Off the Walls
Players writing messages in several locations around Athletes Village show an imaginative talent almost equal to their athletic ability. Fencers seem to like word play. The Canadian team posts the bilingual message: "Fencers do it in the fleche." The ever poetic Irish fencing team writes: "The PenIs Mightier than the Sword." While this may be, a Maltese poet is concerned that the unsheathed sword cuts both ways:
Don't be silly
Put a spike shoe
On your willy"
The last message is but one of many entries in several notebooks specifically reserved for commentary about AIDS. Someone from Namibia writes:
"To all AIDS sufferers:
You are part of Us. Be strong, Brave, and Full of Hope. Live normal and always remember you are very very very very very special.
Peace Be With You All"
An anonymous contributor urges scientists to come up with a cure:
"Scientist: Try hard to find out the solution. Otherwise you are useless."
Some feel that God provides the only safety: "Condoms won't save you but only God will," while someone else says monogamous sex is the only answer: "Don't use a condom. Be with one woman for the rest of your life. This is the ideal love."
The seriousness of the AIDS epidemic doesn't seemed to have dampened enthusiasm for sex, however, as many messages solicit casual relations, as shown by the following samples:
"Nice women . . . that's what we want.
Ask for X in room _____."
"If you want to get laid
Room _____. Ask for anyone."
Or a little more crudely:
Love is nothing without f***ing.
Other messages take a more romantic turn. A Russian speaker wants "a great pure love," while Perpel from Italy sends "kisses to all." Someone from Turkey writes:
"Today I slept all day. They think I am foolish.
Fools. They don't know I saw YOU in my dreams."
There are even more enigmatic notices in the Lost and Found section, but the ones that caught our eye were:
"Have lost many Japanese woman!
Have you found?"
and . . .
"Found: Player #295"
There are lots of peace, anti-nuclear, and "Love not War" messages. Also many notes of encouragement from one athlete to another and congratulations from volunteers to the players they admire.
Then there are those that we leave you to ponder for yourselves, such as this one from Pakistan:
"I'll take heaven for its climate and hell for its society."
Honors for the most prolific note writer may have to go to "Ritsuko," who has posted notices everywhere begging people to exchange pin badges with her, and giving detailed directions on how to get to her. Please, people, go give her a badge!
Abisoye Alabi qualified as a medical doctor in 1981 and works at Ibadan University in Nigeria. A lot of her time is spent on what she describes as "the routine stuff," treating malarial fever, but she also tends to the injuries and ailments of athletes there.
The Ibadan athletes were impressed by her care of them and praised her to the Universiade organizers, who in turn could not help but be impressed by the wealth of overall expertise and experience accumulated over fourteen years of general practice.
Dr. Alabi felt she was in with a good chance of being selected for the Universiade medical team early this year. Her hopes increased when she was selected to work at a special camp to prepare for the Fukuoka games. On hearing she had been chosen: "I thanked God that I was selected because of my ability."
One in five doctors in Nigeria are women: "Women are interested; we want to care," says Dr. Alabi. She maintains that men on the team have absolutely no reservations about being treated by a female doctor.
The Nigerian team is large and Dr. Alabi is the only doctor. "I'm not free to leave; I can be called on anytime." She is very conscientious, attending as many events as she can to keep a watchful eye on the athletes: when Global Village spoke with her she had only just come back from an athletics event. Dr. Alabi visits the Village Clinic often and is "highly impressed" with the physical therapy unit, but so far, injuries have been minor and few. She attributes this not just to luck but the pre-Universiade camp: "We did two months of preparation before the games, so the physical and mental condition of the athletes is very good now."
Dr. Alabi stresses the mental side of fitness. She feels that physical injuries are plain to see, but it takes more time and effort to spot if something is wrong mentally: "You have to listen, you have to look: it's putting two and two together."
The Universiade has widened Dr. Alabi's horizons: she has been doing more physical therapy and orthopedics. While she is more than happy to return to general practice, she says: "If it's God's wish for me, I don't mind going into sports medicine."
Special Discounts For Universiade Participants Ending Soon
Fukuoka City and local businesses are offering visiting athletes and team officials a variety of discounts until the first week in September.
Until September 3rd KDD company is offering five minute international calls free from its two telephones on the eighth floor of the IMS building in downtown Tenjin.
The Nishitetsu bus service is free of charge until September 5th - just show your A.D. card.
Bowling at Hakata Starlane is free for your first three games until September 3rd. Five minutes walk from the Chikushi exit at Hakata Station. Tel 451-4321
The Blue Note jazz club (Dada building, Tenjin) is offering a 50% discount until September 2nd. Reservations necessary. Tel: 715-6666
Marine World in Uminonakamichi is offering 630 yen off its usual admission price of 2,100 yen until September 3rd.
Space World in Kitakyushu City has cut 1,300 yen off its standard admission price of 4,300 yen until September 3. Discount coupons are available at the Village Service Center.
The Fukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka Art Museum, and Hakata Machiya Museum are all free of charge until September 3rd. Details at the Village Service Center.
Yusentei Park and Rakusuien Park are free of charge until September 3rd. Details at the Village Service Center.
A view from the top of Fukuoka Tower has been reduced from 800 yen to 400 yen until September 3rd.
The Global Village conducted a random survey on life in the Athletes Village. Data from 200 questionnaires (40 countries) printed in six languages: Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish was compiled to take the Village pulse.
How do you rate the entertainment facilities in the Village?
A) Excellent 32%
B) Good 40%
C) Average 16%
D) Fair 12%
E) Poor 0%
Slovakian Peter David commented, "There are many facilities to find good friends from abroad, because of all the cultural events. Sven Helbing from Germany was more enthusiastic, commenting, "There is all you need and more!"
Criticisms centered on the lack of multilingual films and events and the limited space.
How do you rate your room for a place to relax?
A) Excellent 12%
B) Good 26%
C) Average 32%
D) Fair 13%
E) Poor 17%
The extra-hot summer this year and lack of air conditioning in the rooms naturally made it difficult to kick back and relax, but Canadian Kelly Dinsmore raved, "It has been a really great experience. Food, accommodations-everything!" Others hoped for fewer athletes to a room and more convenient shower facilities.
How do you rate the Village Service Center?
A) Excellent 34%
B) Good 49%
C) Average 12%
D) Fair 2%
E) Poor 2%
American Matthew Andresen's remark reflects the vast majority: "The food set-up is very impressive. The workers are so friendly and work so hard to make everything perfect. The restaurant has been one of the best surprises on this trip."
What have you done in Fukuoka City?
A) Drinking 43
B) Sightseeing 56
C) Shopping 58
D) Gone on a Date 8
It is good that so many athletes have been able to get out and experience Fukuoka City. Fukuokans in turn, must be happy because they have long been looking forward to the games.
How do you rate the Village Disco?
A) Excellent 15%
B) Good 32%
C) Average 39%
D) Fair 8%
E) Poor 6%
Athletes wrote that they enjoyed the variety of dance styles and music. However, dissatisfaction over the lack of alcohol and the early closing were common complaints.
Have you made friends from other countries?
Susana Alves from South Africa exclaimed,"Yes. I think it is really great to meet people and so far I have met people from China, Canada, the States, etc."
Have you made new friends from other countries who are in your sport?
Mexican, Carlos Arena answered, "Yes. Most of the people I've met are also swimmers, because I spend more time with them, for example in the bus and at the competition." Most athletes who answered 'No' mentioned that they were getting reacquainted with friends made at previous international competitions.
How much did you spend on souvenirs (in yen)?
The highest individual amount was \70,000. The respondent wrote he bought clothes, electronic goods and other novelties not available in his country. Nigerian James Ajaja lamented,"Things are too costly here. Too bad!" Matjaz Pecovnik from Slovenia creatively utilized the culture workshops to get around a tight budget. "I got souvenirs from exchange programs like Hakata doll painting and ceramics."
Is there anything missing in the Village that you think would make the Universiade better for athletes?
The majority gave praise or else made no suggestions, but a few asked for more bicycles, beer and a TV in each room. One unique idea to expand communications between athletes would utilize secret passwords on A.D. cards so that athletes could leave each other messages on computer terminals located in several areas.
Every Night Fever
Sources close to the disco claim that on good nights more than 3,000 patrons are boogying on down, although when Global Village reporters dropped in the figure was somewhat less.
Those who go seem to be enjoying themselves. It's a good opportunity to observe all the different dance styles of the various countries and maybe pick up a few moves. According to manager-DJ Hiroaki Fujiki, everyone thinks the disco is great, but there are a lot of complaints about the lack of alcohol. "They're always telling me 'we aren't kids,'" he says.
The design of the disco is the inspiration of Mr. Fujiki and graduate student-DJ Akihiro Takeishi. They claim the disco is a mix of Western and Eastern styles, but it also has an industrial quality which they feel expresses the essence of modern youth, to wit, the saplings encased in perspex and the wire mesh enclosure around the DJ.
The most popular music is house, followed by hip-hop, but everyone's welcome to bring their own tapes.
Researched by Yukie Mizoguchi
You heard it last in Global Village. As of August 21st, 1995, the Belarusian Delegation will use a different flag (see below) to that carried in the Universiade '95 Fukuoka Handbook.
There will be a farewell party for athletes and delegation staff in Flag Plaza on September 3rd from 9:00 pm to 12:00 am. The party will incorporate elements of a traditional Japanese festival but its concept is a novelty: "Love Peace Forever."
"The Door, over the Rainbow," the Universiade theme song is yours for free, but there's a catch - only one tape per delegation - sorry. Eager beavers can pick theirs up at Fukuoka City Hall's Event Plaza on August 31. But if you can bear to wait there are lots of outlets, including, Sound Hirokane.
