Japan Today

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Posted in: Last students graduate: School closures spread in aging Japan See in context

It is a shame Yumoto has closed down, but numbers had been low at the school for quite some time. It is a beautiful part of Japan and an area I return to many times every year. If I could I would live there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: New look See in context

Oh, just a thought.... a ticket to a WE League match in Japan will set you back 2,500 yen. 

You can tickets for as cheap as 1000 yen if you purchase before the day of the match.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: New look See in context

The three in uniform all play for Beleza. Second from the left is Rikako Kobayashi and the player on the right is Aoba Fujino. Barring injury they will probably all go to the world cup in July.

The talent not in uniform is Yuka Kageyama for those wondering.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Finding Meiji modernization history in Tohoku See in context

Kosaka in northern Akita has the amazing Korakukan Theatre, which was built in 1910. They still have live shows almost every day, but you can do a tour of the place without watching a show. Lake Towada is also in Kosaka, so people could easily see both.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Veteran Japanese action movie star, singer Watari dies See in context

Well he certainly lived a life and got to make some pretty crazy movies. Tokyo Drifter as nonsensical as the editing is at times is still a lot of fun to watch and he was really good in it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan invests an increasing amount of funds in nuclear power plants, going against global trends. See in context

Good! But put the money into making them even safer. Nuclear energy is key to divesting our dependency on fossil fuels.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Obviously Ms Chan is quite well educated and clever I imagine, but I think she is so entitled and privileged she can not see her own hypocrisy or even understands how out of touch she is with the average Japanese person.

They write.

She never sent her sons to after-school cram schools, a lucrative private tutoring business in Japan, but transformed them into self-driven individuals.

Okay cram schools are not for everybody. I do not like them as well. And then she says this.

"Parents want their child to succeed, and they feel that there's only one way: to push them to be elite. A-level grades, art, music, sports, the so-called high culture values. This stereotype has to go away,"

Pushing children too much is bad, but a little is okay, right? But sport, music and art are bad for kids? If they are doing these things then they are probably not on their phones. In my opinion these are useful skills to have and they can be useful for their entire life. She is starting to lose me a little bit.

But then later in the article she says this.

"After junior high, I made my children believe they are capable of making their own decisions... When my eldest son picked the No. 7 school instead of the top-ranked U.S. boarding school, I hoped he would realize it was a mistake."

Now I am confused.

I do not know how this woman has not had an aneurysm given the cognitive dissonance regarding the above quotes. You should not push your children into elite activities, but she sent one of her children to one of the best boarding schools in America (only number seven though). That is as elite as you get, but that was his choice. It must be wonderful having the luxury to choose.

Japan's education system is far from perfect, but it is nowhere near as bad as people make out here and is actually quite good at producing creative people.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Posted in: Cold ramen? Yes, it’s possible, as this Tokyo restaurant proves See in context

I think cold ramen is fairly common. Usually called reimen or hiyashi chuka. What am I missing?

Cold ramen started in Yamagata.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for rape 11 days after release from prison for same offense See in context

Luddite, she knew well what she was getting into. She wasn't innocent at all.

She knew she was going to get sexually assaulted? Obviously that is why she went there. I would agree that the junior high school girl is probably not "innocent" and probably met the man to have paid sex (again we do not know what she was thinking).

But if you think her not being innocent absolves him from binding her wrists and arms (obviously against her will), threatening her life and then sexually assaulting her, then you are insane.

This is not a charge of statutory rape. It is a charge of theft and sexual assault.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese school explains why it won't let cold schoolgirl wear tights under her skirt See in context

I cannot imagine this rule being existing in Tohoku or Hokkaido.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese folk rituals approved as UNESCO intangible heritage See in context

Oga-no-Namahage is a nonsense. It frightens and scares children. I do not like seeing children crying at the devils when they visit their houses. It does not deserve a cultural heritage. It is a primitive savage tradition.

You are absolutely right. Children should never have to overcome anything daunting or challenging. They should be protected at all costs from anything frightening or difficult. I can see how that will help them later in life.

If you actually saw the festival or lived in the local community you would know that after the children have been scared they are consoled by their family and often the devil that scared them. But it is "a savage tradition".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Keidanren's plan to rethink hiring rules causing waves in Japan See in context

I think the current system of hiring is actually not such a bad thing, but it could do with some tweaks to make it more flexible for applicants.

Surely companies can do both? Hire new university graduates at set dates like the old system and also hire them at later dates. This is kind of already happening in country areas with big companies desperately looking for workers to fill vacant positions all the time. Because they do not have the luxury of being in Tokyo or Osaka.

It just means that Human Resources departments will have to become more flexible with training. The beautiful aspect of the current system in Japan is that everybody gets trained at the same time.

But I really hope Japan does not move towards an intern style recruitment policy. It is the equivalent of slave labor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese elementary schools’ list of behavior requirements would be hard for most adults to clear See in context

The bizarre thing is that at primary school most kids do that list without too many problems. Though it is the first time I have seen it written down like that. It is probably some private school.

But most kids will have very few problems with anything on that list. What disturbs me is how little we expect from them these days.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Why do you think Halloween has exploded in popularity in Japan in recent years? See in context

I think it is a combination of factors:

Japanese people like to cosplay and Halloween gives them the perfect opportunity to do that.

Street drinking is legal in Japan, so you can have a party on the street.

It is fun.

It does give people the perfect opportunity to use social media.

The marketing of Halloween in Japan has finally taken effect.

