Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD Throwback from May 15. 2020

Resilience is necessary more than ever in this tumultuous time by Olivia

As we age, change becomes more and more difficult, because our brain is trained to like familiar things. It is used to doing things in a certain way that works. So, we will be satisfied with the same routine every day, but as soon as we go outside our “comfort zone”, we may feel discomfort or stress. Life-changing situations and challenges always bring stress, and the bigger the change, the more stress we get. If, for example, daily hassles like crowded train gives us a low-level stressful situation, marriage or divorce - a high-level one, how would you describe the stress level of the COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing right now?

We can’t avoid difficult situations like this. However, thanks to resilience, many people can bounce back from pain and stress even stronger than before.

Positive psychology has a term “hedonic adaptation” (“hedonic treadmill”). Usually, it is used to describe that no matter what material goods we are striving for, as soon as we get them, it is a matter of time when we get used to them and want more. But it is also is a good thing, because hedonic adaptation works both ways, in response to both positive and negative experiences. Which means that we also get used to bad things (negative circumstances and events), don’t feel excruciating pain all the time we are experiencing them and will experience personal growth because of them if we are willing to work on ourselves. Willingness to accept your weak points, to seek and to give support, to forgive, to unselfishly love, to trust, to be kind, - these are just a few examples of how we can change.

Also, psychological research has shown that in general optimistic people are more resilient, because they see non-desirable situations as temporary, whereas pessimists are sure that better times will never come. Resilience is like a muscle, which needs to be trained. Only this way our brain will adapt new neural pathways and it will become a part of us and our daily life.

We need to use strategies from positive psychology to increase optimist and resilient thinking, and to do it consciously, and now is just the perfect time!

年をとると、変化に対応するのがむずかしくなる。 親しんだ事柄に脳が慣れてしまうからだ。あるやり方で物事をうまくやりすごすと決ま事になり、毎日がそれの繰り返しで満足する。しかしその「快適ゾーン」をはみ出すと、とたんに不快に思いストレスを感じる。生活の変化や試練でストレスはもたらされるが、その変化が大きければ大きい程、ストレスも増大する。例えば、毎日乗る混み合う通勤電車は、軽いストレスとなり、結婚や離婚は、大きなストレスとなる。さて、現在我々が体験しているコロナウィルス19感染症の世界的拡大についてはどれほどのストレスがもたらされているのだろう。





Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD Throwback from APRIL 24. 2015


When I first moved to Japan I was always quick to point out various cultural differences and assign them a positive or negative judgment, for example:
1. extreme courtesy and professionalism of staff members in virtually any setting = POSITIVE
2. people shoving and pushing in order to get a seat on the train = NEGATIVE

In my early years here, I had the habit of comparing these events to similar situations in my own country. This would inevitably lead to an unconscious ranking of JAPAN VS AMERICA! However is would sometimes come out in conscious conversation as well causing to 'officially' and 'objectively' decide which was 'better'. For those who are wondering, my tallies have varied over the years. In the beginning, I saw Japan as superior on almost all fronts. After four or five years, I began to reject my new 'homeland' and prefer American styles and customs over those of Japan.

It was around the mid point of my fifth year that I read the advice of cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, who said that if one is to live in another culture, he or she should eventually live in a third as well in order to triangulate their differences. If one remains stuck between two cultures, he or she will always set up irreconcilable oppositions between the two and mark one as superior to the other. I recognized that this was exactly what I was doing by constantly comparing Japan and America so I have since tried to recognize the impact of both of 'my' cultures and become a 'world citizen' by visiting a few other countries and becoming more flexible about my cultural identity.
Today however, I was faced with one of the oddest experiences of my life. An Experience so odd in fact that it truly contained the potential to turn me back into a 'Judge'.

After using the public restroom in Ikebukuro station, I gave my hands a thorough washing. I do not always do this after a 'number one', but it was the end of the day and I had changed trains several times so I decided it was a good time to clean up. As I did so, and splashed a bit of water on my face for good measure, I noticed an elderly Japanese man at the sink just to the right of me collecting a bit of water in his left hand then gently splashing it below his belt. I could only see this out of my periphery mind you so I just assumed that he must have spilled something on his pants and was trying to clean it off. This however was not the case...