Tsuchiya Record Shop.
Another bonus - the song's performers Free-Style will give a free mini-concert on Sept. 2nd at Event Plaza (starts at 6). Don't miss it!
Drums, Color, & Comedy At Korean Festival
Japan's Korean community pulled out all the stops Monday when they flew in a famous drumming group and stand-up comedian from Seoul to perform in a Korean festival for athletes and local residents. Athletes were surprised to learn that Japan has a large Korean population; the number of Koreans in Fukuoka City alone is 8,200, and they were out in force for the festival.
With its riot of color and noise the festival was an intense experience. The dynamic beat of the drum and the swirling ribbons on the drummer's caps made the Samulnoli drum ensemble's performance mesmerizing. Seasoned stand-up comedian Tark Cho-Hyang delivered a routine that had those who understand Korean in stitches. But even those who didn't were infected by her hilarious antics.
Korean cuisine was plentiful and delicious, and the beautiful Chima Jeogori, Korea's national costume provided a great introduction to Korean culture. Children from Shikata School District sang Korean songs and, caught up in the mood, some athletes began dancing the samba!
Valley of the Dolls
Ken and Barbie, eat your heart out. You just can't compete with the 300 plus folk dolls that recently arrived in the Village. Ninety countries and regions presented these dolls to Fukuoka City. The Universiade Fukuoka Games Promotion Office says the exhibit is part of various exchange programs throughout the city designed to promote greater understanding of cultural differences and contribute to world peace. After the games the Office is thinking about giving the dolls to the school districts who worked so hard to support the Universiade and make the teams feel at home.
Hyotan: This sushi restaurant breaks all the rules. It's slap bang in the middle of Tenjin, but it doesn't rely on location for cutomers; in Japan, sushi is usually expensive but here it's cheap and absolutely delicious. That's why lines are long in the evening, so get there about six to be on the safe side. Great atmosphere, great sushi.
Getting there: Find Iwataya Department Store in Tenjin. Head south between its main building and annexe for about 100 meters; 2nd floor on the right.
Open 11:30-2:30 and 4:30-9:30 (orders stop at 9)
Address: Tenjin 2-10-20. Tel: 722-0010
If you have a day free don't miss a trip to Yanagawa, Kyushu's little Venice. An old castle town built on canals, it's one of the most picturesque towns in Japan. Sail along in a flat-bottomed boat (1,500 yen for an hour), visit the house of poet Hakushu or simply stroll along the quaint main street. Eel is the speciality here - try Wakamatsuya on the main street. Trivia fact: Yoko Ono's grandparents used to have a house here.
Getting there: take a special express train (they leave every half hour) direct to Yanagawa and then it's a short bus ride into the city center. Journey time approx. 45 minutes from Tenjin. Fare: 770 yen
Gallery Kawano has antique kimonos from as low as two or three thousand yen, and a selection of dolls and trinkets made from antique kimono silk.
Getting there: It's on the main street; you can't miss it.
Open 10-6 pm
Address: Yanagawa City, Okinohata Tel: (0944) 73-0131
English speaking needle master Kazuyoshi Kabashima offers a discount for athletes. One treatment: 1,000 yen. If you take the bus from Yanagawa station, get off at Shiyakusho-Mae. From there it's three minutes walk. Or give him a call and if he has time he'll come and pick you up.
Address: Yanagawa City, Honmachi 84. Tel: (0944) 72-5796
Japanese are famous for their hospitality and this year's Universiade volunteers are proving why. Mother Noriko Matsufuji and her two children have been studying at the Hippo Family Club to learn how to speak a little of as many languages as they can in preparation for the Fukuoka games. Daughter Kei (13), and son Tomo (10), speak Korean best, having once lived with a Korean family, but they can handle simple greetings in ten different languages. The Hippo Family Club where they developed this ability is not a real school, just an informal meeting place for people who want to learn foreign languages together. Kei and Tomo's job at Universiade is not to interpret, but simply to make friends with athletes from other countries. Their happiest moment in the games so far was coming across a group of lost Mexican athletes downtown and helping them get where they wanted to go.
Chiaki Noda and Saana Yasukouchi are friends of Tomo and Kei. They are thrilled at the chance to use their foreign language skills in this Universiade. They say they have already spoken with people from eight countries and gotten their signatures, which makes this the best summer vacation they have ever had.
Every afternoon the disco is transformed into a karaoke box. The multi-national clientele croons its favorite tunes which are accompanied by cringingly sentimental videos. The top five melodies of the moment are:
1. La Bamba
2. Like a Virgin
3. U2's With or Without You
4. The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
5. The Beatles' (again) Help
Chief Editor: Masaru Inoue
Assistant: Yoko Kikutsugi
Writers: Yasuko Fujie
Photographer: Eisaku Harada
City Advisor: Masahiro Tomino