Ed O Jidai comments

Posted in: Book by killer of British woman to become film See in context

Wait until our antagonist gets cut loose and becomes more of a visible gadabout celebrity like our favorite murdering cannibal Issei Sagawa. This tune is beginning to sound like a painfully familiar refrain (murderers becoming celebreties): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issei_Sagawa

Looking at the director/star's website I laughed when he said about his connection to the killer:

"...me and this main character 'a convicted murderer of a violent crime' both share growing up in the same generation...."

Yep, that certainly happens with me all the time. I feel the most profound connection with and understanding of every single person I meet who happens to be born plus-or-minus ten years of my own birth year. Oh, well, he had to write something. What's a guy to do?

Instead of just telling his story, some dramatic conflict could be added to the movie by showing serious attempts at finding him (there were, weren't there?) that are thwarted (Drat!), until his ultimate and victorious capture. Pursuers as protagonists, Ichi the Killer as antagonist. Isn't this what a lot of the conflict is about? No one wants to see him as the protagonist, as he was in his own book.

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Posted in: Rice from 5 Fukushima farms shows high radiation levels See in context

I noticed at Zichi's second link above that the newscaster mentioned the detection of spontaneous fission. Would such self-sustaining high temperatures, a la "The China Syndrome," allow radioactive material to eventually (if it hasn't already) penetrate the water table, further complicating decontamination efforts? For example: water table-> trees-> pollen-> more distant rice paddies and fruit orchards, et al... Not to mention wells; or wherever the water table might venture as far as, or emerge above ground. Or would the radioactive levels be deemed "safe" because of dilution? Yet the radiation level in the water table would become increasingly concentrated...

"China syndrome" Theoretical consequence of a core meltdown, when the heavy molten mass of highly radioactive material actually goes straight through the vessel in which it had been contained and down to the earth's core. In other words, China syndrome occurs when an out-of-control reactor burns its way downwards towards the earth's core. From the USA, it would appear to be heading for China.

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Posted in: Woodford confident justice will be served in Olympus cover-up See in context

Good luck to what Mr. Woodford is trying to do.

I'm looking forward to see how far he gets.

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Posted in: Old-fashioned escapes See in context

These inns look fabulous. I would love to spend even one night. But until my investment portfolio resembles Warren Buffet's I will have to pass. They are priced way beyond my range as a retiree.

The atmosphere in some reminded me of Tokyo's Homeikan here: http://www.homeikan.com/

How about a revisit to some of the traditional, out of the way hot springs that once were written up in Robert C. Neff's 1995 Japan's Hidden Hot Springs?

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Posted in: Twinkle twinkle See in context


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Posted in: Emperor leaves hospital after bronchial pneumonia bout See in context

I am relieved to hear this.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for stabbing passer-by on Tokyo sidewalk See in context

I don't suppose she had been watching any 1973 movies recently: http://blog-imgs-15-origin.fc2.com/m/a/m/mamdarin/dvd-1293.jpg

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Posted in: Unique vending machines in Japan See in context

I wish Japan would import the Australian Body-O-Matic body-parts vending machine (http://animalnewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/body-o-matic.jpg)and stock it with body parts that could be assembled into a living one of these: http://www.photo4asian.com/img/Japanese-Female/Eiko-Koike/full/eiko_koike_00048670.jpg

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Posted in: Love without words See in context

A lot of times people say the words, "I love you" simply because they are words they, themselves, want to hear. The intention, if not the actual words, that I often hear as a bystander is, "Tell me that you love me."

Words are overrated, often cheap.

Then again, a couple members of my immediate family were physically close with me on occasion and I didn't appreciate it at all. But that physical closeness often took the form of fists.

What I do appreciate is having been fed, clothed, housed, and schooled. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

If Makoto is a loving parent, no matter how she expresses it, it will be communicated. What her kids do with it is up to them.

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Posted in: Billionaire's visit See in context

Doesn't "Ganbarou" have the connotation of "Let's.." as in WE?

Hey, that is great.

Any and all Fukushima residents in need of a place to stay must now be welcome to homestay with Warren in Wichita.

