kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: How the ultrarich in Japan educate their kids See in context

A child born in May will be among the youngest in the class.

That's a typo. A child born in May will be the oldest, and therefore most developed.

As for the story, if that is what being wealthy and well-to-do, means, I'm pleased I'm out of it.

fwiw, as someone who learned Japanese to a very high level in my twenties and who knows people who developed other skills, web design, advanced woodworking etc. as adults, I am skeptical about the Japanese belief that toddlers must have knowledge or languages drilled into them on a "now or never" basis. Just because you have given up on learning doesn't mean other adults aren't capable of it.

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Posted in: Osaka expo careens toward a looming disaster, for an event that few even want See in context

Osaka was nearly bankrupted by the bayside development of these islands 20-30 years ago. The whole area with the APC, the aquarium, the island with the Gaudi-like gomi burner, and these islands where they wanted to host the Olympics. They just constantly throwing good money after bad.

I hope the national taxpayer does not bail them out. We need to stop event-based development. If Sapporo locals want the Olympics, they should be told its going to cost them 500,000 each and the city will start closing nurseries and old peoples homes if people won't pay it in property taxes.

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Posted in: New technology installed beneath Detroit street can charge electric vehicles as they drive See in context

Most cities once commonly had electric powered vehicles in the street, trams and/or trolleybuses.Any city that abolished them was stupid.

I thought Henry Ford and other car makers bought them and closed them down.

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Posted in: Kishida to meet Israeli president possibly on Friday during Mideast trip See in context

 a conflict they don't understand

This links into a big myth because it is not a complex situation to begin with. Japanese diplomats who deal with the Middle East will understand it. Individual elected politicians may not, some of them may be clueless, but they have little say in formulating policy.

This in no way means that Japan will want to do the right thing, because Japan has allies to appease.

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Posted in: Rakuten's mobile misadventure: From ambitious plan to millstone See in context

As a case study of business strategy, this one is quite interesting. Rakuten tried to go from being an MVNO to an MNO, i.e., someone who rents bandwidth on someone else's network to someone who builds physical towers and physical base stations and creates their own network. As examples of famous companies, AU is an MNO, they have communication infrastructure, and UQ are an MVNO, a reseller of bandwidth on AU's network. Those two companies are actually part of the same group.

When Docomo, AU, and Softbank originally set up, all of them had a slow rollout and all had coverage issues across inaka. Back then, mobiles were new and folk did not expect them to work absolutely everywhere like today. The idea with Rakuten becoming an MNO was that they would still operate as a MVNO in areas without their own masts, i.e., their new coverage would be backed up by whatever bandwidth they were buying from (I think it was) Softbank. This must not be happening very well if folks are having connection issues.

The disadvantage for users on an MVNO is that they are not given priority compared to MNO customers when the network is crowded. The classic experience is slow speeds at busy periods, such as lunchtime in the city. AU customers are likely to have faster speeds at lunchtime than UQ customers.

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Posted in: Social media sites have become a phenomenal means of communication for hate groups, conspiracy theorists and deranged individuals and groups. Do you agree with this statement? See in context

rainyday's description of Facebook is perfect. It's awful now, just lots of ads and "suggested to you" promoted content that you cannot turn off however much you try.

Social media displays just how wide a swath of people there are who are Looney Tunes, gullible, easily manipulated and just plain stupid. Elon Musk should send them all to mars, and maybe go with them.

I think you can replace "social media" with "mainstream media" and that still makes sense.

The Japanese mainstream media is more than happy to parrot government annoucements with no scrutiny. You have to be Looney Tunes, gullible, easily manipulated and just plain stupid to believe them.

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Posted in: Israel and Hamas agree to extend truce for two more days, and to free more hostages and prisoners See in context

The far-right version of zionism is the problem.

It’s fundamentally all far-right and a large chunk of it worldwide is Christians, not Jews.

Jews do not recognize Jesus Christ as the son of God, just about the central tenet of Christianity, but that doesn't seem to bother Christian Zionists. Most are Protestants/Evangelicals, and the Catholic Church is far less cool on Israel, as seen from the Pope's recent comments.

