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My photos are in the Daisen-Oki National Park international photo exhibition

Days after moving to Japan, I learned of a photography competition (Daisen-Oki National Park international photo competition) seeking entries from international residents. I was encouraged to submit a few shots and I did! The result? I made the cut and my photos along with others are being displayed Tottori/Matsue/Oki Islands area of Japan. I headed to the largest Oki Island (Dogo) on New Year’s Eve and was pleasantly surprised to see my ugly mug being displayed alongside my photos in the ferry boarding area. I had honestly forgotten about my entry months prior.

My entries are entitled Hishiura Farewell and Nishinoshima View and were taken literally days withing moving to the Oki Islands. I’m very happy with the shots and very humbled that they are being exhibited at different locations. I hope to enter many more photography competitions like this when I can. Check out the two entities and their descriptions below. Please click the images for full resolution versions – feel free to use non-commercially.

Hishiura Farewell

Many teams from different areas in Japan were at a soft tennis competition in Ama for 3 days and after the closing ceremony I witnesses a heartwarming sendoff for those not residing in Ama.

Nishinoshima View

The light from the setting sun and the natural vegetation in the background complimented the picturesque village view.

For more information about the Daisen-Oki National Park visit the official website and check out National Parks of Japan on Instagram.

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Best of Jamaipanese.com from 2017

Last year when doing my Best of 2016 post I said that it was a good year. Well if 2016 was good, 2017 was even better! The biggest highlight of the year was moving to Japan; a reality that 5 months in I am still having trouble believe to be true at times. Check out my handpicked list of the best posts I made to Jamaipanese.com in 2017. 2018 will be huge with my focus being YouTube and partnering with other bloggers and creators. If you are new here say hi on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Japanese Calendar Festival 2017

The Annual Japanese Calendar Festival returned in 2017 at a new venue; the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. I attended with my family as its an opportunity to expose them to Japanese culture and we were not disappointed.

I used to hate on smartphone gamers…

Mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets is a multi-billion dollar industry. Many say its earnings have already surpassed traditional gaming on dedicated gaming consoles, handhelds, and PC. I’m here to confess that I used to hate on mobile gamers and games until I found myself enjoying gaming on my mobile phone.

The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japan’s Martial Arts

The National Museum Jamaica, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica, officially opened a temporary exhibition titled “The spirit of Budō: The History of Japan’s Martial Arts.” This exhibition seeks the understanding of viewers about the brief history of Japanese martial-arts-from battlefield combat techniques to popular sports or physical exercise tempering the body and spirit.

My 1st Genealogy Report

I recently paid to have a Genealogy report done on myself. For a long time, I wanted to learn more about my family and those I descended from. Though the earliest time spot in the current report is the marriage of my maternal great x2 grandparents in the year 1900 it made for a fascinating read. I will be paying again to try to go even further back but I wanted to share some highlights from the report.

Kingston to Ama-cho

So there I was sitting in the barber chair trimming my mini fro when the phone rings. It’s the Japanese Embassy! I’m congratulated told to get a pen as my new home will soon be in Shimane. Shimane? Hmm never heard of it but I’m so excited I jump out the chair to weird looks from the other patrons in the barbershop. “Shimane is your prefecture and Ama-cho is your contracting organisation”, said a friendly voice on the phone, sounds cool enough.

Samus Edition 3DS and Metroid: Samus Returns

Rewarding yourself for achieving things/goals is one of my favourite ways to motivate myself. My last reward to myself was a trip to New York when I finished undergrad studies. Fast forward almost a year and throw a list of things too numerous to mention I now live in Japan!

Japan Scene 4: Attacked by Rice Worshipers

It was supposed to be a normal lunch session at my junior high school. I’m not someone who eats a lot of food at once; I eat small portions often. Needless to say the speed eating coupled with large portions of food served for lunch is an almost daily struggle. Thankfully it is very tasty (most days), and the kids and teachers understand my hatred of natto and devour it for me when its served one or twice per month. Though I have slayed the natto demon its the rice god and its worshipers that strike fear into my heart daily.

I didn’t like Star Wars the Last Jedi

I watched Star Wars the Last Jedi on opening night here in Japan. I gave it a few days and I will watch it again after this post, but, I didn’t like the film…

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I didn’t like Star Wars the Last Jedi

I watched Star Wars the Last Jedi on opening night here in Japan. I gave it a few days and I will watch it again after this post, but, I didn’t like the film…

Incoming spoilers

Snoke is dead? Rei’s parents are nobodies? What was the point of Finn and Rose’s story arc? Those are my biggest gripes but there are other minor ones like story pacing and some stupid dialogue. There were some positives though: the majority of the action sequences were well done and there was some really good scenes, new characters and humour.

