Author: Kangaeroo

Kangaeroo.com Kit Dares to Dazzle!

Kangaeroo.com jersey rear

The third, and latest, version of Kangaeroo.com cycling kit has come off the production line and is ready to dazzle.

This year, for the first time ever, Kangaeroo.com cycling kit includes a vest and bib shorts.

The kit is a full supplement of spring-summer gear in a predominantly Aussie-wattle hue with gum-leaf green lettering.

The brighter gear reflects a shift to a new environment.

Kangaeroo.com cycling kit comprises a jersey, bib shorts and vest.

The jersey features the Kangaeroo.com thinking kangaroo logo on the front, rear and both sleeves.

The website title and URL also appear on the front, rear and sleeves.

The jersey base is wattle gold with gum leaf green lettering.

Kangaeroo.com jersey front

Meanwhile, the spring vest is an almost identical design, but has a larger logo and no lettering on the front.

And the bib shorts are black with wattle gold side panels containing the Kangaeroo.com logo and website URL in English on the right leg and Japanese on the left leg.

Kangaeroo.com kit first appeared in 2017 with a white jersey, black sleeves and an embroidery patch kangaroo on the left sleeve.

A second version of the kit came out two years later, this time entirely black.

Both kits featured the website title in Japanese and English, the URL and the thinking kangaroo logo on the front and rear of the shirts.

Kangaeroo is a portmanteau of the Japanese word kangaeru, to think, and ‘roo, an abbreviation of kangaroo, Australia’s national animal and a symbol of the country.

Amazing Alex’s Aussie Oasis in Tokyo’s Tama

Kangaeroo Corner

Sometimes, little miracles come into your life in unexpected ways. Alex Endo has done that for Kangaeroo.com by transforming a little plot of land in Tokyo’s Tama region into a tiny slice of Australia.

たまに思わず小さな奇跡が寄ってくる。東京多摩地区の小さな庭を「考えRooコーナー」に変革し、まるでオーストラリアの1画に変えることによって遠藤”アレックス”昭さんがそのような奇跡を起こした。

With a well-laid plan going back a few months and a few hours of hard work, Alex took a plain plot of land in a housing estate and transformed it into a “Kangaeroo Corner,” a glorious Australian garden, delightfully designed and rich in Aussie plants. It brought unbridled delight into the hearts of the Kangaeroo.com family.

数か月前の計画に基づき、数時間の労力によって何とも言えない普通の老人たちが住む団地のい1画を華やかなオーストラリア庭に変革し、考えRoo.com家族の人たちの心にはかり知らない喜びをもたらせていただいた。

Alex lived in Australia and became an expert on Australian plants. Once his career as a salaryman was over, he dedicated his life in retirement to spreading the word about the charms of Australian plants in Japan. He has appeared on the telly, written books, gives lessons and actually gardens. Mrs. Kangaeroo.com discovered Alex, asked him to take charge of the Kangaeroo.com garden and, thankfully, he agreed to the request. As the gallery shows, Alex designed and made a garden that exceeded so superb it exceeded all expectations.

アレックスさんは、昔オーストラリアに住み、オージー・プランツの達人となった。サラリーマン人生が終わり、第二の人生では日本でオージープランツの魅力を伝えることにした。テレビに出演し、図鑑を出版し、レッスンを行い、実際にガーデニングも行っています。Mrs.考えRooのおかげでアレックスさんが依頼を受けて、幸いに考えRoo自身の庭を造っていただいた。ギャラリーで見るように想像もつかないほど素晴らしい仕上がりはしている。

To be brutally honest, Kangaeroo had never really been interested in a garden or gardening, but Kangaeroo found the garden that Alex made absolutely breathtaking, became thoroughly engrossed in getting out in the garden and looking after the little plot of delight has now become one of life’s daily joys. Alex’s brilliance shows in all sorts of ways, one of which is his clear love of Australian plants and how they motivate his efforts. Kangaeroo is a clear beneficiary of that. To return that kindness, it’s up to Kangaeroo to rigorously look after the garden, and show some love for it on a daily basis.

