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Chinese Herbal Remedy for Shortness Discovered….

Cure for shortness

Air China flights from Tokyo to cities near the birthplace of the world’s tallest man Bao Xishun, also known as Xi Shun or “The Mast” (Simplified: 鲍喜顺; Traditional: 鮑喜順) born in 1951, are booked for the next three months in light of a recent discovery by barfoot doctors in the area.

Comissioned by the Chinese Olympic Committee to find undetectable growth substances to give to baketball and high-jump athletes they instead found a blocking agent for the genes known to breed shortness.

Several years too late for me–I stand at 170 cm–the substance causing the stir, Obecalp-A, is made from distilled Miongolian sheep bile. It is expected to recieve governmental approval in Japan even faster than did Tamilflu or Viagra.

Shortly, after Mongolian herdsman Xi Shun made news, the hunt was on for the reason he grew so tall. Bao Xishun claims to have been of normal height until he was 16 when he experienced a growth spurt that resulted in his present height seven years later. “Who would have thought it was the sheep?” said Xi Shun’s new wife. She hopes to pass six feet next year by taking the supplement.

There is already a huge underground market for the extract which is being called “Woolhite” in back alley pharmaceutical shops. Hong Kong authorities have already seized 330 million HK Dollars worth of the drug headed overseas and warn that side effects of poor production can include aimless wandering, sleep disorders, and uncontrolled bleating.

 

(Thanks for allowing a repeat post…)

april fools joke,Asia,Asian Humor,China Olympics,China Photos,China Sports,Chinese Medicine,Humor,In the news,Japan,Just Plain Strange,Personal Notes,Photos,Weird China,中国

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The Rape of the Nanjing Memorial

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“The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.”

John Steinbeck

Rape, torture, and war crimes are the twisted common tongue spoken by those falsely entrusted with humanely executing and conjugating wars humanely–if such a a mournful ideal is even possible.

I spent a week up north recently, most of the time in bed ragged from battling a relentless fever, and would have recovered sooner if not for my long climbs out of exhaustion to explore China’s City of Ghosts, Nanjing. I had studied diligently for decades the massacre branded incident by revisionist Japanese historians. I had to see the unresolved grief of a nation now shaped into a memorial and on display so the world will not forget the Asian holocaust and the 20,000,000 lives surrendered in Korea,  Burma, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand and the whole of the Pacific Rim enslaved by Japanese, greed, lust and an imperial megalomania.

The memorial hall, a coffin-like structure near the burial site of murdered Chinese (“Wan Ren Keng” or Pit of Ten Thousand Corpses) was built ostensibly to honor the memory the 20,000 women raped and some 300,000 citizens slaughtered in fewer than eight weeks of Japanese occupation. Some Japanese “negationists” dispute the number and others even label the talk of massacre a mere act of Chinese propaganda.

What is known, from diaries and collected records from such groups as the Red Swastika and ten other international aid groups, documented the burial of more than 150,000 remains in Nanjing. And I had expected the memorial to make heard the collective wail of a lost souls and a people humiliated beyond the darkest, most appalling horrors your imagination can conjure.

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I braced myself going in for a repeat of the suffocating, intense pain I felt when visiting the concentration camp at Dachau, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC or the Vietnam Memorial at Angel Fire New Mexico. These feelings never came. Maybe it was because I was unable to separate myself for any reflection from the constant ring of cellphones, or the it could have been the relentless manifestations of the number “300,000” that seemed there more as a rebuke than a eulogy, or perhaps it was the theme park feel of the exhibits, the horrific English translations at each station. Too, I nearly drowned in rhetoric about the glorious defeat and surrender of the Japanese to the Chinese forces. The sprinkling of mentions of the Allied sacrifices in support of China were disappointing and infuriating. There was a single picture and only a brief mention of  fearless men, like Doolittle’s Raiders or the Flying Tigers, who were pivotal in Japan’s defeat. If China hopes to extract honesty and contrition out of Japan and an amendment of inaccurate history books it should clean the window displays at the memorial and allow a bit more transparency…

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I was stuck by the tributes to some of the heroes who created a diplomatic safe zone that fended off the Japanese and saved some 200,000 lives at risk of their own:

When the Japanese invaded China in 1937 the world chose not to respond to reports of atrocities that were themselves biblical in magnitude. In one of the most perfect examples of repeated cosmic irony, John Rabe, a member of Germany’s Nazi party became the “Angel” or “Living Buddha of Nanjing” alongside its “goddess” an American Christian missionary by the name of Minnie Vautrin. After being rebuffed by their respective diplomatic liaisons they established the “safe zone” that saved people from being tortured, burned alive, buried alive, decapitated, bayoneted raped or shot for sport. They acted for God, or in God’s stead, as the behavioral contagion of evil spread throughout the occupying Japanese Army.  Further sad irony is the later suicide of Vautrin, attributed to Post Traumatic Stress, and the death of an impoverished and sick Rabe.  Rabe was arrested by his own party for his involvement in Nanjing, and then tried after the war for his earlier Nazi affiliation depleting his resources, devastating his health and forcing him to live in poverty.

