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Yesterday I got my first copy of NOON: Journal of the Short Poem published by Philip Rowland right here in Japan.
It’s difficult to see in this photo, but the cover is hand bound (click on the photo for a slightly closer look) and the title is indicated in a hand-applied stamp too delicate to get on my camera. It features poems by my two good friends, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa and Margaret Stawowy.
For someone like me with limited time to read, picking up this beautifully designed book and opening it to read one of the gems of poetry is a true luxury.
Anyone looking for a copy can send $10 or 1000 yen to Philip Rowland, Minami Motomachi 4-49-506, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0012
We love Thespa, and one of us is an avid blood donator. It only eggs her on when she finds posters with her favorite players showing off their little Red Cross cards showing how much blood they’ve contributed for the good of society. She has probably donated more than they have! (And I’ll have you know that I once donated blood because SHE wanted the poster of the Japanese National Soccer Team that was on offer.)
Having moaned and groaned about WaMu (see below) I would now like to say a word about an up-and-coming translation. The book will be a combination of the two above titles, English title yet to be decided. They were both written by Tadahiko Ito, who is also my latest hero. Ito worked for Sumitomo Bank for many years before being assigned president of Kansai Bank , a small local bank on the brink of closure due to the many loans it made during the “bubble” economy years to people making a living off of buying up real estate and then selling it again for a quick profit. (Sound familiar?)
Within seven years, Ito had turned the bank completely around, and it is now one of the top regional banks in Japan. As you may guess, the books tell the story of his amazing work getting the bank back up on its feet. Following the collapse of so many banks in Japan and in the US due to unstable real estate markets, you may not be surprised to hear that he completely revamped his lending process. Instead of putting the emphasis on collateral (what the bank gets if a borrower defaults on its loan), he began to take a good look at the businesses he was financing. In a nutshell, Ito saved a bank based on altruistic business practices. The idea was to save the bank, take care of the employees, take care of the customers and benefit society as a whole.
Amazing but true. Look forward to a book that lets you know how Ito succeeded and his advice on how anyone can succeed. This book isn’t The Secret and it is certainly no get-rich-quick scheme–be prepared to have your notions of “success” turned upside down!
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I was distressed to see that my US bank, WaMu has been foreclosed. Glad to see it has been repurchased, and am trying hard to believe my small but comforting account is guaranteed. It is not amusing to feel the ripple effect of Fannie and Freddie all the way over here on the other side of the pond.
I should have spent more in California this summer instead of keeping a nest egg in the bank for my next trip!
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