Japan Today

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Posted in: Deaths at home in Osaka Prefecture surge amid COVID wave See in context

Raw Beer is trolling readers here and it could lead someone to serious harm if they follow his “advice”. Both the World Health Organization and the US FDA have made repeated strong statements against use of HCQ due to its cardiotoxic effects. Pres. Bolsonaro ordered millions of doses of HCQ and widely promoted its use in Brazil—But it has done nothing to halt the high death rate there. Leading physicians & infectious disease experts in Brazil now consider HCQ useless for the treatment of COVID-19.

Likewise the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin has never been approved for use in any way by the US FDA for COVID-19. Some individuals who self-medicated with Ivermectin as a preventative Covid drug have died as a result. There is a limited study underway for Ivermectin, as well as many other medications, for treatment of Covid-19, but there are no indications that it is some miracle cure. Otherwise the Ivermectin study would have been upgraded to a higher level by now.

I have 25 years experience in US public health with legitimate graduate degrees in health. I would seriously warn anyone against following any advice other than from their own physicians, in the West or Japan, when it comes to Covid-19 treatments.

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Posted in: Post-COVID record crowd of 78,113 for Aussie rules game See in context

Fu right. That’s why only punters can make the transition from Aussie footy to American pro football. Aussie players might be game, but it just comes down to body size and physics when you play American football. And I can do without those silly grins on a ref’s face after a score in Aussie rules, thanks.

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Posted in: Bodies of 2 adults and 2 children found in parked car in Yokohama See in context

Riki-chan & Koshi-chan, you deserved so much better from this world. Gomen!

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Posted in: Police appeal for help 6 years after arson-murder of woman in Kanagawa See in context

It’s remarkable that Japan does not have an operational national police agency to assist prefectural police with serious domestic criminals like this thrill killer. The Keisatsu-cho is only an administrative agency.

Sometimes the resources of a federal police agency can be very useful for hard cases like this. Some criminals don’t restrict themselves to mayhem in just one prefecture.

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Posted in: Man arrested on suspicion of assaulting singer Tomomi Kahara See in context

Btw, her name used to be Tomomi Kahala when she was at the top of the 1990s charts with her hit singles and albums, but I guess her name was changed to Kahara during one of her career reboots. She was romantically involved with TK, but experienced several ODs on tranquilizers after their highly-publicized breakup. Said to be doing better now.

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Posted in: Man arrested on suspicion of assaulting singer Tomomi Kahara See in context

Poor Tomomi-san has been through the ringer since her days with the high flying TK “hit factory” of Tetsuya Komuro during the 1990s. Got hooked on recreational drugs thanks to some questionable friends, and her career took a slow downward spiral.

I remember her on a HeyHey Christmas Special in 1999 and it was obvious she was bombed. Downtown Hamada yelled at her to stop blabbering and just “sing” (i.e. mime with the soundtrack). She just seemed too nice to say no to the bad influences around her.

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Posted in: Lodging houses used as morgues create unease among residents See in context

Correction above: should NOT give license...

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Posted in: Lodging houses used as morgues create unease among residents See in context

Albaleo—it is common but not always practical in urban situations—for a family to honor their loved one with a memorial ceremony at home before cremation (see the award-winning Japan film “Departures”). However such services can be costly events, and as this article relates, many of these stored dead were being buried without ceremony.

That possibly indicates the deceased that had no one to claim their remains. This is a major problem for many cities everywhere, and contracted morticians are paid a lower standard fee to handle the remains. But that should give a company license to mishandle the remains.

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Posted in: Lodging houses used as morgues create unease among residents See in context

If the owner was seen laying a cloth bound corpse out back in the garden as observed by a neighbor, that doesn’t sound hygienic or respectful to the dead. In the US, morticians have been prosecuted for stacking bodies in back warehouses instead of conducting timely burials. Sounds like a cut-rate operation here too.

Given the volume of superstitions in Japan, it’s understandable why neighbors would be uneasy about having such a storage facility in their midst. If the deceased had a difficult death, it is believed their kami might still be lingering around the body. In any case, a place with decaying bodies is considered unclean in Shinto, especially in a residential area. Whether moralizing Caucasians believe these things is irrelevant—it only matters what Japanese living in Japan want to believe as far as their traditions.

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Posted in: Father arrested for abusing one-year-old son See in context

Police who were on scene know more about this case than anyone here. If they decided to arrest the father based on their on scene assessment, I think we can trust their decision to do do. The fact that the mother made the call to police would seem to indicate she did so to save her child’s life.

Bringing the mother in for questioning is more likely to determine the level of ongoing abuse in this home, as well as to determine if authorities can safely release the infant back to its mother, who is likely in a co-dependent situation.

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Posted in: Fukushima locals criticize government for tone-deaf tritium mascot See in context

Gonemad is absolutely right in his post above in discussing the potential harm that ingestion of tritium could cause by initiating mutations in human DNA. Long term use of drinking water or consumption of fish in areas where higher tritium levels exist is a concern.

Which is why many nations have established standards regarding how much tritium is allowed in their drinking water. The US standard is 750 Bq/litre. Russia’s is 7,000/litre. Japan’s tritium tolerance is far higher at 60,000/litre. Which is more of a concern as the biological half-life of tritium has been estimated be at least twice as long in cooler regions of the world, from one recent study.

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Posted in: Arsonist at idol concert says he was imitating the Kyoto Animation attack See in context

He could be one of those Incel types who express anger at their own inferiorities, taking it out violently on women, in this case idols and their male fans (Chads).

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Posted in: Princess Mako's boyfriend expresses resolve to marry her See in context

How difficult is it to expect that a 29-year-old man “shoulder” his own educational expenses like many of us commoners have had to do? Should not the royal family wonder if this man can be a good provider in the future?