正直に言うと考えRooが庭にあまり興味がないがアレックスさんが造ったオージー・ガーデンが出来て、息が取られたぐらい感動し、庭の仕事がとっても楽しむようになり、これからの成長を日々の喜び生きがいの一つとしている。アレックスさんの素晴らしさがあっちこっちで表れるが、その一つがオージー・プランツの愛で動機づけられているようで言動で見せています。考えRooがそれを非常に得している。恩返しとして、庭の低入りで必死に頑張り、庭を日々愛することを。

It’s worth noting that as Alex and his mate, Takeuchi-san, were transforming Kangaeroo Corner, the neighbors took an enormous interest and came to take a closer look. Chatting with with neighbors later in the week, one even asked if it was OK to bring a friend to come and have a look at what an amazing job Alex had done for the Kangaeroo garden. Considering the neighbors are no slouches when it comes to the gardening game and take great pride in their own plots, it was praise of the highest degree.

特筆すべきは、アレックスと相棒のタケウチさんが「考えRooコーナー」を改造している時に、近所の方々が非常に興味を持ち、よく見に来たことだ。その週の数日後、近所の方とお話した時、その方が「友人を見に行くために誘っていい?」と聞かれるまで興味深かった「考えRooコーナー」の仕事の素晴らしいの証と受け止めている。近所の方々は皆さんガーデニングがお上手で、自分のお庭に誇りを持っておられることを考えると、最高の褒め言葉でした。

Kangaeroo.com is deeply grateful to Alex for his design and hard work in producing the garden, and Takeuchi-san for his wonderful help. Thanks also to Mrs. Kangaeroo for getting the whole thing rolling, and to Mrs. Kangaeroo’s brother and sister for their great efforts and hard work in creating Kangaeroo Corner.

はじめてのオージープランツ図鑑 (Alex’s book on Aussie plants <Japanese>).

Alex’s Garden Party <Alex’s blog in Japanese>.

異彩を放つオージープランツの寄せ植え講座 (Alex’s lessons on Aussie gardens <Japanese>)

オズのアホ使い

 考えRooの母国であるオーストラリアでは、国名を省略して「オズ」と呼ぶことがある。

 偶然に、考えるRooの生き方は馬鹿な言動が中心となっていた。

 つきましては、「オズのアホ使い」と呼ばれても全然問題ないと思う。

 具体的なことを言えないが、分かる人は分かる。いくらでも成功する機会が与えられ、裕福になれてもおかしくない過去があった。

 しかし、貧乏で終わって、キャリアも何もならなかったというかキャリア事態はなかったというほど達成感がない。しょうがない。

 それはそれでも変えられない。このもんだ。それでも十分。というか、これで満足しています。「オズのアホ使い」らしい生き方をして、最後までもそうだろう。

 結局、考えRooはもう少し考えるべきだったかもしれない。

Reminiscing: The First Time Australia Mattered in Kangaeroo’s Japan

How the now defunct Daily Yomiuri reported on Australian politics in Japan in 1991.

Kangaeroo has lived in Japan since the late ’80s, just as the Showa Era (reign of Emperor Hirohito from 1926-1989) drew to a close.

Japan back then had possibly an even stronger fascination with English than it does even today, especially as it was far less accessible in a slower, less connected world.

But English and overseas meant America and Japan had an obsession for the United States. Occasionally, news would filter through from other powers, such as then recently reunited Germany, France, Italy, Britain and the crumbling Soviet Union and Russia.

It was rare, pretty close to unheard of, really, for Australia to attract much attention in a Japan then apparently poised to overcome the U.S. as the world’s leading economy.

So unheard of, actually, that when Oz did make news, it was enough for Kangaeroo to grab a copy of the English paper from a kiosk at Shibuya Station. And keep it for more than 30 years!

Paul Keating had just successfully challenged Bob Hawke as prime minister and took over leadership of a country in a deep recession. Here’s how the Daily Yomiuri reported the matter in its lead story for the December 20, 1991 edition.

Paul Keating New Premier Of Australia

SYDNEY (AP) – Australian Prime Minister Bow Hawke’s record eight-year reign ended Thursday when he was deposed by his former deputy, Paul Keating, in a Labor Party coup.

Keating’s victory was the culmination of two years of bitter rivalry between Australia’s two most powerful and charismatic politicians.

