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Posted in: Goriki hopes voice acting role in 'X-Men' film will lead her to Hollywood See in context

If she really wants to go for it, being able to speak good, unaccented English is required.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: What is a Westerner? See in context

I found out later that while her physical body may have been in England, the spirit wasn't. She, the being, never arrived. Her husband worked at a Japanese company, her sons went to a Japanese school. She shopped only at a Japanese supermarket and ate at Japanese restaurants. On the few occasions when she did go out, she went by taxi, showing the address where she wanted to go to the taxi driver.

Her body was in England, but she was still in Japan.

This. I live in a city with one of the highest concentrations of Japanese nationals in the US, a majority of which arrive for a short period of 2-5 years for work at the major Japanese automakers and electronics companies, and are not interested in integrating outside of their little bubble of Japan. I often hear this group use "gaijin" to refer to anyone who is not strictly Nihonjin, so this includes other Asians, Latinos, and even Nikkei like myself. Perhaps the rest of us do qualify, as we're all technically living in "the West".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Why are Japanese so bad at English? See in context

There is a joke. What do you call a person who can speak only one language? Answer: An American. Japanese people can speak English quite well. Look at Japanese - Americans. People born and raised in America. They speak English perfectly.

Some of the worst Japanese I've ever heard was spoken by Japanese-Americans. They speak English fine because that's what they've learned since birth, regardless of what they look like. Genetics proves nothing, if that's what you're getting at. I have to agree that I believe there's truth in the theory that in order to develop the correct physiology to pronounce a new language correctly, it's better to start young and be exposed to native-level speakers of that language. Growing up with teachers who pronounce English poorly, no matter how sound their grammar may be, will limit you from developing a natural pronunciation of the language. If you started learning Spanish at age 8 and your primary exposure was a teacher with a heavy Southern (American) accent, your Spanish will probably not sound passable to a native speaker from Latin America.

Motivation is another factor. The average Japanese student is bad at English for the same reason the average American student is bad at Spanish, French or German. If it's a requirement and the student has no passion to become fluent and instead only cares about passing a test, whatever's learned is probably forgotten soon after the test is over. In both countries, the student knows that they will realistically never have to use the language they're learning in the real world unless they choose to do so.

Also in both countries, though it may no longer really be the case, people may have gotten used to the notion that businesses in other countries will cater to them. Many Koreans and Chinese are better at learning English because they see the opportunity for business expansion in North America and Europe. Americans and Japanese might realize the need for learning Chinese to do business in China but think it's too difficult and give up because there are other low-hanging fruit in their own countries.

However, find a Japanese girl hooked on K-dramas and she's probably learned more Korean in 18 months than 6 years of English. It's all about motivation, really.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Strange drinks that come and go in the Japanese market See in context

I still remember after the big quake last year, the combini was competely stripped of absolutely everything except matcha-flavored kit-kats. Take the hint Nestle!

Funny, that's the one thing people go out of their way to get at the J-markets in the US. And I do love them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 2,500 march in gay pride parade in Tokyo See in context

I have gay colleagues and friends and we get along just fine. I don't need to know every detail of their sex lives and we can carry on socially without talking incessantly about the promotion of sexual awareness and politicising every detail of the news, etc. Lately I find the majority of those trying to "cram it down your throat" on internet forums and the like are actually heterosexuals with "straight guilt" trying to act a bit holier-than-thou by their self-proclaimed acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle.

Japan has enough of its own bigotry without monotheist bullying. One of the main obstacles to equal rights for LGBT in the US is Christianity. The last thing Japan needs is a bible which advocates the execution of homosexuals.

How nice of you to drop into this conversation about tolerance by singling out a group/practice not relevant to the topic to declare your intolerance for.

So what, are you also against Samba Carnivals? Are you against lingerie fashion shows? Look, you are entitled to your opinion, your have yours and I have mine. But I don't tell people to stop doing something just because I find it aesthetically displeasing. If they're not hurting anyone then I see no problem with it.

The problem here is that I'm entitled to not like either of these things and that dislike would not necessarily make me a bigot, just a prude perhaps. However, if I say I don't care to watch the Pride Parade, that automatically makes me a bigot. I don't approve of messy public displays of affection between straight folk in public, but if I were to state that I feel the same way about a same-sex couple engaging in the same behavior, automatically I'd be branded as intolerant.

