Japan Today

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Posted in: The return of Charisma Man See in context

I love how Western Woman is the nemesis of Charisma Guy! XD! Honestly, I read a couple of Charisma Man strips and it reflected the dime a dozen Charisma Men on this very site... and yes Charisma Men do have a mix of irrational fear and contempt (sour grapes style) for Western women. It's amazing how such a reaction seems to increase in a directly proportional relation to the accomplishments of any Western woman they meet or learn about from others or from Media (such as JT), so that Western Woman does not need to be physically there to burst Charisma Man's bubble.

I quote Good_Jorb's post because it is so true it's sad and hilarious at the same time:

QUOTE Good_Jorb at 11:28 PM JST - 21st July: "There were certian questions that almost always came up in conversations and my answers would always elicit the response of me being a blasphemer. CM: Don't you think Japanese women are the most beautiful women in the world? Me: No, they're not any more or less beautiful then other women in world. CM: Whaaaaaaat, blasphemer! CM: Don't you hate how Japan only lets foreigners be English Teachers? Me: I'm not an English Teacher. CM: Lies! The asinine conversations that seem to be repeated ad nauseum by CM types, are enough for them to deserve being satired."

Pure gold!

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Posted in: No Wii can't See in context

Face it: Wii Fit is only a simulation. The author does have a point: staying indoors all the time alone and play pretend with a screen is... not the ideal situation. ALONE is the keyword here. Read the article again.

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Posted in: Miley Cyrus: 'I'm not trying to be slutty' See in context

Miley Cyrus: 'I'm not trying to be slutty'

Well... if she felt she had to explain what she is trying to look like, she is definitely onto something there. She looks slutty but she still has issues with looking that way. Perhaps it's about time for her to fire her fashion adviser, if she really thinks she does not want to look that way.

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Posted in: Chicago See in context

Ms. Wrights looks a bit like Julie Andrews in that photo! She's very pretty and has the best legs in the photo. Ms. Yonekura is too skinny and needs to shape up her legs, yet she has a pretty face.

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Posted in: Bodies See in context

The one on the far right of the photo looks so optimistic and... fit XD. He looks very nice! No.5 looks good, too... The one between them looks like Huey Lewis (without the News). No.7, I dunno... I still prefer the guy on the far right =D.

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Posted in: Do you think paper-based books will eventually become a thing of the past as digital books become more popular? See in context

Of course not. The vast majority of the world's population cannot afford digital books.

School children from low middle class to poor families may resort to buying second hand books or take donations from charities in order to study; digital books are an elitist commodity and will continue to do so for as long as there are two worlds in the same planet: the so called first, and the so called third.

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Posted in: Flowers See in context

Kyoka Suzuki is the only glamorous person in this photograph. I do suppose it may be called, "experience."

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Posted in: What do you think are some of the most spectacular scenes ever filmed in movies? See in context

The scene of the Ten Commandments when Moses (Charlton Heston) divided the waters of the Red Sea is one of my favorites.

Also, the scene of Planet of the Apes where the astronaut (again Charlton Heston) and the mute girl reach the beach on horseback and discover the statue of Liberty half-buried in the sand, and he screams NOOOOOOOO @____@;;;.

ALSO, the scene of The Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader tells Luke, "I am your father" >:D and Luke screams NOOOOOO! DX.

Countless movies have paid tribute to that scene with a similar "I am your father" revelation theme x.x;. Same for Planet of the Apes scene with the statue of Liberty half-buried in stuff.

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Posted in: What can be done to stem the suicide rate in Japan, which surpasses 30,000 each year? See in context

.___.; Saying "I love you man" to random strangers is freaky, useless and an empty gesture. People need real "love" not just the word. I realize I may only speak from my own cultural standpoint, but after years of watching Japan around me I think what is needed in Japan is sincerity. Japanese people are encouraged to avoid being a nuisance to others (mendokusai), to avoid speaking their mind to others, even family and friends (erasouna hito; urusai), and to keep their problems hidden because having any problems of a personal nature is seen as weakness (which in turn is regarded as short from being a disgrace). If people were more free to communicate their problems and talk about it to a caring person in order to find solutions, people would overcome most difficulties. However in Japan people bottle up, till their stress and hidden feelings explode in someone's face and innocents get hurt or killed. Mental health is relegated to the back room; mental problems are shameful and taboo in Japan with the consequence that ill people do not seek help. Even psychiatrists here avoid talking about the problems themselves (the culture doesn't allow it) and try to solve everything with pills instead of using psychological exercises for example, or dialectic methods. In summary, it is as if the whole of society as a structure was engineered to suppress and suffocate personal feelings. Only "collective" feelings matter (wareware nihonjin, nijonjin ha, waga kuni and so on) which is the social face; the tatemae. As long as the front is okay, the back can be in disarray (saying daijoubu when actually they are not alright at all). This must change somehow. How can someone love another without speaking their mind and hearing back sincerity and truth? Saying "I love you" without substance achieves nothing.

