Asians All Look The Same

Parecchi anni fa’, quando sono venuto a Londra per studiare l’inglese, mi sono trovato in classe con diversi studenti provenienti da paesi come Giappone, Cina, Thailandia, Corea ed altri paesi Asiatici e tra noi studenti Italiani o di altre nazioni non Asiatiche era luogo comune dire che gli studenti provenienti da qui paesi si assomigliavano tutti e che spesso era facile far confusione e confonderli. Da parte loro, gli studenti Asiatici, ribattevano che noi Occidentali abbiamo caratteristiche fisiche che ci accomunano e quindi per loro un Italiano e’ facilmente confondibile con uno Spagnolo o un Tedesco o un’Inglese. Le discussioni che iniziavo in classe spesso continuavano alla sera in bar o pub dove dopo un po’ di birre ci si metteva alla prova. A distanza di anni penso di riconoscere facilmente un Giapponese da un Cinese o un Coreano da un Thailandese. Voi riuscite a riconoscere la provenienza di una persona Asiatica? Provate a mettervi alla prova con uno dei tanti video reperibile su youtube.

Many years ago, when I came to London to learn English, I met many students from Asian countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea, etc. Amongst Italian and other Western students it was very common to say things like ‘all Asians look the same’. Asian students, when confronted with our stupid comments, usually replied saying that all Western people look the same and that there were not too many physical differences between Italians and Spanish or Italians and Germans and so on. Friendly discussion which had started at college carried on in the evenings in bars or pubs where after few beers we would challenge classmates to recognise origin of friends or people seen in public places. After many years I confidently can spot a Japanese from a Chinese or a Korean. Can you do the same? Try to test you skills with one of the many videos available on youtube.

Radio

Oggi scrivo un post molto breve che, pero’, potrebbe essere utile a tutte le persone appassionate di musica. Vi lascio alcun link per ascoltare radio Giapponesi, Thailandesi e Coreane. Spero vi possano essere utili.

Today a short post that might be useful to those interested in music as I’m going to provide some links which allow you to listen to Japanese, Thai and Korean radios. I hope you find them helpful.

Japanese radio

http://www.xamfm.com/

http://it.delicast.com/radio/Giappone

http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/radio/program/index.html

Korean radio

http://it.delicast.com/radio/CoreaSud

Thai radio

http://it.delicast.com/radio/Thailandia

 

Japan/Fashion: A Talk by Akiko Fukai

Another interesting event held at The Japan Foundation.

Japanese fashion has long been creating a buzz around the world with its unique form and aesthetics which provide a strong contrast to fashions in the West. The Japan Foundation has invited Akiko Fukai, Director and Chief Curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute and one of Japan’s most respected fashion historians, to talk about the power of Japanese fashion and its cultural context. Tracing back to the past, Ms Fukai will explore the sources and aesthetics which form the foundations of Japanese fashion, illustrating where Japanese contemporary fashion has come from and what it is today.

As well as complementing the recent Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery for which Fukai was the leading curator, this talk will provide an opportunity to discover and define the true beauty of contemporary Japanese fashion beyond Comme des Garçons or the kawaii trends on the streets of Tokyo.

Akiko Fukai’s talk will be followed by a conversation with Alison Moloney, Fashion Advisor to the British Council.

Booking is essential. Please email your name and those of your guests, as well as the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

The Japan Foundation, London – 10-12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EH http://www.jpf.org.uk

Ristorante Giapponese/Japanese Restaurant

Questa sera con alcuni amici sono andato a mangiare Giapponese al Niko Niko che si trova vicino alle fermate della metropolitana di Tottenham Court Road e Goodge Street al 19 Percy Street. Il ristorante a me piace molto in quanto il rapporto qualita’ prezzo e’ decisamente buono, ma soprattutto mi trovo bene con il personale che gestisce il locale, molto gentile ed amichevole (una cameriera Coreana in modo particolare!). Questa sera ho mangiato il Katsu curry al pollo ed ho bevuto un po’ di birra Asahi super dry, la birra Giapponese che preferisco. Serata piacevole in un ottimo ristorante che offre anche stanze private per il Karaoke, se siete nei paraggi e non volete spendere molto e’ da provare.

In the evening with some friends I went to Niko Niko, a Japanese restaurant located near Tottenham Court Road and Goodge street at 19 Percy Street . I particularly like Niko Niko as the food is good and not very expensive especially when compared to London’s prices and staff is always very polite and friendly (a Korean girl in particular!). This evening I had Chicken Katzu Curry and few bottles of Asahi Super Dry, my favourite Japanese beer. Overall a good evening in a nice restaurant that also offers private Karaoke room for those who like to sing, pay a visit to Niko Niko if you are in the area.

Social Security and the Welfare State

In a period of economic crisis this event seems to fit well.

What the State Provides: Social Security and the Welfare State

Daiwa Foundation

Japan House, 13/14 Cornwal Terrace, London NW1 4QP

2 March 2011

6:00 pm – 7:45 pm followed by drinks

Booking information

This second seminar in the 2011 series, ‘Uncertain Futures: The Individual, Society and the State in the UK and Japan’, will explore the concepts and issues surrounding social security and welfare provision in the UK and Japan. The speakers will consider current arrangements in both countries in the context of longstanding debates on trust and responsibility and what the State should provide to support social needs. From the Beveridge Report to the ‘Big Society’, the evolution of the welfare state and the impact of spending reviews on social policy in the UK will be assessed. Our Japanese speaker will draw upon recent research to compare ‘livelihood security systems’ and to explore future possibilities for a society of social inclusion in Japan.

Norwegian Wood – Murakami

Settimana abbastanza difficile quella appena conclusa. Al lavoro siamo stati molto occupati ed in aggiunta ci sarebbero brutte notizie in arrivo, scopriremo presto. Per quanto mi riguarda la settimana e’ stata rovinata dall’influenza, forte mal di testa e mal di gola, cosa che comunque non mi ha permesso di stare a casa a riposare ma ha semplicemente rallentato tutti i miei programmi.

Dopo aver finito il libro Yakuza Moon ho deciso di leggere (re-leggere) uno dei mie libri favoriti, Norwegian Wood scritto da Haruki Murakami. Devo ammettere che a differenza di molti appassionati del Giappone io non sono un grandissimo appassionato di Murakami in quanto trovo molti suoi libri piuttosto noiosi ma Norwegian Wood e’ veramente bello e semplice da leggere e sicuramente il migliore di quelli scritti dal famoso scrittore Giapponese, obbligatorio da leggere se non si conosce l’autore. Un’altro libro di Murakami che consiglio e’ The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in Italiano L’ucello che Girava le Viti del Mondo, libro molto lungo da leggere, 832 pagine, ma mai noioso.

Per finire questo post vi voglio ricordare/informare che dal libro Norwegian Wood e’ stato fatto un film che prossimamente sara’ disponibile in Europa.

I’ve been trough a difficult week. At work we had been particularly busy and we were informed that things (mainly financially) are not going well and drastic solutions are needed while on a personal level I had a cold, strong headaches and sore throat, which made difficult to achieve all the things I had planed for this week.

After having finished to read Yakuza Moon I decided to read (re-read) one of my favourite books, Norwegian Wood, written by Haruki Murakami. I’ve to admit, I’m not the greatest fan of Murakami as I often found his books boring (nonsense, you might think) but Norwegian Wood is a very well written book and if you have never read it you should consider to put it at the top of your list with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the other book written by Murakami I like, long (832 pages) but enjoyable.

To finish this post I would like to inform/remind that from the book a film was recently made and soon available in Europe.