djv124 comments

Posted in: Tokyo's Shibuya sees subdued Halloween as tight security dampens mood See in context

Tried to find some kind of statistic about past events in Shibuya regarding deaths or major injuries to party-goers, and couldn't find any. I think I also read or saw somewhere that one of the concerns was due to what happened in the narrow alleys of Itaewon in Seoul and Halloween (which is a terrible comparison to make to the much more wider-spaced Shibuya). So far, the only thing I could find that provided any kind of logic to the insane police state feel of last night based on past incidents was.... an overturned car one year... and garbage all over the streets (which might not be a problem if Japan actually joined the modern world in using trash cans instead of worrying about a mostly defunct religious cult from 30 years ago wanting to put bombs in these dangerous receptacles of trash, or so the story goes)?????

I had to work in Shibuya last night and dreaded going through Hachiko Square on my way home from work. I had to go that way, no other choice. What I experienced was three things that really made me feel like Ken and his minions seriously overdid it and were totally in the wrong with this decision.

First, the cordoned off of all the walkways made it really difficult for me to walk through them. Kind of felt like a narrow alley where I could see people getting hurt. So much congestion created by Ken's desire to create non-congestion in the area. Good job Ken.

Second, the bullhorns and the whistles and the yelling at everybody and everything (I swear I saw one cop yelling at Hachiko statue. Just kidding... but I'm sure Hachiko was told to move from this post at one point) were really scary and created a weird police state feel to the place. Just crazy how much of an overkill it was.

Third, and worst for me... I had to stop and wait for somebody to reply to me on my phone while standing in Hachiko Square. I wasn't waiting longer than 30 seconds when a cop came literally running/walking towards me and harassed me to death until I started walking again. Yet, and I couldn't believe this.... a Japanese guy was standing ten feet away from me checking his phone, and that police guy after he got done harassing me walked right by the Japanese guy and let him do his thing on this phone. I wasn't in costume and I wasn't with friends. I was on my way home from work. Yet because I'm a foreigner I felt like I was the big problem yesterday, regardless of never once in my life joining a Shibuya Halloween party (and I actually found them to be annoying to me in past years due to needing to go home and not being able to get through the crowds).

Once again, as I live here in Japan, I see the absurdity of this country and its inability to install government officials in place who actually understand the people they meant to govern. Or to have common sense and a basic understanding of the world. The spirit of Shibuya was quelled last night, and the only thing that got accomplished was one politician's sad ego and really poor choice of turning Shibuya into what felt like a crime scene (Move along! Nothing to see here!) that normally felt like a great place to meet your friends, just like Hachiko did for his human servant so many years ago.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Posted in: Yamanashi uses toilet paper messages to help suicidal youth See in context

I am not a mental health expert except for my own.

However, I am a long-term mental health scientific examiner (otherwise known as a Buddhist mediator and mindfulness practitioner) and I only know of a handful of mental health 'experts' who have studied the mind and understand it. Every other health expert relies on inaccurate books and university lectures that while helpful really lack the awareness of how the human mind works.

What people who are suicidal need is coaching in how to recognise that voice or thought you hear in your head telling you horrible things is NOT you. It is the algorithmic mental mechanism known as continued mind/Ego/the internal critic, or whatever you want to call it. It's just a program in your head that was once designed to protect you but has gone too far and is now causing you harm. Learn to be still, be present in the moment, notice the thoughts and begin to see that something, that is not you, is talking to you. Do not own that voice, do not believe it, notice how it lies about you, let it go and breathe.

What an absolutely beautiful and wonderful perspective to have on this matter! Thanks for sharing this POV.

I would add that I think mental health experts who have years of experience working directly with mentally ill people can offer some valuable insight and coping mechanisms to give suicidal people and help prevent suicidal ideation from taking over the mind, similar to how you are suggesting is the case.

