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Cranes and a Girl

By Maiko Nakai

On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945 before a horrible bomb fell on Hiroshima, a little two-year-old girl named Sadako Sasaki was eating breakfast with her family much like any other day.

At 8:15 a.m., everything changed. An atomic bomb exploded over the city of Hiroshima. The huge mushroom cloud went high up into the sky, the blast knocked down buildings. Fire burned patterns of kimonos into people’s bodies. Black rain beat down against them. An estimated 140, 000 people died as a result of the bomb and its after effects.

Sadako’s home was just a mile away from ground zero, but she was lucky enough to servive—at least at first. She grew up strong, courageous—an athletic girl who loved singing and running. But after some years she developed odd lumps on her neck, ears, and to her face. In Jan. 1955, purple spots started to form on her legs. One day, she fell down during her race practice. She was diagnosed with Leukemia. A year at the most—that was the time Sadako had left to live.

Then something beautiful happened. High school students from Nagoya sent 1000 cranes to Sadako and other patients in her hospital. And Sadako started making cranes herself. She believed in a myth that said 1000 cranes make a wish come true. “I want to run again,” Sadako said, and she never gave up the hope. For the last 10 months of her life she kept folding papers: one, two, three…thousand! But on Oct. 25, 1955, Sadako died at the age of 12. Even 1500 cranes could not keep her alive.

After her death, her schoolmates and friends raised funds to build a memorial to the children who died from the atomic bomb. About three years later, a statue called “Genbaku no Ko no Zo” or “Senba Zuru no Zo” was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Park on May 5, Children’s Day. The statue is a representation of Sadako holding a big golden crane above her head. There is a wish inscribed at the bottom: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.” Still today cranes are sent to the memorial from all over the world. More than 10 tons, or 10 million cranes are dedicated to the statue annually.

And Sadako is still is there today too, hoping that her cranes someday bring peace to the world.


投稿者 maiko : 11:59 | トラックバック

Free Hugs


Why are people standing around Columbia Hall on campus holding up "Free Hugs" signs?

What is that for?

And why do people go get their free hugs?

This is so creepy.

投稿者 maiko : 11:52 | トラックバック


Eat and Run

Is this okay thing to do in America?

The other day, I was waiting in a line to dinner from Panda Express (Chinese fast food) at EMU on campus. A woman came and cut me off. I was like "What the hell!" It's very rude. She asked the employee, "I'm gonna try the orange chicken." Okay...I'm waiting. "I need that one too." Okay...please...is there way to ask nicely? "Umm...good." Then she left without saying a word.

Wait...what did just happen?
Did she get samples and leave without getting anything, even though she did not line up and bothered people, at least me? Did she leave without saying thank you? I lost my words.

Isn't this something some kids do and their parents tell them it's not okay?

Please, woman. You're not a girl. Don't just come to get samples because you're hungry.

投稿者 maiko : 23:28 | トラックバック


3 Reasons UofO Students Should Have Macs

Happy Maichan -- It doesn't matter which we have: Macs or PCs? It DOES matter if you're studying at the University of Oregon. Maybe you know that libraries and computer labs have both Macs and PCs. Maye you think Macs are for Art Major. Maybe you know PCs are cheaper than Macs in general. For all those cases, here are 3 reasons that UofO students should have Macs. 1. Access. Some buildings on campus have only Macs. 2. Support. Even though they can help you, Computer Center at 151 McKenzie Hall is technically for Macs (If not, at least that's the obvious impression they are giving.), and other smaller computer support desks also specialize in Macs. 3. Purchase. UofO bookstore doesn't sell PCs, only Macs with great student discounts. These are the major three reasons why UofO students should have Macs. (Only 3 reasons? Yeah...sadly. And I myself bought a PC when my iBook crashed because of the lower price. So, I guess this is not persuasive enough.)

