Hotbox08 comments

Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

By the way, here is a link of a youtube video showing the Yosakoi dance during the summer festival. Notice that contrary to what some posters have said, there are a lot of young people taking part in this dance. Not just for old women.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O9mJrg50JI

I simply love their costumes and high energy they show when doing the various choreographed routines.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

kyrie: You obviously got your information from Wikipedia. As for me, I'm married to a Japanese woman. Believe me, I have never done any of the things you mentioned above with her family. Every Obon, we travel to her hometown, which isn't very far from here. We go to her grandparents' grave and clean their tombstone. We then light some incense, say a prayer, and then go to a restaurant to eat lunch. Never have they dug up their bones, carry any lanterns, etc. As for the traditional Obon dancing, I have done it with in our local neighborhood and believe me, there is nothing sinister about it. It's just a bunch of people, young and old dancing around a tall platform with some people beating a taiko drum and blowing on a shakuhachi flute. The only complaint I may have about it is that some of the food is overpriced. It's about as harmless as trick-or-treating at Halloween time.

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Posted in: Jake Shimabukuro speaks to generations through the ukulele See in context

kyushujoe:

I do agree with you that the ukulele is made for some types of music while the guitar is better suited for others. It would be unfair to say that one instrument is better than the other, since they are simply made for different types of music. Jake has just been a master at pushing the envelope in what he can do with a ukulele. Watching his fingers move on the instrument really does look like "jumping fleas".

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Sounds like kyrie likes the modern, sugar-coated versions of old traditions. Me, I prefer the local bon-odori to any commercialized events they have, such as Christmas, or White Day. But hey, to each his own I guess.

Halloween is not about bringing home your dead relative from the graveyard.

Nor is Obon. Kyrie, you're reaching to think that Japanese people go to graves to dig up old relatives during Obon. They don't. In actuality, Japanese simply go to their hometowns, visit their ancestors graves to do their annual cleaning of their tombstones (which I feel is more respectful than burying them and forgetting about them forever, and letting weeds grow over), and praying to them.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Not enough flair, pizazz, or personal uniqueness or creativity added into it.

Pixilated, you obviously haven't seen a good Yosakoi dance where it can get pretty active and high-paced, where everyone is chanting "A-soran-a-soran". It is typically done in Kochi during Obon, but has spread all over Japan and is now commonly seen in summer festivals, as well as during sports festivals in elementary schools.

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Posted in: Karate kid See in context

I think they changed the title from "Karate Kid" to "Best Kid" because it wouldn't seem right to call it "karate", when it isn't even karate. They should've called it "Kung Fu Kid" instead. Then again, most people who don't practice either martial art (and others like judo, taekwondo, and kickboxing), think they are all the same. Unfortunately, stupid Hollywood movies tend to perpetuate this point.

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Posted in: A lot of bull See in context

I don't see the Japanese being nominated for animal lover awards in the near future.

Debucho; I also don't see just about any race being nominated for animal lover awards in the future. The human race as a whole is cruel. Every country has cruelty to animals in their culture. Whether it be forcing bulls (or dogs and chickens) to fight, animals to perform in circuses and marine parks, factory farming, force-feeding animals for food, or keeping animals locked up in cages; it is all cruel. It is unfortunate that our so-called intelligence makes us also the most dangerous and brutal creatures on the planet.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested for stealing woman's wallet while on train See in context

It probably made the news because this was a teacher - someone supposedly in a position of trust.

True, Fadamor, but even though it was a teacher, if it occured in a country like the U.S., it wouldn't make the evening news at all. I mean, in Japan, it's quite common to hear about on local TV news stations about your average Taro's house getting burglarized (even when no one was hurt, or no weapon used), or a fight breaking out between two people, ending with one being sent to the hospital with major injuries. I remember a friend of mine who was assaulted by a gang and had to be sent to the hospital with a broken jaw and other multiple injuries, but I never saw anything about it on the news.

We had one like that here who for 20 years preyed on boys

That sounds like an entirely different case. In the story above, I sincerely doubt the woman he stole the wallet from even knew he was a teacher, so it is not an issue of broken trust. Besides, "a teacher" is only one of many occupations which could be deemed a "position of trust". Doctors, nurses, lawyers, politicians, firefighters, civil servants, police officers, managers, train conductors, actors, news correspondents, and bus drivers are just a handful of positions. In fact, just about anyone with a full-time job position commands a certain level of "trust" from people.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested for stealing woman's wallet while on train See in context

Wow. Only in Japan would something like this make the news. Simple robberies, muggings, and burglaries often don't even make the local news back home.

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Posted in: Jolie good time See in context

Angelina Jolie is downright gorgeous, but I'd rather see her without all those tattoos. IMO, the human body (especially hers) is beautiful without anything extra. I respect those, like the Maori, who do it for cultural reasons, but celebrities are definitely only doing it for narcissistic reasons.

