Tag: australia

Aussie ‘X’ Gender Passports Given the Wako Treatment in Japan

Wako University’s train posters.

Australia’s revolutionary passports have been given the Wako treatment in Japan.
No, that’s not a spelling mistake (it’s pronounced Wah-Koh, not whacko), nor does it mean Down Under travel documents are being held up to ridicule.
In fact, Wako University, a tertiary institution located in the outer Tokyo suburb of Machida, typically uses posters hung up in the carriages of capital area trains to provide a short lesson for commuters.
The university’s current poster focuses on how Australia now deals with the issue of gender when it comes to issuing passports.
The distinctive yellow posters, effectively an advertisement for the privately funded university, feature a kangaroo with joey and people traveling through what is probably supposed to be Immigration Control at an airport.
The posters hail the Australian practice of allowing passport holders to state their gender as either “male,” “female” or “X” is being held up as a virtuous practice that signifies changing recognition of societal norms.
Wako is probably best known in Japan for rescinding an entry offer it made to one of the daughters of Shoko Asahara in 2004. Asahara, of course, was the Aum Shinrikyo cult guru convicted for masterminding the 1995 Tokyo Subway Sarin Gas Attacks that killed 12 and left thousands more sickened. While the university may preach tolerance and show support for it in things like the posters, it doesn’t always necessarily act that way. Incidentally, the president of the university at the time had just published a book expressing outrage at discrimination.

A Translation of the Train Carriage Poster Message:
Gender is decided from the moment we’re born. But that accepted thought may be about to change. A good example of that comes from Australian passports. As well as ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ they also have a selection option of ‘X’ to describe gender. This change was brought about in response to claims made by sexual minorities and to limit discomfort at Immigration Control when the stated gender and external appearance differed.

Wako University’s airport kangaroo and joey.

What we learned from this is that people on the borderline of being a man or woman are not decided naturally, but can change if society concurs with that. If we change our conceptions of what constitutes gender, we’ll no longer see our lives or experiences bound by perceptions of what a “man” or “woman” should be and become that kind of society where anyone can live.
Thinking about what gender is can provide an opportunity to change society.

The Original Text on the Train Carriage Poster

How a Koo Wee Rup-Ture Created the Legendary Aisha the Geisha

Aisha the Geisha in Koo Wee Rup with her favorite sheep, Baaabara.

Becoming a geisha, a practitioner of Japan’s arts in a rigidly controlled, hierarchical society with customs dating back centuries, takes a rare kind of inner strength, and doubly so as a foreigner in a world insular even for the generally inward-looking Japanese.

Aisha adds some Japanese refinement to the ancient Australian tradition of smoko.

A Koo Wee Rup cutie displayed such power after being mercilessly dumped by her Nar Nar Goon goon as she wrenched herself away from the attractions of asparagus farming, booted the Blundstones, rammed the shears and shoved aside all the old cows’ bullshit to create the legend of Aisha the Geisha.
Aisha dedicated herself to embodying Japan’s tradition-seeped, delicate, refined arts where every move is executed with a deft touch, grace of movement and smidgen of coquettishness.

Aisha the Geisha about the silence the lambs….

Yet, learning the ancient arts of seduction didn’t necessarily require Aisha to forget about her roots, or cast down her hoe. Indeed, while trying to woo back her errant asparaguser, Aisha remained ever-adept at cow-patting and spark plugging while using her new-found charms to bring elegance to a typical smoko and display her social conscience by campaigning for geisha cyclists’ rights.
Memoirs of an Aisha tells the compelling tale of an Aussie farm girl’s troubles in Tokyo, providing a light-hearted look at a lass from Down Under’s jolly jaunt in Japan, a land where comedy is taken with earnest seriousness.

Memoirs of an Aisha
Rue Bebelons
267 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
DATES: 26-30 Sept and 1 Oct
TIME: 7.00pm, Sun 8.30pm, Mon 6.30pm (50min)
Full: $15
TO BOOK visit melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9666
Marc Corley
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Memoirs of an Aisha

Sept. 26 to Oct. 14, 2012
Memoirs of an Aisha Media Release
Melbourne Fringe Festival ’12

Aussie Deli…cious!!! Not Authentic Aussie but Still Yummy オージー・デリ、、、シャス!!!

McDonald’s Japan’s Aussie Deli

McDonald’s Japan finally began long-awaited sales of the Aussie Deli at its outlets across the country from Aug. 31 for a couple of weeks.
Kangaeroo.com has been skeptical about the burger, which comes in two versions — the premium sandwich with cheese and the plain burger. The main ingredient is uncooked pastrami beef in the cold burger and spicy mustard sauce acting as the main condiment. Our big beef, if you’ll pardon the pun, is that although the burgers are being promoted as Australian, the taste is nothing like food served Down Under, where local flavored McDonald’s includes beetroot, eggs and even pineapple.
Thus we went into the taste test hoping to vindicate our anger at the Golden Arches’ affront of both Japanese consumers and Aussie McGourmands. And we must report the result that our misgivings were totally groundless. Admittedly, the pastrami and spicy mustard are not Australian tastes by any stretch of the word (earlier today, there was coincidentally a report in a prominent Australian newspaper that needed to explain what pastrami was to its readers, such is the rarity of its appearance on dining plates Down Under). Nonetheless, the burger is scrumptious, offering a refreshing, tangy taste. Although the sandwich in both its varieties possibly lacks a little beef in terms of volume, what substance it does provide the eater comes from the healthy serving of pastrami, which of course is Aussie Beef.

