Japan Today

hakujinsensei comments

Posted in: Golden Week volunteers overwhelm some disaster sites See in context

Klein2, you hit the nail on the head. Most of these do-gooders are whack jobs. Especially the ones that could only make time to go on golden week. And the shelters need no volunteers. what volunteers can do is shovel mud and help stack debris.

I can an do know the exact situation because I am in contact with many organizations throughout Miyagi and Iwate. Like I said in my previous post, I have personally gathered ton after ton of rice, vegetables and supplies. Exactly what they asked our group for. If you would like first hand information, feel free to call me at 08053076441

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Posted in: Golden Week volunteers overwhelm some disaster sites See in context

Big misconceptions propagated by the media/authorities so they don't look bad.

There is not enough food and besides housing it is the greatest need right now.

I have been transporting food and supplies from kyoto for kozmoz since the quake. Most of the victims right now are receiving one meal a day. I just got back with a truck full of fresh vegetables. It was the first veggies that the five shelters have received.

And yes there are a lot of creative things that people can and should be doing but take your own food and tent and have a real plan. But surely the most overlooked for of help is at home if you live in japan. House a victim, contact a group and help them gather necessities, lend a truck, etc. Just do something! This is far from over.

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Posted in: Golden Week volunteers overwhelm some disaster sites See in context

It is awesome to see the number of people with a desire to help the stricken. This truly marks a turning point in Japanese history. The law changes in 1998 did spur an increase in small aid organizations but there were mechanisms in place before that would have enabled groups to operate legally such as tbe shadanhoujin and others.

The thing that kept them from forming was simple apathy. Having their paradigms turned upside down after coming off the bursting of tbe economic bubble and further the embarrassment of foreigners flooding in to volunteer after the Kobe disaster, coupled with the government's ineptitude led to great changes here.

As for volunteering, There can be too much of a good thing

people would do best to see what they can do in their own communities first. they should contact agencies FIRST to see how and when they can be of the most help. companies can offer time off to employees wishing to help to even out the workload by providing a steady workforce. They would do well to understand that by expecting agencies to feed and house them, they ate using valuable resource that could be used to help the victims

In kansai a good group to contact would be KOZMOZ INTERNATIONAL

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Posted in: NPO makes a difference for orphans by providing mentors See in context

Awesome, so nice to see foreigners investing in Japan.

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Posted in: Japanese ship intercepts ballistic missile in test off Hawaii See in context

Am I the only one that thinks this smacks of hypocrisy? Japanese seem to get awfully upset when kim jon's military shoots off a missile, but apparently its different when the Japanese self defnse force does it because they are on the good side? Its about time that this country quits trying to emulate their big red white n blue brother seriously think about diplomacy. and not the kind used to shoehorn Japanese corporations in to take advantage of less developed countries but invest in humanity, share their technology and make it their goal to prosper their neighbors. this is not a zero sum game and the returns could far outweigh the returns their selfishly motivated moves to date have yielded.

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Posted in: 18-year-old schoolgirl arrested for dumping newborn infant in garbage See in context

poor family, scared girl, very sad situation.

over the past couple of years, japan has entered the modern world concerning maternity care. though the insurance here still covers absolutely zero concerning maternity care, pre/post/delivery, the allowance for birth has been raised to 42 man yen or about 4500 dollars us.

one of the most serious issues is that this allowance was only paid after delivery but now there is a process where you can assign the allowance to the hospital and vouchers are now available for prenatal care as well. my wife, after having recently conceived found this out when we went to the clinic last week in Kyoto. before, it was necessary to have 5 to 6 thousand bucks (50 man yen) in order to have prenatal care and give birth, now a person can essentially go thru the birth process for a couple man yen.

the local goverments and ngo's need to get this information out and a lot of these tragic cases might be avoided. for the first time in 16 years on this rock, I have begun to seen modern movement socially and as we become aware of dramatic changes like this if we can spread the word things may change for the better.

in this case, a little prenatal care and a mother not facing bankruptcy at the prospect of her daughter giving birth might have saved this infants tragic death. rather than calling for the girls head, lets place the blame where it belongs with a society that allowed this situation and applaud the recent efforts to bring social advance.

