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September / October 2010
| ISSUE 7 |
2 |RAN|
CONTENTS September / October 2010 - ISSUE NO. 7

5 Success

RAN tells the stories of four people
who are makin' it in Japan.

14 What is the Japanese Dream?

Is there one? We asked people
around Nagoya Station to find out.

15 Teachers Do it on the Web

Check out the new series, English Teachers,
coming this September!

22 The Pagoda Diaries

Ferris Wheel

cover photo: ANDY BOONE 26 ESPY

An interview with the King of Nagoya
table of contents photo: ACHIM RUNNEBAUM

4 Listen

B.I.O Presents -
The Art of War

Publisher: TD Houchen
16 The Green Spot
Animals' Revenge?
Chief Editor: Jason L. Gatewood
Copy Editor: Larry Defelippi
Photography: Achim Runnebaum 18 When In Rome
The Sound of Wa
Chief Designer: Adrien Sanborn
Illustrator/Designer: Adam Pasion

Send story ideas to:

19 Create
DMO PPP's Vibrating Energy
Send photography
and illustration to:
21 GoCultural Dos & Don'ts in Thailand
To advertise, contact:
Promotional Events/Co-Promotion: 24 Fashion
See what's happening in Nagoya this fall.

ranmagazine 31 RAN Comics
|RAN| 3
聴く Listen

Saturday, September 11th 9pm - 6am

The landscape of Nagoya's burgeoning music scene ¥2,000 in advance
will undergo a seismic shift.
Come check out art rockers, THE ART OF WAR and Club Radix:
a host of other DJs and artists as they blow up the
spot at Club Radix in Tsurumai. 052-332-0073

4 |RAN|

| By TD Houchen |
So B ri gh t, I G o tt a W ear Sh ad es ..”
“The Future’s can
be the only thing you do, and you
Your success is most likely different
Success. than mine, that’s the beauty of succ
ess. cre ate suc ces s for you
f in oth er
Everyone wants it. l as areas, right here, righ t
e It isn’t always as gargantuan a goa e.
In som e form , som e sha pe, som ey’, Tha t’s the mes sag e of this issu
or fee ling , or ‘getting rich’ or ‘making tons of mon we inte nde d to pass
rec ogn iza ble thin g, ign as That’s the message
all are it cou ld be som ethi ng as ben fact ,
mom ent, or ach ieve men t, we utes alon g whe n we star ted RAN . In
as vali dati on of losi ng wei ght, wak ing up 30 min we’ re succ essf ul just
searching for success a new we’d like to think
or not, in the earlier in the mornings, learning ing this righ t now ,
our efforts. Consciously king because you’re read
mak ing a new wor d of Japa nes e eve ryd ay, drin as an exp erim ent,
sma lles t act, suc h as mor e we started our mag
It’s more water, smiling more, being the de
frie nd, we wan t to be suc cess ful. etc. now, we’re looking to become
of our DN A; To hon est with you rsel f and othe rs, oya from the streets
imprinted in the strands on of facto Voice of Nag
e succ ess. The re is no pre scri bed defi niti sroo ms and bey ond.
Be Successful, we crav r you up through the clas
y suc ces s, it is bas ical ly wha teve pus hed
Eve n if you ’re her e in Japa n onl ably The people profi led here all
plan s to stay , want it to be, but to get it, it’s prob er, and hav e or are
mom enta rily, with no way , themselves a bit furth
the tim e her e is best to be aware you want it, that in Nag oya base d on
still , you ’re hop ing a path making a mark here
sim ply you can set goa ls and crea te them selv es,
suc cess ful. You mig ht wan t to you r succ ess. an idea they had, a beli ef in
e coo l towards made
mak e som e frie nds , mee t som and the desire to succeed. They’ve
le exp erie nce, Here in Nagoya, Japan, there’s talk plac e to live thro ugh
people, have a memorab man y Nagoya a better
nese , see som e aro und tow n that ther e aren ’t to be succ essf ul, that ’s
maybe learn some Japa hing, their own desires
etc, but eve n in opportunities outside English teac rod uct of suc ces s,
inte rest ing pla ces , may ano ther grea t by-p
essful and tho ugh at first glan ce, this r life,
those, you’re still hoping for a succ nue s it usually improves not only you
app ear true , ther e are oth er ave l, succ ess

experience. but the lives of othe rs as wel

s, towards personal fulfillment, whe
At some point in most people’s live stic , begets success.
whe re we wan t that fulf illm ent is fina ncia l, arti
we all get to a plac e rwis e.
of valu e, crea te personal, social, spiritual, or othe
to achieve something pay s Do Your Thing.
k, get English teaching is the activity that
something worthwhile, leave a mar t of Right About Now~
essf ul, how ever most of our bills and sustains mos
success or become succ e to tdh
our live s here , but it doe sn’t hav
you see it.
|RAN| 5

| By TD Houchen |

f making a long-standing contribution to a community is the was the biggest foreigner establishment in Nagoya with good
mark of a man, Chris Zarodkeiwicz has plenty of marks. His food, two stories, an outdoor patio, and a great atmosphere.
restaurant/sports bar creation ‘Shooters’, located in Fushimi, td: So, you had no ‘plan’ to come to Japan before you came…
smack-dab in the center of Nagoya, was the first of it’s kind in other words, you didn’t spend your life dreaming of Japan,
in the area, is ‘famous’ by any standard, known by almost you weren’t heavily into anime or Geisha or sushi, the
every foreigner in the region, and has far surpassed being opportunity came and you just went with it….
just a good place to get great food, it’s an establishment, an cz: When I was working in New York for The Hilton
icon, like Yankee Stadium or Mt. Fuji-it ain’t going anywhere Corporation I had requested an international transfer and
anytime soon. hoped to be moved to some Spanish-speaking country, Spain,
But it doesn’t stop there. South America, etc. That was my dream. My language skills
Chris’s real estate business ‘Interlink’ has helped scores at the time were not sufficient to get me to any of the Latin
of businesses and ‘regular’ people to find adequate living countries but I did eventually get transferred to Canada. I think
spaces here in Aichi. Cezars Kitchen, originally an offshoot I was looking for something a little more exotic though.
of Shooters, continues to feed delicious food to thousands of td: So, you’re from Jersey, I’m from Brooklyn, some similarities
international school children throughout Japan’s international between the two, did you ever go to Seaside Heights when
schooling system. Recently, Chris has taken on a stake in the you lived in Jersey? (Seaside Heights is a sort of sleazy blue
‘AquaAlpine Hotel’, a posh boutique ski resort hotel located collar carnival-cum-amusement park located on the seashore,
in Hakuba. You might think with all these accolades, Chris Z if you’ve seen the recent super cheesy yet somehow totally
could be a bit untouchable, one of those frozen business guys entertaining ‘Jersey Shore’ on TV, the show takes place in and
with no time, no personality, no love. around Seaside Heights. Pub. Note)
Wrong. cz: I loved it as a kid and have taken my kids there a few
Chris dispels the age-old notion that ‘nice guys finish last’ times on visits back to the states…I’m a Jersey guy through
by being a decidedly nice guy, approachable, friendly and and through.
successful. He’s a family man, wife and two kids in tow, he’s td: Would you say you’re Nagoya’s Jon Bon Jovi?
in great shape, has a disarmingly genuine and some might say cz: (Half joking) Listen, don’t ever say that. It’s actually
‘goofy’ raucous laugh, and when you get to know him, you somewhat annoying. If you want to say anything about my
can feel his native New Jersey affable characteristics oozing musical tastes related to New Jersey you can mention Bruce
off him, just don’t mention Bon Jovi. He’s down to earth, low Springsteen, okay? Ask anyone in Japan what they know about
key and chill, and takes great pride in his community. He’s the New Jersey and they mention Bon Jovi. Come on!
consummate all-around Success Story, but he’s also the kind td: I should know better. Gomen Nasai. So, you were working
of guy you’d drink a beer and talk sports with. We did just that in NY at the Hilton, they offered you a transfer to….
and spoke with Chris to find out just what makes him tick… cz: Nova Scotia. It was a great experience and I lived in
Halifax, but when I was made the offer I didn’t actually
td: Let’s start with the locally-famous conversation greaser, know what or where Halifax was. I believe I thought it
‘how long have you been here and why’d you come’? was in Greenland.
cz: I’ve been in Japan 16 years. Prior to coming I had always td: So, eventually you make it to Nagoya and..
wanted to live and work abroad. I had a friend who was here cz: So I was here for a year or so, managing Santa Barbara
photos: ANDY BOONE

and worked for a company that owned restaurants and he was and got to know most of the foreign community. I joined the
in need of staff. I was living in Toronto at the time and hired ACCJ, (American Chamber of Commerce Japan/at that time
5 Canadians to come here and work. Then the same friend the ABCN)-developed a network of people here and started to
told me they were planning to open another restaurant and put together a business plan. From there I met my partners..
asked me to come and manage it. The place was called ‘Santa td: What exactly is a ‘partner’? How do you meet your
Barbara’ and I ran it for about a year and a half. At the time it ‘partners’? I need a ‘partner’, how can I find a ‘partner’ Chris?

