Bizarro comments

Posted in: Local residents fight to save historic school buildings in Tokyo's Chuo Ward See in context

morriconelover, I agree. And I think many Japanese people would also. I got a good earful once from a taxi driver in Kyoto about how Japan has destroyed its own history and culture there. Most of those beautiful old machiya are long gone, and little or nothing has been done to try to protect them.

Whenever there is criticism of whaling or dolphin killing, the government digs their heels in to defend Japan's "history" and "food culture". Yet they are all too often the ones wrecking their own history and culture. The priorities are sometimes mystifying.

Cheers,

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

Just want to say I have appreciated and learned from all the different opinions and points of view posted here - including yours, XXXXX. Especially hearing from different backgrounds has been illuminating.

I am not interested in "stalking" or attacking anyone, just exchanging and commenting on ideas.

Peace.

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

SushiSake3 wrote (apologies - the "quote" function seems not to be working at the moment...)

"Think about it - if you saw - for example - someone across the street who you have never seen before and who is clearly mixed.

How can you label their ethnic makeup if you don't know what it is?"

Thanks for the comment and I understand, but why the need to label it at all, especially on first sight of someone?

Also I know from experience that "hafu" is frequently used even when the national/ethnic background of both parents is well known. This is what I was trying to refer to.

Cheers,

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

Oops... first line in that last post should have been part of the quote from a prior post...

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

Wow, I didn't think the term "hafu" was that awful. I grew up in Toronto

(which for a while was regarded the most multicultural city in the world), and when people would meet, they would always ask "What's your background?" and you would get replies like "I'm half Scottish and half Chinese" or "I'm half Irish, and a quarter Swedish and a quarter Filipino". It was like asking people their sign. I grew up using the terms "half" and "quarter" and I never thought it was racist at all.

This gets to what bothers me about the term "hafu". I rarely hear Japanese people say, "half Japanese and half Irish," or, "half Japanese and half Nigerian", or "half Japanese and half Chinese" like one might hear in Canada or the US. It's just "hafu". In other words, half Japanese, and the other half doesn't matter. It comes across as not about their multi-cultural background, but about how "Japanese" they are. And as someone else has pointed out, if someone has a Japanese parent and, say, a Chinese or Korean parent, they are far less likely to be called "hafu" because the judgement is made based on appearance.

I've never made a stink about the term, but it does irk me.

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

The J's are jealous of anyone more beautiful/better/different than themselves. The women are paranoid about this in particular, it seems.

In my more cynical moments I've come to see this as something of a pose, and it seems to me the need among many Japanese to feel different from everyone else is paramount. Ideally they would like to feel they are superior to the rest of the world, but the next best thing is to be inferior. The one truly unbearable, practically unthinkable thing would be to admit they are mostly the same.

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Posted in: Lindsay Hawker's accused killer appears determined to fight murder charge See in context

“I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before, but several days after Ichihashi first approached Lindsay, he brought her here,” the man says. “They seemed to be getting along well, but I could see that Tatsuya-kun was treating her in a domineering manner.”

Why did he not tell this to the POLICE? Shame on him. Perhaps the media are better at getting information?

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Posted in: Sancta Karina See in context

Great legs or not, upon seeing that getup, any potential groom would run as far away as possible before the ceremony could get started!

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Posted in: Philandering and drinking issues persist for Ebizo Ichikawa See in context

I wish them well but sounds like another woman who thinks she'll be the one to tame him and make him change, where all others have failed.

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Posted in: All five SMAP members attend PR event for new commercial See in context

Can they really still be called a "boy band" when members are in their late 30s?

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Posted in: Self-centered zombies running rampant through Japanese society See in context

I s'pose you could put it down to the fact that people of today are just taking advantage of what they can get their hands on. Be it free treats from the supermarket or bustling for that elusive train seat. It's dog-eat-dog out there my friends!!

The more people take that attitude, the more self-fulfilling it becomes. Fortunately, we each have the opportunity to make it different even if only in a small way.

Cheers,

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Posted in: Orange Cosmos See in context

Anyone know which park?

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Posted in: 'Inglourious Basterds' one of many tricky movie titles See in context

“When you do an artistic flourish like that, to describe it, to explain it, would just ... invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.

A little full of ourselves, are we?

Cheers,

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Posted in: 3 Japanese wage court battle against Japan Tobacco See in context

You don't get extra days of being young for not smoking , you get to be an nasty old twat lying neglected in your own piss in a ghastly care home because you outstayed your welcome.

The young children of two of my friends who recently died in their early forties (both heavy smokers) might disagree. Or is that considered "old" already?

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Posted in: 3 Japanese wage court battle against Japan Tobacco See in context

As stated, not only does the J-government own one-half of JT, but they also get 60% of the cost of every pack of cigarettes sold here in the form of taxes. The finances of Japan simply could not take the hit from a huge change to smoking practices here.

That's true, but wouldn't the health insurance system save a heck of a lot in health care costs if people quit?

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Posted in: 3 Japanese wage court battle against Japan Tobacco See in context

In April, a major restaurant chain opened Cafe Tobacco, a Tokyo coffee shop billing itself as a haven for smokers.