Of course this being Japan it is just as likely to stop being a thing once people have found something else to do.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan scouring for maps with 'East Sea' to seek name change See in context

I have always looked at it like this. If Japan did not exist it would be called the Pacific Ocean.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Yomiuri Giants extend team record for consecutive losses See in context

Well I hope the losing streak continues.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Miyazato cites drop in motivation for retiring at season's end See in context

A very popular sporting personality in Japan today announced her retirement at the relatively young age of thirty-one. It was major news and every news station ran her press conference, therefore "Japan Today" ran an article about it.

I am not sure what people expect to read about in "Japan Today", but I think the hint is in the title.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's population projected to shrink 30% by 2065 See in context

"Rainyday" has a point regarding distribution. Kanto in particular is overcrowded. I think it sits around 35 million people at the moment. Basically 10 million of those people could be living in Hokkaido or any prefecture on the Japan Seaside of Japan.

The federal government needs to start subsidizing jobs in rural areas, so companies will think about moving more manufacturing into those areas.

Anybody talking about immigration as an answer has no idea what they are talking about. Basically for Japan to maintain its current population it would need about 1 million immigrants a year! Think about that. By 2065 that would be about 25 percent of the population.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Is hanami in Japan actually all that fun? See in context

I live in the country and Hanami is fantastic. It is one of my favourite times of year. Basically in the countryside there a lot fewer company parties and mostly parties involving family and friends, so it is usually very relaxed and fun. This is the kind of Hanami I like.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Kyoto Board of Education administers English test for teachers with disheartening results See in context

They are not the best results, but I would like to know the age of the teachers that sat the test. I imagine the younger teachers scored better than the older teachers. I am not blaming the older teachers, because given the workload of junior high school teachers I think it would be very difficult to maintain a high level of English over twenty or thirty years.

I do think testing teachers of English every two or three years would be a good idea in order for teachers and officials to keep track of their English levels. It also might encourage teachers to actually work a bit harder at trying to improve their English. But again, that is not easy given their jobs and the amount of work they have to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: No sad endings for Japan's virtual romance fans See in context

As long as this game - like any other - is played in moderation where is the harm? It is just a bit of escapist fun.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Sun setting on Japan's solar energy boom See in context

As far as I can tell Japan is encouraging renewable energy, particularly at a prefectural and municipal level. I have always been opposed to coal and see it as the worst way to generate electricity. But given the hysteria surrounding nuclear energy in this country and practically all over the world what do you expect governments to do?

Nuclear energy is demonstrably better for the environment than gas, coal and oil, yet Japan has at the moment 44 idle power plants doing nothing with only seven potentially restarting in the future. Hyperbolic fearmongering by certain groups of the community is helping to destroy the earth that they apparently want to protect. Oh well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman stabbed to death by ex-boyfriend in convenience store in Shizuoka See in context

What exactly are the police supposed to do in this instance? People say they did not do enough, but what else could they have done according to the law? The police can not put a person in prison for something they have not done. They can not hold them unless they are suspected of committing a crime.

The only crime this guy has apparently committed is stalking and now murder. But detaining somebody because they might commit a crime without hard evidence sets a dangerous precedent.

I want to stress that it is a horrible crime and more needs to be done to prevent people who are being stalked, but sometimes I think we expect too much from the police.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: Osaka sushi chain apologizes for using too much wasabi in foreign customers' orders See in context

They obviously should not be putting excessive amounts of wasabi in foreigners sushi, but it is quite funny. "You want more wasabi you say! Well here you are!"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Uber loses at least $1.27 bil in first half of year: report See in context

why isn't UBER or something like it in Japan yet?

You need a license to carry paying customers in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan wins first badminton gold in women's team doubles See in context

"They are very tall so we needed to use our brains to fight them,” Takahashi added.

The old trope.

You do realise that in badminton players have use different tactics to beat their respective opponents?.

Both the Danish players are much taller than the average height of female badminton players, so it stands to reason the Japanese would use different tactics to beat them. Because the Danish pair have longer reach and and are taller they can hit the shuttle at a higher point in the air, so if the Japanese players play them the same way they would play a shorter pair they would probably get beaten.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Nice lunch for athletes See in context

Given that these two women probably train six hours a day I doubt this one meal is going to have that much of an affect on their performance or their body weight. I am pretty sure they have their diet under control, despite what all the experts on the internet have to say.

I know they are top athletes, but they are allowed to live just a little bit.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: New hires shock Internet with their sameness See in context

"The nail that sticks out gets hammered in".

I have never heard a Japanese person say this...in fact the only people who say this are foreigners living in Japan. I think people say it to give the impression that they have some kind of innate understanding of Japan. Yet people who say this statement seem to forget that most cultures have some kind of variation on this theme. Australia has the "tall poppy syndrome" to name but one.

The photo is of a group of women who have just started working for a company in the service industry. They are all wearing similar clothing. Oh my God! The world is going to end. I did not realize that there was a correlation between clothes worn at a job and level of creative output. All those chefs all over the world who practically wear the same kind of clothing must be bereft of ideas.

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Sorry about that See in context

Whether the apology is sincere or not is beside the point. It is about actually making the apology and standing in front of the press and being shamed. I am not saying it is a perfect system and most Japanese know that the apology is quite often insincere, but Japanese people like to see an apology.

Besides if you take away the bow is it really any different to abroad? The Volkswagen boss had a press conference in Detroit and apologized to America for his company's deceit. Practically the same as what Mitsubishi did, but you know he did not bow.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ichiro so close to 3,000 hits - if he can get enough at-bats See in context

I have always liked Ichiro, but I really hope he either retires, or plays in a lower league next year. He is not good enough for the majors any more. I have nothing against players in any sport who continue playing something they love, but I do not like it when players stay in a league or competition that besmirches their past glories. It is just a bit sad.

Tennis and golf both have masters tours, which I think is ideal. Fans get to see their favourite players, while the players get to play at a reasonable level without looking silly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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