COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Priyanka Yoshikawa: From Miss World Japan to entrepreneur in the wellness world See in context

I wouldn't mind trying CBD, though maybe not if priced like other supplements in Japan. Simple vitamins and the like can be super expensive here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's crowded trains spark fear of new coronavirus cases See in context

The UK subsidizes workers to buy bicycles used for commuting. You can now buy a very good motor-assist hybrid (Japanese "cross bike") that will do up to 25km/h with the assist off light pedalling for I dunno, probably around 200,000 yen. Electric assist and limited effort are good because they mean you do not need a shower after getting to work. For many journeys on non-express trains, one of these bikes will be just as fast door to door.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's low virus mortality rate reflects social manners: Aso See in context

This is dog-whistle Nihonjinron from a smug man.

There are likely to be aspects of Japanese and Asian behaviour in general that have thwarted the spread of Covid-19, but let's rely on virologists and the like to tell us about them based on their studies and knowledge. The Japanese diet, especially old people's, is famously healthy for including lots of seafood, but comes at the expense of consuming a large chunk of the overfished global supply.

At least he's not claiming a government victory here, that it was the government response that saved the country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Dentsu gets ¥76.9 bil windfall from gov't SME aid scheme See in context

to provide back-office services for a scheme to help virus-hit firms

If that's what we the people have been paying for, I wonder what specific things they have been doing.

For a fraction of 76 billion yen, any tech savvy person could tell companies to use existing services like Zoom, OneDrive, Google Docs, etc. for a shift to telework. I bet 76 billion yen in cash in direct assistance to "virus hit firms" would help them more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: The five best beef bento to eat in Japan right now See in context

Regarding the top photo, I seem to remember Yoshinoya not doing the raw egg for takeouts in summer. I like it with the egg, sukiyaki-style, so that would be a deal breaker for me.

On the Yoshinoya site, it says they'll only do a half cooked egg for takeouts until October. For a raw egg, you have to eat in the restaurant.

(I rarely eat it now, but former Yoshinoya fan)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to look at building a common infrastructure for digital yen payments See in context

Debit cards, i.e., direct payments from bank accounts, should have been introduced twenty years ago.

I can't say I'm that fussed about payment by an app on my phone. Someone's getting 3% and ultimately they are getting it from you, not from someone else. If the government is involved, the aim should be give the benefits of cashless to businesses and customers to promote the economy without some appointed middleman gatekeeper getting 3% for doing next to nothing. For some transactions, 3% is most of the margin.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Skateboarder Sky Brown, 11, breaks skull in fall See in context

I hope she's okay. The first skate video I saw of her was dropping from the roof of a bus to a flat landing. Flat landings put massive strain on ligaments and are notorious for injuries.

Among other things, Sky Brown has been on a ballroom dancing reality show in the US, so her parents are clearly pushing her hard as a media star. Skating's a lot of fun, but the physical demands on pro skateboarders are very very high. You've got to go really big to get noticed. A lot of the X-Games-type "extreme" sports, skateboard, inline vert skating, BMX, snowboarding, etc. are basically gymnastics on wheels, so maybe the age rules in gymnastics should also apply to children who do these sports.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Shonan beaches to be without huts, life guards for summer See in context

No lifeguards? There's a word in the dictionary for this: Illogical. Never thought the government dealt with logic anyway so...

Trying to think positive here but in their place there needs to be a warning posted along the lines of "GO IN THE WATER WITH YOUR KIDS". There should be one of them on beaches with lifeguards anyway.

I'm on the Japan Sea side, but I've seen many parents turn up at the beach who remain fully dressed and clearly have no intention of going in themselves. Some of them just sit in shade tents, so they can't even see what is happening in the water. I guess there is a big crossover with parents who think hoikuens are there to tire their kids out so they don't have to deal with them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 17-year-old boy picks worst woman to randomly ask if she wants to make an adult video See in context

Shady elements do recruit women for the sex trade, but I doubt they use 17 year olds. I bet their pitch is a bit more sophisticated and less direct than this. I'd imagine it often softens the women up with offers to do modelling or "glamour" photography.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for confining 3-year-old son in washing machine See in context

Parenting classes should be mandatory for prospective parents or part of public education.

There are already extensive pre-natal sessions for mothers. I think it would be good if for just five minutes, they could say something along the lines of tieing your kid up on a balcony or to a tree, kicking your kid out of the car and pretending to leave him/her on a mountain, putting your kid in the washing machine, putting sticky tape across your kids' mouth etc. etc. are not acceptable forms of discipline and should not be used. It doesn't matter if that's what your father did to you. This is not how you do it in 2020. Tell your husband/partner to do the same.

