Japan Today

Evan Hayden comments

Posted in: Remains of the day See in context

Nice Ishiguro reference!

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Posted in: Losing control See in context

"Assuming you're in control can be dangerous."

These words feel more fitting for life in general than I imagine the poster designer intended!

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Posted in: Roadster ride See in context

JeffLee: There are a couple versions of this fourth-gen Mazda Roadster / Miata. There's this one - the retractible hardtop - which opens just above the driver's head, and has a couple-like profile when the top is closed... and then there's the traditional soft-top version that opens all the way like a true roadster. Both are quite fun to drive! I think the latter is preferable since you get more fresh air and a simpler-to-maintain top, but some people like the increased rigidity and better theft-resistance of the more coupe-like body.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Saga Balloon Fiesta See in context

I regret that in the six years I lived in Japan, not too far from Saga, I never got to see this event. Maybe the next time I'm on that side of the world, visiting my wife's family, we'll go check it out!

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Posted in: Tsunami survivors call lost loved ones on 'phone of the wind' See in context

I know a lot of articles on this site have an expiration date and are taken down later, but I hope this one stays up a while. There is no real moving on from something like this. Just moving in a different direction, and dealing with new realities to the best of one's abilities. The absences of loved ones will always be felt, but whatever kind of solace the survivors can find, I hope they find it.

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Posted in: Asian shares advance following upbeat U.S. jobs report See in context

Unrelated to the topic, of course, but I love how the motion blur in the foreground of the "22240.12" photo makes the guy look like he just came out of warp drive.

Also, I wouldn't get too excited about companies adding jobs right now. I would imagine many jobs will go away again as the Covid numbers keep rising. I'm in the US, and too many people I see are acting like the pandemic is over and everything's back to normal, no-masks, no distance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Fried chicken-cooking robot to start working at Japanese convenience store See in context

Oh no. This robotic precision would keep me from the lucky bonus sixth piece of Karaage-kun that I sometimes get.

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Posted in: All aboard See in context

Very nice! I'll never have the space for a hobby like this, but I appreciate it a well-done miniature train setup.

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Posted in: Court upholds deportation order for Thai teenager born and raised in Japan See in context


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Posted in: Abenomics on the ropes as yen soars, markets plunge See in context

I hate to say it, but as someone who just moved back to the US after a few years in Japan, I'm pleased to see the value of the yen shifting back in my favor. I decided to wait on exchanging my yen to dollars to see if that would happen, since I was due to take such a hit on the exchange rate. Not good for Japan, but good for me at least, and others who want to change their yen out.

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Posted in: Japan gears up for foreign visitors with new interactive vending machine See in context

Putting aside the fact that a lot of drinks are fairly easy to identify due to the images on their packaging (ie: lemons, oranges), I think part of the fun of vending machines in Japan when you are not 100% literate is the fact that it's a roll of the dice. Sometimes you wind up with a new surprise favorite you may not have otherwise chosen if you could read the kanji.

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Posted in: Man, girlfriend arrested for making his 2-year-old son smoke See in context

This guy and his teenage girlfriend sound like real trash. That kid deserves a second chance in a better home. Growing up with a dad like that will just be awful.

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Posted in: Shangrila, a maid cafe staffed exclusively by cute 'plump' girls, opens in Akihabara See in context

While I generally think maid cafes are a waste of time / money, I think this is nice. I appreciate that the bigger girls are getting some adoration too.

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Posted in: M7.0 quake hits off Kyushu; small tsunamis reported See in context

Glad no one was hurt, from the sounds of it. I live in Nagasaki and felt it here. My apartment building was swaying and it was a pretty eerie feeling. It was all the more eerie since at the time, I was playing Fallout 4, in the middle of a crazy firefight with explosions and for a second I was like, woah, how is the whole room vibrating and not just the controller?

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Posted in: Most Beautiful Legs See in context

All quite lovely.

Btw, to anyone who likes Sumire, and vintage manga/anime, Google image search for "Sumire Lum" and you may just like it. She has some cute behind-the-scenes photos from the photoshoot on her Ameblo blog as well.

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Posted in: War on Christmas? Starbucks cups cause social media outcry See in context

Sometimes when I'm feeling the creeping effects of delayed culture shock and homesickness, upset at how some things in Japan will never make sense to me, I read news about people back home in the states squabbling over classy red minimalist Starbucks cups not being Christmastastic enough, and I remind myself that America doesn't make any sense either sometimes... For the record, I like the cups, and like the way they look with the cardboard collars that have a ring of snowflakes.

Also, imho, the whole argument that saying "Happy Holidays" is "taking of religion out of the Yuletide season" is absurd. Rather, it's honoring other religions and cultures by not treating Xmas as the only holiday of importance in December....

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Posted in: Autumn blaze See in context

This is the only time I wish I was back in Michigan. The colors, the caramel apples and the cider.

As a fellow Michigander, I miss Michigan fall as well. Oh well, I'll try to soak up what little fall colors I see in my part of Kyushu.

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Posted in: Illumillion lights See in context

Looks lovely!

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Posted in: 6 types of Japanese people you’ll meet while living in Japan See in context

we can’t expect others to immediately think of us as special snowflakes who aren’t like the rest of the gaijin masses

Sure, we can't expect to be thought of as "special snowflakes", but is it too much to ask that people use their brains and imagine that individuals from different countries maybe don't all fit into the same box, feel the same way about things, or even speak the same language?