Check this out as an eyeopener into what some people believe and want to happen.


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Posted in: Space man See in context

He should wear a uniform covered in dots like a Zozo suit.

I still have mine from however many years ago. After measuring myself, I found that the app could only recommend sizes in jeans, white work shirts, and stripey tops. They had nothing else linked to it.

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Posted in: Locals use big-city thinking to bring Gunma onsen town back from brink See in context

In the UK, local councils are happy to spend a £15m government grant on a 'hub', filling the pockets of local companies run by their mates, spending more than they need to on grand schemes that see little use.

I would not assume that Japan is very different. I would imagine the partial demolition of the hotel was publically funded and the work went to a company friendly with the government. Other projects will be the same.

Demographics mean there is no hope for formerly popular Japanese resorts. In fact, its going to get worse as the Japanese boomers head past seventy-five and stop travelling. However, Minakami probably has enough going for it to be left as one of the winners. My first advice, which has zero implementation cost, is to get rid of the bears in tiny cages at that nice mixed onsen down by the river. This is a huge turnoff for inbound tourists. Some will leave thinking "never again". To be successful, they probably need a mix of outdoor and non-outdoor (e.g. women in high heels) customers. Non-outdoor people will need some kind of gentrification, nice shops, nice cafes with actual views, glamping, ... There are far more non outdoor people out there than outdoor ones.

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Posted in: Man United beats Everton 3-0 amid protests thanks to outrageous goal from Garnacho See in context

Incredible goal. Up there with the greatest overhead kicks of all time.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors to launch Minicab EV electric commercial vehicle in Japan in December See in context

This looks like a good "final mile" vehicle for Black Cat and the like.

I must say that I too am disappointed with the dearth of good electric motorcycles.

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Posted in: Japanese workers took 62% of paid leave allocation in 2022: gov't survey See in context

Some of the time off people take will be for mundane things, not R&R

Sports day for each kid at school, renewing your driving license, trips to the docs, and health checkups. Looking after kids or PTA stuff too as grund says. If I lived in Tokyo, Id want to extend any long weekend used to travel back to see family in inaka, because getting back into Tokyo on the expressway on a Sunday night is a nightmare.

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Posted in: For readers in international marriages, what are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face? See in context

Convincing the in-laws and neighbors that we aren’t in an ‘international’ marriage but two humans from different countries who met and fell in love.

Yes, there is a kokusai kekkon pigeonhole that some people will want to put you in. Maybe they are hoping for some "darling wa gaikokujin" type anecdotes. I can also sympathize with Laguna and him living his life in Japan, but other people assuming its not his country. Its probably what Japanese people are taught to think, but its still awful.

On the subject of other people's expectations, I resent people assuming my kids are completely bilingual. I speak to our eldest in English, but only because she has studied and is quite good. I don't speak to the others in English much because my wife doesn't speak that much English. It would mean I'd be the only one in our house capable of fully expressing myself.

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Posted in: It is necessary to deepen the knowledge and understanding of how teachers approach students who are not attending school, understand their feelings and respond to them. See in context

in which about 30% of students who have stopped attending school answered that "teachers" were the reason for their truancy.

Yes, some of them are bullies or are extremely KY with no empathy.

My son's teacher forced him to sit at the school front door when distraught instead of taking him to a private location like hokenshitsu. The entire school then walked out past him as he was crying. The previous year, the same teacher repeatedly made disparaging comments about a girl with hair loss. Talk to enough parents and there are stories like this galore. Teachers who force kids to eat everything in the school lunch and will hold them back until they do. As if all that matters is "thou shalt eat piman".

If another x percent of kids to go to school due to bullying, that can also be blamed on teachers for not doing more to deal with it.

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Posted in: 'Dublin is safe,' says Irish PM Varadkar after 34 arrested in riots See in context

Online rumors claimed the perpetrator of a stabbing attack was an immigrant. The BBC found that the man was an Irish citizen who had lived in the country for 20 years.