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Posted in: Japan - conflicting opinions See in context

This is hilarious. RDPI looks like two people, Roger D. and Philip I.

Until we know more in detail about that minimal, 73-person survey, such as who they were, where and how they were contacted (on the street at random? At a specialized business conference? Workers in a factory? Guests at a five-star hotel? Carriers of take out at a fish and chips shop?) I take it that the final three paragraphs under "In Conclusion" say what Rodge and Phil set out to write from the beginning, then used the "survey" as a cover.

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Posted in: Billionaire's visit See in context

("Corpration"--> Corporation)

Easy for them to say. "I just dropped by to tell all of you who have suffered and still are suffering to hang in there. Now I'm off to my private luxury jet to return unscathed to my own tsunami (of money)," not unlike Scrooge McDuck's huge waves here: http://americandigest.org/sidelines/money-bin-scrooge-mcduck.jpg

If my life was buffeted by the ill winds of fate and torn asunder by tragedy I don't believe I would appreciate someone telling me I should endure and never give up dealing with unimaginable hardship if that person offering such "encouragement" was a privileged billionaire whose idea of tragedy would be getting served a lukewarm cup of coffee.

But then what makes any of us think Mr. Buffett had any real clue what that sign said?

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Posted in: Mashiko pottery: Beauty forged by fire See in context

Another informative article with useful links of interest.

As an ICU student, on the way to and from Musashi Sakai Station, I often bicycled past a Mashiko-ware shop in Mitaka.

Google Street View and map here: http://g.co/maps/p65jj

You can see the address on the building. Travel time and travel expense (as well as selection of goods) might be less than that for Tochigi Prefecture.

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Posted in: 14-year-old girl slashed on face by man on street in Saitama See in context

Several years ago I read of a Saitama slashing perpetrated by a guy riding by a girl on his bicycle. I wonder if this is the same psychopath. Being on foot would he not be noticed by others in the neighborhood? Was he confident of not appearing to be a perp? Did he quickly hightail it to jump on his bicycle or in a car?

As a psychopath one wonders if he would do something like write a letter to a newspaper or on-line news source decrying such a despicable act.

I find aloe vera to be great for cuts. That and vitamin E oil are good for reducing scarring. But then, chin scarring never kept Harrison Ford down (whoever he might be). I hope the girl suffers little permanent damage.

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Posted in: Geisha-hunters get their gals See in context

I'm glad to see this update. A little more detail and another photo or so would have been nice, though.

Not to worry. After their Shimoda gig ends they can find gainful employment as chindonya: http://www.h7.dion.ne.jp/~tindon3/LOVELOG_IMG/DSCF2301.JPG

Better yet, they could come to the geisha areas still extant in Tokyo, such as Shinbashi and Kagurazaka (and Yoshicho and Asakusa).

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Posted in: Ankle warmer See in context

I have an idea I may market for even better ankle warmers. I'm going to call them "Wool Socks."

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Posted in: Japanese wine ain't half bad See in context

More than a decade ago I bought an expensive (for me) bottle of Chateau Mercian Cabernet Sauvignon while on an overnight trip to Yamanashi. My opinion was, "I can honestly say that Japan is capable of producing high-quality wine." The bottle I had was right up there with the big leagues.

The rainy summers and traditional, overhead growing techniques can serve as a damper on quality by limiting sunlight, however: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TAvERufGER4/TPomXLjbmmI/AAAAAAAAALc/iUP-qooaM34/s1600/oldsaibai.jpg

Oops, wrong era. I meant: http://mkimg.bmcdn.jp/carlife/images/TownInfo/106517.jpg

I believe Mercian was using vertical trellising techniques.

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Posted in: Aizuwakamatsu: History with a sake chaser See in context

Interesting and informative article.

The composer Rentaro Taki is said to have been partly inspired by the ruins of the above castle in writing his famous "Old Castle in the Moonlight" which can be heard via YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S14GepyIPs&feature=related

Brief Wiki article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kōjō_no_Tsuki

Thelonious Monk's version can be found on YouTube as well.

