Plain Talk


Baseball's All-Time Hit King Ichiro Suzuki: Remembering His Career in Japan
by Patrick Hattman

When Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki recorded his 3000th career hit in Major League Baseball on August 7th as a member of the Miami Marlins, he joined an elite fraternity as only the 30th player in MLB history to achieve the feat. Previously, on June 15th of this year, Ichiro's combined hit total between the big leagues and Nippon Professional Baseball reached 4257, making him baseball's all-time hit king as he surpassed the career mark of former MLB great Pete Rose.

And with the incomparable Ichiro playing in the U.S. since 2001, this seems like an opportune moment to remember how great he was during his playing days in NPB from 1992-2000 with the Orix Blue Wave.

Over the course of his nine seasons with Orix, Ichiro simply dominated the game in Japan. With a career .353 batting average, he accumulated 1278 hits, including 118 home runs. The Pacific League MVP for three straight years from 1994-96, Ichiro was also honored with seven consecutive All-Star and Best Nine selections from 1994-2000. Additionally, he was recognized for his defensive prowess in the outfield with Gold Glove awards each year during the same time span.

Finally, when looking at team accomplishments, Ichiro led the Orix Blue Wave back to a prominent position in NPB. His team won Pacific League pennants in 1995 and 1996, with the second culminating in a Japan Series title over the Yomiuri Giants.

In my opinion, few players in MLB or NPB have ever demonstrated the combination of hitting ability and defensive skills that Ichiro has in his brilliant career. Five years after he hangs up his spikes, he will undoubtedly become the first Japanese player to be honored with a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.







Plain Talk



Shopping for clothes can be a huge pain, especially if you’re looking for something specific. With gazillions of clothes available at shops, we all know how hard and endless it could be to look for the perfect LBD. The Donde Fashion app searches through items from 6,000 brands using visual filters for clothing type, color, length, pattern, and price. It’s a visual search tool that doesn’t use keywords, but rather images to help you find the look you want faster. You can buy items in the app, add them to your wish list, or ask a friend what they think about that little black dress!

Say What:

Have you ever been puzzled by teenager slang terms and felt really old? Fear not! SayWhat for iOS explains what popular phrases like “PAP,” “bae,” and “TOPE” mean in 10-second videos posted by its community. FYI, "PAP - post a picture," "bae - baby," and "TOPE - mix of totally and dope." You can also have fun searching for a term or browsing through the feed of uploaded definitions. It’s the perfect app for anyone who’s not up to date on slang or pop culture. Language Learners can benefit too. No more confusion on LOL - laughing out loud with lots of love! LOL!


Tokyo Voice Column


La Luna by Kathleen Nguyen

After coming across a particularly cute short produced by Pixar/Disney called La Luna, it started me thinking about the moon and all her (or is it his?) legends. For La Luna, it seems to be an English legend, as it mentions being learned from Sir George Darwin, an astronomer and mathematician. The short pulls bits of inspiration from the story, with rowboats far in the middle of the ocean, ladders being used to stretch towards the moon, and the world suddenly being flipped right side up. It however strays as it tries to impart the existence of timeworn tradition in the grandfather and father, and the joy and wonder the young boy sees in their work and finding his own heritage-inspired style. In Sir Darwin's legend, the village would go to the moon in order to collect cheese, a common enough legend as the craters usually appear cheese-like to the gazing eye.

For my own childhood, as part of the Vietnamese heritage, we borrow a legend from the Chinese, but it's not usually passed down; our tradition instead is to have two moon festivals, steeped in the history of a farming economical structure. The moon is at its fullest, symbolizing health and wellness and also the end of harvest, a time of rest and celebration to rejoin with children that would have been working in the fields. Moon cakes are also passed out, named for the mung bean filling, looking yellow and golden in the night.

In U.S. school, I was regaled with tales of the Man in the Moon. There's multiple legends on how a man got there, including a Christian reference that it is Cain, the Wanderer, forced to forever circle the earth. We had a nursery rhyme, called Hey Diddle Diddle, and the most popular illustration involved a smiling moon, laughing, and encouraging the cow to jump over it. (A fork and spoon were eloping lovers). The same shadows and markings that the Americans used to draw the face of the man in the moon is used for the moon rabbit, the common legend in East Asia. In Japan and Korea, the rabbit is pounding rice cakes, and in China, the rabbit is making elixir of life.

So should you get the chance to enjoy a clear sky and a bright moon, allow your creativity to take over and wonder what might be happening on its surface.


ピクサー/ディズニーの短編映画、「La Luna」をたまたま見つけた。観賞後、月と月の伝説について思いをはせた。「La Luna」は天文学者であり、数学者であるサー・ジョージ・ダーウィンが唱えた月の起源の分裂説を示唆しており、イギリスの月伝説のようだ。「La Luna」は、大海原に浮かぶ小さなボートと月へとまっすぐ架けられた梯子、そして突然、場面は月の表面に変わる。ストーリーは祖父と父の信じる古いしきたりの違いや、祖父や父が受け継いできた仕事を知った少年の喜びや感動をはさみながら、自分のやり方を見つける少年を描く。






Strange but True


I'm prettier than that!

Pride goeth before a fall―and, for a woman on the run in Sydney, Australia, before an arrest. Police said Amy Sharp hated the mug shots that the police gave to media and attempted to supply photos she considered more flattering. Sharp, 18, is accused of escaping from a correctional facility on Aug. 19 where she was being held on “property offenses,”. The New South Wales police put out a bulletin asking for the public’s help and included two photos of the suspect looking glum with a blanket over her shoulders. Neither the police nor the station expected the response they’d get from the post, most notably from the suspect herself. Sharp allegedly replied to the post on Facebook, asking that the police pics be replaced with something more flattering! We all know what happened next. officers were able to track down Sharp.

Do you have Clown Phobia? Maybe you should.

Clown sightings in a South Carolina community have residents on high alert following reports that the masked figures are approaching children and even trying to lure them into nearby woods. The creepy sightings at an apartment complex allegedly began, when a resident relayed that her son said he saw clowns “whispering and making strange noises” in the nearby woods, according to an incident report. Several children said the clowns have appeared in woods behind one apartment building and that they “try to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money.” The apartment complex’s building management sent out a warning to residents. In the letter, which was posted on social media, the property manager reminded parents not to leave their children unsupervised outside at night. Clowns could be really creepy and scary...



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