These people were rioting against crimes committed by one of their own, a long term Irish citizen.

That's unless you're a racist and do not recognize the citizenship of people who may or may not have different coloured skin.

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Posted in: Japanese businesses are managed as if they are looking in the rearview mirror. See in context

Uniqlo have offshored manufacturing. It should be obvious that their boss is not going to speak up for monozukuri (manufacturing) because his is not in Japan. Uniqlo stores have automated tills, so they've also done away with even more workers.

I do not see (increasingly online) retail of stuff made in Bangladesh or Vietnam as a bright future for Japan.

a budget financed by soaring debt rather than tax receipts.

Who is he suggesting Japan taxes? Are Japanese willing to pay more tax? There is massive opposition to freelancers and small businesses paying consumption tax under the new invoice system.

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Posted in: Marriage for many Japanese has become an unaffordable luxury See in context

We had a wedding, it cost us about 1.3 million yen. Compared to raising three kids, its a drop in the bucket. It wouldn't even buy a new kei car.

As for the article, a lot to unpick. The Japanese population aged between 20 and 40 has crashed. There may be half as many marriages as 1972, but compared to 1980 (the data I have available) , the number of men aged 20 to 40 has also shrunk from 18m to 12m. A third fewer people are having half as many marriages. This suggests a fall of 1/6 not one half.

Today’s careers – more so tomorrow’s – demand (or are thought to) intensive, massively expensive education, seen as indispensible if the child is to have any hope of a future, but a deep drain on household finance. 

I would say this is complete BS and driven only by fear and marketing by Benesse etc. The smaller population makes it very easy to get into "good" schools now, which still have the same number of places. You do not need to send your kids to juku. Even the top of the tree, Todai, is is way easier to get into than Ivy League. Any Japanese person who disagrees is just being melodramatic (a national trait). Just look at the number of applicants to places. The "top" senior high school in Nagano, Nagano Koukou, is one-to-one applicants to places. Kids don't apply not because its hard to get in (it isn't) but because there are restrictions on how many schools you can apply for (making parents and kids very conservative) and noone wants to be the dummy in the class. Many firms in Japan are desperate for staff and will accept workers as "chuto saiyo". They do not care whether workers had a "massively expensive education". My wife's cousin's husband is on the management stream at a large Toyota supplier (i.e., elite manufacturing). He only went to tandai, two years of university, which was one of the ko-sen technical colleges.

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Posted in: Woman alleges Jamie Foxx sexually assaulted her at New York bar; actor says it 'never happened' See in context

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan by a woman known in the documents only as Jane Doe

Why does she get anonimity and he doesn't? If his claim that a previous case has been dismissed is true, this does not seem right.

Some men are sexual predators. I am not denying that in the slightest.

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Posted in: Autumn afternoon See in context

Yep, ginkgo trees can stink, in case anyone is thinking of planting one in the garden. I can't remember if its the male or female. Plenty of other trees go bright yellow in autumn, if that's the colour you want. Birches for example. Dankoubai (Japanese spice bush) would be a smaller example.

Being in a crowd is not my idea of appreciating nature, but I think this photo shows the need for green spaces in cities and the importance of protecting the ones we have already.

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Posted in: Suntory announces massive price spike for its whisky, some types more than double in price See in context

Can these whiskys be bought at the regular price anyway? I was under the impression that they are either sold out or being sold at a large premium by resellers.

If that is the case, I would rather the inflated price go to Suntory and to not the resellers.

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Posted in: What's your favorite convenience store brand in Japan? See in context

I used to dislike Lawson, but they got the tie up with Kirin and Oh La Ho, meaning Aooni craft beer in every store. Beer is one of the few products not marked up in conbinis.

7-11 has generally the best snacks, chips etc. Its small and pricey, but the frozen margerita pizza they do is really good, almost wood-fired oven level. Better than most Italian restaurants if you cook it properly.

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Posted in: With more husbands and wives both having jobs, employees feel more reluctant to be relocated. See in context

Finding another employment for their spouse, finding another nursing care/school for their children, it make sense.