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Posted in: Expo fashion show See in context

In the Seibu lobby at Tsukuba Center there is an exposition of memorabilia from the Ibaraki Expo'85 with scale models, posters, photos and items from the expo, including prize medals. It's very interesting. The uniforms of the Osaka Expo'70 companions in the photo above reminded me of the photos of the Ibaraki Expo'85 girls in their uniforms. However the old photos in the exhibit at Tsukuba city are more appealing because it shows how drastically the concept of female beauty has undergone astounding changes in Japan from those days to today. Most remarkably, the girls in the old photos of 1985 were tanned, some had dark skin like that of Japanese children in junior high school from outdoor exercise at PE class. The eyes were smaller and slanted, the noses smaller and cute, the body fuller and the overall look was more "Asian" than anything else. I was surprised. Because of this, I think the photo above is deceptive in the sense that it only portrays the uniforms, not the Japanese people of 1970 or how Japan pictured itself back then. It would have been nicer to have old photos instead of 2010 models wearing uniforms from 1970.

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Posted in: Ai Haruna and comedians get together to dub animated feature See in context

Goddog: They have to say transsexual because that is an inextricable part of Haruna's marketing value. Being just "Haruna" is not enough - trans-sexuality is the most important feature of Haruna; it is the part of her show-persona that sells.

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Posted in: Anti-smoking ads spark scandal in France See in context

I think an ad that (further) sexualizes smoking would most likely backfire into attracting more people to cigarette addiction. Sadly, popular culture worships sex and as it's common knowledge, sex sells.

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Posted in: Japan says its whaling is conducted under international accord See in context

I think that the best solution is to take the case to international court. Diplomatic solution may be "quicker" but what is best: "quicker" or "effective?" I think that Japan wants to avoid international court for the face-saving issue, since it is likely that Japan would lose the case at international court; however diplomatic solution is no longer appropriate. Because of the issues regarding climate change and endangered species (where the number of endangered species and habitats increase over time) it is essential for the planet to address the larger issue of international cooperation to push international needs over national wants. The outcome of this case at international court would be essential in reviewing, reshaping and creating international treaties and conventions for the safeguarding of the biosphere and its resources for the survival of mankind in short and longer term, under the effects of climate change. In contrast, a diplomatic solution would only be a band-aid that might help Japan save face this once, but would be a sterile solution, most likely short-sighted and highly manipulated in terms of politics, propaganda and election campaigning.

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Posted in: Man arrested after embracing female employee in hotel See in context

What is the case scenario here: A woman doing her job, shows a drunken man to what is essentially a private bedroom. He suddenly decides she is succulent and grabs her. I think "embrace" here is a kind of euphemism, an attempt to keep political correctness (why? It's a news report), or a poor choice of word by the translator. "Embrace" is a word of common use in romantic novels like Harlequin.

Personally, I would have screamed for help. Perhaps she did and that is how he got caught and arrested. There are things not even so-called timid Japanese women will tolerate from impolite customers.

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Posted in: Man saves woman from train after she falls onto tracks See in context

Amazing! ^0^! I wish him a successful future and a long, healthy life!

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Posted in: Bosses uptight over newbies' ignorance of phone protocol See in context

I used to work at a Real-Estate company (not in Japan). After 7/11 our staff was reduces and most of the secretaries were fired, so that we had to write down reports and answer the phone ourselves. Since we didn't have training for HR, we were given instructions at a simple meeting. The company had a structure like this: 1)Greeting, 2)Name of the company, 3)special phrase with the motto of the company, 4)department, 5)identify yourself by name and title, 6)how may I help you? It seems inane, but we had to either memorize it or read it from a card so we wouldn't miss anything. It was office protocol. Surely Japanese companies do have the same thing; the article seems to suggest the new employee hadn't been told the official protocol or else, he would have known he was supposed to answer the phone.

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Posted in: Formula One See in context

I'd say the car is the one that is very fast c.c;

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Posted in: The dark side See in context

I agree; Darth Vader looks way too short to be convincing. If the organizers had somehow changed the mask proportions like, getting a smaller helmet, narrower armor breastplate and a really thin guy, the figure would have been more balanced.

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Posted in: Shampoodle See in context

O____O; That's the stuff of nightmares right there. The Howling (1981 movie) immediately came to my mind e.e; (I only saw the poster when I was a kid and that was more than enough). The white beast on the photo with its distended jaws in a blood-curdling howl is an accident waiting to happen. Its owner is going to pay dearly for having its behind shaven and exposed in public.

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Posted in: JAL, Mexicana to increase code share routes See in context

I wish I could connect flights in Mexico instead of having to enjoy the USA customs' hospitality on my way to my country.