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Posted in: The trouble with translating See in context

One of our clients decided to dispense with an English translation entirely. Their English annual report featured something like "Creating Kando Together" (no italics). They were adamant and inflexible about that. It was good that they allowed a change to the caption that identified a certain musical instrument as a "fork guitar" (L<-->R). Not this: http://rookery.s3.amazonaws.com/2752000/2752186_9418_625x1000.jpg by the way.

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Posted in: Niijima shorebreak See in context

With Niijima's narrow waist it is easy to walk from one side to the other.

There was a signboard on a cliff and overlooking the sea near where we pitched tents that gave the number of kilometers straight ahead to Santa Barbara. A few years later it had been ripped to shreds by a typhoon. The ocean temp in Santa Barbara sure is colder than at Niijima (when I was there).

The body surfing was the strangest I have ever experienced (little though it is). Entering the ocean the depth was soon over our heads, but swimming a distance to a sandbar we could stand up and catch waves; which dumped us over our heads, necessitating another swim.

And, yes! That hot spring was fabulous, although it just "ruined" my day. Ha ha. Photo here: http://www.island-trip.net/common/images/niijima/yunohama.jpg

Nice view from the top too. http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/44/cb/80bf0141258051780907e8a101cc795e.jpg

The writer flying there in the morning and making it back for afternoon Tokyo business contrasts much with our overnight slow boat, from Takeshiba Pier, that afforded us the "luxury" of mass, group sleeping on the floor with fellow shipmates crammed into us (and we into them).

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Posted in: 79-year-old woman arrested for 24th time for pickpocketing See in context

The busy shoppers with purses don't notice her lurking near them: Just the other countless shoppers behind and next to this slow-hand, 79-year-old granny. Thus, the arrests. She needs to develop some peripheral vision, or better yet, ethics.

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Posted in: Joji Takahashi, Mika Mifune chosen as 'Partners of the Year' See in context

They have been married for 13 years and say that

...if they are reborn, they would like to meet and get married again in the next life.

Nothing more to say except, "Congratulations! Whoohoo!"

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Posted in: Princess Aiko has pneumonia, agency says See in context

Wishing her; "Take care and get well soon. It is great that you have such a loving mother to stand by you when you need her."

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Posted in: Forestry Agency to test Fukushima cedar pollen for radioactivity See in context

Radioactive pollen which will spread and settle on rice paddies, orchards, and vegetables fields. I foresee the following headline in CE 2031: PEOPLE'S COMMUNIST PARTY NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN: "There has been a significant rise in the incidence of cancer among the population of our glorious people's servants who have steadfastly supported the people by immigrating from the Eastern Province (formerly known as Japan). Because this health problem is found to such a high degree within this cadre of people's servants it must be that the problem arises from genetics or unhealthy ethnic cultural practices. Therefore we have taken steps to insure the safety of the Chinese people by isolating this valiant cadre in special health re-education camps and culling as we see fit."

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Posted in: Adopting English as workplace language in Japan has its downside See in context

Ben4short above, wrote:

But the "honne" here, which most people fail to realize, is that the Japanese consider it fundamentally un-Japanese to speak English (or any foreign language) well. The essence of being Japanese and the vehicle from which most Japanese gain their self-identity is their language.

I once had a student who asked me how he could improve his pronunciation (I think that was related to his Japanese girlfriend being fluent in English). His vocabulary and grammar were quite good. I thought about it for a moment and then asked him, "Do you ever watch English-language movies."

"Yes," he said.

"Try to pretend that you are an actor in a movie speaking English."

He did, and his English pronunciation was excellent. Close to natural. I complimented him, proud in my way that I could help him achieve his goal so readily.

His reaction? A look of distaste on his face and the words, "I don't want to do that."

He wanted to pronounce English well. He was given a way to do it, but rejected that way. Because it was more important for him to hold on totally to a Japanese identity? Was taking on a non-Japanese approach (in language) so anathema to him? Doesn't this speak to the difficulties in getting Japanese people to actually communicate in a foreign language? Their deep-seated xenophobia disallows them to consider non-Japanese options even when trying to learn a foreign language where taking on an alternative world view is imperative.

