Fouxdefa comments

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"'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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Posted in: Japanese student rejects apology over university 'sex listing' See in context

Gyara nomi is paying a woman to attend a party, not for sex which is what this article is about: how easy it is to convince female university students who go to gyara nomi to engage in sex afterwards (not clear if they get extra pay to do so).

How to spot these "easy girls" at a party? The article also lists clothing/appearance (my translations):

-heavy bangs and medium-long hair

-subtle eye and lip makeup

-purse is bigger than a handbag

-low heels

-top has lace/sheer fabric around the shoulder area

-clothing in monotone colors

-top is off-shoulder

-dress is tight, knit sweater fabric

This kind of talk is par for the course in magazines, TV shows, online clickbait. The outrage seems to be at the fact that the universities are mentioned by name as well as the clear reference to sex. If the article replaced "yareru" with something like "easy to ask on a date after" and just said "joshidaisei" without names I don't think it would have gone viral, it would have remained another drop in the ocean of low-key sexist drivel that mainstream culture--men and women--consume as normal for entertainment.

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Posted in: Matching maiko See in context

I love New Year's in Kyoto.

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Posted in: Five things we learned from Ghosn's day in court See in context

Fagui Curtain, 2 cents? Your post is more like $20! lol

The sketches I saw on the news did make his face look really thin, a shocking contrast compared to photos of him from before this all went down.

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Posted in: Spa! magazine apologizes for women's university 'sex listing' See in context

Japan ranks bottom of the G7 countries on female representation in politics and business, and campaigns like the #MeToo movement have struggled to take off in the country.

Don't forget the WEF gender gap report, last year Japan was near the bottom, 110th out of 149 countries. There are much, much more subtler and "innocuous" discriminatory social norms in business, schools, families, entertainment, government red tape, LIFE, that keep Japan's ranking low, that as a foreign woman coming from a different kind of educational background I notice everyday. I wish those things would be noticed as much as this kind of raggy article that grabs headlines. Things won't change unless enough Japanese people want it to.

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Posted in: TV comedy show in Tokyo park stopped on police advice after drawing massive crowd See in context

All TV shows are scripted, as in all those appear are briefed beforehand on what's going to happen so they can consent to it. All TV that is not live is edited. Even live TV makes use of multiple cameras/angles to control the point of view of the viewer.

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Posted in: What is the best thing about Kyoto, in one sentence? See in context

Street names.

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Posted in: Let foreigners enter, but don't let them obtain Japanese citizenship, doctor urges See in context

Let me see your smile

Don't give me grumpy bitter face

It's so terrible! So terrible!

You are so selfish

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Posted in: Ladies & the Law: The murder that resulted in Japan’s anti-stalking act See in context

It’s a shame that she involved herself with this man. But it should be a cautionary story for women to be careful about who they become intimately involved.

You are talking about a principle, not a rule or guaranteed outcome.

When they met, Komatsu had given Ino a false name and lied about his age.

Sometimes, you don't notice "my, what big ears you have Grandma" until it's too late. Some deranged men seem very normal until faced with a woman's rejection.

Being aware, being smart, making good life choices can reduce probability, but of course cannot eliminate the possibility of being the victim of crimes, especially when those good life choices enrage the perpetrators, as in this case, or are purposefully used by them (like scammers who prey on normal people's logic and social norms).

It is a good principle to abide by, but it does not insulate us from ever running into malevolent people nor guarantee a tragedy-free life. The point of the article is about police responsibility in those instances.

The police were given evidence of threatening behavior and did nothing. The reasoning they gave was that her choices made before she knew he was a bad egg absolved them of the right to interfere. What would you think if you tried to report a credit card theft and the police said, "Well you voluntarily handed your card to the waiter in the restaurant so we can't do anything about it" The point of this article is this crime became the catalyst for the changes in laws and anti-stalking act so as to eliminate this kind of ridiculous response.

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Posted in: Train etiquette: Top 10 inconsiderate behaviors that tick Japanese train commuters off the most See in context

11 farting on trains. Should be illegal lol

Grown adults coughing and sneezing without "covering up" is also nasty, especially during cold and flu season it's like gee thanks...spread the joy...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ladies & the Law: The murder that resulted in Japan’s anti-stalking act See in context

What you are not focusing on is the fact that people make poor choices which lead them to becoming involved in perilous situations. 