Too, there was a small tribute to Iris Chang the author of the book The Rape of Nanking. She, to paraphrase Steinbeck, dredged into the light the horrors of Nanjing so thoroughly and unashamedly that the Japanese banned her book citing minor factual discrepancies with their own records. Chang’s death by suicide in 2004 is a lightning rod for controversy: despite psychological treatment for depression and three separate suicide notes, it was thought by many conspiracy theorists that Chang was murdered for endlessly embarrassing the Japanese such as she did by advocating congressional demands for Japanese apologies and confrontations on national TV with the Japanese ambassador. The documentary based on her book and released in 2007 was dedicated to Chang and can be viewed at the memorial.

From an earlier treatise on Nanjing:

Several years ago Rabbi Harold Kushner made popular a treatise on the Old Testament Book of Job. When Good Things Happen to Bad People took on the daunting task of explaining why God, in the allegorical text, might have subjected his dutiful servant Job to all manner of physical and emotional trauma while expecting him to be obedient and adoring. The book purportedly meant to give us comfort by explaining what laymen already had resigned themselves to knowing about Job: adversity just happens and we need to content ourselves with the knowledge that God has a greater plan to which we are not yet privy.

I never accepted Kushner’s easy out; so when tasked with teaching the Bible as Literature to Chinese students this year, I studied Job knowing the first question my young scholars would ask was identical to my own: why would man’s creator willingly torture a loving being, cast in his own image, for the sake of a cosmic bet with the devil? I found the answer in the actions of Job’s friends, not those of God as he was portrayed by the allegory’s author: Job’s friends willingly abandoned him. It was with that realization that Job became, for me, less of a lesson about obedience and worship and clearly a moral guide to my responsibilities to my fellow man.

Rape of Nanjing

If it is the duty of the artist to expose the truth to the light, it is the job of the historian to frame and disseminate the events that can re-shape our souls whether we think them to be temporal or divine.

Rabe and Vautrin did not leave the Jobs of Nanjing to suffer the mysteries of fate: They were courageous against uncertainty, raised rational voices amidst the absurdity of war, and thankfully were more committed than the closest of personal friends during a time of horror and anguish.

I read last year where 46% of people answering a poll on the social networking site Facebook said they had no desire to see the  documentary Nanking. It is likely the emotional cost, not the price of a ticket keeping them away from the film. Some, like Job’s fair weather friends, do not feel the need for humanitarian counsel. It seems some things are slow to change, but that should not stop anyone, artist advocate or historian, from authenticating the past by giving voice to those are not heard even in the terrible silence of indifference. Carolyn Forche, in her award winning book, The Country Between Us writes: “There is nothing one man will not do to another.” Steinbeck was right: we have usurped the authority and have supposed ourselves to carry the omniscience once ascribed to God.

While I agree with Steinbeck, Kushner and I diverge: I don’t think God, in any any of the earthly renditions we have supposed for his form or character, plays cosmic dice at our expense. And while I know first-hand the pain man is capable of inflicting, I choose to include charity among the many intentional acts that we might choose to commit.

The memorial, in all of its 300,000 (300,000) square feet of glorious anguish is overdone, smacks of a governmental, not humanitarian, agenda. I say, go see it, but view it as much as a metaphor for China’s lingering national insecurities and continued shame over its inability to end the Japanese occupation alone.

May the digital temple bell that rings every ten seconds carry some semblance of the truth of man’s inhumanity to man beyond the boundaries of any heartless ideologies.

P.S.  Special Thanks to my open minded, well informed and linguistically gifted guide and interpreter for the week Chen Chan and his teacher Betsy

Asia,China Editorials,Chinese Education,Human Rights,Human Rights China,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Uncategorized,中国

5 responses so far

I will meet you for Coffee at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk….

china starbucks

Adam writes on the Lehman Law Blawg [sic] that the new ordnance in Shanghai requiring foreign businesses to add Chinese characters to their name is “misguided.” He goes on to make his case: “The claim that a foreign-language-only name is a major impediment to Chinese-only speakers is dubious. Even if potential customers cannot say the name, they can refer to it in other ways, for example, ‘that pizza place on the corner of Taicang Lu and Huangpi Nan Lu.’ As for access by taxi, unless you are going to the Shanghai Museum or some other such well-known landmark, names are useless. Whether you say City Diner or a Chinese name, you’re going to have to tell the driver ‘intersection of Nanjing Xi Lu and Tongren Lu’ to get where you want to go.”