Also, you bringing this up proves my point even further... there are so many positive ways to combat suicide than... printing up half-hearted messages with cute anime style drawings on toilet paper. There needs to be really serious thought given to helping the mentally sick. I mean, I wonder if the government officials even had a single actual mental health counselor in the meeting or (being this is Japan) many many meetings that were held to determine that toilet paper was the best answer to Yamanashi's problem with suicidal people? Like.. did they even have a single counselor on staff who has been in the trenches of depression and fighting those battles with the afflicted? Me thinks not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Yamanashi uses toilet paper messages to help suicidal youth See in context

I was a mental health counselor for six years. I treated many young women and men who were suicidal. I can honestly say that this idea is probably one of the most horrific and unbelievably ridiculous attempts to help somebody who is suicidal that I've ever heard. It's horrific because it took a panel of government officials to come up with this... as this was the best they could think to do with spending taxpayer's money. And it's ridiculous because the last thing somebody who is suicidal is going to do is jump into a public restroom (or wherever else they are planning to disperse these things) and read toilet paper. I'm in awe of the illogical decisions and behavior of the leaders of Japan, but this one... this is offensive and wrong on so many levels... I can't even. I just can't.

However, I don't want to just complain. As a former counselor, I can say with complete confidence that the way to help people who are suicidal are the followings things: Somebody to listen, somebody to take time to intervene if noticing the signs of suicide and not being afraid to do something, and most of all, not shaming or blaming somebody for feeling suicidal, but rather, accepting the person's feelings and then helping the person realize why they are suicidal and then try to cope and if lucky enough, even solve the problems that are causing the feelings of suicide.

Frankl, who wrote "Man's Search for Meaning," is somebody who I think we can all learn from. He said (and I am paraphrasing a big bunch here), that a person can deal with anything in their life, if they first know why that thing exists in their life. I would also add that a person can deal with anything in their life if they first know why they exist on this planet at all. That was always my first question to my patients when I met them: Why are you here on this planet? What is the reason for your existence? And the way to avoid not leaving this earth pre-maturely via suicide is by having a reason in this life to make you want to stay alive and see that reason realized.

I promise you, that little two cents of counselor advice is worth more than all of the toilet paper the government here will ever print. And that advice was free. If they want to spend money to help fight depression, hire an actual counselor or two who went to school and has real world experience treating depressed and suicidal people and put them in a position where they can be easily reached and talked to and will not judge the people talking to them but rather, take their feelings seriously and do everything possible to help them stay alive.

If you think this is not reasonable, well, I'd ask you to take a look at the artist Kyohei Sakaguchi... this guy is super famous, world renowned, and if you go to his twitter, he has his cell phone number listed there for anybody who might want to kill themselves... they can call him anytime and he'll talk to them. He's talked to over 30,000 people since posting his number... and this guy isn't charging anybody anything.

See Japan government officials? It's not so hard... just have a heart and not be concerned about the money, and you can save all of Japan.

If only though, right?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 from U.S. arrive in Japan for 1st test tour before tourism reopening See in context

As part of infection prevention measures, groups will comprise no more than four people, with participants asked to wear masks when visiting tourist spots or using transportation.

Recently, the J-Gov stated that it's okay to not wear masks outdoors unless in close conversation with others, right? Since some J-nationals complained about maybe getting heatstroke and what not during the hot summer months, etc.

But foreigners who come to this country have to wear masks when visiting tourist spots? So it's okay then to put foreigners lives in danger of having heatstroke then? And it's okay to ask foreigners to basically be treated differently than Japanese nationals in the eyes of the Japanese laws, as long as the government is only "asking" for foreigners to do this when visiting tourist spots?

This is utterly ridiculous. Between the lack of consistency in the application of rules in a fair and non-racially biased way, to the fact that they could not have picked a more "Japanese" bunch of tourists for the first tour... it only proves my theory correct that Japan is a third world country pretending to be a first world nation.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan to put Tokyo, 12 other prefectures under COVID quasi-emergency See in context

This is the most amazing display of scientific ignorance maybe I've ever seen by a government. Doing the same thing over and over again, not seeing any kind of result that would even warrant repeating the same action... seriously, do these people realize that it does not matter if a restaurant or bar serves alcohol or closes early... the moment somebody who is infected with COVID-19 enters one of these places and takes of his/her mask to eat and drink, the chance for infection is present. And this chance of infection is present from the moment the restaurant and bar opens up until the moment it closes. It has nothing to do with the time the restaurant closes. If you are allowing mask removal in a closed space, it does not matter if you are limited customers to four people or one... Covid is an airborne disease... just... really... for the love of all things scientifc... is there anybody in the J-government with a science degree that understands this basic common sense fact?????!!!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan extends state of emergency for Tokyo, 8 other areas to June 20 See in context

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to formalize the decision at a task force meeting in the evening before holding a press conference to explain the move.

