jcapan comments

Posted in: Yokozuna Hakuho reprimanded for leading cheer after his victory See in context

I was ready to sympathize with him, that he continues to have to put up with these cheerless troglodytes, but then I got to the end:

Despite his most recent brush with the JSA over sumo procedure and protocol, it was revealed last week that Hakuho has applied for a renunciation of his nationality in order to acquire Japanese citizenship -- a requirement of all foreign wrestlers wishing to become sumo elders.

If he's willing to do this then he's obviously OK being a good little soldier. Ironic that Japan's own prodigal son of the sumo world, Takanohana, had a far more iconoclastic and rebellious nature. Like Ama and Asashoryu, who were unceremoniously drummed out of the sport, I find myself having far greater respect for them than Hakuho.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Half of Americans back stronger role of religion in society See in context

Japan has it right? The Japanese essentially have no religions per se.

Reverse that and my answer would be yup.

Throwing “fundamentalism” into the topic is an old ploy. Every religious person is supposed to be a fundamentalist? Sorry, but they aren’t.

We're not talking about "every religious person," we're talking about half of Americans who advocate a "stronger role of religion in society." And, yes, those people are overwhelmingly fundamentalist Christians.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you believe Carlos Ghosn will receive a fair trial in Japan? See in context

I'd say the trial itself will be as fair as one might expect in many countries. The problem, however, is that it's largely a show trial. Guilt is all but assured long before a trial commences. What's unfair in Japan is hostage justice, forcefully extracting a confession from defendants. Judge and jury are left with little to do once prosecutors have worked their magic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Half of Americans back stronger role of religion in society See in context

Europe has it right, as does Japan in this regard, largely secular societies that have long realized fundamentalism is a plague on society.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Man threatens police officer in 'koban' with box cutter knife; demands handgun See in context

Police said Takeda told them he needed money and wanted the gun to commit robberies.

Sure, get yer gun at the getting place. Aside from the routine lunacy and regularity of this nonsense, I daresay a box cutter would work just fine for robberies. Unless of course, he simply wanted 3 hots and a cot. He must have heard how cushy Ghosn has it in lockup.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Woman, 3-year-old daughter killed, 8 others injured after car, garbage truck collide in Tokyo See in context

I await the solution--banning drivers over 70 during the Olympics.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Trump, first lady to visit Japan as state guests May 26-28 See in context

Abe has built close personal ties with Trump, putting priority on strengthening the long-standing bilateral security alliance through a series of face-to-face talks and telephone conversations.

Fake news. Abe's nose is so brown Akie mistook it for chocolate. One right winger toadying up to another right winger who's perfectly happy to watch this country fully remilitarize is not news. Sadly, even Obama did nothing as the stage was set for this lurch backwards--in fact, his hawkish administration pulled the rug out from under Minshuto for having the temerity to question their status as a vassal state.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Posted in: Consumption tax hike may be delayed depending on June data: PM aide See in context

Yes, let's rely on the "data," bookcooking and inaccuracies or not. Let's ignore the conditions on the ground as experienced by the people living, working and dying in this country, which are increasingly poor to desperate. Let's just continue to elect they same patrician lords who are chauffeured about by drivers in white gloves. If only it was in gilded carriages perhaps people would catch on.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor performs ritual to report abdication to Shinto gods See in context

Guess I'm the only one who respects the emperor and his spouse but thinks it's unconstitutional and offensive that they're performing religious rituals with my tax dollars. They may be benign as can be but the government is not. Normalizing state shintoist rituals is of a piece with their larger agenda--historical/constitutional revision.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: TEPCO to employ foreign workers at Fukushima plant under new visa system See in context

Absolutely shameful. And, oh yes, unsurprising. This should be the headline for the entire program. Importing subhuman resources to clean up our messes.

Any country allowing their citizens to sign up for such nonsense is also culpable IMO.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Half of foreigners in Tokyo have experienced discrimination: survey See in context

one thing I hate is meeting mothers at the park (I have a dog) and they immediately erupt into conversations of English education.

While I wouldn't say hate, this does grow old. It's a daily occurrence on my private railway. In my case it's mostly JHS kids who do it. See a white guy, of course he must be a Yank, and suddenly turn to a discussion of your English lessons. It'd be like seeing a Mexican in San Diego and start raving about the fish tacos. With housewives, I simply think they're incapable of discussing anything beyond food or their child's education.

I have lived here since 1991 and I have to say discrimination today is MILD compared to then...

