jcapan comments

Posted in: Reverence for tradition threatens same-sex marriage in Japan See in context

I used to not care about what people do concerning their own lives--I still don't--but this constant beating over the head with gay agenda is slowly eroding my sympathy and support for the lgbt

"Gay agenda" here meaning their right marry? Not infiltrating your schools or workplaces, or making your children watch Brokeback Mountain, but marriage? That was the final line for you? How uppity of gays to go so far, polluting the public discourse with demands for basic human rights. And as others have said, as if they'll be earned by staying silent.

As strangerland mentions, these are the same people who would have been against any activism over the past century--suffragettes, civil rights or anti-war protesters, or union movements that arose at a time when companies treated labor like slaves.

It's the same simple battle repeated ad infinitum between two groups of people, those who believe in justice and equality for all and those who do not.

Why is it that the far-right posters on this board are so obsessed by sex? Sex, sex, sex and LGBT sex in particular. Why do they never shut up about it?

The Mencken quote always comes to mind:

Puritanism [early rightists] is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 7-Eleven stores struggling in face of labor shortage See in context

I love my local 7/11. The old ladies working during the day are great but the college students in the evening can hardly be bothered to say thanks or wash their uniform.

The old I like my peasants to be presentable view.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump calls London mayor a 'disaster' after a spate of killings See in context

Imagine a foreign head of state condemning your local mayor for street level crime. Say, Jacinda Adern lambasting the mayor of Kawasaki for last month's tragedy. That's how beyond the pale Trump is, and we haven't even gotten to the blatant Islamophobia and trafficking in fascists tweets.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Posted in: Company employee robbed of ¥10 mil See in context

Anyone carrying around a 100,000$ is begging to get mugged.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: 7-Eleven stores struggling in face of labor shortage See in context

And yet 7/11 is scheduled to open over 200 stores in Okinawa starting from this year. The first one's I believe around 20, on July 11th, in the Naha area.

So, there's plenty of money to go around, it's just not trickling down to the stores. Raise prices and pay substantially higher wages and they'd have no problem attracting staff, even Japanese workers. Every time I hear whining co. execs go on about a labor shortage I wonder how many of those vacancies would disappear overnight if they were offering 2000 yen/hour. Business is booming in Japan--at 100 yen shops, conbini and places like Ko-nan. It's the Walmart-ization of Japan and there's no end in sight.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Caledonian, great comment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hong Kong leader suspends controversial extradition bill after protests See in context

I better not be reading any praise from our resident right-wingers who regularly malign protesters for failing to turn up to work or school, or that that they're being paid to turn up. They must be experiencing cognitive dissonance, though, watching the great "communist" state heed it's people's demands.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album See in context


Not liking someone doesn't mean you're afraid of them.


sensei, are you saying you don't like gay people?


jcapan's extremely rude question/accusation/conclusion of "Are you saying you don't like gay people?"


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Black, white or Asian, anyone can learn to think critically if it's part of their schooling. That few Japanese college students are able to do so effectively is a result of an outdated education system that still fails to prioritize such learning. This inability has nothing to do with their Japanese students' aptitude and certainly nothing to do with their race. I know several recent Japanese grads of a prominent international school here in Kobe. They're as adept as their fellow grads from around the world. Likewise, I regularly meet former students who have studied abroad and return awakened.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album See in context

jcapan, are you saying you like to skip around your neighborhood wearing a Santa Claus costume while singing Broadway showtunes? (I have the same amount of evidence behind that concept as you do for sensei258 not liking gay people. More reading comprehension, and fewer hasty accusations please.)

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Now, if we can just go back to sensei's words in comment numero uno:

"And so often people misuse the term homophobe. Not liking someone doesn't mean you're afraid of them."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Not bad for automatons.

Irony alert, aisle 5. Dude claiming they're not producing robots when his examples prove only the limited success of rote memorization and regurgitation on standardized exams, as if that's the only thing 21st century employers are looking for.

If you lack critical thinking, you don't really know what it is you're missing. Thus the constant what aboutism, about as far from intellectual debate as can be offered. I've taught US and Japanese college kids for 20 years. I like both but there's a fundamental divide between even the better educated students in both countries.