Adam, I kind of expect to be reading Chinese (authentic Traditional Chinese) in Guangzhou, and even Portuguese in Macau. Just a guess on my part, but there seems to be some ethnocentrically driven historical precedence for the annoying habit of the local governments insisting on being able to navigate streets and order in eateries using their native tongue….

In China, that country bordering the country with the man with strange hair that is building a nuke, people brought up during the cultural revolution who don’t read English or Pinyin, probably don’t know the Hard Rock Cafe from a day-old bread store, but they have heard of Xingbake (the Chinese name for Starbucks) the American coffee joint or Kendeji (pronounced cun-dutch-ee) the chicken emporium. And even the Cantonese taxi divers can take you to either one if asked…

Adam gives his jury summation thusly: “Finally, foreign-language-named businesses add to the cosmopolitan air of a city. As one strolls through the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, one will see many Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese or other foreign-language-named businesses without English translations. Because Shanghai is unique in Mainland China as an international and cosmopolitan city, this diversity should be celebrated, not hindered.” Adam might have had me here if he he hadn’t introduced reasonable doubt in his argument by saying “Shanghai” and “free market” in the same sentence…But then, I lived in Chicago and did see a few businesses in ethnic neighborhoods with signs exclusively in the area’s dominant language, but most ethnic businesses in most cities have romanized names as well….The businesses intentionally wanting to appeal to immigrants left out “ease of menu translation” in their business plan to-do lists. The places looking to be cosmopolitan were smart enough to add English characters.

And if 谷哥 (Google) and 肯德基 (KFC) haven’t filed any ethnic diversity lawsuits because people here now know them better by their Chinese monikers, I doubt 星巴克 (Starbucks) is headed to court either.

By the way: “Guido”and “Boris” (their English names) from Guangzhou’s Tourism Board want to pay you a visit to discuss ways to improve on internationalizing their hick towns Hong Kong and Guangzhou… And “Makudonorudo” (the Golden Arches) in Japan wants you to represent them as they are tired of their name sounding like a morning rooster in the ads that air in the backwater town of Tokyo….

Adam is held in contempt of culture unil further notice…

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Secret Asian Man….

I love blogroll diving! Tak Toyoshima’s site is blocked in Guangzhou, so until United Media’s comics.com syndicated him last week I had not known of his work….

Reportedly the first Asian-American cartoon protagonist “Sam” grapples with an ethnic identity crises via membership in AA (“I’m Sam I’m an Asian American”) to excitement over the Americapalooza concert that will feature an Asian American band to a self-assured second generation defender of bi-cutural image:

secret asian man

The syndicated strip is great fun, but not nearly as edgy as the offerings on his website which are wonderfully politically incorrect:

secret asian man

Tak, an American born Japanese-American, grew up in New York City, attended Boston University and now lives outside of Boston where we hope the Japanese Prime Minister won’t find him.

Bonzai, Sam!!!

Asia,Asian Humor,Blogroll Diving,cartoons,China Cartoons,China Humor,Chinese Media,Greater Asia Blogs,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,The Internet,中国,中文

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What would Buddha do?

Buddha in the sky with diamonds

Several years ago, attending a Jimmy Buffet concert with a Catholic priest (Indian trail, NC, not Margaritaville) , we were discussing ways to raise money for his new parish. In neighboring Georgia a woman was drawing huge crowds claiming to see incarnations of the Virgin Mary. So, we laughingly concocted a never-to-be scheme that involved catching and releasing a trout on the church property that we would say bore some saint’s likeness on its its tail. We would then put donation baskets all up and down the creek. It was sacrilegious, but damned funny anyway.

A few years later I visited Shingo, Japan where they claim to have Christ and his brother buried on a hill above town. Jesus, according to local mythology, let his brother take his place on the cross and then went to rural Japan and retired to a happily married life in the sticks. Surprisingly, there was no marketing involved anywhere near the grave site.

Please bear with me as this all comes together for you in the usual intuitive flash at the end…

I just read a delightful book first printed in 1999 entitled What would Buddha Do? by Franz Metcalf. The pocket-sized tome is rife with well thought out answers to a host of everyday questions, some that made me laugh out loud:

1. What would Buddha do if his credit cards are maxed out?

2. What would Buddha do when making a salad?

3. What would Buddha do to avoid burnout?

4. What would Buddha do about trusting the media?

The answer to last question can be found in the Buddhist writing Undanavarga 22.17: “One’s ears hear a lot; one’s eyes sees a lot. The wise should not believe everything seen or heard.” Buddha must read the China Daily too, where I found the picture above. It seems Buddha hung around for about an hour on Heibei’s Zushan Mountain, but unlike the manifestations in Georgia, he didn’t impart any wisdom to the local tourists.

