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Gramie comments

Posted in: The day after See in context

It's interesting that no one has pointed out how in less than a year, Naomi is supposed to inform the Japanese government if she is giving up her American or Japanese citizenship.

She has said that she plans to compete in the next Olympics for Japan, so I guess she is choosing Japanese, but what a lot of hand-wringing there will be if she goes the other way (even though, as far as I can see, she hasn't lived in Japan since she was three years old)!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's manners are the laughingstock of the world See in context


I'm all Uniclo. Do I make the cut?

Fortunately you do. But if you were one of the sheep wearing Uniqlo you would be put in the soylent green line.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's jobless rate at lowest in nearly 25 years See in context


What I am curious about is why this is 150 westerners getting fired. The westerners getting fired first?

It could well be a department dealing with foreign customers/suppliers (and therefore mostly staffed with foreigners) that was closed. Not that they went through the company and plucked out all the foreigners. There may have been some Japanese workers, but they could have been transferred to other departments rather than just let go.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: More than skin deep: cosmetic surgery industry booming See in context

@badman, there are men with "micropenises" (less than 7cm/3") for whom it is a real concern. I'm not sure if they actually have problems reproducing or if it's a matter of satisfying either partner, but I assume the latter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 die, nearly 100 hurt as powerful typhoon batters wide area of Japan See in context

Oops, I meant to say "suspended", not "suspected".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 die, nearly 100 hurt as powerful typhoon batters wide area of Japan See in context

My brother was leaving from Kansai airport on Monday morning. He tried to take a train (from Kyoto) but train service was suspected. He took a bus, although the driver warned that they might not be allowed to use the bridge to the airport.

They did make it, and he had already made a reservation at the capsule hotel at the airport (which was thronged by people who were stranded at the airport and looking for a place to stay), so he had a good night's sleep.

I'm guessing that on his flight, which left on schedule, he was probably one of the only passengers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Canada's Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53 See in context

@runner3, I agree that everyone has the right to mourn Gord. I know Rob Baker slightly and have no doubt that he and other family and friends are deeply feeling the loss.

I'm saying that if people want to honour his life, and the brave way he faced death, then they should take up one of the causes he championed so effectively. Volunteer, donate, organize, lobby. But if it ends up just being a bunch of upvotes and likes and other social media bull****, as usually happens, then they might as well not bother.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Canada's Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53 See in context

Canadians everywhere are feeling this loss.

Well I'm not, even though I'm a born-and-bred Canadian, and currently live in Kingston. One of our local radio stations played nothing but The Hip all day yesterday and re-christened itself "Radio Gord". I appreciate Downie for his thoughfulness and passion, and the whole band for keeping their hometown roots and approachability, but can't say that their music does much for me (even though I'm probably smack dab in their target demographic).

The outpouring of grief reminds me a bit of when other celebrities have died (e.g. Princess Diana), and I would rather see sustained commitments to social change and reconciliation with First Nations than a trendy and fleeting wallow in shallow sentiment.

And you know what? I bet Gord would too.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 55-year-old woman arrested for attempted murder of husband See in context

@kolohe, it didn't say that she was of Korean ancestry, but of Korean nationality. That's a fair datum to include in the story.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: One couple's mission to save date night — for themselves and other parents See in context

1200/hour for a sitter doesn't sound unreasonable. In my part of the world (Ontario, Canada) that's pretty average. Now the extra fees, of course....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo’s ban on high school girls working in the controversial JK industry goes into effect this summer See in context

@Geoff Gillespie

I disagree. The whole point of identifying people as minors is to decide that they do not have the experience to make informed decisions and accept the consequences. That's what adults do. We say that children are not able to properly decide to offer themselves as objects of sexual attraction, and then try to discourage adults from treating them that way.

It's not a perfect system, but it's the one we have and the best one we have found so far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreigners in Japan face significant levels of discrimination, survey shows See in context

I remember going with my (Japanese) wife to the bank where we both had accounts, to buy travellers' cheques for a trip to Thailand (back in the mid-90s).

We both had ID (driver's licences, I think). For her there was no problem, but I had to go back and bring my passport, otherwise they would not sell me the cheques. Using the money out of my own bank account.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Late-night operations in the food service industry entail a heavy workload, and it is particularly difficult to secure workers in that business. If the current situation falls into a negative spiral o See in context

So start paying people more, if they have to work these tough late-night shifts. Or hire more of them so the workload is spread out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: There is no work that is more important than someone’s life. See in context

For many corporations and their management, work certainly is more important than someone’s life.