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Posted in: The ultimate serviced office See in context

because a new company here would need to pay key money, deposits, and find cosigners for phone/water/rent and even then, only less than 10 percent of available office space is even a possibility for a foreigner/ foreign company. suppose they dont have japanese staff? practically everyone they talk to will smile and tell them how smart they are then ignore them. spending twice as much per month for the extra service that places like this afford is a smart investment for the vast majority of those wanting to set up shop here.

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Posted in: Osaka man arrested for employing 50 high school girls as prostitutes See in context

ehrrr, seems he was gainfully employed to me. what with the hate for taking a cut of the income? he did his share and the girls knew exactly what they were getting into. 70 over the year? sounds like she enjoyed her job or she would have quit and prostituted herself for a lower paying job at a respectable company ; )

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Posted in: Drunken man arrested after man falls to death off train platform See in context

why the posts hammering the drunk? could have just as well have been a heatstroke victim or an elderly person that lost their footing.

the most obvious question is when will we put enough pressure on the railroad companies to enter the 21st century? railway crossings with nothing but a bar and open platform stations should have ceased to operate a hundred years ago. there is no excuse for this kind of accident with todays level of technology and resource. and the president of Keio Railways should be indicted as an accessory to manslaughter and professional negligence.

these railways have tons of money to spend on safety improvements and modernization but they spend it wringing profits out of their antiquated and unsafe technology. where I live, the keihan railway completed a remodel of their mall and construction of a 50 story tower a couple of years ago. those jobs and investment should have been provided making their 'public service' safe for consumption rather than adding outlets for designer goods leaving the real estate investments for the real estate investors.

operating a business that provides goods and services essential to the public good carry with them a commensurate level of social responsibilty. same old conflict between human life and profits. once again, life lost

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Posted in: Dear Angry Western Guy See in context

the point of the article is for us of non japanese decent to dutifully bow our heads in public so as not to inflame any stereotypes or prejudice that j-folk may have. I will do my best to not stand out today

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Posted in: I-Fairy See in context


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Posted in: Hatoyama's style See in context

Perhaps he is smarter than we have given him credit for. Anyone jumping on his fashion is obviously unable to pay attention to the grander things of life, economics and politics and it may be that in this way he is separating the chaff from the wheat.

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Posted in: Mini Stop anniversary See in context

I like

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Posted in: How healthy is Japanese cuisine? See in context

the average american diet is far healthier than the average japanese diet in terms of the balance of nutrition and lack of fats. costco hamburger? 90% lean. j ham/pigburger (aibiki for the unitiated) is 50% lean and half of that fat is lard. where it falls down is that for some reason americans have gotten in the habit of eating twice on average of what would be a reasonable caloric intake daily.

no osteoporosis in asia? come on, haven't seen all those old men n ladies bent over that cant stand up? ?

japanese people live longer for two reasons. one is that they are just smaller on average. small people live longer, just like poodles live longer than st. bernards. the second is that people with lower daily caloric intake live longer. there have been many studies to these points. with the sudden increase in hormone laden milk and beef will soon bring the life expectancy here into line with the western countries as the average size of people increases.

finally, the healthiness of a diet has to take into consideration of the safety of the food. any benefits from a lack of red meat is far more than made up from the parasites, 0157, pesticides etc...

great post by tessa, the average j person has a diet far different than the diet they claim to have.

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Posted in: Japan's food culture is an endangered species See in context

Japan's food culture.... why is so much focus on whales n tuna? traditionally costal people dined on fish but with the capitals having been in Nara and Kyoto, fresh fish products was not part of the food culture for a large number of j-folk. I really wonder where some of these non sensical ideas come from? sushi? morphadite product originating in korea and other areas as a way to preserve fish and then evolved to include fresh fish as we see today. At what point to we establish 'authenticity' of something that by nature and definition evolves and adapts.... It seems that there is very little understanding of what j-folk ate here a hundred or more years ago before refrigeration, prosperity, and modernization. Food self sufficiency? Well of course a small overpopulated island will have to deal with such an issue and allowing the food culture as well as the culture evolve, adapt, and mature by considering the environment that it is a part of is a good thing.

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Posted in: U.S. needs Toyota more than Toyota needs U.S. See in context

what a freaking moron. americans needs foreign corporations raking profit of the backs of americans like they need a hole in the head. cars. america needs cars. if there were no toyotas to be had, then the public would simply buy another brand and that brand and its suppliers would employ people... might have some hardship in some cities with toyota plants if other brands were not to use the facilities but that hardly seems likely. unused plants with cutting edge technology for pennies on the dollar? it would hardly be a hickup before Ford took them over and tarus' and F-150s would be rolling out the doors.

