Gary Kirkpatrick comments

Posted in: Do you still send Christmas or season's greetings cards by email or post or have you given up on all that? See in context

who we used to send them to

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you still send Christmas or season's greetings cards by email or post or have you given up on all that? See in context

We've long since given up. The ridiculous costs of the cards and postage put us off. As well as the lack of cards from overseas. Most of my elderly family who used to send them to have all passed away. The younger generation doesn't seem to bother. Now we send a lucky Japanese New Year's card with Seasonal Greetings. Just add ¥80 or so in stamps and you are set to go.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: When you were a teenager, did you think much about issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, pollution, recycling, energy and water conservation and so on? See in context

Back in the 70s, the elementary school age me was educated about the world ending threat of litter which we were urged to pick up and from US CMs - give a hoot and not pollute.

My friends and I sort of complied by collecting soda bottles which we cashed in to buy candy. The wrappers of which I hope we discarded in the trash and not along the bush trails and riversides where we hung out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Opposition steps up offensive against beleaguered PM Kishida See in context

Abe and Kishida. The Tweedlee and Tweedledumb of Japanese politics. Unfortunately, the opposition is the Tweedledumber. Oh, for some competent leaders who aren't tainted by and mired in scandals from the get-go.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan set to honor assassinated Abe at controversial funeral See in context

Not Japan but rather his political party is martyring him to solidify their strangle hold on power. The death of democracy?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan weighs plan for ban on hotel guests without masks: report See in context

No shirt, no shoes, no mask.

No service.


When you get to your room, take it off.

Stop whining.

Your sense of exceptionalism stops at your country's border.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Posted in: TikTok search results riddled with misinformation: Report See in context

Who goes to TikTok or other SNS sites for medical information or anything other than dumb dance videos?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: 40% of evacuees from Afghanistan have left Japan over poor support See in context

So the none to subtle pressure to leave worked well. Like companies sidelining workers so they will quit. If being lousy at the local language was the real reason I would have packed it in decades ago. But despite that, I have thrived all the same here.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: With all the bad news in the world, whether it is the war in Ukraine, coronavirus, climate change , economic problems or political divisions, do you sometimes get tired of the news and just "switch it off?" See in context

I limit my exposure by not listening to news pods, and watching serious news programs - morning news shows here are mostly variety shows with weather news, so they don't upset me much.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese firm seeks halal approval for non-alcohol udon soup stock See in context

My wife's company briefly flirted with the idea of producing halal and/or kosher products but made no real effort to understand the rigours of application and production. Also, once they realised the cost, they abandoned it. Short sighted to say the least.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese junior high school girl removed from class for three days for grooming her eyebrows See in context

Ah, this takes me back to the days when I worked at both Buddhist and later Catholic girls' high schools. The religions were nothing other than cosmetic mind you. (Excuse the attempt at humour.) I remember one young lady at the former school being hauled into the office for coming to school with coloured hair and watching in amazement as a male staffer forced her to bend over a sink while he sprained on black hair colouring. In latter the school, a compromise was met in that it was agreed that the young lady would leave the school permanently, hair intact. More recently, both my bicultural kids had to file paperwork that proved their hair colour was naturally not jet black. I offered to show up and show them why but my wife just gave me the look.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Posted in: KDDI says 70% of services restored after wide network troubles See in context

Just another manic Monday and my phone still doesn't work. Have they forgotten those of us living outside of Tokyo and other more populous locals? Voters here don't matter?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: If you live in Japan, when you visited family or friends overseas (in pre-corona days), did you take your shoes off before entering their home, as you would in Japan? See in context

Yes, of course. My family doesn't live in a barn. Houses are typically carpeted. I can't imagine the mess if outdoor shoes were worn inside. Not to mention all the pain and suffering that would be inflicted on anyone foolish enough to try. Mom would kick their butts faster than greased lightning.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: If you are an employee of a company, educational institution or organization, do you like your job? See in context

When I first arrived back in '94 to work for a now defunct Eikaiwa, the talk was that anywhere was better than there. More through connections than anything at first, I moved on to work at several private high schools before landing at a university. I managed to get tenure this year by getting a MSc and working my ass off. Sure the money is much better but there is the constant demand to publish and connect with the community and that can get tiring. As for months off, not sure where those people work but we have events during most breaks to attract new students. Despite all that, I can't complain. My colleagues are very supportive. My students are for the most part interested and focused provided I do my job. You can be happy or unhappy anywhere. I guess it is all about your attitude. Make the best of it or move on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Afghan entrance See in context

She should be offered asylum somewhere. I can't imagine the fundamentalist terrorists who are now in charge in Afghanistan will praise her competing in the Olympics.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: If the Tokyo Olympics are held, will you watch any of it on TV? See in context

I have never had any interest in sports of any kind all my life. I go out of my way to avoid them on television. The Olympics have always been a great time to catch up on reading or movies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan says no truth to Times report on canceling Tokyo Olympics See in context

Good news. Sensible, if true.

28 ( +36 / -8 )

Posted in: Do you support the government's call for companies to take an extended holiday over the New Year period until Jan 12? See in context

That's all well and good for companies. Those of us working in the education field won't be taking longer holidays. We've got regularly scheduled classes and a yearly schedule to adhere to. Enjoy your extra holidays if you get them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Are you an anti-vaxxer? See in context

I cannot fathom why someone would reject something so clearly beneficial to humanity. The bestowing of Darwin awards to these unfortunate individuals seems sadly appropriate. I only wish their children could be protected.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: 107 victims of 2005 fatal train derailment in Hyogo remembered See in context

A very sad tragedy, one I remember to this day when I commute to work. Our local train line has enough of a monopoly to not be in competition. I hope that holds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Salvation is at hand See in context

They are a fundamentalist cultish organization/church that holds very regressive attitudes towards abortion, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and LGBTQ rights. Don't give them your hard earned cash if you are in anyway a modern, open minded type.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you still send Christmas or season's greetings cards by post or do you send everything by email these days? See in context

We've given up on Xmas cards altogether. Now we just slap a ¥7 stamp our Japanese New Years cards and send them overseas. Most people I know back home are giving up on sending cards. It is only my elderly family who have kept up that tradition.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Alligator in Nagoya zoo pond swallowed hundreds of tossed coins See in context

The really stupid animals are humans because they should know better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo to test snow machines for 2020 Olympics See in context

Given the obvious effects of global warming, the Olympic committee needs to rethink the best season/months for the games. Why even use the terms Summer of Winter games?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context

Candy bars that aren't Kit Kats or Snickers

Bulk licorice

Stick deodorant

Clothes in my size

and headache medicine that works

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: 40% back Abe-proposed approach to revise pacifist Constitution: poll See in context

As much as I hate to say it, it seems rather foolish to live in a dangerous neighbourhood, like Japan does, without the capabilities to properly defend itself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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

No surprise. The message to women being you aren’t important and are considered minor members of the royal family. I have a middle digit for you Imperial Household Agency.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Posted in: Japan officially announces IWC withdrawal; will resume commercial whaling See in context

Time to start donating money to Greenpeace or any organization that will interfere with their operations. Strictly non-violently, of course.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

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

Xmas in Japan is what you make of it. I have built a life and family here. We do our best to balance the traditions of both Japan and Canada. We have double the fun. We enjoy a secular Xmas and Japanese style New Years. If you want to be miserable, go ahead.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

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