6 |RAN|
cz: I really like this part. So I’m standing in Santa Barbara one I think if you start a business, you have to be totally focused
day and this young guy comes in and says he’s from Nanzan and committed. There is no failure or alternative to making
University. He tells me his professor is doing a research paper it work. That’s the philosophy I had at the time and I believe
on how to start a restaurant in Nagoya and I thought ‘wow” that’s what I still believe in. I can’t ever imagine failing. There
that’s exactly what I want to do. So, I get the professor’s are a million excuses or reasons out there why a business
information and call him. We both had the same idea might fail. I think you just need to have your blinders on if you
regarding a new venture and start thinking like that.
discussed becoming partners. td: What do you think of the
This part didn’t really work out, have to be totally focused climate for business NOW
but it got the process started. and committed. There is no failure in Nagoya?
From there I made a business
plan, and started looking for
or alternative to making it work. cz: Over the last 6 months I
think things have definitely
investors. Eventually we split, improved. Towards the end of
he opened his own place, and I opened Shooters in Takaoka. last year it was a pretty challenging time for many businesses
td: So a partner sounds very important to the process, how in Nagoya. As an entrepreneur I think if you have a great idea
does a person who wants to start a business find this ‘partner’? it is a good time and place to get something started.
cz: I think it all starts with a business plan or just an idea that td: Sounds like lots of what you’ve been able to achieve has
you are passionate about. Once you have that then it’s all come from relationships..
about asking the right people. Finding people you can trust. cz: Yes, definitely. Nagoya has a reputation for being pretty
In addition, the restaurant I had been working for at the time conservative. I think if you show commitment to living and
(Santa Barbara) was busy every day so I had a proven track doing business in Nagoya then the relationships will come
record and business experience. This definitely helps to find that help you achieve your goals.
the right people. I currently have two great partners. td: Staying here long term? Definition of success?
td: So tell me this, what exactly did your business plan cz: Long term… we’ll see?? I love New Jersey. Love the home
consist of? state of Bon Jovi(joke). I also love Nagoya but when it comes
cz:—A good plan includes what the concept is, who your to retiring and thinking long term I like to imagine myself
target audience is, how much initial investment is required, somewhere that’s warm all year….
how long it will take for you to get a return on your My most successful moments are when I feel like I’m not
investment, all financial forecasts, size, proposed location, chained to my business, when I feel ‘free’, and can choose the
and any other specifics related to the business along with your things that I want to get involved in. I also think being able to
resume and background information. balance work, family and personal is a very big key to really
td: Did you know Shooters would be successful from being successful.
the beginning? Personally my greatest success is my two children.
cz: I was at the old Dragons stadium watching a game with td: If you could be Mayor of Nagoya for a week, what might
one of my old partners, and we were discussing what kind of you change about it?
restaurant we wanted to get involved in and we came up with cz: (Drums his fingers on table for an inordinately long
the idea of a Sports Bar. It was like a big light went on over amount of time-then-) I like Nagoya. If I could make a few
our heads. I knew that was the concept. There were no sports changes I would have more grass in the parks and more
bars in Nagoya at the time except one place called “Balls”. benches on the streets. Other than that it’s a great place to
They had “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot” sitting on the bar raise a family. My kids have gone to good schools, there is a
counter and that was their “sports. Today there are sports bars great community spirit in the area and it’s a fantastic place to
on every corner. If you go inside it’s usually a coffee shop with do business. I like it here. Nagoya’s cool. Not Bon Jovi cool,
baseball on the TV. I had a pretty good feeling it would work. but cool…

|RAN| 7
| By TD Houchen |

Prisca is a firebrand. America my home, people ask me if I will stay here forever,
She exudes charm, charisma, confidence and character my husband is Japanese, God has a plan. I’m still set on going
through her voice, her talent, her presence and her to Italy, there was a lovely man there, Roberto…
accomplishments. She’s a fixture on the Nagoya scene in td: Tell me about Roberto..
various areas, teaching, performing, cultural activities and pm: (Heavy sigh) Oh Roberto, do you know Roger Moore, the
through her very existence. She takes on all comers and takes double ‘O’ seven agent, Roberto was like that, sexy, dashing,
no shit from anyone. and he knew he was dashing.
She’s unafraid to tackle challenges and exemplifies the td: How did you meet him?
idea of the self-made woman who has pushed herself beyond pm: I had decided I wasn’t going to hang around any of the
limits of any kind, environmental, racial, economic, self- American students when I was in Italy, because, well, you
imposed or otherwise. When I first saw Prisca, she was singing know Americans, you know, those Americans….
hot jazz at a local jazz club named Star Eyes in Kakuozan. I td: Prisca, you know, I’m American, what’s wrong with
was mesmerized, and I’m not even that big a jazz fan.To say Americans?
I was blown away is an understatement, she tore through her pm: They’re clique-ish, I think Americans lack confidence,
set as if she were a human cyclone, sexy, sassy, sensuous, showing off and standing out is what Americans are more
blazing. accustomed to doing, they don’t really want to blend in. You
Since then, I’ve come to learn more about this exotic, know, ‘they ugly American’…
educated and personable woman, who’s energy is boundless. td: Sure. Sure. Enough. So, what else, you’re doing your
Whether singing, teaching, conducting Tae Bo classes or masters in Nagoya, and..
generally dispensing her effortless but dynamic chutzpah on pm: Well, I always knew I wanted to sing. When you know
all around her, Prisca is a force to be reckoned with. Prisca’s you know. I was on TV when I was a kid, when I was 14, I
take no prisoners personality is a welcome hot blast of reality was selected to record a song for the Zambian president, but
that stands apart from the controlled, packaged and cookie- my parents gave me an ultimatum, they said if I wanted to
cutter personalities one is used to around these parts. One sing, they wouldn’t pay for my education. So, when I came to
thing that becomes immediately obvious when speaking to Nagoya, I immediately started to prepare to sing. Jazz was big
Prisca is that she doesn’t bite her tongue, she lets her thoughts when I got here, so I put it into my mind that I would sing. My
flow easily and sometimes, she stings. friends took me out to Jazz places, and I could see myself on
stage. At that time, there were lots of beautiful Jazz clubs here
td: Where are you from Prisca? in Nagoya.
pm: My parents are from South Africa, they left during td: So back then, Nagoya had a different, more vibrant
Apartheid and moved to Zambia, I was born in Zambia, but I nightlife..
consider myself to be a South African. pm: When the bubble burst, the places started folding. Back
td: How long in Nagoya? then, there weren’t many ‘gaijin bars’, there weren’t many
pm: 23 years. I went to Kent State in Ohio, I was studying foreigners, if you saw a foreigner, you’d run up to them to
architecture there, then, the UN headquarters asked me if say hello, ask them where they were from, now, foreigners
I’d like to come and work for the UN as a research fellow don’t speak to each other. There are so many foreigners now,
here in Nagoya-I’d had a scholarship from the UN for the last there’s no ‘group’ anymore. Nagoya has become much more
two years or so…the (Nagoya) deal was originally for only 6 cosmopolitan. You can count the jazz places now, but then,
months, but that was extended a few times, then I decided 20 years ago or so, there were all these glamourous, gorgeous
to get a Masters in Development Economics at Nanzan jazz clubs.
University. td: Tell me about more about your history here, and what’s
td: Lots of folks seem to come here with a plan to stay a short allowed you to get the level of notoriety you have now.
while, but many folks end up staying much longer, why do pm: I had a TV program, I was an MC on a Saturday TV
you think that is? program, a music show called ‘IKE IKE DJ BATTLE’, I was a
pm: Well, I can guess, people discover they want to make personality on that show, I was on several other TV shows,
money, they either accomplish their goals or they don’t, this year I’ve been on TV four times, I love the cameras and
or, maybe they fall in love. In my case, I had an apartment the whole thing…you can’t separate who I am though, the
photos: ANDY BOONE

waiting for me in Italy, but, I decided I wanted to do my singing, architecture, education, TV, it’s all me, the most
Masters here. People have different reasons. important thing is my education though. People’s faces
td: Have you ever wanted to go back home since staying here change when they realize my educational background, my
so long? family background. They look at me differently when they find
pm: Well, where is home really for me? I never lived in South out I’m not ‘just a singer’. I also go to Tokyo regularly as an
Africa, I don’t consider Zambia my home, I don’t consider ambassador, I meet very interesting people, Nelson Mandela,

