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Over before you know it

2017 passed by in a flash. They say as you get older the months and days start to feel shorter, and I couldn’t agree more. When I was younger, Monday at the start of a new week used to feel like it took forever, but now the weekend show up before you know it. Busy with this and that and then a year is over before you know it. After all of that I looked back on my year. As usual I don’t talk much about work however.

- Dragon Quest X

Above all else this rings true. I never thought I would get this into it. “The Dragon Quest that never ends,” they said in the commercials, and they were right. If my memory is correct, the only days that I didn’t login to play, were after I drank too much at our summer party and twice when we stayed overnight for golf, totaling only 3 days in the year. Not necessarily something to brag about, I’m sure many would suggest better usage of my time, but as someone that ends up gambling if I have too much time on my hands, I feel it’s been a change for the better. I haven’t gambled at all, and my bank account has been slowly increasing.

- Golf

We did a lot of golf this year. Roughly estimating I think about 34 times. We have one more game planned this year so it will have been 35 games in total. We have a group of bachelors, but still, 35 times is pretty overboard for a regular salary men. As far as cost goes things are quite reasonable around here, another of the perks of living in Gunma prefecture. I’m hooked on studying quarter theory. It’s a must for golfers having difficulty with their slice.

- Live shows and festivals

I made it to all of the “must-see” shows this year.

As far as live shows go, FLOW in July.

As for festivals, Rock’in in August and Septembers Mountaineers Music Festival and New Acoustic Camp.

They’re all annual events, but were still all exceptional experiences. Best of all this year was still Superfly.

Two years ago I was set to see her at Rock’in, but she had to cancel due to throat problems and wasn’t performing for some time after that. I had heard rumors time and time again that she was recovering, but never any sort of official announcement for over a year making me wonder if she wasn’t coming back... This year being her 10th anniversary, a one night only Anniversary Premium LIVE show was announced!

I was very indecisive, it was a weekday after all, and they were only allowing the purchase of one ticket per person. I wasn’t interested in selling tickets to others, but knew it would be hard to secure a ticket later on if I didn’t buy one for myself. I was very torn, but ended up ordering a ticket. The result, as a fan-club member I ended up with almost the best possible seat of the drawing in the 8th row.

I must apologies to my coworkers and partner companies. It was about the worst time for me to take a few days off. Still, with little explanation I took paid vacation and had a blast. I sat anxious and worried about the condition of the artists throat, but my fears proved meaningless and I was able to listen to a wonderful singing voice. The first song is opera’esque with an accompanying orchestra and I ended up shedding 2 or 3 tears.

I’ve heard rumors that there will be a fan club only live show next year, but she might not be ready for another full tour. Which is fine with me. I’d rather she take care to heal her throat completely instead of pushing too hard.

Next year 2018... probably, will be more or less the same I think. Hard to complain that the days are peacefully passing me by.

It’s a little early, but well done this year.

From Naotyn


My car’s fuel and my fuel

When choosing a car often gas mileage is taken into consideration. The distance you can drive in kilometers per liter of gas being the method of measurement. You may have heard of the “catalog rating” when talking about gas mileage. This is the gas mileage when calculated under specific conditions like, conducted in a closed room, zero handle movement, all accessories switched off. You can look up the rest by searching for JC08 standard.

The real gas mileage is affected by weather, traffic conditions, acceleration, air conditioner use, and the condition of the car itself, creating quite a difference from the catalog rating. It’s generally agreed that the real gas mileage is between 70% and 80% the catalog rating.

So I thought I’d do the math and see how my own car’s mileage measures up.

The catalog rating of my car is 20.2km/L.

At 70% to 80% that comes to somewhere between 14.1 to 16.2km/L.

Logging my gas use and mileage from August 14th, 2016 through November 29th, 2017 I calculated an average of 16.2km/L. If the real average is supposed to be between 70% and 80% I must be driving my car in the top percentile.