This in itself becomes a problem where it's no longer about equal treatment if anything less than positive reception of all things homosexual is criticized as prejudice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: World’s first snaggletooth girl group formed See in context

Braces cannot fix these yaeba. Yaeba are not crooked teeth, at least not in the sense its being used here. Yaeba is like a fang placed directly outside the perimeter of the rest of the teeth. Its not a snaggletooth either. Its like a fang, something lots of westerners have dentists create for them too, only the style is different.

I'm Nikkei and sort of had this, corrected with braces. You would need to use braces to align the teeth so those teeth don't protrude as much, simple as that.

The fake yaeba from the clinic don't appear to mess up your alignment, they just look like caps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: If the shoe fits See in context

Keds carry most sizes, but not in Japan. Larger and smaller people exist in Japan, but outside a small range of sizes, they are ignored as customers.

I always found it strange to see shoes marked as S/M/L, and then those are sized 22.5, 23, 23.5. I thought as a size 4 US (21) I would find a lot of options in Japan but most don't go down that small.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Smart items to defeat hay fever See in context

I'm blowing my semi clogged up nose as I read this. Sprays don't seem to work. My only solution are pills. They make u drowsy and take 12 hrs for the first batch to kick in, then it smooth sleepy sailing for the next few months. But I'm gonna definitely try the bedding spray.

Hate to be the ignorant foreigner again, but do they not offer OTC non-drowsy antihistamines in Japan like Fexofenadine or Cetirizine or similar? Seems better to prevent systematically than having to buy more masks and sneeze shields.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: YouTube video has girls asking: Am I pretty? See in context

im always surprised when i get 4's or 5's chasing me when im clearly a 7 or 8. i think they re nuts to think they have a chance with me. people need to know the truth about their level so they can chase after realistic goals.

Clearly. And who told you, Hot or Not dot com?

Ok, I don't agree with most of NetNinja's points, but...

At the heart of this problem is NOT the video itself but the fact that parents aren't being parents. You don't leave your daughter or son who's just going through puberty with a laptop up in his room. Nor do you give him a smart phone. A father runs the house. Now if he wants to go up to his daughters room and she whats she's doing it had better be an open door policy. None of that "Respect my privacy, Dad".

Lots of parenting groups give the advice to put your family computer in a common area instead of in their room. There's a lot of dangers and potential dangers on the internet that children and young teens don't have the experience or knowledge to understand.

So they don't say you're ugly, they say "You're hot, now take off your shirt". If this is your child and you don't know what's happening, that could end up very, very badly, ranging from public humiliation to becoming a subject of child pornography. If there's a webcam and it's in a common area, it's far less likely your child will respond in kind to that kind of request than if they were in a private area. No pun intended.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What are you giving the ladies for White Day? See in context

I don't understand why Valentine's Day can't be mutual in Japan like in the rest of the world. White day = white chocolate? No thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 50 reasons Tokyo is the world's greatest city See in context

Didn't I read this over a week ago on CNNGo? Oh yeah, I did.

Anyway, give the authors a break. Clearly some editor rounded them up on a Monday morning and said "the Tokyo section's dropping in page views, we need a list of 50 things that make it sound awesome to put up on the site by Friday." And this is what we got. The title's missing the words "to visit" since obviously you guys say it's not in which "to live". CNNGo is a travel site for those with interests in Asia. Tokyo was considered exotic... 40 years ago. Now a lot of travelers probably view it as an overpriced, crowded-but-unfriendly city that everyone says has awesome service but that you never experience yourself.

Still, I live in LA and can come up with a list of 50 reasons why LA is not the world's greatest city in about 20 minutes. Compared to LA, I'd pick Tokyo any day. To each their own.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 17 popular models take part in dancing fashion show See in context

They named three of the 17, showed us 5, and we do not know if it is anyone named. Nice

From L to R: Koharu Kusumi, Mew (Miyu) Azama, Aiku Maikawa, Moe Oshikiri, Yubi Erihara, Reiko Takagaki

Sorry, I have no life, I know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA opens ‘Is Japan Cool?’ campaign, offering free tickets to Japan See in context

Some of the Japan bashing comments here are quite ridiculous. People, its an advertising campaign (and a very successful one). I don't see any reason for all this hatred.

