Sake Archives 2001

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Any Size, Any Color: Japan's Suit Wars
The suits are part of a Daiei sales campaign that began in March at a handful of select stores. The program was expanded in October to include all 250 outlets. Daiei plans on selling 300,000 of these "Extra Comfortable" models during this year.

December 17, 2001

Museum Tour: The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Over the years since, the crimes of the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Genocide went mostly undocumented. Today, Tuol Sleng is a museum dedicated to those that might have otherwise been forgotten.

December 10, 2001

Sapors: Cambodia's Modeling and Beauty School
At a large rectangular table nearby, a half dozen other women are hunched over small table mirrors as they practice applying lipstick, foundations, and various creams to their faces. There is almost no chatting amongst the girls. This is serious business. This is make-up class. "When she first started with me she had nothing, no confidence. She was sort of like...lost," recalls Sapor Rendell of her understudy Voleak.

November 30, 2001

East Timor Remembers and Looks Ahead
She did arrive in Kupang eight hours later. But others were not so lucky. "Some people went to the bathroom and they saw the blood," she recalls. "They said maybe the militia killed them. Because after time passed we didn't see one person, two persons. We didn't know if they were dead. But where were they?" It was later learned that the militias were killing people aboard the ships and throwing them into the sea. Some were tossed into the sea alive.

November 20, 2001

East Timor in Transition
Outside the pit, fists of cash emerge from pockets as the 3-inch gaff is attached to the first match's combatants. During this ceremony, gamblers look for signs of aggression in the cock's demeanor. As a red string is wrapped around the back of the crimson cock's left heel to hold the razor sharp gaff in place, money (Indonesian ringit and US$) begins to rapidly change hands. His opponent for this match is a white bird and a crowd has gathered around his gaff application procedure as well.

October 31, 2001

The Gospel of the Greyhound in Sydney
"In '72 when I started [gambling on greyhounds]," he remembers, "this was packed [the area under the grandstands]. From end to end, rows of bookies. 40 or 50 on each side and to get a bet on you'd be pushing through people. You'd see 2:1 on a dog there [one bookie] and another [bookie] is 5:2 and you'd rush to try to get that one [5:2]. It is amazing how it's changed. They built this big stadium expecting the people to come. You go out there tonight and look up - and this is a big night - and there'll be nobody. It used to be packed."

October 22, 2001

The Destroyer: World's Greatest Masked-Man (Part II of II)
"The Great Togo wasn't allowed to come into the room," The Destroyer remembers of a sayonara party thrown for the three foreign wrestlers by Rikidozan after the final match in Hamamatsu. "We [the foreign wrestlers] were inside with Rikidozan, drinking beer and eating sushi. On the edge of the room were the Japanese wrestlers, kneeling. Even Togo, just watching."

October 11, 2001

The Destroyer: A Heel Gets Respect in Japan (Part I of II)
..."Giant Baba was a very good athlete," The Destroyer emphasizes. "He was a pitcher for the Tokyo Giants prior to going into pro wrestling. You take a good athlete into the ring and you can make something [out of him]."

October 4, 2001

Japanese Baseball's Search for Line Drives
"If I had to hit off Sasaki everyday," recalls outfielder Alonzo Powell, former Chunichi Dragon (1992-97) and Hanshin Tiger (1998), "I'd have been working at a ramen shop somewhere. He's one of the toughest pitchers I've faced in my life."

September 25, 2001

Waiting for Koizumi
Through the center of the grounds is a walkway formed by granite blocks and lined by a single row of identical stone lantern sculptures. Off the path are some souvenir shops, vending machines, and benches. A large statue of former vice-minister of war Omura Masujiro sits in the middle of the complex. The Wars and Soldiers that Shaped Modern Japan Museum sits tucked next to the shrine's north entrance. The shrine is at the far west near one of shrine's three large torrii, or entry gates.

September 1, 2001

Japan's Beef Wars
Chan explains his philosophy simply: "In the future, no business can get 100% of the market share. The small guy can still run their businesses. They just have to be the right businesses. In the states, even with McDonald's, they still have homemade hotdog and hamburger shops, right? The right businesses are my customers."

August 8, 2001

Japanese Baseball: For Love of the Lame?
"We should not restrict foreign players coming to Japan," says Tsuyuki Honda, a salesman and Nippon Ham fan. "Likewise, if Japanese players only remain in Japan and do not see other countries we are not living with an open mind."

August 1, 2001

Japan's Motorboat Races: Peace Through Propeller
Even with many of them missing teeth and some even missing shoes, it is the gambling proceeds generated from their "win" and "1-2 combination" wagers that provide the sole source of funds for the Nippon Foundation. As a result, it is the money from these chain smoking racing enthusiasts at this track and each of the 23 others scattered across Japan that brings $300 million in domestic and international aid through the Nippon Foundation's programs.