Generally agree. Twenty years ago, during my first stint, my mates and I got a lot of batsu arm gestures when trying to enter shops, onsen, bars etc. But as a white guy who's pretty well off, living in a nice area, married into a good family, I also realize I'm privileged. The Vietnamese and Nepali kids I teach have stories to share, let's put it that way.

I really don't care anymore. In my early days here I was denied apartments and refused service at a food place once but my life here is generally great and I won't let some idiot upset my day like that.

This is the great way to look at it. And if your biggest complaint is the empty seat or people not helping you in the shoe store, or as above, nice kids on the train using your presence to segue into discussions of Eigo, why not? Clearly, it's not nearly as benign for the growing underclass of foreigners the government is doing little to integrate or protect.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Man fires gun snatched from police officer in Yokohama See in context

In some countries, he'd be dead, so I guess this is good news. Watched a young female cop on a scooter stop a belligerent oyaji yesterday. She was pleading with him to get back in his car so she could write him a ticket. Meanwhile, he's screaming at her. Of course, the squad care with her superior, male cop was driving up the street by this pt. Walking home with my daughter, I said in your other country he'd have been beaten into submission by now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump expected to watch sumo on May 26 during Japan visit See in context

Invite Boris Johnson at the same time and let them have at it. I still can't get that scene of him tackling the Japanese schoolboy out of my mind. Maybe throw in Putin, he could judo flip the whales out of the dohyo.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: NHK reporter laughed at for asking black hole team for more on Japan’s contributions See in context

What jpn_guy said. Any person or nation that feeds off praise to such a ridiculous extent is deeply insecure, literally almost crippled by it. Why such constant external validation is necessary when you're obviously so great and wonderful to begin with... Confident people or nations who know their strengths don't care.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's Olympic minister resigns over 2011 disaster remarks See in context

a gaffe that had questioned his credentials

Gaffes don't ask questions. And as ever a gaffe does not nor has it ever meant stupidly revealing your true feelings. A gaffe is saying something like Prime Minister Shinzo b/c you're simply too dumb or lazy to learn a man's surname. Saying the election of depraved officials is more important than mere reconstruction in disaster hit areas, that's called an opinion. A profoundly stupid or a politically wrong-footed opinion, yes, but still not a gaffe.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't lifts evacuation order in parts of Fukushima nuclear plant hometown See in context

The Guardian had an article about this yesterday:

> Part of Okuma is also being used as an interim storage site for millions of cubic metres of toxic soil gathered during an unprecedented decontamination drive to reduce radiation to levels that would enable tens of thousands of evacuees to return home.

The government has vowed to move the soil out of Fukushima prefecture by 2045, but has yet to find a permanent storage site.

So in lieu of storing such waste on site, containing the effects of the disaster in a small area that will never be fully repopulated, the government remains determined to distribute it across the archipelago. I remain convinced they prefer this absurd policy b/c it's the best way to ignore that the disaster ever happened. As long as they can build a few Potemkin Villages near the plant, with tiny settlements of mostly elderly people, everything can be forgotten.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Trailer released for Makoto Shinkai’s new anime, 'Weathering with You' See in context

That title is godawful

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan’s top 5 baby names since April 1 contain kanji character for ‘rei’ See in context

Only natural when the government seems ever determined to create subjects of the state. And what does your name mean, Reiwa? "Government mandated harmony"? Oh, that's so, err, lovely.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Takata air bags claim another life after Arizona crash See in context

The owner of the Honda in the crash purchased the Civic used less than three months before the death. But there is no federal requirement that used car sellers have the cars repaired or inform buyers of any unrepaired recall problems.

I'm sure some will just chalk this up to caveat emptor, especially for those purchasing older model used cars, but since the value of any sale would obviously be diminished by full disclosure of a car's history, perhaps there should be such a requirement. I know if I sold the guy that car, I'd feel guilty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Janet Jackson, Radiohead, The Cure enter Rock Hall of Fame See in context

First concert I ever went to was The Cure (Kissing Tour, I think it was). I may not listen to them much anymore but at 17 they blew my mind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 613,000 Japanese aged 40-64 considered recluses: survey See in context

Agree that "retired" folks who opt to keep to themselves seem an odd example of hikikomori. Depends if we're talking about older people who are still doing their own shopping, going to doctors when necessary etc. If they're literally never leaving their flat, that's something else entirely. Of course, this doesn't mean it's the state's responsibility to do anything about it. But as the article indicates, many who are suffering do want help.

