Japan Today

Freespeech comments

Posted in: Christmas kiss See in context

How romantic their predicament ! Knox Harrington said it another way, his post is perfect.

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Posted in: Samantha Muse All-Stars See in context


You are right, I put my glasses on and I know I goofed : I should have written "funnel-shaped thighs"

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Posted in: Samantha Muse All-Stars See in context

Good Lord ! Those legs and those knees ! And the one on the right : fat thighs and frail legs...

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Posted in: Kan promises to find remains of fallen soldiers on Iwoto See in context

The first six comments I find to be very pertinent and reasonable. Kan is neither one nor the other : just slipping into demagoguery and a systematic flattering of J's extreme right.

French aphorism : "he who sows wind will reap a storm".

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Posted in: Paris hardly skipped a beat during Nazi occupation See in context


Although you are conceptually right, you allow yourself to be carried away, and your description of what happened on and after liberation day is a bit too simplistic. But details would be too long to give, and I just want to correct a significant mistake : Pétain was judged and degraded and sentenced to death by firesquad, the sentence was then commuted into lifelong detention by general de Gaulle who was chief of the post-war provisional government. This for basically two reasons : marshal Pétain was already very old, 89 years old, and senile and no longer mentally fit for capital punishment to be of any significance to him (maybe) ; and also Pétain still had with many middle-aged or old French the glorious image of the military commander who reversed catastrophic situations during WW1 and so to speak saved his country. He lived until he was 96 in confinement in a military fortress off the western coast of France.

The Resistance spirit and personal involvement of some was also existent (to a different degree and with different modalities) in many countries that suffered under the nazi tyranny : Italy, Greece, Spaniards came to France for fighting with us, Armenians did it too, etc etc. Do not forget also that inside Germany there were some very brave opponents, some of whom tried to eliminate physically Hitler. Has Japan ever had actual resistance from the inside to the tragic military regime that led it to its devastation ? I think not.

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Posted in: Paris hardly skipped a beat during Nazi occupation See in context

Thanks, thetruthhurts, for insightful comments. Reading you was a relief after reading that

France had it soft during the occupation and the leftist resistance was rather pathetic

according to Bebert61 (whose nickname makes me feel sorry for him).

France never had it soft, and if you want a modest example just think about the thousands queuing up for food in Paris, the thousands who could not enjoy the dubious joys of black market, or obtain special favors from the occupation authorities etc.

I am afraid the account given here of Mr Riding's book puts too much emphasis on the ones who collaborated or just passively accepted a sad state of things. I do believe, with him, that some "leniency" on the side of the occupiers and the Vichy regime was essentially a political posture, and I am all the more sorry to realize that many did not have the wisdom to see it and to avoid the trap.

Further, I am a bit tired of seeing again and again the same old stories about the "unfortunate" Céline, about Piaf and Chevalier. It is so easy, and it is so easy for Bebert61 to moan about the hardships Céline had to put up with. The phenomenon of collaboration of the intellectuals was much more diffuse and deserves deeper analysis ; Jean Cocteau used to throw lavish parties in his villa of Maisons-Laffitte, to which German officers were invited...

And will a commentator of Mr Riding tell us whether space has been devoted to those who took to arms and physically fought totalitarism and terror ? What about a few words for instance about the ever modest movie actor Jean Gabin who came back to his homeland risking death in a tank, and never ever made a fuss about it ?

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Posted in: Severed legs discovered in Niigata parking area See in context

Sorry : "before" !

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Posted in: Severed legs discovered in Niigata parking area See in context

Smithinjapan :

You are absolutely right regarding the legal precautions in the wording of news. All the same, it amuses or gets on nerves (depending on the individual), but I personally feel that it has the perverse effect of making things more remote from reality, of putting a sort of standardized makeup on the hideousness of crime.

