I had the luck to interview Yusuke Kawachi, a very nice 31 years old guy from Nara prefecture.

Find him here, on facebook.
Or on Instagram.

The first time I heard his story, I was living in the share house where he happened to live one year and a half before me: our friends in common, our share house mates, told me they wanted to fold 1000 paper cranes and I was so happy to help the cause. In the past, I had some of my beloved suffering from cancer and undergoing chemo and radiotherapy, I can remember their strive and their will to survive and then the love they were sharing with everybody.

The first time we met, it was near Osaka Castle, at the Hospital where he was checked in. He is such a strong man that when we ended up speaking about our experiences with what -in Italy- we call "the greatest evil of this century", he was cheering up on me, and not the contrary as it should have been.

Because of his full agenda, he agreed to have a written interview for me, but I still can imagine his big and bright smile; now everybody sit down and take five minutes to share virtual time with him…

 yusukeFoto

  • Can you introduce yourself briefly?

Hi there! I’m Yusuke. Nice to meet you! I was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. Since then I’ve had a transplant, and it was successful.

  • At the moment they told you about leukemia, what was your first thought?

I didn't  have enough deal with thinking anything. It was too much pain I've ever had, I could not breathe too.

  • I cannot even imagine what you felt, and I guess you underwent sadness and sorrow. Which do you think was the key moment when you decided to fight back proactively against leukemia?

That was the time when bunch of my friends talk to me by Facetime or messenger. They all cried.

  • What about you experience in Australia?

It was the first day of my second year visa in Australia. When I woke up, I couldn't breathe properly, like 5 out of ten, and I had a really bad pain in my chest. So I got an appointment to see a doctor at 2 pm. Then I got there on time but the doctor was delayed 30 minutes. My short breathing got bad and I couldn't keep sit down. Then the doctor called an ambulance to go to hospital. I had a blood test. They told me I've got a leukemia, and also pleurisy. I had to stay in the hospital. Since that day, sometimes my short breathing was 2 out of ten, and the pain was ten out of ten. I shook the bedframe and yelled. Otherwise I couldn't handle my mind. I had lots of sorts of painkillers but so many times they didn't work. It was a really frightening experience, also I gave up being alive from the bottom of my heart. 

My friend came to see me. Some of them had a day off and come look after me. My other friend came and started to cry because it was too hard to be there for her. My friend helped me a lot, she went to my share house and talked with the owner, checked out, packed everything and cleaned properly, got the bond back.

When the painkillers didn't work, just give me a hug for a long time. I really felt less my pain and short breath in my body. I realized then that hug or a love can work over the technology and science.

Unfortunately this happened on my first day of second year visa. I had Japanese insurance for the first year, then I bought Australian insurance for the second year because it was cheaper and I spoke English better. Then the doctor told me there was the possibility that the insurance wouldn't pay. I'm Japanese so I can't get a Medical card, that means I would have had to pay more than $2000 per night for accommodation. The doctor suggested that I go back Japan, I had to stay there four nights just to check if I could get a flight okay.

Money is such a easy to thing to lose, like, crazy! We can lose $10000 in four days. My friend prepared crowdfounding for $10000, there is the possibility that I can raise money. I realised the money is important, but isn't the most important thing for people.

The most important thing is people around you, family, brother, friends.

We can help each other when we really want. Human and human are such a beautiful thing of life.

After I got back to Japan, everything was going well. My friends come to see me even though it was Christmas or new year's day.

cranes

At that moment I started make a wish by making paper cranes. Japanese people believe that a wish will come true if they make a thousand paper cranes. I started putting the picture on my Facebook, many friends send me pictures with paper cranes and wish and love from the whole world.

The possibility a person get leukemia on my age is 1 out of 100000. The percentage to survive is 60 out of three years. But this is not really only for me : nobody can be sure about the future, even tomorrow.

Moreover I realized I'm a most happy leukemia patient or a human every day.

Luckily I have very cool people as family brother friends.

And I am really proud of them from bottom of my heart.

Then it makes my every morning 100 percent brilliant.

Then thankful to still be alive.

And feeling I want to do anything I put my mind to.

Such a beautiful thing just living.

