We’re Back!

Can you believe it has been almost 6 years since I updated this blog?  Where did the years go.  As much as I thought about abandoning this blog and moving on, I just couldn’t.  I’ve decided that Happiness is Japan is a blog I want to continue with.  Though the posts may still be few and far between, sharing with you guys about Japan, what’s happening there currently, what the trends are and other interesting Japan stuff is something I enjoy doing.  So come back and check us out once in a while.  I guarantee, you will learn something new as often I do when I do my research when I post an article.  Thanks!

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami -Then & Now

It was been a little over 5 months since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Hard to believe that the news that was once on everyone’s mind has probably dissipated a bit. The people of Japan in the regions that were hit the hardest are still struggling. A friend went on a mission trip to Japan and visited the area hit by the natural disaster said that there are many volunteers still there assisting in any way they can and the people of the region are doing what they can to get back to the norm. But what exactly is the norm for them from this point on. The clean up efforts have been huge! Places where boats once were jammed into a home have been moved, debris on streets have been cleared but then what? Just to get back to the starting point has been the past several months. These people will now have to find homes, jobs and schools. I pray that the people in this region do not give up hope and hope that people still continue to sow into their lives as long as needed. Below are some pictures courtesy of International Business Times of what has been accomplished so far after 5 months of hard, dedicated work. Great job and thank you to all who have helped.

Make a Difference in a Person’s Life in Japan

The world seems so big yet we are united as one. When things happen around the world, we may not think much of it and life may go on. But the tsunami waves in Japan crossed the huge Pacific Ocean and met the shorelines of Santa Cruz, CA. They are estimating that in a few months, the debris from the Japan earthquake will wash up on the beaches of Hawaii. Makes the world seem closer, doesn’t it? If we are in need, we are to help each other. We may not physically be able to visit the country or people in need but we are able to give what we have, even if it’s only a little. People in Japan still do not have food, water or daily living supplies. If we all help just by giving a little, it will accumulate in donating something big. If we were in a situation like the people of Japan, wouldn’t we want a someone to lend us a helping hand? Please help the people and children of Japan. They need us more than ever right now! Thank you!  CLICK HERE TO Help Japan Now!

Johnnys Doing Their Part for Japan

Regular TV programs have started to run in Japan this week. For the past week, it has been news, 24/7, about the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear power plant. The Johnny’s artists from the talent agency company Johnnys Jimusho, consisting of the most popular boy bands in Japan like SMAP, Arashi and Hey! Say JUMP have joined together to try to come up with a way to assist those who need help using their HUGE fan base. And if it is merely by their songs, they will sing their hearts out to rebuild Japan and to somehow reach those who feel hopeless by bringing smiles back to their faces. For now, all Johnny’s artists concerts have been postponed and the agency has donated their huge semi-trucks normally used to transport concert stages throughout Japan to be used as part of the rescue efforts. Thank you to Johnny’s, SMAP and Arashi!

SMAP’s song for “Pray for Japan”

The world has been praying for Japan. To bring hope to the nation of Japan, these two video montages were created with of course, none other than using SMAP’s songs. SMAP is probably the most well known and successful Japanese boy band group from Johnnys Entertainment. Making their debut in 1988, this group originally had 6 members. One year later, one member left the group to pursue his dream which left the group to the remaining five members, Katori Shingo, Kimura Takuya, Nakai Masahiro, Inagaki Goro and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. Their fanbase has become worldwide loved by those of all ages from children to grandparents. They do it all. From singing, to dancing, to acting, these five guys have got it going on! Their weekly TV show, Smap x Smap is such a hit and is watched by so many that when celebrities from the U.S. visit Japan for a movie release, they know to make a cameo on this show. Past celebrities include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Matt Damon and even the late Michael Jackson. They have currently re-recorded their 2003 hit song “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana” in Chinese which will be available through Avex China for download to your cell phone. Proceeds from this download will be donated to the earthquake relief effort. Click here to watch. So what better group and song to bring the message of hope and courage to Japan than SMAP, the group that is loved by so many. “Pray for Read More

Funky Monkey Babys Impacting Japan

Funky Monkey Babys. Odd name, yes but…who are they? Well for those of you that don’t know, they are a Japanese hip hop/rap group consisting of 3 members that debuted in 2004. Their music is inspired by pop and rock music and loved by many. The members are Funky Kato, Monkichi and DJ Chemical. Many of their songs talk about hope, courage and not giving up, very much something that is needed for this moment for the country of Japan. But the main reason I am writing a post about them is their hearts and their willingness to give of what they have in a time of desperate need. They have a blog that I have been following on Ameba where many Japanese celebrities post their life story daily. On the day of Japan’s earthquake, the members of Funky Monkey Babys were on their way home to Tokyo from Fukushima on a train. For 12 hours, they were trapped on the train, cold and tired, not able to really sleep, along with many others. They relied on their cell phones for any news of what was happening on the grounds above them. Events that happened and the things they saw from this day on, have impacted them greatly. What particularly impacted them was the generosity, the helpfulness and the warmth of the people of Japan even in the midst of tragedy. The rice ball Funky Kato was given after finally being rescued from the train was the best tasting rice Read More

A Dog’s Loyalty Beyond Belief

Dog’s are very in tune with what’s going on around them. It is often said the they know far before humans when earthquakes are about to happen. There is something about dog’s that makes them truly special. Man’s best friend, a true companion through good and bad and one that will love unconditionally. That’s the definition of a dog. After coming across this video, I knew it was something I had to write about. These 2 dogs from the city of Arahama, Japan were part of horrific earthquake AND tsunami in Japan. The true loyalty that dogs have, not only to their owners but to each other. Make sure you grab some tissues! **Note: The video is all in Japanese but pictures are worth a thousand words especially if you love dogs** Thankfully, both these dogs were rescued and now are doing fine. Yay!