Japanese students almost always have a better command of things they memorized in secondary school but little capacity (in any language) to think critically about what they've learned, to offer their own ideas, to draw connections or offer critiques. Americans often manage to graduate from high school without memorizing all the formulas or historical dates, but they can usually (certain drooling politicians notw/standing) think for themselves and engage intellectually.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Q&A: Coffee with Bill Murray and Jim Jarmusch See in context

Alfie, agreed. I love all of them and Jarmusch has made 5 masterful films in my opinion. Sadly, the last really great one was in 1999. And reviews have been poor. I'll still see it, of course, but not holding out much hope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump blames Iran for tanker attacks but calls for talks See in context

Black Sabbath, I should have been more precise. The Israeli and Saudi governments. Though of course, if you keep electing lunatics in the Likud...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album See in context

Does that make me a homophobe?


-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Kao's #beWhite campaign leaves firm red-faced See in context

I'm surprised the Japanese have not been attacked for placing such an emphasis on white skin being beautiful as some kind of evil.

Wanting to keep your skin naturally white is just fine, even if you look like a moonbat when you're out in public. Bleaching your skin, common in much of Asia, is bent. Not evil, but like rampant plastic surgery in Korea, totally warped.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album See in context

sensei, are you saying you don't like gay people? That actually sounds worse than being afraid of them.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Posted in: Kao's #beWhite campaign leaves firm red-faced See in context

At the same time, I can't help but think of the national obsession with white skin and whitening products, which Kao also makes.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

"They expect them to be a 'good student,' they expect them to score well on tests, they expect them to obey rules. That's not important anymore because computers do better. We have to teach children to be human, so human that robots can't imitate. That's the survival game"

Extremely well put. Japan is still producing automatons 30 years after this formula for success reached it's pinnacle. Nothing has changed.

"Parents want their child to succeed, and they feel that there's only one way: to push them to be elite. A-level grades, art, music, sports, the so-called high culture values. This stereotype has to go away," Chan says.

"This is not the way to teach self-worth to children. They bully others because it's one way to feel their worthiness. Bullying is such a big issue in Japanese schools, and they're always trying to cover it up. It's everybody's responsibility," Chan says.

Also spot on. "It's everybody's responsibility" in particular, which is my feeling about hikikomori.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump blames Iran for tanker attacks but calls for talks See in context

The Neocons, Israelis and Saudis all want war--if only they can install another puppet Shah as we raid their oil fields. Too bad MSNBC has spent so much air time trotting out Neocons for the past few years, rehabilitating all the worst players in the run up to Iraq. When depraved sociopath Bill Kristol has become a liberal darling simply b/c he loathes Trump, you know something is deeply skewed about our public discourrse.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: G20 to tackle ocean plastic waste as petrochemical producers expand in Asia See in context

Images of plastic debris-strewn beaches and dead animals with stomachs full of plastic have sparked outrage, with many countries, including more than two dozen in Africa, banning plastic bags outright.

So, 20 something developing African nations can ban them but Japan just can't live without them?

"If the world goes the direction of European targets, some markets can go from high growth to low growth or no growth. Profits could suffer," said Jeff Brown, president of energy consultancy FGE in Singapore.

"If the world keeps introducing bans on plastic bags and straws, our sales would decrease," said an official at a South Korean petrochemical maker...

Always good to see venality revealed so clearly. Reminds me of big tobacco--but if people better understand the link between our products and cancer, sales would drop. Who cares about climate change or biosphere collapse. Plastic microparticles are literally in the air we breathe and water we drink, not to mention in our food. But god forbid our bottom line or stock portfolios are hit.

Japan's petrochemical industry wants to cooperate in tackling environmental issues, Takashi Tsukioka, the head of the Petroleum Association of Japan, told a news conference last month... "We should, in the first place, focus on separating and recycling, which Japan has been doing, and then seek broad solutions, instead of jumping quickly to one approach," he said."In the end, we should promote innovation."

Translation: We're not going to do a thing and can only hope that Abe is making a grand PR push ahead of the G20 and the games next year. Come September 2020, it's our great hope that world attention will drift elsewhere and we can continue normal operations, not to mention tantalizing opportunities to develop the plastic industry further in developing nations.