Not Japan-bashing so much as making fun of this campaign set up to pander for flattery.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Some Japanese customs that may confuse foreigners See in context

Well, everyone's more or less said so anyway, but the insistence that Japanese culture is SO unique that an outsider would never be able to understand or adapt is practically a custom for some now and it's actually pretty annoying. This list looks like it was gathered with no research whatsover.

Is it just me or does the plastic surgery girl from the MADAME RiRi article photo look exactly the same in the before and after photos?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out? See in context

It would certainly help this article if the author were to illustrate what made her so different in Japan. Was it personality, a physical feature, a harelip? I honestly have no idea. Truthfully, any of these things could make one a target of derision in a Western country as well. This article almost just feels like a blog rant rather than a full article. Some examples of why she feels the way she does would make this far more interesting rather than some sweeping generalizations of Japan vs the US. Most of us are on the site because we have some knowledge or interest in Japan but are also familiar with the West (i.e., this site is in English, English is spoken mostly in Western countries), so details would be helpful.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Joji Takahashi, Mika Mifune chosen as 'Partners of the Year' See in context

Like others have said, it's great they're happy. But promoting this type of relationship as ideal by a dating website seems completely irresponsible in a country where marriage and birth rates are on the decline. Women are quickly considered too old for marriage but the double standard apparently sets no upper limit for men. Does this website intend to promote March-December romances? Men of middle age, why spend the time and money pursuing a woman with some emotional maturity (ok, I know that's debatable at any age but still) when you can have yourselves a nubile teen? I thought child brides were a third-world phenomenon, ugh. I'm never using this site, at 30 they'll probably match me to a 78-year old.

By the way, those who mentioned the actor in the US who married a 16-year old--not sure if you've really been paying attention but no one thinks this is ideal. All the media attention this couple's received is because they're regarded as a train wreck, not as a good example of anything.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Oscars show producer resigns over gay slur See in context

Meh. This guy is a loser and all his movies are terrible anyways. The Oscars are better off without him.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: No China protest yet over fishing boat captain's arrest See in context

China will say nothing. APEC is about to start and their man is in the wrong here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to offer 10,000 free trips to foreigners to boost tourism industry See in context

I've been putting off my family ancestral trip to Wakayama due to the huge exchange rate disparity. Radiation is not an issue (and certainly not in Wakayama). That being said, I wonder if being a US Nikkei would put me at the bottom of the list?

Otherwise, sign me up.

Oh, and:

Everyday there are fantastic tourism spots on television for Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. These are really weel done and make you want to go see these countries. "Cool Japan"? diddly squat, nada, zip, nil. So where did this money go? Bring 10,000 people there for free....you get 10,000 people. Do some real advertising, and you get tens of thousands.

I've seen a few spots on the international free channels here starring the Arashi guys. Pretty sad stuff though. They could certainly do a lot better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Working toward gender equality in language and society See in context

A woman who has five children during a twenty five year career is 20% less productive and usefull to the company yet demands equal pay, while the man has to work so much more.

Where do you get these stats? Sorry, but most women working full-time today do not have five children. I don't have stats to support this either, but if the average fertility rate in Japan is about 1.3 (and around 2 for the US and UK), I don't think there are a lot of women who have five children headed back to work because there aren't so many of them at all. Also, most women who are career-focused do make some choices regarding how many children they can have and still be able to work (before you go into the subject of abortion, I'm speaking purely at a level of family planning where non-abortative measures may be practiced to discourage the birth of more children than they are able to financially support).

Is your measurement of being less useful to the company based on their time away on maternity leave, the use of their time while they are actually at work, or having to leave early to drive the school bus to pick up her numerous children from school and activities? Does the man work so much more because he doesn't take paternity leave or just stays later hours?

Women are allowed to joke about useess men etsc but men cannot about women, they are called sexist. It has gone to far and is damaging modern society.