(imitated blog entry: http://valleywag.com/tech/apple/42-reasons-normal-people-can-switch-to-macs-242430.php)

投稿者 maiko : 11:32 | トラックバック

ad that conveys unpleasant messages

When I went to a grocery store, a yellow package stopped my eyes. It was LAND O LAKES butter package, which has a Native American woman who milks her own breasts. I get the point of the label, and I understand that the ad has been around for a long time that it has a reputation. Still, it is offensive. It doesn't have to be an Indian woman showing her breast. It could be a cow instead. I think that the imagery is discrimination against both Native Americans and females. It's an example of how offensive stereotypes can become accepted in our everyday life.

投稿者 maiko : 11:31 | トラックバック

Who's journalist?

I would like to develop one question from this article, that is: How do we define "journalists"?
What we mean by the term "journalist" is debated widely as the Internet plays a bigger role in media. The term is confusing because unlike medical and legal professions, there is no minimum entrance requirement or licensing procedure for being a journalist. Thus, everyone can claim that he or she is a journalist. However, journalists exclude certain "journalists," such as the Web bloggers and writers; this is still accepted among many people as the norm, in my opinion. People need enough knowledge, skills, experiences, and also some kind of recognitions or reputations in order to claim oneself a journalist. The article is about an action taken for this uncertainty, that said, how we draw a line between "journalist" and "hobbiest."

投稿者 maiko : 11:28 | トラックバック

Overprotective Car Navigator

This is again, blog imitation. This site pick electronics devices and talk about them, or make fun of them. I liked this short entry: http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/06/solidalliances-omellete-mouse-cover-thats-rice-not-maggots/
Navigators direct you step by step to get to your destination. But there are signs on the streets. You can also ask people. MapQuest helps you find your way. Do you still want to pay $200-$1000 to eat at a famous sushi station? It's like overprotective parents who call to our office to complain for their children. (Your children are "college students," in case you have forgotten.) Let them go. Let them become independent. Those kids are the ones who are driving luxury cars like lexis with navigators. And of course, they're not paying for anything.

投稿者 maiko : 11:26 | トラックバック


Media's Ethics

I saw O.J. Simpson's name somewhere online several days ago, and ended up doing a little research.

On Nov. 20, 2006, News Corporation cancelled the TV special and a book publication, which was scheduled on Nov. 30. This book "If I Did, Here's How It Happened" was authored by O.J. Simpson, an American former college and professional football player. It discusses how he would have carried out the 1994 murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, if he had done it. This cancellation will bring a huge loss for Fox since it was the ratings period, when Nielsen closely watches the ratings and tabulates future and rates based on those numbers. If the TV special was aired, the company could expect curiosity to drive viewers to the program in huge numbers. The loss of the publisher, ReganBooks, will be great as well. The Simpson's book, "If I Did," had once ranked the top 20 of Amazon.com but by the time its cancellation was announced, it had fallen dramatically. This decision must have been hard for all financially involved.

The public reaction toward the project was negative. "Don't watch the show. Don't buy the book. Send a message loud and clear," Fred Goldman, Goldman's father, stated. Nicole Simpson's sister, Denise Brown, said, "It's unfortunate that Simpson has decided to reawaken a nightmare that we...worked so hard to move beyond..." She accused Simpson for not being respectful for survivors. She also showed her anger against the publisher, Judith Regan, and required her to take full accountability for abetting and promoting the wrongdoing of criminals. Harry Papas said on the Fox News Channel about News Corp. that "Principle was finally established over profit." Yet, some, including the National Enquirer, point out that Simpson had already made $3.5 million in advance for his book. Laurence J. Kirshbaum and other media agents label Regan as "total publisher," "slimy publisher," "foul-mouthed tyrant," or "enfant terrible of American publishing." For those people, it is unethical for Fox to publish the book and achieve a primary goal of gaining world wide attention as well as for Simpson to profit from the 1994 murders.

On the other hand, Regan insists that she did not pay Simpson. She said that she contracted through a third party and was told that the money would go to his children. According to broadcasters directing Fox-affiliated stations, including Papas' Mike Angellos, their company feels very strongly that there is "no beneficial interest in the airing of this program except to O.J. Simpson" and they have "no desire to benefit O.J. Simpson." Regan emphasized after silence that she wanted Simpson's "confession" because she herself was once a victim of abuse.

