194 posts categorized "When East Meets West" Feed

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... 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... Read more →


Part of My Heart Left This Earth For A Better Place!

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST by Hank Miller My dearly beloved brother Joseph Edward Miller Sr. of Gloucester City, departed this earth on November 24 , 2010. With faith in God, as sure as there is sunshine that follows the summer rain, so to there will be happiness to ease both grief and pain. photo: Joe and his brother Hank, December 2008 Breakfast Club As sure as darkness of night gives way to light of day, the problems that preplex your mind with faith will fade away. As springtime follows winter, and earth is born anew, you'll find that you never... Read more →


When East Meets West: South Korea in a Bind Dealing with North Korea

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A frustrated North Korea is once again, this time lashing out with a deadly volley of artillery aimed at reminding rival South Korea -- and the world--that it will not be ignored. The barrage of shots fired Tuesday at a South Korean island laying within sight of its shores did not come out of nowhere. For weeks, North Korea has been angling for credit for reaching out to the U.S. and South Korea, and has warned that cool response would come at a cost.The destruction that set homes ablaze, sent islanders fleeing for underground... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Lets Talk Turkey

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Japan typically digs in it' heels against outside customs. To win acceptance here such customs must first measure up to Japan's high standard of cultural attainment. Which means ... they gotta make money. Thus, through the years Japan has been trampled over by Western cows like Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day. Such customs, or rather the Japanese versions of such, have brought smiles to countless young children and romantic couples and at the same time have given Japanese merchandisers reason to live. And live very well I must say. So we see Halloween masks... Read more →


Remembering Uncle Joe Barron, American War Hero

WEST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Here are some photo's of my uncle Joe Barron's banner displayed on Broadway in Gloucester City on Veterans Day. The people in the photo are my aunt Sally Miller my uncle Joe's sister, her daughter Cathy, her granddaughter and great granddaughter. Sue, Anne, and brothers Denny, Jack, Joe, and Michael Barron. This information was sent to me today by Michael Barron my cousin of the Barron Iron Works of Gloucester,City. Uncle Joe Barron is sadly missed by all the members of our extended family. I really miss my close family ties... Read more →


"Seven-Five-Three-Festival in Japan"

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Three rituals in one on November 15th celebrating children as they grow up new parents are naturaly pleased and relieved to have their new born arrive safe and sound, but the worries continue, till the age of three, and then on to five...it seems that worring comes with being a parent. Odd numbers are considered significant in certain kind of numerology in Japan. (The third, fifth and seventh years of a childs life are thus viewed as important periods.) There is a saying,"up till seven they're in the hands of the gods,"that expresses the... Read more →


WELCOME TO THE WORLD Kenji Michael Miller

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Photo: Kelsey, Jammie Berhelst, (Caitlin's mother) and Rachjel Miller, Caitlin and baby Kenji Michael Miller. Max and Caitlin Miller are proud to announce the birth of their son, Kenji Michael Miller, born Thursday, October 14th, 2010. Time of birth 1:04 a.m., weight 4 lbs.4 oz. born at O.H.S.U.(Oregon Health & Science University) Portland, Oregon. He is only 33 weeks old, 7 weeks premature, but doing very well. The proud grand parents are Hank & Keiko Miller, of Kitakyushu City, Japan and Michael and Jammie Berhelst of Dundee,Oregon The father our... Read more →


National Sports Day / Health Sports Day In Japan

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. October 10 in most areas of Japan schools prefer to hold their sports day, but some areas hold this event in May. Around this time of the year sports festival are held in schools, but sometimes other places such as companies and neighborhood groups hold the sports day festival also. Students take part in games and contests at their elementary school's field day. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) For example, entire families joins the school sports festival and enjoy as well,and the parents seem take so many photos and videos of... Read more →


Visiting Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki Prefecture & Sasebo City Japan

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. In Dutch, Huis Ten Bosch, means "house in the woods." In Japan, it is a theme park with canals running through a spacious landscape surrounded by water and forest, with amusements, museums, shops of all kinds, restaurants, hotels and much more. photo: Hank and his wife Keiko at Huis Ten Bosch It was born in 1992 as a reproduction of a Dutch city of the Middle Ages. But why Holland, many people wonder. Over four centries ago, Nagasaki enjoyed with Holland, where over a third of the national land area... Read more →


September Moon Viewing Festival

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Moon viewing festival is usually held in the middle of September when the air is clear and the moon is at its most beautiful.This traditional custom is said to have originated from farmers religious observances to ensure a good harvest. People used to make offerings to the fulll moon,such as rice dumplings, a variety of seasonal fruit and vegestables with Japanese pompas grass and bush clovers,and pray for realization of their wishes. More often than not,friends were invited to join in this pleasant event and admire the... Read more →