Actually, no, they're not. At least where I work (in California), sexism is sexism and is not tolerated in the workplace. Anyone who insists that women have the right to trash men based on their gender in the workplace is wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Honey, do you mind going back to work? See in context

@Steve@CPFC, I know you think you're doing the best for yourself and your family, and that's wonderful. But please, please don't tell other people what to do. Each couple should evaluate what works best for their situation and their family, period. You sound a bit like a nightmare mother-in-law from a TV drama in your assertions about the roles of men and women, and your tendency to lump women together as some sort of different breed of creature with predictable behavior patterns does truly sound like a throwback to the 1950's.

Quite amusing this, while women here disgaree at points, they become all chummy after a while as human (female) instinct kicks in and and it's hugs and smiles all round. The need to be aprt of teh group is the strongest instinct even for "indewpendent" , "career" women.

Unless you're creating a new term out of "indewpendent", the fact that you're even adding quotes around 'independent' and 'career' at all when talking about working women shows that you don't even really believe these terms are correct. As an independent, working woman, I find your assertions that women's finances need to be supervised by their husbands, that they are mentally different from men and that they should enjoy waking up before the dawn to bake sweets to be consumed over idle gossip with the neighborhood ladies to be almost absurd.

These sorts of attitudes breed the ideas that women are not fit for the workplace (why, do we naturally suffer from a dearth of intelligence required for a job in business, finance or technology?), that they should not receive equal pay or consideration for promotions because men are supposed to be the primary breadwinners (equal work should result in equal pay and equal potential for gain), and that they should quit work for good to have children. This seems to describe the glass ceiling that women worldwide but especially in Japan have struggled to overcome for some time.

As young, overindulged men start to drop out from or never enter the workforce (looking at you, otaku), or decide they'd rather open nail salons than become engineers or doctors, it seems there'd be a logical gap in employment that can be filled by smart, ambitious women. I realize that may not be what the article is talking about, since the issue at hand are those who've already been absent from the workforce for some time and may or may not have many relevant job skills, but I feel the need to address these attitudes since they contribute to the difficulty of Japan to catch up to other nations when it comes to equality in the workforce.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with taking time off to have children. BlueWitch seems to have achieved an excellent work-life balance that will benefit her children and her husband, while keeping her happy as well. All in all, that is what is most important.

If Japan truly wants to succeed in the next generation, men AND women need to focus on hard work and raise their children to think ambitiously, not to just pass the next test to get into the next school, so once you've gotten into college you don't have to do anything in life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Emi Takei has her sights set on Hollywood See in context

I just realized "Wild Speed: Mega Max" is the unecessarily translated title for "Fast Five". Didn't think that title could get any worse, but I was wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese tourist stabbed in Honolulu neighborhood See in context

Well that's terrible. I've been to that McDonald's a few times and never felt any danger. I guess you're never too far from anything in Hawaii though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

I wonder what juku attendance is like these days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Inglourious Basterds' wins SAG film award See in context

Christoph Waltz was amazing but most of the rest of cast of Inglourious was pretty awful. Brad Pitt was practically a cartoon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hotel murder shakes LA's Little Tokyo neighborhood See in context

Damn right, after the EO9066 ordeal, most Nikkei Americans learned as the Ashkenazi Jews did in that congregating amongst themselves will allow them to become easy targets for pogroms, so many of them dispersed and blended in with other ethnic communities.

Uh, after the war most of the business owners tried to reclaim their businesses. Some were successful, some weren't. The influx of Koreans to the area is fairly recent, probably around the mid-90's or so.

Assimilation is a major part of postwar JA culture, but the drift from downtown has little to do with being easy targets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hotel murder shakes LA's Little Tokyo neighborhood See in context

There are some new condo developments right off Japanese Village Plaza but anything outside that general 2-block radius isn't that safe. The Chetwood is off 4th, so that's already on the edge of J-town. In that area, I'd guess that cash transactions are common because many people don't have regular bank accounts.

As bdiego said, Skid Row is on 5th, and some nasty stuff goes down there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: With 10 nominees, Oscar outlook is up in the air See in context

The Oscars reward technical and artistic excellence. That doesn't always go hand in hand with "Blockbuster" ideals.

Of course not, but lately good movies are almost certainly overlooked if they become box office successes. Expanding the number of nominees to 10 may help include some movies that would otherwise be shunned by the high art crowd.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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