Apolitical comments

Posted in: China sells Tojo ice cream on war end anniversary See in context

Bad choice. I would say these candies promote Tojo. You know, in Egypt they sell sweets with pictures of Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi on them, and nobody considers it offensive.

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Posted in: China marks 70th anniversary of victory over Japan See in context

This is politics. Nobody is obliged to make sense.

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Posted in: On patrol See in context

Yup. that's what traveling by plane looks like to me. I've never been on a plane, but I imagine it's anything but pleasant. 0% privacy, and prison-like security measures.

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Posted in: Google changes logo as it prepares to join Alphabet See in context

I''m glad they designed from the serif. The fewer details, the better it is to read. I must say the new design is really striking and instantly recognizable, even more recognizable than the old one. And no, I don't think it has anything to do with rainbows. The colors are simply a measure to make the logo look more attractive and "exciting".

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Posted in: Olympic logo designer says he endured unbearable harassment See in context

The logo should be least concern for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. After all, I don't really remember what were the logos of previous Olympic games in London, Beijing or Athens. Still, the logo should have been double checked for any potential copyright infringements.

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Posted in: Sandy Godzilla See in context

I'm not a fan of Godzilla, but the sculpture is impressive.

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Posted in: Android smartwatches get in time with iPhone See in context

Oh dear. Those smart watches have no practical use that gives you more possibilities than owning a smartphone. It's a book case of market creating demand for a product which wouldn't be popular otherwise.

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Posted in: Muslim man accidentally served bacon while being detained at immigration center See in context

I can't imagine what "scandal" would arise if a vegetarian would be served meat.

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Posted in: Little League champs See in context

Congratulations to both teams.

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Posted in: Taking a break See in context

I appreciate there is no English version of the placard. Makes me think the protest isn't just a spectacle for the English speaking media.

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Posted in: China's leadership fans antipathy toward Japan See in context

It seems like every nation has its wonderland where their people are pure and innocent. Japan has Yasukuni, China has its own propaganda. Not to mention North Korea which is trying to be anything but authentic..

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Posted in: Trump dumps insults on questioners; insists on control See in context

Donald Trump is a lot more charismatic alternative to democratic candidate than McCain or Romney were in previous elections. His pro side is that he doesn't like small talk, he wants to get the things done, has the courage to say things that aren't pleasant to hear. That means he will probably be a tough negotiator. On the other side, however, there is very little subtlety and political correctness in him. That's everything but good in maintaining foreign relations. Also I'd expect him to force his own vision, rather than participate in the public debate (this is the bad side of not liking small talk). He'd be probably willing to throw all of Obama's work to the trash and deal harshly with the illegal immigration. That does remind me of Nixon to an extent. Still, it's only my speculation.

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Posted in: Samba Carnival See in context

American flags are put on literally anything nowadays...

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Posted in: Police on alert over split in biggest yakuza gang See in context

Depending on the character of the group itself, its rules and the level of commitment each member expresses, the situation may evolve in different directions. I think it's most likely that the group is involved in several conflicts with other entities (legal and illegal, beside the police), which force the group to maintain a strict set of rules and principles. In such a scenario, members of the group must form a monolith. No diversity is welcome. Assuming the member's affiliation to the gang is their only social identity, the group would probably express high tendency towards hiding internal conflicts. In a case like this, any struggle that would be exposed in the group would be a noticeable threat to the existence of the gang itself. At least that's what microsociology says. This news shows that such a conflict did indeed appear. There is a high chance that it's the beginning of the end for them, and new structures of power are about to emerge in nearest time. Still, it's just my personal speculation. There is not enough data to really say something more definite.

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Posted in: Police probe suspicious fires on JR lines in Tokyo See in context

There's a chance that the fires were not intentional, but merely a result of a railgrinder being used on the tracks. These machines produce a huge amount of sparks, which may set some patches of grass on fire. There was a time where I noticed several patches of burnt grass by the railroad track I often use (one of them was still burning). It was very weird to me, but after I learned what a railgrinder is, it all made sense.

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Posted in: Time for black or gay 007, says Brosnan See in context

What a nonsense. And how would a black or gay James Bond relate to all of the previous movies? It would be like making a completely different story, where only the name would suggest that the character has anything to do with James Bond.

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Posted in: University students stage hunger strike over security bills See in context

Maybe in some other country this form of protest would make a change, but I doubt it will change anything in Japan. A lot of people are already dissatisfied with the direction in which the politics are heading, but Abe doesn't seem to care about it at all.

