Tag: Japan

The Eleventh Hour and Sick Around the World: Studies on the U.S. Healthcare system

What did I learn from the novel and the PBS videos?

Both the novel and the documentary film has been full of relevant information for me.  I learnt different things from the two different media.  The novel The Eleventh Hour is a unique mélange of fact and fiction.  That it presents details pertaining to the American healthcare system in the form of an engaging story made it easy for me to focus and keep track.  As the drama of the story unfolded I was able to pick up facts about the healthcare system that were erstwhile unknown to me.

Sick Around the World, on the other hand, offered me a comparative perspective on several leading healthcare systems. I was astounded that countries which are less economically powerful than the United States offer a better healthcare deal to their citizens.  The five countries studied by the PBS documentary crew – Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland – all have cheaper average per . . . Read More

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Heaven and Earth (Ten To Chi To) by Haruki Kadokawa

The film in question is a Japanese period film released in 1990.  The main theme of the film is war and its impact on warriors and common people.  For a student of history, the film presents a fairly accurate presentation of costumes, art and architecture of 16th century Japan.  Watching the film was like going to a museum of history with an impressive assembly of artifact and costume in display.

The film is useful for the student of political science as well.  The bloody conflict between the warlords Takeda and Kagetora is typical of the fractious political atmosphere in medieval Japan.  Kagetora, though not a pacifist, is powerfully drawn to that idea.  He is shown in the film as someone with a compassionate heart and someone who cared for his people deeply.  He doesn’t want his subjects to suffer and is thus thinks thoroughly before going to war.  But circumstances, especially the claim to leadership of a unified Japan, greatly inspire him.  It is . . . Read More

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Special Qualities of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Woodblock prints are an integral part of Japanese art and culture in the centuries gone past. In many ways, the techniques of craft and reproduction that were pioneered and mastered by the Japanese were more advanced than what their European contemporaries were able to achieve. Although woodblock prints were in circulation as early as the eighth century A.D., it was only since the 17th century that they reached their peak creative expression. Woodblock prints spanning the entire millennia have served a crucial cultural purpose in Japan, as they were second only to the oral tradition in propagating folklore, history and customs of the people. Not only were the woodblock prints a source of entertainment and enchantment, they were also vital to the propagation of Buddhist philosophy and art. (Priest, 1959) As a consequence, the evolution of Zen Buddhism in Japan is neatly documented in this medium of art. The rest of this essay will analyze two Japanese woodblock prints – taken one . . . Read More

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Toyota: Origins, Evolution and Prospects

The story of Japanese car manufacturing company Toyota is one of the enduring successes in the history of manufacturing industry. From a small, obscure entity in 1947, it has now risen to the second spot in terms of global sales. Over the past 30 years, Toyota Motor Corp. has not only been the envy of the automotive industry

“but also been held in high esteem as a symbol of manufacturing and leadership excellence in the business world. In fact, the Toyota brand has been touted as the pinnacle of automotive excellence by rating agencies (e.g., Consumer Reports) and industry consultants alike, and this status has been reflected in a continuous stream of high marks in consumer confidence. (Piotrowski & Guyette, 2010, p.89)

It was Mr. Toyoda Sakichi, who provided the original impetus to the young company. This entrepreneur and inventor par excellence translated some of the creative ideas he employed in the textile industry to the fledgling . . . Read More

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Media and police response to football hooliganism have tended to be disproportionate to the nature and extent of the phenomenon

Football Hooliganism has been given plenty of attention in all forms of the media.  One of the reasons why it has garnered such coverage is because it is apolitical and suits all political parties to condemn it.  Furthermore, the violence and vitriol involved in acts of hooliganism are material that are easy to sell.  In other words, the sensationalism inherent in news items of this sort interest audiences of different age groups and backgrounds.  So one could argue that media’s extensive coverage of this phenomenon has more to do with marketing the media product rather than any upkeep of journalistic values.  With this understanding one could also see the role of police in a different light.  They could be perceived as agents in the content creation process, who contribute by giving information and video footage of hooligans.   And since the media seldom question instances of police mistreatment of hooligans, they tend to act brashly and ruthlessly in controlling the . . . Read More

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Is the rape simulator video game good or bad for democracy?

