Archive for News & Media

Battle for the Net is today!

Today is a very important day for the internet. Net neutrality is vitally important to us, and to you. The concept relates to our digital rights as published by the Global Trust Centre, which guarantees our access to information (see Rights and Responsibilities for Citizens in the Digital World). Net neutrality was never really embodied in law in many countries around the world, as it was just assumed by default by everyone, but it was enshrined in law in some countries like the US. However, some governments have censored the internet and the most famous is the “Great Firewall of China”. The United States government is considering ending net neutrality, and allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to slow traffic or even block traffic from some websites. This is effectively allowing commercially decided censorship in the United States. The ramifications are that companies like JapanesePhotos.Asia could be blocked if US based competitors paid their ISPs to do so. It also means that traffic moving from our Swiss servers to Japan or to your country may also be slowed or blocked. Ending net neutrality would also set a dangerous precedent, where other countries may follow suit.

Consequently, the Fight for the Future and Demand Progress digital rights groups, and over 70,000 internet-based companies are protesting the US process of ending net neutrality. If you support net neutrality, we strongly urge you to add your name to this petition on the Battle for the Net.

Flattr this!

Naked Man Festival in video

I’ve covered the Kounomiya Naked Man Festival in the past; Kounomiya is the place and shrine near Nagoya, which is known in Japanese as Hadaka Matsuri, Hadaka means naked, and matsuri means festival. Below is the bigger spectacle in Okayama covered by the BBC just yesterday. Ceremonies for the Nagoya Kounomiya festival starts from this week, but the main event is on the 28th Feb 2018 (Kikuko Nagoya). If you want to participate in the this festival, you have less than 24 hours to can email Kikuko. Enjoy.

Correction: I just received an email alerting me to an error on a source website. The event is not 28th Feb 2017, but in 2018 (which is 13th January of the lunar year).

Flattr this!

The World Cosplay Summit will be promoted on ANA


The Nagoya based World Cosplay Summit (WCS) will be promoted on All Nippon Airways (ANA) flights in February and March this year. It seems to be a part of the “Cool Japan” public relations the Japanese government has been promoting for a little over a decade now. The short video will have both English and Chinese subtitles. A preview can be seen here, https://www.ana-cooljapan.com/contents/cosplay/ Unfortunately, their campaign doesn’t seem well planned, especially with the title, “Is Japan Cool?”. I’ll let you answer that for yourself. The photo above is from the 2012 Taiwan contingent on the red carpet event in the hot August morning.

Flattr this!

Emergency incident in Nagoya

I have no idea how serious an incident this is. I’ve just seen seven fire trucks, two police cars, and one  

 ambulance arrive at Yagoto Nisseki station on the Meijo Line, in Nagoya. At this station there happens to be a hospital. One stretcher was taken down via the elevator. Updates will be added if more is learnt. 

Update, 3pm: According to Twitter users there were eight injuries at Yagoto Nisseki station. Cause still unknown. Station staff are not at the ticket gates, and there are no announcements, but 2 hour delays on the Meijo Line. 

Flattr this!

News: CitiBank Japan uncertainty for customers

It has been reported by various Japanese media outlets that CitiBank Japan was for sale to the highest bidder. Many Japanese banks wanted the Japan subsidiary to acquire the mainly wealthy customers and their money. Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (aka MUFG) has apparently been the winner about two weeks ago. This apparently is the final week of business of CitiBank Japan as a CitiBank subsidiary, next week it becomes the property of MUFG. However, CitiBank Japan customers have heard nothing from CitiBank, and all the information they’ve so far received has been via Japanese newspapers. One expat customer asked staff at the Nagoya branch about his accounts. Apparently his ATM and credit cards may not work internationally from next week, which comes at a time when he will be travelling in Taiwan. CitiBank Japan has already ceased over the counter foreign exchange, and it is said that other services will cease this week.

The main attraction to CitiBank Japan for expatriate customers was the fact that all services, in branch and on the internet are bilingual and available in English and Japanese. In contrast, MUFG does not provide services for international customers, except for basic ATM functions. MUFG ATMs provide a wider range of functions in Japanese, but not in other languages. This is in contrast to Korea and Taiwan, where I have always been able to use bilingual forms and speak to English speaking staff. MUFG staff refuse to use English, and all forms are in Japanese only, and many essential financial services are refused to people who cannot read Japanese. Consequently, many expats may be looking for friendlier services, as MUFG’s reputation may sour their shiny new acquisition. The little known Shinsei Bank, appears to be the only retail bank that provides English language support left in Nagoya, one of the riches cities in the world.