While they are at it, something about putting kids at least in seat belts, if not a child seat, would also be worthwhile.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Terrace House' star's death sparks calls for cyberbullying rules See in context

I will not defend cyberbullying, but we do not know whether Kimura got it more than any other celebrity. We also do not know what support Kimura was getting, whether she had family, friends, an agent, people connected to Terrace House etc. helping her and how vulnerable she was based on her personality and mental state.

This will sound unsympathetic, but Terrace House is a minor show in Japan. I bet other better-known celebs in Japan who have been top story on every wide show on tv, Becky, Noriko Sakai, Erika Sawajiri, etc. will have had it much worse. I do not write this as justification of negative comments online, only as a warning to anyone who thinks they can live a public life without nasty abuse from others. You are playing with fire.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan braces for double punch of coronavirus, natural disasters See in context

For earthquakes, the best protection is to live in a house that is likely to survive. If you build, make sure it is a large priority in what you build. If you cannot afford to build and own an old home, get some experts in and brace the hell out of it if it is post and beam. Reinforce the foundations if necessary. Given the huge cost of rehousing people after quakes (10 million yen plus), the government should really subsidize people to make their homes safer. If you rent, choose what you rent carefully. Living in an old house in Japan comes with risks that it does not overseas.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Learn how to master cabbage chopping (and make perfect okonomiyaki) See in context

Hiroshima-yaki beats Osaka-style okonomi-yaki, but if you are making the latter, the key ingredient is grated yam (nagaimo), which makes it soft and moist.

Given the amount of cabbage used, I tend to think of okonomiyaki as a "cabbage pancake". I think its ridiculous to call it "Japanese pizza".

(I slice my cabbage with a mandolin. I've been using the Bohner ones for 30 years).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Suicide hotlines busy as coronavirus ravages economy See in context

It happens in other countries too, but it is a pity this kind of counselling is not viewed as frontline care and funded and operated by the state.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: M5.8 quake rattles Hokkaido; no tsunami warning issued See in context

The first of the two Kumamoto earthquakes was magnitude 6.2. It caused deaths and over a thousand injuries because it was very close to the Earth's surface. You cannot judge tremors on magnitude alone. The Japanese shindo number is much more useful but requires localized measurement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Frontline health workers in Japan continue to face discrimination over virus See in context

I doubt the level of testing has much to do with this. People are just letting their prejudices run riot.

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Posted in: Japan revises law to make more part-timers join pension program See in context

As a freelancer I'm expected to pay 16,000 a month in pension. I have no idea what I'll recieve for that.

I also have to pay about 25,000 a month in local tax, and 64,000 a month in health insurance for my family.

Ask an accountant or your local chamber of commerce if you'd be better off on shakai hoken with your spouse as a dependent. You and your business would both pay in, but you'd get health cover for your family, kosei nenkin for yourself, and kokumin nenkin for your spouse. It may work out less than the 80,000 total you pay now, you'd get a better pension, an extra pension for your spouse, and it may have tax benefits for your business.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan revises law to make more part-timers join pension program See in context

Currently, the government asks people to begin receiving their pensions at 65 in principle, but allow them to do so at 70 in a bid to encourage people to work longer.

I don't have much of a pension, but if I had enough, the government encouraging me to work longer would get the middle finger.

All the government should be doing is not discouraging or penalizing people who continue to work. The decision to continue working should be the individual's alone.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Kitakyushu declares it is in 2nd wave of coronavirus See in context

I can't say I've been paying attention, but now the official emergency is over, is the government still telling people with any sustained cold or flu-like symptoms to go through the proper procedures and not just turn up at a hospital? If that is what infected people are doing, we will continue to see flare ups of the disease.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: You can control your air conditioner with a Game Boy Color, inventor proves See in context

Yeah, it's just a programmable remote, available to audio and home theater people for years. I used to have an LG phone that had an IR emitter and a remote controller app.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: People think making bread and sweets at home helps family members interact with each other and make themselves feel like they are at cafes. See in context

We've got a Pana bread machine too. It's really good, much better than nearly all store bought bread. If you have an oven, you can get it just to do dough and then make pizza (I do it Serious Eats foodie style), rolls, or whatever you want. For just dough that is not proven in the machine, you can overload it by 50% and use 600g of flour, if making pizzas for a kids' party for example.