Hawke, whose standing with the public and fellow party members had tumbled along with the economy, called a special meeting of the Labor Party’s 110-member parliamentary caucus to decide the leadership issue which has split the party and divided the nation.

In a procedural move preceding a planned confidence vote, Hawke resigned and offered himself for reelection. Keating, who quit as treasurer when he failed in his first challenge on June 3, won the secret ballot 56-51. Three party members were not able to attend.

“It’s a very humbling experience, and I feel the poignancy of the moment,” Keating said as he emerged from the caucus room.

“The thing the government must do is get coinfidence in Australia going again…confidence of the people and confidence in the business community,” Keating told reporters later.

For his part, Hawke seemed on the verge of tears at a news conference but also joked with reporters. “I fought the good fight. The fight is over,” Hawke said.

“If this was 11 years ago, I’d be getting pretty thoroughly drunk,” the former world champion beer drinker-turned-teetotaler said when asked what his immediate plans were.

“I leave the prime ministership proud of my accomplishments. The Australia of 1991 is a profoundly better place than the one in 1983 that I inherited…more tolerant, more compassionate, more competitive.”

Hawke congratulated Keating and vowed to support him.

Keating launched his bid for leadership claiming Hawke had promised to stand down as prime minister after the election in March 1990.

Keating (left), meeting with then Emperor Akihito during a meeting at the Imperial Palace in September 1992.

That would have given Keating enough time to settle in before leading the party into the next parliamentary election, which legally must be held by 1993. The party winning the most seats also win’s the prime minister’s seat, with the party leader becoming the prime minister.

Among Keating’s first duties will be to host U.S. President George Bush’s visit to Australia on Dec. 31-Jan. 3. He also faces the daunting task of healing the deep wounds that Labor has suffered from the leadership struggle.

Calls for more forceful leadership have become increasingly strident as the economy wallows in recession. Figures released last week showed that unemployment climbed to 10.5 percent in November, the highest since World War II.

The Labor Party, already suffering from sinking popularity, has fallen further behind in the polls in the weeks since the opposition coalition announced plans for a major revamp of the tax system.

Hawke recently fell behind opposition leader John Hewson for the first time in opinion polls. The man who once boasted a 75 percent approval rate has seen it plunge to around 25 percent.

The party has badly missed the 47-year-old Keating in a Cabinet role. While viewed as somewhat cold and sometimes brutal to antagonistic questioners, his uncompromising and forthright style as treasurer won respect from the international finance community.

The leadership issue has been simmering since Keating’s first challenge on June 3 and came to a head last Thursday when a group of six Cabinet ministers, all strong supporters of Hawke, met with their leader to suggest he quit.

Keating (left) meeting with then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama during a visit to Japan in 1995

Keating would go on to lead Australia for the next five years, including an election win that was totally unexpected and increased Labor’s majority in 1993. He became a strong advocate of Australia fostering closer relations with Asian nations, including Japan, and remains so to this day. Keating lost the prime ministership to John Howard in 1996 and Australia would lurch strongly to the right and cling ever closer to the Anglosphere in a trend that remains pretty much unabated to this day. Keating’s pro-Asian stance would also usher in the racist Pauline Hanson, a polarizing figure and apparent far-right extremist when she emerged on the scene as a member of the Liberal Party in the mid-1990s, her views as leader of her own party, One Nation, are now regarded as almost mainstream. Indeed, Mark Latham, a former Labor Party leader once strongly likened to Keating, has become her closest and most outspoken political ally. Howard was strongly criticized as prime minister when he refused to condemn Hanson’s racism.

Hawke and Keating would patch up their differences and resume their strong friendship, which held until Hawke died in 2019. The recession that ended Hawke’s leadership and led to the Keating era was over the quarter the news reported above. Australia’s economic growth would continue uninterrupted for over 110 quarters until the pandemic hit.

Japan and Australia have since 1991 built an extremely strong relationship that it becoming even closer as the two countries deal with the looming threat of China.

Nonetheless, news of Australia remains a rarity in Japan, largely relating the annual bushfire season and occasionally a prime ministerial or sporting visit. But Australia is an undisputedly more significant presence in the Japan of 2022 than it had been in 1991.

