'The Great Sasuke' is but one of the masks this little doggy is modelling on this site. Strange how the JMA seems to only have one dog as a member.
Sing with the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW)
Around 1985 Vince McMahon came up with the idea of "Rock N' Wrestling" and the golden age of wrestling novelty music began. Before that time, there had only been a few noteworthy wrestling related songs released, such as the much loved Freddie Blassie Classic "Pencil Neck Geek". Hopefully someday I'll get my hands on the hard to find "Wrestling Rocks" LP from Rhino so that I can finally hear such other tunes from that era as "Who Will Dispute the Genius of Lou Albano" by the Foreign Objects or "The Body Rules" by Jesse Ventura.
Windows Media Version (Slightly better quality)
Xvid Version (Bigger file, much better quality)
Update: You Tube has some good Michinoku videos stolen off the Gaora channel. Here's one from the Akita show I went to last year. I didn't attend the show this clip is from, but I wanted to include it because because at the end there's a funny bit with Sasuke singing and dancing with the boy band wannabe Sato twins (also known as The Sailor Boys).
It seems like nobody ever comments on my wrestling posts, and I just don't understand why. I can only assume that this is because people find them boring, but if you ask me pro-wrestling is one of the most interesting things you can ever hope to see in Japan. This is especially true of Tohoku based Michinoku Pro-Wrestling, which brings its high energy Mexican-style lucha libre shows up to Aomori every few months.
Just over a year ago, Marc Miller invited Kate, Hugh and I to a pro-wrestling show in his tiny little home town of Onoe. We had no idea what to expect, but figured the show wouldn't be too impressive given where we would be seeing it. While there couldn't have been more than a few dozen people in the crowd, the wrestlers didn't hold anything back and put on a really amazing show. Kate and I have been devout Michinoku Pro-Wrestling fans ever since.
May I introduce you to 'Hayate', a Japanese luchador who takes his name from the speedy bullet train that travels between Tokyo and Hachinohe stations. You can see his website here.
While a train might be an unlikely choice for a wrestling gimmick, it seems like at least two other grapplers think that it's a good idea.
Mari has an interesting article about a new craze in Japan surrounding a character named 'Spoo'. It all started with this video clip (edit: actually this clip) from one of my favorite Japanese kids shows. In it the two hosts try to draw a picture of one of the show's main characters, Spoo, with pretty funny results. The guy draws him correctly, but the woman's drawing is really, really far off the mark. Much like what happened with that Star Wars Kid a while back, the clip has inspired countless Japanese Internet nerds on 2CH to create their own spoof videos. Will he have the same impact on English speaking nerds as Domokun did a few years back? Since nobody outside Japan knows the original character, I kind of doubt it.
Update: I found this other Spoo drawing video from the show. This time Spoo himself joins in the drawing fun as everyone waits to see what the female host comes up with this time. Sadly it seems like she has learned to draw a pretty good Spoo since the first episode aired, though it's still the worst of the bunch.
This is not the squirrel I saw. The one I spotted this morning seemed to prefer travelling on foot.
Back in Toronto you can't drive more than two meters anywhere in the city without spotting a squirrel either scampering across the road, or making it his final resting place. In Japan however, squirrels are a lot harder to come by. In the nearly three years that I`ve lived here I have never once seen a squirrel. Living in the 'inaka' as I do, I often find myself driving alone on mountainous country roads. As a result, I have spotted quite a few rabbits, foxes, weasels, plenty of tanuki(s?) and even a few monkeys, but never before a squirrel. Why are there so few of these fast breeding rodents in this country? Is it because of a lack of nut bearing trees? Is it because Japanese cities have so few parks? Perhaps they just don`t stand a chance here against the ubiquitous murders of giant crows.
Anyway, I certainly feel blessed that I was able to see live and in person one of Japan`s most elusive creatures before I return home. Perhaps there is still hope for me in my ongoing battle with Luke to be the first to photograph a wild bear. Maybe after work today I'll cover myself in honey and hike up Eboshi mountain. I have a good feeling that today might be the big day!
The clothing department at Noheji's Max Value never disappoints.
A new addition to Max Value this week is the purikura machine grave yard.
No, Max Value doesn't have a Starbucks. This picture is actually about a month old and is from Tokyo's Narita airport. I figured while on the subject of shopping that should point out for you Starbucks mug collectors out there that now you can buy all the different mugs without having to travel all over the country.
As a certain uncle of mine likes to point out whenever he visits his former homeland, there's nothing Canadians like to do more than talk about money. That's why I feel it's my patriotic duty to bitch about today's currency exchange rate between Canada and Japan. When I came to Japan three years ago one Canadian dollar was worth roughly eighty-six Japanese yen. Now as the title suggests, the balance of power has shifted and the CAD is worth more than the JPY.
The Canadian dollar keeps getting stronger and stronger, and since most of my wealth is in Japanese yen, I'm not all that pleased about it. By my calculations it now costs about
$35$160 more for each 100,000 yen ($1000) I bring back home from Japan than it would have cost when I first came here. In fact the Canadian dollar is at its strongest level since 1978! Unlike my brilliant economist cousin, I don't know much about money stuff, but I'm willing to bet this has something to do with oil prices. Canada is a huge exporter of oil, while Japan on the other hand imports over 99% of its oil. If oil prices continue to go up, soon everyone in Alberta will be driving around in Cadillacs and wearing Rolex watches (unless of course they already are).
With many economist types predicting that oil prices may soon go as high as 80 or even 100 dollars a barrel, I guess it's good that I'm getting out of here with my yen before it becomes as worthless as my pile of Vietnamese dong. I suppose instead of wishing for some natural disaster to strike Alberta as I've been doing, I really should just be happy for the economic success of my homeland. If things continue the way they are going, maybe soon I'll be able to get a gold rimmed Caddilac of my own. That is of course assuming Alberta doesn't separate from Canada and keep all its oil money for itself.
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