Again. I arrived on the afternoon of 2016-10-16.
This month provided to me yet another opportunity to visit Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun and my wife’s home country, thanks to IRG #47 (Ideographic Rapporteur Group Meeting #47) being hosted there. This trip was also the first time for me to visit an island of Japan other than Honshū (本州), specifically Shikoku (四国).
IRG #47 was hosted by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), ITSCJ (Information Technology Standards Commission of Japan), and the Matsuyama Convention and Visitors Bureau, and took place at the Matsuyama Multi-Purpose Community Center in Matsuyama (松山):
I attended IRG #47 as the sole US/Unicode expert (IRG meetings are now attended by experts, not delegates). The vast majority of the meeting was spent on IRG Working Set 2015 (aka Extension G), and a lot of progress was made. Please see the IRG #47 Recommendations (aka IRG N2180) for a summary. I submitted my IRG #47 Liaison Report (aka L2/16-287) on 2016-10-23, which I will present at UTC #149 next month.
One piece of good news is that UTC-00791 (⿺辶⿳穴⿰月⿰⿲⿱幺長⿱言馬⿱幺長刂心), UTC-01312 (⿺辶⿳穴⿰月⿰⿲⿱幺长⿱言马⿱幺长刂心), and UTC-02960 (⿳雲⿲雲龍雲⿰龍龍) are still included in what is likely to become Extension G, though I needed to defend the first one against comments from Japan.
IRG #48 will take place in Bundang-gu (분당구), ROK (Republic of Korea) from 2017-06-19 through 2017-06-23.
The location of IRG #47 made it possible to visit Hiroshima (広島) on the way back to Tōkyō (東京), which was a mere 90-minute ferry ride away. I have wanted to visit Hiroshima for the longest time, particularly to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園 hiroshima heiwa kinen kōen), the Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム genbaku dōmu), and Shima Hospital (島病院 shima byōin) that represents Ground Zero for the blast.
Visiting Hiroshima gave me closure on the other end of the major world event that it represents, which is Pearl Harbor (真珠湾 shinju wan), specifically referring to its attack on 1941-12-07. This has special meaning to me, because my late uncle, Raymond Lunde, was a Pearl Harbor survivor. Seeing both the Atomic Bomb Dome and the USS Arizona with my own eyes was a stern reminder that we, as a species, always need to be excellent to each other.
I returned to Tōkyō on the afternoon of 2016-10-23, after having spent the night with my very friendly and accommodating in-laws. I was kindly invited to give a short lecture on the afternoon of 2016-10-24 at Microsoft’s headquarters in Japan that ended up being two and a half hours. It was followed by a reception where I had the pleasure of speaking with nearly all of the attendees while constantly holding a filled glass of 🍷.
The main presentation was entitled 文字コード標準の最新動向について (Current Trends in Character Encoding Standards), and ended with the 2016 editions of two of my Top Ten Lists. In attendance were many experts in my field, many of whom I have known for a long time. I finally had the honor of meeting the legendary Makoto Murata (村田真) who asked some very good questions.
I fly back to 🇺🇸 today.