Well, I took a trip to the great state of Florida for about a week. It was spectacular. Photos are on the Facebook.
While I was there, I finally got the chance to finish a really great book about Japan's social ills, called Japan Unbound by John Nathan. He is especially known for his work w/ Mishima, but this text, I thought, expertly detailed the ins & outs of modern political and social problems in Japan. There are two chapters near the end of the book, one about Shintaro Ishihara and another about Yasuo Tanaka. The stark contrasting characteristics of each figure played very well off of one another in this one-after-the-other chapter format, creating a really great sense of the political polarization that exists in Japan. I would have liked to have read about people who are capable, but do not participate, in Japan's political system. Disenfranchised? No. Unwilling? Disinterested? Yeah, probably.
I'm back in PA now, just waiting to take care of some other extraneous items. It's hard to believe that I leave so soon!
In the meantime, I'll probably be changing up the design of this place. I already got rid of the domain name (update your links!).