Lol.... Do I even need to comment on the absurdity of this? This is exactly what is wrong with the current situation in Japan.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to impose state of emergency soon in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo See in context

I have always believed that if you want to solve a problem, be the first person to solve the problem. Don't wait on other people to do it for you.

That being said... what can we all actually do? Come here and complain about how ridiculous the Japanese government are being, I suppose. That's a start. But... may I make a suggestion? Or two? Or Three?

-Either go full lockdown or not at all. These half-measures do absolutely nothing. Especially when you target restaurants and the entertainment sectors. You know what happens at 8PM? The people in the restaurant just stand outside the restaurant, go to the conbini which stays open, buy their beers and bentos, and party in huge clusters of people right out on the street. I seen this with my own eyes in Shibuya the other night. So much for putting an end to people "gathering" and eating together lol!

-Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Vaccinate.

-Cancel the Olympics. The whole spirit of world unity via playing games with each other is lost and pointless if you aren't letting foreigners come here to celebrate their athletes. Not to mention... it's kind of dangerous to be bringing in anybody at all into the country, right? Or are the Tokyo athletes, staff, international media people all totally going to be free of Covid? Or how about exposing these people to Japanese people who have Covid? Hmmm...

-Last, but not least, and certainly what I think has been sadly overlooked by the world and is truly what I believe the answer to getting on track again: Covid-19 Breathalyzers. These need to be approved and put to full usage in every major establishment. The best breathalyzer that should be ready by now for usage only takes about 30 seconds to deliver a result, or even less, I believe. Put this in every single entrance to every stadium door, hospital door, restaurant door, music club, etc.... and you test twice with two different breathalyzers... and you will pretty much effectively wipe out the chance for people to be bringing in COVID into a closed area place of gathering. That, and we can get back to enjoying our lives and not being miserable at live events and other places. Best of all, the LDP can get back to their steak dinners in Ginza!

Sorry for the long post... just my 250 yen worth of thoughts. Everybody be careful out here in the land of the rising Corona Cases.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 711 coronavirus cases; Osaka records 1,153 See in context

"Of course, some will flaunt the rules. But at least 99% of Japanese population will follow every rule to a tee. That, combined with vaccinations, should be sufficient to stop the pandemic."

lol....follow the rules to a tee?

I was working in Shibuya last week and all the Japanese people who were in the bars and restaurants simply went outside and hung out on the sidewalks and drank and partied, some maskless. Police were everywhere too. Nobody said anything.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 667 coronavirus cases; 1,209 in Osaka See in context

The other night when I coming from work in Shibuya and heading for the train station, I saw hundreds and hundreds of young people (and some old people too) hanging outside of the "closed" bars and restaurants. They were all sitting around on the streets and sidewalks, right near Shibuya Mark City, some standing, all loud and partying and getting drunk from all the conbini beer that is freely available to them all hours of the night. So much for SOE and Quasi-SOE measure. I'd say the people of Japan are SOL!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Worry, frustration, uncertainty as state of emergency looms for Tokyo, neighboring prefectures See in context

Here's what I don't get... the government is just asking for people to comply, correct? And if they don't comply, there so far have not been any penalties... so... why on earth would anyone listen to the government's request if the end result is you can't feed your family and you risk other things, like mental health deteriorating from isolation, stress from not having no money, etc.

I understand that Japanese people have a sense of civic duty and always staying in line (only when it suits them though... get them drunk at an izakaya, and that sense of duty goes right out of their mouths along with the vomit they spew up all over the train platforms), but everybody should start realizing that this disease has not brought about massive death like everybody thought it would, and when people get sick, it seems to mostly either be people getting asymptomatic or just having symptoms similar to the flu. I'm not downplaying this situation though, but I think Japan doesn't need to declare an SOE on Covid case, but rather an SOE on Japan's ridiculously high suicide rate (in one month, it seems more people died here in Japan from suicide than the entire year so far of Covid-related deaths), their lack of real leadership in the government, their rampant racism, and worst of all, the constant meetings about meetings about meetings to deal with problems ten months too late.