In the moment that I turned away from the sink I decided to risk a closer look only to find that the man was holding the head of his penis in his right and and splashing water on it with his left. He was then using his right to rub the water around. The action did not appear perverted in any sense, I think he was just 'cleaning up' in the same way that I splashed water on my face. Instead of splashing water on his face, he was splashing it down below.

As I exited the restroom, we caught eyes for a moment and he glared at me sternly, almost as if to say "Don't judge me!". Stepping just outside the exit I stopped, covered my face with my hands and gave a deep thunderous belly laugh (imagine this from the perspective of the 5 o'clock crowd of tired commuters hurriedly changing trains to make their way home: crazy bearded 外国人).

In the end, I was spared from becoming a 'Judge' and found myself just a baffled, bemused, and jovial man as I strode up the stairs to find a seat waiting for me on the semi-express train home.

Unfinished business


Farewell to a Japan Jazz Icon by David Gregory

The messages from all over Japan read aloud during the service helped us realize how widely Koyama-san touched lives and how many like us were feeling something newly missing from our worlds. But, although wonderful and sometimes saddening us, they did not trigger crying. That happened next.

Those first few notes of the "'Round About Midnight" Miles Davis version, the cut Koyama-san always used to open Jazz Tonight, performed by a live piano and trumpet duo up front near the coffin, did it: Instant recognition, recollections, sighs around the room, eyes closed, arms crossed, heads dropped back or down, and tears, at least for me. How many times had we heard, after Miles breathed his somber opening, Koyama-san's low, raspy voice welcoming us into the studio with, "Minna-san, gokigen ikaga desho-ka everybody, how are you feeling?"?and never thought that someday we would hear him ask about us no more?

Koyama-san's widow, whom, like him, had never known me, stood alone at the coffin head and bowed in silence to everyone in turn after they placed flowers around his body as the duo continued with another slow number, the trumpet sounding so strong and crisp and unusual in a memorial service hall. After we placed our flowers, she responded to my hand on her shoulder, a touch just meant to console her, by immediately turning and reaching for me?a total stranger?burying her head in my chest, and breaking down. She needed that hug that everybody sometimes needs. She let go after her respite when she was ready to face the coffin and everyone else again, and returned to her position. Going to Kashiwa in a snowstorm was worth it just for those few moments when I could do something for her.

So our Kashiwa day was both sad and good. But, why did I even want to go a funeral for a man whom I only knew by voice, and who, although linked to jazz, was not even a musician?

Koyama-san and his Jazz Tonight program I listened to since at least the early 2000s. For more than sixteen years, while my life in Japan has been filled with huge uncertainties, he has been here Saturday nights on the radio, reliable, keeping me connected to the world's music and opening my ears to music from Japan I would not know without him. Listening to him always made me feel good, no matter what had happened in my life during the week or what was coming up in the weeks ahead. Koyama-san and Jazz Tonight were my respite. How well can I replace that comfort?

Koyama-san, thank you for helping this foreigner feel good in Japan. Please rest well in jazz heaven.

NHK Radio, thank you for giving Koyama-san a way to connect with us. Please encourage other DJs to continue doing what he did so well.

To Koyama-san's surviving family members: Please care well for yourselves now, and thank you for supporting and sharing Kiyoshi with us.


The Smallest Box by David Gregory

She came over to my table and asked if I remembered her.
“That’s my boyfriend over there.”
Their table hugged a pillar blocking the sunny Tokyo Bay view enjoyed by the other customers that afternoon in Chiba’s AquaRink ice skating facility café.
“Maybe we will marry next year.”

On my way out, I stopped to congratulate the potential groom to be. What I later heard happened with Hiromi and Hiroshi that night at another place also close to the bay sounded so too good to be true that I visited that place to confirm it really happened. It did.

Hiroshi had reserved for the course menu that night at OCEAN TABLE, next to Chiba Port, on the second floor, where tables sat by the huge windows facing Chiba Port Tower and Tokyo Bay. No view-blocking pillars there. And they had a wait, even with their reservation, because it was Christmas Eve, which in Japan matters much more than the following day; the Eve is the year’s couples’ night out, and single women without dates that night can feel their whole year was wasted.

Hiroshi had changed into a suit after skating, and had urged Hiromi, against her protests about overdressing, into a plaid one-piece, raising expectations. They had never come to a place this nice, one requiring reservations. Saizeriya was more their speed: fast faux-Italian, cheap, and everywhere.
The unexpected wait made Hiroshi antsy. He relaxed and all was perfect after they were seated.