Statistically you're more likely to be murdered by someone you know, someone you're "voluntarily involved with". Hopefully if it happens to any of us the police will listen to us/our families left behind and not say, "you must have done something to cause this"

No one deserves to be brushed off by authorities and die for being "voluntarily involved" at one point with a murderer.

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Posted in: Dual nationals feel cast adrift in Japan See in context

Hahahaha!! Oh dear.....

'shame and embarrassment'.......'stuck with the foreigners'

Unwittingly says a lot.

This part stuck out to me as well, aw poor thing! Putting the kanji name in alphabet in other official documentation is just overkill though. That would make me mad. What right does the gov. have changing peoples' names?

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Posted in: What is your favorite thing to do in Kyoto? See in context

Relax in a machiya cafe.

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Posted in: Japan to pull out of IWC to resume commercial whaling See in context

It makes me wonder, for what reason?

Every year it seems we hear of the ocean temperature warming resulting in catches decreasing of this or that fish. Perhaps a shortage of some kinds of fish is being anticipated and the government wants people to get used to eating whale instead?

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Posted in: Japan to make alcohol tests mandatory for pilots See in context

The JAL co-pilot cleared an in-house breath test but aroused the suspicion of a bus driver taking him to the plane at Heathrow Airport.

London police said a test on the co-pilot taken 50 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure revealed he was nearly 10 times over the limit.

"We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn't conducted properly," JAL communications chief Muneaki Kitahara told reporters at the time.

But how is requiring a breath test going to stop this kind of situation from happening, I wonder? He had "taken and cleared" a breath test somehow before getting caught.

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Posted in: Tattoos still give Japan the needle as Olympics loom See in context

Wouldn't making the practice legit lead to a lot more revenue for the industry?

It would commercialize it I guess, move it from an underground kind of art/handicraft by someone dedicated to it for decades to a widely accessible commodity. I bet whole bunches of newcomers to the business would set up shop and start offering at lower prices. Consumers would be happy but quality, legacy, story attached to the tattoos would probably slowly disappear.

At the root of much of the prejudice towards tattoos in Japan is the ancient Confucian idea that defacing the body inherited from one's parents is disrespectful, according to Ashcraft.

I have heard this about ear-piercing as well. Many parents forbid it, my own husband vehemently opposed me getting a 2nd piercing in my ear, and they say reasons like this. It's just a different culture. I facetiously point out that so much drinking, smoking, and eating of processed food can't be respectful to our bodies inherited from our parents either, but it's generally not a productive point to make to people who have these beliefs.

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Posted in: Japan gov't sticks with plan to unveil new era name before May 1 See in context

It seems the government plans to announce in advance "hear ye hear ye, the next era will be called 'MaruMaru' and we will start using it May 1st" but conservatives want the era name to be both announced to the public and implemented on the same day? I'm also having a hard time understanding this article.

I'm just surprised there is room for debate and not a clear protocol for this kind of thing, though I guess an abdication hasn't happened in modern times.

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Posted in: Japanese Buddhist seeks to educate West on swastika of good fortune See in context

Although it is typical of Western cultural arrogance to insist that our own cultural reading of something is the only way there is to interpret things, in this case the historical associations of this symbol in Europe are so horrific that it's impossible to overcome them. 

The manji is not even the same symbol, as pointed out, it's not tilted and it faces the opposite direction. But visually yes the Nazi symbol is so taboo no one in the West has been educated as to the difference or even the existence of similar-looking symbols from human history.

It's good to spread awareness. None of the Nazi insignia or symbols were original: they appropriated, copied, and twisted from other far older and unrelated societies. People should know this fact. In my own hometown neo-Nazis are still doing this very thing as they try to appropriate the "Viking" imagery brought by Norwegian immigrants. Historically of course they have no relation to each other.

However I agree there is not enough awareness and too late. If only people in the West knew of the manji in the early 20th century.

Just as long as ignorant tourists or Olympic spectators don't come here and start defacing temples or calling police because "there's a swastika"

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Posted in: 5 lies to help you get out of Japan’s dreaded end-of-the-year office parties See in context

It's once a year, 2-3 hours having dinner and drinks with your colleagues, make some small talk, enjoy the food and drinks, and that's it. 

