NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

192 posts categorized "When East Meets West" Feed

How Do You Choose The Best Online Casinos in  Australia?

Choosing a new gambling platform is never an easy task. All online players know that opting for the right operator means the difference between a poor and satisfying gaming experience. Luckily for all fans of online games, there are some things that they can do to see if they have picked the best online casino in Australia where they can make a deposit and play for real money safely. Great Bonuses One of the first things that any player should check when choosing an online casino are the bonuses and promotions. Every real money casino in Australia where you can win real dollars that offers welcome bonuses and promotions to new and regular users can be considered to be a safe platform to use. Always make sure that the operator that you have picked has several of these promotions. Bonus offers can come in different forms. They can be: Free... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Church Bulletin Booo-Boos

CNBNEWS ARCHIVES posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 UPDATE: For six years Hank wrote a column for CNBNews "When East Meets West". He died in August 2012 at the age of 75 By Hank F. Miller Jr I received this from a good friend awhile back. Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services: The Fasting & Prayer Conference: includes meals. The sermon this morning: "Jesus walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus." Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands. The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict. Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care... Read more →

CNBNEWS ARCHIVES: "Fond Memories Of Gloucester City"

UPDATE: For six years Hank wrote a column for CNBNews "When East Meets West". He died in August 2012 at the age of 75 published July 2007 By Hank Miller Being so many miles away from Gloucester City on a rainy Sunday afternoon with the flu in Kitakyushu City, Japan with time to think of my past. I began thinking of when I was a boy in Gloucester and recalling the things that my good friend Eddie Williams had mentioned in one of his most recent letters from his home in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The things we enjoyed and did back then we can never forget; it was a time when people had time to enjoy and a time when few people had television sets. We enjoyed the donuts at Mosteig's bakery at Brown and Bergen streets, (where my mother worked for many years). Of church on Sunday mornings. Playing... Read more →

And Then It is Winter

Posted here on March 15, 2007 (submitted by Hank Miller) You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all... And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is..the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go? I remember well... seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was... Read more →

Fender Skirts, Curb Feelers and Steering Knobs

Posted here March 24, 2007 Commentary By Hank F. Miller Jr. CNBNEWS.NET (MARCH 24, 2007)--I came across this phrase in a book yesterday "FENDER SKIRTS". A term I haven't heard in a long time and thinkingabout "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice. Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you. Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake." Continental Mark IV... Read more →

China is the future for boxing - Arum

MACAU (AFP) April 7, 2013, 1:57:02 PM EDT Scott Halleran/Getty Images/AFP/File Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank, waits on stage as Nonito Donaire of the Philippines and Jorge Arce of Mexico have their official weigh-in at the PlazAmericas Mall on December 14, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Boxing was banned in Chinaunder Mao Zedong because it was deemed too Western and too violent. But if top promoter Bob Arumgets his way -- and he usually does -- the country will be the future of the sport. "For any serious business person... it's a country of 1.4 billion people and it's a country that's emerging economically to be a real super power," said Arum, founder and chief executive of Las Vegas-based Top Rank promotions. "It's a country where people are just starting to have the opportunity to sample what we in the West are used to, like professional boxing. "I... Read more →

CNBNews Columnist Hank Miller Succumbs; Korean/Vietnam Era War Veteran, CIA Employee

Mr. Miller with his wife Keiko by CNBNEWS STAFF Harry Miller Jr., of Kitakyushu City, Japan died August 19, 2012 from lung cancer. He was 75 years old. A former resident of Gloucester City NJ, Hank was the author of the semi-weekly CNBNEWS column When East Meets West which featured stories about the customs of Japan. He began writing the column for CNBNews in 2007 and continued to write it until two months before he died. He was also the founder of Miller English School of Japan. Mr. Miller graduated from St. Mary’s Grammar School and was a member of St. Mary’s Parish, both in Gloucester City. Hank joined the Navy at age 17 when the the Korean War started. According to his sister Roni Arrera after being discharged from the Navy he worked as an advisor for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Vietnam. He is survived by his... Read more →