オーストラリア最大恐竜がエロマンガに

エロマンガの恐竜オブジェ

 オーストラリアの最大恐竜がエロマンガにあった。

 本当。

 下品なことを考えってんじゃねぇよ!エロマンガはオーストラリア先住民の言葉で「風がよく吹く平野」という意味だそう。

 エロマンガは、北部クイーンズランド州にある小さな村です。石油とオパール鉱業が中心となっている人口約40人の村である。

海から最も遠く離れている町を豪No.1のエロマンガ

 1990年代までエロマンガ有名なことはオーストラリア内で海から最も遠く離れている町ということだった。(今でもそうと主張しているが、そうじゃないという人もいます。)

 いずれにせよ、クイーンズランド州都ブリスベーンから約1,000キロ西の方に置かれている。

 1994年にチャリ乗りの少年が化石を見つけて、以降次から次へ恐竜の化石が発見された。

 2007年にみつかった化石が今までオーストラリアで最も大きいな恐竜のものだった。

 その恐竜がティタノザウルス類の一種であり、エロマンんがの恐竜がクーパーと名付けられた。

 しかし、名前は名前なので、当然にエロマンガという村が日本に注目を浴びた。

 数多くの日本のエロ漫画や普通の漫画もエロマンガの話が出ています。

ティタノザウルスがエロマンガに存在した風景

 その中は「ニニンがシノブ伝」、「サムライフラメンコ」というまでもなくオーストラリアで児童ポルノとして禁じられている「エロマンガ先生」がある。

 今、エロマンガに恐竜研究が励んでいる。

 2017年に開館したエロマンガ自然博物館が運営しているが、コロナ禍で苦しんでいるだろう。

 それでも、間違いなくエロマンガがオーストラリア恐竜研究・跡地の最前線にひとつということはまちがいない。

 これからもエロマンガにますます期待できるだろう。

 

 

 

クロス・コーヒーに感謝

 クロス・コーヒーは、東京多摩地区の矢野口にあるサイクリストに大変人気なコーヒーショップである。

 昔は常連だったが、引っ越ししてあまり行かなくなった。

 正直に言うと、最高な評判ほどいい店だと思わなかったです。

 値段が割高で食べ物が美味しくても微量で食べても食べても食べたりない気持ちだけでいっぱいになった。

 でも、スタッフもいいし、仲間もそこで集まるので、とってもいい面もあった。

 だが、今日は、考えRooがクロス・コーヒーに大変助けられ、心底から感謝しています。

 昼のライドはデスマシンであるタイガー車で乗ることにした。ちょっと春らしい天気となって、スピードが出せないリカンベントに乗れる時間があったので、行こうとした。「ツールを持っていけ」と自分に何回も言い聞かせた。ツールがいつもタイガー車となりに泊めているチャリにおいてあるので、わざわざ前に持っているバッグを持ってツールを入れようと思ったが、忘れた。よくあることなので、意識もしなかった。

 しかし、約10キロ走ったら、前輪が揺られはじまった。

タイガー車

 「くそ!」

 すぐに分かった。パンク。また、面倒くさい前輪だ。

 「くそ。本当にくそ!」

 しかし、クロスが近かったので、道具も空気入りも使えると思って、押し歩いて。

 店につくとタイヤレバーを借りようと思ったが、販売品しかなかったので、買わされた。金欠なので、ちょっと不満だったが、気持ちよく支払った。

 ここからクロスのすごさが表れた。

 持って行ったインナーチューブが別のサイズのホイール用だった。クロスが求めているサイズを売っていない。おまけ、前輪を外したが、また取りけられない。リカンベントの難しいところの一つ。

 でも、クロスの店長であるトニオさんがその時間を上手く活用して頂いた。

 あっちこっちの自転車屋に電話しまくって、チューブがるところを探していただいた。

 場所を地図上で教えて頂いて歩いた。遠くないはずから歩いて10分のところ自転車屋を探してが見当たらない。

 「この辺にあるはずだ」と思いながら、可愛くて若い女性に声をかけられた。

 「すみません。クロスのものですが。自転車屋を探していますよね。」

 「ええ」

 「あの、すみませんが、多分方向が逆だと思います」と礼儀正しく言われた。

 その方がわざわざ考えRooをおっかけて、ちゃんと探していたところまで誘導して頂きました。

 その自転車屋さんはアトリエフルーブでした。珍しいサイズのチューブもスペースをよく食うリカンベント修理できる場所も空気入り貸して頂きました。今度、ゆっくりと店を見ます。

 数分立ったら、タイガー車がちゃんと治って急いで帰ることが出来た。

 とっても感謝しています。さすがに日本人のサービス精神も優しさをさらに実感出来ました。

 天気も良かったので、恵まれた一日となった。サイクリングが最高!