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Posted in: Stadium powwow See in context

Japan was chosen for the 2020 Olympics because it was a "safe bet", which would guarantee there will be no problems with all the necessary investments and organization. The fact that one of the building projects was canceled is a sign that things do not go as smooth as they should. It's nothing serious at this point, though. Still, I'd rather see the Olympics being permanently hosted by Greece, there's no need to build huge infrastructure projects that would only be used couple of times before they become a huge burden. And it would provide Greece with cash they really need right now.

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Posted in: Dark side of colonization See in context

I don't find this one really inspiring. Whenever I think of colonialism I imagine myself a scene from "The Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, where a ship fires canons into the jungle just for the sake of it. There was something really frightening about that scene when I read it.

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Posted in: Fired reporter kills 2 former co-workers on live TV in Virginia See in context

I must say this doesn't really surprise me. The day before this shooting occurred I saw some old Law & Order episode about a boy who dressed up like a ninja and shot his colleagues in the school cafeteria. The motive was revenge for bullying (apart from obvious mental defect). There was also video recording of the crime (but in this case, by a third party). Whatever people might say about the shooter and his aggressive tendencies, in his eyes he was a victim of the system. Probably had problems with recognizing what impact his actions have on others. Probably self-centered, was convinced he deserved something better from life and saw other people as an obstacle that needs to be removed. At some point he must have come to the conclusion that "If I can't have it, nobody should.". And most certainly, he remodeled his personal issues into a social manifesto.

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Posted in: 400th anniversary of Siege of Osaka See in context

The ultimate victory of Tokugawa, represented by Tokugawa Ieyasu, was a result of a deal he made earlier with the "taiko" Toyotomi Hideyoshi. As a result his forces did not participate earlier in the Korean campaign and it gave him an advantage on the battlefield. He had means, motive and opportunity to become the first official shogun after the Ashikaga became powerless and ignored by all the local warlords. Ieyasu was probably the most cunning person of all of the big figures of his period - he let other people do the hard work, and when they were too weak to keep the power, he took everything for himself. He knew how people before him had trouble with maintaining succession, mostly because they were dead and couldn't influence other people. So, what he did was to simply retire and (de facto) secure the position of his son as the next shogun.

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Posted in: Nosing in See in context

High speed trains are awesome, at least when you can afford a ticket.

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Posted in: Turbulent markets See in context

And that's why stocks are more risky than bonds. Anyways I can't afford any of them so the finance market could fall over and I couldn't care less.

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Posted in: Ueno gathering See in context

From distance I thought the tour guides were wearing Polish highlander hats, but upon closer inspection I'd say there are some differences.

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Posted in: Paddle power See in context

@genjuro Yes, this indeed looks like it could be a work of an impressionist painter such as Monet, although he probably would choose brighter shades of green, use blue instead of black and would't make the boat so detailed. Impressionist paintings are really something, I even have a reprint of Monet's "Impression, sunrise" in my room.

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Posted in: Assorted characters See in context

One Piece may have Guiness World Record, it's certainly #1 in Japan, but not abroad - Naruto is the #1 in the western world (even after the series ended). I was buying One Piece for some time, but I recently came to the conclusion it was pointless - it's clear to me that author's creativity is gone now and all the new stories and characters are clones of previous ones. Not to mention every single characters expresses traits of severe ADHD and narcissism. I wonder what is the reason behind the popularity of the series - whether it's numerous cultural themes the series present or simply the surname of the author.

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Posted in: Lego characters See in context

With an average review of 27/100 on Metacritic, this movie needs some serious investment in promotion.

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Posted in: Jeb Bush links Clinton to rise of Islamic State See in context

Another episode of the Blame Game series.

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Posted in: Quiet afternoon See in context

I wonder if you need a fishing permit in a place like this.

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Posted in: China denounces Japanese ministers' Yasukuni shrine visits See in context

Yasukuni is a religious place and should be left alone, beside that case of war criminals there isn't really much controversy. The real issue here is the museum next to Yasukuni (Yūshūkan) which portrays history of world war 2 in a way that essentially frees all Japanese people from responsibility for wartime actions with a "they made me do it" kind of rhetoric. To put it simply, it's a place of old fashioned propaganda, where Japan is a victim not an offender, and where all the dirt had been carefully wiped under the carpet. Something really has to be done about this place, but whatever Shinzo Abe says about reconciliation, nothing is going to change while he's still in charge.

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