Seriously Japan... try being more like the Punk Rockers whose t-shirts you sell at 109 and think is "fashionable." Try thinking for yourselves and maybe do something to change the sorry state of this country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan records 503 coronavirus infections on Wednesday; biggest daily jump since start of pandemic See in context

Late to the comment party here, but figured I would just add this, for better or for worse, and maybe ease some troubled minds here: My dear friend, who is a scientist that works with viruses on a daily basis, told me to not panic over the rate of infection. That number does not mean half or nearly anywhere near as much as the death rate. He told me that until Japan or any country sees their death rate start to double and triple in a single day, then and only then should the public really become seriously worried. Because the death rate is the true indicator of what this virus could do to Japan.

Here's another statistic to consider: 95% of the world's population who are infected with Covid-19 have minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. Some 3 percent are in critical condition. Only a tiny percentage are dying from this virus, and they are dying usually because of many other factors besides the virus itself (like being in inadequate medical care facilities, having several other complications that actually was what killed them, etc.).

I'm not saying we should ignore social distancing rules and go back to pretending like we all wash our hands all the time when none of really do, but I have to at least consider the idea that the media has kind of spread their own virus that has infected everybody lately - The virus of sensationalism, and turning us all into zombies watching the news all the time to see what terrible tragic rate of infection numbers are going to pop up next.

Stay home if you can. But if you cannot because you have a family to feed and bills to pay, do not be ashamed to go out and support yourself. Just be careful when you do it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Little idols': Japan's dark obsession with young girls See in context

I'm not even going to bother responding to what I'm sure will be a backlash to my comments, but I felt the need to say three things about this article:

It must have been a real slow day at the office for JT to actually take this article and put it on their site, given that they only seem to drum up idol talk (usually about AKB) in order to drive their viewership and comments up on their site. I really do not understand how something this... one-sided can be considered fair reporting or even news. It's pure sensationalism.

None of you probably have ever been to an actual idol show. If you had been to them, you would notice a few things. First... there are plenty of female fans who attend these shows. The average demographic of the fans that come to these show is nowhere near the middle-age or older age men. It's young dudes and college kids. Also, the majority of the idols in the underground idol scene and even the mainstream are over the age of 16. I have been to probably 200 idols shows in the past three years, and I can not name you one time there was an idol I saw who was six years old performing. This article basically emulates that horrible documentary made by that Japanese lady last year that focused on the absolute extreme demographic numbers and made it seem like it is the majority. It is not even close, and I speak from personal experience.

This article is damaging to the idol industry as a whole because it is equating it with child porn in Japan, things like JK, and all the other dark spots on the underbelly of Japan. Of course when you mention "idols" in the same sentence as "pedophiles," your mind is going to make that connection. But the problem is that it's simply not there in reality. Again, in all the shows I've been to, and heck, for the overwhelming majority of shows for idols, not once have I ever seen an idol dis-respected or molested or touched inappropriately. The majority of the idols wear clothes that aren't even remotely tantalizing. Those that do are old enough to flaunt their skin any way they choose (and by old enough, I'm talking over the age of 18). And also, you are all making gigantic assumptions about the people who attend these shows, that somehow they are pervs trying to be tantalized by young girls dancing on the stage. Come to an actual idol show sometime... you'll see it's polar opposite of this. The girls are treated with total care and grace. And I'm not saying there aren't bad apples, both in the idol fandom or even in the management of idols. Of course there are, and to say there isn't is being as untruthful as this article. However, that is not the majority, and perhaps I could argue it's such a tiny statistic to consider that it only serves to weakly boost what the close-minded narrative is here, i.e., you think the idol world sexualizes these girls, and the real experience is that these girls are given encouragement and support to develop and grow into actors, dancers, singers, entrepreneurs, and superstars. Many of them have, all thanks to what they learned as idols.