July 19, 2001

Japan's Horse Racing: Changing with the Times
Gambling in Japan is legal only in the form of public lotteries and parimutuel betting. The betting consists of wagers placed on horse, boat, bicycle, and motorcycle racing. Much of the funding that helped Japan carry out its post World War II reconstruction came from taxes generated from these publicly managed gambling operations.

July 12, 2001

Life During Wartime: Kiribati in World War II
"During the fighting," Betero recalls, "we ran away to Teaoraereke [an island to the south]. I can remember the planes dropping bombs. We were very frightened. During the attack, it was focused on the Japanese bunkers and not on the Gilbertese. Maybe there was a communication with the Americans before the attack."

June 22, 2001

Betel Nut in Papua New Guinea
The coffee growers have a saying in Pidgin English (the go-between language): Lukautim kopi, na kopi bai lukautim yu (If PNG looks after coffee, coffee will look after PNG). If left to the people of PNG though, it would probably read like this: Just let us look after the betel nut.

June 14, 2001

Shipwrecked: Japan's Theme Parks
But these days, sadly, Gulliver's tale is not unique to Japan's theme park industry. Born of bubble excess in the late '80s, dozens of such parks are on the verge of closing their windmills, sleigh rides, and ethnic villages.

May 18, 2001

Up in Smoke: Kicking the Habit in Japan
The Machida Tobacco Retailers Association in Tokyo's Machida City recently unearthed hitherto unheard of benefits of the habit. In response to an article printed in the January newsletter by the Machida Public Health Center, which listed the negative effects of lighting up (cancer, loss of senses, and high cost), the Yomiuri Shimbun reports, the association insisted the article was unfair as it "only focused on the hazards of smoking, but did not mention its benefits, such as boosting concentration and promoting communication."

May 9, 2001

Fit to be Tied: Japan's Import Curbs
"If the customer doesn't care where it's from then I don't care where it's from," says Yoshio Mihara from his vegetable truck in Shimbashi. "Some customers won't buy Chinese produce because they taste different."

May 2, 2001

Japan Recycles
...In Aichi Prefecture, police rounded out a busy week by filing criminal charges against a 40-year-old taxi driver for dumping a washing machine....

April 23, 2001

The Return to East Timor
The sooted walls, charred roof beams, tangled electrical wire, collapsed floors, mangled furniture, and twisted utility boxes of the school (one of two universities in East Timor) provide one pause because it is a pretty good representation of what the entire city of Dili was like immediately after departure of the Indonesian militias.

April 4, 2001

Cambodia's Garment Factories
The surgical masked-workers swap pieces back and forth as the machines rapidly motor along resembling a series of hummingbirds hovering above two parallel fences. "They start from the back of the line," he points out, "and when they reach the front, it is a complete garment. So everything moves from the back on forward." He grabs a fresh flower-patterned tank top off the line.

March 26, 2001

Angkor Wat
Outside two small and frail men on crutches immediately approached out of a crowd of milling girls and taxi drivers, whipping off their ball caps and holding them outward like baskets. When I shook my head, one firmly planted his crutches under his armpits and reached down with his right arm to remove his prosthetic leg.

March 13, 2001

Underground Art: Tokyo's Oedo Subway Line
From a series of large circular windows cascading down the handrail of a staircase to a green jungle like space truss, the ornamentation of the standard interior features of the stations is intended to create a theme that reflects the environment immediately above.

March 5, 2001

Mr. Maruyama and His Pigeons
Shimbashi is his place of work. The reason being that this part of the city (the political and business center) is where the "thinkers" are. He seeks these types because his task is more akin to a mission - teaching the people his message - than a job. A rather complicated one it is too.

February 19, 2001

Christmas Island's Bread and Butter: Fish
...Christmas Island is the largest coral atoll in the world. There is no better place to view its immensity than from the edge of the lagoon. Here the water spreads out in varying shades of turquoise, blue, and green. Near the lagoon's edge, thin fingerlings of raised land, sometimes occupied with small bushes and palm trees, extend in varying patterns and orientations to form small pools and flats. This is the home of the bonefish....

February 10, 2001

Christmas Island: The World's Testing Lab
The site is a square slab of concrete surrounded by a circular-shaped area of gravel with shrubs encroaching from all directions. Two semi-circular rings of iron protrude from the center of the slab. Since most of the U.S. tests were detonated off the coast with explosives released from B-52 bombers, this marked site is probably a target used for some of the fission tests the British delivered from balloons.

February 3, 2001

Tokyo's Disappearing Shotengai
.Though in a less than opportune space they are nonetheless managing to stay afloat by catering to individuals seeking service and fresh products, while their big brothers out front sell clothes, fast food, handbags, film, and coffee to consumers solely in search of appealing prices and convenience.

January 27, 2001

Museum Tour: The Meguro Museum of Parasitology
The museum has complete walls with shelves of display jars of the small worms that crawl, swim, and slither inside the intestines, livers, and stomachs of their Japanese hosts.

January 9, 2001

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