They talked. They ate the Christmas Dinner courses. They ignored the soft Christmas background music. They admired the gleaming, golden Christmas Tree rising from the first-floor buffet area through the open center space across from their table. They could see outside the sparkling flashes and half the tree in Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination, and beyond, the lights from the ships on and facilities around Tokyo Bay, appearing almost twinkling. Perfect—but not for Hiromi.

She went to the toilet. Still he had not asked. The day was done. The reservation system only allowed them two hours there. They had been together all day. He had remembered her birthday-just by coincidence, also that day-with a necklace at AquaRink. Nice, but was that all? He had pestered her since early December about what Christmas present she wanted until she had finally exploded with, “Nothing! Don’t you know I just want a proposal?!” And had added she wanted it to be a surprise. Here he had the perfect chance, and he was wasting it.

She could try enjoying what was left of the evening. Dessert was next. At least here was better than Saizeriya….She was still stuck when she returned to the table, and had no chance to do or say anything, anyway. It was his toilet turn.

Their desserts came. Hiromi sat and waited and pondered the future. Outside, the tower stood alone against the dark sky and Tokyo Bay’s inky darkness.

Their desserts waited. Maybe his tooth was bothering him again. Maybe he was just tolerating it to make the night go well. Maybe for her. Maybe she should go to check on him. Wait-maybe she just heard his voice across the room.

No, only Santa Claus, posing for photographs with diners at the far table. He then started circling the room, giving a small present from his big sack at each table. She could check after he was done.

Hiroshi still had not returned to his seat when Santa reached their table. He handed Hiromi a big, red stocking, by far the room’s largest gift, accompanied by a squeaky, “Atari! You’re a lucky one!” Yeah. She set it aside and Santa moved on. What was he still doing in the toilet?

Santa finished his round, returned to Hiromi, and pointed at her unopened stocking with squeaky, “Un! Un!” grunts. The other diners had opened their presents. She forced a smile and said she was waiting for her boyfriend to return. “Un! Un!”

When Hiromi still resisted, Santa took the stocking in his white-gloved hands and opened it himself. Out first came a big, pink box, heart shaped. He opened that and pulled out another heart-shaped box, and then, from inside that, another heart-shaped box. Another smaller, heart-shaped box followed. He removed from that an even smaller heart-shaped box, and thrust it to Hiromi with one more squeaky, “Un!”

Still gone. Well, he’d miss it. Hiromi obeyed Santa this time and opened it, the smallest box in the room …and her mind and face went blank.

After that frozen moment passed, Hiromi looked at Santa. The second shock hit, and more followed. Santa Claus had ripped off his gloves, furry hat, sunglasses, and huge, flowing beard. He took the box from her?she was still speechless?dropped onto one knee, held the open box out and up to her in both stretching hands, and said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Hiromi-san, boku-to kekkon shite kudasai! Hiromi, please marry me!”

Outside, to anybody looking, Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination still flashed, and the lights on and around Tokyo Bay still appeared almost twinkling. Inside OCEAN TABLE, on the second floor, everything was happening so fast that Hiromi just did not know which was more difficult to believe: Hiroshi and the ring he first tried slipping onto the finger on her right hand, the one he had taken in his before she held out her left hand, or the following PAN! and PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! and PAN! PAN! and PAN! explosions ripping and ribbons shooting around the room as diners at the floor’s other tables popped the party crackers they had found with the notes in their presents from Santa Claus.

Copyright © 2018 David L. Gregory All rights reserved.


I Did It! by David Gregory

She had been here before. But, those were tour-guided or hand-held visits. After living most of her life in white-bread suburban USA, driving everywhere, shopping in giant malls and supermarkets, and needing only one currency and one language, my mother ventured out on her own, within and beyond Chiba, during one trip to Japan. From her notes, here are Dorothy's...

Grocery Shopping in Neighborhood―Walk five only one bag...walk five blocks back. Survived it!

Shopping in City Center―Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus fifteen minutes. Arrive at stores. Walk around. Look. Decide: cookies.

Buying: “Ikura desu-ka how much?” Hmm. “Kakimasu kudasai write please.”

Paying options: give large bill, let clerk figure change, or open change purse, let clerk take out correct amount. Decide to just give some cash.