McDonald’s Japan’s Aussie Deli with Cheese

Overall, the verdict on the Aussie Deli and Cheese Aussie Deli is….Aussie Deli…cious!!! (And Kangaeroo.com also got the added bonus of a serving of humble pie for our pre-sale skepticism.)

Incidentally, the real Aussie Deli types sold in Australian McDonald’s restaurants from 2004 to 2010 were the following:
Bacon and Egg.
Chicken Tandoori.
Turkey and Cranberry.
Chicken Caesar.
Deluxe Brekkie Roll
Sweet Chilli Chicken (trial in Newcastle, NSW)
Classic Ham (October 2004 – April 2006)
Italian Supreme (October 2004 – April 2006)
Veggie Presto (October 2004 – April 2006)
Change of Roast Beef to Barbecue Roast Beef (October 2004 – April 2006)
Barbecue Roast Beef (April 2006 – September 2007)
Chicken Parmigiana
Sweet Chilli Chicken roll.
BLT roll (part of Australian Bacon promotion)
Thai Chicken
Australian Aussie Deli TV Ads


‘Naughty Korea’ and ‘Nice Korea’ on the 2012 London Olympic Games medal tally produced by the mX free newspapers distributed in Australian east coast cities.

 オーストラリア東海岸3都市に無料で配れるフリーペーパーmXが2012年ロンドン五輪メダル表に「Naughty Korea」と「Nice Korea」と北朝鮮と韓国をそれぞれ表示したことに対して北朝鮮の国営通信社である朝鮮中央通信社(KCNA)が猛烈に怒りを示した。


The guerilla marketed, kangaroo-branded condoms that appeared in the Olympic Village at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

 カンガルーがロゴとしたコンドームがいきなり2012年ロンドンオリンピック選手村に表れ、ロンドン五輪準備委員会はもめているとオーストラリア紙The Ageが8日報道した。

いち早くCool Japanを先駆けて80・90年代の豪テレビCM

Mr. Okamura, an unforgettable character in NEC ads in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s.

Japan was trending in Australia long before it became flavor of the month in the way it has in recent years courtesy of Cool Japan.
During the late 1980s through to the mid-1990s, a time when trade friction between a seemingly unstoppable Japan and the struggling United States resulted in such incidents as American autoworkers using sledgehammers to demolish a Japanese car, Australia was slowly moving out of its self-imposed isolation to embrace the Asia-Pacific region and building the firm relationship it now has with Japan. Australia was a pioneer in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) and Working Holiday programs now welcoming thousands of people from all over the world to Japan.
Part of Australia’s embracing of Japan during this time came through the “Japanese character” often picked up by advertisers for use on Australian TV, a trend that Mitsubishi Australia began in a 1978 ad featuring sumo wrestlers and introducing into the lexicon a still commonly used phrase of “not so squeezy” to describe a roomy atmosphere (or, alternatively when used ironically, a tight spot). This trend also made NEC’s character, Mr. Okamura, and the fisherman in the John West commercials, popular across the country.
バブル当時、オーストラリアは日本に近づこうとした。その一環としてテレビCMで「日本人キャラ」を起用することがあった。1978年三菱の豪現地法人がはじめだった。キャビン・スペースが広いトラックのCMでの、「Not so squeezy」(きつくないという意味が、皮肉的に使う場合も稀ではない)が今でもオージー英語でよく使われている。また、NECのキャラだった「Mr.Okamura」や焼津の漁師は今でも多くのオーストラリア人にとって懐かしい思い出である。

Aussie Pair in Contention for one of Japan’s Top Talent Contests

Ayano Wakayama (left) and Runa Takahashi, Aussie finalists in the 13th Japan Bishojo Contest

A pair of Gold Coast teens are among the finalists in the 13th Japan Bishojo Contest, a beauty and talent pageant for young women that has been the launching pad for some of Japan’s top female performers over the past 25 years.
Aussie-born Gold Coast residents Ayano Wakayama and Runa Takahashi are among the 21 finalists in the contest to be decided in Tokyo on Aug. 25, 2012.
The contest is open to young women aged 13 to 20 who want to become a star. Among the previous prizewinners in the contest who have gone on to become prominent performers in Japan include stars such as Aya Ueto, Ryoko Yonekura and Kaori Mochida.
Both Ayano and Runa are 14-year-old, Year Nine students from the Gold Coast. Ayano’s hobbies include ballet and other forms of dancing, while Runa enjoys horseriding and skiing.
Ayano Wakayama Promotional Video
Ayano Wakayama Profile (Japanese)

Runa Takahashi Promotional Video
Runa Takahashi Profile (Japanese)

13th Japan Bishojo Contest Official Site (Japanese)
Vote (and see current voting results) here.