Just befor moderator realizes that I am drifting out of topic : I agree with you about "OUT", interesting but not a remarkable book, heavy, long, a car that sometimes has a fuel supply hiccup and then manages to pickup speed again ; to make it worse, the French translation that I read is really mediocre. I believe Ms Kirino should be known for "The Real World", not for "Out".

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Posted in: Severed legs discovered in Niigata parking area See in context

A tad tired with JT's omnipresent "what appears to be" !

Now about the body parts strewn all around the country : time to read again "Out", this amazing thriller written by Kirino Natsuo... It is fiction, but in blood and gore japanese reality is on par with the best fiction.

And another comment about the investigation framework : putting things into categories is a national mania, does it help making progress ?

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors to triple electric car output See in context

Tripling the output volume : 3 times peanuts equals peanuts.

The electric car remains a scam, and one that pleases the political circles very much.

There will be a glint of hope when the prices are commensurate with the service delivered by these electric things, which poses the problem of the cost of the battery packs (they pose many other problems, but cost is number 1 in my opinion).

Practically, the readily accessible means for offsetting battery cost is in selling the car battery-less and leasing the battery pack, which brings another plus to the client as he does not run the risk of having to pay for the replacement of the pack when it dies. This has been done in the past by a French carmaker, and calculations showed that the global running cost to the user of the car (per kilometer) was still slightly below the cost of running a gasoline car. Of course, that approach implies that a support network is available for substituting battery packs etc... Much more difficult than simply bragging about 9000 cars to be manufactured in a year (for sale both by MMC and its foreign partner PSA ?)

A former "insider" who does not like reading b$$$$$$t and has been coaxed into reading only that for more than a year now. Electric car bigotry should not be supported by a really informative press... which opens another field for discussion : the competence of journalists.

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Posted in: Full speed ahead for Saki Fukuda See in context

My God ! Those Japanese knees !

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Posted in: Figure skating gets more attention than Toyota's problems in Japan See in context

We are reaching the climax of this affair, at least from the Japanese layman's perspective : for the first time ever an iconic symbol of Japan is confronted with a context in which some alleged "values" of Japan have no importance whatsoever, in an arena where the language spoken is not Japanese.

Frighteningly new !

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Posted in: Japan hopes Toyoda can clear image, cool friction in Washington See in context

The J government is shooting itself in the foot !

In order of "not making it a political issue between Japan and the USA", they should refrain from showing that much concern for Toyota and calling it a national issue.

Now, with J ministers dramatizing the "national cause" side of the affair, they have created a context in which blunders by Akio Toyoda (and they are more than likely to occur, some very old lies and cover-ups are going to come to the surface) will actually create a bilateral crisis, not to speak of the entire J industry being splashed by the s$$t.

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Posted in: Toyota undecided on president's trip to U.S. See in context

I personally think that refusal to testify in front of Congress by the shacho of this or that company displays crass ignorance of the basics of American democracy ; coming from a foreign mogul, it is even worse and could lead to a political crisis between the two countries.

Now about the technical aspects, this former engineer of a European car group thinks that the statement about an electronic problem ("we will look at it again") paves the way for a later admission that there is actually a problem related to some calculators (engine management calculator) and that the blame put on floor mats, later on pedal hinge system, was an "easy way out" (after all, RHD models certainly have a different pedal assembly from LHD ones and the probability that the same mechanical trouble could happen on cars sold in the US and in the UK is minute...).

As for the Prius, the finger has already been pointed at calculator idiosycnrasies (most likely the ABS function, or the transition between regenerative braking and conventional ABS controlled braking), and for the Corollas that are being criticized I am curious to know whether they have electrically assisted power steering (which goes with management by calculator for integrating parameters such as angle of steer, speed of vehicle and sometimes more).

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Posted in: Student flees with body of 80-yr-old woman on car bonnet in Tochigi See in context

This is all so gruesome and so insane that the only possible reaction on our side is humour.

Thank you Disillusioned !

