Sumiyoshi-Kai Crime Group

Sumiyoshi-kai is the second largest organized crime group of Japan’s Yakuza group. It is also called the Sumiyoshi-rengo. It was founded by Shigesaku Abe in 1958. This gang is estimated to have around 10,000 members. The current boss of Sumiyoshi-kai is Shigeo Nishiguchi.

Sumiyoshi-kai is basically a federation of various small crime groups. It follows a loose chain of command. Though Shigeo Nishiguchi is the Big Boss, but his powers are shared several other men too.

Sumiyoshi-kai has a strange history as regards its name. It underwent various changes in its name. The founder Shigesaku Abe named the organization as Minato-kai in 1958. Later on, when the new boss Yoshimitsu Sekigami came into power, he changed the organization’s name to Sumiyoshi-kai. The organization dissolved in the year 1965. However it again came up in 1969, this time as a union; Masao Hori was behind it. The union was named as the Sumiyoshi-rengo. Masao Hori ruled until his death in October 1990.

After Hori, Shigeo Nishiguchi took over the organization in February 1991. He renamed the organization to Sumiyoshi-kai. After him, Hareaki Fukuda became the head of the organization in 2005.

In 2008, a member of the Yamiguchi-gumi gang, Hioshige Suzuki was brutally murdered in Yashio city, near Tokyo. On the next day of this murder, a member of the Sumiyoshi-kai group, Atsushu Suzuki, was found dead. It was suspected that these murders were a result of a dispute among the two crime groups.

Currently the gang is under great pressure. It is due to the economic recession which has caused a reduction in the gang’s revenue from various sources like the real estate sector.

Recent Changes to Oregon’s Expungement Law Allow More People to Make a Fresh Start

Recent changes to Oregon’s expungement statute (ORS 137.225) expand the list of crimes that can be expunged while shortening the waiting periods for those eligible for expungement. For example, convictions for contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, rape III, sexual abuse III and sodomy III may be expunged if the person seeking expungement has obtained a court order relieving them of the obligation to report as a sex offender. Convictions for certain Class C felony sex crimes are also eligible based on the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim at the time of the offense.

Under the new law effective January 1, 2016 Class B felony drug possession convictions are now eligible for expungement three years after judgment. This means that those convicted of possessing ecstasy, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD and other Schedule I drugs will no longer have to wait 20 years to have their records sealed.

The new law also gives relief to those convicted of a crime who is later convicted of a minor violation such as nonpayment of TriMet fare. In the past, any such violation would “restart” the eligibility clock from the date of the violation. Now, a person seeking expungement gets one “free ride”, meaning that a single violation will not count as a conviction for the purposes of expungement eligibility.

While most of the recent changes to the law are favorable, there is also some bad news for those who have had their probation revoked. As of January 1, 2016 those individuals must now wait ten years from the date of revocation before they can apply for expungement.

These recent changes to Oregon’s expungement law are overwhelmingly favorable for people seeking to put their past mistakes behind them. However, the various time limits and exceptions built into the law make the expungement process very complicated, so consultation with an attorney is essential to assure that your expungement is handled properly.

© 1/25/2015 Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.

Enlightenment and Romanticism – The Myth About Romantic Love

On the topic of romantic love, the Dalai Lama has the following to say: “I think that, leaving aside how the endless pursuit of romantic love may affect our deeper spiritual growth, even from a perspective of conventional way of life, the idealization of this romantic love can be seen as an extreme. Unlike those relationships based on caring and genuine affection, this is another matter. It cannot be seen as a positive thing. It’s something that is based on fantasy, unattainable, and therefore may be a source of frustration“.

The idea of romantic love has been packaged and sold very effectively by films, novels, precious diamond manufacturers as well as the real estate, hotels and tourism industry (selling fantasy or imaginative images of couples walking hand-in-hand along a golden beach with the sun setting in the background!). This has resulted in a multiple-billion dollar industry with the lonely hearts showering their money, time and emotional well-being on chasing “a fictitious tale.”

The book goes on to ask “What is it that makes romance so appealing?” In looking at this question, one finds that Eros – romantic, passionate love – the ultimate ecstasy, is a potent cocktail of cultural, biological, and psychological ingredients. The idea of romantic love has flourished over the past two hundred years under the influence of Romanticism, a movement which has done much to shape our perception of the world. Romanticism grew up as a rejection of the previous Age of Enlightenment, with its emphasis on human reason. The new movement exalted intuition, emotion, feeling and passion… It tended toward the world of imagination of fantasy, the search of a world that is not – an idealized past or utopian future.