When East Meets West Author Needs Your Prayers |

CNBNews author Hank William ) Long time CNBNews columnist Hank Miller who is the author of When East Meets West commentary for six years is very sick. Please keep him in your prayers His daughter recently wrote, Mr. Cleary. This is Hank F. Miller's daughter, Rachel. I'm contacting you regarding my father's health condition. Today, my mother was told that he will only live for 3 months the longest if lucky. His lung cancer is spreading rapidly without any control. Doctor have told my mother that he could pass away at any time now so she's required to sleep over night at the hospital. I'm in Tokyo currently working full time, but I'm flying home this coming Friday right after my work. I thought I would notify you about his condition since he loved writing stories for you. Warm regards, Rachel Miller Related articles WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Tsuyu or... Read more →

Tanabata Festival: A Herald of Summer |

English: Image of a net (toami) Tanabata decoration, photographed during the Sendai Tanabata Festival, held at Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. I took this photograph on August 7, 2005. This image is multi licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. commons:category:Tanabata commons:category:Sendai commons:category:2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Tanabata Matsuri is the essence of summer and summer festivals. Held in Japan on either July 7 or August 7, in other Asian countries such as China and South Korea also hold Star Festivals. The original form of Tanabata derives from Qi Xi, the Chinese Star Festival. Introduced to the Imperial Palace in Kyoto during the Nara Era (eight century), it became a popular event among the general public in the early Edo Period (17th century). Mixing the old tale of Tanabata assumes as well as various Oban traditions together with... Read more →

When East Meets West: Children’s Day In Japan |

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. CNBNEWS.NET May 5 Children’s Day corresponding to the girls day in March to Momi-no-sekku,or Peach Festival for girls on March 3,this day used to be called Tango-no-sekkuor Boy's Festival.After World War II, May 5 was designated as Children’s Day and made a national holiday.This is also known as the "day of the shobu (iris)."Or "Martial Prowess."The Idea being that,when faced with challenging moments,boys will learn to face difficulties in a decisive,manly fashion. Rites performed on this day are performed with such wishes in mind: Families with sons display warrior dolls that are dressed in battle helmets and armor, and koi nobori (carp streamers)are set to fly on long bamboo poles out of doors in the garden .The carp has the power to fight its way up fast flowing streams and even waterfalls and therefore, represents the courage and strength expected of boys.The carp streamers... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Longtime expatriates all play 'Survivor' |

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Yet I too am a survivor.True, My challenges list looks like this: Struggling doggedly with another language and culture,not just for a few weeks, but for every single day of every single year, year-in and year-out...Raising three kids between two lands and a pair of families parted by a wide world of differences and understanding...Sweating through a boiling cost of living that over baked even the smallest of expenditures...Thus perhaps the hardest task of all this is watching other folks in similar situations not being able to survive, but rather pack up everything and head back home. I am reminded of these old friends every day, for like a true survivor I have their cast-off belongings. I sip coffee from the mug an ex-colleague who is now living on the west coast. I watch videos on an ancient tape machine from a former... Read more →

When East Meets West: Cherry Blossom Viewing In Japan |

Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City NJ who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( is presently on the highest alert now-code Pink.I'm referring to the cherry blossom season alert. The blushing blossoms carpet Japan with pink all the way up the Japanese archipelago from Southern Kyushu to Hokkaido.When full pink blossoms are mankai-in full bloom. The cherry blossom report is broadcasts on the nightly news alongside the weather report. Cherry blossom reports are extremely accurate.When reported in Fukuoka Prefecture the blossoms would burst fourth from their buds on about March 25,But this year due to the extended cold weather here in Kitakyushu,City the buds are to burst fourth from about 4 or 5 days later later then usual, so the viewing will be perfect this week and it will be a grand time to view cherry... Read more →

When East Meets West: The Hina Doll Festival |

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST The Hina Doll Festival , which is also called the Girls'Festival or Peach Festival, is observed on March 3. This is a festival to wish for the health , growth and happy marriages of young girls. Dolls in ancient costumes are displayed on tiers of shelves covered by bright red cloth. These dolls represent the emperor and empress, their nobie court ladies-in-waiting and ministers. The Doll Festival dates from midieval times, but it was not untilthe 18th century that the custom of displaying dolls came into fashion.The dolls are usually on display for about a week,but it is customary to put them away soon after March 3 because leaving them out for a long time is said to delay a daughter's marriage. If... Read more →