Clerk shakes her head (“NO! MORE!”), then counts out correct amount needed from register and shows me. I mimic her action from my change purse. Smiles! Deep bows with many, “Arigato gozaimasu thank you very much!”-es.
(My error: thought there was decimal point in Yen price....)

Open cookies, expecting pirouettes with chocolate centers. Instead, peanut butter waffle rolls, no chocolate. No wonder, now I see peanut sketch on package. “Shoganai can’t be changed,” I did it to myself. It could have been worse!
Travelling to Visit Friend’s Family on Other Side of Chiba―Walk ten blocks to train. Purchase ticket. Electronic lady on ticket machine screen says, “Arigato gozaimasu” and bows. Ride train twenty minutes, watching for correct stop, get off, walk seven blocks to house. I did it myself!

Visiting Hisae Overnight―My Japanese study partner in USA returned to Japan, now lives on other side of Tokyo Bay.

Take large purse and large tote bag with jacket, nightie, toothbrush, cosmetics. Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus to train station. Ride train eighty minutes to Yokohama. Find correct exit from station. EASY. Did not even look at note in pocket explaining route and Japanese signs. And, look! Hisae and three-year old Kei are waiting! “Hello!” they say! Many hugs!

I did it!

Then, still more travel: train together fifteen minutes, short taxi uphill to lovely apartment, sunny and bright.

Returning to Chiba, just reverse process. Next time, we can meet at a station halfway in between. I can do it.
I can do it!

Copyright (C) 2015 David Gregory. All rights reserved. Chiba, Japan

Book Review


Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014,
291 pp, USD34.00

Reviewed by Randy Swank

video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, but for some strange twist of fate you will find very little information on this book. You can’t even buy it on Amazon. This is a shame because Cherry Blossoms... is a beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking book.

These 11 essays, some of them autobiographical, see Ventura travelling back and forth between the Philippines and Japan, his adopted country, often portraying the many ways Filipino lives have been shaped and affected by their rich quasi-neighbor. Like in "A Suitable Donor," where the young men who live in the Manila slum of Banseco tell of how they came to "donate" a kidney or another organ to help a rich person in need − often from Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami
by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014, 291 pp, USD34.00

In "Miniskirts and Stilettos" we meet Ginto, a young lady who comes to Japan dreaming of making it big as a singer and entertainer but has to deal instead with a much darker reality; while "Mr. Suzuki Tries Again" and "Into the Snow Country" are tragicomic tales of arranged marriages where the dreams and expectations of bride-starved farmers from Japan's Deep North clash with those of young Filipino women who want to escape their poverty and go into marriage "as a girl goes into a convent." Ventura tells these stories with a great eye for detail and manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest corners, or poetry in the midst of a nuclear disaster.

The book's first essay is called "The Slow Boat to Manila" and indeed, slowness is the first word that comes to mind when considering Ventura's approach to writing. Everything Ventura does is slow. He is no magazine reporter after all, and will spend days or even months getting to know a person he wants to write about. That's the kind of personal commitment and deep connection with his subject that one feels when reading his essays.


Tokyo Fab


Facebook Livestreams for Artists

As a direct result of COVID-19, many more artists and creators have taken to Facebook Live to host livestreams as a way to connect to followers, make money or raise funds for charities. Facebook has taken note and now wants to make it easier for creators to take advantage of their platform, including when it comes to making money.
The social-media platform giant announced that it would integrate new features across Facebook, Instagram and Portal to help users connect more efficiently. "To support creators and small businesses, we plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook − anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences," the platform said in a statement.

Introducing Messenger Rooms and more ways to connect when you’re apart


BAND CAMP for Artists

There are many places online where you can sell your music, but there are a few places, like Bandcamp, that are a little different. Music typically needs to go through a distributor to be made available on popular online platforms. But Bandcamp is a site where you can go to create an account and manually list your music for sale, at a price of your choosing. And now, Bandcamp has announced that it will continue to waive its revenue fees on specific dates in support of musicians as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. They will waive its revenue share on the first Friday of every month from midnight to midnight Pacific Standard Time on all sales over the next few months. On June 5 and July 3, musicians on the platform will receive 100 percent of revenue for music and merchandise. Typically, Bandcamp keeps 15 percent of revenue for digital sales and 10 percent for merchandise.

Support Artists Impacted By the Covid-19 Pandemic

What’s App With You?