A Visit to Okagaki and the Naritasan Fudoji Temple

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Great natural beauty, history and tradition, peaceful scenery, and the friendly local citizens. Okagaki is a town to make you feel happy, and right at home and only 20 minutes from our home. We have been going there since 1983. It’s the most relaxing place with beautiful scenery. PHOTO: Hank Miller at the Naritasan Fudoji Temple...CNB news hounds are all over the world bringing you the latest... Quiet and somehow familiar scenery greets you here: the sparkling waters of the Hibiki Sea, the grandeur of the Sanri Matsubara Pine Forest,... Read more →


The Bombing of Nagasaki August 9, 1945

Image via Wikipedia Related: The Bombing of Hiroshima WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The Blast Center: At 11:02 a.m. August 9, 1945 Photo: The bombing of Nagasaki At 490 meters in midair above Urakami Catholic Cathedral located in central Nagasaki the bomb exploded. The death toll right after the explosion was estimated to be about 70,000 perished in the Urakami Cathedral area. The following is a story told by Mrs.Hatsuko Makisaka, who was 19 years old at the time of the bombing. She was a student at Nagasaki Kassui Girls School. Located in Nishiyama. She... Read more →


The bombings: Hiroshima at O8:15 a.m. August 6, 1945,

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. 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. photo: The Mushroom Cloud over Hiroshima after the dropping of the atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” The following are letter... Read more →


Visiting Home and Family Graves During Summer Holidays

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A series of events called "Oban" is centered on August 15th, when one greets one's ancestors upon their return home. Oban is a Buddhist festival held in mid summer when the Japanese people welcome and entertain their ancestor’s spirits who are believed to have returned home, to visit the mortal world. Offerings are made to the returning spirits, and sends them on their way again. PHOTO: BON ODORI DANCERS A very old practice, Oban combines indigenous Japanese religious faith in one's ancestors with Buddhist concepts. Perhaps the... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST U. S. MARINES Move to Guam to Cost More

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert gates has asked Tokyo to shoulder additional costs to transfer about 8,000 U.S.Marine from Okinawa to Guam, diplomatic sources from the two countries said Saturday. The increased amount is estimated to be at least tens of billions of Japanese yen, with the U.S. side claiming that expenses to develop infrastructure, such as facilities for electricity as well as water and sewerage, will cost more than expected. Japan is planning to respond to the request, which Gates made in a letter sent in mid-June, after the July 11 House of Councilors... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Elementary Schools in Japan to get English

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Starting next fiscal year, all elementary schools will be required to introduce compulsory English lessons for fifth and sixth-graders. The scores of Japanese who take the test of English as a foreign language remain among the lowest in Asia, and thus their proficiency levels are very low as well, whereas other parts of Asia are making English education compulsory in elementary schools. Following are basic questions and answers about compulsory English education in Japanese elementary schools: What will be the class frequency and who will teach the language? From fiscal 2011, all fifth-and sixth-graders... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Tanabata Star Festival

Image via Wikipedia Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Tanabata Matsuri is the essence of summer and summer festivals. Held in Japan either July or August 7, other Asian countries such as China and 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 Tanabatatatsume as well as various Oban traditions together with the original Chinese festival, it eventually... Read more →


Tsuyu or Monsoon Season in Japan

Image via Wikipedia WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A seasonal rain front swept through Okinawa in late May, marking the beginning of Japan's rainy season. Today is the first day of rainy season at our home in Kitakyushu, City, Japan. Photo Monsoon Clouds Presently in our home town very light rain is forecast for this evening with very heavy down pours forecast for during the night and tomorrow. The rainy season in our region of the Japanese archipelago will continue till about the end of July. The meeting of a high cold atmospheric pressure front... Read more →


Hatoyama offers an apology to Okinawa

related category When East Meets West WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama apologized Sunday for failing to keep his promise to move Futenma air base out of Okinawa, despite months of searching for an alternative. The administration's plan now is to shift U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a residential area in the city of Ginowan to the coast near Nago, a move similar to the original relocation plan signed with the U.S. in 2006 but strongly opposed by Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima. While clarifying the plan, Hatoyama said he will... Read more →


To feel 'loopy' is to be like Yukio Hatoyama

related category When East Meets West WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. It seems Japan just can't let go of the recent reporting on Japanese TV about Yukio Hatoyama being the "biggest loser" at the recent nuclear summit because he asked for--but did not get--a one--on-one meeting with President Barack Obama. He was described as hapless and in the view of the Obama administration officials, “increasingly loopy." The next day, a top aide to Hatoyama criticized the use of "loopy" as “somewhat impolite." In a just world, that might have ended the matter. Alas, Hatoyama stunned... Read more →


