Gudni Gudnason comments

Posted in: Research and risk: Keys to success in Japan See in context

I have successfully been doing business in Japan for 20 years now and I know about the 'problems' that can come up, each and every one of them has. I dealt with them one by one but may key to success was that I did A LOT of research before entering the market. I also did a soft start to check things out before going big. My biggest challenge is with the attitude and Japanese tradition of what they call Tatemai or 'not-to-say-what-I-mean-to-say'. I started right away with the concept of Honne, or honest communication, as a Key to Success for all of us in the company. Many liked that and I thought it was working but no... they still fell back on their old way or doing things the Japanese Way.... that is a horrible box, the JW box and it has ruined a lot of companies, not just Gajin ones. It does not allow for change or modifying things to a new way, so the old style company will not survive in the new age. I came to an office the other day that still did not have computers, I know that is extreme but it was because of the boss who was stuck in the JW box. But this has still been a great experience, I will be living here for the rest of my life and doing business my way, like old Sinatra said and I love Japan!

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Posted in: One of Japan’s stunning secret destinations: the 'Road to Laputa' in Kumamoto See in context

You forgot the fact that on Mt Aso is also a real Hobbit village, or a Dome Village/hotel....

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Posted in: Wait, just what exactly have they done with the new 'Death Note' drama? See in context

I agree, they slaughtered it....so sad since I am a fan..... but one good thing is that for the next 3 shows they have a fantastic actor, SHOGEN on it, so I will watch until he is killed...lol

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Posted in: Lifestyle diseases kill 16 mil prematurely See in context

Salt is fine, if it is healthy salt, like Himalayan Sea Salt that does not raise your cholesterol nor make you acidic. We just need to realize that a lot of the food we think is ok, is actually not, like processed meat has a lot of chemicals that are bad for you and make you sick. Just be smart in your choices of food! LOVE

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Posted in: Gay candidate hopes to raise awareness in election campaign See in context

This is a BIG and important issue and I am glad that he is running and waking people up about this. There is a lot of suffering in the LGBT community in Japan, specially in Japan although it is all over the world. It is not accepted by most Japanese to be Gay and those who are, are looked down on in society and most are fired from their job. I also dont agree with Gokai that there is only 1-2% who are gay, its MUCH higher then even the estimates in this article, more like 10% and so many live latent for most or all of their lives! Its a good thing that there is now a discussion about this! PEACE

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Posted in: New ad campaign features Japan in all its stunning glory See in context

Kill Bill style marketing of Japan, why not! I like these photos, they are pure modern Japan and really depict the deeper sense of the soul of the Japanese. Good job!

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Posted in: New NPO brings same-sex marriage equality into Japanese public debate See in context

This is wonderful news, a debate is needed and education so that people understand the issue! We need equality in our world today and this is one thing that Japan is missing!

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Posted in: Organic food movement in Japan progressing slowly See in context

Good job that Duco is doing and I hope that we see more ORGANIC in Japan!

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Posted in: Japan's nightclubs weather dancing ban See in context

I run events all the time and we got hurt bad last year when the police cracked down on the clubs. However since the announcement that this would be changed we have had no problems even though the signs are still up in the clubs, we are dancing full throttle now! The police sees it as something that is going to change so they dont waist their energy on it anymore..... PEACE

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Posted in: Japanese convenience stores to get even more awesome this year See in context

It is a fact that the food at the Japanese convenience stores are often better then what you get from some restaurants in the US or elsewhere.... The bentos are great and these stores get my vote very time! Yes a very sarcastic article, did not serve any purpose! Making these stores better? just because the photocopy machines will do more???? those machines have been available all over Japan for a few years now so this is just coming into the convenience stores for the first time, so what??? Keep it real man!!!!

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Posted in: GPod - The cost of living in Tokyo See in context

I live in Fukasawa in Setagaya Ku and I have a large house (250 sqm) with 2 car parking and a big garden. I pay ¥400,000 per month for that and this is a normal price for a large city, actually compared to London, LA and New York it is low. Most food etc is about the same as when I lived in the US but lower then London. All in all Japan for me is cheaper then what I am used to!

