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chaschik comments

Posted in: 8 fighter jets scrambled after Chinese plane flies over disputed islands See in context

This is about China testing the resolve of both US military and its allies in the region. Why? It has always claimed Taiwan as a rogue part of Communist China. Taiwan is defended by US and the regional allies. Taiwan is a part of the island archipelago that includes the disputed islands. China is keeping on point with its declared intention to force integration of Taiwan.

The past history of China, Japan, and the United States are rife with despicable actions. None of these powers have a pure record. This conflict is not about who has the moral superiority. It is about self determination for free trade peoples everywhere to live and prosper as they deem fit. If not defended, then the whole region including Okinawa, will be forfeit. The Imperial Chinese extorted "protection" money from the Okinawans in the past, a policy which continued from Medieval times until 1892. Is this the future?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese tourists share impressions of traveling abroad with limited English ability See in context

I will become an American in Japan this year. I have a handful of Japanese expressions. I will not become fluently in short order. However, I want to communicate and understand the responses. So far I have discovered this: to communicate in Japanese is to understand how we are related/not related. This is a different perspective from modern Western thinking. It is a part of our ethic past but unnoticed or ignored because we are so vested in "egalitarian" speak. But that is another matter. I simply put this out there as a reason why any person may have difficulty learning a language. You have to have a reason to speak and want to be understood even on an elementary level. School does not provide this. Home life often does provide for this hence the ease of children learning two languages in a bi-lingual home. So I hold that language is more than mechanics and deeper than simple vocabulary proficiency. I am reminded of my early years as student actor. I could learn my lines and deliver them. But I could not KNOW them if I did not understand my character and why these words applied. This is the hard work of an actor. If not done, we are simply repeating someone's words that are not are own. English does not have to be a language of mechanics but it can be reduced to it. Likewise, Japanese, I suspect. For the moment I know: hello, goodbye, I'm sorry, Please excuse me, Thank you, and Yes! I will want for more words but mostly I want to connect with my words. You see, the Japanese have it right. It is about relationship.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese scientists find 8th-century mystery in tree rings See in context

I noted that Japan had volcanic eruption in 774AD. Would not the debris affect the global atmospheric conditions making it even more difficult to discern what and where the flare came from?

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Posted in: Why do Japanese change their attitude when they communicate with foreigners? See in context

I am not a resident of Japan but it my great hope to be soon. This website has been helpful in understanding better what kind of life to expect. But may I opine that whatever "foreigners" experience from the local citizenry is human behavior at its basic. That human beings have an Intrinsic response to things unfamiliar. It is not just a cultural response but rather a defense mechanism.

In fact, what was described here is what happens in small towns in the US. I was a foreigner in a rural town in the South. As a teacher there I taught a Chinese exchange student whose first English was British(as in what is spoken in Hong Kong). He was completely lost in the rural South. He adjusted and earned the respect of many(including a retired Marine drill Sargent!). But the adjustment was not without some ugly events from the local boyos. He and I were very much alike. Both of us were outsiders. We both spoke a different kind of English. We were both perceived as oddities. And I am a Southerner. What it boiled down to was this: neither one of us were family with any of the locals. This lack of "acceptability" would isolate us no matter how much time we spent in the town or learned the local dialect. We both knew that the world is very big indeed. Yet family is all about separating who is and is not.

I am not Japanese. I will never be Japanese. If I should live there, I will be grateful for any courtesy extended, biased or not. If the Japanese have quirks, well, sugah, so does the rural South and its residents. Don't get me started.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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