Tag Archives: japan

Anything related to Japan

Office 2003, Visual Basic editor and AppLocale

So I was working with a Japanese .xla (Excel add-in) file. I needed to look at something in the source so I fired up the Visual Basic editor within Excel. Upon investigating the form and the various captions it turns out that the Visual Basic editor only displayed them in gibberish (typical decoding issues) or question marks (substituting the .notdef glyph for codepoints). So it seems the Visual Basic editor is either not multi-byte capable (typing directly a string in Japanese into the caption yielded question marks) or it is bound to the locale of the system.

I then remembered AppLocale and fired up Excel through it, setting it to think it is on a Japanese system. Then within Excel I proceeded to start the Visual Basic editor and, sure enough, the text was showing me the Japanese I needed.

I am not sure if I should find this lame or understandable.

Laughter amidst the Stillness

One of the reasons why I enjoy buddhism so much is the occasional (and sometimes even frequent) making fun of being too serious.


A typical 俳諧の連歌 consisting of a 5, 7, 5 metre by Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉).

This could be translated as such:

Now then, lets go out / to enjoy the snow… until / I slip and fall!

Chinese surnames or lack thereof

An article from China Daily details some changes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) wants to make when it comes to the surname of babies.

Someone on a website made a reference about “Akamai” being a good name for Chinese. I pointed out that “Akamai” was probably based on the Japanese word akamatsu (赤松), which means “red pine”. In Chinese this would be chi4 song1. During this I suddenly wondered about the fact I hardly see any Chinese words starting with a vowel, but almost exclusively with consonants. I will need to consult my dictionaries, but a Chinese friend of mine said that of the aeiou group only a and e are used much at the start of a word, iou seem rare in contrast.

Japanese is very different in this aspect. The vowels are very important in comparison. I wonder how Korean is in this aspect.

House of Flying Daggers – 十面埋伏

This weekend I had the time to watch House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) again. I think the first time I saw it was when I was in Japan (日本). Of course, the problem at that point was that my Japanese (日本語) was definitely not good enough to understand the entire story. Although I could make good sense of it though.

House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) poster

In Japan the movie is known as Lovers.

祈りの歌 (Song of Prayer) – The Hymn of the Fayth

The guys at Square are amazing with some ideas.

The Hymn of the Fayth in Final Fantasy X is as follows:

イ エ ユ イ
ノ ボ メ ノ
レ ン ミ リ
ヨ ジュ ヨ ゴ

ハ サ テ カ ナ エ
ク タ マ エ

Or in romaji:

i e yu i
no bo me no
re n mi ri
yo ju yo go

ha sa te ka na e
ku ta ma e

Now, this means nothing in Japanese, but when you read the first part top to bottom, left to right, syllable by syllable you get:

inoreyo ebonju yumemiyo inoriko

祈れよ エボンジュ 夢見よ 祈り子

Pray! Ebon Ju (Yu Yevon in the English edition) Dream! Child of Prayer (Fayth).

The second part is read by reading every other syllable for the first two words:

hatenaku sakae tamae


In the end, grant prosperity.

Too good to ignore

Not being a soccer fan at all I just had to laugh at the following:

Tokyo Verdy 1969 (東京ヴェルディ1969), who conceded 26 goals in six matches earlier this month, did the unthinkable Monday night by thumping Spanish giants Real Madrid 3-0 at Ajinomoto Stadium (味の素スタジアム).

Real Madrid, with very expensive players (including Ronaldo, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, who all played) and a reputation from here to, literally, Tokyo, was beaten by some minor Japanese club.

Shows that zeal wins over routine if you really want to show what you got.

Admirable qualities…

Imagine you have children, imagine them going off into hostile territory, imagine them getting murdered brutally. How would you react?

It happened with 24 years old Shosei Koda, from Japan. He went backpacking through Iraq during times when kidnappings and murders are raging all around.

His body has been found this weekend, beheaded.

Yet his direct family reacts as follows:

‘The family of Shosei Koda of Nogata (直方市), Fukuoka Prefecture (福岡県), who was beheaded by his captors in Iraq, expressed gratitude Sunday for public support and apologized for causing trouble over the hostage crisis, Nogata city officials said in a news conference.

Koda’s brother Maki, 26, told Nogata city officials, “We feel strong gratitude for those who supported us, while we also feel sorry for causing trouble. Despite the outcome, we wish that the Iraqi people would have peace as soon as possible.” Immediately after the family received the news by telephone from the Foreign Ministry around 9:20 a.m., Koda’s father Masumi, 54, was extremely devastated and unable to speak, the officials said.’

Admirable, just admirable. Your son has just been murdered, yet you can find the words to apologise for causing trouble bringing it to the media and you wish for peace for the people in the country your son was murdered in. Absolutely admirable. Pardon the gross generalisation, but I truly wish to see fervent Christians or Muslims make such a statement after one of their children was murdered in a country in turmoil.

Perfect attainment of buddha nature, if you ask me.

Though the many beings are numberless,
I vow to save them.
Though greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly,
I vow to cut them off.
Though the Dharma is vast and fathomless,
I vow to understand it.
Though Buddha’s Way is beyond attainment,
I vow to embody it fully.