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Posted in: Happy birthday See in context

Princess Kiko, I believe, is either a Harvard or Yale grad, and grew up mostly in the US and EU. Boy, talk about culture-shock, no wonder she is often ill.

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Posted in: The effects of a frugal Japanese society See in context

“Reframing normal, century old human and market behavior and using it to claim some sense of Japanese cultural superiority.”

Since when is saving money equivalent to claiming cultural superiority? True, Japan has gone, perhaps, too far in this direction, but the reverse was the case prior to this swing. So, there exists, apparently, a pendulum phenomena, despite any lofty theories. Maybe the focus should be on “why should a pendulum phenomena exist at all”. Any theories?

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Posted in: 'Space Battleship Yamato' blasts off See in context

Shows such as “Lost” all are pushing the definition of “true reality”, or “true history”. These shows “question the traditional way of perception” and offer/suggest an “alternative” view/perception by introducing often an improbable, and or an uncomfortable explanation, not to deny any established facts, but only to offer that maybe we should be ready to re-think, or look through a fresh angle. And, after all, that’s ENTERTAINMENT!

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Posted in: What is the best way to resolve the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia over the four islands off Hokkaido? See in context

China-Russia tie-up to test DPJ government is an interesting gambit, as Russia itself has been struggling with the Russian Far-East issue, a long source of Russian insecurity caused by massive number of Chinese workers “invasion” as the native Russians “escape” to western parts. On the surface, the Chinese workers provide the work-force necessary to develop and maintain RFE, but the history tells a different story: Russia fears Chinese take-over of the entire Russian east coast, which China feels Russia stole from them. The issue is more complex as there are still more territories Russia took from China when China was a helpless nation. China is being overtly coy with the Russians.

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Posted in: Laugh-in See in context

When a person of high rank shares a laughter as the Secretary does here, with open mouth and throat revealed, she is signaling that she feels comfortable relaxed. Add closed eyes and you have “trust”.

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Posted in: I protest See in context

It is very likely that the Chinese men are being used to test Japanese reaction, perhaps, by a political organization in China. It is a strategy to entice Japan into reacting inappropriately, so that China, then, will have to take “measures” to teach Japan, again. Sound familiar?

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Posted in: In Japan, the customer is not king See in context

Much of our daily communications such as greetings and asking for things happen with the much vaunted “body language” within the cultural “soup/stew”. Understand that your average wait-staff are not trained in international politics—if this comes as a shock, perhaps, you are missing the point. When you, the international columnist, insist that the Japanese “live up” to its own—the sharp steel edge to your barely hidden agenda creeps me out. You are the thug, wheeling your “weapon” to intimidate the least able to fend themselves. Your behavior is akin to the Chinese in the recent Senkaku incident.

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Posted in: Japan, China test each other's diplomatic resolve See in context

In the end, nationalists will bow low to money, and this is a good thing. Money becomes the voice of reason and rationality.

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Posted in: Japan frees 14 crew members of Chinese ship; captain still held See in context

This “incident” is really no news. Both governments are using this incident as play-fighting—more like shadow-boxing with each other—a lot of noise.

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Posted in: We youngsters lack passion and ambition? Hardly See in context

The generation that re-built post war Japan worked like dogs, true, but for that generation, the country was the same one that the previous generations knew and understood. The young in Japan today are in a difficult terrain. There is the push to westernize, be globally minded, see themselves as the world see them and not as the previous generations taught them. Little wonder then that many youngsters withdraw to be antisocial, and be apathetic about becoming the vital force.

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Posted in: Life's good for Julia Roberts See in context

Beauty in a woman, from a male perspective, is a mystery since the beginning of time. It often happens that a Hollywood beauty is caught in a supermarket with no make-up and is found to be a fairly common looking woman. But, conversely, a fairly ordinary looking actress will appear “made-up” and be a drop-dead beauty at a function. So, one can posit a theorem that a woman can “turn it on” if she sees a pay-off. But, there is a price for this transformation. So, intelligent women use this “magic” only sparingly.

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Posted in: Chinese bestseller slams Goldman Sachs for crisis See in context

Goldman’s boardroom must be filled with tear-filled laughter right now.

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Posted in: China overtakes Japan in 2nd quarter as world's No. 2 economy See in context

Why in the world a small island nation as Japan needs to be number one, or two, or three makes absolutely no sense. Japan can now focus on whats more important, such as the quality of life of its people, and much, much more. Good luck, China!

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Posted in: Growing number of Americans incorrectly call Obama Muslim See in context

At core, all religions provide a path, if you will, to organize and focus one’s thinking and behavior, necessary tools for making one’s way in life. Traversing of such a path does require practice and discipline, not what most people want to hear. Want to lose 20 pounds in a week. Want to acquire discipline in one week. Folks, all the clever excuses will only steer you farther and farther away!

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Posted in: Ishikawa off to poor start at PGA See in context

Ryo should move to the US as soon as he finishes High School. This will acclimate him to the US culture and be more at ease; be more at ease to smack that ball.

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Posted in: Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary? See in context

“All is fair in Love and War.” as the saying suggests, and if the recent global financial crisis is any indication of “what is fair”, any thinking person must come to a general conclusion—the winner always creates the historical narrative—the loser must accept it, period. And, as we all know no one alive is a saint, and so we are quibbling over tiny differences of who is more “right” or more “wrong”. This does not advance the understanding of ourselves and of each other, we are no better situated than when the decision was made to drop the bomb; both sides defending and screaming their arguments till their ugly inhuman true selves are revealed.

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Posted in: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet See in context

The reader must accept the weaving of the explanation of Japanese cultural phenomenon into the meat of the story as a device to “slow” the pace of the narrative. The story’s pace moves along well enough, though, while written primarily for those unfamiliar with Japan and her history.

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Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

I find myself in a reverse scenario, have lived in the U.S. as a Japanese for a number of years. And what continue to amaze me are the nexus and plexus of politics and personal connections. Often, what is perceived to be true turns out to be the reverse; or perception simply missed the underlying reality, totally. No one can or could have “clued me in” on the vast reality that eludes my perception. I can only remain humble of my ignorance, as, yet unperceived realities continue to unveil themselves to me when I am ready. I am grateful that I can be educated.

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Posted in: Kan's wife criticizes him in new book See in context

On the one hand Mrs. Kan’s book reveals the PM as just another salary man who just happens to fall into the PM office. And on the other hand there is a sense of disingenuousness about a “Tell All” by the wife of a sitting PM. But, more than all this maybe a message to the world that Japan is just another small island nation whose leaders are flawed and hapless; and Japan is simply finding and adjusting into a more realistic role in the world.

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Posted in: Reaching for the universe See in context

Agree on her finish and artistry. But, who will agree with me that the world politics will have a large component in determining the winner.

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Posted in: Happy day See in context

Good Job, girls!

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Posted in: Dear Angry Western Guy See in context

While we are all trying to improve ourselves as members of the human society, the guy finds himself in a stressful situation in a stressful society, and lost it (temporarily?). Lets not cast the first stones, no one knows the dynamics of the couple. Besides, the make-up definitely will be blissful.

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Posted in: Do you support a ban on the trade of bluefin tuna? See in context

I do not support the Ban. But, an imposition of a special tax to the tuna catchers and at the whole sale level will curtail consumption. Unfortunately, the not well-off will be punished, but, the tax on tuna can be used for socially minded programs. Yes, the tax amount needs to be effective.

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