I've gone to too many to expect else--I'll consider going again when I don't have to pay 4000 yen to be wreathed in tobacco smoke and for some reason a more trashy vibe than your average nomikai. In summer it's not such a big deal, but in winter I have to take my big coat to be dry-cleaned to get the smells out. Thinking of that every year it's just easier to politely decline. Day-to-day showing up on time, kindness in interactions, helping out, omiyage etc. do much more for your reputation and general impression than saying no to one event.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you enjoy spending Christmas in Japan? See in context

With no kids and Christmas a working day when it's not on the weekend (sometimes even then a working day, December is nuts!), and spouse with different culture/no emotional attachment to it, it's just another busy day before New Year's. Sometimes we get a cake or go out to eat. It was only a let-down when I expected it to be somehow like my childhood memories, which I realized was a pretty silly expectation to have after the first one here.

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Posted in: 5 lies to help you get out of Japan’s dreaded end-of-the-year office parties See in context

I just say "no sorry I can't." As one of only 3 females in my department I'm loath to go when the others are all heavy-smoking ojisans 15-40 years older than myself. No stank you. I'll just bring some omiyage back after the New Year's vacation and call it good.

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Posted in: Charity wins award for turning empty houses into homes for single moms See in context

A good gauge of gender equality in a given country is the poverty rate of single mothers. Baby steps.

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Posted in: What do you think are the best foods you can find in Kyoto? See in context

Not washoku Japanese food unless you're willing to pay a pretty penny for a place with Michelin stars. Affordable washoku there is geared towards tourists and you could get more and better in Osaka for the same price. But Western and sosaku (fusion/creative) food in Kyoto is really good, especially in the cafes.

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Posted in: Climate change creates mutant fugu, a deadly Japanese delicacy See in context

I think the headline should read hybrid and not "mutant" which doesn't mean the same thing.

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Posted in: Grown children surprised to find their fathers absorbed in internet rightwing sites See in context

If it is a trend--and not anecdotes--maybe it's partly due to fears of being out of control as one ages? Losing physical abilities, status in society etc. could make people look for something to feel in control of. Hate and anger are easier, simpler feelings to deal with than fear, sadness, loneliness, or shame. Just a hunch, but I could back it up with my own anecdotes from volunteering at a care home back in the States as well.

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Posted in: Foreign couple detained after newspaper set on fire at Yasukuni Shrine See in context


Hmm I can't agree. "An insult to Japanese tradition and their religious system" the social studies geek in me asks which ones? Where?? The neighborhood shrines where I live date from 800 AD or earlier, there's a pride in them and their continuation of ancient rites--about agricultural cycles--so to say a shrine founded in the modern era in 1869, nothing agricultural, fertility, health, or "luck" -related about it, is somehow representative of "Japanese traditions and religion" doesn't make much sense.

Given its history, who it was made for and by, and how it is used today as a sore point by both right- and left-wing ideological groups, I would say Yasukuni represents to the public neither Shinto nor tradition, but the zeitgeist of political posturing.

That's why this guy chose Yasukuni for his protest and not your neighborhood OO hachimangu. There are people who deface even obscure temples, shrines, and graves, but I think the motivations are different.

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Posted in: Ninjas 'sneak' into Abe's office to ask for tourism promotion See in context

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy.

But the fans exist, they walk among us! They are the types who buy the sword-shaped umbrellas and stick them over their shoulder in their backpacks. In general I do think the fandom and even pop-culture fandom is aging, being replaced with sheer Instagram-ability.

Iga is fun though, took kids there and after the "trick house" yashiki demonstraion, little guy insisted on clinging to my hand through through all the rest of the facility, constantly worried ninjas could pop out of anywhere to get him! Out of the ceiling? Up from the floor? No place was safe haha! He brightened up at the shuriken show though, and wanted to make origami shuriken on the ride home. Fun memory.

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Posted in: Foreign couple detained after newspaper set on fire at Yasukuni Shrine See in context

To do what the couple did at Yasukuni Shrine is an insult to the Japanese tradition, their religious system and to the soldiers who gave their lives for their country ( regardless of ideology).

Somehow I don’t think the majority of people here think or care much about what you just spouted.

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Posted in: 23 years sought for man over fatal road rage accident See in context

The statement from the eldest daughter was heart-wrenching: "I sometimes wonder we all just couldn't have died together as a family" "If I think of my parents' last moments, how terrified they must have been, I can't sleep at night"

In contrast this Ishibashi character seemed in statements to avoid acknowledging the logical sequence of events, his actions within the cause and effect of the accident, etc., emotionally aware of and enslaved by only his own violent ego. A very dangerous person.

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