8 |RAN|
it’s all very much a part of me. family’s life.
td: What role do you think you play in the community here? td: Tell me something you really like about Nagoya.
pm: Well, we all know the role of a woman is not what it pm: The people. When I go to the states, I really miss the
should be. I give people inspiration. My mantra is believe in politeness of the people here. I have many friends here who
yourself and whatever it is you are trying to achieve, you can support me. I love Nagoya because if I have a dream I can
achieve it. Success isn’t only money in the bank. I know I am make it a reality here.
not perfect. Success means if I have a dream and it becomes td: That’s a big one for me too, here, I can seem to DO what
reality, and people enjoy what I’ve done, that’s success. I I think of, but if I’m in New York or LA, there are too many
remember about 8 years ago, I was about 85 kilos, I had distractions for me to be able to actually DO what I think of.
these ‘Billy’s BootCamp’ tapes, I put those tapes in, and I tried Here, if I have a good idea, I have been able to DO lots of
working out. I liked Billy’s spirit, and I told myself I’d meet things that in the states, I was only able to THINK about.
him one day, and that I’d teach Tae Bo, even though I was not pm: When I go back to South Africa, I see lots of my very
in the best shape. Now, lo and behold, here I am, just worked intelligent friends, and they’re, I can do what
out with Billy this past summer, a certified instructor in Tae I think of. I’m not bitter because I’m able to do what I think
Bo, went to Billy’s wedding, and when I teach my classes and of doing here. People will be negative around you. Success
see my students are happy and sweating and they’re saying is being able to cut that off and know you can do what you
tanoshii!, isn’t that success? say you can do. Negativity will creep into your subconscious,
td: Nice. How would you recommend a foreigner carry even if people don’t mean to be negative.
through his or her idea towards success? td: I can attest to that, lots of people told me RAN would
pm: Well, you’ve got to remember that we are guests in this never work, LOTS of people, but I put it into my mind that it
country. You can’t come here and think the world revolves WOULD work, and here we are. I knew it was a good idea
around you. Japanese don’t like that attitude that some when it came to me, but I knew I couldn’t do it myself. I asked
foreigners have that the world revolves around them. They people for help, advice, etc, and several people flat-out told
can decide at any moment to kick all foreigners out, we’re not me “don’t do it, it’s too much work, it’ll never work”, some
Japanese, don’t forget that. people seemed angry that I even had the idea, same with the
The first thing is that you’ve got to identify your target. Who festivals and stuff I’ve done, I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.
are you targeting? The biggest group is Japanese. You can’t pm: If you rely on other people to get your confidence, you
alienate them. You’ve got to be loved by them, and they will can forget it. People often ask me, ‘why don’t you move to
support you. Many people alienate them. If you really want Tokyo, Tokyo is where it’s at..”, I don’t believe that, I think
to succeed, you’ve got to realize who you have to be on THIS is where it’s at, it’s ‘at’ wherever you ARE. People think
good terms with, and that is the Japanese. The second thing if you are from the big city, then you’ve made it big. Lots of
is, you’ve got to work on whatever your dream is. Small musicians will move to Tokyo and then do shows in Nagoya,

steps. But work hard on it. People want to dive in and do but charge more money JUST BECAUSE they are ‘from’ Tokyo.
this and that, then they make enemies, etc. You’ve got to test It’s rubbish. That’s why these Nigerians here go around saying,
the waters, I’ve had to pay lots of money, gone to court and (in a thick Nigerian accent)-‘Oh, I’m from LA mon’, but they’re
things like that, be very careful, watch who you do business not, they think they have to pretend to be from somewhere
with. Separate business and friendship. Put things in writing. else. Be who you are. It’s important to remember and carry
Take it seriously. I’ve gone to court, I’ve been burnt. Do things around who you are. Don’t be embarrassed about who you
legally and professionally. Another thing is, make sure your are and what you’ve done. It’s your portfolio.
legal standing as far as your visa is concerned is taken care of. td: What would you consider to be your major
People come here on a teaching visa, and think they can do accomplishments?
anything, and they can’t. Watch that. But if you really have a pm: My three cds, one of which was produced by Hugh
good idea, you should believe in it, don’t listen to people who Masakela, meeting Nelson Mandela, getting my Masters in
say it won’t work, because if you allow your subconscious to Japanese, just being here today is an accomplishment. Living
say it won’t work, you’re wasting your time. in so many countries growing up, being a mom, bringing my
td: Great advice. Tell me about your future here, what’s in son up, I don’t want my son to be put into a little box..
your plan for the next few years? td: If you were president of Japan, what would you change or
pm: I’d like to do a real concert tour. I’d like to get my improve upon?
personal trainer license, I’m studying for that, it’s really hard, pm: People should think for themselves, think outside the box.
like being back in high school, all the muscles and stuff, I’ll They always want to be the same, at Nanzan where I teach,
have it by the end of the summer. My big dream is to have a they always ask me what my mantra is, I tell them to believe
South Africa-Japan NGO sort of organization to bring in artists in themselves, it’s scary, but that’s the one thing they need to
and things like that. I want to take my musicians from Japan learn to do. No matter what it is, think outside the mold. I tell
and bring them to South Africa, Zambia, let my people there my students to question me, I make mistakes all the time, I tell
see the musicians from here. Hugh Masakela produced my them to challenge me. Don’t take what I say at face value, ask
second album, I’d love to bring him here and work with him. me questions. When people start to think for themselves, they
I’d like to write a book. I’ve got volumes of stuff I’ve written. can question their surroundings and the political system here,
I’ve always wanted to write a memoir, about my life and my which is terrible, and then changes can be made.

|RAN| 9


| By TD Houchen | heart td: Hey Tamara, My Ba

r is doing really well in
lishment located in the hard to make My Bar a

y Bar is a friendly estab been tm: We’ve all worked
from the TV Tower. It’s
of Sakae, directly across ts, it’s Thank you.
and as the name sugges u been in Nagoya?
around for 6 plus years, for the delicious td: How long have yo
ba r. Pe op le fro m all walks of life stop in tm: I’ve been in Nago
ya 10 years!
yo ur at and stylish to Nagoya 10 years ago
at dri nk s, the low-key but upbe td: Why did you come
foo d, or the gre friends, or, to he re. I ori ginally came
me et old friends, to make new tm: I’m half Japanese,
my fam ily lives
atm osp he re, to Nagoya offered
I saw the opportunities
take in the gorgeous sce
staff, presided to visit my family, and is northwest
a gorgeous all-female Fe, Argentina, Santa Fe
That scenery includ es
e Argentinian. me. I came from Santa when I moved
r Tamara Maeda, nativ some good experiences
ov er by My Ba r ow ne
partner Jason, of Buenos Aires. I had , no Japanese
r sisters and longtime uld only speak Spanish
Tam ara , alo ng wi th he
lishment where here. When I came, I co at a few places
ping to create an estab I met through working
nt int o bu sin ess ho
o sh ak e off the or English. The people goya people
lco me , an d co uld als Japanese and English. Na
gu est s wo uld fee l we
rete jungle like taught me how to speak in rea son I
with living in a conc u’ll meet, that’s the ma
str ess es tha t go alo ng are the nicest people yo r, it me ant I
portunity to open My Ba
Nagoya. ra an d he r decided to take the op .
go ya lan dm ark . Ta ma ryday and just have fun
No w, My Ba r is a Na whose brand is could talk to people eve
tinctive environment e to open your bar?
sta ff ha ve cre ate d a dis
added thought, td: When did you decid und Nagoya.
She has taken an idea, ious establishments aro
ins tan tly rec og niz ab le.
cess story. Let tm: I had worked in var ce, so I took the
ent, and now has a suc se to open my own pla
de sire , an d acc om pli shm Then, the situation aro
her tell it…