In another book I reviewed recently, One Couple, Two Cultures, there was a story about a British man and his Chinese wife discussing behavior common in each other’s country. The wife seemed to have no trouble commenting on behalf of the entire 1.3 billion residents of China, while the Brit’ demured on speaking for the whole of England. I can with absolute certainty say that had the Buddha appeared in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia, that every redneck (remember before you shoot that my father hailed from Harlan County, Kentucky), instead of burning him as a heretic would have tried to sell him on Ebay. I still remember the eerie glow-in-the-dark St. Joseph that watched over me as a child sleeping in the dark.

Now I’m not sure what made them think it was Buddha and not Mother Theresa, Confucius, or Steve Irwin. But I continue to digress…

What surprised me the most is that nobody is now selling watches of Buddha waving from the peak or claiming to have private chats with Gautama himself. Another missed marketing opportunity for China. David and I are thinking about sorting through seaweed potato chips until we come up with  some that look like Sun Yat Sen or Lao Zi. We promise to donate all proceeds (and extra chips) to charity.

So what would Buddha do if Buddha were alive today? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be standing around in the Heibei fog, though he might possible blog a few meditations–using a wordpress platform, of course. So I’m off to see if WWBD-in-canton.com is taken. This way, we can answer the pressing questions like:

1. What would Buddha do if someone stole a taxi out from under his nose?

2. What would Buddha do if someone took the food from his plate at a Cantonese buffet?

3. What would Buddha do if he found out he were watching a bootleg copy of Seven Years in Tibet?

4. What would Buddha say if his disciples kept commenting on his weight and skin color?

Now I’m getting ready to read Metcalf’s answer to “What would Buddha Do about that Coffee Habit?” If this post isn’t a call for my spiritual rehab or caffeine detox, I don’t know what is.

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SORRY, DETOXING TODAY….

Some of you may remember my writing this piece a few months ago. Tragically, I have become hopelessly addicted since that time. I now have coffee cola delivered by the case to my door. I would get it myself, but it is 27 flights of stairs to the store and I am afriad that my heart will explode becuause even at baseline it now putters like a Cajun trolling motor.

I am off today, not in detox, but recovering from some real meatball dentistry that had had me ill for weeks. Thank heavens for surgery by Dr. Dee at Can-Am Medical center in Guangzhou who corrected the earlier problems.

I will be back tomorrow with a post on mirth….Meantime, I am resting, drinking coffee cola and learning to levitate…..

From March:

COFFEE COLA CHINA

Idon’tkowwhyIneversawthisstuffbeforetoday.It’sbrilliant!!
TWICEhtecaffeineofordinarycola.It’slikethatBUZZBEERontheDrew
CareyshoworJOLTfromyearsback.WaitasecondwhileIitchmylegandget
myhairtolieflat.HEYIcanstandandtypewithonehand!!!!DidIsay
ithadTWICEthecaffeine???!!

So,wherewasI??

This liquid crack (NO), if it didn’t taste like vinyl on a bus seat smells (No, never up close!), would be a huge hit! It looks like a Safeway logo on the bottle I have (If it would just hold still I could read it…) and I guess is a knock-off of the stuff Coke introduced to France a couple of years ago. That was devilish, aye? The only think the French like as much as cheese and wine is COFFEE! Who has time for women when you are flying around Carrefour like a fart in a skillet?

I am sure this stuff has been souped up a bit and is already available in the prescription section of supermarket pharmacies in Japan.

I am a little disturbed that they engineered it to froth when you put it into a glass. It looks horribly like recycled Guinness (Again, NO! what’s wrong with you people?) with its flat head of foam.

My bottle, It’s Empty! It’s Empty! I want another one! Now!, was made in Beijing and probably flew down here on its own accord. Maybe they will start brewing it with Pearl River water. It will probably taste the same only chunkier.

It terrifies me that Chinese Taxi Drivers might drink and drive on this stuff….Those guys already have a variant hybrid of St. Vitus’ Dance and Turretts-like Syndrome; all they need now is this new artificial symptom inducer and WHOOOOOOO!!!!

Give it a try, but have paramedics on speed (ha, ha,, ha ha) dial….I am of….really way off………………

Asian Humor,China Business,China Humor,China Photos,Humor,Japan,Just Plain Strange,Personal Notes,Photos,Tibet Climb,Weird China,中国

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Comfort Women Comforting Themselves…

I was blogroll diving and stumbeled across an entry on Chinese Chic  a wonderfful blog from Down Under written by a talented and insightful Chinese-Malaysian  law student.

