Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Only in Japan: Plums and the Rainy Season

A thunderhead forming in the afternoon in Matsudo, Chiba Japan. Tsuyu 2011
Japan is currently in the rainy season, or monsoon season.  In fact this time of year Japan will receive most of its needed rain to maintain vital crops like rice, tea leaves, grain, etc.  The rainy season in Japanese is called Tsuyu. 梅雨 The word is the combination of the character for plum, Ume, and rain, Ame. This is the peak harvest time for Japanese plums in Japan. Hence the reference and importance of the character. Also if you look at the word Mainichi 毎日, meaning everyday, you can see the first character is also part of the word 梅 Ume, Japanese plum. The choice of the characer 梅 points to the fact that it rains almost everyday.

So quick quiz- Rainy Season.........Tsuyu.........梅雨

Now if you are asking yourself why don`t they call it UmeAme instead of Tsuyu.  Well that is because often times when combining two or more characters together sounds can change accorrding to rule or be selected by creator of the word. But that is a whole other Japanese lesson.  Back to the topic...
Along with heat and humidity rising, squalls and thunderstorms often abruptly arrive unleashing torrents of rain.  Flooding is quite common during this season but Japan`s many rivers and engineered aquaducts and waterways help alleviate this so there is very limited damage from flood water general speaking. 

On some days it can be in the 30s Celsius (90s F) and in the afternoon clouds of thunder and lightning turn the sky black as night. Other times you wake up and it is gray and misty outside.  Make no mistake about it when it is rainy season you will get wet.

This video was taken not long after the cloud from the photo at the title passed by and turned the sky dark and dumped the rain on everybody. This late afternoon rain is called Yuudachi 夕立.

The rain lasted less than 5 minutes and as you can see in this next clip all is well and the sky is relatively clear.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome to the Family Matthew Yoshiya!

The last couple weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me and my family and we are happy to have this new life with us read more & see photos

His name Matthew means "Gift of God" and middle name means "God will deliver"
He is our first born son

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Word and Message for the Future of Japan

Word of the LORD spoken to me on June 14, 2011.

I have set myself against the proud and haughty. Those who love to show their skin and flaunt their garments in public. Those who have forgotten the poor and condemned the innocent. Those who exalt themselves in their own hearts. Those who say "I am what I am" and refuse to repent of their evil, those who refuse to acknowledge that I have made them in My image.

For they will soil their garments with their own feces, they will grow weak and their bones will break. In their wickedness I will leave them unsatisfied, they will be consumed with madness. They will look to the idols, fortune tellers, and spiritists. They will try to find comfort but they will lose all their possesions and money because they will not seek Me.

So I will send them messengers, a generation of forerunners shall preach to them the words of life and many shall hear them and be healed. Many shall turn from wickedness and find everlasting life. Those who turn away from their evil ways and receive the words of Truth. The Messiah`s gospel shall be preached among them and they will be delivered from their troubles. Miracles and many signs shall be seen among them.

Yet there will be trouble and division among the people. There will be violence and bloodshed in the land that once was called peaceful among the nations. My people will be hated and sent out. They shall be sent out of Japan with a calling to the nations of the earth.






Friday, June 17, 2011

Tales from Japan: Radiation Clouds continue from Fukushima

Check out this video from the live camera monitoring the Fukushima plant earlier this week.

If you watch from about the two minute mark you will begin to see some action and a spark and something extremely nasty begin to develop. This happened during the middle of the night and was later confirmed to be steam from a spent fuel pond. In the hours following there were many independent radiation measurements showing a sharp rise in local radioactivity. Many people posted on TWITTER and advised people with children to be careful and take precautions.

When a pool of fuel becomes too hot it begins to boil and release radioactive steam. This steam can be extremely toxic and hazardous to the environment. It can easily carry radioactive particles to areas very far from the plant, which might explain why there are hot spots of radiation all over the Kanto region in Japan.

This steam is also dangerous because it can cause electrical failure, or instrument fires, and stop the cooling water pumps which would be cause for even greater concern.

As TEPCO attempts to implement its newly devised cooling system this week and try to control the damage at Fukushima, it is apparent that everything is not under control and such information is only given if internet watchdogs are awake and spreading the word.

