Alive and well, and living in Tokyo ...

Reports from Essien Leroy, Our Man in Tokyo ...
July / August 2000

Day One in Tokyo

Alive and well
and living in Tokyo


Climbing Mount Fuji
or How to kill a weekend

Of crime and Punishment

Tales of Two Cities

Japanese Inventions

Keeping up with the Jones

Essien's Reaction to the Web Site

Out of Body Experience

It all depends

The Girls of Summer

An old Chinese saying

Japanese Inventions

Not long ago a Japanese writer wrote in response to the statement that the Japanese never invent anything. He wanted to point out that while they may not have invented a particular object, they will invent a thousand accessories to it. Take for instance the cell phone in America, mostly black, at times gray, and if you pay extra possibly a blue or Mickey mouse face plate (Nokia) end of story. In Japan you can literally pick up a cell phone, sold at a corner stands, in no less than 20 colors (I counted), sometimes more. Most will have a CGA if not VGA screen about half the size of a palm pilot screen, some in color. Accessories such as docking cradle handfree headset, handfree car kits, links to you favorite PDA or Laptop or Desktop for email or web browsing, is available in colors or styles to match the Laptop or PDA. Some phone have MP3 players built-in, like some watches and some PDA , all computers do. Getting email from your phone is the least you could ask for here. Some phones allow you to watch TV or see the person you are taking with, heck some TVs allow you to answer the phone. As a matter of fact, I'm told you can't even get a regular phone here. For the same price it will doubles as a voice recorder, fax and/or answering machine. I have a small little phone with a speaker on the back for handfree conversation and an array of buttons that light up blink and do things I have no clue about.

The most popular item here, the MD player, can be found in at least 10 makes with 5 models per, and in colors and styles that will never be seen in the US. There are even docking stations to recharge your player , since everything has to have a dock now-a-days. Same goes for the MP3 players, rechargable and a dock. Some come with a digital voice recorder and a mic built in. DVD player are out of control here and the TV glasses that lets you look at what seems to be a 30 inch screen in front of you are the craze, I need one of those like you would not believe. I saw for the first time a CD-CDR-CDRW player and clock radio, you know everyone need one of those, I know I do. Flat screen TV's are all over the place, I am convince I am the only person without one, and I can't let that happen. Digital cameras and photo printer are passe and here, done that, moved on. Digital camcorder are in that record to minidisk and can double as a still camera, recording 4500 still images per disk. Don't believe me go here, so there. There are many new styles of PC all with flat screens, gone are the days of the foot high case and the two foot deep monitor, it's flat screens and low profile cases that look like a laptop with the screen and keyboard removed. Of course you can get it in Pink and yellow, if you please. Wireless modems with so you don't have to run cords to your desk.

Maybe they did not invent any these thing back in the picture tube days, but every year they invent new ways to separate you from your money, in 10 colors. Every year the size is smaller with more features for less money. My credit card will never be then same.