTube video.

Chinese Bullet Trains

Famously now, the Chinese bullet train is made of completely indigenous technology that was to based on the technological support provided from Canada or Japan. Apparently, the train that was designed and built in China based on Japanese bullet train, was not based on any Japanese technology. There is no likeness between the Chinese and Japanese trains at all.

PS: Is this train from Japan or China?

For more train pictures, including the Chinese bullet train and the answer to the question above, see Asia Photo Connection.


Another July summer Grand Sumo Tournament held in Nagoya has come and gone. This was one of the best tournaments yet, and the most unattended. Following the match-fixing scandals, fans did not have the appetite to go to their national sport. There were no reports of TV viewer numbers, but the only sold-out day was the final day. When I attended (day 12), there was less than half of the seats taken, whilst the cheapest seats were sold out, many of the box seats that are normally bought by companies and families remained empty.

Day of upsets

The final day saw the top-ranked Mongolian yokuzuna Hakuho (pictured below) was defeated by Estonian Baruto, leaving Hakuho with one of his worst records of 12-3 (win-loss). Whilst fellow Mongolian Harumafuji (pictured below) who now seems recovered from his injuries was denied his first undefeated record by rival Kisenosato. Harumafuji ended the tournament with 14-1, but had already won the Emperor’s cup yesterday.


Currently the sumo world is recovering from crisis including match-fixing, deaths in training, and ties with the yakuza. For all past blog entries on Japanese sumo please look here. Also, look for Sumo Metaphors, for a summary of troubles and appropriate photos to match.


For images of sumo please see my Asia Photo Connection and PhotoShelter portfolios.


Hakuho before his bout against Okinoumi, July 2011.

Harumafuji faces fellow Mongolian Hakuho, July 2010.


Recently, I had the bright idea of showing off my tear-sheets. Unfortunately, the only ones that are available are screen-shots off of websites. Some deals in the past didn’t allow me to get a copy of things like calendars, so this is the best I’ve got for the time being. If you purchase any of my images, I’d really appreciate a tear-sheet or a copy of the item that is using my image.

Tearsheets – Images by Andrew Blyth


Someone Google+ me, please! Want to get invited in!

E-mail is at gmail dot com (sorry about the unfriendly anti-spam countermeasures)


(I’m not a Google fan boy, I absolutely detest the Mac Fan boys, so I must also detest all kinds of fan boys. However, I really wanna find out about Google+, but I’m not a fan… Ok, I am. Wow… how did that happen? When? …)

Radioactive beef & Future of Fukushima

It was reported today that beef at 2,300 Becquerel of radiation, the legal limit is 500, was found in Tokyo. The beef came from cattle raised and fed within 40km of the TEPCO Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plants, which is beyond the government declared evacuation zones. The radioactivity in beef, could only be possible when the cattle fed on radioactive feed, which is then absorbed into the animal.

This follows French authorities finding radioactive green tea from Shizuoka (far south from both Tokyo and the troubled nuclear reactors).

Reported tonight, a timetable for the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant clean up was released. It is expected that any existing nuclear rods would be removed within five years. Molten / melted rods that collapsed and is at the bottom of the reactor-core containment vessel may take 10 years to remove, and the complete dismantlement of the buildings will take decades. All of these estimates are dependent on the development of technology and engineering devices that can be used to achieve these goals. Currently, there are no devices or technology to decontaminate buildings to allow workers entry. There are no devices to remove melted and re-cooled radioactive material from the base of reactor cores, adding to the costs and difficulties TEPCO will face.

Getting sumo tickets

For an organisation that is trying desperately to win back credibility and fans, they aren’t very good at delivering on the promise of English language ticket purchasing facilities. The official sumo website for ticket purchasing information would have you believe that it is possible to purchase tickets through English language facilities, but for regular seats, that ain’t true. I think I can do it in Japanese, but I don’t want to tick the wrong boxes and have accidentally ordered express delivery of a premium package with backstage / changing room passes. I’ll wait for the kind assistance of a Japanese person.

Photos will be available on Asia Photo Connection. Special pre-ordering discounts can be made available (please don’t request changing-room photos).