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Posted in: Uniqlo puts old clothes to good use See in context

Sorry, but all three websites are in Japanese.

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Posted in: Uniqlo puts old clothes to good use See in context

Good point presto. The Japan Salvation Army is a better place that accept such donations and would be better to take clothes to than Uniqlo. Red Cross Japan may accept them, but I guess you can check their website:

http://www.jrc.or.jp/index.html

The Japan Salvation Army site is located here:

http://www.salvationarmy.or.jp/

Also, the Shanti Volunteer Association also accepts donations of clothing:

http://sva.or.jp/index.html

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Posted in: Yukie Nakama masters a few tricks See in context

get a tan babe.

Why? One of the leading causes of looking older and getting more wrinkles is too much exposure to the sun. Also, there is the real danger of skin cancer. Yukie Nakama, you look absolutely fabulous just the way you are. You don't need a tan.

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Posted in: FIFA: More than 160,000 World Cup tickets still available See in context

Probably for the Japan games. :)

I doubt it since the article clearly states that "none of the 64 games are sold out"; and I don't think Japan is playing in all 64 games. It's a shame that many of the South Africans themselves can't even afford the ticket prices to see the games.

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Posted in: Date Krumm ousted from French Open See in context

Retire again...for good, please.

Stop dissing on her, man. She's an inspiration to all of us "ara-4"s. Good for her to continue playing the sport she loves. She has shown that she can still hang with those younger than her. I like her spirit.

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Posted in: au for summer See in context

iPhone? Let's face it. People don't buy an iPhone for the basic calling someone feature at all, since it is a crap PHONE. No. People buy it for the cool apps, web browsing features, and status of having one. So what an iPhone really is, is an mp3 player / web browser / game player, etc. which happens to have a phone function built in.

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Posted in: No train trip would be complete without an ekiben boxed lunch See in context

The best ekiben for me is the "gyutan" (cow's tongue) donburi bento you can get from Sendai station, which automatically becomes hot with the pull of a string at the bottom of the bento.

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Posted in: Anti-base ad See in context

I totally agree that the excuse of having U.S. military bases here as a deterrent against military attacks from China or North Korea, is lame. They won't attack. They know that there will be too many negative rammifications if they did attack Japan. They have too much to lose for going down that path. I still can't believe that people actually continue to use that as an argument for having U.S. military bases stationed in Okinawa.

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Posted in: Anti-base ad See in context

It would have been more accurate to print: "Would you like 30 FOREIGN military bases in your backyard". After all, I never hear of any protests coming from locals living in areas where SDF bases are located.

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Posted in: Baseball campaigns to return to Olympics See in context

baseball and softball are yawnfests.

I can name a whole lot of so-called "yawnfests" in the Olympics: racewalking, equestrian, pistol shooting, archery, shotput, weightlifting, diving, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, marathon running, and other long distance running events like the 10k run and steeplechase. Even long distance swimming events can be boring since all they do is go back and forth in a pool many times. I also don't like watching "sports" that I find much more exciting playing it myself (e.g. badminton and table tennis).

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Posted in: Baseball campaigns to return to Olympics See in context

Smithinjapan: Nice hearing from you.

I notice you didn't mention "men's ice hockey",

That's because I'm fully aware that men's hockey has a huge following and unlike women's ice hockey, is played around the world. Men's ice hockey deserves to be in the Olympics, and it wouldn't be fair for the women to simply ride the coattails of the men's side, since quite frankly, it doesn't belong.

On the other hand, baseball enjoys a following and is often played in over 100 countries around the world. To add, it's popularity is growing in many European countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia, etc., South American countries such as Argentinia and Chile, and even in countries such as Iran and Israel. They all have men's leagues playing as well as some form of little leagues for kids. Granted many of the programs are quite small, but their skill levels are growing, as is the interest in baseball itself. The international level is much like how it was in basketball about 10 years ago.

This is yet another attempt by the few countries who want medals to get others who cannot possibly win them to vote the event into play.

Well if you are talking about 20-30 countries a few, then you would be correct, since I can count that many that would be interested in seeing baseball as an Olympic sport (U.S., Canada, Japan, Chinese Taipei, China, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, Thailand, Philippines, just to name those that are ranked in the top 20 that regularly send teams to qualifying tournaments, as well as others who play it enough to send a team, such as Israel and Iran.). That would be more interest than a lot of sports which are in the Olympics already.

but we are talking the OLYMPICS, when you need to start from childhood.

I would have to disagree, since many people use the Olympics as simply a way to be on a big stage. Many countries send athletes that just don't belong in it in the first place. It simply makes for really touching stories. Do you really think an Ethiopian runner started cross-country skiing since childhood? I'm sure there would be a number of athletes that are left out of the Olympics that would be far more competitive than those types of athletes.

Way back when, when I was in university,

I can understand that it must have been a frustrating experience, but then again, that was "way back then". Nowadays, the world is catching up. More people in the world know about baseball. Heck, there was a time when I didn't know what cricket and rugby were, but now I do and have developed a greater appreciation for those sports.