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Posted in: U.S. takes charge in Haiti — with troops, rescue aid See in context

Concerning US interest in investing on Haiti right now, I found this editorial interesting: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucru/20100115/cm_ucru/thehaitianearthquakemadeinusa

The most important thing is that the aid may be rapidly organized so that it gets to the people quickly. Apparently, there is disorganization on air traffic control. The first plane with help from my country had to land in Santo Domingo because the Port au-Prince airport did not respond to their requests for permission to land, because of disorganization at the airport site. They will try again tomorrow.

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Posted in: Why is groping so prevalent on trains in Japan? Anyone care to hazard a guess as to the psychological reasons on why men grope? See in context

I think men in Japan grope to transfer their feelings of impotence, helplessness and inadequacy. They are psychologically abused (or so they feel) at work, belittled and in general, castrated by the office culture and social hierarchies at the workplace and at home. Because they feel they are powerless losers, they transfer their frustration by abusing someone weaker that is not likely to defend themselves. Similar principles apply for child abusers, wife beaters and abusers of the elderly and infirm. The looks and dress of the victim are irrelevant, because the feeling of empowerment is all the same regardless of the victim's appearance because: they dehumanize the victim in their mind in order to treat them as a sexual object; it is arguable that uniforms are manipulated as sex fetiches by Japanese Media; and, it's not the looks of the victim but the immediate availability provided by the environment of a packed train.

Gropers are frustrated people, and not necessarily in a sexual way; but because sex abuse is specially shameful and hurtful to the anonymous victim, groping is their weapon of choice. Other people choose box cutters, kitchen knives or scissors to chop off chunks of hair from the heads of others - the common denominator is the same: depersonalization, frustration, repression and feelings of inadequacy.

Groping is wrong and should be treated as what it is: a crime. Gropers may need help, but that does not excuse their behavior, their malice and their cruelty.

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Posted in: Tens of thousands feared dead in Haiti quake See in context

Typo: My post's last line must read, "Japanese expertise on the third stage is as needed as the expertise of others for the first and second stages is needed."

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Posted in: Tens of thousands feared dead in Haiti quake See in context

Don't underestimate the third stage; it's as important as the rescue effort. Reconstructing infrastructure, reestablishing water and electricity networks and making sure the buildings are safe for survivors to use is crucial, too. It's all about coordinated organization.

Before I was born, there was a devastating earthquake in Nicaragua in 1972. My father, who is a civil engineer, participated in relief efforts in a group of engineers sent to Nicaragua by my country and his group's specific task was to rebuild roads and bridges to allow aid to reach zones isolated by the earthquake. He told me about it when I was a kid. Latin American countries traditionally help out each other in this kind of situation, but you have to administrate resources at every stage of the reconstruction effort, and every professional and worker have important tasks to do. Japanese expertise on the third stage is as needed and the expertise of others for the first and second stages is needed.

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Posted in: Julio Iglesias to tour Japan in April See in context

XD! I always found it hilarious how he could sing that song "Un hombre solo" (a lonely man) @.@; he wasn't lonely at all, he had like five kids with different women!

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Posted in: 3 Malaysian churches firebombed in 'Allah' dispute See in context

I wonder if Abraham's name will be banned, too.

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Posted in: Falconry exhibition See in context

After pressing the shutter the photographer ran for his life, most likely ;D.

Falconry has awed me since I was a child. I saw a film about traditional falconry in Mongolia with most majestic eagles. I have read that owls are much more difficult to train, and a special license is required (after a license for falconry, that is!).

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Posted in: Disney sees superhero dollars in Marvel unknowns See in context

smithinjapan at 11:16 AM JST - 31st December: I can just see Disney's PUNISHER movie.

ROFLOL! x__x;;; Yaa... I thought something similar, too.

I wonder if the unknown superheroes will make impromptu dances and songs, and will have cute anthropomorphic sidekicks, too.

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Posted in: Boy reunited with American dad in Brazil See in context

Typo: It should read "They are criminals," not there are criminals.

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Posted in: Boy reunited with American dad in Brazil See in context

This is how I see it: The mother was a Brazilian, married an American man. In Latin America till very recently if not yet ongoing, it was considered that marrying an American was a good catch, getting a Green Card and an American consumerist lifestyle. Said woman took her child to Brazil, saying it was a two-weeks vacation; however she forced a divorce and married a Brazilian tycoon. Said Brazilian tycoon paid pricey lawyers to keep the child in Brazil. Woman dies in childbirth, Brazilian tycoon makes a Goliath-David esque legal battle (him being Goliath) to keep the child. Brazilian man became diplomatic trouble, had to give back the child. End.

I for one, feel that justice has been made. International parental child abduction is a terrible issue. How many stories of Japanese parents and grandparents abducting children into Japan and the left behind parent being helpless in the face of Japan being a haven for parental child abductors? The grandmother can say whatever she wishes, she had no right to abduct a child. Latin American culture does not condone such things. There are criminals. Maybe in time, after the child becomes a legal adult, he could travel to Brazil again. After all, the Brazilian family is stinking rich! They can easily afford to visit him in the US (under tight surveillance, that is!).

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