Again, I'm not going to respond to comments. I'm not even going to look at this page after I post this because I'm used to the kind of stuff like this here on JT and am only looking at this because a distressed idol that I know saw this and was very upset that people actually think what she does is somehow connected to Japan's porn industry and her shows are meeting places for old pervy man. So I'll put an exclamation point on my points by saying that when my half-Japanese daughter grows up, both me and her mother fully and totally will support her if she wants to become an idol. I look forward to it, because I know the real idol world, not the one that's being literally made up in articles like this, is a beautiful place to escape and feel safe inside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Over 1,000 idol singers to gather in Tokyo for massive fan event at Budokan See in context

Avalon, I appreciate the measured response you just gave. It wasn't offensive, except maybe the part where you think my experience with the idol industry has been all rosy. There have been some difficulties, but my point is that this is true anywhere and in every industry. The idol industry is no different, and honestly, what I hate the most is how people who aren't informed make these incredible assumptions about the idol industry and those who work in it as a whole. It's like calling an entire race a certain racial word just because you have had bad experiences with one or two members of that race. It's just not an intelligent thing to do, you know?

I have heard horror stories too in the idol industry, but, again, they are very few and very far between. Now, the Johnny's, well, that is a whole other world I can't even begin to comment on. What I do know is that if it weren't for J-POP, my life would not be as cheerful. I have enjoyed so much of it, especially idol music. I like watching somebody like Maeda Atsuko go from a nobody who didn't even want to be the center of AKB to the very face of AKB and the center of that world. It was an amazing story and trajectory, full of emotional ups and downs, lots of heartache, tons of joy. And Acchan's story is one of hundreds that AKB alone has produced. You can follow other idol groups and see the same thing. I live for those kind of stories. They are beyond amazing to me. A girl is an idol the second she decides to step on stage and give it her all. She earns the title of idol through her very act of being there for us all to smile with and enjoy. That is what idol music is all about. That is why a girl is an idol before she ever becomes a super talented singer/dancer, if she ever does. Some don't, and that's okay too.

By the way, because you said you like Ryuichi Sakamoto, I simply can't hate you now lol. The song "Hana" is sooooo beautiful! You have good taste, and yes, I agree, we probably could have a very interesting conversation, minus this article discussion. Maybe someday we will.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Over 1,000 idol singers to gather in Tokyo for massive fan event at Budokan See in context


Your comment brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard at it. I've seen the idol industry up close as well. I've worked in the idol industry in Japan too. I've seen absolutely nothing that you've described. It simply is the biggest lie that people who do not know any better try to establish. When you say idols don't have talent... really? You apparently never heard Iwasa Misaki sing enka. You don't think idols can dance? You have apparently never seen Koko destroy a dance floor. Idols are going to be "imprisoned?" Have you gone to a Guso Drop concert, by any chance? I am fairly sure any of those girls would whip somebody's butt who tried to "imprison" them. I mean, it's completely unfair and biased to say all the things you said, then mention AKB and say that those members all succeed as long as they put out, a statement that is horrendously defamatory to the idols in AKB who work very hard and take being an idol very seriously. And so does the staff around them and their management. Nobody is trying to take advantage of a 12 year old HKT48 member, or I think we would all have heard about it by now. And in fact, not once has a single story ever come out of AKB's 11 year history that any manager molested or touched one of the girls inappropriately. Not. One. Single. Time.

That doesn't mean it can't happen or has happened, but if it did, it's a very, very small incident that it did. The idol industry does have some slimy creeps in it, as I've also seen that with my own eyes as well, but the majority of it is pretty harmless and innocent. At the end of the day, idols like AKB are there to put money into the economy of Japan by making men and women, teenagers and children, all smile at their songs and dances. And the lack of "talent" is kind of the point of many idol groups too. The joy of an idol fan is to watch a girl grow up and become amazing. If they entered an idol group perfect, well, you would not be experiencing an idol but a musician who is already perfect and doesn't need fan support to get anywhere else in her career.

