Howaitosan comments

Posted in: New cabinet minister seeks to stem shrinking population See in context

One word, guys ---- IMMIGRATION! Japan has to get over the hurdle of avoiding this option.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

Posted in: Police believe murdered girl, missing boy were taken near train station See in context

I have to agree with Yurabu. This is terrible and tragic, but what were those two children doing wandering around at that time of night??

I grew up in New Zealand in the early 1960s, when no one even locked their doors when they went out, but my parents would NEVER have allowed me to go out unsupervised after dark.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan must apologise for WWII until it is forgiven: Novelist Murakami See in context

"An apology takes two parties to mean anything, one to make the apology and the other to accept it. From what I've seen South Korea accepted it in 1965 and China accepted it in 1972. But the changed their minds many decades later. Why?"

Because it was politically expedient to do so. It makes sense for the political leaders of both China and South Korea to have a permanent "bad guy" in Japan that they can use to divert their populations' attention from their own shortcomings; when things go wrong, they can always point the finger at Japan and get a predictable (because carefully constructed) reaction.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Group of teenage Thai actors punished for dancing on Japanese train See in context

If the Japanese people could see what kids do on the trains here in Melbourne, Australia, they would have heart attacks. Dumping their school bags in the aisle so people have to climb over them; groups sitting on the floor in the aisles and doorways; doing back-flips while hanging off the poles or hand-holds; pole-dancing; singing; dancing; loud conversations on their phones and/or with each other.

I understand that these kids may have upset a few people, but turning this into an international incident is completely absurd.

People need to chill out.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Saga Prefecture targets foreign tourists with weird commercial See in context

I kind of liked it in a weird way.

But I have to say - it does look as if it's aimed (a little bit) at the Gay male market. I am Gay, and I thought the young man in it was being a little 'playful' - but that might just be my take on it. Straight women might think the same thing.

However, it DID make me want to visit Saga, if only to see what kind of place would produce such a bizarre add.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong See in context

My Dad told me that, during the war, the men used to put a blanket underneath their sleeping bag for extra warmth. I tried it and it works! Try putting a blanket under your bottom sheet - you'll be amazed at how much warmer you are.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Harajuku-themed music video improves Pharrell Williams’ 'Happy' with sumo, bears, and robots See in context

Extremely cool :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tarantino says he's finally calmed down after film leak See in context

I've never understood what people see in Tarantino's movies, or in the man himself for that matter. I sat through Pulp Fiction only because a friend had bought me the ticket. It didn't impress me; I found it consisted largely of gratuitous violence, as do all his movies.

I have only see one other Tarantino film - Jackie Brown - which I thought was OK, but only because the lead gave a truly stunning performance. I have never seen another of his movies and I probably never will.

Frankly, while his script writing is very good, I find his adolescent attraction to blood-letting at once offensive and absurd. He has all the subtlety of a high-speed train-wreck, both as a film-maker and, if the interviews I've seen are anything to go by, as a person; so do his films.

Like all mediocre directors, his one true talent is in choosing his actors. He has a knack of attracting people with real talent that effectively masks his own lack of it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: 4 students arrested for beating up younger student See in context

"...nothing will happen to them because of their age."

Something would damn well happen to them if the were MY kids; they wouldn't be able to sit down for a week for starters.

Then I'd march them round to the victims house in broad daylight and make them publicly apologise.

Why do parent allow their children to do these things without some kind of reprimand? NO child of mine would hit another child for any reason but self-defense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Okinawan plant holds promise of elixir of youth See in context

So - eat ghetto, boost your niacin levels and drink red wine and you could live forever! Sounds like a plan :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: If you're low-income, here's what you're doing wrong See in context

What a load of guano! The writers and editors of Spa! (not to mention Tokio Godo) should try living on or below the poverty line for a while; let's see if they feel the same way when they can't afford the latest gimcrack fashion accessory or “lifestyle experience”. Maybe they wouldn’t be quite so eager to blame the victim if they WERE one. Of course, we will all die of old-age long before any of them have the gonadal fortitude to actually DO that; I imagine they’re far too attached to their expensive comforts to be able to give them up, even for a day.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Remains of missing girl found in forest in Fukuoka See in context

The child died 7 years ago; the body discovered was "a few years old" - which means about 3 or 4; the mother is 27. Do the math; she had the child when she was about 16 or 17.

