18 Feb 2008 - Rod in Japan

Flight left Cairns at 9.25 am for Narita Tokyo. Not too painful at the airport as Cairns is fairly quiet and the flight was uneventful -- caught up on some previous diaries and slotted a load of offline mail into the outbox to get off on arrival at the Tokyo Hotel. Then watched some TV and came across a very interesting film documentary -- it was already on so don't know the title -- but it was about the discovery in a place about halfway between Bethlehem and Jerusalem of a tomb potentially containing the "bone boxes" (don't know how to spell Jewish name of these) which the movie makers/investigators/archaeologists claimed could be those of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, his brothers and ......the enigmatic Mary Magdallen....plus that of a child, possibly of Jesus and Mary Magdallen. The makers also claimed that as this was a family tomb and MM was unrelated by blood to this family then it could mean she was related by wedlock to Jesus! There was also a lot made of the statistical possibilities of names as above being in the same tomb, this being if not necessarily solid proof then at least an indication. I could go on for ages but it was fascinating and quite extraordinary. I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail many years before the Da Vinci Code was first published and find these theories fascinating. When I finally got round to reading the Da Vinci Code (I am always slow to pick up on the cool or trend books and movies) I found the first half quite exciting and interesting, even if not new in its theories, and got through it in a couple of days. It then seemed to drag to a halt and it took me weeks to make myself finish it -- I hate not finishing a book. It really is not well written although the plot was interesting and good, at least at the beginning til it spiralled off to nowhere really. The film wasn't really that hot either sadly. But back to this documentary. I haven't seen or heard anything about this tomb, the discovery or the theories of the Jesus family tomb so don't know where it came from but if anyone has read a book about this please let me know the title ....or send me a signed copy!!! It's a shame there are not more of these thought provoking docs on airline channels. I do enjoy Bruce Willis et al but it can be good to wake up some dormant brain cells occasionally with something a bit more stimulating!!

Arrived in Nippon about 6.30 and was at the hotel by about 8.30, which is pretty good. Immigration was slow but when through the bags were already off and my car waiting and the 19km (I was told by the driver) took less than an hour. In the eighties it could take 4 hours to get from Narita to a hotel in central Tokyo but the Japanese deal with problems very effectively and in a very focussed manner so those traffic problems are long gone relative to those days.

This is I think my 25th visit here -- not just Maiden but also a number of times with WASP and Helloween who are also very successful in Japan  -- in fact Helloween with Kai Hansen were apparently playing the night I would have arrived with the band so missed them again. First class people both bands.

Hooked up laptop and emptied the busy outbox, took care of some other stuff and ate a lot of the very nice fruit basket our promoter had left in each of our rooms. This is standard for Japan where hospitality and welcome (and departure) gifts are still generally a tradition. Unusually nothing from the record company though. I am meeting them tomorrow as not at all happy with their performance here. Not the lack of fruit, the sales!!

I was really just waiting for the band to come back from Yokohama where they were playing the first of two Japan shows so we could get in the bar for a while. Eventually they got back -- in Japan on stage times are very early, 5.50pm on these shows, which is actually a pleasant change as we have more time to go out after. Nicko, Bruce and Davey came down to the bar, apparently Yokohama went well, all good. Also Giancarlo, our relatively new International guy at EMI, Dave P, the Canadians (of course!) and some Japanese friends joined us, including George whose parents own a Sake factory and who always spoils us with gifts of their extremely pleasant brand. Thanks George if you are reading this.

All in good spirits, and Nicko was telling me about the interview he did for the documentary and some stories he started to tell involving the two of us but which I have to tell them the end of, he says -- not much chance of that then!!! Nicko's tales can be very dangerous, just like the man himself!!

It was a good lively evening which eventually came to a close in the early hours.

- Rod

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