CitiBank Japan was bought by Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) ahead of uncertainty for account holders.

CitiBank Japan was bought by Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) ahead of uncertainty for account holders.

Flattr this!

World Photography Day #WPD2014

Tomorrow, 19th August is World Photography Day. Though it’s an annual thing, this is the 175th year of photography, so it deserves special celebration. Photography contributes so, so much in our daily lives. We use it for sharing photos of family, for memory keepsakes of holidays and good times with friends, weddings, birthdays, for communicating in media, documenting crime scenes, documenting historical events, selfies, food porn, instagramming, and so, so much more. Photograph making devices are now so prolific, and are no longer confined to large, expensive, single function devices. Cameras can be found on computers, tablets, phones, door bell security systems, movie studios, handheld devices, drones on farms and military applications. Cameras are now so embedded in our daily lives that it is now hard or impossible to imagine our lives without them. In short, our society loves photography.

A model, Brooke, I’ve worked with before. This photo is available for licensing.

Be sure to check on discount coupons for photo licensing and purchases.

 

Flattr this!

Typhoon Neoguri

Typhoon Neoguri (Korean for ‘squirrel’), will progress NE along the Pacific side of Southern Japan today. It is expected to reach Nagoya (Central Japan) by 6pm. Yesterday reports were saying that it might be one of the most dangerous squirrels typhoons this season. However, it seems to be speeding up. A faster moving typhoon brings less rain and damage than a slow moving one. Nonetheless, keep safe. 

20140710-070749 am-25669985.jpg

Flattr this!

#BREAKING Kakuryu wins the Emperor’s Cup

Twenty-eight year old Mongolian Kakuryu (born Mangaljalav Anand; Wikipedia) becomes the fourth Mongolian to win the Emperor’s Cup, after Asashoryu, Hakuho, and Harumafuji. It was also announced that he is to be promoted to be one of three top-ranked wrestlers called “Yokuzuna”. This photo is currently available for immediate purchase or licensing from my Sumo Gallery. It has been an exciting tournament, the two current top-ranked wrestlers, Hakuho and Harumafuji have struggled a little of late, Kotooshu crashed out and retired, and then this upset. It’s been great.

Kakuryu (left) faces Takayasu (unseen) in the Osaka Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Kakuryu (left) faces Takayasu (unseen) in the Osaka Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Photo taken on Monday 17th March.

Flattr this!

#BREAKING: Bulgarian sumo wrestler Kotooshu may be retiring

First tweets from a Japanese sports journalist, @kaznagatsuka, says Kotooshu may be quiting this tournament.

UPDATE (7.30pm 20thMar): Kotooshu’s last bout was on Tuesday against Hakuho.

Below, Kotooshu ahead of his bout where he was defeated by Harumafuji just this Monday.

Bulgarian Kotooshu in his final tournament in the Osaka Spring Tournament.

Bulgarian Kotooshu in his final tournament in the Osaka Spring Tournament.

Flattr this!

Out of form Kotooshu in his last tournament?

I don’t like to focus on the negative. I usually post stuff on the sumo because it’s just so fascinating. The Bulgarian Kotooshu (born Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov, Wikipedia) was still the new kid on the block and a rising star when I first arrived in Japan. He was great to watch, though he made mistakes, he still had energy and enthusiasm so that he could win, and it seemed he was growing into the role of the top ranked wrestler, a yokozuna. However, he never got past Ozeki, the second highest rank and was demoted to Sekiwaki at the end of 2013. He won one tournament and the Emperor’s Cup in 2008 (Wikipedia), and he was the darling of the media, and was on all the Bulgarian Yoghurt advertisements. Throughout his sumo career he’s been plagued by various injuries to his knees and arms. This tournament is the worst I’ve seen of him perform. In fact, every time I’ve seen him live, he’s lost, and Monday was no different. However, one win for nine losses is a record that would mean he’d have to be further demoted or retire.

Below, is an in-form and on-fire Harumafuji (right) displaying his strength, whilst a very out-of-form (and possibly very deflated and demotivated) Kotooshu watches on.

In form Mongolian Harumafuji wins easily against a struggling Bulgarian Kotooshu in the Osaka Spring Tournament.

In form Mongolian Harumafuji wins easily against a struggling Bulgarian Kotooshu in the Osaka Spring Tournament.

Flattr this!

« Older Entries