Supreme Leader

My biggest annoyance is the fact that Kylo Ren is now the leader of the First Order and seemingly the other Sith alive. I like Kylo, I’ve said that before in my Star Wars Episode 7 writeup. However is he leader material? No. He is a spoilt brat prone to temper tantrums with granddad issues. Snoke was so mysterious, so powerful, so fresh; a worthy successor to Emperor Palatine/Darth Siddius. I’m to believe he is now dead? So cheaply in an uneventful way? He can’t be dead, my sith-loving heart refuses to accept it.

I’ll give the movie a other watch (or two) in the coming days but for now it’s a 6/10 for me. I’m interested in hearing other people’s thoughts, so leave a comment or tweet me @Jamaipanese

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Pirate’s Choice #410

pirateschoice#410

Pirate’s Choice #410

Ganja Songs

The Microsoft Excel Artist – Tatsuo Horiuchi

When Tatsuo Horiuchi retired, he decided to try his hand at art. But instead of spending money on paints and brushes, Horiuchi used what he already had pre-installed on his computer—Microsoft Excel. Now, the 77-year-old artist is creating remarkably intricate digital masterpieces of the Japanese landscape, all on the free graphing software.

Source – Great Big Story

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I watched the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie in Japan

Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no renkinjutsushi) is one of my favourite manga series at the true-to-story Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood might just be my favourite anime series. I live in Japan now and all my previous movie outings have been to see western movies; however the FMA fan in me sprung to see the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie on opening night.

Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie: Two alchemist brothers go on a quest for the Philosopher’s Stone after an attempt to revive their dead mother goes horribly wrong.

Forbidden Alchemy

My Japanese language ability is still quite crappy, but I approached this film primarily as a fun 2 hour Japanese lesson. I already understood the story so I should at least be able to follow the plot. The film opens with the definitive story-point of the FMA series; the Elric brothers trying to revive their dead mother with alchemy. I honestly believe these opening scenes were the best part of the movie and it at least showed great respect for the source material.

As the movie goes on though it got less and less interesting with cliché scenes, underwhelming villains and straight up comedic special effects in some scenes. The movie is definitely worth the price of admission at the theater or a later release or viewing opportunity. It’s not the best but far from the worst manga/anime movie adaptation to come in recent memory. Please watch it.

[pics coming soon]

Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie LOOT!

I also scored some merchandise while at the theatre. A special manga that was free with the movie ticket and I ponied up 1200 yen for a sweet Hagane no renkinjutsushi metal teacup that called to me from across the foyer. I see myself going to more movies in Japan as my quest to learn Japanese continues.

The post I watched the Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie in Japan appeared first on Jamaipanese.

Japan Scene 4: Attacked by Rice Worshipers

It was supposed to be a normal lunch session at my junior high school. I’m not someone who eats a lot of food at once; I eat small portions often. Needless to say the speed eating coupled with large portions of food served for lunch is an almost daily struggle. Thankfully it is very tasty (most days), and the kids and teachers understand my hatred of natto and devour it for me when its served one or twice per month. Though I have slayed the natto demon its the rice god and its worshipers that strike fear into my heart daily.

Nurse: *looks at my rice bowl with a few rice grains left after eating*; Oh ma gersh you didn’t eat all your rice!
Me: sure I did, see *holds up “empty” bowl*. There is nothing left!
Nurse: there is enough there to feed a small army!

I laughed if off and thought I had escaped, but she pounced on me and requested that I eat all the grains. Of course I’ve never seen her so militant and at this point I was literally in my second week of regular school so I obliged. Then there was that kid who entered the conversation while I was fighting with my chopsticks to grab every last grain of rice for fear of being piledrived by a 5 foot tall butterfly.

3rd Year Kid: Yea sensei – eat rice, ebery one is Japanese spirit
Nurse: Also people cleaning plates will be bery angry!
Me: I’m sorry, please don’t sacrifice me to the rice gods

I dont mean to make fun of the interaction but that one kid almost never talks in my classes but was so animated, giggling and SPEAKING ENGLISH while defending the rice gods. I also never seen my school nurse so passionate; she insisted in teaching me a lesson and I wasn’t going to resist! Needless to say by the time I got back to the staff room every staff member had heard of the exchange.

Typical middle school lunch (きゅうしょく) served at my school

About a week later after perfecting my chopstick no jitsu and rice god worship/murder, I knelt before the school nurse after finishing my meal, held my bowl up and said in Japanese “I finished eating nurse-sama, every single grain!“. Bad idea, two months later I am still trying to repair our work relationship.

There is an awesome Facebook page that is updated daily with the school lunch served on my island – Check it out

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Pirate’s Choice #408

Pirates Choice #408 Roots Reggae Selection

pirateschoice#408