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Japanese Accomplishments

June 9, 2009

Sample themes from this blog are “the economic woes facing Japan,” “The flu in Narita,” “Car crash kills one,” so today I decided it was better to report on accomplishments from Japan. The Japanese who are successful abroad are adored back home, just go to a Yankees game and look at all the Japanese corporate sponsors lining the stadium.

Today the papers reported on the achievements of a pianist, an athlete, and a novelist, all of which have international fame and recognition. Each newspaper chose a different figure to focus on.

AsahiOlympic Swimmer Returns to Active Duty” Hagiwara Tomoko, the Japanese representative at the Sydney Olympics, returned to active duty by competing in the Yamanashi Japan Corporate Swim. She voluntarily competed in the 50 and 100 meters, and it was actually five years since she had appeared on the scene as a competitor. (She competed in the 2004 Sydney Olympics)

When asked about her ambitions for the 2012 Olympics in London, she replied, “I still don’t know my exact feelings, I’m actually currently not at the stage to announce my attentions.” The Asahi then went on to describe the runner’s life work as “being a leader for training kids how to swim, while continuing to compete on a local level.”

Nikkei “Murakami’s 1Q84 Breaks the 1 Million Mark” The author who brought us Norwegian Wood, Dance Dance Dance, and Kafka on the Shore’s latest release has had record sales in two weeks. For those readers that don’t know, Murakami’s literature is actually a fascinating read for non-native speakers who are learning Japanese. His Japanese translates quite literally to English.

According to the publisher Shinchosha, at all participating outlets 1Q84 has sold out. Reserves will be on sale starting from the 11th of June.

Yomiuri “Japanese Pianist Gets First Place” With a feeling of bewilderment, Tsukiji-san returned home from Texas with a first place award in the International Piano Contest. As he entered the Arrivals Lobby in Narita, he exclaimed “I had no idea that something like this would happen, I was shocked. I was able to do this only thanks to the support of those around me.”

There’s no rest for the accomplished in Japan. After Tsukiji-san returns home, on the 13th he has a competition in Iwate-prefecture, and on the 17th in Nagoya he has a concert.

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