I wept in awe and admiration for the courageous healing ritual described in Ms Peng’s post:

Taiwanese women forced into prostitution by Japan’s military more than six decades ago put on wedding gowns Tuesday to celebrate the nuptials they never had.
The women are part of a shrinking group of “comfort women” — forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military — in several parts of Asia during World War II.
After Japan ended its 50-year occupation of Taiwan in 1945, many of the women were rejected as “damaged goods” by their relatives and never found a spouse, said the Women’s Rescue Foundation, the rights group which organized Tuesday’s event.
Six women — ranging in age from 82 to 90 — came together in Taipei to put on white wedding dresses, hold bouquets and have their pictures taken.
“People of our age didn’t dare dream of having a wedding, but now the day has come, and I like it a lot,” said Wu Hsiu-mei, the oldest member of the group.
Taiwan has 28 of the women left, with an average age of 84….”

Chinese brides

Asian Humor,Human Rights,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Photos,Top Blogs,War,中国,中文

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A New Olympic Blood Sport in China….

RPS girls

 

 You have your Badminton, your Ping Pong and now, the sport that could bring adulation to the uber-geeks and the athletically challenged propelling someone into the world of endorsements like Yao Ming or Xiang Liu: Rock, Paper, Scissors!

Wikipedia actually has a cheater's guide!!

Now I am not sure how one would train for a RPS tourney, but Matti Leshem, the Co-Kohuna (commissioner) of the Mr. of the US Rock Paper Scissors League, would like to see it become an Olympic sport one day. OK, laugh if you like, but some fast-signing hand athlete won $10,000 clams at the Vegas Championship that was covered by ESPN! Leshem, a Hollywood producer, makes don King look like a hot dog hawker at a ballpark. He acted as emcee for the $50,000 competition with 300 contestants and $50,000 in prizes. This has mad implications for Asian countries who use the game to decide everything from who uses the potty first to what auction company is going to sell your art collection. And move over NASCAR! The sponsor of this fast-paced discipline, where carpal tunnel and joint pain are are analogous to hairpin turn crashes, is Anheuser-Busch. With the best two out of three wins deciding the single elimination winners there is plenty of time for refreshments! And wait until the Japanese get in on this. Americans are already dressing up in costumes (one guy wears red cooking mitts 'cause his hands are just too hot) and I cannot wait for the masters of kitch and mindless game shows to get in on this one. This may be the fund raiser we need for the Blog of Dreams trip across China. Anyone want to code a RPS game?? With a hat tip to Everthing But Hockey

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE SOLDIER WHO NEEDED ASSISTANCE. HERE IS AN EMAIL RECEIVED FROM LONE STAR PUNDIT TODAY:

Lonnie,

Yes, a PayPal account did get set up for the Cooper family.  You can find a PayPal donation button at the bottom of this page:  http://ccooperff.blogspot.com/

Also, CavMom (who helped Mrs. Cooper set up the PayPal account) added this update on Tuesday:

Update – As of 05/15/07: The funeral fund is now up to $3,876.00. Thank you to all who have helped the Cooper family.

 

Asian Humor,Charity in China,China Cartoons,China Humor,China Olympics,China Sports,Entertainment,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,中国

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# 1 Martian SEO Expert

will this seo martian pron get me locked up Oiwan

I am not at the top of the rankings as a Martian Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert in the universe, but I might be after this post! The algorithms that govern what is and is not registered by search engines like Google and Yahoo! are shape-shifters: They catalog combinations from blogs and websites that can mystify, amuse and swindle you. For example, I am #1 in Google for Adult Pampers Makers even though I can’t remember mentioning diapers on this blog. I am too old to remember using them and too young to worry about them just yet. I believe, like Robin Williams, that diapers are like politicians and should be changed frequently because they are both full…

But, I digress…

I know about this listing because someone searched for the term, and my analytics program identified from whence they came. There are other authentic one-hit wonders for which I rank highly, though I am clueless about why people searched for them or why I showed up tops. They ALL beg for an aside, but I am resisting, thinking that you can use your imagination: Pocket Fisherman Diagram, Moscow Prostitute, Pig League Facials, Plentiful Breast Pictures, Professor Asshat, China Olympic Athlete Blog, There is the sex that americans admit to, Hairy Chinese Women, Wedding dress Market Report in China, I had my hepatitis shot, but the test says I have no immunity, Naked nurse teaching in China, Anais Nin commerative coin, American Prostitute Self, Naked nurse teaching in starbucks china, quota of America to China, You Tube Hong Kong Free Sex Video, How culture affects the way we use utensils, and Cartoon Photos of a man being massaged among hundreds of others…

Some SEO “Experts” list some of the keywords they claim to have earned in Google’s top ten rankings. They claim that these listings attest to their prowess, and they use these words to convince you that they can move your blog, site or company into a position where you will get more hits and gain international fame and fortune. Most of the words are like the ones above: once in a Martian moon sighting you will get a hit. Some seem remarkably credible like “UK SEO Expert.” He sounds, or can make himself sound, like the marketing go-to guy in England–that is, until you do some research on Submit Express and discover that on any given day there are ZERO searches for that term.