This is a case of journalists putting their own thoughts into their work. As Regan herself revealed, her own experience of being a victim because the conclusive reason for releasing the book. Some might say that Regan was obsessed with ending abuse, and forgot her profession to decide what to publish depending on the public's interests and needs. The Simpson's book illustrates the absurdity of contemporary media content. Interestingly, even though Simpson is familiar to the world, it appears that much of the condemnation is directed at Fox and Regan. We can conclude from this news that the public demands media or its agents to take greater responsibility, and often it is hard for the latter to make ethical decisions.


投稿者 maiko : 15:49 | トラックバック





投稿者 maiko : 14:00 | トラックバック

Beat Assignment -Anecdotal Story 2-

"Shared Neighborhood"

EUGENE, Ore.--Do you go into your neighbor's kitchen and grab something you need for your recipe when they are not home? People do, in this neighborhood.

Quiet. There's no sound but birds singing. Climbing up the mountain, you find its panoramic views beautiful. Clean. There are no overfilled trash cans on the streets. You'll see people jogging and bicycling. This is what the Walnut-Fairmount neighborhood looks like.

"Sandra will be gone from Jan. 30 to Feb. 18," said Tim, who lives next to the Fairmount Park. They know where others are and when they are coming back. They know which schools others' children go to. They even know how married couple met!

Sharing not only information and space, but also plants, animals, and all kinds of tools, the neighborhood has become an "extended family." That's where the comfortableness of taking food from your neighbor's fridge comes from.

投稿者 maiko : 13:54 | トラックバック

Beat Assignment -Anecdotal Story 1-

Neighborhood's Concerns over New Arena

EUGENE, Ore.--It's not just fans who will be affected by the new basketball arena, but also people in Walnut and Fairmount neighborhood. This is the biggest concern the neighbors have in common. The new facility will be most likely built after the Williams' Bakery, which has already relocated in Glenwood, Springfield. The reasons for the new facility include: offering increased seating for additional fans to attend games, enhancing the university's competitiveness in recruiting potential athletes and coaches, and providing improved access for physically challenged people, food services, weight training facilities and gyms. It is estimated that the arena could provide $4-6 million in additional net revenue annually.

Walnut and Fairmount neighborhood--nice neighborhood where big houses line up the streets. It is also a very quiet, clean, and friendly environment where many people are jogging, bicycling, and walking with their dogs. Many residents there are professionals such as journalists and lawyers, or are affiliated with university. If the new basketball court is built there, whether or not the neighborhood will remain "as nice as it is" is questionable. Noise, traffic, parking, problems...neighbors' worries grow as university expands into their territory.

投稿者 maiko : 13:53 | トラックバック

Trip to Japan

This journal is supposed to be an imitation of a blog entry. I'm going to try to imitate Giant Robot blog (http://www.giantrobot.com/). I have read some entries of three bloggers. They introduce places they went and things they saw in quite conversational style of writing with many pictures. So, I'll just show you my hometown and the surrounding area.

Actually, please check my new blog I made for my journalism class especially for this entry, because I posted many pictures: http://happyduckmaiko.blogspot.com/

投稿者 maiko : 13:50 | トラックバック

"Why I Hate Blacks"

This is a response to an article I found on poynter.org.
It talks about the criticism"Asian Week" have taken
by publishing the "racist" column titled "Why I Hate Blacks."

In the column, the writer Kenneth Eng listed "reasons" to hate African Americans and according to the "San Francisco Chronicle," they included:
"Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us."
"Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."
"Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians."

First of all, I'm curious why Eng wrote such column. And I assume that he lacked a full explanation to address his motivation and why it is important to write about the topic. Apparently, he's not just targeting African Americans. The Chronicle said that Eng previously published columns such as "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians" and they took criticism. So, why did he do that again knowing the next column "Why I Hate Blacks" will result in harsher criticism and more serious controversy. If the writer had persuasive reasons behind and told them to readers, they would still accuse him for publishing it, though might have showed some kind of understanding.