Throughout human history violent forms of entertainment have existed alongside refined ones.  In Ancient Rome, for example, when modern mediums of entertainment such as Television, video games, etc did not exist, gladiator fights were a popular pass-time.  This prompted Saint Augustine to note that not only did people liked violence as passive spectators, but it has also induced in them a ‘fascination for blood’.  Today,  such violence-ridden games like gladiator fights are forbidden by law and social norms.  But the ‘fascination for blood’, apparently inherent to human nature, is exploited by movie makers and video-game manufacturers.  The movie titled Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe, is one example of this phenomenon; the controversial rape simulator video game produced in Japan is another key example.  While the former is legally permitted and is accepted by mainstream audiences and commentators, the latter has not gained approval on both legal . . . Read More

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The relationship between rising affluence and reduction in waste emissions

Rising affluence has been associated with a reduction in the production of waste emissions within the UK. However, the waste emissions associated with the total consumption in the UK have risen. Can both these statements can be true?

There is little doubt that contemporary industrial society is increasingly becoming more consumerist.  The story of the twentieth century is the story of large multi-national corporations, some of which have an annual revenue surpassing the GDP of several sovereign countries.  Such a situation gives these corporations enormous power over the lives of citizens and the kind of lifestyle choices they can make.  One particular aspect of this consumerist society is the mountains of waste that it creates.  Due to demands on minimum expected quality of many of the consumer goods, the companies manufacturing them follow elaborate packaging procedures, the disposal of which adds to the total rubbish . . . Read More

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The growth of Asian arts in Europe and America

The infiltration of pieces of Asian art into the museums and art houses of Europe and America goes back a long way. In spite of the obvious cultural differences between the hemispheric East and West, the exchange of artefacts across the divide is as old as international commerce. Asian art has not only found patronage in the West, but have also had a significant influence in moulding the European and American conception of art. This essay will explore these developments in greater detail and find out why Asian art and artists have found acceptance and patronage in the West. Scholarly sources in the form of journal articles have been perused for composing this essay.

Recently in the United States of America, The Asia Society organized a couple of important exhibitions, which typify the changing perception of Asian art in the West. The exhibition called ‘Buddha of the Future’ featured a bronze statue of Buddhist deity Maitreya which is nearly twelve hundred years old. . . . Read More

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The importance of the Battle of Midway to the outcome of war in the Pacific theatre

The Battle of Midway remains one of the pivotal events of World War II, precipitating the beginning of the end of Japanese ascendancy in the Asia Pacific region. The military confrontation between the United States of America and the Japanese Empire escalated in the early months of 1942, as strategic territories located in and around the Pacific Ocean saw unprecedented levels of attritional warfare. The following passages will analyze the unfolding of events during the Battle of Midway from various authors’ viewpoints and place this battle in the wider context of the Second World War and the then emergent new world order.

To begin with, let us consider the book written by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully titled Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. The most remarkable aspect of this book is the fact that the authors try to present the political and military developments from the point of view of the Japanese. American and British documentations of . . . Read More

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Sick Around the World by Frontline

The documentary film Sick Around The World deals with the topic of healthcare systems across the world. In the film, five capitalist democratic countries are chosen for analysis. The rest of this essay will briefly describe these, scrutinize their pros and cons and identify the best among the lot. The essay finally attempts to find ‘the best’ system’s suitability to the United States economy and the possible consequences in the event of being applied.

In terms of ‘cost to patient’, the United Kingdom’s healthcare system is the undisputed leader in the world. The government acts in twin roles of 1.healthcare provider and 2.patient insurer. The government gathers funds for healthcare costs beforehand through an ingenuous method of taxation. Of course, as could be expected with a “socialized medicine” model, there are the usual bureaucratic hassles. But apart from that, the UK healthcare system boasts an enviable record of health management and impressive patient . . . Read More

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