Fouxdefa comments

Posted in: It's not something Japanese people can ignore as someone else's problem. See in context

10 years ago, before plastic straws etc. were trending news, I remember going to the beach at Maiko park in Kobe near the bridge, and being surprised at the technicolor sand. It was so full of sand-sized grains of colorful plastic. I wonder if it's still like that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Many people believe married couples should have children but they also think child-rearing and their education cost too much, feeling anxious about their employment prospects and income. Those who said one should not necessarily marry likely include many people who have given up on marrying out of fear of problems after marriage. See in context

Thank you Luddite.

It's a common refrain in society to expect marriage and biological children to go together. Life doesn't always work that way, sometimes by choice and sometimes by nature. It's a personal issue that can be very hurtful so I wish public figures would stop talking about it using words like "should". As if we loyal subjects must produce more worker bees for the state or some nonsense lol.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: U.N. rights committee urges Japan to let children be children See in context

"Let children be children" does sound culturally myopic. To different societies that means different things. "Child" in Japan means someone in the process of becoming a human being, with the right and duty to full-time education, their "job". Education here raises generalists rather than specialists. A drawback is there is extreme shame, isolation, and guilt when one can't align oneself with the average.

To reduce suicides and provide relief from the mental distress of bullying I often think more outside connections could help. School is insular and can become all-consuming. Perhaps it can make kids feel there's nowhere to turn, no way out, no neutral 3rd party to talk to when trouble comes. Little League-sort of community orgs instead of school-run sports clubs? I don't know what would be feasible, to help show them that the situation at school or home isn't all there is in this wide world...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Man arrested for licking woman's hair at train station See in context

Will the wonders never cease.

I'm glad she reported it. When I reported a chikan, the police told me many do it regularly, just at the fine line where the victim thinks "ahh this was nasty but is it really worth the hassle of going to the police about...?" allowing them to keep on doing it for years without getting caught.

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Posted in: Deer-related injuries in Nara reach record number already this year See in context

I love Nara but I've never bought the deer crackers. Never had a problem. I don't approach (they often approach me looking hopeful, when they realize I haven't got crackers, they tend to keep a distance--the distance they are most comfortable with I assume) and use a zoom lens for photos, like I do when taking pictures of any other wild animal. But I see so many people with crackers in one hand, phone in the other, teasing them to get photos, even putting arms around them to take selfies...getting all up in the deer's space and then feeding it while distracted can't be good. If you don't have food or crackers on your person, you can get a better sense of the distance they prefer.

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Posted in: Father suspected of forcing daughter to lie about abuse before her death See in context

I guess being forced to write the letter was not considered abuse?

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Posted in: Barbara Ehrenreich tweets about Marie Kondo widely condemned See in context

I get annoyed too by those who say Marie Kondo is "fairy-like," "spiritual," or the like. I think that's another form of subtle racism, to put certain people on a weird cultural pedestal & assign value you want to see.

Yes this bothers me too.

To say someone is "fairy-like" just by virtue of using Japanese (not because they are tiny, sparkly, and dressing in flower petals lol) is laughably ignorant.

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Posted in: Flu infection rates surge to record-high in Japan See in context

I wonder if the aging population has anything to do with increasing numbers of cases.

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Posted in: IAEA urges Japan to take ample time in Fukushima cleanup See in context

A release, however, is unlikely until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in order to avoid concerns among visitors from overseas.

Well I guess I have until the Olympics to enjoy eating seafood.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Overcompetition, demographics hitting beauty parlor trade hard See in context

The customers to aim for are affluent people who aren't affected by fluctuations in prices, and pampering them. But only a small percentage of shops are really capable of doing that. For the rest, we're going to see more chain franchises where a simple cut can be had for just 1,000 yen or so.

kohakuebisu is spot on. Husband is noticing this trend in his business too which is quite unrelated to the beauty industry. Income gaps seem to be growing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Readers share their picks for Kyoto’s top 'hidden' attractions See in context

Oh so that's why there was a spate of Kyoto-themed Have Your Says. I never knew my comments would be used in an article. I'm honored?

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Posted in: What is the most acceptable way to reduce the burden of poverty within the cultural norms of a society? See in context

Don't discriminate against single parents when making hiring decisions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'He wore Uniqlo to meet me!' Japanese woman shares petty bad date story See in context

Oddly, enough... some of the more wealthy people in my area, dress down in order to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Yup, and people who look like they spend lots of money probably do! Equating "wealth" with "spending money" is a surefire way to never be wealthy, ha.