And anytime you hear about industry "cooperating" with environmentalists, your b-s detector should start beeping madly.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 killed in traffic accident on expressway in Shiga Pref See in context

Kniknak, I totally agree with you. My dad was saying that about US interstates 40 years ago. In this instance, it's not the cause though:

The accident occurred about 3 kilometers east of the Meishin Expressway's Ryuo Interchange where one of the two lanes was closed for repair work at the time, the police said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Does Kawasaki stabbing rampage signify start of lost generation's revenge against society? See in context

I wouldn't say revenge simply b/c I doubt if those who become violent think in such terms. Maybe comeuppance given how poorly institutions at all levels have abandoned in excess of a million people--families, hospitals and clinics, and of course government at all levels. Japanese society seems utterly incapable of broadening or diversifying what it means to be successful. I can't tell you how many families with ronin I know. Why in the world would you postpone your life by a year or more? Why is this normalized? Pick another school and get on with things. But since validation comes only in the form of high level academic success, satisfying parents' own ambitions for their children...

Japan is still pushing a conformist, one size fits all approach to child rearing and education, bludgeoning triangle shaped young people into circular holes. There will always be blowback.

And I don't think it's necessary to distinguish between generations of hikikomori. In total, the est. is well over a million. The bubble bursting 20 years ago is clearly not the only cause of an ongoing problem. More are shutting themselves off all the time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 87-year-old driver in fatal Tokyo car crash to be referred to prosecutors See in context

To the gallows !!!..

If only they'd open executions to the public. Like in the middle of Shibuya Crossing. All those longing for state murder could congregate their, possibly getting some selfies taken with the swinging corpse. Bring the whole family.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Record 3,129 stranded on Japanese mountains in 2018 See in context

I'm with since1981 though still in my 40s. And I have no plans to stop when I hit 70 either. Kobe, do you just mean cutting out more serious climbing or any kind of trekking? My uncle was still running marathons, including Pike's Peak, into his mid 70s. My Dad retired in the mountains and even at 80 he can still shoot up hillsides with me step for step. And I have colleagues in their 40s, walking stalks of tobacco, who can barely make it to the station after work.

Not all oldsters are created equal. Should we know our limits and be extremely prepared, trying to avoid burdening others, sure. But this idea of dialing back all our activities is absurd.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Iran's supreme leader tells Abe Trump 'not worthy' of a reply to message See in context

Here's hoping Trump resists the wingnuts gagging for war, both at home and in Israel or the Kingdom. I reckon he'd prefer going into next year's election on the basis of the economy and fear mongering about immigration. A war would muck that right up.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Starbucks Japan expands Teavana range with Frozen Green Tea and Apple See in context

kurisupisu, do you just mean other establishments are cheaper? B/C setting aside cost, Starbucks is competing just fine. Every shop in Kansai that I frequent is packed all day long.

That said, I'll be happy to spend a month back home this summer, where the same cup of joe will cost me nearly 1/2 the price. Plus half and half!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Car hits preschool children, injuring two in Nishinomiya See in context

May be authorities need to consider more pedestrian only areas . . . .

Of course they should, as well as traffic calming devices like speed bumps and turnabouts. Why anyone would downvote such an idea is beyond me. I often think that no country privileges the rights of drivers more than Japan. While understandable in inaka, in insanely crowded, overcrowded urban areas it's completely absurd.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan offers most paid leave for fathers in world, but few take it See in context

In keeping with so many great idea and laws and rules and benefits that are thought up, printed on paper and everything and then left to wither on the vine. Abe has made a career out of trotting out such proposals and catchphrases, crafting his own man-of-action image. Sadly, in nearly every single instance, they come with fine print at the bottom of page saying "enforcement, yeah right!"

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom See in context

Alfie, yeah, Koya-san has gotten extremely commercialized. Savvy young monk-businessmen. Spirituality inc. I'm so happy I first came here so long ago before such awakenings took place, that hey we should monetize this!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom See in context

At close to 2M I stick out down here like a redwood in a forest full of asparagus sprouts!

I hear you. Whenever I get in the elevator at work, I feel like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

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