10 |RAN|
opportunity! I had made some good
contacts which helped me a lot. I love
meeting new people and having fun, so
having a bar was a good idea for me.
td: How exactly did the opportunity come
to you?
tm: A friend introduced the opportunity
to me. The bar had been designed for
the owners of the building and they were
looking for some people who wanted to buy
the establishment. They knew Jason and I
would be great owners because of our unique
td: What do you think are some characteristics
of a successful business owner?
tm: Patience. To deal with all the things that
having your own business throws at you. The
ability to ask questions to everyone you do
business with, you can’t learn unless you ask
questions, and a laid back attitude that things will
come around. Sometimes in this business, you
have the good the bad and the ugly, but you have
to know it will get better, hold on and know it will
work itself out.
td: How is it being a foreign woman doing business
in Japan?
tm: Well, being a woman in Japan itself is difficult.
At first, people didn’t take me seriously. Now, when
people see the result of how well My Bar is doing, they
see I have good business sense. It’s all worked out well,
finding sponsors, hiring a top chef, finding great staff.
As the years have gone on, I’ve educated myself on the
industry as well as the tastes of Nagoyans, and what they
want, this has helped with my success. So maybe being a
woman has helped, you know the saying, women love to
talk but women are great listeners too.
td: What are some great things about having your own
tm: I enjoy having my own place, and being my own boss, but we are still a great hang-out spot for foreigners. We have
and designing a bar how you think will be the best place for to improve our Japanese clientele.
people to have social gatherings. I also like feeling at home td: What advice would you offer to someone thinking of
in a foreign country, and it allows me flexibility as a business opening their own business in Nagoya?
owner. I put in long hours and I have to care about every tm: Hire great staff, they make your place.
aspect of the place. I wouldn’t change or trade a thing I have td: Your personal plans for the future?
been through, it has all helped me to become the business tm: Maybe I’ll become a roadie, tour with Bon Jovi, that
owner I am today. would be great, to tour the world listening to great music….
td: What are some goals you have for the future? td: For sure. What are some things you really enjoy about
tm: My goals seem to change as I grow with this industry. I’ve living in Nagoya?
opened an upscale Japanese Lounge called ‘Diva’ in Nishiki. tm: Nagoya has a great ex-pat community. The other foreign
I’ll be opening a gourmet hot dog cart called ‘Mr. Frank’ soon. business owners support each other, we are there for each
As for My Bar, I’d like to maybe open a location in Tokyo. I other. Lots of support here. Even though we are in competition
want to expand my business, and make My Bar a memorable with each other, we stay friendly and help each other out. We
name for Nagoya, a place for foreigners and Japanese to meet interact on a regular basis.
in Nagoya, and enjoy a cocktail and eat some delicious food td: What has been the most memorable moment for you since
together. Basically, I want what any business owner wants, to opening your business?
be able to let the business run itself and then have the freedom tm: I would have to say opening night, and since then, despite
to do what I want. If that is to travel, learn kickboxing, or go some ups and downs, it’s been a great time.
back to school, whatever I choose. td: What’s in the future for My Bar?
td: Tell me your thoughts on Nagoya as a place to open a tm: We have our anniversary coming up the weekend of
business.. September 9, 10, 11, plus, we’ve got the usual Halloween/
tm: Well, there are seasonal factors that play a role in our Christmas events. We’re working on a new menu, and we’re
business, and certainly, the economy has affected everyone. always looking for ways to get new customers in, while
We are seeing less foreigners coming to Nagoya for business, keeping the old ones happy.

|RAN| 11

On Tuesday, October 19th,
in Tokyo's Korakuyen Stadium, RTIN MUBIRU
face Korean Champ Kimura
Hayato (ranked #7 in the Ocean
Pacific Boxing Federation).
This fight is the MAIN EVENT!
Come on down to Tokyo
and REPRESENT for one of

L ik e A C h a m p io n . .
Walk Talk Like A Champion
| By TD Houchen |

ome stories beg for a cinematic treatment. The rags-to- td: How long have you been boxing?
riches tale of some young man or woman who rises from mm: I have been in the system for 15 years, boxing for that
seemingly impossibly difficult surroundings to become long.
world famous, wealthy, respected, admired, successful. td: Why do you think Nagoya is a good place to continue
Some people have fire in their hearts from the moment they your career as a boxer?
enter this world, and in turn, the world makes way for them. mm: Well, in Nagoya, I’ve got many good people behind me,
Their stories inspire us to push forward, go further, dig deeper, where I was in Fukuoka, I had no friends, could not get a good
keep going…. life, I was only with Japanese always, here, I can meet many
The word ‘champion’ is synonymous with the word good people, many different people, black people, foreigners,
‘success’, have you ever heard of an unsuccessful champion? I couldn’t train well in Fukuoka, here, it’s good, I can meet
Unlikely. A champion personifies success, the lone warrior many people, Nagoya supports me.
who rose above, conquered others as well as himself, and td: Is there a lot of support for boxing in Nagoya?
now stands at the summit of human achievement. This person mm: Yes. I have a lot of support here. When I fight, my friends
can be rightfully recognized as a hero, one who leads by are there, they support me, in Fukuoka, I fought alone, here, I
example, and one for whom success follows and awaits in his have my people who support me.
every endeavor. These folks reek inspiration and an aura of td: What made you want to become a boxer?
hope surrounds them. They are living, breathing, and walking mm: Wow. I watched Iron Mike Tyson. From watching him,
incandescent sources of life, hope, and power, and meeting I felt I could be a boxer too. What he was doing was great,
them can change your life. it made me feel I should be a boxer too. I give big respect to
What do you get when you mix the raw passion, power, Iron Mike.
energy, and spirit of Africa, with the sustained, focused and td: What are your goals in boxing?
deliberate perseverance of Japan? A successful champion of mm: I want to be world champion. I want to get the WBC
life-and that champion’s name is Martin Mubiru. Martin is a championship, when I get that goal, I will thank Jah, that is my
25-year old Ugandan professional boxer living in Nagoya, goal and my dream.
dealing with all the adversities of being a foreigner in a td: Are there any world champions that came from Nagoya in
homogenous society, trying to make ends meet, raising a boxing?
family, while pursuing his goal of becoming a world boxing mm: I know one guy, a Mexican guy, who was world
champion in his bantam weight class, having people trying to champion, boxing out of Nagoya, but I heard when he went
literally knock his head off—and you thought it was difficult back to his country, he died. I’m sorry for that.
riding the subways and teaching the abc’s. Martin doesn’t td: If you can accomplish your goal, how would you feel?
allow negatives to distract him, and his goal is well within mm: It would be great. It means I not only represent my
reach, just ask him.. country, but I also represent Nagoya city. I would be very
td: Where in Africa are you from Martin? td: Tell me about your history boxing in Uganda..
mm: I’m from Uganda. I lived first in Fukuoka, then I came to mm: I used to train under Ayub Kalure, he was a great
Nagoya. I came to Nagoya two years ago, I reached Fukouka, champion from Africa, he fought Marvin Hagler and was a
and lived there for one year. My manager brought me from hero in my country. I met him in Uganda, it’s a small country,
Africa, after I won a medal for boxing in the Commonwealth the gym I trained at in Uganda was a famous gym though,
games in Melbourne. I am a bronze medalist. many many people used to train there. Ayub was a trainer in

12 |RAN|
that gym, KBG, Kampala boxing gym. guidance of Jah who helps me. What I am doing is a very
td: Where do you train here in Nagoya? hard thing, I need blessings to make my dream come true. If
mm: I train at Chunichi Boxing Gym. It’s in Ueda Koen. you are reading this, please send me your blessings and your
Boxing is a very painful game. When I don’t have a fight, I power, I need it.
train two times a day, when I have a fight, I train three times td: Tell me a little about your personal life here in Nagoya..
a day. I wake up and go for a run very early, roadwork. Then, you’ve got something you’re very proud of besides your
I do my small jobs. Then in the evening, I enter the gym and boxing career..
train more. I do skipping 5 rounds, shadowboxing 5 rounds, mm: Yes. I have a newborn baby. I’m happy that in Nagoya,
punching bag 5 rounds, sparring 6 rounds, and other things in I managed to get something. I have a family here now. I have
the gym. It’s very hard. a new son, his name is Eddie Rogers, he’s a boxer too, his
td: How do Japanese accept an African boxer in their country mother is Japanese. He makes me fight harder, I have a boxer
who is knocking their guys out? Your record is 8 wins and 1 who is watching me, watching my moves, so, I want to get
loss right? the belt to show it to him when he grows up, so he knows
mm: Well, they have to accept it. They have to face it man. his father was a hero, so he can be a hero too. I gave him my
They have to support me. This is how the game goes, I have father’s name. I plan to stay in Nagoya, because now I have
to hit, and they have to hit me. What I do to the opponent, if a family, but I will return downtown, to Africa, to show my
it is not me first who does it, the opponent will do it to me. people. My people sent me here for a reason, they sent me
Even if they don’t like it, I have to do it. Japanese make strong here to be a champion, I have to get a belt and take it back
fighters, they are strong, but I feel I am stronger. Japanese to Africa, and show them. I started boxing in 1999, I was a
make champions, and I’m sorry for this, but they lose, the school champion. I conquered all the Ugandan tournaments,
bantamweight belt was taken away from Japan, and I want so that makes me a Ugandan champion. I went to the
to be the one who brings it back to Japan. I think Japanese Olympic qualifiers. I won a medal in Melbourne in 2006, after
fighters are strong, but they are not smart fighters. The trainers that, I made my plan to come to Japan and fight professionally.
teach them to just go go go, don’t rest, don’t stop, just go, My amateur career was finished after I got the bronze medal.
punch punch punch. Me, I train smart. I know when to rest, Now, I have 8 fights professionally, 4 knockouts, one loss. The
watch, punch, stop, I rely on my own skill. loss was an African title fight, I didn’t think I lost that fight, I
td: How do you get power to fight in a society that sometimes think the judges cheated me, I didn’t get knocked down, but
marginalizes you as a human? the judges gave my points to the opponent. So, if you watch
mm: It gives me power. We are all human beings, I see some that fight on YouTube, you can see I didn’t lose that fight. It