I echo Justusleague's question; where is the father? More to the point, where are the mother's parents? Lots of questions here and few answers so far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese auto parts makers announce pay cuts over price-fixing See in context

Well ... you guys may think it's "laughable"; personally, I think it's great.

If the same situation were happening here in Australia, the only pay-cuts that would happen would be for the workers on the shop floor, not the executives. The company would simply shed a few staff - starting with cleaners, receptionists, and other "expendables" - and/or put their prices up to cover the cost of the fines; in other words, someone else would pay - not the people who broke the law.

Just be glad you live in a country where executives actually have to pay for their errors instead of just giving themselves a pay rise.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ise Shrine: Where everything old is new again See in context

We were there in Summer this year, just as the building work was being completed. In the courtyard just before the main gate at the Geku, there is a tea-shop that serves Kakigori with red-bean paste.

A fantastic way to cool down on a VERY hot Summer day!!!

Also, the shops along the O-Harai Machi are full of the most wonderful things. Take a full day to see both these shirnes; don't try to pack them in with other sites or you just won't get to see all there is to see.

Make sure to take the time to visit the smaller shrines scattered throughout both complexes; there are some beautiful little gems tucked away down shaded paths.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korean paper says A-bombs on Japan were 'divine punishment' See in context

I think the article says more about the screwed-up religious beliefs of the person who wrote it than anything else. Another delusional fruit-bat of a fundamentalist Christian; just ignore it and it will go away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: NZ lawmaker calls for Western airlines to ban Muslim passengers See in context

New Zealand First is a joke and hardly anyone takes them seriously. It's only New Zealand's rather odd representational electoral system that allows them to have any voice at all.

If even a bone-head like Winston Peters is rejecting this idiot's comments, you can guarantee that the vast majority of Kiwis will be doing so as well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: More Japanese choosing fertilizer as burial option See in context

We scattered my father's ashes in a native bush reserve where he played as a child and which he had always loved; we scattered my grandfather's ashes out at sea, which he had always loved. Neither of them has a grave-stone, or any kind of marker, but we don't feel we need one; after all, the memories of them are always with us anyway, and when I look at the sea or walk through the bush, I'm reminded of them.

What more is needed?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. teachers take up arms to prevent mass shootings See in context

And the answer to America's increasing number of mass shootings is .......... PUT MORE GUNS OUT THERE!!!! This is a whole new definition of "stupid".

The first thing the US should do to control the situation is to outlaw the NRA; and if they insist on having guns in every home, someone should use one to do the country a favour and shoot Wayne LaPierre.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Revealed: secrets of ancient Chinese medicinal herb See in context

I can never understand it when modern medical scientists express surprise when one of these ancient remedies proves to be effective. Chinese traditional medicine has a 5,000 year history; that is one hell of a long clinical trial!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: $1.35 mil giant robot KURATAS draws more than 3,000 orders See in context

You mean ..... it doesn't fly??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese universities in crisis - what they can learn from Europe See in context

The responses to this article make me think of one of my favourite sayings: 'There are two kinds of fool in the world; one says 'this is old and therefore good' (Japanese Universities are perfect the way they are) - the other says 'this is new and therefore better' (Japanese Universities need to copy the West wholesale)". Neither attitude is in any way helpful.

Sugita’s article is apt and to the point – and reflective of similar articles currently circulating about Universities in the West (at least those in my country, Australia). There is much that the West can learn from Japan, both educationally and socially; there is also much that Japan needs to learn from the West – the moribund nature of much of the commentary on this and other fora makes that abundantly clear.

As a graduate of a major Australian University (M. Ed) who now works as an academic, I can assure you that the same kind of debate is happening here right now, especially with regard to the learning of Asian languages and cultures.

