Evan Hayden comments

Posted in: Nagasaki marks 70th anniversary of atomic bombing See in context

I'm an ALT in Nagasaki and my base school is only 1km away from the Peace Park and where the bomb dropped. Today during my school's peace ceremony, we paused for a bit after the principal and students gave speeches, and listened in on a broadcast of the ceremony at the Peace Park. I hope my students take seriously the words of the mayor, Ban Ki-moon, and most importantly survivors like Sumiteru Taniguchi. I worry these kids will grow up to be as apathetic about politics as those who are only ten years older than them, and I hope hearing things like they heard today will break through the brainwashing that the conservative government tries to foist upon Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Is Japan a good place to raise children? See in context

I feel like it's a good place for kids to grow up until they hit the first year of junior high. Of course, situations are different for different families, different locations, different economic situations... but from my experience as an ALT, teaching both elementary and junior high, I see my students transition from elementary school to junior high and watch as many of them become gloomy, overly-stressed, or just less vibrant in general. I feel that the pressure put on kids once they enter Jr high ramps up way too severely, and that the kids aren't ready for such a jarring change. These are still children, but suddenly they have so many more responsibilities, longer school hours, stricter rules, and the rest of their free time gets gobbled up by bukatsu, cram school, or other obligations.

I definitely appreciate that Japan is much safer in general than my home country, USA, and I think Japanese elementary schools hit a fairly good balance of fun and discipline, but if I were to have a child in Japan, I would want to pull them out of the Japanese system once they finish elementary school and put them somewhere for junior high where they can learn how to be an independent thinking individual. I would want to see their creativity encouraged, not hammered down.

This may just be my western viewpoint, but in my mind it's very important than children get the chance to enjoy their youth while they still have it, and also to have the time to figure out who they are as people, and how to interact with those around them.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: The female cosplayers of summer Wonder Festival See in context

Poison from "Final Fight". Sweet :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Lolicon' teachers a growing concern See in context

“Do you (to men) sometimes wish you were a woman?” “Do you (to women) ever regret being a woman?”

I know it's not the main point of this article, but that wording sort of bothers me. In addition to the questions that potentially link gender identity to pedophilia being pretty dodgy (which Maria also mentioned), I also feel like the wording used casts being born female as something to regret. Might have been better to say "Do you (to men) sometimes wish you were a woman?” “Do you (to women) sometimes wish you were a man?" I find the "wish" wording a bit more palatable than the "regret" implication.

As to the main point of the article. Japan really has a long way to go in some areas, in terms of lolicon, treatment of children, and initialization of women. I get really creeped out by the sexualization of kids or women made to look like kids in some manga, games, etc, and the whole junior idol thing is unsettling. As a fan of manga and video games, it bothers me even more because this crap gives the whole medium a bad name. Anyway, it seems like this stuff is still glamorized, and I can understand why it might stoke those interests in some people who really shouldn't be around kids. If society is telling you something's wrong, yet plenty of readily-available legal entertainment (some found in your local convenience store) is telling you it's cute and/or sexy, it's hard for some folks to know what to think.

Anyway, I hope school systems can continue to improve on their systems of weeding out potential lolicon-loving teachers.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Pet shelter advertises pets with their expiry date See in context

It sure would be nice if more apartments in Japan would allow pets. There might be a lot less strays if that were the case. I know I'd have a kitty or two!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ikebukuro arthouse continues all-night Saturday movie marathons See in context

Man... living in a less cosmopolitan part of Japan this past couple years, reading this article makes me envious of folks living in Tokyo :-) I wish there were more art, international, and classic films playing around here...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 15-year-old boy drowns while attempting to save classmate in river See in context

What a truly selfless act. It's very sad that he didn't make it, but maybe his community learned valuable things from the experience, both in safety around bodies of water, and in paying attention to others' needs and doing your best to help those who are vulnerable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Docomo launches free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji See in context

I dunno... maybe climbers could just pry their eyes off of their phone for a second, look around, and say "Holy hell, I'm on top of Mount Fuji right now! That's pretty special! Maybe I should take the view in and connect with the moment."

I'm not totally against the idea, mind you, but maybe make a designated area, like a little heated shack, where people can update their Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Gryzzl / what-have-you, and keep some areas strictly "no stopping and staring at your phones" zones. (maybe that's the plan anyway...)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Heroin use, overdose deaths mounting in U.S. See in context

I lost a close friend to heroin and saw how it tore apart her life, and that of her family, after she was gone. It's sad to think that this is happening to so many others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man dead after setting himself on fire in bullet train; woman passenger also dies See in context

What a selfish idiot. If you're going to immolate yourself, at least have the decency to not try to take others down with you...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Make your wedding a day to remember, by cutting the head off a tuna together See in context

Somehow the idea of a white or otherwise pastel wedding dress doesn't sound like it would mix well with a display of decapitation. Maybe in a horror movie... otherwise, sounds like stain-city!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 10,000 textbooks recalled over 3-armed girl illustration See in context

I think they should leave it in. It's pretty funny, but hard to spot without it being pointed out to you first. Might be amusing for the occasional student to find it. But yes, I agree also that it's a big waste of trees to scrap and reprint the whole run.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Policeman fires warning shot after truck thief threatens him with hatchet See in context

will have to submit the casket (and if retrieve the bullet)