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Posted in: 'The Cove' wins Oscar for Best Documentary See in context

for gods sake, a sensational politically charged drama/documentary takes the prize. sounds like shrewd insight from the directory and investors paid off. good on em, hope they take all those earnings and buy the freaking cove n put those dolphin cowboys out of business... doubt that will happen though because they are most likely all talk like most of the 'activists' out there. as for the dolphins? who gives a rip.

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Posted in: Police arrest wrong woman for supermarket theft See in context

franky~complaints are the root of positive social change.

when officers here act incompetently, us tax payers have not only the right but the responsibility to call them to the carpet.

arresting someone without clear evidence, denying them due process, investigating something in a haphazard manner and bringing harm to the innocent is outside the bounds of what is acceptable in our modern age and is an affront to the constitution which protects naturalized citizens and foreign visitors alike.

I, for one are not willing to go back a hundred years and change when the upper class could just go out and whack up a hapless villager to test out their katana. the last century has seen japan become a first world country and acknowledge human rights, I am sure that the majority of those born in japan are just as eager to see the process continue.

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Posted in: Police arrest wrong woman for supermarket theft See in context

tkoind2~they aren't even good at giving directions anymore because the ones hired over the last 5 years cant even read a map now that they have navi.

called the cops this week when an old man crashed on his bike and was injured. we were less than 500 meters from the koban on the same road no less... they confirmed our location on the 110 call with gps? and it took almost 20 minutes for the imbecile to arrive.. by scooter of course because the ones under 40 cant change gears ; )

dolphingirl, good call on the time... the investigation probably took that long because the boys n blue were busy hassling school girls for registrations on their bikes in order to cop a possible upshot.

met many of kyoto and osaka's finest... the lot of them are worthless at best.

cant imagine what this poor woman had to go thru.... you would think it was rocket science to conduct a basic investigation... I want my tax dollars back ; )

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Posted in: Bodies of two infants found in supermarket freezer See in context

it's a womans right before birth to 'terminate' her children in most industrialized countries, why is everybody so freaked out just because these suddenly frozen and abandoned little ones became babies instead of embyros after birth?its a brave new world right? we will see nothing but more of this the more life is continued to be legally marginalized.

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Posted in: Religious leader 'speaks' as late Matsushita founder See in context

gandhi speaks thru me and he says this guy is a total whack job ; )

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Posted in: Ice dance See in context

if mom's japanese and she put them on the family register, then they are japanese. I am sure their mom views them as japanese the way my wife thinks of my american daughter as japanese, even with her curly blond hair ; ) their speech is funny? so is the japanese of inakamono around the country. this isnt a technicality as some have written here, it is the law. good luck to them

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Posted in: Man arrested after embracing female employee in hotel See in context

simple offense, cant imagine much investigation would be involved. wonder why it took 2 months to decide to arrest the guy.....

on a brighter note, seems there are still plenty of carnivores in japan ; )

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Posted in: Mystery woman to be revealed in Gusto's campaign special See in context

Gusto had the best famiresu hamburger on the market until they dropped it from their menu last year. Haven't been back and cheese filled meatloaf wannabe doesn't hold much appeal for me because their meat is not all that good-too many fillers- kinda spongy-guess the jfolk like it that way... I think of the famiresu here in Kansai that Joyfull has the tastiest hamburger steak these days. Still lamenting over the passing of Wendy's and wondering when we will be lucky enough to get a Burger King or Taco Bell down here ; )

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Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

I suppose it is human nature for people to slam or discount what they do not understand, but I get so tired of listening to 'Japanese experts' about how dumb and soul-less the J-folk are. How can anyone who has been in Japan drone on as so many posters here have done about J folk being unable to think critically... Of course they can solve problems, think thru issues, create art etc. Does anyone really think that Americans and Europeans have come here and told the J folk how to create the finest cars and most advanced electronics in the world? Idiots created the second largest economy in the world with no raw materials and a tiny land mass that a quarter of is habitable? Thanks for the laugh.

Of course manga is dumbing, so is tv. Any studies on who watches more TV? Americans or J folk? How many Americans read a book this year? Simple people look for simple answers to complex problems.

