Khuniri comments

Posted in: Criticism keeps swirling over Tokyo Olympic chief's sexist comments See in context

Unlike, I would surmise, most commentators here, I remember when Mori-san was the prime minister. The sharpest knife in the drawer he was not even then, but he was and is (it seems) good at playing dumb...

Sexism bad. Ageism good...I was all for women until I started getting badgered. I was all for getting rid of dinosaurs, until I became one myself.

I have no dog in this fight, as I regard the entire Olympics endeavour as a scam. e)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: After Trump, Biden aims to reshape the presidency itself See in context

"That Biden will have to continue fighting pro-authoritarian, anti-democracy politicians like Cruz, Hawley, Gaetz, Jordan and so many other insurrectionist Republicans means the challenges to right the office will continue. I've never been a fan of Biden, but I'm an anti-authoritarian who believes in democracy so wish him good luck."

I'd be curious to know why PTownsend has "never been a fan of Biden." Because he is corrupt? (He is.) Because he isn't "radical" enough? (We'll see.) Trump is no "authoritarian." And Ted Cruz, a brilliant legal mind, is no "insurrectionist." This is simply regurgitated propaganda. For four years Donald Trump was relentlessly attacked. Celebrities and politicians openly wished his demise. He was treated far worse than Biden has been by his opponents. Vice-president-elect Harris supported real insurrection. Nancy Pelosi shrugged.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Group protests over comments by Japan cosmetics firm on Koreans See in context

One of Suntory's most effective whiskey adverts features a stunningly lovely model of Korean heritage. Anyone who wouldn't hire her is very bad at business!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan sets whaling catch limit for 2021 at 383, same as 2020 See in context

When I was a student at a university in Tokyo nearly half a century ago, I regularly enjoyed 鯨定食, which was both cheap and delicious...If whales are as intelligent as is claimed and do not die instantly when they are speared, then I might be in favour of ending hogei. I must say, however, that the fanaticism or near fanaticism of many Occidentals in regard to the issue inclines me to cynicism. Indeed, I suspect that there are not a few who are far more concerned about opportunities for Japan-bashing than about the whales...I'd be willing to join a "Save the Whales" demonstration, if my fellow demonstrators agreed to participate in the pro-life movement--and I'm talking about human life, both before and after birth.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: ALT asked to remove earrings by local education board See in context

I read articles such as this and check the comments just to confirm that the herd mentality is real...Those who have had the good sense to defend the BOE have been clobbered with thumbs-down. I'm sure I'll get the same.

Are there arbitrary rules in Japan? Yes, obviously...Are they brutal, totalitarian, impossible to follow? No.

Japan is sooo easy to pick on! Foreigners come here, make an easy living, and then complain, complain, complain...And the Japanese generally put up with it...

Imagine a wannabe English teacher donning a sweatshirt proclaiming in Chinese: "Save the Uygurs!" or "Stop coerced abortions!"...He or she would be lucky if all that happened was instant deportation--and the media would then either ignore the story or smear the deported foreigner as an impulsive fool.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: All aboard the 'Merry Christmask' train in Mie Prefecture See in context

Yrrai: "Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, cultural appropriation"

As a Catholic, I used to rant and rave about how in Christmas in Japan has been used and distorted for purposes commercial, hedonistic, and frivolous. And then I came to realize that I was falling into an "identity politics" trap. We Christians may treasure and honour Christmas as a sacred event, but we do not own it. I am sad that so few Japanese have any understanding about what it means, but I should not take all the "Christmas cake" stuff as a personal affront.

Before COVID-19, Japanese Catholic churches would be packed at Christmas Eve masses with non-Christians filled with curiosity and sometimes longing. More than once, a convert has been thus won.

There are many wishy-washy and lapsed Christians in the so-called Christian world who still "celebrate" Christmas hardly less thoughtlessly. After all, it was not the Japanese who brazenly replaced Christ with Santa Claus.

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Posted in: Nike ad addresses bullying and racism in Japan; riles up debate online See in context

Does anyone seriously think that Nike gives a hoot about social issues and would risk profits for the sake of promoting an unpopular cause? No, this is cherry-picking virtue-signaling.