Setsubun or Bean Throwing Day in Japan |

Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Setsubun literally means the " division of the seasons" and refers to the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar. Setsubun falls on February 3 or 4.On the evening of this day,people throw roasted beans or peanuts inside or outside the their homes shouting "Oniwa-soto, Fukuwa-uchi,"which means"out with the demons,in with good fortune ." Of course,the aim of this ritual is to keep the house safe from harm while inviting goos luck to come inside.The ritual has become a production of sorts at large temples,where a demon dressed in costume appears on stage and famous people are invited to scatter the beans or peanuts.These roasted beans or peanuts are said to be imbued with spiritual power,so on this day people " eat their age" in beans or peanuts,eating the same number... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Coming of Age Day |

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( It is a natural step for parents who have seen their children through age seven to hope their kids grow up to become decent adults.As a result,people in Japan adopted the social custom of expressing gratitude for and celebrating the arrival of maturity in a splendid if solemn ceremony. Such coming of age rituals are still observed today. Image via Wikipedia Long ago,the average life span was only 40 years, the age at which one was considered an adult was much younger.Boys were considered adults at around age 15, girls at around 13. Boys participated in a ceremony in which they were given a crowning of sorts,which means the cutting of their long hair. The ceremony for girls was the"celebration of 13." There have also been times when there were ceremonies for girls who turned 15.In any era, the aim of these ceremonies... Read more →

When East Meets West: Cultural Day a National Holiday in

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The Japanese economic was at it's peak back in 1986. The country was almost as great an economic power as the U.S.A. It's now 25 years later and Japan has changed greatly after experiencing the failure of the bubble economy, the lemon shock and the Great East Japan Earthquake. With the economic success of Asian countries (especially China), the world faces a new age.While corporations from advanced countries have moved their manufacturing overseas,the economies of those nations suffer and unemployment rates have been soaring. Because of this, in place of manufacturing, many nations are seeking fresh sources of income, instead of depending on financial deals. However, as a result many nations including the USA are experiencing the same conditions Japan did after the economic bubble burst. This year Japan's GDP ranking fell from second to third place in the world after the USA and... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Shichi-go-san---Seven-Five-Three Day in Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Shichi-go-san is the name of a traditional festival in Japan which celebrates the growth of children at the ages of three,five and seven. It takes place on the 15th of November each year,and it's common on this day for boys aged three and five and girls aged three and seven to visit a Buddhist shrines, temples or a Christian church often dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono for girls and boys a hakama. Image via Wikipedia Basically,these events are based on rituals that traditionally celebrated three steps in the growth of children.The ceremony for for three-year-olds (boys and girls) are granted permission to grow their hair longer (having kept it short up to that point.)For five-year old boys,there was a ceremony in which the boys wore a hakama (formal Japanese male attire) for the first time. For-seven-year-old girls,there was a ceremony in which they... Read more →

Joseph B. Miller Funeral Services Held; Cousin of CNBNews Columnist

Joseph B. Miller, 21, of Medford, passed away suddenly on October 4, 2011. Mr. Miller died after the car he was riding in struck a deer, followed by several trees. The driver of the car was injured. Mr. Miller was a student at Stockton College. He is the cousin of Hank Miller who writes the column When East Meets West. Born in Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, Joseph was raised in Clementon, before moving to Medford in 1999. He attended St. Mary of the Lakes School, and was a parishioner at St. Mary of the Lakes R.C. Church in Medford, where he served as an usher. Joseph graduated from Holy Cross High School in 2008, and was involved in the Stage Crew. He was currently working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the Richard Stockton College of NJ. Joseph was an avid Phillies fan, who enjoyed video... Read more →


Commentary By Hank F. Miller Jr. ( second Monday of October is Sports Day/Health-Sports Day in Japan. It's purpose is to promote health and well-being through sports,and this is the day for sports and to foster a sound mind and body. The day was originally celebrated on October 10th,the day that is most likely to be sunny at this time of the year according to statistical research result,to commemorate the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Around this time of the year sports festivals is held in schools, sometime in other places such as companies,and by neighborhood groups across Japan.Sports festival, is a whole day event, it is really been a big event for the school, community and society.For example,whole family join's in the school festivals and enjoy,parents take part also and so many photos and videos of their Children are taken. Their mothers prepare really wonderful bento's (lunch... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Summertime and Life's In and Outs