Sure things are different, and sure there are problems but one can't compare apples to oranges. I have had 4 kids go thru the school system here so I am intimately acquainted with it. And as my children have also spent off years in American schools I am solidly convinced in the superiority of a Japanese school education. Dont get me wrong, there are problems in any system and I have wanted to pull my hair out many times but my children have no lack in acquired knowledge or the ability to think critically. If one were going to point fingers at a country unable to think critically, I think America would be a prime example as shown by their choice of presidents over the last 20 years.

If we are going to compare learning, we are going have to start with language as the base of that learning. And in Japan, that learning will take place using Kanji. It simply takes longer to learn the Kanji, and more time is spent remembering it than in countries with alphabetic languages. Chinese student need to learn twice as many kanji as Japanese so they will obviously need to study more to acquire the same level of proficiency in any subject. The short of it, American or German students can study less to acquire the same knowledge as their Japanese counterparts, and far less than their Chinese counterparts.

Yes, without a doubt, the yutori education philosophy and the changes it brought are at the root of decreasing academic performance. Who in their right mind would think that studying less would bring any other results? However there are many other factors contributing to the malaise permeating the academic community here.

One large factor is the wide spread adoption of cell phones over the last decade. I myself had learned the joyo kanji when I came here 15 years ago and remembered them as I used them for work. However, since my computer and keitai selects the kanji for me, I usually have to check my keitai now if I even write a simple note for someone... Many of my Japanese friends have suffered the same fate. Ever wonder why professors request hand written essays and resumes are written by hand?

A second looming factor is the necessity to master a second, formal, language for work and research. Though similar, the need to master and maintain a second language simply adds to the time requirements and stands as a major stumbling block to communication that western folk need not bother with.

If Japan wants to continue to use hieroglyphics to write their language, they are going to have to add substantial study time and ditch the idea that J kids can study the same amount of time as their western counterparts. Some very influential and forward thinking people actually proposed ditching Japanese as the national language for English during the Meiji period. It would have been a smart move but the Elite put a lid on that movement because it threatened their position in society. The best laid plans of mice and men....

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Posted in: Fuji TV newscaster Aiko Kaito poses in high school uniform for CD See in context

she looks great in that uniform. strike while the iron is hot is what they say so she should make the most of it before she cools down.

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Posted in: Say 'salud!' to the chairman of Japan Tequila Association See in context

best article of the year, thank you JT

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Posted in: 15-year-old boy arrested for Saitama school bomb threat See in context

bamboohat, you would have to do better than that. internet cafe's make you register so you would have to show fake id, wear a costume, and they would still get your gmail account in a heart beat by tracing the ip to the cafe, then trace the server from there, with the time the provider would give them the gmail server and gmail would give up your mail in a heartbeat because they would have the time if it wasnt sitting in the cache on the ip server.... need to hack some boxes with spoofed ips n set up a proxy network of unsuspecting xp users...

you would think that with the amount of studying to get into high school here kids would be a bit more savvy ; )

I love all these digs at saitama ; ) its just unfair.. but it is the tacoma or chino of kanto ; )

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Posted in: Tracing meat - Japan has the right idea See in context

Where are these computers and which stores have this information? I haven't seen anything like this since 2003.....since in reality, most of the meat is sold in mom n pop meat shops and small 'supers', I cant imagine they have the funds to promote this kind of program. Any body in kansai seen this promoted?

I usually buy aussie beef because as far as I know, they are still BSE free. Since most hamburger is mixed with pork here, do they trace the pigs too?

The pastry had a picture of the farmer? Yeah, when you by 50 dollar cantalopes and J beef at 20 bucks a pound, I am sure the farmer comes n shakes your hand, but how many of us are buying those specialty products for daily consumption?

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Posted in: 66-year-old woman dies after being hit by truck in Tochigi See in context

who knows what really happened but after driving here for 15 years I can agree with many of the posts here that people on bicycles here are out of their mind and exhibit no recognition that exercising their right of ways will be of little value when dead. As has been said here, every day behind the wheel is nerve racking as hell with school kids, grandmas and grandpas just dodging in and out of traffic at whim....

That being said, it is a shame that this woman lost her life regardless of the circumstances. RIP

And goddog... you think that 30 bucks a day is ridiculous compensation from a municipality that owes you nothing? Just how much do you think that the state of california would be offering you had you been run down in compton?

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