Bernard Marx doesn't know what he's talking about when he insults people such as myself, accusing us of "child abuse" for bringing up children here in Japan. I have four grown children, all of whom have lived quite happily in Japan and have gone to Japanese schools. The eldest was at one time bullied--but for being a bookish nerd, not for being "haafu." Years ago Japanese ethnicists would argue that Japan is "homogeneous" and will never change. They were wrong.

The term "racism" refers to belief in the inherent superiority or inferiority of a given set of human beings, as defined mostly by history and culture, not by anything genetic. Few people are genuinely or consistently "racist" in that sense, certainly not the Japanese. Most all people are tribalistic and groupy. We cope--imperfectly--with such. America is currently going in a bad direction in that regard with its "identity politics." Japan has been moving in a much more positive direction, no thanks to the ideologically "woke" who love to complain.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Berlin district to keep 'comfort women' statue for now See in context

kokontozai may well be right about general German indifference. When I asked an old friend about the statue controversy, he replied that he had never heard of it--and he has a Japanese daughter-in-law in Berlin and, before COVID-19, was often here in Japan. (It might be remembered that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's fifth wife is Korean.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Berlin district to keep 'comfort women' statue for now See in context

Many of the comments here reveal a lamentable ignorance of the facts and an equally deplorable willingness to buy into group-thinking. I am a German-speaking Japanese citizen who has lived in Korea. I am fond of all three countries; I am not fond of self-righteous nationalism of any kind. In Germany, admirable efforts have been made to atone for the past, but then Germany has had an easier time of it. The French and the Poles, for example, have not made a cottage industry out of anti-German sentiment. An old and dear friend of mine, whose Jewish parents fled Germany in the nick of time, was once himself somewhat anti-German. Now he is quite proud of his German passport...If Japan were to sink into the sea tomorrow, the Koreans would still be railing about the evil Ilbon-nom a century from now. The Communist Chinese too bash Japan as a way of covering up their own mind-boggling atrocities. The "comfort-woman" issue has simply been mythologized. Pointing out that the term uianbu, Sino-Korean for ianfu, was used in reference to a program to "service" American GIs seems to fall on deaf ears. Is any kind of prostitution morally wrong? Of course it is! (I am looking forward to see how long it takes for me to get a dozen thumbs-down--or to find this message censored.)

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Twitter bans content which 'dehumanizes' based on race, ethnicity See in context

So will Pres. Obama be prevented from repeating what he said about his grandmother as a "typical white person." Now why do I think not? "Concerned Citizen" is right. The Twitter rulers are hypocrites--and wannabe totalitarians.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike urges Tokyo residents to eat and drink in small groups See in context

Why the thumbs-down for Tokyo-Engr? Everything he says is true--well, except for Marie-Antoinette, whom history has grossly maligned. "Progressive" American politicians have glommed on to the virus as if it were foie gras and black truffle pasta: Power, power, power...The peasants must obey!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Pandemic-hit sex workers flock to NPO for sympathy and advice See in context

I posted my comment, curious to see what sort of nasty, self-righteous, irrational responses it would get. Well no, I fully expected it to be deleted as politically incorrect. So I am actually rather pleased..."Sex work is work," Sneezy insists. The trick, it seems, is to label any money-making activity "work." How about pick-pocketing? The Ore-Ore scam? Elsewhere Sneezy says: "Not all sex work is prostitution." Please explain...If "sex" for a fee is involved and it is not prostitution, what is it?

I am not "casting the first stone" or any stone. I am, in fact, all in favor of providing assistance to all those in need. The worker deserves compassion; the work itself does not. Those who want to wax morally relativistic should ask Japanese wives what they think of it all...It also might be remembered that the one who said "let whoever among you is without sin cast the first stone" then said to the woman (allegedly) caught in adultery: "Go and sin no more." He didn't say: "Gee, I hope you've had a meaningful relationship!"

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Posted in: Pandemic-hit sex workers flock to NPO for sympathy and advice See in context

Is this from The Onion?

