griff comments

Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

I'm seeing some of the common "excuses" being raised on here, so I thought I might contribute on those:

Yes, it's unfortunate that English "belongs" to the Anglo-American western dominant hegemony. It would be better if we could push a button and get everyone learning something like Esperanto, but that's already been tried and failed. It is at least fortunate that there is one language that is so widely spoken that it makes sense for a lot of people to use for international communication.

Japan isn't the only culture to make noise about this, but from what I know it may be the worst. Others may grumble, but considering the benefits can at least see it as a necessary evil.

The article mentions China and Korea, and this is relevant. Japan has been in an economic malaise for a generation, whilst its neighbours steam ahead. Japan is basically ever becoming more and more marginalised. Another problem is that domestic conservatives and foreign fanaticists like it this way. That would be fine, but there some to be clear reasons to suggest this isn't sustainable. The aging population being the elephant in the room here.

As an aside, I taught in japan for most of the 00s. Whilst it was personally a wonderful time, professionally it was frustrating. Whilst I got started on the eikaiwa train, I was around long enough to develop my skills and want to do a good job. Frequently, however conditions made this challenging if not impossible. Eikaiwas are motivated by profit, but education. Public schools are mired in bureacracy and cultural restrictions. The best experiences I had were at private jnr and sort highs that were serious about something close to decent language education as a real selling point

As another aside, i'm currently having a month off and travelling around sw Europe. At my current hostel there are people from all over, but when mingling it is taken for granted that English will be used. As a result I've met some very interesting people, which is really the main appeal of such a trip. In these circumstances I usually see Asians (not just japanese) as the marginalised groups, not even able to mingle amongst themselves. This makes me sad, since I feel they miss out on so much. Instead their trips are just trotting around eating and taking photos of buildings. So much opportunity to grow as a person is lost and I think this is a real tragedy

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Posted in: Death of a Japanese Salesman See in context

@ben4short, you're not wrong, but unfortunately most of us spend most of our time preoccupied with other commitments rather than "making the most" of life. carpe diem is a nice idea, but i don't think you'd want to live around people who were doing that on a daily basis; they wouldn't care about you, that's for sure...

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Posted in: British PM promises action to restore order in strife-torn cities See in context

Unlike America, the UK has a class based society

ha! don't make me laugh

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Posted in: Ishihara says Japan should conduct simulated nuclear weapons tests See in context

Munya Times is correct; the most justifiable reason for preventing new members to the Nuke club is to avoid a snowballing nuclear arms race for the sake of just this kind of questionable muscle flexing, which would most likely result in WW3

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Posted in: Hawkers 'pleased' with life sentence for Ichihashi See in context

the thing about murder, though, is that it's the one crime where there is no possibility of the perpetrator compensating the victims - that would require brining someone back from the dead. the death penalty is a poor attempt at this, and just leaves the victims no better off. it's better to accept this, impose a suitably stiff punishment and keep to the moral high-ground

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Posted in: Hawkers 'pleased' with life sentence for Ichihashi See in context

this was always going to be the most appropriate sentence. i think it's a shame that the family were calling for the death penalty; two wrongs don't make a right

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Posted in: The big heat See in context

had a grimy end-of-season sunday down at toshimaen a few years ago. had a good time, mostly due to it's complete scrubby nastiness. it amused away some of my hangover at least. tossing around a beach ball in the circulating pool was quite fun at least

a wise man goes to toshimaen, a fool goes again :D

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Posted in: Hotels test snore absorption room See in context

@Jason Lok, in my experience sometimes yes, sometimes no... but i'm a regular plug wearer, and non-snorer (ladies!)

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Posted in: Analog TV disposal no small task See in context

i remember seeing a tv show about recycling analogue tvs in the uk recently - done efficiently on a big enough scale, there is money to be made; these devices contain valuable materials that can be reused, melted down and sold on. so why isn't someone doing this?

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Posted in: A day at the beach See in context

Enoshima is dirrrrrrrrrrty. As are those gals in bikinis. One good point, one bad!

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Posted in: How first 24 hours shaped Japan's nuclear crisis See in context

Cracking article!

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Posted in: Are people hired based on their looks? See in context

shall i put it out there that, traditionally, female members of staff are put there as wife candidates for the men? in which case, this is understandable, if not to be condoned

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Posted in: Thousands in Tokyo protest against nuclear power See in context

bandwagon jumping? i'm sure most of the protesters still expect the vending machine to be running when they go out for a PET bottle of tea, or to be able to crank the aircon during the summertime...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

minor note, but LastPass notifications cause the menu bar to float down

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Posted in: Yahoo ready to deliver on promise to upgrade email See in context

i've used all of the browsers, and chrome is easily my favourite. firefox went off the boil a few years ago and started getting bloated. safari is pretty nice, but lacks the customisation options of chrome. IE may be getting better but is still wanted for its past crimes against humanity

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Posted in: Keeping up with Japanese metrosexual manes See in context

Lessons on how to also look androgynous amongst the most live at home, sissy boys in the world.

bwhahaahaha! SMASH!

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Posted in: NHK to broadcast UK royal wedding live See in context

whilst i consider myself a strict republican, i must confess to having a bit of an obsession with young katey. although, not sure about this jackie kennedy looks she's sporting nowadays...

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Posted in: M7.0 quake jolts eastern Japan; two killed See in context

it's a bit ridiculous to question the "safety" of any place when you consider that regardless of where you live there's always the chance you'll shuffle off this mortal coil in a typically innocuous fashion, such as slipping in the bath and cracking your skull on the porcelain. people have a natural tendency to play up the dangers of unlikely but horrendous disasters, and play down the everyday and mundane threats we face...

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Posted in: Does J-pop really suck? See in context

this doesn't explain why there are some excellent non-pop japanese musicians. i blame the industry

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Posted in: Matsumoto Castle See in context

it's great

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Posted in: Sunset See in context

nice pylon

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

@space_monkey, you really need to find some new hang outs!

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Posted in: Universal values See in context

this photo is conclusive evidence that kurara wipes the floor with rie

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Posted in: Bride pride See in context

She looks wonderful, I am surprised that the traditional kimono was not worn, though.

Haven't been to many Japanese weddings, then

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Posted in: The government should instead increase the number of national holidays and also encourage people to take more paid vacations. See in context

this guy is right on the money. the root of the problem lies in the fact that they are pretty much the only guaranteed holidays for the majority of workers. at least having them nationwide makes them an opportunity for people who live far apart to get together

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Posted in: Burger See in context

It would be better to show front page images that are about the real life of Japan, images of her natural and human landscapes, or that relate to her culture and tradition. Why always those artificial images of models who pose in the framework of some commercial?

because it's normal life for most people. wake up, it's not the 19th century anymore

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Posted in: Schwarzenegger calls for same-sex weddings See in context

whilst i'm very much live and let live, the one thing about this issue that i just don't understand is why the gay lobby insists on using the m-word... surely they realise how emotive it is? why not use a term like "civil union"?

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Posted in: Armed man robs Shinagawa post office of Y1 mil See in context

1m yen in ichi-mans is precisely 1cm think

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Posted in: It’s time to get rid of sound trucks See in context

Commercial trucks have been around for a hundred years at most, and transistor amplifiers about 60. Is that long enough to constitute a tradition? I don't think so

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Posted in: Toy Story 3 See in context

i'm sceptical, since in this one andy has "grown up". not sure how they'll pull this off without it being sickening

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