Far too many Chinese SEO firms prey on clients using this strategy. And most businesses, woefully unaware of SEO methods, are bilked out of thousands of dollars every year. The cost for a “hot word,” one with search results in the millions (think “Buddha,” “free buffet,” or “online video game”), is staggering: the top ten in Google is 20,000 RMB a year ($2,500 USD). A “cold word” with low search returns (think “delicious rat recipes” or “Japan learned everything it knows from the Tang dynasty”) will pull 10,000 RMB ($1,250 USD) from your wallet.

So “UK SEO expert,” at 2 million returns, would cost you 20,000 RMB and bring you absolutely no traffic. I’m always suspect of the word expert anyway: in bomb school, an expert was laughingly referred to as a “former drip under pressure”–never a good thing in explosives. It was a surefire way to tell someone was not what they purported to be.

I have many great search results I’m proud of, but were someone to actually come to them, I would worry about their mental health or my ego. I am number one for “American professor” in Google, hands down, and I frequently use this in lieu of a business card when I forget one. I am also in the Google China top ten for “American blog” (out of half a billion returns) and number 1 for “handsomest American in China” (move your Canuck ass over, Da Shan!) and ridiculously #1 for America’s Best Blog. In all humility, I found I rank quite high for “China blog about nothing” and “Lonnie isn’t exactly the sharpest guy in the world,” which isn’t exactly what you’d want when you are trying to build up your China business consultant site that’s already number 1 for “china business consultant blog” in Google, Google China and Yahoo.

If you are really interested in a legitimate search engine marketing provider, drop me a note at [*santini47@yahoo.com *]–spambots, eat your heart out (thanks R)! I’ll turn you on to the likes of Fili, Ryan, CWM, or someone else who will be able to get their hands out of your Paypal pockets at some point. And if you’re considering marketing to Martians anytime soon, you know where to look…

FYI: I am doing SEO work or global marketing lectures free for nonprofit groups or companies who agree to donate my normal fee to the China Dreamblogue project.

By the way, with this many links in a post, doesn’t it look like Dan Harris wrote it?

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When you drink water remember the source…

JapanA few years ago my Korean Taekwondo master, with another American and his very young Korean teacher in the room, spoke to me in perfect Japanese. He proceeded to tell me that I should be wary as there was conflict between the two men. Then he winked and told me, again in Japanese, not to reveal the extent of his linguistic skills to anyone else. He had known for years prior to this day that I was fluent in Japanese, but had remained silent.

A day or two after his disclosure I asked him why he had kept it such a secret. He explained to me that to speak Japanese was to call to mind the days of his youth and the Japanese occupation of Korea. He had been forced to abandon his family identity by taking a Japanese name, forbidden to study Korean martial arts, and was witness to the arrogance and brutality of the Imperial army. I guessed his motive in revealing his secret to me came out of the then daily news on the continued Sino-Japanese-Korean animosities at that time: This was the oblique way a proud, accomplished man could release some long-held pain.

It was not long after our talk that he and another icon in Taekwondo encountered a man in an elevator in a Seoul hotel. The man asked, in his native Japanese, if they were also from Japan. The two men, ordinarily gentle and soft-spoken, emerged from the elevator while the visiting businessman remained aboard, having been rendered unconscious.

And only a week after the elevator event, Korea demolished an extraordinarily beautiful building in Seoul that had been erected during the occupation by the Imperial army. The Koreans did not just tear it down: they smashed each brick individually. The enormous collective pain of a nation had bled into every emotionally permeable membrane.

Japan has made half-hearted attempts to heal a divided Pacific rim community that still views Japan as unrepentant and inexorably tied to its militaristic past. Haruki Wada’s Asian Women’s Fund for comfort women, sexually used and abused by Japanese soldiers, is one of Tokyo’s most telling gestures.

The fund basically was meant to give the appearance of an apology without angering a large segment of Japan that viewed restitution as a loss of national face; hence, disgraceful.

fund did do some good for a fraction of the tens of thousands affected. A few hundred women from Taiwan, the Philippines and elsewhere received about $16,000 US Dollars from the fund (not the government) and a personal (not official) apology from the Japanese Prime Minister. Chinese women in the mainland received nothing as Beijing refused to set up an official authentication system for the victims. Other money from a relatively tiny fund went to hospital bills, retirement homes and medical facilities that benefited some women.

The latest round of reconciliation talks between Beijing and Tokyo are bound to evoke old memories for many in Korea, China, Taiwan and the Phillipines again. And forgiveness is unlikely to be forthcoming as long as the guilty party is still asking others to apologize or intervene on its behalf.

