Vacation in Japan/Day 3
by Billy V
posted Mar 30 2009 12:39PM
ItÊ»s a cloudy day here in Hokkaido, but itÊ»s perfect as the snowfall has been consistent all day. Not blizzard, but a continuous slow snowfall. IÊ»ll get to skiing a little later. We sent our son off to his ski instructor who was the same one he had last year, and they were off to the slopes from 10am-noon.
At noon we met him at the eating place...and enjoyed eating ramen and pork cutlet. We talked story and enjoyed until he was off again to the slopes at 1:30pm.
Today Japan is playing USA in the World Baseball Series. My wife and I want to watch this!
It started at 10:30am and it was still going on thru lunch. We went back to the room to watch the conclusion. This is the like Super Bowl and Olympics combined because of the history between the two teams.
IÊ»m cheering for Japan today. Partly because I never cared for the way baseball has taken care of the whole steroid issue, but also because of the history of Japan and South Korea. South Korea is in the championship and is playing the winner of US/Japan. 1st time SKvsJapan, Japan won silly. Second time Korea won. Third time Korea won again and planted a Korean flag on the pitcherÊ»s mound at the end of the game; that game was played in Japan. That was a facial slap.
Plus there is the whole issue of WW2. It still plays heavy in the minds of all the nations that were conquered by Japan prior to the US bombings and the Allies winning. They do not want to see Japan expand or do anything, they feel Japan has not atoned for what happened decades prior. They do not want Japan to pay tribute to their war dead, yet they died. Can their souls not rest in peace? Can they not send their families to the other side? There are some that will never forgive, yet there are stories at Pearl Harbor of Japanese pilots and American Survivors shaking hands and telling stories. I think that Clint EastwoodÊ»s movies on Iwo Jima were awesome reminders that there are always 2 sides of the story, the Japanese side and holding out to the last person so we understand, and itÊ»s important that they understand our side. Some Japanese look at the bombing of Tokyo as an attack on the general populace. My mother in law remembers the bombers and the city being on fire. SheÊ»s fine with history, but others look at it as we were killing women and chldren. American views are that these heroic pilots risked all and these steps were needed to bring about a quick ending to the war. In reality we will probably never know how much longer the Japanese would have held out despite they were on the losing side. They still held on to the Japanese samurai fighting spirit, and would have sacrificed their very young recruits (not volunteers, they were pushed into fighting) to the last, not believing that their motherland stronghold could not be broken. It wasnÊ»t until the A-bomb dropped that the military leaders finally decided there was nothing more they could do.
ok...enough of the history lesson...point being there is still much ill will over WW2. It still plays into the lives of people today...but I guess thatÊ»s just like how the overthrow of the monarchy in Hawaii still plays in our lives more than 110 years later.
(picking up blogging 6 hours later after game finished USA losing)
Back to the baseball game: Japan won, so theyÊ»ll play Korea for the Championship. There is competitive bad blood between the two, and the two countries are consistently competing against each other in just about everything.
IÊ»m hoping Japan wins this one. Especially since Baseball is the adopted national pastime of modern Japan with Sumo still the national sport. Go Japan!! I think Ichiro is very cool and calm with his answers anytime he talks to the press. He is the epitome of what all sports superstars should be like. Cool, calm, definitive and reflects pride and respect to the other competitors no matter how the press tries to create otherwise.
After baseball was over we headed out to the slopes for the first ski. Not bad for my first day. IÊ»m noticing that with these new ski boots (not the hotel rental) wow my skiing is night and day. I picked up really fast and IÊ»m not so scared of the steep hills. IÊ»ll try the skiing again on Friday; On Wednesday/Thursday itÊ»s snowboarding.
I also notice IÊ»m the only one with iPod and headphones on. haha probably everybody thinking "stupid gaijin". But I canÊ»t ski or snow without my music! IÊ»ll post playlist tomorrow!