Image via Wikipedia Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( summer has been hotter and longer than most.But rather than fight it hide indoors in the comfort of air conditioning. Westerners of all ages seem to embrace the summer with a certain zest:tank tops, shorts, sandals, wrinkles,skin cancer. The Japanese on the other hand,do not seem to be suited for heat. I remember as a child in the summertime in Gloucester,City as a boy running in and out of the house all day long in bare feet and no shirt just wearing blue jeans to go outside. Not in Japan. Children are not allowed to go outside without changing from indoor slippers to outdoor footwear, Japanese children are never allowed to go out without a shirt that is forbidden. You cannot reverse the process either, and simply run into the house from outside, even if you are running from lions.They'd... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Moon-viewing :The "Day of the Chrysanthemum."

Image via Wikipedia Commentary by Hank F. Miller jr. This seasonal festival is also known as the"day of double yang."Nine is the largest of the numbers, which,being doubled on this date,makes it an especially auspicious day.Because this is the season when mums are in bloom,they are used for decorations while drinks are being poured.Another ritual associated with this day was the practice of wiping the skin with a piece of cotton cloth dampened by the evening dew taken from the chrysanthemums.These customs,were celebrated up until the middle ages,and thus are not given much attention these days in Japan.In China,however the custom continues to be to climb a hill on the ourskirts of town to have a picnic with family members or with close friends together.The day's signsficance is reflected in a homophonic pair of words kyukyu"nine-nine" and"enduring peace." A moon viewing party is usually held also in the middle of... Read more →

Remember When?: Comments Made in the Year 1955-cnbnews.

Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2,000 will only buy a used one. Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a letter. Info submitted by Hank Miller, author unknown...more to come Related articles Arrest Warrant Issued for the Former Treasurer of the Gloucester City Swim Club ( LOOKING FOR THE BEETLE? Dept. of Agriculture to Survey Gloucester ( Attention Gloucester City ( Murphy chosen as Washington Township GOP Mayor ( Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST-Me The Fern and the

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( is something we all need to read and apply to ourselves, One day I decided to quit.... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality..... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God."God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"His answer surprised me..."Look around", He said."Do you see the fern and the bamboo?""Yes", I replied."When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.Its brilliant green covered the floor.Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo."In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.and again,nothing came from the bamboo seed.But I did not quit on the bamboo". He said,... Read more →

When East Meets West: Far too much local sovereignty in Japan?

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( the Japanese Democratic Party came to power in September 2009 the word "chiho bunken" (devolution)has been replaced by the new expression "chiki shuken" (local sovereignty). The government on November 17 that year created the "Local Sovereignty Strategy Council" chaired by the Prime minister ,Naoto Kan. " Devolution)," which is an antonym of a centralized form of government,means delegating to local governments some of the power and authority now heavily concentrated in the central government ministries and agencies,which are often referred to sa"KIasumigaseki" after the name of the central part of Tokyo, where most of them are headquartered. As a result, perfectural governors must always" read the minds"of Tokyo in making major decisions or implementing important policies. In no other industrialized democracy is so much power and authority concentrated in the central government in Tokyo. Japan's university system is an example to illustrate that... Read more →


Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( 7, 2011-The blast center Hiroshima City. At 25 meters in midair southeast of Shima Hospital at 19 Saikumachi,Cho.The death toll after the explosion, 140,000 people perished.The death toll by the atomic blast at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki has not been confirmed yet.The report to the United Nations Secretary General in 1976 said that the death toll was 140,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. Letter by Mr.Atarashi Oshima,a Church member on our church in Kuroseki, Kitakyushu City. At that time I was working in Tabata,Kitakyushu city.I was a skinny kid,but was drafted into the Army Engineering Brigade and sent to Hiroshima,in August 1945.It was a few days just before the bombing.We resided in temporary housing at an elementry school in Gion-machi, Asa-gun. I had only been there for three days,at about 3 the morning we were awaken by an air-raid alarm that... Read more →