I watch idols almost everyday. I talk about them every day. I'm a highly educated, very normal person who sees the good and bad in the idol industry. But there is good and bad in any business, and the good far, far outweighs the bad. Can the idol industry improve? What industry doesn't need to improve? But to say all the idol girls are nothing more than prostitutes in training who can only advance their careers by going through what equates to heck on earth... it's hysterical that somebody would actually believe that. You've been watching too much fake news my friend.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: World Order’s 'Singularity' raises profile of singular girls group See in context

SKE did an absolutely fantastic job showing off their impeccable dance skills, which they needed to keep up with World Order. Easily one of my favorite MV's of this year so far, and a catchy song too. Thank you World Order for allowing SKE to work with you. As their senpais, I know you probably have improved their dancing ten fold, though SKE is by far the strongest group in terms of the AKB groups and dancing skills. Definitely a fun time for all. Yosshhhhh Ikussshhhoooo!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

@Pidestroika: ,br> I think the moment you show a Japanese person you speak the language proficiently, understand the manners and customs of Japan, and you demonstrate that you know your place in the social structure of Japan, there will be no problems working for Japanese and living in places that are rented only to Japanese. I mean, I certainly have never had any issues, and I'm 100% white, but when I'm in Japan, I respect the Japanese and assimilate to their culture. And it doesn't hurt I can speak Japanese well enough to have anyone thinking about treating me in a racist way change their mind pretty quick about doing so. As such, I fully expect my haafu daughter, who already can speak both Japanese and English and understands both languages very well, to have zero problems getting by in Japan, should she choose at 18 to be a Japanese citizen, or should she choose to visit Japan as an American citizen. I'm hopeful, and sure, there are always going to be racist people in Japan who won't care that she can do all of the aforementioned and will only look at her as a mixed individual, but I personally feel those types of people are fast fading from Japan. Again, only speaking from personal experience, not from a set of facts sitting in front of me based on a poll or anything of the sort. Take it as you will.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

As the parent of a gorgeous 2 year old Haafu girl, I have zero problem with the term and I will teach my daughter to not have a problem with it either. The reason? It's simple: The intent of this word being used has never once been derogatory in the hundreds of conversations I've had with Japanese folk who meet my daughter and use that term while they are smiling and waving and petting the top of my daughter's head. It's just an old expression that never has been traded in for something more P.C. If anything, it's said with such adoration and praise always that I've always looked at it as a point of pride and even use the term myself with Japanese people I meet in explaining both my daughter and the mixed race children of others. Nobody ever bats an eye or blinks at this term within my social circle of Japanese friends and family. There are so many haafus who are famous in Japan and beloved that I see no overall problem either with Japan as a whole somehow... advocating prejudice towards anyone who isn't pure Japanese blood. I mean, sure, there are some old, old laws still around to remind foreigners they are foreigners if they are living in Japan (me not being allowed to be buried in my wife's family plot because I don't share her Japanese last name is a personal favorite, lol), but mostly I'm treated very well by Japanese people. I guess to each their own, yeah?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Piko Taro dances with candy, beetles, lemons and Japanese idols in new versions of 'PPAP' See in context

@Kobe White Bar Owner:

Once again, only on JT can somebody actually think ppap is responsible for the degradation of youth. Wow.

You are acting like PPAP is responsible for the end of the world. It isn't. Moreover, if you want to complain about total trash being drip fed into the ears of the youth, well, isn't that really a very subjective standpoint? What one person calls "trash," another person calls "art." You know what else was called the lowest common denominator in music years ago? The Clash. The Sex Pistols. Metallica. And on. And on. And on.

Maybe you are too young to remember this, or maybe you're too old to allow yourself to see the fun in ppap, but the way I see it, this song isn't promoting violence and can't even remotely be considered profane. It's one guy using English in a very tongue-in-cheek sort of way to be silly, and that's it. No need, in my opinion, to attach this song to the overall reason why the youth of today are bad. That's like saying because a teenager enjoys watching silly cat videos he's gotta be a really dumb person who couldn't possibly have any intelligence. Your'e forgetting that even genius kids need a break from being so majime all the time. I think we all need a break in this regard, and I'm happy to see ppap give that to us.

Phew rant over.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Piko Taro dances with candy, beetles, lemons and Japanese idols in new versions of 'PPAP' See in context

Only on JT would people actually think to criticize something that is obviously harmless fun which happens to have went viral. I bet the same people criticizing PPAP also sit and watch silly memes that get posted on FB walls and share those memes with their friends. Oh, the hypocrisy!

@HollisBrown: Becky can barely speak English, certainly not at a native level enough to do translation. Just a friendly FYI.