I know In fact ,Sometimes people deceive, kill each other.. Bullshit happens everywhere, but basically you are alive, that's luxury. Life is beautiful.

Everyday I passed at the hospital, I went to the ground floor and watch outside. I was not permitted go out. Right in front of the door, I was thinking about of how amazing the taste of air, how beautiful the green, how comfortable being under the sunshine. "Who can I go and meet?"

You have so much possibility for anything, so I want you enjoy and live your life to the fullest as much as possible!

You can do anything you put your mind to!

This is what I wished to every one from the hospital. 

What I want to say is have a good day, everyday!

  • Lately you’ve started a very interesting travel around Japan, making pizza in every City you stop by. Can you tell me more about it?

I set off on a pizza and leukemia trip through the whole of Japan to encourage patients who are in the clean room or fighting leukemia or cancer in Japan. Throughout my leukemia journey, I've received a lot of support from my friends and family. I thought I would do something for others if I could get out of that place, and repay the karma.

Currently, I am going from guest houses or hostels, or people’s houses, office or restaurant to bake them a pizza. In this way I hope to provide hope for what some people can do after the transplant, chemo and radiation. I mean, how much you can make people happy, and how much you can enjoy your life.

I talk about my leukemia journey to people while baking pizza. Often, they are not so sure what they can do to help when they are made desperate by chemo and radiation. So I will explain what you can do if your friend or family are diagnosed. Then I write on my blog about the trip. I hope to encourage people who read my blog.


pizzapizzette

I'll visit most of the prefectures in Japan, as much as I can. All the patients have home prefectures, so it will make my journey a reality for them. Like, "I know this place!" or "I've been there once!"


There are not many blogs in Japan written by leukemia survivors. I think I found three or four of them while I was in the clean room. It was so scary because there were only websites about survival rate and the names of medications like a textbook in Japan.


I was alone, and there was just the sound of a fan. The only color in the clean room was white and I couldn't go outside for 9 whole months. It drove me crazy! But I found some articles about leukemia survivors. I read them every day, every night and every morning.

  • You are also selling very funny t-shirts with you photos printed on it…

It was just for fun, I don't think it’s gonna be my business. But, my German friend bought it, which was funny.

  • What if somebody wanted to contact you and make pizza with you while enjoying a good conversation and good music? (I know you enjoy playing the guitar very much!)

 You are so welcome. I'll be wherever if you pay cost for flight or transport.

  • What's next?

What’s on my bucket list is ...  to open my guesthouse called "Five more minutes". It means that I wish my guest willing to stay five more minutes at my guest house. During my last trip to Gifu, I have had an inscription  made on my Geta while making my wish.

geta

I really hope you wish will come true! (ed.)

  • Lastly, I would like you to ask you any free comment on your experience, mainly directing to everybody who is fighting with any kind of disease or difficult issue…

All the deseases are caused by stress, food, or environemental issues. Just Hug. Love and peace. And take it all easy. Xoxo

Thank you Yusuke for your time. I hope to meet you soon again!

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When I moved to Japan, I never thought that I would have ending up with finding a job here.

My friends are continuously reminding me how lucky I am living in this Country. Even if none of them has ever visited Japan, nor for tourism or business, or whatever.

So, is it so true that I am that lucky? Let’s analyze the pros and cons!

Omotenashi

Visiting Japan as a tourist and living in Japan are complete different issues. People who visit this country are always so pleased about Japanese people kindness. That’s a matter of fact: the kindness you can experience in Japan is something very special. On the other hand it has been proved that racism actually exists in Japan (as in every other Country). My experience is that trying to integrate in Japan, is not that easy: for every kind person I met, there’s one ready to remind me I was not born on this island.

 

過労死

Japan is in the top three of the World Leading Economies. Though is proved that we have an alarming scarcity of job in Italy, I have always been thinking that finding a job is a matter of your will: if you really want a job, you will get it. By the way, the situation in Japan seems to be the actual opposite of most of the European countries: because of the society getting older and older, Japan is undergoing workers shortage. If it may be tricky to find and actual job (it is, according to the voices of all my gaijin friends), you will find tons of part-time jobs (which won’t help you if you are willing to get a working visa).

Being an Italian in Japan sometimes could be tuff. We usually love eating well and apparently we are the main supporters of the “Bella vita”.