who like me, some who don’t, but I do what I have to do. I am was an African WBA title fight, and my opponent was a big
a fighter. man, but I don’t think I lost the fight. So, in my heart, I have
td: Tell me your feelings about Nagoya.. no losses, I am not a loser.
mm: I like Nagoya, I can meet many foreigners here, staying td: So, you call yourself ‘The Ghetto Champion’, why that
here in Japan, it can be a hard life for foreigners. I lived in name? What does it mean to you?
Fukuoka for one year, with only Japanese. Not talking to mm: I grew up in Africa, the safari, the ghetto. The people
anyone, it was tough, just staying in the house. They didn’t talk wanted me to box, I had my ghetto people behind me, maybe
to me much, some come and feel my body as if I am dirty or 4 thousand people, life there was very hard…but they grew
something, maybe because I am African, but here in Nagoya, me up to be a champion, they told me I would one day be
I am happy. I meet different people, it makes me proud, I feel a champion since I was young. So, whatever I am doing, I
great here. am doing for those people, I am their champion, The Ghetto
td: What is success to you? Champion. I am working hard to make them happy.
mm: Success to me means I get what I have been dreaming of
all the time. My dream is my success. As I told you, my dream “….The Ghetto Champion goes in, left, right, left, and
is to get that belt, the WBC championship. My dream is to be his opponent is DOWN FOR THE COUNT, 7-8-9-10..
td: Do you think it will be easier for you to get your success IS THE NEW BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION OF
here, or in your country? THE WORLD!!!! He has taken on all comers,
mm: It’s easier here. All my weight fighters are here, they are including FEAR, ALIENATION, PROCRASTINATION,
around here. My country is very far. Here, I am very near to CONFUSION, and LONELINESS to emerge a TRUE
the champions, I can visit their gym and see them, it makes CHAMPION…”
me see that I am very near to the champion. I am watching
his movements, his steps. I can see him clearly. It shows me I’d like my story to read somewhat like this, wouldn’t you?
I can become the champion too. It isn’t so far away. It is the tdh

|RAN| 13
| Story and photos by JL Gatewood |

fed the American

in the USA, I was force-
Being born and raised car s, beautiful wife,
bir th- - yo u kn ow , “Nice home, 2
Dream sin ce su mm er an d
su cc ess ful ca ree r wi th a va ca tio n every
2.5 kid s, t this is what
pa cka ge .” An d it’s just that, a dream... Bu
retirement s are possible
eri ca n kid s gro w up believing; that all thing
most Am or more. We
ne ca n be an ast ron aut, doctor, president,
and anyo for Japanese
N wa nte d to kn ow , is there a such thing
here at RA pe to achieve
in Jap an ? Wh at do the people of Japan ho
people he re camera and
es? We ll I gra bb ed a pen, notepad, and my
in their liv where a gaijin Miko Ikemura (19)
to the on e pu bli c place I could think of
hustled off co ps ge ttin g Job: Massuist
qu est ion s in ba d Jap an ese wi tho ut the
co uld ask My Dream: Own a clothing shop
tion during rush hour.
suspicious... Nagoya Sta What’s the Japanese Dream?: Japanese seem to be
worrying more about protecting the country and their
livelihood; so maybe the dream should be making a
Katea (27) good future for yourself.
Job: None
My Dream: want to have
choices for my
professional life.
What’s the Japanese
Dream?: I think Japanese
only think about work,
work, and work and
need to start making their
dream about their families
and children’s future.

S. Suzuki (37)
Job: Company Worker
My Dream: I’m single, so I
want to find a good girl and
start a family.
What’s the Japanese Dream?:
People are worried about
a lot of things in the world
these days. More Japanese are
understanding that we live Hajime Goto (35)
in a big complex world. So Job: Tradesman
I think most people want to My Dream: I want to make sure my
understand that world and live children have a safe, happy future.
peacefully. What’s the Japanese Dream?: We have
limited resources and must depend
on others for energy. Finding a clean
source of power that doesn’t affect the
Haruko Inoue (48) environment should be our dream.
Job: College Professor
My Dream: I want to make sure my research is
completed before I retire.
What’s the Japanese Dream?: Does it really exist? Do Japanese people
collectively have a dream? With this economy, maybe it’s time to stop
dreaming and start doing!

Akito Inoue (12)

Job: 6th grade elementary school student
My Dream: Not sure yet... I’m a kid, remember?!
What’s the Japanese Dream?: Everyone should do whatever possible
to make their life happy.

14 |RAN|
Teache rs Do It
on the Net | Story and photos by
Anthony Gilmore |

ach year, hundreds of people come from the around interest. Rounding out the cast is Michael Kruse as the aging
the world to teach English in Japan. Some do it for the slacker Mark, Michael Walker as the wanna be ninja Neville,
experience, others for the money, and then there are those and Gaetano Totaro as the training tornado known simply as
who come because they simply want to be teachers. In the fall Roberto.
of 2010, Nameless Media and Productions will do it on the With the web series genre quickly becoming a mainstay
net, exploring the billion-dollar industry of overseas English in popular media, it is an exciting time to be bringing the
education with their new “dramedy” web series, English world of English teachers to the laptop audience. A web series
Teachers. Set in a bustling Japanese city, English Teachers tells allows the viewer to experience a variety of unique comedy
the story of Tom Kellerman, a young teacher who left his home and dramas rarely seen on the sometimes stale television dial.
in Topeka, Kansas and set out on a soul-searching journey that With impressive talent
leads him across the globe to the

both in front
of and behind the camera, the highly anticipated English
BeYes! School of English. Making his search more difficult is Teachers production will be just as much fun to make as it will
his rag-tag group of colleagues whose questionable teaching be to watch.
skills seem to be even worse than their social skills. With “I’ve been able to work with such a great team,” comments
English being a competitive business, Tom and his BeYes! Gilmore. “The writing staff have delivered great scripts and
cohorts struggle to find their way through language barriers, have been quite entertaining to work with. The art department
cultural challenges, and the everyday obstacles of being an is really working hard to make the BeYes! world come to
English teacher. life, and the production manager, producers, and interns are
Anthony Gilmore, the creator/director of the series and working around the clock to make this show happen. We’ll
president of Nameless Media and Productions, is proud to be be shooting on a pair of Canon 5Ds and working with a top-
bringing this first-of-its-kind story to the booming web series notch local DP, lighting technician, and sound technician.”
genre. “This is an idea that I’ve had for awhile,” says Gilmore,
“But the timing has never been right to move forward with
production. After months and months of hard work, we’re English Teachers will post their first
finally going to be able see that idea on the screen. There is episode towards the end of September at:
still a lot of work to be done, but we’re all very excited.”
The production will be brought to life with the help of www.
an international cast and crew. The talented cast of English englishteachersseries
Teachers is made up of both new and familiar faces from
television and film. Jonathan Sherr, who recently starred
opposite Mao Inoue in My Darling is a Foreigner, plays the So tune in and take notes. There will be a
role of Tom. Actress, singer, and model Ananda Jacobs plays short quiz afterwards.
the role of Jodi, a fellow teacher and Tom’s potential love

|RAN| 15
The G reen SPOT

Anim a l s ' R e v e n g e ? | Photos and story by Mark H. Campbell |

uring the early part of this year, like I do almost every family member’s house to get my regular Jamaican cooking, if
year, I went home to visit my parents in Jamaica. My needs be.
trips there are pretty much the same really – spend the Anyway, this time round, my mum insisted that I watch a
first few days thawing out from the bitter Japanese winters, DVD called EATING, produced by The Rave Diet & Lifestyle.
catch up on some much-needed sleep, go to the beach, and “Here we go again”, I thought, “More stuff from mum about
of course, enjoy some good home cooking. Over the years, the virtues of a vegetarian diet.” Hadn’t I done enough? A
however, the home cooking has changed a lot, compared year earlier I had given up dairy when I finally had to admit
to when I was a child. Back in the day, it was barbecued (despite my mum telling me for years) that my lifetime of
chicken or spare ribs, fried fish, curry goat, ackee and saltfish, sinusitis was due to my consumption of dairy. I drank milk
rice and peas, and of course, manish water, which is a soup (liquid meat) like it was water, and I snacked on cheese all
cooked with goat intestines and vegetables - a favourite at the time. Since giving up dairy I have not had a cold. No
any gathering. Some of you might not be familiar with these lie. She was right all along. So after reluctantly agreeing to
dishes, and might even be a bit put off by the manish water, watch the EATING documentary, I can honestly say that I was
but believe me when I say this, these meals are out of this blown away. I’m known for being impulsive at times (How
world. Just writing about them now makes my mouth water. do you think I got to Japan?), and I decided in that instance,