On a completely unrelated note, wow, the Nogi girls are getting down! Always good to see part of the AKB family spreading happiness like this and doing it looking fine as all heck!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: 'Ghost in the Shell' makers defend Johansson casting See in context

I know I'm supposed to see all these dazzling colors and visual effects and ScarJo's brilliantly lush looking lips, but all I see is WHITE. It's truly sad that Hollywood chose to deny a Japanese woman the lead of a lifetime, all in the name of attaching a familiar WHITE face to sell the film. As the daughter of a Half-Japanese girl, I hope she can grow up someday not worrying that the color of her skin won't land her a role in a live action movie celebrating one of the greatest Japanese animes of all time, simply because she's the wrong COLOR.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Posted in: Japanese idol singer placed in safe house after rape threat See in context

Really happy to hear that something is actually being done, for once, to protect idols like Riripom. What happened to Mayu Tomita was horrific, and I hope nothing like that happens to Riripom. Now, if we could just get the management companies for idols to hire these really wonderful people called "Bodyguards" for their idols....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese idols charge fans Y10,000 to talk to them for three minutes See in context

@moonraker: Have you actually ever listened to Iris? I think you might want to fact-check your criticism of them as being incapable of sounding good and having melodies. Sure, they aren't on the level of, say, Utada Hikaru or anything, but all in all, their music is pretty catchy and fun. But again, as I said, to each their own.

Also, I think addiction can happen in any kind of medium or form of escape a person chooses, but saying or suggesting that management/producers of idol groups seek to exploit when somebody gets addicted to said idol groups is a far stretch of assumption of knowing the intentions of these managers/producers. As somebody else said already on this thread, charging this kind of money is very, very common in all forms of fan-related events for JPOP musicians and singers. Even in enka too. And it's all part of what makes Japan so... Japanese. If you think about it, is it really any more crazier than all the millions of Americans who will tune in to watch The Walking Dead this Sunday to see who got their head bashed in by a barbed wire baseball bat? Think about it... if you are a fan of that show, you've waited over half a year to see somebody get brutally murdered. I would think to the rest of the world, that's a little more screwed up, the idea of wanting to see somebody die horribly, than paying money to talk to idol girls who are all about spreading happiness and joy.

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Posted in: Japanese idols charge fans Y10,000 to talk to them for three minutes See in context

I think to Westerners and perhaps those living in Japan who don't "get" Japanese culture or the Japanese mindset, this of course seems really ridiculous. And maybe on some level, it is, especially when you consider that it's very likely the girls will see only a tiny fraction of this money (though I don't know how anyone can say on this comment thread for sure what the girls get at all, unless you somehow have a copy of the contracts these girls signed to be idols). However, I think if you wake up everyday, love an idol group and consider it your most favorite passion and hobby, and have the money to spend on talking to them at this kind of extraordinary level, nobody should really have the right to criticize you for doing so. The only thing getting hurt by this is your wallet. I seem to recall a few years back there was the other group of boy idols from England (ahem..cough..cough, the Beatles) that people did a lot more crazier acts of devotion for, and nobody seemed to think that was a bad idea or hated people who were die hard fans of that group. So really, to each their own I say.

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Posted in: 'Game of Thrones' and the rise of prime-time violence See in context

As a writer who writes graphic, horrific violent stories, I think the one thing this article leaves out is how violence, when used correctly, can vastly impact the reader's reaction on many emotional levels. Same with tv shows, and especially true for tv shows that get it right when they adapt a series of novel that is a complete world for tv. I think hbo is incredible for showing the GoT world as George Martin has given it to us, complete with all the gore and nudity. That's the world he created, and every single thing that happens in that world happens for a very good reason. To call any of it gratuitous means only one thing: The person who wrote this article obviously hasn't read the books or seen the entire tv series. If they had, they would realize that all the violence depicted also has is shown with the consequences of that violence. This is storytelling for adults, not for children, and definitely not for article writers who obviously want to promote the idea that we should all go back to the Hays Code Era of television where even showing a bellybutton on television was considered beyond immoral and wrong. Because look how well our society turned out with that kind of censorship in place, right? Long live GoT, and kudos to George Martin for giving us all a great, beautiful story that is full of unexpected emotional storylines bathed in blood and sex. I've loved every minute of it!