While some countries in Europe are trying to shorten the work day, Japan is famous for having people overwork. Based on some statistics, this also effects families with issues such as absent fathers (something that Italian families cannot even think of!).

 

DIETA MEDITERRANEA ITALIA

While for tourists stopping by at a street shop or a little restaurant could be a very cheap way to eat during their Japanese travel, a lot of Europeans still enjoy cooking at home. Not taking in consideration the time it requires and the actual lack of it, the point is about the ingredients cost. If you are used to go shopping in Italy (or France or Spain to give other examples of Countries I have visited and I am pretty sure are aligned to the Italian style), it will be pretty obvious to notice the prices difference, especially when at the grocer’s.

taxes

What about the tax system? I am not an economist or some kind of specialist, but it seems to me that the Italian system and the Japanese one are pretty similar. One very big difference is the public insurance thing: some could argue the system is changing in Italy too, but basically you don’t have to pay if you go and see your doctor or if you are hospitalized. On the other hand, even if based on your annual income, Japanese health insurance fees are kind of high. Luckily I did not have the occasion to test the service quality yet, so hopefully the equation paid service=best service, is real.

I think everybody is agreeing on the fact that travelling gives people a better knowledge of the world. Prejudice, bias and dream-like visions of a perfect country are all things that we should be eradicate from our minds.

As I am always repeating: “People are the same the world over”.

Isabel Allende Quote

 

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tomb raider 1
Directed by      Roar Uthaug
Produced by    Graham King
Based on         Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics
Starring           Alicia Vikander, Daniel Wu, Dominic West,Walton Goggins
Music by         Tom Holkenborg
Production companies  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, Square Enix
Distributed by             Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date    March 2, 2018 (Berlin)
                      March 14, 2018 (United Kingdom)
                      March 16, 2018 (United States)
                      March 21, 2018 (Japan)YES! I went the day it was released!
Running time 118 minutes
Country                      United Kingdom, United States
Language        EnglishBudget            $90–110 million
Box office        $273.5 million

Lara Croft has been my myth since 1996. Of course that’s her virtual birth; at that time I was 10 years old and I can remember myself sitting on the sofa at my grandparents’ house, reading an actuality magazine. I fell in love with her instantly.

With this premise well stated, be prepared, because this might be the most biased review you have ever been reading...


The movie and its coherence with the game

tomb raider 2

tomb raider 3

Let me say I didn’t like Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider: I found it completely unrelated to the actual game. For this reason I was really looking forward to this new movie. If I had to rate it, it would get 3.5 stars out of 5.

I loved the scenery, settings, the way Mr. Roar Uthaug, the Norwegian director, depicted the characters.When watching the movie, I could actually find the related character of the game; that happened with the scenarios and the actual plot, too (of course there are some big differences, but I am inclined to tolerate them).

…still something is missing from the game…

This is the point where my feelings overwhelm rational thinking.

If you like the game, the REAL and ONLY Tomb Raider is the one you play on your PC, Playstation, Xbox or whatever: I guess for you it would be impossible not to be biased when speaking about a movie from the series.


Original Lara Croft and the latter

tomb raider 4 5

Even in the game two of them have really different stories, so my feelings are mixing here. I fell in love with Core Design’s Lara Croft; in my opinion that’s best example of how a woman should be: confident and strong. On the other hand I don’t like Angelina Jolie (in my humble opinion, Rhona Mitra was a waaaaay more consistent Lara Croft) so that may be the reason why I could’t appreciate the 2001 and 2003’s Tomb Raider movies (come on, Mr. West and Mr. De Bont! Lara is not only about tits and lips!).

tomb raider 6

Crystal Dynamics’s Lara Croft is a very young Lara building up herself. That’s why I like her even she is not the original one: she is not strong yet, but she is actively reacting to the things going on around her.
Alicia Vickander’s Lara is scared but strong, a good mix of feelings and coolness. Exactly as she is in the latter game. 4 stars out of 5 (but you know… nobody can equal the “real” Lara).

tomb raider 7tomb raider 8

 

The Soundtrack

tomb raider 9

Tomb Raider Original motion picture soundtrack     Sony Masterworks
Run for Your Life   K.Flay
Album Run for Your Life (From the Original Motion Picture "Tomb Raider") – Single

The soundtrack is actually very good.