The radiation levels over the last three months still continue to stay high compared to normal background radiation levels and they do spike every now and then.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Connecting Life with Faith: Facing Judgment, Repentance and Rulers

We are living in a time when we see leaders rise and fall so easily.  We see President Obama constantly riding a roller coaster of fame and prestige, now facing the realities of his own actions.  The internet continually bringing us the play by play of the lives of politicians, celebrities, athletes, and super stars.  Recently we have seen stars like Charlie Sheen and pseudo star/ politician Arnold Schwarzenegger grab the attention of millions maybe billions across the globe, as they climb and plummet only to wind up even more famous or infamous in the aftermath.  It is becoming a very twisted world out there.

We are living in a time when humanity`s need for leaders is great.  We have lifted up many for the sake of making our nations greater. We have looked to businessmen, entertainers, actors, political figures of all shapes, sizes and lifestyles.  Perhaps we have overlooked the humble leader, the learned and wise leader, the leader who has abstained from evil and not lifted his eyes to an idol or bowed before the world system.

If a person is not invested in this world, they simply cannot be corrupted.  They need only have heaven before them and the duty to work for the benefit of those they have charge of. For they too will have to give an account before the Almighty.

The tale of the wicked king Manasseh comes to mind.
I highlighted some parts in bold which I will discuss. But please read the whole account.

2 Chronicles 33
Manasseh King of Judah

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.
7 He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” 9 But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.

10 The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.

Manasseh was a young king, crowned at 12 years of age.  Probably never knew a hard day`s work in his life.  He was passionate in his wicked ways.  He would even go to the extreme of sacrificing his own children in order to get the desires of his heart.  Not only did Manasseh participate in great evil but he passed laws, decrees and promoted his ways to the entire people of Judah so much so that they were even more evil than any nation had ever been before them.  It says that God spoke to Manasseh. God was sending messages but they were given no attention.  Sound familar? So God was forced to bring distress upon His people in order to ultimately spare them. Yet Manasseh in all his evil was sincere in his humility, as he sought God, and when he saw God`s deliverance he was forever changed.  This is the great benefit of judgment.  It brings forth justice and good for the purpose of God.  While it is fearful and awful, judgment restores the world to order, as you can see from the results here.  Now from that moment on Manasseh began to do the works of refortifying and protecting his people, blessing them and bringing them back to God.


14 Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.
15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. 17 The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.

This is an amazing account of God`s grace.  Can you imagine this today? In Japan, what would happen if the leaders were able to repent and stop the lies and cover ups? How long will they have to despair until they come to the reality that they can no longer control or even recover the situation? In America, a land that has the great fortune of having many that belong God, what would happen if the leaders were to repent and change the laws and effect the culture for Christ? How long must a nation despair until it is brought to repentance? 

Can we not learn from Manasseh? Is there still time for America? Japan? the World?

It starts with the leaders and rulers.  Repentance begins with them, the ones who stand before the multitudes. I often hear the message of repentance buzzing around Christian churches and circles but the reality is that repentance is not talking about repenting, it is ACTION.  It is mobilization to stop the evil practices that are in place.  It is removal of the idols from the high places, it is as much physical as it is spiritual. 

So what are we waiting for?!

Repent and we shall spare ourselves much trouble. Repent and we will see the Kingdom of God before us.

Tales from Japan: Fukushima the Worst Story Never Told

Photo of childrens` toys from a sandbox in Funabashi Chiba Japan. Sandboxes and water run off read the highest for radiation and children are the most at risk
 The world keeps on turning and we are just holding on for the ride.  News attention over Fukushima has died down considerably over the past few weeks.  Both the western media and Japanese media (of course) are following other issues or trying to get attention back onto issues like the dire situation of the economy or frivilous fashion, travel, entertainment, etc.

As much as I would like to forget all this and go back to semi-normal life, something does not sit right.  There is no resolution in sight, no contingency plan, no critical coverage of Fukushima! You think that reporters and journalist would be all over something so historic and tragic as this. 

Recently I actually spoke in a professsional Japanese Journalist, (who will remain unnamed) who has several best sellers listed on AMAZON.  We spoke over the phone and he expressed concern for Japan and its future. He said that, "True Journalism is dead" and that "only a few samurai (free journalists) can actually survive in these conditions."

Journalists and publishers in Japan make their living writing articles to promote businesses, organizations, politicians, and religions who then in turn pay for the journalist`s expenses and fund the publishers.  This means when it comes to things like Fukushima, the journalists and publishers are hand-tied.  They cannot go rogue and expect to survive.  It was an enlightening conversation to say the least.  I had never thought of it before.  There are many people who want to see the truth of Fukushima come out in Japan, but there are few who can tell the story.  Few who could actually publish a legitimate work that would do those suffering justice.

