Saturday, March 16, 2013

ZOMG, Candy! features TheSenseitions

Our college friend Rosa (she was in the marching band with us; metaphorical pouring-out of one for the grand old YPMB) maintains an excellent candy blog at ZOMG, Candy! We've sent her oddities from our Asia adventures before; in fact, we got her on Google's top three search results for "crunky nude balls." Our mothers are so very proud.

Some previous candy crossovers:
Weird kit-kats #1: TheSenseitions; ZOMG, Candy! (Wasabi, Sweet Potato)
Okinawa Shikwasa Hi-Chew
Okinawa Brown Sugar candy
Korean Candy: chocolate-covered peanuts, Lotte Pepero, Crunch Ball Crispy Candy, various Hi-Chews (actually from Japan and picked up in an airport), and the legendary Crunky Nude Balls.

So we - or rather, my aforementioned mother, whom I now owe $5 postage - sent Rosa some candy during our winter trip home. She put up her reviews a long time ago but I just got organized enough to actually do this post linking to them. We now have:

Candied Yuzu Peel
Kabosu (cabos lime) Caramels
and another Kit-Kat review, Kyoto Yatsuhashi.

Finally, if you'd like to see Justin take a shot at Kit-Kat reviewing, check out the old blog posts on Citrus Blend Kit-Kats and Hojicha (tea-flavored) Kit-Kats.

Have a sweet day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

History Education in Japan's Disputes With China & Korea

Nana pointed me to this article from the BBC, written by a Japanese student who started in the Japanese system but completed her high-school education at an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Australia.

Her insights ring true for us IB teachers: students in the Japanese system learn a pile of stuff about the medieval era, almost nothing about the twentieth century in general, and even less about World War II. These days, Japanese nationalists are pushing to whitewash even what little instruction the students are given - for instance, by removing references to comfort women or to the Nanjing Massacre. (Note: those are not pleasant links.) Bad for two reasons, as it's annoying Japan's neighbors now and raising a generation destined to annoy those neighbors in the future.

Anyway, an interesting read. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sendai Earthquake: Two Years Later

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami that devastated northern Honshu here in Japan. While the immediate impact of the event has faded around the world - and, to a lesser extent, in more distant parts of the country - the many of the worst-hit regions still haven't recovered. In some ways, it probably never will, as to a certain extent the recovery efforts run counter to a long-term demographic shift in Japan: the younger generations are almost universally abandoning small towns in favor big urban areas like Tokyo, Nagoya, Kansai, Sapporo, and Fukuoka. has a photo gallery depicting the ongoing effects of the disaster. At school, we're also doing our small part to help the relief efforts through various charity activities and through the considerably larger sacrifices made by the teams of students and teachers who head there to lend a hand twice each year. If you feel like pitching in from afar, have a look at this donation page from the Japanese Red Cross Society.