They call these diseases the animal’s revenge -

their way of killing us for killing them.
So how has that good home cooking changed? Well, that I was going to become a vegan. It was as simple as that.
the food still tastes great, but the ingredients have certainly I was convinced. The research was too compelling to deny.
changed. About 15 years ago, my mum became a member In addition to watching EATING, I also watched Fast Food
of the Seventh Day Adventist church, and during the course Nation and Our Daily Bread. They were the final few nails in
of her studies, she became a vegan. Besides not eating pork, the coffin, regarding animal-based diets.
which is frowned upon in that denomination, members are I just want to clarify what I mean when I say vegan. A
encouraged to be vegetarian. I suppose, it’s part of the whole vegan is like having a black belt in vegetarianism. I’m not one
health and temperance philosophy to further enlightenment. of those people who says, “I’m a vegetarian, but I eat chicken
So now, when I go home, it’s tofu this and veggie that. I and fish”. I’m a vegetarian, and I also don’t eat any by-
never minded the changes, because the food is always so products of animals or fish. That excludes cow’s milk, cheese,
good, and I always seem to lose weight after a trip home, butter, eggs, and caviar (or Ikura) from my diet.
and besides that, I was never far away from a restaurant or EATING showed the connection between the major

16 |RAN|
diseases (heart disease, cancer and diabetes) and an animal- metabolism is no surprise, so becoming a vegan came in
based diet, these are credible doctors talking about their the nick of time. The sceptics are always quick to tell me
research, as well as their own experiences with ill health, and that I need meat for protein, but I can get protein from nuts;
sharing how they cured themselves by converting to a plant- beans; soya milk; even broccoli. It’s always funny to me that
based diet. the sceptics, who are always quick to put me down for my
Before this DVD, I was ignorant to a lot of things. I always lifestyle change, are often overweight. Do I miss eating meat,
heard about high cholesterol, and saw NO CHOLESTEROL fish, and all their by-products? Of course I do. Do you think
written on the packaging of many foods I bought back in my recovering alcoholics never have cravings for a drink? It takes
second home, London. But what was it really? I discovered self-control, and those who know me personally, know that I’m
that cholesterol is basically the build up of sludge in our a control-freak.
arteries, formed from animal-based foods, which eventually I have to watch what I eat. Three of my grandparents died
restricts the flow of blood and oxygen, and will most likely from leukaemia, heart disease, and diabetes. I have diabetes
lead to heart attacks, or strokes, if not addressed. Heart on both sides of the family, so I’m all about prevention. Not
disease, a disease that was almost non-existent at the start of cure. By default, I’ve even become an environmentalist to
the 20th century, is the highest killer in America and the UK, some degree. It turns out that more land is cleared to grow
and the second highest killer in Japan. I also discovered that food for animals than for humans, so by me cutting out meat,
chicken and fish having much less cholesterol than red meat I have saved a few acres along the way. It’s all about the eco
is a huge myth. It’s only marginally less. And would it surprise baby!
you to know that shrimp has six times more cholesterol than The biggest challenge for me is eating out, in and around
beef? Nagoya. I’ll go to some places and the so-called vegetable
The thing that drove it home for me with regard soup has ham floating around in it, or is made with fish or
to cholesterol was when I heard that it causes erectile meat stock. Salads come with ham as standard, and almost
dysfunction in men. What!? If you think about it though, it always have a big dollop of mayonnaise. It was difficult
makes perfect sense really. Cholesterol enough telling restaurants before that
leads to poor blood flow, which means I’m allergic to shellfish, now I have to
that my nearest and dearest friend, whip out my iPhone 4, use the kotoba
whom I’ve known all my life, could have dictionary to tell people in restaurants
been put out of commission, simply that I’m a zettaisaishokushugisha. After
because I was partial to a two piece the initial eeeeehhhhhhh, they calm
and fries at KFC. Hell no! I don’t want down, and try to accommodate me, as
him dying before me. But seriously, the best they can.
whole thing of cholesterol is no joke. Many restaurants are probably not
Did you know that one cancer cell is open to the idea of including vegetarian
produced in EVERY SINGLE HUMAN’S or vegan dishes on their menus, because
BODY EVERY DAY? We can’t stop it. they assume that there just isn’t enough
It’s Mother Nature. The only way to demand for these alternatives, but if more
fight the production of cancer cells is to people ask, things will change. There
have a strong immune system. A plant- just aren’t many choices available for
based diet gives our immune system the someone with strict dietary requirements,
armour to go to war with cancer. An but I have managed to find a few: Casa
animal-based diet provides no defence Blanca (Moroccan) in Takaoka. Sarmale
whatsoever. Cancer, the second highest (Romanian) in Shin Sakae. Yagya (Japanese/
killer in the UK and US, and the highest killer in Japan is Asian Izakaya) near Nagoya Station will customize some
spiralling out of control. In Japan, there is the obvious lung dishes. I even get food in Hard Rock Café. They do a lovely
cancer (they love them some cigarettes over here boy), but veggie burger that still tastes great without the cheese and
stomach, colon, liver, and pancreatic cancer are also wiping lemon mayonnaise. This may come as a surprise, but even
people out at alarming rates. Outback (that famous steak restaurant) did a tomato sauce
They call these diseases the animal’s revenge- their way of vegetable pasta that was excellent. Polan no Hiroba, an
killing us for killing them. Research shows that a lot of meat organic restaurant in Issha, has some tasty food for vegans.
people are buying in their local supermarkets already has Their portions are a bit too small for a growing lad like me, but
cancer in it. Cancer develops in these animals because they they do some excellent muffins made with no milk or eggs.
are pumped with steroids to fatten them up, they are forced Freshness Burger located in Yaba-Cho, Fujigaoka, and Centrair.
to eat things that their bodies are not designed to cope with, Is also very good, and they do three vegetarian burgers.
including themselves (cannibalism), and these diseases are favourite is the 3-bean burger. Out in Nagakute, my mate
passed on to us. I’m no doctor, but I’m no fool either. Tsuyoshi runs Skillet Diner, serving up an array of American
My diet might come up in conversation at times, and dishes. Most dishes are not suitable for vegans, but he will
people ask me if I feel any better with the change. It’s hard make excellent tomato sauce vegetable pasta on request.
to say really, but I suppose I don’t feel any worse. “Have you Finally, if you want to make the change, do it gradually
found religion”, some people jokingly ask. It’s impossible and expect some opposition from friends, families and
to grow up in Jamaica and not have some religion in you. I restaurant staff. As in any recovery program, keeping a strong
have energy. I work out. My clothes fit better, and my love will and not swaying from your convictions under adversity,
handles are disappearing. Getting older and having a slowing should keep you from falling off the “wagon”.

|RAN| 17
When In Rome

the of



| By Achim Runnebaum |

he term "wa" ( 和 ) literally means peace or harmony,
and is the fundamental building block of Japanese
society. It is elusive, ethereal, and almost always hidden
behind insincere smiles, nods of affirmation, the often uttered
"chigaimasu", and promises never intended to be kept.
What is Harmony? According to the dictionary, it is
compatibility in opinion and action, and is the mantra of
Japanese society. Preserving the harmony is the one and only
goal in Just about every interaction in Japan. Don't be fooled,
it is easier to define the sound of one hand clapping than to • listen carefully to the exact words they are using
fully understand this concept, but hopefully this article will • try to read between the lines of those words
shine a little light on what Wa means. • ask simple questions to get specific information out
You might have passed level 1 of the JLPT, have the lyrical • most of all, look at her body language for subtle
enka stylings of Jero (He's the first and so far only black enka clues about her intended meaning.
singer) when you go to Karaoke, can quote entire passages
from Genji no Monogatari (The Tales of Genji), and can Got it? Ok, let's do a quick test to see if you really
even catch flies with your chopsticks, but when it comes to understood the gist of it. Imagine an interaction between you
interacting with the Japanese, most people have the grace and a girl (or guy) you're seeing. You might ask her: "Are we
of an elephant let loose in a porcelain store. Even for the exclusive, or are you seeing other people?"
Japanese, Wa is sometimes difficult to grasp, but fear not, we
will try to lift some of the mystery for you. Keep reading..... Most likely, she will not look at you directly and give you
At some point during your stay in Japan you might have the typical "shy eyes." Does this mean:
noticed that people here tend to talk around a problem,
whether it's in the office, in a relationship, or even at the bar A) "I like you, so I'm not seeing other men (but I'm
after work. They do this to preserve the harmony between embarrassed to say I like you)"... or
people, especially in their immediate surroundings and their
in-group. Why do they do this? It's all about not losing face or B) "I really want to see other guys (but I don't want to
bringing shame or discomfort upon another person, especially hurt your feelings by telling you)."
in ones in-group.
This concept is so deeply ingrained in the Japanese psyche In either case, she will probably avoid direct eye contact
that it's very natural, almost subconscious for the Japanese, with you. So what's your choice?
but as unnatural as daikon ice-cream for anyone who wasn’t If you answered “A”.....Good job, you did pay attention!
raised in Japan. For example, you might be invited to a party Her slight smile will reveal that she's really just shy. In the
in the following way: "I know you're probably very busy with case of option B), she will probably not smile at all. Very slight
your life, but if it's not too much trouble (and the moon is a difference, but a huge difference in meaning. These subtle
shade of blue) could you possibly stop by a little party after differences can be a source of endless frustration for non-
work? But I understand if you can't make it because you're too Japanese so you have to develop mystical, Uri Geller like
busy or too tired to come." mind-reading abilities in order to really understand the inner
This situation doesn't appear all that important at the mysteries of Japanese social interactions, which for most of us
moment but if you responded with something along the is a goal just as unattainable as finding the Holy Grail.
lines of: "Maybe I'll stop by if I'm feeling up to it," you If there is any message to be taken away from this it's that
have just confirmed your attendance to that party and are in Japan, not only do you have to understand the language
expected by the Japanese code of conduct to make it there, well enough to know what they're saying, but you have to
illustration: ADAM PASION