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Posted in: COVID-19 patient in Japan receives world's first lung transplant from living donors See in context

Last fall medical researchers in US and UK noted that many Covid sufferers who had never smoked and were not previously identified as in a high risk category for Covid, showed long-term damage to their lungs similar to that of a heavy smoker.

These individuals were typically in their 30s to 50s, and while now Covid-free, still find themselves struggling with a normal level of physical exertion. You are unlikely to find presentations of this discomforting medical discovery on NewsMax, AmericaOne or Sinclair new services.

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Posted in: Auction of Japanese internment camp art pulled after protest See in context

I have always respected what Zichi had to say regarding the 3-11 crisis, but he is off the mark this time. As an amateur historian I have done significant research on the assembly and internment camps in California. Giichi Matsumura was still interned in 1945, as were many Japanese Americans who were waiting to see if they could return to their neighborhoods, and if they could reacquire their homes (most did not). Many whites effectively barred their return by strong threats of violence.

Depending on the camp, by 1945 restrictions were relaxed and many internees could sign out of their camp for hours or days at a time. In Manzanar it was not unusual for internees to go hiking or fishing in the nearby Sierras, as Manzanar was located at the base of the southern Sierras. A number of famous artists were interned at Manzanar.

I also disagree that the “owner” has a right to sell whatever is in their possession. When it comes to art objects acquired in the periphery of WWII, this is especially true, as the original owners were often forced or coerced to give up objects of value before evacuating. How many times have we read of Nazi-confiscated art being returned by museums or nations (such as US and Argentina) to families of the original Jewish owners?

In this case, many Issei and Nisei were told to leave most of their possessions at warehouses under US military jurisdiction and located along the West Coast, as they could only bring into the camps what they could carry. Some also trusted white neighbors with their possessions. In many cases this was a mistake. The warehouses were unguarded and many items were later found stolen or vandalized. Likewise many white neighbors stole, sold off or eventually threw out items they had been entrusted with.

Until provenance of these drawings can be determined by more research, speculation here is useless. However it is notable that the Matsumura family had apparently been unaware of the existence of these drawings and want to acquire them. Some artists gave their works to white workers in the camps. But in the case of Giichi Matsumura, it needs to be determined what happened to his possessions after his disappearance. Did these drawings even come to Manzanar or were they been left behind? Estate sellers have few scruples, but I hope this seller does right by the family.

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Posted in: Tokyo high schools ask students to certify hair color not altered: NHK See in context

Correction: Forcing hair to be dyed, not forbidden to be dyed. I have a naturally brown-haired Japanese stepchild who will have to contend with this issue in a few years, so it’s personal.

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Posted in: Tokyo high schools ask students to certify hair color not altered: NHK See in context

The Osaka District Court ruling against a former high school student last week shows this is still a nationwide issue. It’s not just dyed hair that’s forbidden: Many of Japan’s high school districts won’t allow girls to have permed hair or braided extensions. They can also dictate a girl’s hair length.

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Posted in: Arsenal, Man Utd, Rangers into Europa League last 16 as Leicester exit See in context

Europa League is the last chance for Arsenal to make any noise this season. They’ve botched so many chances in the Premier League, but Tierney and Saka have come on of late. Looking forward to their pairing in the Round of 16!

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Posted in: 2 high school girls, 50-year-old man found dead in car in apparent joint suicide See in context

It should be mentioned that regardless of Japan’s ranking in overall suicide rates, South Korea is consistently far higher at 4th overall. Russia is usually ranked 1st or 2nd year after year, according to WHO data. Yet Japan’s rate of suicide is publicized more internationally, which has led to some misperceptions about modern Japanese culture.

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Posted in: What are some past TV shows that could no longer be aired because they would be considered politically incorrect? See in context

Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was a show I enjoyed watching as a teen, at least while Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzie, Artie Johnson, Lily Tomlin, and Henry Gibson were on it. I never realized there were so many sexual and racial innuendos in those shows until I watched episodes again last year.

Making fun of blacks in so many ways, Asians (with stereotypical buck teeth and halted speech), and women by portraying them as clueless “broads” would have taken this show off the air 30 years ago, never mind 2021. What made these “jokes” worse is that they often used someone from that targeted race or gender to deliver the demeaning punchline.

Rowan and Martin recycled a lot of their jokes from the Vaudeville era, and by the early 1970s that type of humor was stale, which is why Laugh-In ended. That and the fact that the replacements for Hawn, Johnson, etc. were not as talented. One positive aspect of Laugh-In was that the major stars (Lily Tomlin, Johnson, Gibson, etc.) were rarely, if ever, participants in those type of demeaning skits.

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Posted in: 2 high school girls, 50-year-old man found dead in car in apparent joint suicide See in context

It is not accurate to cite outdated 2016 WHO data from Wikipedia regarding Japan’s suicide rate. Suicide Rate by Country 2021 found at worldpopulationreview.com shows the latest WHO estimates. By those rankings, Japan is 14, USA is 27, and Sweden is 28. Yet North Korea is ranked 59 and China is 69. WHO admits data from these nations is not verifiable. They should be ranked at least in the Top 20 for suicide rates.

A more accurate measure for national suicide rates excludes less developed and non-democratic nations where disguised murders are often reported as “suicides”. Among OECD nations, Japan has the seventh highest suicide rate.

A 2020 Japanese Government white paper reported a decline in the national suicide rate, but a startling 10% increase in suicides under age 20, the highest ever reported. For six Age Categories between 15 and 39, suicide is the leading cause of death in Japan—and also the highest suicide rate among Group of Seven nations.

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