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Posted in: Asia pays watery price for overdevelopment See in context

Tokyo, too, was once a bit of a "Venice of the East" with an extensive canal system, now largely filled in. http://kotetu.info/hibi/img_hib/hib_tiz.jpg  Is this article a foreboding?

Bangkok, some experts half-jokingly say, may well return to what it was in the 19th century: a water world where almost all its 400,000 inhabitants lived on raft-houses or homes on stilts. "The highways of Bangkok are not streets or roads, but the river and the canals," wrote British envoy Sir John Browning in 1855.

A century later, on the advice of international development agencies, Bangkok began to fill in most of its canals--excellent conduits of floodwaters--to build more roads and combat malaria.

That is one problem with the American and international New-World-Order ruling class--a kind of intellectual sense of entitlement, an attitude on their part that everything they think and believe is, a priori, absolutely correct because it is they who think it. Beyond everyone else, and past experience, they know best about everything. Well, they don't. In fact their arrogant ignorance can be appalling.

Non New-World-Order ways can be, not only better but the best.

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Posted in: Brigitte Bardot urges Japan to stop whaling See in context

When I was young it was Brigitte Bardot's pulchritude that made me smile. Now I smile in admiration at her courage, and determination to fight for what she believes is right.

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Posted in: Seeing Tokyo on foot See in context

I have a copy of this on my lap as I write. I like it a lot and would recommend it to anyone interested in a Tokyo-flavored experience in a book.

I tracked, via Google Street Views, a few places he has drawn. The reality is significantly more mundane than his skillfully drawn renderings, so an argument can be made that his book is preferable to the actual megalopolis.

I laughed out loud at some of his humor.

If I still lived in Tokyo I would probably snort and turn my head. Who needs to buy a book filled with the same images I constantly view just outside my eyelids? But I lived in Tokyo for 15 years and have been pretty much absent for 9 years. I get such a pleasant rush of nostalgia, or desire to track down something previously unknown from this excellent picture book.

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Posted in: Princess Mako turns 20 See in context

I wonder if she commutes to university by limousine or if she slogs away on the trains every day.

Until her brother, Prince Hisahito, was born there was talk about:

a revision of Imperial Household Law to allow females and their descendants to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne.

There was a chance at one time that she could have been the first female Empress since 1813: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Go-Sakuramachi. Is that look on her face something like: "I could have been a contender"?

It looks like she is smiling in a subtle, somewhat bemused way but I can't read her eyes. The photo makes it look like she has ronpa eyes (one eye on London and the other on Paris) because there is no white showing on the inside of her left eye.

Her choice of university might indicate that she has a bit of an independent streak.

So, she has experienced that deep tunnel of cherry trees in bloom along what once was the runway for Nakajima Hayabusa fighter planes; seen the apricot trees blooming on Bakayama; strolled around Taizanso; and passed by that infernal racket emerging from practicing musicians in the student activity building (if that still occurs).

Best wishes.

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Posted in: Why some mothers 'sell' their children for dirty deals See in context

Having noted the quote above in Zichi's comment I wonder if, apart from originating in "Shukan Asahi," there is any further verification of the verisimilitude of this article? Are we to believe as fact everything that is printed elsewhere?

The magazine (Oct 28) tells the following stories and several others like it, but doesn't say how many cases they represent. Are they aberrations, or more typical than anyone likes to think?

Are they aberrations in the sense that they are simply made up? It would be easy to create such articles out of whole cloth. Can we rely on Japan Today to vet such articles? Are we seeing a kind of resurgence of the defunct Mainichi "Wai Wai" column? I enjoyed "Wai Wai" but I always took it with a grain of salt. I was surprised to see Japan Today publishing similar material. Is Japan Today's "Kuchikomi" to be taken as seriously as "Wai Wai"? I am just asking so that I will know what I am in for when I click on "Kuchikomi."

I hesitate to write a comment about mothers selling their pubescent daughters when it is possible that the specific facts are not accurate; when the so-called journalists writing such material could more accurately be referred to as a writers of fiction (as I was once told by a Japanese journalist writing (fiction) for a sports newspaper).

If it were true? Whether made up or not the generalities certainly are true, at least in some cases. My reaction? "Sigh." This is the Japan "behind the mask."

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