lest you take the full brunt of your Japanese friends' or co- also read between the lines and look for very subtle clues of
workers' displeasure at your inconsiderate rudeness for behaviour to get to the true intended meaning. I will leave
standing them up. you with a little bit of parting advice: In your interactions
Your interactions with Japanese women will also be with Japanese people, keep in mind that you're not in Kansas
peppered with "Wa" since Japanese women are generally very anymore, and try to do as the Romans would do. Or, you
indirect about their true feelings. To uncover what they are could just unleash your inner elephant......but be prepared for
really saying the consequences.

18 |RAN|
Dm O
Mo P
p P
p P
p ' s
ilson |
| By Derrick W
Life is so simple, but complicated.
History repeats itself.
Sawa, D'Mojah and their art were introduced
to Nagoya via Ran magazine's first issue.
Though just introduced to Nagoya, their cycle
started a long timeago. Seven years ago, on Sawa
's first trip to New York she was amazed and
inspired by the street art (graffiti murals). She felt
its "vibrating energy".
D'Mojah having the image of being bold
and stylish since young ( I guess from being a
skateboarder) wore custom made artistic shirts
from his mother’s collection which he wore to
school and got many compliments.
"Back then I experienced the idea of marketing
wearable art."
Mid April this year these two moments from the
past came together into fruition when D'Mo took
a few of Sawa's designs to a screen printer and started the DMO
PPP brand (D'Mo's Pamojah Projects Presents).
創造 That is the art they produce that now brands

shirts and shoes.
"One small ripple years ago " We a r e n ow b u s i n e s s a n d a r t a n d w e
collaborate to promote you"
initiated the plans for DMO
"Pamojah means the coming together of two or
PPP infinity." more groups.



& き


| By Aaron Christie |

art of the pleasure of international travel is discovering Modest dress is required, particularly when sightseeing. This
different cultures, and Thailand is no exception. does not just mean avoiding low-cut tops and short shorts, but
Ignorance is no excuse for causing offence, so here’s the also covering the upper arms and avoiding open-toed shoes.
low-down on some important dos and don’ts for visitors to It goes without saying that topless sunbathing on the beaches
this lovely country. will not be tolerated.

Respect Royalty Buddhist Temples

The king of Thailand is highly respected, and showing any As well as covering up for temple visits, shoes must be left
sign of disrespect can lead to jail. This includes the obvious, outside to show respect for the Buddhas. Buddhist monks
like standing when the Royal anthem is played at the cinema, cannot have any contact with women, so any gifts must be
to respecting all images of the king, including his face on handed to a man who can pass it to the monk.
currency. If you drop a coin, do not stamp on it to stop it
rolling, and avoid controversial questions about the king, Respect
however well intentioned. “Losing face” is an integral part of Asian culture. Showing
displays of anger or raising your voice will mean you get
Using Body Language nowhere fast in Thailand. Whether you are haggling a price,
Western society thinks nothing of patting a child on the head, disciplining your children or taking issue with a tuk-tuk
pointing with the foot or kissing and hugging in public. These driver, keep your cool, maintain a respectful tone and smile
are highly offensive gestures in Thailand. The head is seen as throughout.
the highest part of the body and should not be touched, and Finally, show respect by learning a few words of Thai, such as
pointing with the foot, the lowest and dirtiest part of the body, thank you and the local “wai” greeting. You will be rewarding
is rude. If you sit on the floor, make sure you curl your legs with a beaming smile, adding to the pleasure of your
under you. wonderful experience in Thailand.

|RAN| 21
| Story and pictures by EJP |

our foot feels better. Whatever it was, you’ve walked it What is known, though, is that the disease didn’t occur here
off at the Meiji Restoration Museum. So you forgo the before 1500. The reason this is known is that a man named
streetcar and hike back to the station. It takes about 20 Takao Suzuki published a book in 1998 called Looking at the
minutes. You know right where the Starbucks is, and you point Japanese Through their Bones. Well, that’s your translation of
yourself in that direction, as if on autopilot. Since they arrived it. It was really called hone kara mita nihonjin, but how boring
in Japan in 1996 you’ve been single handedly keeping the does that title sound for something this fascinating? He studied
entire chain of coffee shops afloat. Never mind that you don’t skeletal remains from archaeological sites around Japan and
even like coffee. You go to Starbucks because you don’t like observed no signs of syphilis caused pathologies prior to that
cigarette smoke, and before Starbucks began operating here date. He also found that, within a couple of centuries, half the
there wasn’t a single no-smoking restaurant in Japan. Well, adults in Edo had the disease. It seems syphilis caught on here
none that you knew of. And certainly none that permeated almost as fast and as furiously as smoking did.
the entire culture like Starbucks does now. In fact, when you It’s late afternoon and there’s a music ensemble setting up
first arrived in Japan, it led the world in per capita tobacco to play in the square in front of the store. About thirty college
consumption. This is something the Japanese even appeared age kids in red shirts are preparing to sing. You want to ask
to take pride in. If you had a dollar for every time somebody somebody what’s going on, but you never do. You hate to say
told you this back then, you could afford to take up smoking anything to anybody. You’re afraid of Japanese people. You’re
yourself. Not that you would. afraid of what they’ll say back to you. So you walk around
Cigarettes were cheap here then—they still are. Japan them and head for Starbucks. White shirts, green aprons, beige
Tobacco Inc. was largely owned by the state and had a near walls, black coffee, or green tea latte. You feel like a cliché.
monopoly on the product. Smoking was state sponsored and But you’re addicted. Not to the product. To the place.
state encouraged. Everybody smoked. All men, that is. Very What a business plan. You’re 1100 kilometers from home.
few women did. This has changed rapidly over the past ten You’re on your own. There’s nobody even watching you. You
years, on both counts—fewer Japanese are smoking, but of can do anything you want. And you’re going to Starbucks.
those who do smoke, more are women—but Starbucks was Never mind that this is something you could do anytime
the first place in Japan where a guy could sit down for a rest, anywhere, including a little spot a mere 500 meters from your
and rest assured that he wouldn’t be smoked on. So it still has home in Nagoya! You remind your self to buy stock in this
your business. Never mind that now there are plenty of non- company when you get home. Maybe you can get back some
smoking establishments and even more establishments with of that 520 yen you spend here every day.
non-smoking sections. In fact, the Japanese are only fourth in And just then somebody taps on your shoulder. It’s an old
the world right now in terms of cigarettes consumed per adult. man. No wait. You shouldn’t say that. It’s an elderly fellow. It’s
They trail Greece, Hungary, and Kuwait, three places you’ll a retiree. So apparently you were wrong when you believed
probably never go. nobody was even watching you. He was.
And speaking of that, tobacco is yet another product that “Where are you from?” he asks.
first arrived in Japan with the Portuguese at Kagoshima, though Fuck a duck!
historians are not sure exactly when. It was possibly on the You wish you had a dollar for every time you’ve been
ship that brought Saint Francis Xavier on July 27, 1549. It’s asked where you’re from. But at least his grammar is correct.
known that the people of Kagoshima didn’t know what it was Usually this question comes out, “Where from?” or worse yet,
when they first saw the sailors on that ship smoking it. And “Are you from?”
it’s also known that tobacco was in fairly wide use in Japan How in the world does a guy answer that question and
soon thereafter. So there’s quite possibly a connection. It’s keep a straight face—“Are you from?”
the first product of the Americas to receive wide acceptance “Yes, I am.”
in Japan. Others that would arrive soon afterwards include “No I’m not, are you?”
watermelon, corn, pumpkins, red peppers, peanuts, beans, Maybe this inadequacy with the English language here
peppermint, potatoes and lemons. Also spinach. You have to wouldn’t be so exasperating if it wasn’t for what you do to
wonder why anybody would go to all the trouble of carrying a earn a living. You teach English.
spinach plant half way around the world. But somebody did. And this old fellow does too, or at least he did. He was a
All of these came a few decades later, though, during the Edo jr. high school English teacher in Kagoshima for forty years,
period, when Japan was supposedly closed off to the outside which you think should have bored the life out of him a long
world. Another presumably American import of the early years time ago, but oh no. He wants to tell you all about it. Of
was syphilis. It’s first historical reference in Japan, though, course, he’s a sweet man who got up and went to work every
dates from 1512. This is several years before any European day of his life. He raised kids. Now they’re raising kids. He
traders are known to have set foot here. Its arrival is a mystery. takes care of his wife. He wants to tell you all about the time