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympics is looking for volunteers, but may have a hard time finding them See in context

I treasure the Olympics and have watched every single one of them since I was a little kid. I would give up a lot to volunteer for the Olympics, and I very well may do this considering my daughter is Half-Japanese and my family lives in Tokyo. This would be a dream come true to say I was part of something so special to the world's history.

That being said, I have to give a lot of respect to Heather, who commented earlier, and also the guy who has helped out as a volunteer in his's people like you and Heather's father who are heroes to me. This isn't about money, and to answer the question as to why anyone on earth would donate their time for free to a company making money, it's really simple: It's what the Olympics represent that is worth donating your time too. Just like people all over the world donate hundreds if not thousands of volunteer hours to churches, who also make's because of what the churches represent. Believe it or not people, there are some things more important to be part of than earning a paycheck.

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Posted in: AKB48 to hold concerts at Universal Studios Japan every day starting in July See in context

AKB's days are doing absolutely amazing. They are stronger than ever and show no signs of slowing down. There are almost 500 members, three new sister group expansions overseas, and over a million cds sold for this year's upcoming sousenkyo election. Their latest single broke the million sales mark easily, and their members are dominating magazine covers, variety shows, their own programs, and they are still a powerful musical force in the music industry. They are the only group who can do 100 concerts at USJ and not even break a sweat and still send their other members to do stadium concerts, daily shows, and anything else they want to do. How is that for numbers? Ha ha. These girls are unstoppable!

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Posted in: AKB48 to hold concerts at Universal Studios Japan every day starting in July See in context


Show me the actual statistics you are pulling from by saying this, because I can tell you from attending several concerts, handshake events, and owning almost their entire library of concert dvds, I've seen nothing but a balance of teenagers, girls, families, children, and only the occasional ojisan or 30-something guy who looks like your classic otaku. I think what you said might have been true only in the beginning of AKB's ten year history, but it certainly hasn't been the case for the past six years or so. AKB attracts all types of people, which is exactly why they are doing the performances at USJ. If people just watch them, they'll realize they aren't lascivious or suggestive and their fans are normal people who enjoy happy, positive music, that is sometimes flirty, but always fun.

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Posted in: AKB48 to hold concerts at Universal Studios Japan every day starting in July See in context


Did you watch the videos? By all means, check them out yourself. I'm not "seeing what I want to see," not at all, and don't appreciate the implication of this kind of statement either.

Peter's comment isn't accurate in the least. I've been following AKB for many years now, and honestly, it's the biggest misconception the general public has about the group. It's simply not true, and also, it's rather offensive to imply an entire fanbase of a musical idol group are "pervs" or sociall awkward. What's more, USJ is doing a great, great thing by having AKB there on a daily basis. I am happy for AKB and USJ's partnership, and I think that is the issue that should be focused on.

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Posted in: AKB48 to hold concerts at Universal Studios Japan every day starting in July See in context

Peter, I think it's a very huge misconception that AKB draws that kind of demographic you are implying. If you would take a few minutes and watch the USJ promo video for AKB's recent visit, you'll see in the audience that the overwhelming majority of the people there to see AKB were young teenage girls, families, and of course, your teenage boys. The only ojisans I saw there were with their kids, looking bored out of their mind.

I think AKB performing there is a really good thing. The girls work very hard and do their best to put on a great performance that is all about being positive. I think that positivity will be really good for USJ. I just hope the girls don't get too tired from so many concert performances all in a row. Ganbatte AKB!

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Posted in: AKB48 to hold concerts at Universal Studios Japan every day starting in July See in context

This is the best news I've heard all week! I am very excited to see AKB contribute to Universal Studios and offer such an incredible, taxing performance schedule for anyone visiting USJ! Good for them, and lucky for all the people who go there and want to see great idol music and smart, intelligent girls spreading positivity and not negativity through their music. It's girls like them that make other people who just want to say negative things about them look really immature, especially considering all they are doing is showing love to all the people who come to watch them play. A lot of who, I might add, are YOUNG GIRLS, CHILDREN, and FAMILIES. YOOOOSH IKUSSHOOO!!!!

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