Hehe, I'm trying to imagine what it would look like if police from my country (USA) had to track down and turn in all the bullets they fire. It would be an endless quest.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Unhappy anniversary See in context

Not to diminish the pain or anger felt on either side, but I'm really tired of this endless bickering and unfinished business. I wish there was some way that the government on both sides could let go of their pride, make whatever apologies or reparations are needed, admit to past mistakes, stop the brainwashing, stop the damaging rhetoric, and move on. Japan and South Korea could accomplish so much more together in culture, business, and beyond, if they can find a way to move past all this garbage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Mega-important debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? See in context

I generally shower in the morning before work, both for cleanliness sake, and to wake me up a bit. that said, hot humid Kyushu summers often result in me taking an after-work shower as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: It is now OK for train drivers on JR Central lines to drink water See in context

While I'm glad to hear that JR is crawling out of the dark ages and allowing their drivers reasonable access to water, I think it's utter insanity that the previous system was ever in place. It's a wonder anything gets done here ever, what with all the red tape everywhere...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Have an ice day See in context

I don't think I'll ever understand this concept of long queues just to eat some trendy new food. Just wait a few days and you'll be able to eat it and not have to sacrifice as much time (or sacrifice your tired feet). If it's that people have to eat the new thing so they can discuss it with their friends, I wonder if there's not much else interesting going on in their lives... Oh well, to each their own, I guess.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Bethesda to launch new 'Fallout' video game See in context

I've been reading a lot of disappointment in the graphics, but I think they look good, and for me, art design, character design, and world design always win out over graphics fidelity, in terms of what really pulls me into a game. I think despite awkward animations and lower-quality texture and whatnot of past Fallout games, the art direction has been fantastic (and the stories of course are always great). Anyway, there's still development time, so they could change a bit by release.

I have nothing else intelligent to add to this, so I'll just speak from the heart... OH MAN OH MAN, I can't wait for Fallout 4!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: IKEA to make home deliveries in all countries with stores See in context

I generally enjoy the experience of shopping at Ikea in-person (especially the returns section and the cheap hot dogs & ice cream!), but if it's a pain in the neck to get to your nearest Ikea, this is great.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Bill lowering voting age to 18 passed in lower house See in context

While I agree with any legislation that allows more people the right to vote, I'm in agreement with a lot of folks here that it probably won't make a huge difference. So much apathy & "shoganai" mentality among younger folks in Japan, sadly. The society doesn't look out people who aren't rich, older, or conservative in meaningful ways, so why try to change it, right? Nothing changes if you don't try.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe to pledge 26% cut in greenhouse gas emissions See in context

One little thing what might help would be to encourage taxi drivers to idle their cars less. I swear, everywhere I go in my city, every night there are lines of taxis running their engines, but not going anywhere. Maybe crack a window and chill out until your next fare arrives... I can understand, in the summer wanting to use A/C, or when you have a slowly moving line of cabs outside of a place like a train station and it being better to just keep the car on than constantly restarting, but I also see many taxis that are stationary for an hour or more, just burning through petrol...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Okinawan man arrested for threatening to detonate bomb at Haneda airport See in context

If he really wanted to detonate a bomb, he'd just do it, rather than squawking online about it. Sounds like the guy is deluded, vain, and just trying to get attention. Let him spend a nice long time in jail to think about his life decisions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 15 million flowers in bloom right now at Saitama’s field of Heavenly Poppies See in context

Gorgeous. Saitama's a bit of a hike from me, but maybe if I'm still in Japan next year I can check it out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Where's my Humvee? IS capturing Iraqi equipment at alarming rate See in context

Sickening. Even now, the war in Irag and its aftermath is the gift that keeps on giving.. to ISIS. I doubt there'd be so much gear for them to get their hands on if we'd stayed out of warfare there in the first place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't plans new rules for drone flights See in context

Bummer. It's always fun to check out people's homemade birds-eye-view videos on Youtube of cities and various interesting places, and I guess we won't be seeing many more filmed in Japan. Since so much of Japan's residential areas are mixed in pretty much everywhere throughout the city, this effectively bans the use of drones anytime in most places, except for the countryside. Always annoying when one dumb dude ruins it for everyone, and even more annoying when the government takes such a blanket approach, rather than a case-by-case one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo police, train operators launch campaign against deviant behavior See in context

I don't think the chikan problem is ever going to really improve until more people are taught to respect women as human beings with feelings and personalities, rather than just sex objects or pretty faces. This would take a huge societal change and would have to involve instilling this idea from childhood on. Some parents and teachers are good about encouraging this kind of idea, but sadly, I don't feel this is the case for most of Japan. ...still stuck in the '50s in terms of womens' rights and societal status.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 1,196 hospitalized for heat exhaustion May 25-31 See in context

I remember at chuusotai (sp?) / all-area-schools sports competition last year, I heard that about 10 kids passed out from the heat in just the first day of competition and I saw a few of these instances. Since Kyushu seems to be getting ungodly hot even earlier this year, I wonder how many will pass out this year? I wish events like that, undoukai, and ekiden could be moved to earlier or later (read: cooler) months. I hate to see my students suffer like that. (Better yet, I wish they were optional, but that's a different story...)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 men arrested after body of woman found wrapped in blanket in Nagasaki park See in context

That happened only a three minute walk from my apartment and I can see that park from my window. Ooof, I'm thoroughly creeped-out now... It's a shame for that poor lady.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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