And Eng's "reasons" don't sound logical. He doesn't have enough evidence to support his claims. His comments also neglect the long history of colonization and slavery. Third reason I listed above just doesn't make sense to me. In his previous column "Why I Hate Asian," he described Asians as "apathetic, brown-nosing and lacking in cultural pride" according to the Chronicle. I think that Eng has problems with his descriptions or wordings too. And we, Asians, have higher cultural pride than Americans do, in my opinion. America doesn't have its own culture so much to begin with because much of their culture is mixed up. (I just offended some people, didn't I?) I think Eng should have said "nationalism" instead of "cultural pride." And that makes much more sense to at least to me.

I admire how much Americans love their country. They love the flag and its colors. They sing their national anthem at important events, which Japanese don't. When I was in the last year in middle school, hanging out our flag and singing our national anthem at important events, including graduation ceremony, was required by law. But at my graduation, few people stood up and sang. (We still have rights to choose whether we sing or not. I didn't, because I hate the anthem.) A man got really angry and said something really loud to protest against it, and left the room shutting the door loud.

But we never can speak for everyone and every ethnicity. And I don't think he can speak well for public regarding this issue, and obviously, he's not doing a good job. Therefore, he should reconsider about what he has done to people who have felt discriminated against by his columns, and what he will write in the future.

The links below are the article I was talking about, and another article regarding this topic that was published the next day.


投稿者 maiko : 13:49 | トラックバック

Love is Pain

I was in Ohio for several months in 2002.
We were good friends in marching band.
He had loved me since then, even though
we never saw each other after I left,
Nor did we ever talk on the phone or chat
on MSN messenger. We exchanged a few emails.
It was enough to keep his feelings about me alive.

It was back in Aug. 2005, before I moved to Eugene.
I started dating this American guy.
I was happy until he moved to Eugene.
He left everything in Ohio; his family, friends, job…
He said that he never wanted to lose me again.

I broke up with him a week after he moved to Eugene.
I felt awful. I felt guilty. But it was not my fault, nor was his.
His eyes were filled with tears.
He gave me a letter full of his thoughts.
I wondered if he had killed himself because he loved me that much.

Yes, we decided to become friends again.
But does it mean you call the other everyday,
sometimes, several times a day?
I thought he needed some time to accept the fact
that we were not in a relationship anymore.

So finally, I decided to ignore his calls.
I knew I was hurting him, but I had to.
You don’t know how hard it was to hold
my cell phone in my hand, hoping that it would stop ringing.
Someone you care about wants to talk to you.
Who doesn’t want to pick up the phone?

He was mad. I knew he would be.
I was hurt and upset by what was said in emails he sent me.
But I was also very sad. I was sad because he did not understand
that I was hurt, as much as he was.

I felt threatened. I was worried whether he might turn into a stalker.
I wanted to change everything he knew;
my room, email address, and even class schedules.

It’s been more than a year since we broke up.
We’ve met each other twice; we’ve talked on the phone twice.
Still, he hasn’t opened his heart to me.
Regardless, I want to say he is very nice.
I lost one of my best friends.

I wish we never dated.

投稿者 maiko : 13:48 | トラックバック


I just wanted to share this article I wrote for Japanese section of a small publication on campus called "Global Talk." The theme of the issue was Love.

Single women in Japan who are nearing 30 are in a rush—Not because of running late for their train to go to work, nor purchasing a trendy outfit a popular artist designed. They are rushing to get married.

Makeinu in Japanese literally means “loser dogs.” The new term refers to women who are unmarried after turning 30. It was first coined by an essayist, Jyunko Sakai, in 2003. She wrote a book called “Makeinu no Toboe (Loser Dogs’ Howls).” She herself was 37 when she wrote this best-selling book. Being over 30, single without children—she admitted that she was a makeinu, and said that no matter how well makeinu presented their “happy lives,” it’s just facade. The writer encouraged them to accept their lonely lives.