@ gokai_wo_maneku: how did you manage to buy? I find it hard to get the banks to approve a loan for me since I dont have credit in this country. I own a medium size corporation and have been in operation for 15 years and still they dont loan me to buy a house. If you have any advice please share!

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Posted in: Girl rejected by boy she never actually met takes revenge See in context

Japanese women; Samurai spirit still alive in them but what about the men? hmmmmm makes you think...

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Posted in: What makes people want to move to Japan? See in context

None of the above apply to me, I have now lived here for 10 years but been working here since 1997, and I just LIKE LIVING HERE! I have lived in many places around the planet, Iceland, Sweden, England, India, Congo, USA and Japan is the best so far. I love the culture, the people, the food, the buzz of Tokyo, the coolness of Osaka, the Onsens, the mountains, the politeness of people, their attitudes of sacredness of all things, the temples and shrines and the list goes on and on.

I just love living here!

I am not saying that this is a perfect country, but then again, no country is, all places have their own problems! Japan just seems to have less then most places, at least the ones I have lived in and visited!

PEACE

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Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Innocence and non malicious behaviors.....ok but you know what, that excuse can only go so far and its getting old. I have lived in several countries in the last 35 years including an area with many red-necks in the US and by far, Japan is the most racists country that I have ever lived in. They cannot see us Gajin (foreigners) as anything but foreigner and they define us as: Useful Gajin: I can learn something from this person but then he/she should go away. I have been working here for 15 years and I am still just a "useful object" but never do they "truly let me in"!

Its about common courtesy to just be nice to people, not on the surface, that the Japanese got down but to truly just care for others. When a nation has superiority complex and think they are "better then others" they will not welcome others into their midst. I think that a lot of dialogue and explanations is needed so that the Japanese understand their own way of being. I think it is important for us who live in Japan to not give up but to continue to educate those around us and voice our feelings instead of holding them inside. This is how we can create a better community where we are not Gajin or a Stranger in a Strange Land anymore but rather we are just all humans, living as one..... dreaming, oh well, I will dream on....

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Posted in: Are Japanese beauty salons the best in the world? See in context

First of all you get what you pay for and here in Japan you are paying for GREAT service and a good quality. Secondly the prices are not that much higher then a quality hairsalong in New York City (Manhattan etc), LA. London or even any larger city. I got a haircut in London the other day and it was double what I pay here but I was not treated as well as I am in Japan.

Thirdly, If you want a 700 yen hair cut you are not going for the Quality of the service, which is fine, but if you are like me, wanting quality and good service, Japan is it!!!

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Posted in: 11 unique experiences for tourists to Japan See in context

These are very unique things that you suggest, perhaps for a small % of the visitors coming to Japan this would apply but I do think that most people would want to experience something more authentic, like the Sumo thing in there is good, but that is about it. For most people they want to see Japan, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and temples/shrines etc and experience Onsen or Hot springs etc. Go to Nara and visit the deer that go apes over your things and see the monkeys in the natural environment. Visit Hokkaido and see the Ainu, one of the oldest living ancient tribes of Asia and perhaps go diving and see the underwater unique animals and vegetation. And then there is the many different amazing and exotic foods that are available to the tourists and that exploration is likely the most memorable thing from Japan for any tourist, figuring out what to eat and then how to eat it or even if it is eatable at all. Perhaps all this sounds boring to you but I think most tourists would rather do some of this then what you have suggested!

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Posted in: High-flying luxury: Battle for Asia's jet-set is hotting up See in context

This is cool and about time, getting tired of flying business class/first class and feeling like the difference is not that much...... I love Singapore Airlines and I am happy that they are doing this!

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Posted in: 63-year-old engineer may be Japan's last ninja See in context

Here in Japan there are two grate grandmaster of the art of Ninja: Hatsumi Shihan and Tanemura Shihan, both who where instructed from a long lineage of masters of this art! Hatsumi is more famous for his role in many movies and several books that he has produced but Shoto Tanemura Shihan is more established as he holds the longest/oldest lineage of the art. His Dojo is world famous and both him and his instructors have taught such incredible groups as the British SAS anti terrorist unit, Israeli Mossad and the USA Navy Seals. Dojo info: www.genbukan.org.

