Shiiba Village Japan

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Erik Kassebaum

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Adventures In Shiiba
Erik Kassebaum

"Parlor Erik" is Smoke Free

Last month I had to go to Miyazaki for a business trip. While driving around Kiyotake I came across a big truck full of old pachinko machines. Well, needless to say, I bought an old pachinko machine with a pair of sumo wrestlers on it.

I was amazed to find out how many men in Shiiba were familiar with the type of machine that I had purchased. Many even gave advice as to how I should play. Now I have the only no smoking pachinko parlor in Miyazaki. At "Parlor Erik" there is no smoking, no charge, and no loud music. Sorry, but there are also no prizes at "Parlor Erik."

No Smoking at Shiiba JHS!

Many smokers don't seem to accept the fact that their smoke affects everyone around them. People who live and work in smoky environments have much higher rates of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases than those who live and work in smoke free environments.

In addition to disease there is a "social cost" involved with smoking. Money which could be used to fight other serious diseases has to be spent on treating diseases caused by smoking. Unfortunately, taxes on tobacco do not come close to paying for the "social cost" of smoking.

One of the best changes I've seen has been the adoption of a "No Smoking" policy at Shiiba Junior High. My hope is that the number of places where people can enjoy clean air will increase.

Hacker Attack

Not everything about the internet is good. For example a "Hacker" broke into Oita's New Coara Computer via the internet and destroyed the homepage that I had written for Shiiba along with quite a few other homepages. I was prepared for such an attack and was able to put a new copy of my homepage up on the Internet less than a week after the attack. The attack shocked many in Japan for it marked the end of Japan's innocence with respect to the internet. For those of you who work with computers, please take a bit of time to think about the security of your computer and its data. A little work now could save you a lot of time and money later.

School Uniforms

In April, many people asked for my thoughts on Japanese School uniforms. To be quite honest I don't like the 19th Century European Military School uniforms. If students have to wear uniforms, they should have a professional look not a military look. I think the uniforms should either be suits or work clothes similar to those worn by many Yakuba staff members.