TJ Expert

TJ Expert (102)



On Tour with Bob Gruen Elton John Retrospective

Written by  |  Published in Music Gallery

On Tour with Bob Gruen

Elton John Retrospective

IN 1970 I was hired to photograph a young piano player from England who was going to open a show at the New York City’s Fillmore East theatre for Leon Russell. His name was Elton John. I remember thinking how hard it is to get an interesting picture of someone playing piano. It’s a very large instrument and the player is usually just sitting behind it. But Elton John is not the usual piano player. He is one of the most exciting performers I’ve worked with. He doesn’t just sit at his piano. He jumps around it and on top of it. Sometimes he leaps straight into the air with only his hands on the keyboard. And he’s still playing! He also wears onstage the most flamboyant and colorful costumes and outrageous glasses.

I enjoyed working with Elton for the next several years. At the Fillmore in the spring of 1971 I got a nice and arty double-frame photo of him with his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Then I photographed him twice at Carnegie Hall, and later at Madison Square Garden. At Carnegie Hall, his mother made a surprise backstage visit.


Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

Educating Sanjay

ALL of the tables in the coffee shop were taken. I looked around and saw an Indian man in his early thirties at a large table near the entrance. I raised an eyebrow, and he smiled and nodded, so I slid my tray onto the table and took the seat opposite him. A large handbag was hooked over the edge of the table. He noticed me looking at it and laughed.

“No,” he said, “it’s not a man-bag. It belongs to my wife.”

“Oh, I hope I’m not…”

“No,” he said. “She’s gone to pick up my son from the school bus.”

He introduced himself as Kapil, as in Kapil Dev, the great Indian cricketer. “But call me Kap. Everybody does,” he said. He told me he was a banker, adding that he is ”between jobs.” That’s like a lot of bankers in Hong Kong during the global financial crisis that never seemed to end. He had a British accent of indeterminate provenance, and I asked him where he was from. “Harrow,’ he said. “Just outside London. I was born and raised there but have spent most of my working life in Asia – Singapore, Tokyo and now Hong Kong.”

I finished my coffee and was about to depart when Kap’s wife appeared with their four-year-old son. The boy rushed to his dad for a cuddle, and then produced a painting from his backpack. He pushed it across the table for Kap’s approval.

My Language Creates Me

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

My Language Creates Me

By David Nunan

I’VE never met Costica Bradatan, but I would like to. I recently came across a newspaper article he wrote in the International Herald Tribune. I like the International Herald Tribune even though I usually only get to read it when I come across a copy left in a coffee shop or when it is distributed for free on an international flight.

On this occasion, I was flying from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. The flight attendant handed me a copy of the International Herald Tribune and I began leafing through it while waiting for the in-flight movie to begin. But then I came across an article by this man I’d never met or heard of and I immediately forgot about the movie. The article was called “Born Again in a Second Language.” In it, Bradatan talks about what it is like to write in a second language. He begins his article by quoting a French philosopher, activist and writer who wrote: “For any man [or woman] a change of religion is as dangerous a thing as a change of language is for a writer. It may turn out to be a success, but it can also have disastrous consequences.” He goes on to argue that a language is a way of experiencing the world. “The world reveals itself in a certain manner to the Japanese writer, and in quite another to the one who writes in Finnish.” A writer’s language is more than just a tool. It’s a part of who they are. The implication here is that in order to write in another language you have to become a different person.

Standing Up To Culture

Written by  |  Published in Commentary

Standing Up To Culture

By Daniel Yankelovich

IN a changing world, Japan and the United States face similar challenges even though our histories and cultures are very different. In both nations, the influence of tradition and culture is wearing thin while individual choice grows stronger. This places a heavy burden of responsibility on the individual, more than most people are comfortable with.

In late September, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe wrote an editorial in The Wall Street Journal 1, titled “Unleashing the Power of Womenomics.” He out- lined a series of policies for which the dual purpose is to boost women in the workforce significantly and thereby also raise fertility rates.

Prime Minister Abe is well aware that combining these two goals runs counter to the long-held belief that female participation in the labor force lowers fertility rates. He cites a number of government policies that would make his twin goals compatible. These include: expanded day-care and nursing-care services, flexible work arrangements and better pay for women.