The other programs sound like gimmicks, but the mochi our machine makes are actually really smooth and super more-ish with kinako or sugar/soy, not lumpy like the not-completely-pounded mochi people make by hand and hand out at events. My wife got the kids to make some udon recently in the breadmaker during lockdown and they were killer. It's very hard to make noodles that are even, but the bite to them was superb. I can easily see why people go to the trouble of making their own noodles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan to close Spain, Indonesia plants after losses See in context

As robert maes says, interesting to see that they're closing a plant inside the EU. Nissan famously has a large plant in the UK, now outside the EU and seemingly bound for tariffs and paperwork for any trade or flow of parts with the EU.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Tower reopens, but now you have to take stairs 150 meters up See in context

I'd walk up 500 meters if they still had the legendary Krautrock waxworks. A waxworks with Gottsching, Faust, Can, and Frank Zappa, with Ashra Temple bootlegs in the souvenir shop. Japan at its best!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think are some effective measures to deal with cyber-bullying? See in context

I would imagine the most damaging stuff in Japan will be done on groups connected to schools, sports clubs, etc. on services like LINE. In that situation, moderation of the group can stop bullying. If members of a sports club etc. in Japan are told to use LINE, those responsible for the club need to check on what communication is actually going on.

If this bullying is people badmouthing celebs, I think that goes with the territory. Unless its actual hate speech or invasion of privacy (e.g., this person lives here and goes to xxx every Tuesday morning), I don't think there is much that can be done, aside from setting accounts to private and blocking trolls as Garthgoyle says.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fuji TV to end reality show 'Terrace House' after cast member's death See in context

There was so much aggression from men trying to kiss girls even though they clearly said no! Then some male actors were manhandling female cast members aggressively ( next step would have been rape ) by touching their heads, turning them, pulling them closer etc and the Japanese commentators ( TV panel ) were responding by saying she was asking for him, he looks so cool doing that! This is simply promoting sexual harassment and violence!

I've not watched it but based on what's written about it, thought it was just beautiful people (models) being beautifully filmed in a beautiful house with some Zen thing of not very much going on. Based on this comment, it sounds like the producers and viewers still want some action like regular reality TV or TV dramas.

If they set up some counselling structure and care practices while this season is cancelled, then that's a good thing. Otherwise they might as well just keep making it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Craft beer gets turned into gin See in context

If they simply sold the beer off at regular Japanese beer prices, I would buy it. I often buy meat that is discounted due to expiry dates.

Most craft beers cost more than Aooni (310 yen), a fine craft beer that is consistent and actually has a balanced and rounded taste. Lots of craft beers in Japan cost more and are hit or missy, often too hoppy as mentioned above, and can vary even with the same beer depending on the batch.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ruling bloc to urge gov't to retain April start for academic year See in context

A real shame but the expected result. The reason of the burden on families sounds like BS. Japanese schools and their sports clubs almost rejoice in being a burden on families.

We are just left with the problem of how to handle kids with important entrance exams during the current school year. Their current schooling has been massively disrupted, and this disruption will depend on their town/school's policy, whether their parents kept them off (more likely in a town with Covid-19 cases) and whether their school was enable to introduce online classes. Given the love of tradition, I suspect all these students will be tested in exactly the same way as a normal school year.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey shows how Japanese couples feel about spending so much time together sheltering in place See in context

Over half of the ones were unhappy resented the loss of time on their own when their husband was at home due to Covid-19. So they view the family home as a place where they can be on their own. Is time on his own a luxury the husband ever gets?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan looking at steps against cyber-bullying after death of 'Terrace House' cast member See in context

As other posters point out, yes, more should be done about cyberbulling regardless of this individual case.

Unlike the vast majority of ordinary people who are cyberbullied however, Kimura was a participant on a reality tv show which actively encourages viewers to observe and make judgments about the participants, about their looks, personality, etc. This will be made in comparison to the other participants. who in Terrace House's case just happen to be models. The show was happy to show Kimura in a bad light and then failed to protect her.

Ordinary people who are cyberbullied are not in an attention-seeking situation and deserve much stronger protection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan aims to revive tourism industry by subsidizing people to go on vacation See in context

Western travel bloggers picked up on this a few days ago (people I know linked to them on Facebook) and put out clickbait articles about "half price travel to Japan". Since they can't actually get in the country, there is actually no need to fear that the Japanese government is giving our money to them or anyone else wanting a subsidized jolly to Japan.

The downside is that this is a gift to Japanese boomer retirees, people with the time and money to travel. Okay, the too-poor-to-retire hotel cleaner might get their 900 yen an hour-job back, but this is an inefficient way of putting money in his/her pocket.

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