22 |RAN|
he took her to Oklahoma. you don’t really know what to say. The only things you could
You try to excuse yourself. “Yes, Oklahoma’s a great place. think of to ask him are “How old are you, anyway?” and
Take care.” “Where were you during the war?”
He tells you they went to Texas too. They saw the Grand From the Ferris wheel you look out over the city. The view
Canyon. is gorgeous. The sky is orange, purple and gold behind big
You tell him you were just on your way to have a coffee, gray clouds still lingering after the earlier rain. In the other
but . . . He tells you he loves America. His daughter went to direction, the light is dancing on Sakurajima, Kagoshima’s
school in Wisconsin. She married a guy from New York. He’s active volcano, smoking, even now, in the middle of
an English teacher too. You’re already standing in line to order, Kagoshima Bay.
and there he is. He’s followed you into the shop. He’s still Actually, all of Kagoshima bay is the caldera of an ancient
talking to you. What can you do? volcano. Looking at a map, this is easy to see. The caldera is
“Would you like to join me for a coffee?” you ask him. It’s 20 km across, and the south end of it opens to the sea. It was
either that or just be rude. But he’s too sweet to be rude to. formed by a huge eruption some 22,000 years ago. It blew ash
Never mind that he’s boring you to distraction. as far as far away as Aomori prefecture on the northern tip of
“No thank you,” he says. Honshu, where you intend to be in a couple of months, and
Then as soon as you get your coffee he sits down at your it’s been active on and off ever since.
table with you. He’s been to seventeen states. But he’s never The ongoing record of volcanic ash makes it easy for
been to the South. He wants to go to Disney World with his scientists to approximate the age of things around here. This
wife. He wants to see an alligator. He wants to see a swamp. particular eruption spread a 22,000 year-old layer of ash over
Yet somehow you get the feeling he really doesn’t. Rather, the entire country that Japanese archeologists can use to age
these are just words he has recently studied, alligator and things they find in the midst of it. And there are many other
swamp. layers from many other eruptions. This is one of the world’s
But you know how he feels. He’s studied English all his most volcanic countries, after all. And isn’t it amazing, the
life, and now he rarely gets the opportunity to speak it. And things scientists can do! Reflecting on this makes you wish
come to think of it, you haven’t seen another gaijin since you you had a real job and did real work, meaningful work,
got to Kagoshima. For him, you’re a rare commodity and this scientific work. But then again . . .
is a rare opportunity to use English. But that doesn’t mean Sakurajima is the modern active vent of that ancient
he isn’t driving you crazy. This is about as far away from the volcano. It used to be an island in the middle of the bay, but it
big population centers of Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, and was connected to the mainland by a lava flow in the eruption
Tokyo as a guy can get and still be in traditional Japan. There of 1914. That was the most recent plinian eruption here. There
aren’t as many opportunities to speak English here. So he’s have been others of course. There was a big one in 1779 and
practicing. This used to happen to you all the time. Not so one in 1471. The first one in recorded history was in 963.
much anymore. Not in Nagoya. These days, in Nagoya you Most recently the vent has been spewing ash pretty
can’t throw a rock without hitting a gaijin, not that anybody in regularly since 1955. When cross country hiker Alan Booth
Nagoya would ever throw a rock anyway. He’d have trouble arrived here in the 80s he reported that there was ash covering
even finding one. the city, especially around the area of Saigo Takamori’s last
Every Japanese person in Nagoya already knows more than stand, his shrine, and his grave.
enough gaijin. You’re all old hat. You’re stale bread. All you’re The ash supposedly made the earth on the island of
good for is English. Even this old fellow knows that much. Sakarajima exceptionally fertile, and thousands of farmers
And he’s taking advantage of it. lived there in earlier times. Those farmers grew many of the
You’ve had a thousand experiences like this. It’s just part area’s famous mandarin oranges, which supposedly grew well
of being a gaijin. But you know how to stop it if you want in the ashen soil.
to—just speak a couple of sentences to him in Japanese. That The 1779 explosion threw up a volcanic cloud of ash
would chase him away in a heartbeat. In Japan, for people and smoke more than ten kilometers into the air and turned
who pride themselves on their English ability, and for a lot of the ocean around it “a brilliant purple”. It killed 130 people,
other people too, it’s a loss of face to speak to a white person destroyed over 500 homes, and wiped out over 21,000
in Japanese. But at the end of the day, you’re too polite to do mandarin orange trees. The destruction was so bad that the
that. You have too much respect for your elders. And besides, Shimazu clan were unable to make their regular year-end gift
you’ve kind of started to like the fellow. of oranges to the shogun.
The sun is just setting over the city. It’s beautiful and you You tell all of this to the old fellow. Yes, he’s still there,
want to watch it. You ask if he’s ever been up in the Ferris sitting across from you. He’s the type who won’t take no for
wheel, just above you on top of the building. He says no. an answer, even when the no comes from him. You’re sure
“Well, I’m going to ride it. Would you like to join me?” he hasn’t understood a single word you’ve said, though he
“No.” probably knows it all anyway. It doesn’t matter. He seems to
With a running dialogue through his entire family, then be enjoying the ride, so never mind. He’s been to the Petrified
your entire country, he’s kept you company through one tall Forest in Arizona. It rained the whole time he was in San
coffee, a chocolate chunk cookie, and the distinct impression Francisco. He saw the Golden Gate Bridge.
that your lack of sleep is sneaking up on you. And in that It turns out he’s 73 years old. During the war he was right
whole time he hasn’t asked one single question about you. In here in Kagoshima. He was a child. He remembers watching
fact, you might as well not even be there. You have hardly got the bombs fall on the city.
a word in edgewise. And that’s probably just as well, because “It doesn’t matter,” he says. He loves America anyway.


流行 Fashion

24 |RAN|
| By Ami Pasion | |RAN| 25
SPY | Interview and photos by Adam Pasion |
core member of the Evil Dots Crew, a prolific street
artist, and owner and operator of 8Gallery in Sakae,
ESPY (imagine a spy like James Bond) is a founding
father of Nagoya's burgeoning graffiti scene. Armed with a
spray can as his weapon of choice, ESPY assaults the walls
of the city from one end to the other and when he isn't out
wall bombing he you can find him the same way I found him,
behind the counter at his own art gallery near Yabacho.

RAN: So what sort of things do you get your inspiration from?

ESPY: My style is heavily inspired by manga and horror
movies. That's probably the main influence, but there is a lot
of inspiration from skateboard culture as well. In the 80s with
the big skateboard boom I got a lot of inspiration from that.
I draw more on the influence of tattoo artists and other art
forms than I do from other graffiti writers.
RAN: I can sense that. You use pictures a lot more than
ESPY: Yeah, originally graffiti is all about “lettering” but as far
as Japanese culture goes, the alphabet is not our culture. The
thing that has spread from Japan all over the world is anime,
so I thought that was a good place for me to start.
RAN: What do you think about the Nagoya art scene,
especially related to graffiti?
ESPY: The amount of kids doing tags is always going up and
down. I think there are a lot of younger guys out there who
are really good though. As far as our crew EDC, we got guys
together with really different styles so I think we have a really
good balance.
RAN: What is it like compared to other places?
ESPY: Out in Osaka there is a crew called CMK and we are
really close with them, practically like the same crew. Besides
them though I think Osaka is really tight knit and solid.
Tokyo also has a lot of great artists and a lot going on. For
me one of the big influences from Tokyo, he does graffiti and
skateboards and everything is ESOW. He was a big influence
for me.
RAN: Do you have any message for the foreigners living in
ESPY: Nagoya has a lot of different things to offer, like food
culture and whatnot. I imagine there are a lot of people out
there who like this sort of art too and I would be happy to
have them come and check out the shop.

26 |RAN|

Th a n k s focroming!
|RAN| 29
30 |RAN|
Lars Martinson is the author of the graphic novel Tonoharu: Part One,
which is available from .
|RAN| 31