Could This Be the End of Jiro’s Dreams?

This week, the latest Japanophile documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, made its way to my local theatre. It is the story of world-renowned sushi chef Jiro Ono’s quest for perfection, his relationship with his son and protégé, and the future of the sushi business. I went to the theatre with the expectation of it being a simple documentary with some great looking seafood sprinkled throughout (like so much spicy tuna roll topping), but I was pleased to find much more.… [Read more]

Earthquake and Tsunami Bring New Issues to Light

The Japanese people are outraged.

In particular, Japanese women are outraged.

As well they should be. With the decision to reactivate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, there has been a lot of scrutiny into what happened last year in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Many problems arise, but one of the most unsettling revolves around the Japanese nuclear power industry’s views on women.… [Read more]

Taking a Look Back, a Look Ahead

If you haven‘t picked up a copy of Haruki Murakami’s Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, I highly reccommend snapping up a copy now while relevance is high. On June 15, the last fugitive of the worst terror attack in Japan since World War II was apprehended by police in Tokyo. This attack, the 1995 sarin gas attack, be might distant for some, but I would argue it has had a profound effect on the Japanese psyche ever since.… [Read more]

Proper Etiquette of Japan

Oftentimes when travelers are asked what they think about Japan, the one word that comes up time and time again is “polite.” As a whole the people of Japan are known to be gracious and polite, yet they live and work in heavily populated areas which, in other countries, usually creates a recipe for contention and aggressiveness.… [Read more]

Why Is Healthcare So Hard?

Last year, I was involved in a car accident in which I’m lucky to have survived.  Both me and another car tried to merge into the same lane at the same time; our cars kissed on the side and then after bouncing off his car, I over corrected and went off the road and into an embankment, totaling the Ford Explorer I was driving, breaking two vertebrae and tearing my right rotator cuff.… [Read more]

Giving Thanks To Those Who Don’t Serve

With the holidays just around the corner, there is someone to whom ol’ Panama would like to give a special present. In fact, I’d like everyone to give this special person a present over the holidays. This special someone does more work, puts in more hours, sacrifices more, and receives far too little credit. You may be thinking that I’m talking about the American soldier, but I’m not.… [Read more]