Like other commenters, I think it is a symptom of the hierarchical structures in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kurara Chibana enjoys acting for change of pace See in context

Yubaru, I can tell that the Japanese people who have lived in my (Canadian) city for decades are Japanese by their accents. That has nothing to do with their fluency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How well do you know your neighbors? See in context

One of my neighbours used to take the same train as me in the mornings, but we never talked. One day I started a conversation. She told me that the benefits of making friends with people you live near aren't worth the risks. It didn't help that my wife was almost pathologically introverted.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese men share what they can put up with in a girlfriend, but would be marriage deal-breakers See in context

@Bradley Fried

Actually, the transformation after the wedding is certainly something that many of us have experienced. My ex actually told me, early in our state of wedded bliss, that some of the things she did when we were dating and engaged she did because she wanted to get married.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'New office' helps staff create and firms profit See in context

I remember when I worked in a Japanese company in Osaka (large, open office with about 80 people), there was an announcement reminding people that no personal items of any kind were allowed on our desks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Star Trek' fan favorite Mr Sulu is gay in new film; Takei disapproves See in context

@Farmboy, the "live long and prosper" hand sign that Vulcans make is actually part of a Jewish rabbinical blessing, if I remember correctly http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/06/the-iconic-live-long-and-prosper-hand-gesture-was-originally-a-jewish-sig. Leonard Nimoy learned it as a child and brought it to his role.e.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Memories of Prince See in context

@Black Sabbath, 57 is plenty old if you may have an opiate addiction. He was in the hospital last week for what may have been an overdose. He apparently needed both hips replaced, but couldn't have the operation because he has been a Jehovah's Witness since 2001 and can't have blood transfusions. I could see needing large amounts of opiates to manage the pain in that case.

@Serrano, He started using the name "Prince" again after he finished his contract with Warner Brothers in 2000

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: First day on the job See in context

@Christopher Glen, those suits basically are identical. In Japan there are well-defined "interview suits" for men and women. Always black, and indistinguishable from each other, because God knows you wouldn't want to stand out but do want to telegraph your desire to fit into the team and not make waves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Does bringing up baby take sparkle out of hubby's sex drive? See in context

@Presto345, it must just be you. Certainly my experience was not being loved back. As a rule, I don't like stereotypes, but the one of Japanese women losing all interest in the hubby after the wedding, and more or less stopping ALL intimacy after the children come, rings true. It didn't matter how much I did (dishes, vacuuming, children's homework, all repairs and maintenance, all outside work, etc.).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey shows maternity harassment still a problem at workplace See in context

In Ontario (Canada), pregnant women are allowed up to 17 weeks of pregnancy leave, then 35-37 weeks of parental leave (which can be split with the father however they choose). Employers cannot penalize employees in any way for taking this leave.

Leave can be taken up to one year after the birth, and is available for any parent who has been working for at least 13 weeks before the due date (full-time or part-time, permanent or contracted).

Too bad my two kids were born in Japan....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Emmy wins for Viola Davis, Jon Hamm, 'Game of Thrones,' 'Transparent,' 'Veep' See in context

Hmmm. Sandra Oh won a Golden Globe for Gray's Anatomy. She was nominated for five Emmys, won two SAG awards out of three nominations, etc.

Masi Oka won a GG and was nominated for an Emmy for his work in Heroes.

Did you have a point other than whining? Lots of people didn't win awards.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of shorter hospital stays (in most Western countries) vs longer hospital stays in Japan? See in context

The other thing I've noticed about hospital stays in Japan is that for a lot of salarymen, it is the only way they can take a decent amount of time off without their careers suffering. No one blames them if the doctor says they have to stay for a month, even if they could really be home in a week (or less!) and back at work sooner as well.

Also (according to my Japanese ex), elderly people sometimes get checked in because they are feeling lonely and isolated. In that way, it could be considered valid for mental health reasons -- even if it's a wildly inefficient treatment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Melbourne rated world's most liveable city; Tokyo ranked 15th See in context

@Reckless, Vancouver doesn't have legalized pot. Nowhere in Canada does. It also has an average housing price of over $2 million for the city proper (i.e. not Surrey, Richmond, etc.) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/blistering-bc-housing-prices-put-pressure-on-politicians/article24836765/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: WWII aftermath: How did Japan and Germany become global powerhouses? See in context

Deming wasn't the only American to help Japanese industry after the war. http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2000/pulpit_20000525_000408.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: SDF said to be rife with bullying, mental illness and suicide See in context

The suicide rate they mention for the military, 37/100,000, is higher than the US rate (30/100,000). Given that Japanese soldiers are not normally exposed to combat (and for those that were sent to Iraq in a non-combat role, the rate jumps to 300/100,000), this cries out for investigation and action.

Sadly, neither is likely to happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Punk icon Joan Jett savors rock 'in' role-model gig See in context

This is the first time I've heard of Joan Jett being "punk" or a "punk icon" It doesn't fit in well with "I love rock'n'roll" or her decidedly mainstream music. Iconic, yes, and a great trailblazer for women in rock.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Child welfare officials never visited home of 5-year-old boy who died of neglect See in context

I see some comments asking why the mother wasn't involved. In Japan, shared custody is unknown: after a divorce, one parent receives full custody and the other is usually expected to drop out of the picture completely, never seeing the child again (see: Prime Minister Koizumi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junichiro_Koizumi#Family). It is not so common for a father to gain custody in a Japanese divorce, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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