When East Meets West: The Bombing of Hiroshima

"Mothers Lullaby" Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. ( August 6, 2011-A big old tree stands by the side of a road near the city of Hiroshima.Through the years,it has seen many things. One summer night the tree heard a lullaby.A mother was singing to her little girl under the tree. They looked happy and the song sounded sweet.But the tree remembered something sad. Yes, It was 66 years ago. I heard a lullaby that night too." On the morning of that day,a big bomb fell on the city of Hiroshima.Many people lost their lives,and many others were injured.In seconds after the blast people died and many others had burns all over their bodies. I was sad when I saw those people.It was a very hot day.Some of the people fell down near me.I said to them,"Come and rest in my shade.You'll be all right soon." Night came. Some people... Read more →

Visiting home and family graves during the summer

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST A series of events called "Oban" is centered on August 13th, to 15th,when Japanese greets their ancesters spirits.Oban is a Buddist festival when the Japanese people welcome and enertain their ancesters spirits who are believed to have returned home to the mortal world. Oban combines indigenous Japanese religious faith in one's ancesters with Buddhist concepts. A story of an eminent Indian monk forms the basis employed divine powers to locate the form of his dear mother,who was starved and thirsty.Every time he tried to give food or water to his mother, it would burst into flame's just as it was about to enter her mouth.The monk conversed with Buddha, who told him he would secceed on the 15th of August,and... Read more →

China Forced Newspapers to Ax Rail Crash Pages-

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. MIller Jr. China imposed a widespread ban on coverage of last month's high-speed train crash,forcing newspapers across the country to scrap pages of stories,Hong Kong newspapers reported Sunday. The Sundy Morning Post said that Chinese propaganda authorities issued a censorship order late Friday,banning all coverage of the crash"except positive news or information released by the authorities."The ban came after state media published rare criticism of the government over its responce to the July 23 crash,which killed at least 40,injured almost 200 and called into question the fast expansion of China's high-speed rail network. "After the serious rail accident on July 23,overseas as well as domestic public opinions have become increasingly complicated,"the order from the Publicity Department said,of the Communist Party, said according to the Post."All local media, including newspapers, magazines and websites,must rapidly cool down the reporters regarding the incident at once.... Read more →

China Train Crash May Scare off Overseas

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A fatal crash on China's high-speed train network could scuttle Beijing's ambitions to sell the technology overseas and could also hit its existing rail exports.Shares in Chinese rail and train builders have fallen sharply since the accident,which killed at least 39 people and injured 200, and raised questions as to the passengers who are still missing after the crash. PHOTO CHINESE PREMIER WEN JIABAO Beijing's rush to develop the world's biggest high-speed network. Initial reports blamed Saturday's collision on a lightning strike that knocked out power to the first train, which was rammed from behind by a second express, crushing some cars and shunting others off the viaduct. Chinese railway officials are now blaming design flaws in signaling equipment for the crash, the official Xinhua news agency said Thursday. The system "failed to turn the green light... Read more →

Japanese Experts Say: China's train accident unthinkable here

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A Japanese expert who analyzed video footage of Saturday's fatal bullet train accident in China said Sunday it was and accident hard to imagine happening here in Japan,even though one of the trains involved appears to be one modeled on a domestic shinkansen. A Japanese Railway official said shinkansen systems have been equipped with automatic train contol devices since they were inaugurated in 1964 because of the understanding that it would be difficult for the driver to rely on visuual traffic confirmation of the need to apply the brakes on the high-speed service. The ATC automatically stops a train if another train is detected ahead. If the system fails or power is lost,the brakes are applied automatically.Shinkansen trains operated by Japanese railway have been designed using the concept that they should stop whenever an anomaly is detected,the... Read more →


Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. China has banned local journalist from investigating the cause of the deadly high-speed train crash that has triggered public outrage and raised questions over safety, reports said Tuesday. China's propaganda department issued the order Sunday, according to a copy of the directives published by the China Digital Times, a U.S.-based site focusing on web news from China. News that journalists had been ordered to focus instead on"touching stories"about blood donors coming forward and free taxi services emerged as the death toll from Saturday's crash near the eastern city of Wenzhou rose to 39.Nearly 200 more were injured when two trains crashed during a thunderstorm, apparently after lightning strike knocked out power to the first one, shunting four carriages from a viaduct and forcing two off the rails. The government ordered the media to "use information released from... Read more →