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Posted in: Gold Fuji See in context

I logged in for writing about my own perception... Alas, CoolCali had already written the same thing !

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Posted in: Reaching for the Universe See in context

Ah, these bony legs and these knees...

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Posted in: Leica Hermes edition camera See in context

Smythe :

go have a look at Lemon Camera (in the Ginza area) ; it's Leica paradise and you may find there the meter that you need, in good condition or even overhauled. Sorry for not being more specific about the address, I know visually how to go there when I am in Tokyo but I have not kept anything written.

This Hermes edition is all the more funny, as the Leica company was taken over by Hermes group a few years ago ; shortly thereafter, the Hermes people started having second thoughts and they spun off Leica which was then taken over by an austrian investor.

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Posted in: Becky and Ryuta Sato win Best Smile of the Year awards See in context

Best smilists... or best clownists ?

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Posted in: 'Inglourious Basterds' one of many tricky movie titles See in context

From France : thank you Beelzebub !

Much ado about a mediocre film... Maybe this empty discussion about the semantics of the title is the focal point of the film.

And above all : fascism, nazism, shoah etc are no material for comedies.

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Posted in: Yakitori See in context

No doubt Japan made a major contribution to the advancement of civilization !

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Posted in: Muscle Musical See in context


Did you notice that the background decor reproduces the inside of the great mosque of Sevilla (Spain) ? So, you are definitely right. This being said, it is a beautiful picture and an elegant performance.

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Posted in: Pushy French are world's worst tourists; Japanese are top: study See in context


And tipping is an archaic behaviour, offensive to the dignity of whoever expects it or asks for it.

In France we have abolished it more than 40 years ago, when "service compris" became the law. We do tip, rarely, rather discreetely and only when we feel that we have some special consideration for a person who has treated us in a non-standard way.

Not so different from life in Japan, after all !

But where it becomes different is when French people travel : they do not know that tip is sometimes an institution (the US) or that people have corrupt minds (SE Asia for instance) ; they aggravate people in not tipping, but on the other hand they reaffirm a principle in which they believe.

The Japanese, on the other hand, tip liberally because the poor chaps have been taught into doing it ; but by so doing they corrupt, and they create undesirable expectations in countries which would never be tip-minded if it was not for misguided J- and US tourists.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi unveils Y4.59 mil electric car See in context

Hey Masuko-san, this is just wishful thinking !

No emissions : yes if the electricity you use for recharging is produced without emissions from the powerstation.

160km range : maybe, if you are ready to take the risk of having the car dying under you just when you return home and park it ; and if you drive extra careful (strong accelerations are "dame", just creep along), and avoid driving at night because switching the lights on will shorten the range, and of course no use of A/C which is an energy guzzler.

Believe one who has been in the car industry, at the carmaker's who is presently world champion for the number of e-cars sold, and who of course has driven e-cars : they are only good for the fleets of some companies where they are sure to come home and be plugged at regular intervals (assuming, of course, that the companies are willing to pay the heavy price and the extra-cost of battery maintenance because these darn things do not last the entire lifetime of the vehicle they are in, and changing an entire battery pack is awfully costly ; actually, the best way is to buy the car and have the batteries on a lease contract that includes automatic replacement when needed).

BTW, how come that neither Masuko-san nor the incredibly competent journalists tell us which battery technology is used on this little thing ?

Probably another Mitsubishi dud, after the direct-injection gas engine etc etc...

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Posted in: Jump in my car See in context


The german original "Kabinenroller" was actually made by Messerschmitt after the war but had no component whatsoever borrowed from the fighter planes !

The engine went up to 250cc on the latest versions, which with low weight and good aerodynamics made it very fast ; it was also very famous for flipping over easily, and with the closed aircraft-type tilting canopy it was a deadly trap... All in all it will be remembered as a "killer".

The one on the picture is a very crude copy, just the body lines are respected ; the original did not have a steering wheel (just an airplane type "handlebar") and the cockpit was closed by a perspex canopy that tilted to the side for access.

