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Posted in: Advice from Japanese women on dealing with boyfriend’s anime girlfriend See in context

Surprise!

.....another article about Japan that features anime and weirdness and represents a tiny tiny fraction of the population.

I mean seriously? Step up to dressing up cosplay style??

This is lazy "journalism"/clickbait which would be funny if it didn't contribute to the (mistaken) image that Japan is populated by anime obsessed losers. They do exist I know but are not representative of the population.

Would be nice to see some articles that focus on something truly representative that drives a deeper understanding of this country.

....but I guess that wouldn't drive the click as much would it?

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Posted in: Japan's national health insurance can save your life and savings See in context

I have been here for 15 years and have used the Japan medical system 3 times.

Twice for the birth of my two children (I was only an observer for those) and once a couple of months ago when I broke my leg/hip.

Each time I have been extremely impressed with the level of facilities and the expertise of the staff.

I'm not saying bad practitioners don't exist here - its important to do your research and find a good hospital in the area where you live.

Each time we used Showa University Hokubu Hospital in Yokohama.

This is a first class hospital and offers the same philosophy around treatment (patient centered) you would find in Australian hospitals. Food was also excellent (honest) and staff (nurses and doctors) were all friendly and would answer any questions I had. (you need to speak Japanese though....)

So if you are living in around Kohoku, Azamino. Tama Plaza region in Kanawaga I would recommend this hospital.

About fees. I am in a typical company insurance program which covers 70% of costs. However if you accrue really high medical fees in a month there is govt system that allows you to pay even less. this will cover you for a major operation of accident.

So I spent two weeks in hospital and had a hip pinning operation which is not too complex but the operation takes about 3 hours or so. Also had 10 sessions of rehabilitation.

The total cost I paid out of my own pocket was about 120,000 yen. I didn't have to pay upfront and get reimbursed , that's all I was charged for.

I'm in a separate insurance scheme with AFLAC which pays 5000 yen per day when I'm in hospital and ten times that for an operation. This costs about 2000 yen per month.

They paid out straight away and so I made money on my stay :)

So if you are in company insurance or the J national health insurance then you have assurance the majority of your medical fees will be covered if something serious happens. I don't really see the need for extra insurance on top of this and will consider opting out of the Aflac scheme.

The one concern I have is if this insurance system be in place in 20 years time when I am most likely to need it most :)

I suspect as some point we are going to have to pay more...

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Posted in: Why you shouldn’t learn Japanese See in context

For short-termers I completely agree there is no real need to learn much Japanese. Of course do so if you wish but its not required to enjoy life here at all.

For long-termers or lifers I cannot understand the mentality behind NOT learning the language. There are lots of reasons to learn and it should need to be explained. For me personally the biggest reason is career. I work for a 外資系 but fluent Japanese ability is pretty much mandatory in my field and gives me an edge. Without Japanese my employment choices and potential for salary growth would be very very limited. Money is not a huge factor for me but if allows my children to have a decent life and education.

But going beyond that, if I met someone in my native Australia who had been living there for than five- ten years and could not speak at a general conversation level then what would I think of them...? What you you think?

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Posted in: Fast food service in Japan vs America: 2 videos tell the story See in context

Seems ridiculous to make sweeping statements.....but here goes!

Japanese fast food joints are typically staffed high school, college students. They are sweet but also frickin slooooow. So if you are in a fairly empty shop the expereince is pretty good.

but god help you if you are somewhere busy. lots of staff, lots of wasted movement, annoyingly ineffecient. I blame it on the poor training provided to staff by the managers not the staff themselves.

If you ever get the chance check out the McDonalds in Tokyo Tower. This has to be one on the busiest shops in Japan but the staff are super quick, super efficient and very professional. And they are mostly all foreign! They can do more with 5 staff than a typical shop staffed with 20 untrained inexpereinced part-timers. It all comes down to training.

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Posted in: High ball See in context

I for one am kind of getting sick of the whole "high ball" marketing blitz.

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Posted in: Erika Sawajiri: Inside the head of Japan's outspoken star See in context

Ummm I fail to see how anything she has ever done has in anyway contributed to "changing the system".

All she seems to do is avoid responsibility and act like a 5 year old and then try and pass of her immature behavior as some kind of "statement." It isn't and it won't change a thing.

The Japanese talent management system is so entrenched that if she really wanted to change it she would need to get the co-operation of the really "big" stars in Japan, the SMAPs and the Sanma's etc and have them all take action at once. Needless to say this is Japan and will never happen.

Actually the system in Japan is very much like early Hollywood when actors were contracted to movie studios and earned a salary. At some point the stars (or agents most likely) realized it was the stars that sold the movie and this they had the power over the studio. This led to a shift to the agent system that is used today.

The problem is in Japan that 99% of the "stars" are completely replaceable. So they actually have very little leverage to change the system. They (including Erika) are commodities with no power.

Actually many years ago "Kimutaku" when he was at the zenith of his popularity tried to break free from his management company as they took the lions share of the revenue he was generating. Needless to say he is still with SMAP and still signed to Johnnys and still earns a "salary" albeit a pretty bloody good one I expect.

So if probably the closest thing Japan has ever had to a a Britt Pitt-type star failed to change the system I don't know how Erika hopes to.

Also organized crime is embedded in the Japanese entertainment industry so any serious attempt to "change the system" would piss off a lot of shady characters. Whoever attempted this would to be very courageous and risk personal injury. Remember what happened to Junzo Itami. Would Erika do this? Not bloody likely!

....anyway I expect her career to slowly decline until she releases a book of racy photos in one last desperate cash grab.

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Posted in: Flying high See in context

A poor quality photo and not in particularly good taste.

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Posted in: Home bakery See in context

Man, so much hate out out there....and its only a baking oven.

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