Looking at this graph we can imagine different reasons for the changes. For example the months with the best mileage are

1. September 2016 was 17.3km/L

2. November 2016 was 17.3km/L

3. June 2017 was 17.2km/L

4. September 2017 was 17.3km/L

During 1, and 4, we’ve just passed the hottest and coldest times of the year, our air conditioning is off, causing less gas use? Or during 2 we probably start using the heater a bit, but end up putting on warmer clothes raising mileage a bit?

Making a visual representation always makes it easier to imagine what’s going on.

Speaking of fuel, I haven’t had much time lately for researching the gasoline of Humans, Japanese sake, and have been buying by volume. For the first time in a while I’ve had to tone down the volume and start worrying about the cost.

When you stand one up, another falls down… hehehe

Plum colored red yeast sake, special select for warm fuel, and Isojiman for the New Year.

From Jyoushin Electric Railside Resident



I live in Japan though was born in a different country and so at times am called a “foreigner.” My passport is not Japanese. My face does not look “Japanese.” I am quite clearly a “foreigner,” but what is it that draws the line between “Japanese” and “foreigner.” For example, if I look Japanese and have a Japanese name, but my passport is American can you still call me “Japanese?” Even if a “white” person such as myself changed their passport to Japanese, I would still probably not be called “Japanese.” I think it’s clearly a case-by-case, dilemma, but do we really even have a proper standard for deciding who is who?

Some Japanese people that know me say sometimes that I am “more Japanese then today’s youth,” which I take as a compliment. I can speak formal Japanese, I know my manners, etc., but I am still a “foreigner” on the outside.

Japan’s population actually only makes up less than 1.7% of the world’s population. Because of that fact, regardless of which country you are saying so from, but especially Japan, whenever you say “foreigners are…” what they’re really saying is “97.3% of the Earth’s population are…” For example, some things I hear about “foreigners” are that they: like to party; can hold their liquor; have big noses. But if you’re talking about almost the entire planet, it doesn’t matter what you say, you’re wrong.

People are people, that’s undeniable. Sometimes they’re cheerful, sometimes they’re sad. They hold big dreams, share love with one another, and do all kinds of other things. In reverse, whenever someone says “Japanese people are…” I know it’s going to be nonsense. There are without a doubt going to be hundreds of thousands of people that won’t fit whatever is being talked about. Some Japanese for example, even here in my company, like to party more than I do, like to drink more than I do, maybe I do have the biggest nose, lol… I think the use of the word “foreigner” is almost never merited.

Pure aluminum has a density of 2.7g/cm3, that’s a fact.

Grouping people by country is incorrect.

I look forward to the days when people will accept other people for who they are.

From Postman


Historical Drama and Gunma

The historical drama “Onna Jyousyu Naotora” (Female Castle Lord Naotora). The story is nearing the final stage. In the latest broadcast an emphasis has been placed on the activity of one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Tokugawa, Ii Machiyo (later Naomasa). Mostly taking place in the Hamamatsu area of the Toukai Region…

Historical dramas of recent years have often been set here in Gunma Prefecture, such as “Yae no sakura,” in Annaka-city, “Hanamoyu” in Maebashi-city and Tomioka-city, and “Sanadamaru” in Numata-city.

I had assumed this year would not continue that trend… However, together with the entrance of Tokugawa Ieyasu into the Kantou Region, Ii Naomasa enters Minowa Castle as the first lord of Takasaki via Misato-town in Takasaki-city. After that he renovates Wada Castle, long a central part of Takasaki-city, turning it into Takasaki Castle, and moves his house within its walls. It was short-lived however as Ii Naomasa moved to Oumi shortly after.

A prestigious family that continued their rule until the end of the Tokugawa, the Ii family is well-known as the Hikone Clan in Oumi, but prior to that we see they played a role in the development of the foundations of Takasaki.

Sakagibara Yasumasa, one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Tokugawa, was the first lord of the Tatebayashi Clan. Sakai Tadatsugu was the first lord of the Maebashi Clan. Both major city of Gunma, we see that Gunma Prefecture was an important area in the early years of the Edo period.

The recently renovated front gate of Minowa Castle.

A great place to enjoy sakura in full bloom during the Spring.

From No.258

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