Derailment rises doubts about China's fast rail system

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Doubts about China's breakneck plans to expand high-rail across the country have been underscored by a bullet train wreck that killed at least 36 people. Image via Wikipedia Railways Minister Sheng Guangzu has apologized to the victims of Saturday's crash, and their families. "As I watched on TV the complete broadcast',I noted most for my commentary from many other news sources to bring this news to you first hand that came out of China."The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said two U.S. citizens were among the dead. A train rammed into the back of another train that was stalled after being hit by lightning in China's deadliest rail accident since 2008. Six carriages derailed and four fell about 20 to 30... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST : It' Now Time For Complete BS

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Socrates said his wisdom flowed from knowing he knew nothing.I can relate.Except in my case, I know almost nothing. Yet I do have one area of expertise from which my own personal wisdom flowed. That being: I am an expert on BS. I write BS. I talk BS. I breathe BS. If there is one thing I know it's BS, I am so full of BS. that I myself doubt most of what I say. So,of course, I am a devoted fan of Japanese BS television. It's all I watch. I know it does not take a Bachelor of Science degree to understand that the acronym BS might have various applications. It can, in the case of Japanese TV, stand for "Broadcasting Satellite." Photo: The author with his lovely wife, Keiko But with me such subtleties go out the window the very second the... Read more →

In Japan your dream home could become your nightmare

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller jr. (CNBNEWS.NET)Many people in the Tokyo Metropolitan area who were living in a high-rise when the March 11 earthquake struct, subsequently decided to move. The problem was not the structural integrity of the building, which was not damaged at all. photo of high rise buildings in Tokyo Japan According to a survey by the Condominium Management Companies Association, even high-rises in the Tohoku and Chiba region"performed"excellently. None collapsed, and only 1.6 percent required"large-scale"repairs.More than 80 percent sustain only slight cosmetic damage or none at all. For the Japanese people the issue was more the matter of quality of life. Elevators automatically shut down during an earthquake and can only be turned on again by a certified technician. It might be days before they are operational again and walking 20, 25, or even 30 flights of stairs or more can be tiring.... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Tanabata Festival: A Herald of Summer

Image via Wikipedia Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Tanabta Matsuri is the essence of summer and of summer festivals. Held in Japan on either July 7 or August 7, Asian countries such as China and South Korea also hold Star festivals. The original form of Tanabata derives from QI Xi,the Chinese Star Festival. Introduced to the Imperial Palace in Kyoto during the Nara Era (eight century), it became a popular event among the general public in the early Edo Period (17th century). Mixing the old tale of Tanabatatsume as well as various Obon traditions together with the original Chinese festival, it eventually developed into the modern form that we see today,with people writing their wishes on"tanzaku"paper strips to decorate bamboo trees with them. The tale of Tanabata part one:... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: America Standing Together with Friends in Japan-

A Happy Fourth Of July America Commentary By Hank f. Miller Jr. Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST (CNBNEWS.NET)Today, millions of Americans will look to the sky to watch brilliant displays of fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. As they have done every fourth of July for the last 235 years, Americans will take a moment to reflect on what these fireworks represent--the liberty, equality, freedom and democracy that our founders fought so hard for. These principles have since become the cornerstones of American society. For those of us overseas, the Fourth of July takes on even a greater importances we celebrate the values that so strongly define and unite us as Americans,despite being far from our own shores. At times, these fireworks have burst over cloudy skies, during periods that sorely tested our great nation.... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Open Heart Surgery at a Japanese Hospital

