Japanese Baseball in America Part 1

Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki gives a tug to his jersey sleeve, as he does every at-bat, while stepping in against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Seattle. Suzuki flied out on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Recently, many famous and talented baseball players have been coming to America with great fanfare to play in the MLB. Baseball is actually extremely popular in Japan, much more than it is in America. it has truly become the national sport there ever since Babe Ruth went on his exhibition tour of the country in 1934. That tour sparked a fever for baseball that has only grown since then. Because of the scope and professional nature of the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), Japan has become a major source of players … Continue reading →

Cut It Out: An Unexpected Hobby

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Everyone needs a pastime. Office worker Tomoyuki Shioya decided that his would be sticking his face in as many different holes as possible. Over the past decade, Tomoyuki has traveled across Japan, successfully wedging his head in between the gaps of over 2,400 cutout boards. Why cutout boards, you ask? For Tomoyuki,  the appeal of his hobby is found in the interactions he has with the people involved in the creation and set up of the cutout boards, rather than the photos themselves. “Everybody involved in these cutout board photos has very positive … Continue reading →

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Pledges Wage Equality

Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently pledged to promote an “equal pay for equal work” policy intended to raise the wages and increase the benefits of non-regular workers in Japan. According to a 2014 study, temporary and non-regular workers make up roughly 37.4 percent of Japan’s population, almost double the 19.1 percent surveyed in 1989. Despite the possible benefits of his suggested plan, Abe did not go into further detail disclosing how he intends to promote this policy. Critics suggest that this proposed political shift is only an attempt to bolster … Continue reading →

Princess Film Series at Penn

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During February, the Center for East Asian Studies and Friends of the Japanese House and Garden present “Princesses: Four Japanese Royal Films”—a collection of princess-themed Japanese films. Each film is presented in Japanese with English subtitles. Film showings take place at 7:00 PM on Wednesdays, in Cohen Hall Room 402 on the Penn campus. Mononoke hime (Princess Mononoke) Miyazaki Hayao (1997) Feb. 3 On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. … Continue reading →

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All”: Introducing Pokémon GO

Pokemon Go

From self-proclaimed ‘trainers’ to techies and entrepreneurs, Nintendo’s highly-anticipated release of Pokémon GO has international audiences pining for the smartphone app’s release. A collaboration project between three big names in tech industry Niantic, Inc. (a Google subsidiary), The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo Co., Ltd., Pokémon GO offers players the chance to capture, trade, and battle virtual Pokémon at any real life location with wifi or carrier access. The app’s release date has been kept on the down-low, with the official website and infomercial only citing ‘2016’ as its general time frame. Additionally, the website … Continue reading →