The effects of Fukushima will be long lasting and over the next months and years will begin to manifest. Yet by that time the media attention will be on something else and when the time comes the government will do very little for those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time in 2011.

There are many experts who appear on TV assuring the people that things are fine.  These experts are well known and most are funded by the government so it is not safe to say that their opinion stands true.
Below is a youtube video of a radiation expert (not on the government payroll).  Video is in Japanese

The gist of this conversation is that this expert, Hirose Takashi, is shocked at the words of his colleagues and those who appear on television saying everything is okay.  He is appalled at the apathy of these people knowing full well the potential danger that people are living with this radiation in their environment everyday.  He explains that internal exposure to such radiation is extremely harmful because the radioactivity is not just gamma rays from an outside source like an Xray machine but it is actually coming from you. Essentially the moment you intake these particles you have become radioactive!

As a follow up Arnie Gundersen world renown nuclear expert talks about the same topic. "Hot particles" that can be inhaled or taken into the body and that have the potential for great harm.

Also I have been following the Atomic Energy News update site for latest information on Fukushima


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tales from Japan: Remembering March 11th, the Great Earthquake

  Today I took some time to reflect, to remember that day.  The day that changed everything.  Even though many would like to get back to a normal life I think the reality of the situation of Japan is quite different.

It was a special day and my daughter was just finishing her graduation ceremony from preschool.  I was wearing a suit on that day which is something I rarely do.  After the ceremony I had to quickly rush off to work in my suit of course.  I arrived in time for work and began to prepare for my classes and talk to the school master about the schedule and students when we both noticed the plant on the other side of the room start shaking.  He calmly said, "It looks like an earthquake." This wasn`t too alarming since we have had several relatively big earthquakes in the past five years I have been here.

However this one slowly began to escalate and the windows began to rattle faster and faster and then the building foundation began to sway.  After about 20 seconds we both went outside and at this point we could barely walk.  The ground was literally rippling up and down and the sound I will never forget.  It was the sound of everything on the earth moving and rattling and the wind suddenly began to blow and I saw people running and children began to scream and cry out loud.  There was a 30 story building in construction that had a crane on top of it and I watched in horror as the crane swayed like rubber back and forth.

A photo of the crane and building I described that was bending all over the place but did not fall during the earthquake on March 11th Yachiyo, Chiba Japan
At this point I shouted to my coworker that we need to leave now, but the sound of the quake seemed to block out my voice, so I grabbed his arm and began to run to an open area.  I took one look up to and saw the building behind me literally bowing to me.  After about 3 minutes of shaking the earthquake subsided.  Only to be met with an aftershock about 30 minutes later.  Knowing that this would happen I fled to a open area near the train station. My coworker went back into the building which had lost all power.  I urged him to come with me, but he elected to stay in the building.

The entire city had lost power and people were in shock and the cell phone grid was down.  There was no way to communicate and no power.  I was stuck for several hours with no way to contact my family.  As it became night I was able to catch a ride home from a coworker.  Of course the roads were backed up and it took over 3 hours to get home.  But this was a lot better in comparison to those who walked home from Tokyo for miles all through the night.

So I arrived home close to 10pm and I will never forget the silence in the street and the broken water mains and eerie scene of that night.  I had no real idea what had happened till later toward the middle of the night.

This video is from Chiba showing the ground actually moving and water spurting up from the ground. I don`t believe it is actually from 3/11 but from days afterward and aftershocks that occurred. Watching it was a reminder of that day and the chaos.

The truth is that even now we are still living with the consequences and grievance of that day.  There are many issues still facing Japan and those who are trying to recover or trying to find safety from radiation, which has now become the biggest unresolved issue.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tales from Japan: Fukushima is Far from Over

Justice (SEI-GI) is printed on the back of this man`s labcoat, which brings to mind Fukushima and the many who are suffering from this tragedy and the injustice of government misinformation and manipulation in Japan.