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Posted in: Tabloid dissects Halloween's 'unnatural popularity' See in context

“The mere fact that large numbers of foreigners will be converging for Halloween is one more reason why we have to be on guard for possible acts of terrorism”

Screw this guy. It's so obvious that it needn't be explained, but the vast majority of foreigners are not terrorists, and most who are in Japan are here because we love Japan, no matter how much people like this police guy make us sometimes question that love.

Not to mention, there have most certainly been Japanese domestic terrorists, lest we forget Shoko Asahara.

Just let people enjoy Halloween because it's fun and stop trying to be such a wet blanket...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Welcome See in context

VW isn't the only automaker at Tokyo Motor Show who does this. Almost all of the companies do, and all the spokemodels line up at the end of the day to bow. Spokesmodels are a longstanding car show tradition, although in some countries that's falling out of favor. I'm a little on the fence about it myself. On one hand, I hate to see people objectified... on the other hand, I like seeing a beautiful lady as much as the next person. I suppose it comes down to how well the models are paid and how well they're treated by their agencies and by the visitors of the show. I've been to a lot of car shows in my life, but as a regular visitor and as press photographer, and I've mostly seen the models treated well, although I'm sure there are horror stories, as in every job.

I like that some auto manufacturers are including male spokesmodels as well, so everyone can see some eye candy and so that men can also feel that their looks are worth drooling over.

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Posted in: Looking good See in context

I think they're all lovely.

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Posted in: What irritates men most about women? Let's find out See in context

Thus, the number 1 grievance of men about the women they date: “She suddenly gets angry and won’t tell me why!”

Hmmm... While I agree that it sucks when someone is mad at your and won't tell you why, I also don't blame women for getting angry at the guys who were interviewed for this. A bunch of entitled complainers, it sounds like. Calling playing with he kids "work". Griping about coworkers having a work/life balance and going home when they should. Complaining about women wearing sexy clothes being too alluring (sound a little like the "she was asking for it, wearing that dress" cliche).

Anyway, sounds to me that these dudes should be grateful they have ladies willing to put up with their bratty attitudes. Believe me, women and men can be equally annoying, but I'm not putting a lot of validity behind many of these gripes.

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Posted in: 'One Piece' manga creator’s work schedule is absolutely insane See in context

Ooof, that's one crazy schedule. I understand artistic passion and commitment to one's work, but Oda had better be careful because keeping up that kind of schedule over a long period of time can shave years off of one's life... The body needs time to rest.

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Posted in: 3 men arrested for confining and forcing 16-year-old girl into prostitution See in context

The girl was quoted by police as saying that Morita threatened to bury her in concrete if she tried to escape.

I would like to see these three guys buried in concrete...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 ways the Japanese entertainment industry keeps idol singers from dating See in context

I think the idol system is insane for all kinds of reasons. It's sad that the idols themselves have to live in a gilded cage of sorts. True, they signed up for it in the first place, but I imagine a lot of these situations entail pressure from their parents, who want to shave a little off the money their daughters bring in. Not to mention that some of these women might have self-worth issues that cause them to obsess over fame and "making it", and put themselves through unnecessary tribulations to fuel this dream. These idols, despite getting to enjoy experiences that many people don't get to, are sacrificing some of the development that their non-famous peers go through in the teens and twenties. They aren't getting a chance to learn how to get by in the real world and how to cope with the fact that all the glitz and glamour is going to go away once you're "too old" (ie: early-mid 20s)

As for the fans, it's gross to hear about the fact that the producers want to portray a virginal image to the fans, enhancing these folks' delusions that they could get with the girl. Guys, c'mon... many of you are socially-stunted, shut-ins, or otherwise not the kind of guys these idols would go for when they potentially have a wide variety of men to choose from. Quit fantasizing about some plastic idol falling in love with you, learn how meet women, learn how to talk to them, and get your life together. I'm a nerd myself, so I understand obsessing over something that other people may ridicule you for, but some of these dudes really need to separate their romantic fantasies from the music they listen to.

It's sad. Let musicians (or "musicians" in the case of some idols) have lives... and let the more delusional of the fans figure out how to live their lives without glomming onto impossible fantasies.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Whistlebump Halloween 2015 See in context

I gotta say, this kind of stuff makes me bittersweet about leaving Japan early next year. I've been here for three years, living in a not-huge city, and never got to go to many events like this. The party scene in Nagasaki is a bit more sedate. Anyway. looks fun!

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Posted in: Lunch break See in context

That's a neat sculpture! Living in Nagasaki, I'm sort of envious, since most of our public parks are just dirt (no grass) and no public art.

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Posted in: Kimutaku to star in 'Blade of the Immortal' live-action film directed by Takashi Miike See in context

I love the manga (and all of Hiroaki Samura's manga), and I love Takashi Miike, but I'm a little on the fence about how this SMAP dude will do as Manji. I would have loved to see Tadanobu Asano, as he can play some fairly intense folks. (and has worked with Miike before to good results)

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Posted in: San Francisco's last gun store closing doors for good See in context

Good. Lead the way, SF.

Alcairo said news coverage of the bill’s introduction in July slowed sales considerably because customers wrongly believed their purchases would be recorded and turned over to police

If you have nothing to hide, then you should be fine. Recording the sales and logging ammo is a good idea! Sure, it's our "right" to keep guns, but I think enough people in the states (my home country) have proven themselves irresponsible and murderous with their weapons that maybe it's time to more thoroughly regulate and monitor the sales of firearms (in my mind, not "maybe", but definitely) I'd hate to punish the responsible folks for the sins of the few, but the few have caused enough mayhem as it is and anything that can help cut down the amount of victims of gun violence is a good thing.

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