I'm all for this. Let all the smokers enjoy themselves in such smoker havens, and clean up other cafes and restaurants so my family and I can breathe some clean air.

I don’t want to live an extra year or two by giving up what I love to do,” said Kishi, 28, manager at a consultancy.

Typical selfish smoker attitude. He doesn't care about the effect of his smoking on others (including children and babies, if he's anything like the smokers I encounter here daily who won't hesitate to light up around small children).

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Posted in: Barrage of complaints force Miss Universe Japan to change costume design for finals See in context

Kimono are and have always been sexy.

Yes, and the reason is their subtle suggestion that lets the imagination work. Nothing for the imagination here. There's a difference between sexy and trashy.

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Posted in: Barrage of complaints force Miss Universe Japan to change costume design for finals See in context

Score one point for good taste.

"I care only about the movers and shakers in the fashion industry.”

If so, she should not have been chosen for this job, which is to help Japan's MU candidate win the pageant or at least represent Japan well in front of a global audience. It's not to promote herself to "the fashionistas."

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Posted in: The cheering gets nasty at a pro baseball game See in context

What this woman did is totally inexcusable, and clearly the author had the misfortune of encountering the proverbial "bad apple". Extrapolating that into a condemnation of Japan's baseball fans in general seems a stretch, however. I have been to a number of games and never encountered anything negative like this. Anyway, it's good that Mr. DeJong refrained from physically escalating the situation, which would have turned him into the villan in the eyes of the authorities.

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Posted in: Love at first bite See in context

Nice to see some U.S. stars dressed respectfully for one of these events here. Not the usual jeans and sneakers.

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Posted in: Japan prepared to 'get ugly' against Australia in World Cup qualifier See in context

“Complacency and arrogance doesn’t come into the same sentence as us.”

Nor does decent grammar, it would seem.

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Posted in: Japan resumes whale meat imports See in context

I would not mind seeing Japan allowed to continue commercial whaling, under the condition that the government must stop subsidizing the practice. Stop the charade of "research" and make it openly commercial, but it would have to support itself economically. If that happened I predict it would stop naturally within a few years, due to insufficient demand to make it a sustainable business. Whaling is an issue only because the government makes it so.

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Posted in: Takami Yoshimoto tells of her cycling adventures See in context

Good for her traveling like that. She must be in great condition and it sounds like fun.

Cheers,

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Posted in: Bread shop See in context

Tangentially related: My favorite sign for an establishment is a pet grooming salon in Austin, Texas that goes by the name, "Doggy Styles".

Cheers,

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Posted in: Bread shop See in context

Wouldn't call it "Engrish", actually, since it is based on French. Something like, "talking bread"? Will be interesting to see the comments of our native French-speaking readers.

Cheers,

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Posted in: Sex and the City See in context

Never heard of him, but it's nice to see an American celeb dress respectfully for one of these events instead of looking like he just rolled out of bed the way so many others have.

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Posted in: Haruki Murakami's 'Norwegian Wood' coming to big screen See in context

In response to akaguma's comment.

1) For what it's worth, Tran Anh Hung is a very serious director. His past films like The Scent of Green Papaya and The Vertical Ray of the Sun have been quite beautiful and made him one of the more critically acclaimed directors worldwide.

2) I think the film should be seen as completely separate from the book. Of course the book is nearly always better, but for that reason it can stand on its own and has nothing to fear from the film. Therefore I see no reason for charges of "sellout".

3) This notion that talented artists somehow ought to live in poverty to comply with someone else's notion of a kind of purity, while the rest of us seek our fortunes, is hard for me to grasp.

Cheers,

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Posted in: Which city would you like to see get the 2016 Olympics? See in context

Some interpret this as Tokyo "winning" the vote, but am seeing that 58% (on a site focusing on Japan) would like to see the Olympics in a location other than Tokyo. That non-Tokyo vote happens to be split among other cities. Would be interesting to see a head-to-head vote between Tokyo and, say, Rio de Janeiro.

I don't think Tokyo needs the Olympics. Like New York or Paris, it is already established as a major world city. In '64 it made sense, Tokyo needed to make it's name. But why now? Fukuoka would have made more sense. And recent Olympics seem to cost too much money and lead to facilities that don't get adequately utilized in the long term. I don't see it as a good thing for the city.

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Posted in: Lost and found in Tokyo and London See in context

I agree with other posts here. If you return something someone else has lost, your "reward" is simply the expectation that if you lose something it will also be returned to you. This is the social contract among civilized people (and one of the very nice things about Japan). To receive anything more is a happy bonus, to expect it is greed and selfishness.

If something is returned to me, on the other hand, I will look for an appropriate way to show gratitude.

Cheers,

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Posted in: U.S. hospital provided liver transplants to 4 Japanese gang figures, including gang boss See in context

FYI there was a related article in the May 11 Washington Post by a former Yomiuri Shimbun reporter who for years covered organized crime in Japan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/09/AR2008050902544.html

The article explains the activities of yakuza in the US that were of legitimate interest to the FBI. It also claims the Japanese national police share nearly no information on the yakuza with US law enforcement.

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