Chapter 141 - How I Became an Honest Man


“How I became an Honest Man” (余は如何にして真人間となりし乎 Yohaika ni shitema ningen to narishika) is a pun on Kanzou Uchimura’s 1895 book “How I Became a Christian”.

First published on June 4, 2008.

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Chiri's Despair List

  • Apologizing for a gambling incident wearing a joker-patterned sweater
    • Refers to Shibata Isao, who issued an apology statement wearing a joker-patterned sweater after he was caught illegally gambling on card games.
  • Morning megamuffin
    • A Japanese McDonalds menu item
  • Gakken’s Mu
    • Mu is a japanese paranormal magazine published by Gakken
  • Getting a book on religion in a library class
    • Religious instruction is illegal in the Japanese school system, but most school libraries have numerous books on Buddhism and Christianity.
  • BSE rebroadcasting an anime about bone marrow in food during the mad cow scare
    • Refers to Episode 15 of the cooking anime Onshinbo which involved bone marrow in food.
  • A national holiday that will never come
    • In Japan, there are some government holidays where businesses will stay open, but have almost no staff available.
  • Seeing power plants in Mitokoumon
    • Mitokoumon is a J-Drama set in the samurai period. Occasionally a modern power plant can be seen in the background.
  • Showing commercials of Aoi Yuu’s other series while airing osen (Aoi-chan time!)
    • Aoi Yuu is a J-Drama actress who takes plays in Osen, among other shows. While watching Osen, it's not uncommon to see a commercial for other shows she plays in.
  • Online libraries using Amazon’s service
    • Some libraries used to sell some of their older books through Amazon.
  • Nagano’s red flag
    • Refers the situation that developed when the 2008 Olympic torch relay passed through Nagano. Along the route, Chinese students and citizens flooded in, waving red flags, sometimes clashing with Japanese nationalists and Free-Tibet demonstrators.
  • Mixi’s pride of committing the crime
    • Mixi is a Japanese social networking site, with a userbase around 20,000,000 users at the time this chapter was published. In early 2008, a terms of service change would have allowed the site to use all member-generated material without compensation. User protests eventually forced Mixi to scrap the change.
  • Sotheby’s selling nude anime figurines

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A suichu-ka is an artificial flower that "blooms" when placed in water. Here's how to make one.

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Higara Genmai

The Midsummer Day of the Ox is celebrated at the end of a ‘Doyo’ a classical Chinese calendar period decided by the position of the sun on the ecliptic. Because of the way the ‘Doyo’ is defined, the Day of the Ox falls sometime between mid-July and early August.

Eel, specifically a freshwater eel called unagi, and usually grilled, is a customary dish eaten on this day. The dish is almost synonymous with the day, as most people also call the day of the ox ‘unagi day’

Hiraga Genai, an artist, scientist, and satirist, is generally credited with starting the eel tradition, as he believed that eels helped a person overcome the late summer heat.

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Daiei is a Japanese mega-store, selling anything and everything from groceries to electronics to furniture.

Theme From "Backdraft"

Backdraft is a 1991 film starring Kurt Russel, William Baldwin and Robert De Niro. It follows two feuding brothers (both firefighters) and an investigator who are attempting to find out the identity of a serial arsonist. The problem with using the theme song from this movie for a news report on a fire is that in the movie, the arsonist turns out to be a respected firefighter.

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In 1979, Chodenji Machine Voltes V became popular in the Philippines, then under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. As the show progressed, many viewers began to draw parallels between the villainous nobility in the anime with figures in Marcos’s government. Shortly before the last episodes were to air, Marcos banned the anime, and it wasn’t shown again in the Philippines for 11 years.

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Bullet Train

Comes from the movie “NANA” Where the two protagonists (both incidentally named Nana) meet in a bullet train. Both are breaking the rules on the train (no smoking, no cell phones)

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Sengoku Period

The Sengoku (’Warring States’) period was a time of protracted civil war in Japan. Beginning in the 1460s, the weakening central government, the Ashikaga Shogunate began to lose grip on power as regional lords attempted to take control of the country. The result of the clan's weakening authority lead to nearly 150 years of constant war between one clan or another as they jockeyed for control.
The period culminated in the Battle of Sekigahara, which delievered power to Tokugawa Ieyasu and began the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

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