この変化の時代にあって、日本と米国は、歴史的文 化的背景が大いに異なるとはいえ、似たような問

題 に直面している。日米のいずれでも、伝統と文 化がすたれつつある一方で、個人の選択が優先されるよ うになっている。この流れにより、多くの人が望む以上 に個人に重い責任がのしかかっている。 この秋、ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル紙に安部 晋三首相の寄稿があった。タイトルは「安部総理、ウィ メノミクスのパワーを解き放つ」。女性の雇用を大幅に増 やし出生率上昇を促す一連の政策をまとめたものだ。

この2つの目標を掲 げることが、女性の雇用増は出生率 を下げるという長く正しいとされてきた論理に反するこ とを、安部首相は十分承知している。そのうえで彼は、 この2つの目標を両立させるための多くの政策に言及し ている。デイケアや介護サービスの拡大、柔軟な就労形態、 女性の賃金増などである。

Building the World’s Best Smart City for the Tokyo Olympics

 |  Published in Japanese Business Expert

Building the World’s Best Smart City for the Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO will host the 2020 Olympic Games. Since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Japan has achieved miraculous advancements in economic growth and infra- structure through the development and application of cutting-edge science and engineering technologies. During the 1970’s and 80’s, air pollution in Tokyo was a major problem, and I often returned disappointed from the blue skies of California. Since then Tokyo has become one of the largest and the most advanced cities in the world in areas such as: cleanliness, safety, dining, accommodation and transportation.
Japan is the world leader in utilizing energy efficiency for the purpose of developing GDP. The use of energy per GDP is less than half of the USA and 4.5 times less than China. Japan has advanced technologies for building a cleaner city.

Yoga Crosses Cultures

Written by  |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

ON any given day I interact with people from around the world. I attend meetings with colleagues from France, the Philippines and Bangladesh. I write emails to Japan and make Skype calls to friends in Chile. My neighbors are Greek and my boss is from Egypt. In this diverse but connected world I face the challenges of intercultural communications every day.

A powerful technique in cross-cultural interactions is empathy. Cultivating an empathetic feeling as we interact with friends, colleagues and strangers whose thinking and values differ from our own, helps to widen our perspective on the world. But trying to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings can also have a destabilizing effect on us. Through cross-cultural communication, it’s possible to become vulnerable and get lost in a medley of conflicting values, customs and rules. Empathy needs a force to balance it out.

A New Place

Written by  |  Published in Lifestyles

There is nothing like the first morning in a new, foreign place. At first it seems like any other morning; I’m half asleep and my body and mind has no recollection of the journey last night. Then the magical moment happens. Usually it’s an unfamiliar sound that jolts me out of my dozing state. Where am I? It can take a second before my mind manages to grab the memories. Then it all comes back to me. I feel a surge of joy rush through me. The best part is yet to come. I sink happily back into the pillows and let the cascade of foreign sensations seep in.

Everything is different from back home. The bed, the room, furniture and colors are all different. Even the texture of the sheet gives my skin an unfamiliar sensation. But the immediate surroundings are seldom what excite me. My focus stretches outside. I blend the sounds, scents and what I can glimpse through the window with my imagination.

Moments in Construction

Written by  |  Published in Tokyo Photography

Moments in Construction

by H. Suzuki

TJ: What aspects of photography do you like the most and the least?
SUZUKI: The most – it mirrors the creator. The least: it mirrors the creator. What I like the most is it reflects the thoughts of the photographer. On the other hand, what I like the least is it reflects the thoughts of the creator, despite his or her intention.

Japan Growth Strategy

 |  Published in Japanese Business Expert

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pursuing an economic policy called the “three arrows” with the aim of boosting the economy and lifting the country out of long-lasting deflation.

The arrows include:

1. Unlimited monetary easing to achieve 2% annual inflation
2. Ramping up public spending
3. Pursing a long-term economic growth strategy

The first arrows helped boost the stock market about 40% as well as devalue the yen 20% against the U.S. dollar. But since Japan’s underlying economy has changed little, stocks and the currency have been fluctuating widely due to the uncertainty of the third arrow, the growth strategy.

Movie Subtitling: Natsuko Toda

Written by  |  Published in Translation & Subtitling

Interview series with Japan’s most renowned translator of foreign films and interpreter for Hollywood stars, Natsuko Toda

TJ: Do different directors have different requirements for translating the subtitles of their movies? Can you think of any unique requests you’ve had, such as maybe having to sit down with a director and going over the subtitling face-to-face?
Toda: No, they have no time and they don’t care about Japan so much. Of course, Japan is a big market, but they don’t pay attention to subtitling. For “The Color Purple,” Spielberg asked me to reflect African-American English from the South in the subtitles. However, this is impossible. If I use grammatically wrong expressions, the audience thinks it’s a subtitling mistake. Also, it makes no sense and the audience cannot understand the story. I explained this to him and he understood, but it was a rare case. I have never gone over subtitling face- to-face with a director.

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