Learning how to tie an obi knot

Kevin and Junko demonstrate to how tie an obi for a men’s yukata (summer kimono).

Vicky’s Going Away Party Concert

This is an old video that I finally edited and uploaded.  It's from Vicky's Going Away Party Concert at Gaucho in Oita City, Japan, August 2004.

Avaaz Holiday Party 2006


Here are some pictures from the Avaaz.org Holiday Party 2006 at Tanti Baci, a cute and cozy Italian restaurant in the West Village, New York.  Click here to see the full set of pictures at my Flickr account.







‘Paris Syndrome’ strikes Japanese

This article is hilarious.  I think it is totally a conspiracy invented by the BBC to make the French look bad.


'Paris Syndrome' strikes Japanese

By Caroline Wyatt
BBC News, Paris


A dozen or so Japanese tourists a year have to be repatriated from the French capital, after falling prey to what's become known as "Paris syndrome".

That is what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations.

The experience can apparently be too stressful for some and they suffer a psychiatric breakdown.

Around a million Japanese travel to France every year.

Shocking reality

Many of the visitors come with a deeply romantic vision of Paris – the cobbled streets, as seen in the film Amelie, the beauty of French women or the high culture and art at the Louvre.

The reality can come as a shock.

An encounter with a rude taxi driver, or a Parisian waiter who shouts at customers who cannot speak fluent French, might be laughed off by those from other Western cultures.

But for the Japanese – used to a more polite and helpful society in which voices are rarely raised in anger – the experience of their dream city turning into a nightmare can simply be too much.

This year alone, the Japanese embassy in Paris has had to repatriate four people with a doctor or nurse on board the plane to help them get over the shock.


They were suffering from "Paris syndrome".

It was a Japanese psychiatrist working in France, Professor Hiroaki Ota, who first identified the syndrome some 20 years ago.

On average, up to 12 Japanese tourists a year fall victim to it, mainly women in their 30s with high expectations of what may be their first trip abroad.

The Japanese embassy has a 24-hour hotline for those suffering from severe culture shock, and can help find hospital treatment for anyone in need.

However, the only permanent cure is to go back to Japan – never to return to Paris.


Global Rich List


Just how rich are you?  Find out at the Global Rich List site.