Long live the Kagemusha`s (Shadow Warriors),

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Posted in: Cool Japan? With new resident system for foreigners, 'Cold Japan' fits better See in context

Cold Japan? only in winter time! I have lived here for several years now and I have had no problems with anything regarding my status. Once I did forget to register my new address, for 4 months, and they were pissed, since braking the rule sin Japan is not ok, BUT they just asked me to write a letter of apology and that was that! DONE!!!! I have a 5 year visa now and there is never any problems! Yes this is a scare article that has no root in reality! Get a grip and report correct info!

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Posted in: Britain's queen shakes hands with ex-IRA chief See in context

Epic event, so happy to be around to see this happen! I was in Belfast during the worst time and it is time for this nonsense to stop! Jolly Good Dear QE. PEACE is coming

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Posted in: To rent or to own a property in Japan? See in context

I both rent and own land and property in Japan, but the issue is mostly around the problem of expats getting a loan to buy! It took me some time before the bank would even talk to me, and I had to live here for awhile to get a loan as an individual. My company could buy property since I co-own it with others. To buy and sell for profit is easy, we have now renovated a couple of houses and sold with 40% profit in both cases. Again what we all need to look out for is the "Gajin" thing where we are always just the "Foreigner" and we are not seen equally to the Japanese, this makes it hard sometimes to buy and even rent. Many rental companies have a policy against foreigners to rent their properties and many are reluctant to sell to us, I have been turned down 5 times to buy a property because I was a Gajin. Thats Japan!

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Posted in: Beat Takeshi compares same-sex marriage with bestiality See in context

WOW the comedian got his laugh and his wide discussion across the lines, he is still the master of his game!!!! lol However what he said, meant as a joke or not, was not a nice thing to say. Even a joke about ones mother, might be funny but it still is our mother, so it hurts! However, I feel that the more "offense" is in some of the posts here where some of you are saying things like: "...these people.." referring to gays and lesbians and the statement: ".....they do have anal sex....", please guys know what you are talking about, lesbians do not have anal sex but hey monkeys do, perhaps the monkeys are "HOMOS".... and many gay men dont even have "anal sex". However, "THEY" are just like US, we are ALL THE SAME. Why are we defining our selves by how or who we have sex with? We are just ALL OF US PEOPLE, just People and the more we try to put things into boxes the more we separate each other. To create a peaceful community we need to just see each other as human beings and get along. PEACE

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Posted in: One in seven thinks end of world is coming, with Dec 21, 2012, likely date - poll See in context

The word ARMAGEDDON actually means: The end of the world, AS WE KNOW IT!! and I KNOW that that is coming and most people will agree that, THAT IS A GOOD THING!!!! So fear not, a Brave New World is coming and soon we will have a different society that makes healthy choices without politics or religions to muddle the pond. You may call me a dreamer, but I am not the only one! PEACE

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Posted in: How do you feel about being a ‘gaijin’ in Japan? See in context

I want to start by saying that I LOVE JAPAN and I would not live here if I did not. The people are amazing and loving and the food, oh well, its the best, since I love sushi and sashimi! Having said that, I have been working here since 1997 and I have lived all over the world, Iceland (born), England, Sweden, France, Egypt, Congo, India, USA and more. Japan is by far the most racist country I have lived in. Legally you do not have the same rights as a Japanese, ever! Even the Finnish born Senator Marutei Tsurunen finds the same thing, he is a part of the Japanese senate and is still feeling like a Gajin... This part of living in Japan is hard but there are so many other good things that I just ignore it and I dont let people bother me with this, the few people that show it. Its more the establishment and the system then the people them selves. PEACE

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

Its obvious to me GUYS that you are cheap and un-romantic! What a way to start a marriage!!! I gave my bride her dream wedding and in fact we do that every year: 1st year was on a beach in Wales with about 30 people and a dinner with champagne and kaviar (Beluga) after in a romantic castle, second was Meiji Shrine, then in Iceland with family, then in Thailand with Master Mantak Chia and about a 100 guests and last year was in Toronto and again in an extremely romantic setting. This year we plan something in Europe OR perhaps DISNEY RESORT in CHIBA which we both love!

If you DONT treat your woman RIGHT, she will never treat you right back!!! She is the ONE that you should be spending on and if you can afford it THEN DO IT! Do the romantic stuff she wants, it will carry a long way in your marriage! If you are going into it with the thought of: "Well its going to end in divorce so I will not spend a shit load of money on this" then you have lost already! Perhaps this is your fear of commitment hu..

