Japan Today

ben4short comments

Posted in: Yankees give Tanaka a win in Major League debut See in context

edojin, you make no sense at all, sorry to say.

Ok, so you hate the Yankees. Fair enough. But have you ever thought of the possibility that Tanaka doesn't? It was clearly his first choice, so why on earth would HE be selling HIS soul to a team that YOU hate? Your anti-Yankee venom has obviously gotten the better of your logic.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Yankees give Tanaka a win in Major League debut See in context

edojin, okay, so you don't like the Yankees. To each his own. But would you mind explaining what your second sentence means?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Strong effort by Tanaka in Yankees' triumph See in context

Yet another JT hyped headline. A pitcher doesn't win games based on his strikeout count, but by the number of runs he gives up. Therefore, Tanaka striking out roughly one batter per inning while giving up almost an equal number of hits (at least two of which were for extra bases) and 3 runs in five innings hardly qualifies as a "strong effort." I'm a big Ma-kun supporter and hope he wins every award possible, including a World Series ring, but how about some honest and objective journalism, JT editors.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Murakami to publish first short story collection in 9 years See in context


So if Macondo becomes Tacondo all beauty and integrity is lost?

Never said a word about "beauty," so I don't know what's on your mind. And yes, even as slight a change from Macondo to Tacondo is, after all, a change to placate others, not what the author originally intended, so there is definitely a loss of integrity. Artists don't bend, whether to the silly whims of a bunch of small town reactionaries, or to something higher. Take a look at the Nobel-worthy Salman Rushie and what he went through to maintain his artistic integrity, and take a look at the depth and scope of his books, and maybe you'll see why Murakami is still in the minor leagues, at best.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Murakami to publish first short story collection in 9 years See in context


Is the name of the town so crucial to the artistic integrity of a story...?

The fact that you ask such a question shows how little you know about writing, the creative process AND artistic integrity. Writing fiction is not a communal art form, such as screenplays. It is fiercely independent and solitary, which means that the writer is responsible for every single word he chooses to use. Every "a" and "in" and "of," etc. A writer of integrity would have blown off that silly complaint about lit cigs and stuck to his original instinct to include it. But Murakami caved because a handful of townies objected. What utter nonsense.

I actually like Murakami's nonfiction much more than his fiction.

Mediocre means mediocre . . . what needs to be explained? His vision is stunted; his plots are poorly constructed; his execution is clumsy; his characters are shallow; his dialogue is stilted . . . anything else? To mention his name in the same breath as Nobel laureates like Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isaac Singer, Saul Bellow, et al is as cruel an insult to these truly visionary writers as possible.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Murakami to publish first short story collection in 9 years See in context

Murakami's gutless decision to change the name of the small Japanese town only proves that on a personal level he's as lacking in artistic integrity as the mediocre work he turns out.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland bans all fur items See in context

Unfortunate and ridiculous decision by Disney, caving to PETA. What's next, liberating Mickey and friends from the exploitative entertainment of us humans?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo fair showcases latest sex aids See in context

The three-day show, which runs until Sunday,

Thanks, JT, for the advance notice. Would have liked to have gone, but . . .

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Posted in: Police officer fatally shoots himself in head in station toilet See in context

In the head, of all places.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: New arcade game lets you get face-to-face with AKB48 members… and shoot them in the face See in context

Given the contempt most Japanese men feel toward women, and given their fondness for acts of obscene degradation, I'm sure they fantasize that the handguns they use are shooting bullets of a different nature.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Baseball star Tanaka charters Dreamliner for flight to New York See in context

Before pulling such an idiotic, grandstanding stunt like this, I was hoping Tanaka would kick butt in the Majors. Yet in the span of the ninety seconds it took me to read this most disturbing article, I now hope the jerk loses every game he starts. (First lesson for foreigners coming to the US: don't try to out-Americanize the Americans. It just ain't cool, like when we come to Japan and try to out-Japanize the Japanese.)

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Posted in: Foreigners reveal when they felt they really 'got this whole Japan thing' See in context

I got it when I finally realized there is no getting it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan ranks 26th of 60 countries in global English proficiency See in context

The "English problem" in Japan has got absolutely nothing to do with teachers, teaching methods, schools, curriculum, number of years studied or anything else already mentioned. It's quite simple: Japanese will never be good at the language because it is fundamentally considered un-Japanese to speak English properly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: FamilyMart cancels release of foie gras bento due to complaints over animal cruelty See in context

Though I haven't eaten meat in twenty-five years, I think Family Mart's cancellation is utter and complete nonsense.

4 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Honeymooner shot in Ecuador returns to Japan See in context

Spender, if you're speaking from personal experience, I'm deeply sorry for your loss. But at the same time I think you're being unduly harsh and unfair to our amigo Elbuda. It is perfectly clear from his first post exactly what he meant, which is NOT that Mariko forget the tragedy, but that she somehow musters the strength to live with the hole in her heart and find happiness with another man at some point in her future (nobody mentioned anything about "quickly").