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. (CNBNEWS.NET)During my yearly health check I was diagnosed with aortic valvular stenosis after a heart ultrasound was performed along with several other test on my heart I was admitted to the hospital to prepare for open heart surgery on February 28, 2011 to March 5, 2011. I was released do to having a cold and I also had a slight fever. Note: Hank, (photo), is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST I kept going to the hospital as an out patient to continue the testing; the tests took about two weeks to complete,during that time the test showed that I had aortic valvular stenosis, valvular heart disease. The surgery to replace a diseased aortic valve was performed at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health Hospital, only a 15 minute walk from my... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Earthquake still felt all over Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. When friends back home contacted me to see if we were OK after the March 11,2011, disaster I told everyone the same thing. "We're OK. We live about 1,200 kilometers from the disaster zone.We haven't been affected at all." PHOTO: HANK MILLER We didn't feel the earthquake , not even slightly. We have had no blackouts. We continue to have food,water and daily necessities. But of course this is not all true. The disaster has everyone in Japan, including the people living here in Kitakyushu. People collect food, batteries for flash lights, clothing blankets and money etc. to send to the devastated area. "What will happen to Japan?" Laments my neighbors and some of my friend, it's a big question here. Some of my neighbors are involved in international tourism and are concerned that foreign tourist won't come back for a very long time.... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Cherry Blossom Viewing In Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Japan at this time is preparing for the higest alert code-Pink .I'm referring to the cherry blossom season alert. which takes place each year after a cold winter when the Japanese people welcome the coming of Spring.The blushing blossoms carpet Japan with pink all the way up the Japanese archipelago from Southern Kyushu to Hokkaido.Full pink alert is when cherry blossoms are mankai-in full bloom. IMAGE: The Fuji Japan Cherry Blossoms The cherry blossom report is broadcasts on the nightly news during the weather report, cherry blossom reports in Japan are extremely accurate.When reported here in Fukuoka Prefecture the blossom should burst fourth their buds on about March 26, but I believe they have been delayed for about two more days. It shouldn't be any surprise that cherry blossom come and go Japanese-style-in a very orderly fashion.Those of us here in Kitakyushu City for... Read more →

Plate-Born Quake Shifted Earth's Axis 10 CM '

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary By Hank F. Miller Jr. The magnitude of Friday's 8.8 earthquake that jolted northeastern Japan was caused by a tectonic upheaval that created offshore faults stretching for hundreds of kilometers from Iwate Prefecture to Ibrakai, seismologist said on Saturday evening. As i watched N H K TV, Satoko Oki of the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute said the massive quake, estimated to be nearly 1,000 times more powerful than the 1995 Great Honshin Earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people, was caused by a rupture near the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The earthquake was created when the Pacific plate slipped underneath Japan at the Japan Trench, causing a tsunami as high as 10 meters to slam the east coast. Experts estimate the the impact of the world's fifth largest earthquake caused a displacement of about 20 meters and a... Read more →

Former Gloucester City Resident Reports on Disaster in Japan...see Video

Entire communities destroyed; fires rage out of control. Earthquake, Tsunami Slams Widespread Areas of Japan...Initial death toll and damage not yet calculated Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. An earthquake with a historic magnitude of 8.9 struck the Tohoku region friday,registering the highest intensity level of 7on the Japanese seismic scale, in Miyagi Prefecture,the Meteorological Agency said. Miyagi and four other prefectures and many people were reported injured. The quake struck at 2:46 P.M.Many fires were reported at scores of locations in northeastern Japan, as well as a huge refinery inferno in Chiba Prefecture.The quake was felt hundreds of kilometers away, including in Tokyo, where buildings swayed for a long time and people swarmed out of them. The tremor is one of the strongest ever to have occurred in the quake-prone archipelago, according to the Meteorological Agency, with it's magnitude surpassing the 7.9 registered in the1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in... Read more →

March 3rd:The Hina Doll Festival in Japan

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. This festival was celebrated in China on the day of the snake in the first part of March, so it was called the"festival of the first snake day"(i.e.,the first of three days of the snake that appear during the month of March). In Japan,the timing corresponds to the blossoming of peach trees,so the name has come to be known as the"day of the peach." This is the day that girls celebrate the doll festival known as hina matsuri, drinking shirozake (white sake) and eating sweets. In some regions,dolls made of paper are set adrift in the river to dispel bad luck. This festival is to wish for good health,growth and happy marriages of young girls. Dolls in ancient costumes are displayed on tiers of shelves covered by a bright red cloth.These dolls represent the emperor and empress,their nobel court ladies-in-waiting... Read more →