Take a chance guys, invest in your WIFE and your eternal MARRIAGE with her!

In love, and we still are!!!! living in the real world of romance and passion..... and hey, why NOT!!!!

PEACE

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

Dear Godan; are you single? Have you any idea how much it costs to get married in Japan? That is a medium price range for a wedding in Japan, take the Okura hotel for 50 peeps and you need to double or triple that amount. Me and my wife did a ceremony at the infamous Meiji Shrine and a dinner at the Meiji Kinanken with just 200 people and that was freaking expensive. If we did Disneys deal would have saved us money.... yuppp they charge the gazoooba out of people and people spend that amount, even though we do have 60% divorce rate...lol

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Posted in: Electric cars risk losing green sheen in Japan See in context

I have a Tesla Roadster and I am charging it on Solar Power. Takes me 8 hours to charge it and I get 400 km out of that. Solar and Wind power is the way of the people and we can CHOSE to just ignore the grid if we want to. PEACE

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Posted in: Ultimate Japan: 6 must-see destinations See in context

Hey, I have been exploring Japan for the last 15 years and here are my favorite places:

Mount Kurama, outside Kyoto. Walking up the whole mountain takes a little bit of a hike but oh boy is it worth it. You can sometimes even see some real life Ninjas in the trees, there is a Ninja school up there. It stouts some of the most ancient iconic sculptures in Japan if you slip into the basement of the temple, that is half way up the mountain and slowly make your way, in the dark, behind all the urns with the remains of dead monks, there way in the back are 3 ancient statues and an old well coming straight out from the cliff. It is said that if the water is still running then the world is ok, so the monks go every day back there to check.

Musashizuka Park, Kumamoto, Kyushu. This is the resting place of the most famous Samurai of all times, Miyamoto Musashi who wrote: The Book of Five Rings, that has become a cult phenomena and a bestseller worldwide. This is a magical area with amazing energy and beauty.

Shikoku Island; 88 Temples trail. This walk is a long and hard one BUT it is an amazing trail. Stopping in several locations to either eat or sleep where you get to know the "real people" of Japan and authentic cooking. Not the tourist Tokyo style Japanese food. These people will tell you how Japan was BEFORE THE WAR and they do know, this area has kind of stagnated in time, I even saw an old tractor being used in a field that was at least from the 1930`s.

Tokyo: Todoroki Valley - Todoroki-keikoku. This amazing place is in Tokyo but when you are there you dont feel like you are in the city. The valley is isolated and stouts beautiful vegetation and a beautiful calm river. When walking through the valley floor you soon forget all your worries and stress slowly is melted away. It also has an amazing little temple that is famous for a monk that sat under a waterfall for one year in order to reach his enlightenment, which we dont know if he did or not. The water fall is still there but does not have much water left in it because of the constructions that have occurred all around in the neighborhood.

Amami Island. This tropical paradise makes you feel like you are in the Bahamas or somewhere nice and hot, you dont feel like this is Japan. Their amazing beaches and warm ocean makes this a sunbathers/divers paradise. There facilities are not all that good but its worth it as the island has so much to see, the hotel room is for sleeping only, right! The rainforest area is amazing and here you will find, if you can find it, one of the rarest cats of Japan, a tiger like cat that is almost extinct.

just a few places that I like, my list is much longer...

Gudni Gudnason Founder of the Golden Pyramid of Peace NPO.

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Posted in: Quake researchers warn of Tokyo's 'Big One' See in context

No matter what is the truth, there is history of earthquakes in Tokyo area and its likely to hit again for sure. This does not mean that we run, in fact me and my wife are ready. Our household has food, water, propane, electric generator, ham radio, gasoline etc for several months for our household of 6 people, JUST IN CASE! If nothing happens: good, if it does, we are ready! We are not going to make Tokyo a place of fear for us to live, its our home! PEACE

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Posted in: Two more arrests made over death of Nepalese man in Osaka See in context

It was something about a Nepalese scam, collecting money for Nepal but it was in the pocket operation. So many have been scammed so this is just one more incident that went wrong.

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