That said, since the upper age-bracket concerned here is 40-64, I wonder if they really mean retirement or if this also includes those who quit their jobs or were let go at a younger age b/c they couldn't function well in regular society? Especially for men--who make up the majority--how many Japanese men have you met who stop working entirely before the age of 65? In my long experience, I've know one who completely stopped working at 58, no amakudari gig, no PT jobs, nothing. My wife tells me even her bedridden mother in her 70s is considered hikikomori. As if she has options to go out.

As for the younger group, of adult age, if they're not hurting anyone, if their families are well off enough to care for them, then the government can't do much about it. But without question many of these young people suffer from mental health issues and had they received proper care years ago (and less enabling by their families worried about the stigma attached to mental health treatment) they'd probably be more productive members of society and without question far happier than being shut off in tiny rooms for the entirety of their lives. There's a reason why many consider solitary confinement a form of torture. Just b/c you're embracing that option yourself doesn't lessen its impact on your psyche.


The definition of hikikomori is extremely vague.

No it's not:

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry defines hikikomori as people who have remained isolated at home for at least six consecutive months, not going to school or work and not interacting with people outside their family.

So when you say:

Further, as someone who is retired and does not drink alcohol, I do my best to avoid social engagement in Japan (or in Britain). If I want to go six months or more without a social life, that's my business and my business alone.

Does this mean you're not leaving the house for 6 months at a clip or you're simply not talking to people or socializing much when you do leave your house several times a week? Avoiding your neighbors or not joining the retirees' movie club doesn't make you a shut in--it just means you're anti social.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Record 3,500 people involved in cannabis cases in Japan in 2018 See in context

Japan does not want all the huge drug problems of The West.

Keep your outrage and Reagan-era "say no to drug" messaging directed at the yakuza who are bringing the drugs in and profiting immensely from sales.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump threatens closure of U.S.-Mexico border next week to stem asylum surge See in context

Why not shut down all international inbound air travel?

I think this is why republicans support AOC's effort take all our planes away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Bloom times See in context

What Jonathan said. For your roof after typhoon damage, sure, but why someone can't make a green or brown or even pink tarp for hanami season. It's ghastly. Orange cones and blue tarps--it's an assault on aesthetics.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 613,000 Japanese aged 40-64 considered recluses: survey See in context

The BBC had an interesting short video about one service trying to get hikikomori out of their homes:


Either a hikikomori's father or mother provided financially for their shut-in child in 34.1 percent of cases, and some families rely solely on a parent's pension.

What happens when their elderly parents become infirm or die?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto University remains top of Japanese university rankings in 2019 See in context

zichi, that's accurate. Having worked at both, that's about the norm--some of the private uni's being higher of course. Makes you wonder if families are forcing kids into 20-hour study regiments b/c they're rankings obsessed or b/c they'll save 50,000$ for their kid's education.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't held secret meetings in 2005 about allowing females to ascend throne, documents show See in context

At least Koizumi was a forward thinker

While I didn't think so at the time, he sure is preferable to Abe. For those of us who remember, Koizumi and W. touring Graceland seems relatively benign compared to the current nichibei-kankei.

Anyway, I imagine this idea will be buried by conservatives for the next 70 years given Hisahito's age. In the meantime, so many women will shine that we'll have to wear shades.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump calls Smollett case embarrassment; announces review See in context

You would think that, but not in the big cities and rural America or the flyover States

What's left, the Florida Keys?

the Democrats always mock and make fun of the heartland and again further reason as to why you are seeing more and more blacklash

Some democrats admittedly sneer. It is a terrible practice on the part of smug hipsters in Brooklyn and far too many Hillary Clinton supporters. But millions of democrats do not think this way, some 13 million voters who supported Sanders and no doubt millions of other progressives who don't vote.

Obviously, none of this will impact you as you'll continue making sweeping generalizations about liberals. Not to mention conflating legitimate mockery of moronic elected officials and republicans wielding power with union workers in Wisconsin or Michigan. Bush the 2nd might have liked to clear brush on his ranch but he wasn't a working man. Trump might like to pretend he's a man of the people but he was born wearing a silver diaper.

Which is why a wealthy actor and rich politicians bickering is such catnip for elites. It's a fantastic way to keep us at each other's throats.

Damn those rich White liberals.

You mean Trump? No, damn all rich politicians and the kabuki whereby they pretend to have working people's interests at heart. Trump or Dianne Feinstein.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan decorates ex-U.S. Vice President Cheney for boosting alliance See in context

Looks like a bunch of people get all their historical information from a liberal, progressive moviemaker.

i.e. Most of the world who aren't American Fox viewers. A big bunch.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

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