This is a mobile-based app intended to teach diaphragmatic breathing as a stress management skill. Diaphragmatic breathing is marked by the expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest when breathing. The app visually guides the user and provides audio instructions on how to practice the breathing technique in a way that reduces stress levels. Users can also view a video demonstration before beginning the exercise. The app allows users to set the pace of the breathing exercise at a pace that is comfortable for them, set the pace for inhaling and exhaling, and change the number of practice breathing cycles. Before and after each practice session, the app prompts users to record their stress level on a visual scale by simply swiping a small bar to the left or to the right.

Stop, Breathe & Think:

This app is designed to use the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness to help with daily stress, anxiety and depression. With anxiety and depression being the most common mental health disorders, it is great that app developers are addressing this issue. There are six major aspects to Pacifica and each one has a special way of helping the user address with the causes of these common mental health issues: mood, health, relax, experiments, thoughts, groups. Pacifica can add to someone’s life in addition to therapy or shortly after stopping. It can also be very useful for anyone who needs to find a way to manage stress through their life.


Tokyo Voice Column

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD Throwback from MARCH 13. 2015

Souls in Japan by Paul Stewart

There are many ways to travel in the world. The pushing and pulling of other people’s desires and expressions may stimulate our choices or, we may be prompted by our inner guidance and inclinations. Either way, here we are in Japan. It must be the best place for us to be at this point in our lives.

Having created this opportunity for oneself, it’s worth considering what it is gifting us and how we are profiting, benefitting and growing from the experience. And as always, it’s a wonderful opportunity to contribute our unique energy to the collective here in small and/or large ways.

One thing that stands out to me about Japan and one quality I greatly appreciate, is the silence. Be it climbing Fuji san, sitting by a lake in Hakuba or walking the crowded streets of Tokyo. It takes inner silence to hear outer silence. Though outer silence can help you sense your own stillness and peace. As the appreciation is felt, one can notice so many small but meaningful occurrences here in Japan. The elegant and poetic folding of a handkerchief by a gentleman in a suit at the lights. The soft graceful movement of a woman’s hand as she describes her subject to a friend in a cafe´. The lowering of voices with respect to other people nearby. Particularly noticeable and powerfully creative is the appreciation of admirers that sit or walk in parks seemingly able to connect and feel the natural beauty around them.

Japan is a land and culture of variety. From highly refined martial arts to traditional song and dance, pop culture and simple calm living. I feel respect when I think of and experience Japan. I sense it molding me and enhancing me yet at the same time, reflecting parts of myself that had been hidden. It is a gentle and wise place. It is interesting and enlightening. Its nature is profoundly beautiful and its people perfected through centuries of practice.

It’s an invitation to let Japan touch the deeper parts of you. Allow time for quiet and noticing the inherent qualities of this rich, abundant land. Let yourself be changed for the good and forever touched by your precious time here.






MUSEUM -What's Going on?-


In Situ Pierre-Elie de Pibrac Exhibition

The ballet dancers who enchant audiences with their brilliant performances upon the world’s greatest stage at the Paris Opera. Pierre-Elie de Pibrac captures the almost mythical beauty of these dancers in his series of photographs, In Situ. In order to create this work, he entered into the lives of the corps de ballet, starring their experiences backstage at the Palaos Garner and Ope´ra Bastille, and the photographs that resulted from this possess a unique beauty that is equal to that of the Paris Opera and the dancers themselves.
The grandson of the photographer Paul de Cordon, Pierre-Elie de Pibrac was born in Paris in 1983. He began to work in reportage in 2007, photographing in Cuba and Myanmar. After graduating from a prestigious business school in 2009, he devoted himself to photography. Moving to New York in 2010, Pierre-Elie produced his first major project, American Showcase and then in 2012 Real Life Super Heroes. He spent 8 months from 2016 living in Cuba where he produced the Desmemoria series featuring the Azucareros people who work in the sugar industry. This was published in October 2019 by Editions Xavier Barral.