Makeinu was among the top 10 of “The Word 2004” award, which honors the most popular words of the year in Japan. It is an example of social construction of gender through the creation of words. Makeinu implanted a thought that those women are “left over,” and that no men will “pick them up.”

Compared to the past, Japanese society has become more equal for men and women. More women are working, thus getting married later. The Ministry of Health reported in 2005 the mean ages of first marriage were 29.8 for men and 28 for women. Those numbers were 28.2 and 25.5 in 1985, when some college juniors and seniors were born. Yet, people’s thoughts haven’t changed. The stereotypes of the gender roles are ingrained in our minds.

Winter is the time when people especially become aware of love. When couples are kissing under a Christmas tree with beautiful lights, or when one is making heart-shaped chocolates for someone special the day before Valentine’s Day (In Japan, traditionally, girls give chocolates to boys.), some might be wondering what makeinu are doing.

投稿者 maiko : 13:47 | トラックバック

Clean Up Your Own Mess!

I think this is one of the stories that could represent American culture.

I was really pissed when I went to the bathroom on the second floor at EMU this past weekend. The bathroom is usually a lot cleaner than other ones on campus. But this time, it was a disaster. High school kids (They were having debate and other tournaments). Please. Flush your own shit. Believe or not, not single person flushed the toilet. And what? We have about eight rooms. Gross. Toilet papers on the floor. Why? Trash cans were overfilled that they didn't even have caps. Thus papers we dry our hands were all over the place. Why can't someone, one person, put the cap back on? Why can't people use the bathroom "normally?" Why can't people keep the room clean? We all know how uncomfortable it is to use unclean bathrooms. Come on, girls! Mom, please do not put your baby on the dirty, disgusting floor. Didn't you see the counter? It's right next to you!

I sometimes hate this country (even though I like America better than Japan for the most part). You guys have too much stuff. That's why people tend to forget that they are lucky (It's questionable whether they're truly lucky, but I think it's lucky anyway.). Don't forget to appreciate that you were born in this wealthy country. It's sad when I see students trashing food in the dining halls. Don't take that much if you can't finish even though it's buffet style. They can throw stuff easily because they know they can get it again whenever they want.

Last Friday, I went to Kelly Middle School to give a presentation. Each of them had a computer, and they were using blackboard, which surprised me. How lucky they are! My topic was Hinamatsuri, Doll Festival or Girl's Day. I had them create their own dolls using colored papers. I also taught them how to make a Kabuto or Samurai hat with newspapers. They loved it, which was good. But can you imagine how messy the classroom became when 35 kids acted selfishly? Of course, there were papers, scissors, glues, ads, newspapers all over the place. And they didn't care even though the classroom teacher spent 5-10 minutes talking about cleaning up the room, and recycling! "Recycling means a lot to me," she said. See, I like this attitude. Americans care about recycling much more than Japanese do. But if you don't produce and consume so much, some of your garbage problems might be solved. Don't you think?

Who cleans up the classroom afterwards? Of course people who are hired for that. This is so dumb. No wonder high school kids cannot clean up their own mess! They weren't trained to do so. They didn't learn cleaning because they didn't have to. In Japan, we have cleaning time in elementary school, middle school, and even high school. I don't remember about preschool, but I'm sure we learned to clean up in some ways. In elementary and middle school, we had to have teachers check if everything was clean. Until he/she said yes, we couldn't go get the after lunch break. If we couldn't hear yes, we had to clean up again after school. In high school too; we had to clean everywhere after school; classrooms, hall ways, bathrooms, cafeteria, and outside even though we didn't use!

I wonder what parents are doing too. They should teach children these kinds of stuff, shouldn't they? Please don't spoil your kids. School teachers shouldn't be accountable to raise your kids.

Anyway, thank you for listening to my complaints. And please know that I do understand only some people in America apply to what I said above.

投稿者 maiko : 13:46 | トラックバック