Beijing has been using water analogies throughout this process: China has called for the melting of ice and building a bridge over a sea of peace between the two countries. But, I doubt there will be much water flowing under non-existent metaphorical bridges until the leadership of Japan claims ownership for a destructive past, corrects false and state sponsored historical teachings, and begins tending to the living souls of its neighbors instead of conjuring the spirits of atrocity via visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

A Chinese Proverb: 饮水思源 (When you drink water remember the source)

China Cartoons,China Editorials,Chinese Proverbs,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Korea,War,中国

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The Bloggie Awards

Bloggies

The results are finally in:

Best Asian Weblog

Tokyo Girl Down Under

The Finalists for Best Asian Blog all deserve a look. They are wonderfully diverse. Unlike Tokyo Girl they are truly Asia based:

PingMap

Popagandhi

Bryan Boy

And OMBW ( I was an also-ran)

Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog

The Breakfast Blog

Best African or Middle Eastern Weblog

Secret Dubai Diary

Best European Weblog

My Boyfriend is a Twat

Best British or Irish Weblog

Girl with a One-Track Mind

Best Latin American Weblog

Cooking Diva

Best Canadian Weblog

Drawn

Best American Weblog

Cute Overload

Best Photography of a Weblog

Flikrblog

Best Craft Weblog

Make: Blog

Best Food Weblog

Help I have a Fire in My Kitchen

Best Sports Weblog

Arseblog

Best Weblog About Music

Pitchfork

Best Entertainment Weblog and

Most Humorous Weblog

Go Fug Yourself

Best GLBT Weblog

Perez Hilton

My condolences to the other finalists who are truly representative of GLBT culture, humor, politics, llifestyle and celebration. This is my only truck with popular vote contests. Perez Hilton is to GLBT blogs what Rush Limbaugh is to political radio: entertainment! Visit the finalists:

Queerty

Scott-O-Rama

Daily Dose of Queer

LesbianFamily.org

Best Writing of a Weblog

And this guy can shape a story! Waiter Rant!

Best Group Weblog

Lifehacker

Best Community Weblog and

Weblog of the Year

One of those “I wish I had thought of it” blogs that takes you through the full spectrum of emotions evry single visit!

Post Secret

Best New Weblog

Say No to Crack!

Best-Kept Secret Weblog

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Congrats all….

As a postscript: I hope the folks over at The Asia Blog Awards revive their contest. They had the best formula in the blogsphere: Popular vote, Technorati rank, Distinguished Judges scores ….

Asia,China web 2.0,Hong Kong Blogs,In the news,India,Japan,New Blogs,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

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Asians all sound alike to me….

Speech practice

One of my hobbies ( I have a couple that I haven’t turned into obsessions) is the identification and mimicry of accents. It comes from growing up in a household with an Irish Mother raised in Pennsylvania and a Native American father raised in a Kentucky town so back-country that the Dairy Queen ( I am not kidding here) had outdoor plumbing. More than once I was asked to translate whatever my folks said for schoolmates.

I was blogroll diving again and came across The Cognitive Daily. It is rife with information for the budding and practicing shrink in your household.The authors there are smitten with tests: both are from Davidson College and there isn’t much else to do in that part of “Norf” Carolina. One of their recent polls asked people to ID accents originating from a couple of states in America and from people living in the wee little space outside U.S. borders (Earth) where inhabitants are generally known by most Colonists as “aliens.” But, I digress….

Here are the results:

Accents

“The test required participants to listen to ten people from different parts of the world reading the same English text sample (via the fantastic Speech Accent Archive). Then they had to choose which accent was which from a list of 15 countries (actually 15 countries and 2 U.S. states). Which accent was easiest to recognize? Alabama! Eighty-eight percent of respondents correctly identified this accent (though this result was statistically indistinguishable from Wisconsin, with 86.5 percent correct).” Not hard to believe, aye? But, I was surprised so few people nailed China….

To brush up on your abilities go to the Archives mentioned above where you can listen to all the voices catalogued OR help them out by recording your speech patterns for posterity….

Oh, and I almost forgot:

Irish China Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!: Happy St. Patrick’s Day–in Gaelic!

Asia,Blogroll Diving,cartoons,Chinglish,Confucius Slept Here,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Personal Notes,中国

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Coffee Cola in China!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COFFEE COLA CHINAIdon’tkowwhyIneversawthisstuffbeforetoday.It’sbrilliant!!
TWICEhtecaffeineofordinarycola.It’slikethatBUZZBEERontheDrew
CareyshoworJOLTfromyearsback.WaitasecondwhileIitchmylegandget
myhairtolieflat.HEYIcanstandandtypewithonehand!!!!DidIsay
ithadTWICEthecaffeine???!!

So,wherewasI??

This liquid crack (NO), if it didn’t taste like vinyl on a bus seat smells (No, never up close!), would be a huge hit! It looks like a Safeway logo on the bottle I have (If it would just hold still I could read it…) and I guess is a knock-off of the stuff Coke introduced to France a couple of years ago. That was devilish, aye? The only think the French like as much as cheese and wine is COFFEE! Who has time for women when you are flying around Carrefour like a fart in a skillet?