The Dalai Lama goes on to say “It seems clear that as a source of happiness, romance leaves a lot to be desired”. And perhaps the Dalai Lama was not far off the mark in rejecting the notion of romance as a basis for a relationship and in describing romance as merely “a fantasy… unattainable” – something not worthy of our efforts. On closer examination, perhaps he was objectively describing the nature of romance rather than providing a negative value judgement… The dictionary, which contains well over a dozen definitions of “romance” or “romantic”, is liberally peppered with phrases such as “a fictitious tale”, “an exaggeration”, “a falsehood”, “fanciful or imaginative” and so on. The ancient concept of Eros, with the underlying sense of of becoming one, of fusion with another, has taken on a new meaning. Romance has acquired an artificial quality, with flavors of fraudulence and deception, the quality that led Oscar Wilde to bleakly observe, “When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends up deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

Closeness and intimacy are an important component of human happiness. There’s no doubt of this. But if one is looking for lasting satisfaction in a relationship, the foundation of that relationship must be solid. It is for this reason that the Dalai Lama encourages us to examine the underlying basis of a relationship, should we find ourselves in a relationship that is going sour.

The Dalai Lama’s approach to building a strong relationship is on the qualities of affection, compassion, and mutual respect as human beings. On the topic of marriage, he goes on to say… “I think many problems occur simply because of insufficient time to know each other. I think that if one is seeking to build a truly satisfying relationship, the best way of bringing this about is to get to know the deeper nature of the person and relate to her or him on that level, instead of merely on the basis of superficial characteristics. And in this type of relationship there is role for genuine compassion”

He defines compassion as “a state of mind that is non-violent, non-harming, and non-aggressive. It is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility, and respect towards the other“.

On the topic of “family values” the book ‘Flow’ has this to say: The current “disintegration” of the family is the result of the slow disappearance of external reasons for staying married. The increase in the marital separations is probably more affected by changes in the labor market that have increased women’s employment opportunities, and by the diffusion of labor-saving home appliances, than it is by a lessening of love or moral fiber.

There have been endless discussion about whether humans are naturally polygamous or monogamous. The issue we have to confront as individuals is not whether humans are “naturally” monogamous or not, but whether we want to be monogamous or not. And in answering that question, we need to weigh all the consequences of our volitional actions and choices. It is customary to think of marriage as the end of freedom, and some refer to their spouses as “old ball-and-chain”. The notion of family life typically implies constraints, responsibilities that interfere with one’s goals and freedom of actions. While this is true, especially when the marriage is of convenience, what we tend to forget is that these rules and obligations are no different, in principle, than those rules that constrain our behavior in other honest activities of life – be it in academics, earning a livelihood or in games.

Cicero once wrote that to be completely free one must become a slave to a set of laws. In other words, accepting limitations is liberating. For example, by making up one’s mind to invest emotional energy, exclusively in a monogamous marriage, regardless of any problems, obstacles, or more attractive options that may come along later, one is freed of the constant pressure of trying to maximize emotional returns. Having made the commitment that an old-fashioned marriage demands, and having made it willingly instead of being compelled by tradition, a person no longer needs to worry whether he or she has made the right choice, or whether the grass might be greener somewhere else. As a result a great deal of energy gets freed up for living, instead of being spent on wondering how to live.

(with book excerpts from “The Art of Happiness” by HH The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler and “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).

The Language and Meaning of Flowers

Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing

Thomas Hood poem, The Language of Flowers

Flowers and bouquets of flowers have a meaning of their own. Most of us know that a dozen red roses means, “Be mine.” But did you know, for example, that a primrose means, “I can’t live without you,” or that a purple hyacinth means, “Please forgive me,” or that a pink carnation means, “I’ll never forget you,” or that a gladiolus means, “Give me a break?”

Flower meanings have been used to convey ideas, feelings and messages for centuries. The word, floriography, has been coined for the assignment of meaning to flowers. There is a meaning to colors of flowers, to numbers of flowers, and to groups of flowers. It is a silent language that has been largely lost to us through lack of use.

