Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | japan & asia
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Sudoku on the WebOK, I can't stand it anymore. I'm not much of a puzzle person -- crosswords can't catch my attention, and jigsaws don't call out to me. I'm not much of a numbers person either -- hence, I work with words (journalism), not numbers (engineering). So, Sudoku hasn't exactly lit me on fire even though it's apparently the hottest thing in the puzzles and games world. I see Sudoku everywhere, from supermarket magazine racks to fancy bookstores, and electronic games to lots and lots of sites on the Web.

Post / Gil Asakawa
Real sushi, from the source: a bento box at a sushi restaurant in Sapporo.
I'm in the middle of a two-week trip to Japan, and it's been a fascinating visit. I was born here in Tokyo (an Army brat -- my dad, a Nisei from Hawaii, was stationed here and met my mom during the Korean war) and moved to the states when I was 8. But as an adult, I've only been in Japan twice -- in 1994 and 1995. This time it's for a family trip, and I'm traveling with my mom. Here are some observations:

I never got the attraction of cigarette smokers who roll their own smokes. Looks like a pain in the butt to me -- har, I made a punny! But then, I never got the attraction of cigarette smoking anyway. But these days I'm into "rolling my own" when it comes to tea... green tea, that is.

We're making great headway in the United States in getting public names changed when they are reflections of an older era when racially charged terms were considered acceptable, or at least, not controversial.

Samurai are big in Western pop culture these days, what with Tom Cruise's hit "The Last Samurai" and of course, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" movies.