In my humble opinion it really follows the movie flow and it gives a round atmosphere to the scenes, whether the calm ones or the action ones.

Return to Croft Manor gives me gooseflesh. It’ s like being in the actual game.

Path of paternal secrets, when Lara finds the truth about her father, makes me think things like “Hey Lara, I’ll go with you, what’s next?!”

I won’t comment every single song. They are all EPIC! An easy-peasy 5 stars out of 5.

The tidbit is K.Flay’s “Run for your life”, for sure (even if in the movie you will hear it only during the end credits). You definitely may not know this American singer if you are not into hip-hop and indie music. Give her a chance.

tomb raider 10

 

When I listen to this song I just get the “pole dance mood”: to me, that status of mind where I just want to train and be the more similar I can to Lara Croft. Lara, just an extraordinary, unusual wonder woman.


In conclusion…

Uthaug’s Tomb Raider may not be the best movie ever (just another adventure movie…) but I hope they will continue on this track with Tomb Raider series.

Currently the best Tomb Raider Movie out there, still looking for the definitive one.

I bet it is impossible, if you are a Tomb Raider’s game series fan.

ce97fc3fe2cf6be40cf3d9506f7d40131

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The Internet is free, the Internet is fun, ...! Yes, but don't forget your critical sense when surfing the net... All that glitters is not all gold!

 

1. “I gave birth in Japan, This is the meal I ate every day!” (post comes with attached photos, obviously.)

Oh, everybody, let’s go to Japan and have a child there! If you are American, it could be a very good deal (I don’t know the medical fees there), but for an Italian person like me, definitely not. You will have to pay something like 3.200€ for a natural childbirth without any complication (+ 1000€ for an epidural). If you choose a private clinic, the fee will be way higher. 

 

2. “Commuters pushing a train car to save a person who fell and got stuck between the car and the platform”

arukisumaho

arukisumaho2

…yes, the other side of the coin is that you see signs everywhere asking you not to walk staring at your phone, because you know, “it could be very dangerous when along the train tracks!”. In Japan they also invented a word for this issue, the “walking smartphone”, just to give you an idea of how big is the problem.

Of course there is also the possibility the person stuck there was too drunk… or just wanted to commit suicide.

 

3. At Narita international airport they give you free origami instead of candy

riponD

Japan is kind of famous for its colorful and infinite-choice-flavoured candies. It’s a big market for sure. Despite the thing that Japanese traditional Washoku is included in the list of World Cultural Heritages, culinary habits are changing and fast food is overwhelming traditions. And as vegetables and fruits are very expensive, between a conbini-bento and another, Japanese people drink liters of supplement and vitamin drinks. A very healthy choice, indeed.

 

 

4. At some tourist spots there are stands to hold your smartphone so you can take good selfies

See point 2.instabae

2017’s new words were choosen to enter the Japanese dictionary: “instabae” and “photogenic”. In Japan using Instagram is a must (way more used than facebook). People just go to restaurants and cafes to enjoy… taking pictures and collect the “likes”. I mean, “Likes”, you know!? Not your friends’ company or good food! Just PHOTOGENIC food! What's more: they also admit that going to certain kind of cafés is just to take good pictures...

 

5. Instructions on how to cover your face to prevent makeup from getting on the garment when trying new clothes in a fitting room.

no lenses glasses

japanese girl mask

Clothes shops definitely have to protect themselves from the make-up of EVERY single girl here. Japan and Korea are well known as make-up addict. Girls literally change theis faces when making-up. What if you don’t have the time to make-up properly? You can use the surgical mask (NO! Here it’s not only used to prevent diseases or allergies) or fake glasses with no lenses. Ohhhh, I sooo love fashion!

 

 

+α!

6. They sell square watermelons to fit in the refrigerator

It may be have started for the convenience to put the watermelon in the refrigerator. But now it’s a mere fashion thing. Not to speak about its price…

square melon

 

I'm mad of love for this country (if I wasn't I wouldn't live here), but please do me the favour not to believe that everything here is GREAT just because it's not the country you're living in!

 

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