In addition to the obvious choices of color and variety, the language of flowers also includes the way flowers are worn or presented. Presenting flowers upright conveys a positive meaning, but if they are presented upside down the meaning is the opposite. If a ribbon is included with the flowers and is tied to the left then the meaning of the flowers refers to the giver, but if the ribbon is tied to the right then the meaning refers to the recipient. Also, flowers can be used to answer questions. When they are presented with the right hand the answer is “yes,” but when presented with the left hand the answer is “no.”

History

The Turks in the 17th century seemed to develop flower meanings. In 1718 the wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, Lady Mary Wortley, wrote a letter expounding on the “Secret Language of Flowers” that she had discovered during her visits to Turkey. Europe quickly picked up on the concept.

In 1819 Louise Cortambert, under the pen name, Madame Charlotte de la Tour, wrote and published what seems to have been the first dictionary of the flower language entitled, Le Language des Fleurs. It was a small book, but it became a popular reference on the subject.

During the Victorian era, the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901, the meaning and language of flowers became increasingly popular. Victorian women especially picked up the silent language that allowed them to communicate feelings and meanings that the strict propriety of the times would not allow. Tussie-mussies, a bouquet of flowers wrapped with a lace doily and tied with a satin ribbon became a popular and valued gift of the times.

In 1884 a whole book on the subject and entitled, The Language of Flowers, by Jean Marsh and illustrated by Kate Greenaway, was published in London. It became popular and respected and has been the standard source for Victorian flower meaning ever since.

Selected Flower Meanings

Here are some selected flowers and their meanings, a short dictionary.

Almond flowers — Hope

Anemone — Forsaken

Aster — Symbol of love

Balm — Sympathy

Basil — Best wishes

Bay leaf — “I change but in death”

Bell flower, white — Gratitude

Bergamot — Irresistible

Bluebell — Constancy

Borage — Courage

Broom — Humility

Campanula — Gratitude

Carnation, pink — I’ll never forget you

Carnation, red — My poor heart aches for you

Carnation, striped — Refusal

China rose — Beauty always new

Chrysanthemum — Love

Clover, four leaved — “Be mine”

Coreopsis — Love at first sight

Cuckoo pint — Ardor

Daffodil — Regard

Daisy — Innocence, new-born, “I share your sentiment”

Fennel — Flattery

Fern — Sincerity

Forget-Me-Not — True love

Furze or Gorse — Enduring affection

French Marigold — Jealousy

Gardenia — Ecstasy

Gentian — Loveliness

Geranium — “You are childish”

Hare bell — Grief

Heartsease — “I am always thinking of you”

Honeysuckle — Bonds of love

Heather — Admiration

Hyacinth — I am sorry, Please forgive me

Ice Plant — “Your appearance freezes me”

Ivy — Fidelity, friendship, marriage

Jasmine — Grace

Jonquil — “I hope for return of affection”

Lavender — Luck, devotion

Lemon Balm — Sympathy

Lilac — First love

Lily — Purity, modesty

Lily of the Valley — Purity, the return of happiness

Lily, Calla — Beauty

Marigold — Health, grief or despair

Marjoram — Kindness, courtesy

Myrtle — Fidelity

Oregano — Joy

Orchid — Love, beauty, refinement

Pansy — Loving thoughts

Periwinkle — Happy memory

Phlox — Agreement

Poppy, red — Consolation

Primrose — I can’t live without you

Rose, cabbage — Ambassador of love

Rose, red — Love

Rose, pink — Grace, beauty

Rose, yellow — Friendship

Rosemary — Remembrance, constancy

Rue — Contrition

Sage — Gratitude, domestic virtue

Snowdrop — Hope

Star of Bethlehem — Purity

Sweet Pea — Departure, tender memory

Sweet William — Gallantry

Tuberose — Voluptuousness

Tulip, red — My perfect lover, Reclamation of love

Violet — Loyalty, modesty, humility

Violet, blue — Faithfulness

Wormwood — Grief

Wheat — Riches of the continuation of life

Willow, weeping — Mourning

Wallflower — Fidelity

Yew — Sorrow

The Rose

The Rose is the flower whose meaning we most understand, but here are some details of the meaning of the Rose that may be of further interest.