When East Meets West: Chronology of Key Events Related to U.S. Marine Corp Futenma Base Relocation Plan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Naha Okinawa Pref. April 1996 Japan, United States agree on Futenma base return within five years to seven years. December 1966 Japan, United States agree to build heliport off main Okinawa Island's east coast to move Futenma's heliport functions. Waters off Nago's Henoko area near U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab deemed possible relocation site. December 1997 Majority of Nago residence vote against relocation plan in referendum. But then Mayor Tetsuya Higa says city would accept relocation before stepping down. December 1999 Japanese government endorses plan to relocate Futenma to coastal area of Henoko, after... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: BP Oil Lack of Acoustic Switches

By Hank Miller Jr. Just thought I would let you know I don't feel too sorry for BP. Also, there are pockets of oil still in the sand from the Valdez oil spill in the Gulf of Alaska, 21 years later. Fact Check denounced Rush's assertion that the area is now pristine, that’s untrue. Portions of the article on Huffington Post website: Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore oil rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players... Read more →


Okinawa Base Issue Illustrates the Age-Old Problem of the Empire

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Sliding voter support over Futenma base, the U.S. Marine air station in Okinawa, have fanned talk that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama continues to be in hot water with the U.S. Government. I am writing this commentary just in case the newspapers and the TV News broadcasts in the Delaware Valley aren't reporting news regarding this long running dispute with the people in Okinawa and their government. A bloody battlefield in 1945, Okinawa is the subject of an equally bitter political fight today. A majority of the prefecture's residence want the... Read more →


Hanami Refers to Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan

Image via Wikipedia When East Meets West Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Japan is on high alert now-Code Pink I'm referring to the cherry blossom alert. The blushing blossoms carpet Japan from Southern Kyushu to Hokkaido. 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 forth from their buds on about March 25, two days earlier than the previous year. Japanese have a special affection for the cherry tree with its transient blossom. The subject of cherry blossom viewing... Read more →


What Not To Do In Japan: Die!

When East Meets West Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Note: It took me nearly a year to write this piece just after my father-in-laws death, It reminded me of what I remember seeing and experiencing when my father-in-laws Passed away on December 22nd 2004.Below is an event of things that happens when planning a funeral here in Japan from a foreigners point of view along with a bit of humor thrown in. As a veteran resident approaching his 33rd year in Japan, I would like to offer some simple advice to tourists, newbie’s and fellow gray beards as well.... Read more →


THE HINA DOLL FESTIVAL IS A GIRLS FESTIVAL

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The Doll Festival, which is also called the Girls' Festival or Peach Festival, is observed and held on March 3rd.This festival to wish for the health, growth and happy marriages of young girls. Dolls in ancient costumes are displayed on tiers of shelves covered in bright red cloth. These dolls represent the emperor and empress, their noble court ladies-in-waiting and ministers. The Doll Festival dates from medieval times, but it was not until the 18th century that the custom of displaying dolls came into fashion. The dolls are usually put... Read more →


The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

CATEGORY WHEN EAST MEETS WEST WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Spring came. Freddie, the leaf, was born on a branch of a tall tree. Hundreds of leaves were born on the tree and they were all friends. Together they danced in the cool breeze and played in the sun. Daniel was the largest leaf and Freddie's best friend. He knew many things he explained that they were part of a tree in a park. He also explained about the birds, the sun and the moon. Freddie loved being a leaf. Summer was especially a nice... Read more →


Setsubun or Bean Throwing Day

CATEGORY WHEN EAST MEETS WEST WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F.Miller Jr. Setsubun literally means the "division of seasons" and refers to the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar. Setsubun falls on February 3rd or 4th.On the evening of this day, people throw roasted beans or peanuts, inside or outside their homes shouting "Oniwa-sato, Fukuwa-uchi," which means "Out with demons! In with good luck!" It also is customary for people to eat the same number of beans as their age and to offer a prayer for good fortune at home. This practice is to have... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Our Holiday in Hawaii

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. During the Christmas and New Year holiday from December 19th, 2009 through to January 2nd, 2010 we spent a really great and exciting holiday in Hawaii visiting our son Lucas and his wife Raeanna She is from Guam in the Marianna chain, we enjoyed a very wonderful stay at their home in Waipahu, Hawaii. Lucas is stationed there with the U.S.Army's 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Bks.The real purpose of our visit is spend time with Lucas & Raeanna since Lucas will be deployed to either Afghanistan or go to Iraq for his second... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Food displays at Japanese restaurants in Japan.

