Tag Archives: News

Typhoon 1419 Vongfang

Tyhpoon Vongfang has been blowing its way through Okinawa this weekend. While the media has been hyping it as the strongest storm this year, the majority of the fury was spent over open seas. While there have been strong winds since early Friday morning, and Okinawa is still in the *red* zone, the danger has mostly passed since the typhoon has weakened to category 1. As for Kumejima, were all safe if still in lock-down. Unfortunately, the timing has led

The End of JET- Five Years in Japan

First off, thank you for reading and being a part of More Things Japanese. I started this blog back in 2010 to put some of my experiences into writing. It’s move around a bit and I’ve changed my posting schedule a few times to keep up with shifting work related activities, so I appreciate you sticking with me.  It’s been a lot of work, but a lot of fun sharing my experiences. For the past 5 years I’ve been living

Okinawa OTEC Power Initialization Ceremony

Update: You can now find out more information on OTEC on Kume Island at the official site OTECOkinawa.com June 16th marked the beginning of power generation at Kume Island‘s Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Power Plant with a ceremony and visiting dignitaries from around Japan and the world.  The newly completed OTEC power plant will be able to generate up to 50 kilowatts of electricity from a thermal expansion turbine.  The turbine is propelled by temperature variations provided by warm surface

Preparing for an Emperor

A few weeks ago, a delegation came from Hawai’i County to view the Deep-sea Water Research institute on Kume Island.  You can read about the visit and the proposed Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant in my post on International Cooperation in Green Energy, and on the uses of Deep-sea Water.  The proposal is now gaining wider support and interest.  In just two days, the Emperor of Japan, Akihito, will arrive on Kumejima to view the Institute as part of a larger four-day trip to

International Cooperation in Green Energy and Beyond

Last week I wrote about an interesting ceremony where Sake was used as a metaphor for the growing relationship among diverse parties.  That ceremony was part of a larger event recognizing the sister city partnership between Kumejima Town and Hawai’i Country and a series of workshops to investigate the future of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) at both localities.  It might seem like a simple enough thing, but there are a lot of things going on within this partnership, and just

Ancient Tales of Yomitan Village

Theater is just as much a part of Japanese culture as Broadway is a part of America.  It certainly is no longer the main form of entertainment, but it is an important one.  There are two major types of Japanese theater.  Nou is masked performance, while kabuki was geared more for the masses with song dance and drama. I was fortunate to get an invitation to view a version of kabuki currently playing around Okinawa.  The play is titled 読谷山花織の宴 (untanza

Japan’s Emperor

This post is based on a WSJ article and NHK news reports. The Emperor of Japan has had several health issues, including a recent hospital stay for pneumonia.  This past weekend, he was hospitalized again for an in-depth check of his heart.  He will soon return for bypass surgery. Over the past year, Emperor Akihito has been far more visible on the news and in the media.  After the March 11th earthquake, he made a rare address, then later appeared with his

The Japan Pulse Summer 2011

  Here’s the second in series intended to be a snapshot of Japan as it is right now.  There is no way I can be as all inclusive as I would like, but hopefully this will paint a general picture about where Japan is now.   Physically Japan just passed the six month mark since the 3/11 Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Accident.  Japan is struggling to recover, but has been hampered by heavy rains and several deadly typhoons.  Concerns over

Public Employees in Japan

One of the most unique systems I have ever heard of for public workers takes place in Japan.  With the recent turmoil in America between States and Public Employee Unions brought the difference to mind.  In America, teachers often are hired at specific schools, and can stay at the same school for 10 years or more.  Some might migrate through districts, but generally they teach the same subject for an extended stay.  They have (in the past) had the right