Both educational communities can and should learn about those practices and philosophies that have proven most effective in their own as well as each other’s institutions and initiate those changes at the legislative, bureaucratic, institutional and immediate pedagogic levels that will result in the best outcomes for both their educational cultures and, most importantly, their students.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Squeezing into a capsule hotel room in Japan See in context

I've never stayed in a capsule hotel, but I don't think it would bother me all that much; I'm quite used to "roughing it" in far less salubrious accommodation - I'm sure they beat the heck out of sleeping on a friend’s couch.

As for the bathing arrangements; I loved the first Sento I ever went to and went back every night I was in the area (which was often). As a Kiwi, I have less of a problem with being publically nude than I most Americans of my acquaintance, so stripping in front of others is no problem for me. I just wish there was a public bathhouse in my current locale (sadly, not).

I’ll have to try a capsule hotel next time I’m in Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Transsexual denied recognition as father See in context

We cannot allow legal conditions and factors to be determined solely by the perceptions of each individual of themselves.

We are who we are.

If you fail to see the extremem irony of both these concepts being posited by the same person in the same post, there is no hope for you.

You have managed to completely contradict your own orgument in a few sentences.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Posted in: Transsexual denied recognition as father See in context

Neversubmit, shiofuki, wtfjapan, HonestDictator; you guys have SO much to learn about psychology and human sexuality. Go back to the books and READ about this stuff before you comment again so that you prevent yourselves from looking even more backward and stupid than you already have.

20 ( +23 / -2 )

Posted in: Australia sets new strategy to engage with Asia See in context

Hmmmmm ...... let's wait and see what the reality will be. My experience in Australia (and I'm distinctly Anglo) is that there is still a definite undercurrent of racism here, albeit fading as the immediate post-war generation dies out. Furthermore, the whole idea of 'engagement with Asia' seems to be predicated on a purely economic basis; the idea of affiliation on any other level is seen as neither necessary nor desirable by many. As my Japanese partner who has lived here for over 20 years often notes, while most Australians as individuals are generally welcoming and friendly, Australia as a nation is rarely prepared to cross the bridge when it comes to other cultures; most of the traffic seems to be in the other direction.

While this initiative sounds good on paper (and I have yet to see the details) the situation on the ground may not be so positive. Learning a language at high-school is certainly beneficial; the problem is when you want to extend that linguistic and cultural study to a higher level. Universities across Australia are adopting a slash-and-burn approach to Humanities Departments, including languages and cultural studies. My old Alma Mater recently made a move to excise Indonesian as a subject (thwarted by an intense response from the student and academic bodies), and Swinburne abolished its languages department in totality years ago. Cultural studies generally are under threat in most universities in the country. This does not bode well for the hoped-for goals outlined by Gillard.

Engagement with another nation or region takes a great deal more than teaching the kids how to speak a foreign language. In my opinion, Australia has a long way to go before it achieves the capacity to truly engage with the cultures that surround it in any meaningful way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 5 challenges of working for a major English conversation school See in context

Wow! I've spent the last few years getting myself qualified in TESOL so that I and my Japanese partner can live and work there; all this is making me question whether or not that was such a good idea (not that I have much choice - I'm not qualified to do anything else). Aren't there any people who have had positive experiences teaching English in Japan? I can't believe that all the schools are just there to rip the teachers off and treat them like office furniture.

As for the working hours and times; obviously many people posting here think a regular 9-5 job is what everyone does. I have worked much stranger hours and longer shifts - and no, not as a barman. Try working in a major public hospital, especially in ICU or A&E; they make the hours mentioned above seem easy. Plus I don’t imagine that conversation-school students bleed on their teachers very often.

As for wearing a tie, presenting a positive attitude to clients, turning up on time (I am almost always at least half an hour early) - this is called "being professional" where I come from. Anyone who has consistently worked in a customer service environment should have no problem with all that – if you did have a problem, you wouldn’t last very long in that line of work.

I don’t imagine that all English language schools are heaven on earth and I’ve no doubt the work is demanding – most teaching positions are. But the conditions outlined in this article don’t seem all that terrible to me. I think some of the respondents might be being a little precious. I will be careful, of course, and do my research before I get there. But I’m sure that it is quite possible to find a worthwhile and satisfying job teaching English in Japan.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

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