 

Pushing Pedals in an Exploration to Find Tokyo’s Myriad Monsters

Befitting the world’s largest city’s proclivity for being destroyed – and saved – over and again on almost countless occasions over the past several decades, Godzilla is an almost ubiquitous presence in Tokyo.

Godzilla can be found roaming in several parts of Tokyo, from the leafy suburbs of Denenchofu right in the central hub areas of Shinjuku, where he peers over the Kabukicho entertainment district, to the posh shopping area of Hibiya.

Inspired by Tokyo Time Out’s feature from last summer on the 10 monsters you’ll meet in Tokyo, Kangaeroo finally got on the bike and headed out to check out the creepy colossuses dotting Tokyo’s streets and parks.

Godzilla is probably the quintessential Japanese monster, so gets first write-up. Godzilla statues can be found in many areas associated with Toho, the film studio that first gave birth to the creature.

Toho Studios has a huge mural and a statue dedicated to its most famous monster. Godzilla also looms over cinemas in central Tokyo.

Godzilla in Hibiya
Hibiya’s Godzilla viewed from a safe spot
Godzilla looms over Kabukicho

Godzilla has a long-term rival in King Kong, dating back to the early 1960s in Japan, and also prominent in Hollywood. Although not specified as such, considering the enormity of the beast, it’s little surprise that the gigantic ape also occupies a prime position in Tokyo’s annals of monsters.

King Kong-like giant apes can be found along Setagaya-dori, an arterial road leading into central Tokyo from the western suburbs.

Setagaya-dori’s gorilllas

The first Kong adorns a glasses store. There are actually two gorillas, one with a headband, holding a lovebug and sucking on a cigar, and the other an apparent offspring bearing a flag urging road users to drive safely, somewhat ironic considering how much of a distraction it is on the busy road.

The next great ape is a few kilometers further down the same road in Sangenjaya, a mini-hub from the suburbs on the road into the Tokyo sub-center of Shibuya and meeting point for Route 246, a prime road in Tokyo that also heads out of the capital toward Odawara, Hakone and Mount Fuji.

Sangenjaya’s great gorilla sits atop a convenience store in a bustling shopping street leading off the main route. It holds a a woman in its hands and a smaller gorilla also adorns the entry to the building.

Sangenjaya gorilla

The reason for the existence of these gorillas has apparently been lost in the annals of time. They appear to be a relic of Japan’s booming postwar decades when there was money to throw around on advertising that would stand out from the crowd. There are “gorilla buildings” across Japan, and not just these examples from Tokyo.

Speaking of throwing money around, few do so better than Roppongi Hills, a center of wealth in Tokyo, and home to some monsters (including Goldman-Sachs, possibly one of the most hideous monsters of all). Maman is a spider-like sculpture on permanent display, while coincidentally there is currently also an array of pocket monsters on show.

Other monsters on the trip were in somewhat nondescript parks.

Tire Park in Ota-ku in the southern part of Tokyo has a collection of huge monsters made from tires. The monsters include dinosaurs and a robot.

Finally, not far from the ancient temple of Jindaiji, there’s a small park in Chofu dedicated to the animation of Shigeru Mizuki’s famous Gegege no Kitaro, a delightful story of spirit monsters. The film version was produced in Chofu and allegedly set in the area, and the city responded by creating the park, which is hugely popular among the young, and the young at heart.

All in all, the Tokyo Monster Ride was a fabulous trip, and could be even more enjoyable if taken along back roads on bike paths instead of the sometimes hairy routes that Kangaeroo rode.

Would love to go around in milder weather. Moreover, there are still plenty of other monsters to find, in addition to live-sized robots and all sorts of kitsch culture in Tokyo. Warmer months could be fun.