The Fukushima problem is here to stay.  There is no way around it.  The media attention has subsided but news continues to trickle out supporting the fact that this calamity is far from over.  The latest news being the announcement of Tokyo Electric admitting to not only 3 meltdown reactor cores but 3 melt-throughs?! This is unprecedented news!  There is highly concentrated radioactive waste literally leaking out from 3 reactor containers!  This is beyond anything that has ever happened in the history of nuclear power.  We are in uncharted territory and experts can only postulate how the environment will react to this extremely harmful and deadly material.  Some say that if this material hits the water table or ground water we could see another hydrogen explosion or perhaps the environment will begin to absorb and disperse the radioactive waste poisioning the entire ecosystem.  It is as if pure concentrated evil has been let out of the jar!


The truth of the matter is that Japan will never be the same.  The Fukushima Prefecture and Kanto Region of Japan will never be as it was before all this happened.  The consequences will no doubt extend beyond human control and people will have to live with the fact their country may become an inhabitable wasteland in decades, and generations to come.

Plant life and animal life will be the first to show effects of radiation.  Like the little earless rabbit born in Fukushima a month after the incident.

Also many people are witnessing mutations in flowers.  People are posting on blogs and twitter from many places mostly within the Kanto region with photos of strange flowers including Tokyo. 

Photo taken from a garden in Fukushima shows multiple mutations in the roses.

This mutation was taken in Shiga on the other side of Japan which makes you wonder how far this radiation may go.
The scary thing is that the people in Japan do not know how long this crisis will continue or how bad the effects may be to them and their children.  How long do you hold out until you realize that you and your loved ones may be in great danger?  The Japanese government has shown that it cannot be trusted because of its new policies that can hardly be considered safe (in the long term) and the lack of providing up to date information of radiation levels and plant conditions.

In fact Japanese who are trying to evacuate to other prefectures are being denied housing that was once offered to them a month ago because the government has now declared their current region safe. 

It was about two months ago I had a frightful dream that woke me to my senses and caused me to dig into the facts behind all that is happening in Fukushima. SEE HERE

There are ways to help diffuse or absorb some of the radioactive particles. One method that was discovered from Chernobyl was the use of sunflowers.  The roots of the sunflower absorb some of the most dangerous radioactive elements SEE HERE

Sunflowers being planted outside Yabashira Station in Matsudo, Chiba.  One of the radioactive hotspots being observed in Japan.  Photo taken June 2011.
 The effects of the Fukushima crisis will also be felt as power use is drastically reduced this summer.  Trains will run with no or minimal lighting.  Air conditioning in public and commercial buildings will be cut drastically.  This summer is predicted to be a very hot summer in Japan and it may cause many to die of heat stroke since power will be short.  Staying hydrated and carrying a fan, along with Cool Biz fashion are planned to be promoted throughout Japan.

Commuters in the Chiba Prefecture Japan travel in a dark train during the daytime.  This being the result of significant energy cutbacks. Photo taken in May 2011

Tales from Japan: A Life Changing Dream

The mushroom cloud from the hydrogen explosion at Fukushima Nuclear plant
I am going to shock some of you reading this...well maybe I won`t. In the month of April I had a dream, it was quite strange, in fact that is why I wrote it down. At the time I had no idea what was going on with Fukushima, radiation, and cover ups. In fact I was in strong favor of the Japanese government and the information they were releasing to the public and the stance they had taken regarding the issue. Besides it had only been about a month since the 3/11 Earthquake and Tsunami

So I after returning home from my stay in the hospital and surgery, I went to sleep. That night I saw this dream...

My family and I, along with many other people, were being kept inside a tower.  We all kept trying to look for a way out, but the men in charge would find us and become angry with us.  They became angry and put blindfolds on our eyes so that we could not escape.  But somehow we were able to find a way out of the tower, and when we were able to take the blindfolds off we saw a wasteland.  There was a brownish color across the sky and the hills then I suddenly awoke! I was freaked for a few moments but that prompted me to write it down.

It wasn`t until about a week ago that I felt prompted to look at that note again in light of everything that has happened the last couple months since then.  But this time looking at the words I felt quickened to their meaning!

We had been trapped in a controlled situation, being kept from the truth that lay outside of what is happening in Fukushima.  When we would seek answers those in power would assume authority and try to confuse or blind us so that we wouldn`t come to the horrific conclusion that they have no control over the situation.  That one day the most prosperous, populated place in the world may become a barren land, desolate, a home for mutated beasts and deadly insects.

This image is very similar to what I saw in my dream.

I cannot say that I know when this might happen, but as each day and week unfolds I see that this dream may come to reality one day.  Maybe 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now.

This dream has literally grabbed me and turned my life upside down! Perhaps it will bring about good and save the lives of my children if heeded
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