The Trouble With Today's Japanese Students

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. "This time,like all other times,is a very good one,if we but know what to do with it." Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here we go again. I read in the newspaper and see on TV, often that "Young people,"Are rapidly becoming stupid."They can't calculate, can't communicate.They have no manners, no ambition, and no interest in anything; no consideration for other people,no knowledge of world affairs. Image: Hank and Keiko Miller It is my profession; It has been the focus of my life for 33 years. For this reason,writing about the people of Japan is a pleasure.I would rather write about the Japanese than any other subject. My views of the Japanese come from years of residence and study in their country.I hope that these views are interesting and revealing.I also hope that they are impartial and correct, after all I can do... Read more →

Fukuoka Prefecture,Japan The Dragon's Tail:

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST By Hank F. Miller Jr. On my most recent trip to visit family and friends in Portland, Oregon, an earnest young lady asked,"Don't you think the Japanese people have a unique sense of beauty?" From her expectant manner it was apparent that her question had been a rhetorical one. When it came,my answer must have been a disappointment."I'm not at all sure of that," I said. Her smile faded and two wrinkles made furrows between her eyebrows. "But you've been living in Japan for 33 years,"She said."Perhaps that's the reason I can't answer your question,"I replied. After six months or a year in Japan, many foreign visitors know all there is to know about the country, and I was no exception. How pleasant it is to understand everything, to be an expert. But as years pass, the facile generalization prove to have too many exceptions, the... Read more →

Letters: When East Meets West Columnist ask Readers for Their Prayers

Hi Bill & Connie, Hank Here ! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday Season with your family,and enjoyed every minute of it as we did. I have been away from the computer due to my health issues and and being very busy. I probably won't be on the computer so often, but I'll do my best to check ocassionally. recent photo of Hank Miller While In Hospital for A Colon Operation More Health Issues Were Found! As for my open Heart Surgery I'm still awaiting for the doctor to call me and give me the date for admittance.When I do go into the hospital I'll be there from 6 to 10 days for quite a bit of pre operation testing.After my release the doctors will make a planned proceedure for the operation I'll be released and after re-admitted for surgery. After surgery I should be in hospital for... Read more →

Scattering beans inside and outside the house

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Setsubun rituals carried out throughout Japan every year around February 3rd. Setsubun is celebrated the day before "risshun,"referring to the start of the spring season.The ritual itself involves scattering roasted beans both inside and outside the house while loudly reciting the words,"Oniwa-soto, "Fukuwa-uchi,"which means"out with the demons!"In with good fortune."Of course,the aim of this ritual is to keep the house safe from harm while inviting good luck to come inside. The ritual has become a production of sorts at large temples where a demon dressed in costume appears on the stage and famous people are invited to throw and scatter the beans.The roasted beans are said to be imbued with spiritual power,so on this day people"eat their age"in beans,eating the same number of beans as they are in years of age(or their age plus one and offer a prayer for... Read more →

My Colonoscopy Operation in Japan

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F.Miller Jr. This was an overwhelming experience that was a pleasurable instead of a dreary one, I have been admitted to Japanese hospital before several years ago. But this had some pain and unpleasant times as every operation has but it was minor. On October 9, 2009 I went to hospital for my yearly check one of the procedures was that I see a doctor of Gastroenterology.The doctor explained to Keiko and I regarding the colonoscopy check, procedure to us then he gave us papers with written information regarding the procedure to be used. He did the colon check and found that I had a polyp and he requested that I return one year later to see if it had grown. Well I went back after the year and another check was performed and the doctor found that the poylp had spread into... Read more →

THE Groto on Christmas Eve Portland,Oregon

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. We started our Christmas and New Years in Portland we had a wonderful experience first meeting with our son Max's new family. Caitlin his wife and son Kenji Michael Miller our new grandson , Caitlins, mother father and sister. On December 24, 2009 we met at the Groto. "The Groto is a place of sollitude, peace and prayer." This beautiful 62 acre Catholic shrine and botanical garden is administered by the order of Friar Servants of Mary. The GROTO offers a spectacular natural gallery of religious art with more than a hundred gracefully scluptured statues and shrines nestled along it's flower-lined pathways,and winding under towering firs. Peaceful reflecting ponds,cliffside vistas and award-winning architecture offer inspiration for all who visit this gallery in the woods. Amide this natural beauty this outdoor Cathedral is such a breath taking experience to behold. Visitors... Read more →