The proper term here is prostitution, moral disapproval of which can be justified on perfectly rational grounds. One can be sympathetic to the female (or male for that matter) who thinks, however foolishly, that one can make a lot more money by engaging in the "sex industry" than by doing a socially useful job, and the real culprits are here, I hastily note, her or his customers...Of course, it may be difficult to find alternative employment, and this might lead a lost soul to true desperation, so that she or he winds up in the depths of, gasp, trendy journalism.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Posted in: A worried Asia wonders: What will Joe Biden do? See in context

Ah, I think I'll try to compete for the largest number of thumbs-down--or see how long it takes for this post to be removed by Big Brother....

non party puts it well...Besides, the Chinese no doubt have some juicy videos that will keep Biden (and the Bidens) toeing the line.

The American republic is dying, and I too am on my last legs, but with shaking hands I still cling to my Japanese passport...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: James Bond star Sean Connery dies at 90 See in context

In "You Only Live Twice," James Bond tells Miss Moneypenny that he'll have no trouble with Japanese when he gets to Japan, having taken a first (I think it was) in Japanese as a student...I remember being amused when I heard that line dubbed into Japanese...

Good man, Sean Connery. RIP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: As anger rises, Muslims worldwide protest French cartoons See in context

"Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."

Some readers will recognize these words...Note that the speaker does not say: "Blessed are you when you feel dissed, because it'll be a great opportunity to behead those you hate."

France is un état laîque, a secular state. One can have reservations about the system, but not about freedom of speech. If someone makes fun of my religion, I shrug it off (or even laugh, if the joke is funny enough). If people really believe in the maker of us all, they won't claim to own Him.

Vive la France!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Asian shares mostly fall on uncertainty over U.S. election See in context

Ego Sum Lux Mundi...I like your name, with whose meaning I very much agree, and I agree with your view, though it may not be terribly popular on this forum. I have lived a long time and have witnessed various upheavals in American society. But this one is surely the worst. I remember when the left was almost entirely the realm of the university campus, and to the extent it was known by the general public, it was loathed. The media now cover for it...My guess is that most Japanese are quietly hoping for their own sakes that Trump triumphs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan extends olive branch to N Korea over abduction issue See in context

The U.N. recognizes NK but not Taiwan. These are dark times where the rule of despots have greater sway in the world than truth or democracy. Children were abducted, families destroyed, and lives were forever lost...


Yes, yes...This must be said again and again! Thank you!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Jeff Bridges says he has lymphoma See in context

He also plays a very evil man in The Vanishing. In "real life," he's, of course, a very different person, from a fine family. Let us wish him well!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 71% of S Koreans see Japan unfavorably as ties sink to record lows See in context

I lived in Korea, now over 50 years ago, and I still speak Korean. I was (blush) hooked on Kyeoul-yonga (Fuyu no Sonata). Koreans are easy to admire--and just as easy to find exasperating...Regarding Japan, there is a modern myth, with varying versions, north and south, which demonizes Japan.

Japan had little choice in becoming involved in Korea at at the end of the 19th century: Korea was in no condition to maintain its independence and was prey in particular to Czarist Russia. No one can claim that Japanese policy was consistently wise, enlightened, or altruistic, but the fact remains that Japan modernized the country and left a deep impact on institutions and practices, most of them positive. Korea's ongoing imitation of Japan is immediately obvious to anyone familiar with both countries. And yet Japan remains the country that Korea (or at least its government) loves to hate.

Not so long ago, Japan was wallowing in cultural narcissism. Does anyone remember 日本人論? Things have changed--I think remarkably--for the better. And the wild-eyed political fanatics, both left and right, seem to have largely faded away. South Korea will, one hopes, change too. I have personally observed how South Koreans' self-absorption (along with outright xenophobia) has eased up over the years, but there's still a long way to go.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Barrett may be open to reversing Roe v. Wade See in context

To 1glenn: How would you define someone with "views straight out of the 19th-century"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Again, no female contenders in Japan's leadership race See in context

I find it interesting, but not surprising, that while it's politically correct (and even politically required) to consider it a scandal that there is no woman running to succeed Mr. Abe, this somehow being evidence of "sexism," it is perfectly acceptable to engage in "ageism"--with talk of "geezers."

As a voter (有権者), I would be willing to support a woman for PM, but I would be judging her by her wisdom, not by her anatomy.

We are biological creatures, and biology can be tyrannical. Societies change, and our "gender" roles can be partially (but not entirely) adjusted. There are some women who make better leaders than most men, but they are atypical. That's simply a fact of life, whatever journalists may say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abenomics failed to deliver as Japan braces for post-Abe era See in context


"Maybe you [directed at me] have not noticed but Japan has been going nowhere for 30 years!