(C) Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

This exhibition will present carefully selected works from among the three-part In Situ series.
“First, I would like to say that the idea of this project is the idea of my wife. In 2009, I took Olivia, who would become my wife later, to the Palais Garnier to see “Le Parc” by Angelin Preljocaj. She inspired me to create a photographic work around dance to give to her as a beautiful gift. For the researches, I watched at lots of movies, documentaries and photo projects. The one that taught me the most was the movie L’a^ge heureux, one of my wife favorite movies when she was young. I really enjoyed it and it was the movie that led me taking the picture on the roof of the Palais Garnier! - by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac”

Period: - April 5, 2020
Hours: 12:00 - 19:30 Open daily
Admission: FREE

For more information, please visit


Philippe Parreno Exhibition

A Key Artist Of His Generation, Philippe Parreno Has Radically Redefined The Exhibition Experience By Taking It As A Medium, Placing Its Construction At The Heart Of His Process. Working In A Diverse Range Of Media Including Film, Sculpture, Drawing, And Text, Parreno Conceives His Exhibitions As A Scripted Space Where A Series Of Events Unfold. He Seeks To Transform The Exhibition Visit Into A Singular Experience That Plays With Spatial And Temporal Boundaries And The Sensory Experience Of The Visitor. For The Artist, The Exhibition Is Less A Total Work Of Art Than A Necessary Interdependence That Offers An Ongoing Series Of Open Possibilities.
In This Exhibition, You May Encount His Masterpieces Including Marquee Made Of Lightbulbs And Neons Flickering, And Speech Bubbles Which Is Balloon Work Stuck To A Ceiling. And Also Ice Man Exhibited In Ripples Across The Water In 1995, A Exhibition By WATARI-UM Collaborated With A Legendary Curator Jan Hoet, Shall Get Renewed And Reappear.

Marquee, 2016
Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin
Photo (C) Andrea Rossetti

Through These Colorless And Transparent Works, We May Witness A Neo-Futuristic Landscape In Parreno's Eyes. This Is A Cutting-Edge But Also Nostalgic, Mysterious World Of Parreno, Which Is Here Today And Gone Tomorrow.
This Is A Presentation Or A Re-Presentation Of Objects That Appeared Between 1994 And 2006.
The Title Is Made Out Of The Superposition Of All Those Dates Starting In 1994 (The Speaking Stone) Or 1995 (The Ice Man In Reality Park That Was Made For A Group Exposition Called 《Ripples Across The Water》 Curated By Jan Hoet That Took In WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum Of Contemporary Art) And Finishing With The First Marquee Appearance In 2007. An Over Exposure Of Dates Produced This Motif. This Motif Gives The Title A Manifestation.
There Is No Synopsis To This.
There Is No Beginning And No End To It.
Here Objects Enter Into A Dialogue Between Each Others. Each Of These Object Sees (Through A Camera) The Other Connected, And Is Sensible Enough (They Have Access To Data About Atmospheric Pressure And The Wind Direction In Shibuya) To React To Some Precise Events. They All React To Air Variations, To Air Exchanges. All Together They Produces Scenes That Will Occurred Between November 1st 2019 And The Completion Of This Series Of Manifestations On March 22nd, 2020. (Philippe Parreno)


Period: - March 22, 2020
Venue: WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
Hours: 11:00 - 19:00, - 21:00 on Wednesdays
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays
Admission: ¥1,000 / Student (under 25 years) ¥800 / Elementary and Junior-high school student ¥500

For more information, please visit

Strange but True


5-year Old Super Driver!

The unnamed Utah Highway Patrol officer told a news conference that he initiated a traffic stop on what he thought might be a drunk driver or someone experiencing a medical emergency on the southbound 15 Freeway.
"I hit my siren and the car did immediately pull over the left. When the window came down that it was a young, very underage driver."
The boy was perched on the edge of the driver's seat so that he could reach the pedals. Through tears the five-year-old explained that he had taken his parents' car with $3 in his pocket and a dream to buy a Lamborghini.
After the boy's escapade made international headlines, the family received an offer from a local businessman. The businessman offered the boy a spin in a matte black, two-seater Huracan to make his dream come true!

Video-Meeting Gone Wrong

A worker is considering quitting their job after their colleagues accidentally overheard them talking during a work-from-home video meeting. The problem came about because the person said they have an 'odd quirk' which they do when eating alone, and it was exposed recently when they thought the mic was muted during a call - leaving them mortified. "I talk to my food and to myself," they said. "On the day in question I had a sandwich and some pita chips with hummus. So, for example, I said something like 'Welcome to my mouth, Mr. Pita!' Paying little attention to the meeting, they realised their name was being said and it quickly set in that everyone on the other end could hear every word. The manager demanded they muted the microphone as others laughed, and the worker mumbled an apology in embarrassment...



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