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Posted in: Baseball campaigns to return to Olympics See in context

In addition, even though only about 20 nations regularly send baseball teams to world competitions, it doesn't mean there are not other countries that have either a minor league type of system, or play it as a form of recreation. In fact, there are over 100 countries that play baseball in some form or manner. Countries like Bulgaria, Israel, and Greece have their own little league or rec clubs with people of all ages playing and following it earnestly. For more info you can check out this website:

http://internationalbaseball.org/

From this website, you can follow the links in various countries about their following of the sport of baseball.

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Posted in: Baseball campaigns to return to Olympics See in context

Baseball should be brought back since there are a lot more competitive teams (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Australia, Puerto Rico, Cuba) than a sport like women's ice hockey (U.S., Canada, and ummmm USA). In addition, the amount of players from foreign countries playing in MLB has steadily been increasing, with the bulk coming from latin american countries, but many others coming from countries such as Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, etc. Besides, I would much rather see baseball in the Olympics, than something so boring like racewalking, or trampoline. Who needs to see someone walking, or simply bouncing up and down.

It is also incredibly slow and agonisingly dull,

Yes, it can be slow, but I wouldn't say it is dull, since there is strategy involved, and more often than not, you get close games rather than the blowouts you often see in sports like basketball. Again, it is a lot more exciting than racewalking, trampoline, equestrian, archery, pistol shooting, bobsled (which is just a bunch of people going really fast), weightlifting (people simply lifting heavy weights), and all those "see-how-far-you-can-throw-an-object" events (discus, hammer, shotput, javelin). Maybe turd-throwing might be more interesting.

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Posted in: 11 Siberian tigers starve to death in Chinese zoo See in context

You can tell a lot about a country by its treatment of animals.

That's so true, Helter Skelter. Unfortunately, I don't know of many countries that doesn't have some form of cruelty to its animals. China has its Siberian tiger (and a host of other animals kept in captivity) cruelty, Japan has it's Taiji dolphin hunt, the U.S. has a thriving dog fighting business, Spain has its treatment of bulls in the bullfighting rings as well as "the running of the bulls", some countries have no real laws monitoring how animals are treated in circuses, Indonesia and China has the fact that they often capture and slowly kill monkeys for their brains to be eaten fresh, etc.

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Posted in: 11 Siberian tigers starve to death in Chinese zoo See in context

Oh my, more cruelty to animals. The producers of "The Cove" could make another movie in China. It could be a start of an animal cruelty series. I'm sure this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Cramped cages, feeding off of chicken bones? Horrible.

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

IMO showing the brutality makes me sicker to the stomach, than hearing that the meat is laced with mercury.

Good point, haoushokuhaki. I agree. There will always be the casual eater who is tempted to try dolphin or whale meat once. Even the threat of getting mercury poisoning will not stop them. After all, can you really die or get any debilitating effects from trying it just once? No, it takes eating it on a daily basis. That being said, the best way to do it is to show people the savage nature in which these intelligent mammals are killed. In this way, this movie, "The Cove" does this well. People who watch this film will be sick to their stomachs. It's like in driving school where they show you the video of violent, bloody car crashes to show you how dangerous driving is and why you should always be careful. It's called the shock treatment. Showing people how brutal the killings are will have a greater effect than telling them it contains mercury. Heck, with all the chemical additives and preservatives in food nowadays, and how people have been warned of the effects of eating a whole range of types of food, people still eat them because a slow death means nothing to them.

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Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

Hopefully, we all stop paying to see dolphins leap out of the water in captivity. Let them be free and stop going to Disney Sea and all the other places that hold them.

Uh, since when has DisneySea ever had dolphins. As far as I know, they don't. You must be thinking about Walt Disney World Epcot Center in Florida.

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Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

Good to see that most posters agree that cruel acts to animals such as these barbaric killing of dolphins and whales, and their confinement in marine parks is wrong and should be stopped. I'm sure it will serve as a notice to all other nations doing these types of acts to quit their agendas as well.

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

You can find the other information on the web,

Good point. The Humane Society International website has a lot more information concerning cruelty to animals.

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Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

Dude, it's in school lunches all over the place. Not on a daily basis, but in some areas it is offered once in a while. Hell, it's even said so in a number of the threads on this subject! How can you question it?

smithinjapan: Sorry, I guess it's because I never had a chance to work in Wakayama. I was stationed in Tokyo and Chiba schools for about 5 years, but never in those five years did I experience (and thank god I didn't) eating whale or dolphin meat. I guess if it isn't served in one area, doesn't mean it isn't served in another area. Thanks for clearing that up.

In any case, I agree with you that hunting dolphins and whale worldwide is bad. I also think that cruelty in all forms to all animals is bad and has often times been covered up by too many people. I guess this movie helps to bring that fact to light and everyone's awareness.

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