To another reader : in Europe, microcars with displacement of less than 125cc can be driven without a driver's license, but they are plated (and insured, of course).

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Posted in: Statue of Liberty See in context

I have not made any specific checks, just writing out of my recollection.

Bartholdi's "Statue of Liberty" was created by the French-Alsatian sculptor on a request by a French fund created for offering this monument to the USA on the occasion of the first centennial of the Declaration of Independence. Actually, the pieces that constitute the monument were entrusted to the City of New York in or about 1876, NYC having to organize and spend for building the stone base and erecting the monument.

Obviously, Bartholdi initially sculpted a small scale model, and from that model were produced the bronze pieces that are the "skin" of the monument, skin which is attached to an iron inner structure that was designed by no less than Gustave Eiffel.

The complete monument was assembled in a "blank run" in Paris (wherefrom some very strange photos where you can see this giant lady towering above the roofs of a popular district) and disassembled for shipment.

The original model was used at the time for producing several replicas of varied dimensions which can be called "copies", some in bronze some in cast iron.

The bronze one that you can see in Paris where Pont de Grenelle intersects the Ile aux Cygnes is the one that France lent to Japan a few years ago for the celebration of the "Year of France in Japan". I can remember its arrival there and installation at a place where surely no one would go and see it, on the port of Tokyo.

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Posted in: Human chess See in context

You may find it interesting to know that there is a similar tradition going back several centuries in Italy.

Of course, the pieces are the ones of western chess game, they are clad in renaissance period garb and they are moved by the players on a chessboard pavement in the city of Bassano del Grappa (province of Veneto, north of Venezia).

The event takes place yearly at a date determined by local tradition.

Anyhow, it is nice to see that and that young Japanese are able to do a little bit more than vomit the rubbishy national contemporary culture.

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Posted in: Why do Asian pop stars have a hard time succeeding in the U.S. market? See in context

Yes, true lack of talent.

Mechanical puppets

On a background of asian kitsch

And hysterical characters.

I even met one (I will spare her having her name written out publicly here) who thought that being a J-pop singer is something that she had accomplished well because she had studied music in daigaku...

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Posted in: Behind the scenes with Windows 7 See in context

Alleluiah !!!

Do we need JT to snowjob us with all this MS inspired b$hit ? No. And suffice it to say that Vista has been a spectacular flop and that professionals continue to use XP to their satisfaction.

I have been using XP Pro on the same machine for 7 years now, and managing and maintaining it sensibly : I never had any infection, never had any reason to reinstall.

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Posted in: French seize pirate ship as threats mount on U.S. ships See in context

@onibaku, Madverts and sailwind : many many thanks for an exchange of views that is rich and entirely satisfactory to me.

As a Frenchman, I support 99% the arguments developed by onibaku.

With sailwind I want to raise two objections (that will not prevent us from being friends):

I cannot see why "influence" should be proportionate with size ; it is true that it is a natural course of events that the biggest toughest richest one tends to develop more influence, but it is only so because the others lack self respect, or because they are unable to develop the concepts that wield influence ; I sincerely believe that concepts are the primary fuel of influence ; now and as to the "natural law" of size fuelling influence, I think we can easily find counter examples : just look at Japan, always chanted by the media as "the second economy in the world" and totally deprived of influence on the international scene...

concerning Mr Obama (whom we like and in whom we put a lot of trust), he has brought us recently a first disappointment by recommending a bit too loudly that Turkey should be integrated into the EU ; whom the EU invites to become a member is the exclusive domain of the Europeans, and there has been a perception that Mr Obama is not totally deprived of the american unconscious craving for dominance.

We like the US here, but we do not want to see it dressed as the "gendarme" of the world ; and above all, we do not reason in the way of asking which side needs the other one most, because this would be the perpetuation of the dominant-dominated relations, hey teleprompter !

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