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Japan is very creative when it comes to presentation of food.Indeed, much time and effort goes into making food look good,you'll pay big bucks for it. Here are just some of the ways food is displayed in Japanese restaurants. Stuff in the windows: It starts with the plastic models of food in the front windows of restaurants so you can pick and choose your entree before you enter.Reportedly,these fake food replicas started appearing just after World War ll to help foreigners order food in Japanese restaurants. I often marvel at the groups of Japanese... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: 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 Buddhist shrines or a Christian church often dressed in a kimono. Along time ago in Japan,the survival rate for children between infancy and adulthood was extremely low,and so it is said that this event started as a way to celebrate children reaching this... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: October 10th Sports Day in Japan.

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. October 10, Sports Day : It was added to the list of national holidays in Japan in 1966 to commemorate the 1964 Olympic Games.It was on October 10, 1964.That date was chosen because that was when the opening of the 18th Summer Olympic Games. The games were held at the national stadium in Tokyo. There is nothing more important than good health. In fact ,both physical and mental health is most valuable treasures to all of us. Sports Day is designated to make people aware of the importance of health and to urge them... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST A grayer Population

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Respect for the Aged Day has just passed on September 21st, the international affairs ministry made public its information about the population in Japan. As of September 15,Japan's population stood at 127,56 million, down 120,000 from a year before. People aged 65 or older numbered 28.98 million (12.39 million men and 16.59 million women),accounting for 22.7 % of the total population and up 800,000 or 0.6 percentage point, from a year before. The total number of elderly people and their percentage of the population have reached the highest levels since comparable statistics were first... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Japan's health care System as a model.

Keeping it Plain, Simple and Brilliant The health care debate in America has had an interesting item mentioned again and again in recent weeks the Japanese health care system! Editorials and news reports have held up Japan as an example of good-quality health care service. While the background conditions in America and in Japan can be said to perhaps too different to compare,Japan can be said to provide a very good, if not perfect,level of health care to its citizens.With the debate ranging in the States as a new government in Japan,now is a good time to take stock of... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Photo of Barry Soetoros and Family aka President Barack Obama

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Someone sent me this family photo of President Obama as a youngster along with a photo copy of a Indonesia registration certificate that I like to share with the readers of ClearysNoteBook. I lived and worked in Indonesia for Atlantic Richfield in the 1970's on and off over a 5 year period and read and spoke the language proficiently. Seated to the right side along with his father, mother and little sister is President Barack Obama. The document to the right is a copy of Barack Obama's registration form to accompany the family in... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: A Look at Japan's Health Care System (Part two)

Health Care in Japan Continued: Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. "Patients are treated too equally,"beds are occupied by less-urgent cases,and there are no penalties for those who overuse the system ." The government has largely been unable to reduce the length of hospital stays, which are four times as long in Japans in the United States. Hospital doctors are often overworked and cannot hone specialized life-saving skills, according to recent reports by McKinsey. Statistics show that the Japanese are much less likely to have heart attacks than people in the United States,but that when they do, their chance of... Read more →


When East Meets West: A Look at Japan's Health Care System

Japan's Aging Population Sure to Strain the System Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Half a world away from the U.S. health care debate,Japan has a system that costs half as much and often achieves better medical results than its U.S. counterpart.It does so by banning insurance company profits, limiting doctor fees and accepting shortcomings in care that many well-insured Americans find intolerable. The Japanese visit a doctor nearly 14 times a year, more than four times as often as Americans do.They can choose any primary care physician or specialist they want,and surveys show they are almost always seen on... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: September the Month for Moon Viewing

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A moon-viewing party is usually held in the middle of September when the air is clear and cool and the moon is most beautiful.This traditional custom is said to have originated from farmers religious observances to ensure a good harvest. People used to make offerings to the full moon,such as rice dumplings,a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables with Japanese pampas grass and bush clovers,and pray for the realization of their wishes. More often than not,friends were invited to join in this pleasant event and admire the beautiful moon. Moon viewing also created a... Read more →


