All posts by Gerard Laracy

Gerard specialised in Asian Languages in culture at university in New Zealand in 1989, gaining 2 post-graduate scholarships from the Japanese Ministry of Education. One for Japanese Language in 1991 and another in 1994 for post-graduate research into International Politics. He gained admission to the Ph.D programme at Sophia University of Tokyo in 1996. He worked at the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Kasumgaseki H.Q. for 6 years until 2001. He was also involved in the Japanese TV and movie industry since 1994 as well as working as a business consultant for start up companies wishing to enter the Japanese market.

2006 K-1 World Grand Prix Final – Schilt vs. Aerts and the legend of Hoost

WGP 2006 Champion SchilzSaturday December 2nd saw the 2006 K1 Grand Prix at Tokyo Dome. The announcer claimed that 54,000 visitors had come to see the climax of what was another year of high tension action in the ring this year – and was there behind the scenes to bring you exclusive insights.

K-1 was first staged in Japan in 1993 by Master Kazuyoshi Ishii (“Ishi Kancho”) of Seido Kaikan Karate and derives its name from a wide range of martial arts beginning in the letter ‘K’ (Karate, Kung-fu, Kempo, Kick-boxing all part of the Kakutogi family) It is now the biggest spectator sport in Japan.

The greatest thing about K1 is that all the top fighters are highly trained and dangerous so anything can truly happen to the toughest fighter – one clear punch or one well placed kick and its lights out! It’s this teeth clenching excitement that keeps me going back year after year to be present at the Tokyo Dome finals. Continue reading 2006 K-1 World Grand Prix Final – Schilt vs. Aerts and the legend of Hoost

The Rise of Patriotism, Ishihara, and the Mini-Skirt Right Wing

An ad for the video and DVD for the documentary film Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office on Sept 26th and less than 2 months later, on Friday November 17th, an education reform bill reforming the Fundamental Law of Education was cleared by the Lower House and has now progressed to the Upper House. This bill is backed by Shinzo’s government raising the fears of liberals that patriotism may become law in Japan’s schools. A move long awaited by the Mini-skirt Right Wing! (their promotional video pictured here)

Although the wording excludes the direct use of the word patriotism, the bill specifies the need for students to love the nation and homeland. The larger point, however, is that legislation to such an extent gives the central government the go-ahead for complete control over Japan’s education system. This appears to be a move towards fascism. No Mussolini-type figures are in sight at this stage but this is a move worth scrutinizing as, blind allegiance to any group, code or country, robs individuals of their intellectual capabilities to analyse the morality of the actions being asked of them. The worst actions can suddenly become justified if it demonstrates loyalty to the group. Continue reading The Rise of Patriotism, Ishihara, and the Mini-Skirt Right Wing

Movie: “KISARAZU CATS EYE – World Series” (木更津キャッツアイ)

Kisarazu Cats Eye recently got some behind the scenes snapshots from the movie set of “KISARAZU CATS EYE – World Series” (木更津キャッツアイ ワールドシリーズ).

This Japanese movie was released just a few days ago, on the 28th Oct 2006 by TBS. We thought we would just introduce it with some photos that you wont see anywhere else (You can click on all photos to enlarge them).

Cats and ZombiesTwenty-one year old former high school baseball player, Kohei, learns that he is dying from cancer. He is told that he only has six months to live, and decides that he wants to do something daring, out on a limb. Continue reading Movie: “KISARAZU CATS EYE – World Series” (木更津キャッツアイ)