Santa's Workshop to the World
My first serious toy was Japanese — a Yashica Penta-J SLR — and nearly everything I've ever bought for fun since then, except candy, was Japanese. My DS Lite and PSP are, as are nearly all the great videogames I've ever played. My car is a Honda, and, unlike Toyota, back in 2000 when I bought it, it was literally "Made in Japan" and now has over 112,000 miles with virtually no time in the shop except for Jiffy-Lube. And, believe me,if Japan sent over a chain of fast lube places, I wouldn't use Jiffy-Lube either. What's the word? Yamato-damashii means "Japan does try harder, after all," and I believe it. For many years, those islands have been my idea of Santa's Workshop.
Except for the Finland branch, which gave the world Linux and a reason to believe in open source. Thank you, Linus Torvalds, who is the aforementioned Mr. Claus! I mention all this because this has been a lucky week for me: GoBase.org finally admitted me to the kingdom, after a year's delay, I found Arno's Fuseki Database, and Kin's Homepage, Go4Go.com, JustPlayGo.com, Fuego (one of the hypermodern computer Go players), and two unexpected versions of Hikaru no Go [1, 2] for the GBA, which actually teach Japanese kids and students of the language how to play The Game.
Yeah, Finland. That, Japan... and... uh... Korea...