When East Meets West: Summary of New Regulations for Foreign Residents in Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. …in addition to my commentary of this past week. Old New Name of Law----Alien registration Act. Immigration control and Refugee Act. Entity in Charge-Municipality in which residing. Immigration Bureau. Identification Card.-Alien Registration Card. Residence ("Zairyu") Card. Duration of Visa. - Typically three years. Typically five years. Re-entry permit. - Required when leaving Japan. Not required if returning to Japan within a year. Where to update personal information.According to the old law residence municipal office.The new law requires you to report to the immigration office, except for change of address. The following are required rules... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST:Foreign Residency Rule Change in Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. I have obtained more information after quite a lot of research regarding foreign residency in Japan ,making it easier to keep tabs on foreigners who have overstayed their visas and who have been residing in Japan legally . The Japanese Lower and Upper House is also expected to pass bills,which have the support of both the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling block and the Democratic Party of Japan,the largest opposition party. The Immigration Bureau and lawmakers worked out the bills to reduce the number of undocumented foreign residence,which the bureau estimates presently to be... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: The Bon Festival

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The Bon Festival in Japan,honoring the spirits of ancestors, has been observed since the 7th century. It was originally held from the 13th to the 15th of the seventh month in the lunar calendar, but today it is generally celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of August . Among the traditional preparations for the ancestors' return are the cleaning of their tombstones and pathways from their graves to their homes,and the setting up of bom altars to welcome and entertain their ancestors spirits who are believed to have returned home.various offerings of vegetables,... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: A Mothers Lullaby

Photo the Hiroshima Memorial Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The Bombing of Hiroshima took place today August 6th, 1945 at 08:00 a.m. The following is a story called "A Mothers Lullaby." 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 64 years ago. I heard a lullaby that night... Read more →


WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Rare eclipse spoiled by Weather in parts of Japan

category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Scientist and amateur stargazers on Japan's southwestern islands were mostly disappointed Wednesday after poor weather prevented them form witnessing a total eclipse of the sun. However, astronomers who were on Iwojima, and also here on Kyushu Island, about 1,350 Km south of Tokyo, and adjacent areas in the Pacific were treated to the spectacular astronomical event as they observed the first total eclipse visible on Japanese soil in 46 years. I watched the whole event here in my garden in Kitakyushu,City,with my wife Keiko and daughter Rachel who is... Read more →


When East Meets West: Tanabata, or Star Festival

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. Tanabata Star festival is celebrated on July 7.According to the tale of Tanabata, once upon a time, there was a princess named Orihime (Weaving Princess).She was the daughter of Tenkou (Sky King) and wove beautiful cloth along the banks of the Amanogawa (River of Heaven: The Milky Way) As her father loved her cloth, she worked hard every day weaving. But she was unhappy because her work prevented her from meeting anybody and falling in love. Tenkou, who felt sorry for his daughter, arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (Cow Herder Star), upon meeting... Read more →


Tsuyuor Monsoon Season in Japan

When East Meets West Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. A seasonal rain front swept through Okinawa in late May, marking the beginning of Japan's rainy season. Well today is the first day of rainy season in Kitakyushu City, our home town with very light rain forecast for today with very heavy down pours forecast for tomorrow.The rainy season in our region of the Japanese archipelago will continue till about the end of July. The meeting of a high cold atmospheric pressure front over the Sea of Okhotsk and a warm high atmospheric pressure front over the Pacific forms and... Read more →


Father's just wanna be loved

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. The pressure builds. Feel it? I sure do. An annual tension that visits late each June and--for a day at least--smothers me with stress. The day? Why, the most anxious of the year--Fathers Day. What else ? The burden? Just who--if anyone--will remember. Now perhaps you rank this about 9.8 on the scale of Super -Silliness. And perhaps you are not a Dad. In these modern days, married couples, international or not, are presumed to share family duties. This household dynamic of man-woman, mother-father, husband-wife always teeters in a ticklish... Read more →


Overrated and Underrated in the land of "OZ"

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary By Hank F. Miller Jr. Over the past couple of years here in Japan aspects of Japanese life as seen from my point of view. My glasses aren't exactly rose-colored, but neither do I have the evil- eye. These are just some friendly peeks and pokes at what I have come to like and not like in my many years spent here. So here we go... One more list--but probably not the last -- of the best and worst in Japan. Underrated- Dried Squid Now this I have enjoyed since my very first Tokyo beer,... Read more →


Cherry Blossom Viewing O-Hanami in Japan

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Commentary By Hank F. Miller Jr. Japan is presently on the highest level of alert now---Code Pink. I'm referring to the cherry blossom alert, of course as the blushing blossoms carpet Japan with pink all the way up the archipelago from Kyushu to Hokkaido. Full pink alert is when,the cherry blossom are in their fullest bloom,the cherry blossom report is broadcasts on the nightly news alongside the weather report.Cherry blossoms first bloom in Kyushu and make their way slowly northeast up the archipelago till they reach Tokyo and than Hokkaido,finally the blossoms reach there in May.... Read more →