I am sure this stuff has been souped up a bit and is already available in the prescription section of supermarket pharmacies in Japan.

I am a little disturbed that they engineered it to froth when you put it into a glass. It looks horribly like recycled Guinness (Again, NO! what’s wrong with you people?) with its flat head of foam.

My bottle, It’s Empty! It’s Empty! I want another one! Now!, was made in Beijing and probably flew down here on its own accord. Maybe they will start brewing it with Pearl River water. It will probably taste the same only chunkier.

It terrifies me that Chinese Taxi Drivers might drink and drive on this stuff….Those guys already have a variant hybrid of St. Vitus’ Dance and Turretts Syndrome; all they need now is this new artificial symptom inducer and WHOOOOOOO!!!!

Give it a try, but have paramedics on speed (ha ha) dial….I am off: I am running down the 27 flights of my stairs to the 7/11 to give this stuff a second try.

Asian Humor,China Business,China Humor,China Photos,Humor,Japan,Just Plain Strange,Personal Notes,Photos,Tibet Climb,Weird China,中国

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BONSAI AND THE CHINESE ART OF PENJING (盆景)

I volunteered last year to assist one of my students in obtaining a summer job: I told him if he landed the gig as translator for an International book on Bonsai and Penjing, that I would help him at no cost. After the first 300 pages and bits of poetry I was asking, “What the hell was I thinking?” Then after visiting a Penjing garden in Foshan and studying ther works included in the book on Gold Ribbon awarded Penjing and their creators from around the world, I was glad I had signed on.

BONSAI PEJING

At the risk of sounding prosaic I have to say: I do learn something new every day.The

book, finally finished and due out soon, led me to discover that the Japanese Bonsai artistry that we find so appealing is an ancient knock-off of the Chinese art of Penjing (pronounced PUN-JING) that dates back hundreds of years. In fact, the first potted plant known to have been used in China has an ancestry going back some 7,000 years.

Penjing is the Chinese art of creating a miniature landscape in a container. The word consists of the two characters shown on the left: “pen” – “pot” or “container”, and “jing” – “scenery”. An artist may use plant material and natural stone to build artistic compositions.

“Bonsai” literally means a “tree in a pot” (Mr. Miyagi just winced in heaven) though some of the “pots” can costs tens of thousands of dollars. The first historical records of this art form in China comes via paintings recovered from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the more elaborate creations, ones that would be prize winners even today, are found in pictures from the Song (960-1279) Dynasty.

It is assumed Japan caught the fever about the 13th century. The exact time during which Penjing reached Japanese shores is not known. In the 6th and 7th centuries, Japan sent envoys to China to study art, architecture, language, literature, philosophy and law. Chan, a form of Buddhism in which the original Indian teachings blended with Taoism was introduced to Japan a bit later and named “Zen” Buddhism. Penjing and Bonsai are Zen-like methods of achieving an active state of meditation that can reveal natural truth, beauty and harmony.

Not far from here in Foshan, Chin, where I helped with the book, the Sixth Flower Fair will take place in a couple of years. The Chinese call it the Flower Olympics as it only happens every four years and draws invited guests from over 15 countries.

One million people viewed the last exhibition in 2006. It is my guess that it will still be a while before the US National Arboretum’s National Bonsai and Penjing Museum hits that milestone.

I, and capable editor David DeGeest (who I roped into helping), are both richer for the experience, but my student owes us a couple of dinners and me a new set of reading glasses!!

American Poet in China,Asia,Bonsai,Chinese Festivals,Foshan China,Japan,past posts,Penjing,Personal Notes,Teaching in China,中国

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Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Continue Reading »

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

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Love and Asian Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Continue Reading »

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

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Snakeheads, War Crimes and Hairy Chinese

This is a recaptured post from December 13th, 2005. It fits with a discussion in progress at Cal Poly’s MBA Trip Blog

Trouble is brewing once again between China and Japan:
Chinese State Council Premier Wen, Jiabao cancelled an annual meeting with South Korea and Japan stating the reason was Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s five visits to Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine. This is the shrine that honors fallen soldiers and also houses WWII class A (the worst) war criminals. Wen told reporters, “the main reason for the impasse in China-Japan ties is that the Japanese leader won’t treat the history issue in a correct way …”

During my fifteen years in Japan I winced many times at Japan’s almost blind allegiance to the notion that the Chinese were inferior. It is not uncommon to hear Chinese referred to as lazy, dirty and uncivilized. And when hard line Japanese have had a bit to drink they are oft to talk about “Ketoh”, Hairy Chinese: Westerners. We are then only distinguished from the Chinese by arm, leg and facial hair.
Continue Reading »

China Expats,Expats,Intercultural Issues,Japan,War

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