Japan Today

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Posted in: Runaround See in context

Moe...may I please run with you????

Moe...may I please run directly behind you????

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Posted in: Japan stocks soar on financial sector hopes See in context

Well, now that that pesky financial crisis is over, it's back to credit default swaps for me!

And I suppose I can dispense with all the batteries and canned food I stockpiled.

Thank you, Citibank, for showing us the way out!

:)

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Posted in: Blackmail on an institutional scale See in context

I feel sorry for the author. He obviously has a hard time organizing his thoughts.

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Posted in: Scorsese plans film on early Japanese Christians See in context

Don't forget that Japan's rulers embraced Christianity before later deciding to crush it. I guess you could say they voted for it before they voted against it.

Silence is an excellent book. Great stuff.

As for not filming in Japan? I figure there are four reasons, in no particular order: 1) cost; 2) bureaucracy; 3) lack of competent English language support; and 4) lack of mountain vistas unmarred by power lines.

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Posted in: Men's bras getting a lot of support See in context

"It's not a bra! It's a pectoral muscle supporter!"

("ブラじゃないよっ!! 大胸筋矯正サポーターだよぉぉ!")

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Posted in: Toki no Sumika See in context

I hadn't realized that solar power could generate light bulbs. That's some pretty miraculous technology. :)

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Posted in: Marugoto potato See in context

"Lotteria said it is using Hokkaido potatoes and Japanese salt to suit the taste of Japanese consumers. "

Alright, y'all, break out yer long intestines!

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Posted in: New Pastapot See in context

Although "Hibiki Bussan" is, I'm sure, a perfectly proper name for a company, it somehow makes be think "snoring ugly person". Just the hibiki of it, I guess. :)

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Posted in: Nikkei plunges 9% to 5-year low on panic selling See in context

Smith,

It's the biggest single-day drop in 21 years, but it ended at the lowest level in 5.

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Posted in: Candidates See in context

You notice that they put Aso in the center.

It has already been decided.

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Posted in: Koike emerges as contender for prime minister See in context

"“The front-runner is Aso. That’s for sure. For the LDP, Koike is a gamble,” said Hidekazu Kawai, honorary professor of politics at Gakushuin University in Tokyo."

Really, shouldn't that be "professor emeritus"? If you call him an "honorary professor", it sounds as if he isn't a real professor.

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Posted in: It’s time to get rid of a few Olympic 'sports' See in context

Fun commentary. Thanks.

(I'm taking it in the spirit in which it was intended.)

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Posted in: New Lumix digital cameras See in context

Beelzebub,

Not exactly. Remember that Panasonic beat Ricoh to the game with the LX1, which incidentally had the same pop-up flash. Besides, the Ricoh has a fixed focal-length lens; the LX3 has a zoom. I'll concede that the Ricoh (and the Sigma DP-1) are probably what inspired Panny to add a hot shoe.

Actually, you'll see that the LX3 looks a lot more like its ancestors (the LX1 and LX2) than it does like the GR.

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Posted in: New Lumix digital cameras See in context

The LX3 is looking pretty good to me. Besides the fact that they didn't get out of hand with the megapixels, it looks as if the larger sensor and improved processing algorithms mean better noise performance than previous Pannies. (I'm not just quoting the market-speak here; I actually downloaded some ISO test samples over the weekend and printed them out.)

It's still not as good as the Fuji cameras for noise performance, but it's getting closer, and with that bright lens you have a stop or more of exposure advantage anyway. You also get at least some control over depth of field (large-ish sensor, bright lens).

Looks like a killer social camera.

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Posted in: Supreme Court says U.S. Constitution gives Americans right to own guns See in context

RedMeatKoolAid,

You conveniently neglect to mention that the murder rate was back down to 35.4 by 2005. Gun laws aside, most cities experienced a crime wave in the 90s that has since receded.

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Posted in: Lower house passes confidence resolution to counter Fukuda censure motion See in context

Next: Opposition parties pass no confidence resolution to counter confidence resolution passed by lower house to counter censure motion.

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Posted in: How would you compare people's manners in public in Tokyo with other cities around the world? See in context

Taka and lipscombe are onto it, I think. The theory I've come up with recently is that Japanese politeness generally radiates forward in a 30-degree or 45-degree cone. Come within the cone and you will be treated very kindly; fall outside of it and you don't exist. This is why the average Japanese person, as long as he doesn't turn around, will happily block a narrow aisle in a store for a good ten minutes while disgruntled shoppers pile up behind him.

Car windshields block the cone, and of course the cone can be redirected so as to avoid having to be polite to someone.

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Posted in: Japanese swimmers get green light to use Speedo LZR Racer See in context

I'm so used to hearing superfluous vowels at the end of foreign loan words in Japanese that I thought the people on the news were saying "speed" instead of "Speedo". "LZR racer" also sounds suspiciously close to "leather racer", which would be a pretty amusing swimsuit, I imagine.

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Posted in: Read Real Japanese Essays See in context

Another thing: The "schoolmarm Japanese" extends all the way to how Japanese is tested. Anyone who thinks that translation should be a piece of cake after passing 1-kyuu really ought to read this book. For starters, real-world Japanese sentences are typically three times longer than any sentence in the 1-kyuu reading section, and contain less information (like subjects) by which to orient yourself.

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Posted in: Read Real Japanese Essays See in context

Fantastic idea. I have used Murakami's essays as a learning tool for myself in the past; it's a great idea, because for a learner, a short essay is much more digestible and therefore less discouraging than a full-length novel. I can attest that Murakami's essays are very engaging and insightful. Heck, I might even pick up this book.

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Posted in: The two-wheel revolution See in context

Any cycle lane that actually gets built will be understood to be a parking lane by motorists.

I'm amazed that the author feels safer on the streets than on the sidewalk. Sure, the sidewalk can be perilous and frustrating, but it's nothing compared to the streets, where motorists are angry that you are sharing their space AT ALL.

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