Rose, Black – You are my obsession

Rose, Champagne – You are tender and loving

Rose, Leonidas – Sweet love

Rose, Nicole – You are graceful and elegant, aristocratic

Rose, Orange – You are my secret love

Rose, Pink – Brilliant complexion; the glow of your smile; perfect happiness

Rose, Red – Passionate love; I love you

Rose, Single Stems – Simplicity

Rose, White – I am worthy of you; spiritual love; Innocence and Purity; Secrecy and Silence

Rose, White and Red – We are inseparable

Rose, White and Red Mixed – Unity; Flower emblem of England

Rose, White, Dried – Death is preferable to loss of virtue

Rose, Yellow – Friendship; Jealousy; I am not worthy

Rose, Bridal – Happy Love

Rose, Dark Crimson – Mourning

Rose, Hibiscus – Delicate beauty

Rose, Tea – I’ll remember always

Rose, Thornless – Love at first sight

Roses, Bouquet of Mature Blooms – Gratitude

Multiple Roses

Single bloom red Rose – Love at first sight or I still love you

Single Rose, any color – Gratitude or simplicity

2 Roses – Mutual feelings

3 Roses – I love you

7 Roses – I’m infatuated with you

9 Roses – We’ll be together forever

10 Roses – You are perfect

11 Roses – You are my treasured one

12 Roses – Be mine

13 Roses – Friends forever

15 Roses – I’m truly sorry

20 Roses – I’m truly sincere towards you

21 Roses – I’m dedicated to you

24 Roses – Forever yours

25 Roses – Congratulations

50 Roses – Unconditional love

99 Roses – I will love you all the days of my life

108 Roses – Will you marry me?

999 Roses – I love you till the end of time

What To Do

With the lists above you should be able to assemble a meaningful gift of flowers or a bouquet that conveys a complex thought. Wrap the flowers appropriately and present them in a significant manner. Then, just to be certain that your efforts are not misinterpreted, include a card that fully explains the meaning of your flowers.

After a few flower presentations you should be able to drop the explanatory notes and begin enjoying and sharing the silent language of flowers.

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The Tangram – Seven Boards of Cunning

The Tangram is a Chinese puzzle over a millennium old. It resembles the Western jigsaw puzzle, but differs from the same in always having seven pieces, which are fitted together in different ways to make an almost infinite number of different shapes. Each puzzle-game begins by posing or selecting a challenge–an outline or silhouette of a figure which is supposed to be the “solution” of the game. Make your solution by arranging the pieces of the tangram-set to attain a match with the given figure.

Several versions on its word etymology abound while its Chinese origin is almost uncontested. The most current version from Hanyu Pinyin (the romanization system for Chinese Mandarin developed by the People’s Republic of China) calls the tangram: qi quiao ban–and is translated to literally mean “seven boards of cunning.” Another version claims Tang is Cantonese for “Chinese” and Gram is for “something drawn”–therefore, “something Chinese drawn.”

To make a tangram, just get a square piece of material and cut it into five right-triangles (there will be three different sizes: with two for each of the smaller and bigger pieces), a square, and a rhomboid (also called a parallelogram). If you cannot make this out, just get yourself any illustrated English dictionary, and look up the word–tangram; most of the time, you will find an illustration with it. Alternatively, just browser-search the word on the Internet…

Aside from mandating that all seven pieces (called tans) are used to solve a puzzle, the rules of the game further require that none of the pieces overlap and that the tans are touching one another. Puzzles must comply with these tenets in order to be considered as official or “compliant” tangram puzzles.

Some of the puzzles currently offered include: geometric shapes, numerals and alphabetic characters; man-made objects such as houses, buildings, bridges; human figures in action, different animals in many poses, and others. An estimate is that there are 6.13 million possible “compliant” configurations–where “compliant” means that at least one edge and at least one vertex of any tan is matched to (or touching) an edge or the vertex (or tip) of another.

Convex shapes are tangram configurations where a line segment drawn between any two points on the shape always pass through the interior of the configuration. These are a few simple polygons, with no recesses on them; which have been proven to number only thirteen. This count includes just the following: one right-triangle, six quadrilaterals, two pentagons, and four hexagons.

Paradoxes are two similar shapes, with one being a derivative of the other; almost the same but distinctively different because the other has a part of it missing. The most common of this is the Dudeney paradox of two monks– where the other version has a foot missing.

Over all these years, the tangram has maintained its universal appeal as a worthy pastime and object of interest in art and design; while teaching geometric abstraction, proportion, and context.