Someone who makes a point of checking clothing tags on a date just sounds kinda sneaky and petty.

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Posted in: Why do Japanese characters in anime, manga and video games "look" Caucasian? See in context

Because character design is about ideals. So it reflects idealized beauty standards like big eyes, tiny mouth and nose, light skin, very thin long legs, etc. Background art and themes aside, it's not supposed to represent reality.

I don't think it's a function of racism really, since discrimination in Japan seems based on "blood" more than skin color/race.

The reason I think it's about beauty standards is because styles have changed over the years. In the past smaller eyes, more realistically-sized limbs, head size more in proportion to body, etc. were more common.

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Posted in: Court upholds 'sterilization' rule for gender change See in context

Call me a prude, but my visceral thoughts on the issue are that as a woman I do not welcome the day when anyone with a penis can enter the woman's bath in an onsen provided they say "I identify as female"...what's to stop cis lechers from lying about it??

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Baby with umbilical cord attached found in convenience store toilet See in context

What breaks my heart about these stories is it doesn't often seem the mother cares anything for the baby's life. Carried to term, born alive, but then dumped or hidden like so much trash, in a place/situation where it doesn't seem the mother cared a fig whether anyone found the baby in time to save its life or care for it. Can "baby hatches" fix this kind of mentality?

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Posted in: Japanese teacher punches high school boy in face; social media on his side See in context

Hm, I think adults should take the high road.

As a teacher you can't take anything kids say to you personally. Sometimes they come from terrible homes where that's all they've known. You have to show them that while their little world might work that way, in general society doesn't, and that violence is not socially acceptable in most cases as a solution to problems/outlet for feelings. A teacher shouldn't want kids to stay in and perpetuate that culture where verbal and physical abuse is normal communication. I think a teacher should try to show what a civil society does to right injustices and air grievances, perhaps laid out to the student steps he could take to bring the issue formally to school governance.

The teacher doesn't say it was self-defense but that he simply lost temper

I lost my temper at the student’s words and became violent

It seems likely this kind of problem wasn't an isolated incident, I wonder if the school is making sure students and teachers have training and procedures to de-escalate situations and follow some kind of "due process" when confrontations and differences occur.

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Posted in: Boys school in Kentucky shuts down amid fallout over videos See in context

I still just wonder why grown adult protesters thought it was ok to engage with high school students there on a school trip.

The religious group shouldn't have been hurling expletives at them, the drummer shouldn't have approached them. Common sense?? The kids' adults chaperones/teachers should have been approached first if the protesters wanted to talk about the dumb hats.

Now grown adults are sending death threats online to these high school students. It could have been a teachable moment. What are these adults teaching these young ones through this behavior (especially now in the continuing vitriol online)?

Then we turn around and warn young people online bullying and tell them not to do it.

The whole incident just made me think "this is why my home country can't have nice things"

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: If your Golden Week trip's not reserved yet, it might already be too late See in context

but the 10 consecutive days off will mean a drop in earnings for a majority of people who aren't employed as regular company staff or as part timers.

This. But 10 consecutive days off doesn't happen every year, so I'm planning to take advantage. Booked it all back in October!

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Posted in: 'Short skirts cause sexual assaults,' according to Japanese school uniform poster See in context

"Wearing a short skirt should not be an invitation to perverts, but some men think it is. Be careful!"

This makes sense. It's good to teach awareness that not all adults are good people, and that your assumptions about your own actions are not always shared by others around you. But as others have pointed out wearing a long skirt is no insurance against sexual crimes.

Personal anecdote: as a college student in the U.S. I did notice I got catcalled only when I dressed up especially when I did my hair+makeup. However, the one time I was sexually assaulted, it was the middle of winter and I was wearing a big unisex coat to my knees and thick pants and all, face wrapped in a hat and scarf. I was heading home from work on a well-lit major street with passerby here and there. Go figure.

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Posted in: Female imperial family members to be barred from key succession rite See in context

The government will allow only male adults from the imperial family to attend the ceremony because the Imperial Household Law stipulates that only males can ascend the throne

In contrast, the government will allow female cabinet ministers to participate in the rite on the grounds that they are unrelated to the imperial succession and would be attending as observers.

It sounds to me like a clear message that female succession is not on the table for serious consideration anytime soon.