Talk to any older Japanese (60+) and they have stories that the youngsters of today cannot even begin to imagine.

The young generation is poorer than the last-there’s progress?"

Well, I've been here a lot longer than that--and i'm old...

The young generation is not poorer than the last--except perhaps in education.

Technology has made most all of us all materially richer. Years ago the only way to get through the heat of th summer was with watermelon and a wind-bell (風鈴). Now we have air-conditioning.

It's not Abe's fault that Japan now has fierce international competitors. It's not Abe's fault that many young Japanese prefer owning a fancy car and a poodle to rearing children. In that respect, Japan is indeed poorer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abenomics failed to deliver as Japan braces for post-Abe era See in context

I'd be curious to know what the age and backgrounds of most posters are. Yes, Abe is a blue-blood--and hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he's not at all the authoritarian "xenophobe" he's portrayed as being. Japan is a vastly more open and "International" land than it was decades ago. The fact is, however, that Japan has enemies as well as friends and needs to defend itself. Japan suffers from statism, from an entrenched bureaucracy. I don't know how and why those foreigners with permanent resident now stuck abroad have been prevented from returning; in any case, that's certainly regrettable. But would any other government be any different? Whenever Japan's opposition parties have gained power, they have made an utter hash of things.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Biden aims to reinvigorate ties with allies including Japan, keep pressure on China See in context

"Rationale adults understand that Biden will begin the process of repairing the damage to our country that Trump inflicted," says P. Smith.

I'm a rational adult. I even know the correct spelling of "rational"! What "damage" has Trump inflicted on your country? Specifics? Did he commit arson in Minneapolis and Portland? Did he accuse everyone who disagrees with him of being a "racist"? Biden couldn't find his way out of his basement, let alone lead the nation. He's a puppet of the far left.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's legacy of forced labor haunts ties with neighbors See in context

I once lived in South Korea, back when educated people still in their 30s or over could speak Japanese and when, ritualistic cursing of Japan aside, there were ambivalent feelings towards the land across the sea. The Japanese were routinely referred to as Ilbon-nom, but then -nom was attached to most all nouns referring to non-Koreans. I taught in a school where the vice-principal was a kindly but lazy man, who had been appointed to his position simply because he had once studied in Japan. That gave him prestige.

“'Both countries need to make concessions and reach a comprise(,” Kim said."

No, Japan-bashing is an ongoing and lucrative enterprise. Historical truth simply doesn't matter, and even many Japanese toe the same politically correct line. Something very similar is going on in America.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: Man arrested for sexually molesting woman as she walks home See in context

blahblah222 doesn't know what s/he is talking about...The man is sure to be fired and disgraced. Being drunk is, of course, no excuse. There is surely far less public intoxication than there once was, and toleration of gross behaviour towards women has likewise declined dramatically. No country offers a utopia, but one should feel fortunate to be here.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Trump floats idea of election delay See in context

I read this article just to see how many uninformed, jeering comments there would be from the Trump haters. I wonder to what extent they truly represent Japan's ex-pat, English-speaking community. It's a depressing thought...It might be noted that leading American conservatives are very much opposed to the very idea of postponing the election. Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, but have any of you who loathe him so much considered what the alternatives are? (I speak as a Japanese citizen who has no intention of living in the United States.)

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

Posted in: Knife-wielding man shot after attacking police officer in Kyoto See in context

The suspect may well be mentally ill; if so, he has been apprehended for his own good. The policeman should surely be commended, along with those who have trained him so well.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Learn the lost art of the Ainu language See in context

Korean may sound "similar to Japanese" if one is European-language speaker because neither has a stress-accent system. Phonologically, however, Korean and Japanese are otherwise quite distinct. Japanese distinguishes obstruent consonants according to voicing (k/g, t/d). Korean distinguishes them (except for s) according to aspiration. And then there are initial glottal consonants that do not occur in Japanese. Korean has a much more complex vocalic system than Japanese; it also tolerates final consonants and consonant clusters, e.g. hangul, which winds up Japanicized as hanguru. Japanese and Koreans tend to learn the other's language well--except in regard to pronunciation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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