Finally, just because you may be grieving does not make it all right for you to assume certain things about people you've never met. For all you know, Elbuda may have suffered losses outweighing your very own.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Academics apologize for ‘robot’ cleaning woman cover See in context

Smitty, not sure of the logic of your leap to gang rapes because none of this discussion has been about 1st amendment rights, but so be it. Much of your logic I find hard to follow. For the record, though, in case you're interested, I am against censorship in any form by any body.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Academics apologize for ‘robot’ cleaning woman cover See in context

One of the great pleasures of living in Japan has always been the (relative) absence of PC kooks and the fascistic language police, but apparently those days are coming to a sad end. The article fails to mention who it was that complained about the "offensive" cover. Wouldn't it be nice if the editors had the guts to refuse any sort of apology, and wouldn't it be even nicer if those who complained would get a life?

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Posted in: The big tuna See in context

Why do you say, Smith, that the buyer "wasted his money on a fish?"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: The big tuna See in context

And where, pray tell, Mr. Smith, does either the photo or article mention the weight of last year's fish?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: The big tuna See in context

Yes but how much did last year's fish weigh? Comparing only prices is meaningless. It's price per kilo that tells the story. If you don't know the answer, JT, you shouldn't run this photo/caption. 95% lower than last year's price tells us absolutely nothing about the economy, the tuna market, etc . . . all it means is that last year's fish was bigger.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Abe says it is time to revise pacifist constitution See in context

Well, it's so refreshing to see a Japanese leader who not only has cajones, but also has a realistic view of Asia and the world. Enough of this vague, naive, sentimental over-dependence on the US. He's damn right. It really is a different world today, and it's about time Japan revise its constitution, close all US bases and send every last GI home, and develop its own nuclear weapons. The false assumption most people make is that a "mature," independent, militarized Japan equals an imperialistic Japan, and this is just plain silly.

-13 ( +15 / -28 )

Posted in: Tanaka looks ahead See in context

Mike DeJong, glad to see we have a pitching arm expert among us. Perhaps you should share your insight with the MLB team that's gonna spend over $100 M on a pitcher who, according to you, will be gone after a year or two. Don't you think the MLB clubs are fully aware of his pitch count for every single of his seven years in Japan, and don't you think they are going to do everything in their power to give him adequate rest and keep him healthy in order to protect their investment?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Tanaka looks ahead See in context

Nice shot. The contrast is striking between his boyish good looks and the competitive ruthlessness in his heart. With his pitching savvy and dazzling split-finger fastball, Tanaka should kick some serious butt in the US. Sure hope so.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Man dies after setting fire to himself, son on school grounds See in context


I don't want to speculate as to why he did this but will just say I am sick of kids being used as pawns here when adult's can't sort themselves out.

Your post would be fine and make sense if you would only delete one word: HERE.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: U.S. slaps sanctions on 4 senior members of yakuza gang See in context


I don't know why ben4short is getting thumbs down.

I don't know why either, Moneyyen. Kind of surprised, actually. Guess a whole lot more folks than I thought have bought into the myth of America as land of the free and home of the brave.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. slaps sanctions on 4 senior members of yakuza gang See in context

When is the US government going to slap sanctions on itself, the largest organized crime syndicate in the world?

-11 ( +18 / -29 )

Posted in: Going Gaga See in context

I love this woman. Her larger-than-life audacity, her fearlessness, her smarts, her relentless desire to test herself, her outrageousness. I admire any artist/performer who has the guts to give the middle finger to the status quo.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Posted in: 6-year-old boy dies after being hit by car; 78-year-old driver arrested See in context


I'll answer your questions when we read about the next death tomorrow . . .

Your cute little dodge simply proves the ridiculous nature of your proposition.

Whether the driver does time or not is completely irrelevant. You simply want to make a carte blanche law prohibiting anyone above a certain age from driving a car. This is reactionary folly.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: 6-year-old boy dies after being hit by car; 78-year-old driver arrested See in context

Please define "seniors," Smitty. Over 60? 65? Just where do you arbitrarily draw the line, and in the process deprive millions of folks of their basic freedom of movement? What's next? Bicycles, since these, too, injure and sometimes kill pedestrians? How about those motorized carts?

And while you're at it, please tell me how many similar accidents are caused by drivers in their 20s and 30s? Why don't we just make it illegal for anyone of any age to drive? Your suggestion is not only impractical, impossible, ageist, undemocratic and dangerous, it's just plain foolish.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Posted in: Chinese speculators buying up diapers in Japan See in context

Casey, entertaining and nicely textured piece. However, the old cliche about what a writer edits from a story is often more important than what he includes is clearly evident here. You're trying way too hard to be funny in the last paragraph (the meaning of which isn't even entirely clear), and it borders on the ridiculous. Nice overall job nonetheless.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

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