Times change. As others have pointed out, there have been female emperors here and there in history, succession rules have also evolved over time. When conservatives say "tradition" their meaning includes "the way things are at present" a good deal of which dates from the Meiji era and later from the postwar Occupation. Ironically the major changes wrought at both those times--considered "tradition" now--were to bring customs more in line with Western norms. Western norms at those times. Norms from 1860s Prussia and 1940s-50s U.S. are different from those regions' norms now of course.

It's a funny shuffle getting these kinds of things decided: the imperial family can't overtly do anything to influence government policies but the current and future doubtful succession situation will likely necessitate changes.

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Posted in: Osaka subway drivers win court case over right to grow beards See in context

Like the hair on your head, like fingernails, beards can be kept tidily or untidily. It's a matter of personal health and hygiene, which doesn't seem to have been an issue at all in this case since neither side brought it up.

As a Westerner I don't always think that majority opinion/current trends are enough motivation for me to comply (when rules and contracts have more leeway or are silent on the matter), but even if you want to talk about that, it's true in customer service you want to comply with the majority of your customer's tastes as much as possible, but no matter what you do or look like, there will always be a few for whom you are not their cup of tea. The article does not say the city made clear exactly how many complaints they received. The vast majority of customers probably don't notice or care. In my experience customers who feel strongly enough about issues like this to vocalize/file official complaints are rarely an accurate reflection of typical social norms themselves.

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Posted in: Cherry blossom forecast 2019: 'Sakura' coming earlier than usual to Tokyo See in context

Hm, if 3/25 is the opening date for Kyoto, and it takes 5-7 days to reach full bloom, I don't know if many places will last until 4/6-7. The weekend of 3/30-31 might be a bit spotty (have to choose places that bloom early) but 4/6-7 will probably be "chirihajime" at best at the later-blooming areas, and the early places will have quite finished and started leafing out.

A fun way to predict blooming time is starting from February 1st, add up the highest temp reached each day. The day the number gets to 600 is supposed to be the day they open. I tried it last year and it was only off by a day!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Staying positive: 6 tips for beating the winter blues in Japan See in context

Winter in Japan is much sunnier and has many more clear days than my hometown growing up, so weather-wise it's an improvement for me. The only thing that makes me blue is the lack of "cozy" and not being able to heat my whole house efficiently.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Letters From Japan: 'Why must we visit my Canadian husband’s home every year?' See in context

My first reaction was to agree with other commentors, she sounds selfish since a) this was something she had agreed to and knew about in advance and b) he's giving up something living all the rest of the year far away from his family (whom he seems to have a good relationship with/enjoy being with if it's that important to him to go every year).

But then, it does seem inflexible of him that this is not up for re-negotiation--parents in their 80s don't get any younger, so skipping a year might worry him, but other arrangements like him going by him himself some years, or shortening the time and saving up for a second trip elsewhere if it's so important to her to do so, seem feasible to me.

I know how it is though. It does seem every large chunk of vacation time/savings gets spent going to see fam. Stuff like this can get expensive and really emotional in an international marriage, so I think it's best to keep things open for negotiation and stay flexible.

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Posted in: Black Thunder shocks fans by suspending 'giri choco' on Valentine’s Day See in context

They just wanted to branch out and maybe improve their image instead of pigeon-holing themselves as "cheap giri choco" using a parody of tabloid news to do it.

Regional souvenir varieties are like a KitKat thing, right? Sounds like they're trying to get into that market.

Black Thunder is great as it is though, I especially like the ice cream bar.

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Posted in: Nearly half of young Japanese women say they hate the company they work for in survey See in context

Well there is not so much an expectation that adults should "love what you do" ...it's more of a given that work isn't fun and that's why it's called work, especially for those low on the totem pole.

And yes if you let true feelings (as opposed to the tatemae feelings demanded by the situation) show on your face, you must be a child or have a mental problem=not a trustworthy/normal person, fear of being thought of in this way is a pretty strong motivation to grin and bear it. Higher-ups have more freedoms when they are with their subordinates. That's within the company; it is TABOO for anyone regardless of rank to get rude in front of a customer "okyakusan" who automatically outranks everyone. Disliking your job but still providing good service on the outside is considered normal in Japan, neither is it a huge mental gymnastics for most people like this article makes it sound, it is learned from childhood. People air complaints online, to family/friends, or at gatherings with dokyusei (peers). The stereotype is that Japanese people keep true feelings bottled-up and hidden, in reality the emotional outlet is just different.

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