Most traditional transfers involve "tanshin funin", the husband living away on his own. The wife and kids stay as they are.

The issue with that now is that if the wife works full time, the husband is likely to be doing some housework or helping with kids, which men did not do in the past. If the kids go to club activities or the like, it may be the husband taking them. Generally speaking, men do not do the overtime or work socializing they used to, and are more likely to be at home far longer than the bad old days. I often see fathers at my own kids' activities or buying food with kids in the supermarket.

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Posted in: In the land of the rising stocks, clouds may be arriving See in context

It’s fallen roughly 11% against the U.S. dollar this year, 

More like 15% no? The reason I mention it is it tempers the "The Nikkei 225 index has surged 28% this year" statement.

100/130 on Jan 1 = 0.77 128/149 now = 0.86

So up about 12% net in USD terms. Still very good, but not 28%. For more context, it feels like certain food items are up 12% this year.

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Posted in: Earth to warm up to 2.9C even with current climate pledges: U.N. See in context

No the wise thing would be to listen to scientists, and I don't mean ones in the pay of big oil.

That's if you care about your children and your children's children.

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Posted in: What do you think are some of the major differences between J-pop and K-pop music? See in context

The blueprint for Japanese boy bands was set by a serial child-abusing proto-Yakuza.

The blueprint for Japanese girl bands is "lolicon" - Lolita complex. The basic idea is "graduation" (i.e., kicked out) when you are twenty something.

Musically its all very poor, but just what you'd expect when the entertainment industry is a closed shop.

KPop is pretty much the same, only with less lolicon on the girls side, better songwriting, and more awareness of contemporary US pop. It has been successful globally, but I think that says as much about Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Lizzo, etc. as it does about Kpop. Modern pop music is dire. 1980s Madonna had way more talent and originality than Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga. Michael Jackson way more than Bruno Mars. Don't get me started on Prince! Even talented modern artists, say John Legend, have no originality. He's just someone who sings as well as (insert 70s soul singer, say Teddy Pendergrass).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Earth to warm up to 2.9C even with current climate pledges: U.N. See in context

The first day that was 2.0C over the pre-industrial average was last week. Its back down to the trend now, 1.4C or whatever exact number it is, but means we are already spiking over 2C.

There is currently record warmth in the sea around Japan, which could mean some weird or supercharged winter weather. Its a record, mixed with a once a decade strong el Nino, so there is no data to suggest what may be in store.

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Posted in: Turkey rules the table, but a poll finds disagreement over other Thanksgiving classics See in context

I've seen videos of American guys deep frying entire turkeys, and I suspect that it the best way to cook it. That or spatchcocking maybe.

Thansgiving and Christmas are about family, not good food. Sticking a huge thing that cooks at different rates in the oven and then carving it at the table while juggling lots of side dishes (which are going cold) is not a recipe for really good food. It probably was when people ate big meat twice a year and survived on broth or bread and dripping, but not now.

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Posted in: Kotatsu heated tables for sofas rising in popularity, giving Japan best of both worlds this winter See in context

Just use a futon or fleece blanket and a hot water bottle.

This is the wrong height for a coffee table, making it awkward or useless as a coffee table outside of winter. A kotatsu will at least work year-round as a decent table for a tatami room. As a general idea, heating a room to a lower temp and using blankets isn't such a bad thing. Of course, most folks in Japan don't do this out of choice, they do it because their home is so leaky and badly insulated that they need a kotatsu to make it bearable.

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Posted in: 'Barking deer' in Japan causing havoc for human population See in context

But panel members were cautious, saying the objective of preserving the ecosystem should not be downplayed.

Preserving the ecosystem is a strong reason to aggressively eliminate them. Native deer are bad enough, huge damage to agriculture due to overpopulation, but these aren't even native.

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Posted in: Japanese museum dedicated to salmon has no live salmon on display this year See in context

If I know Japan, this is presumably a "look at (live) salmon" - "eat some (dead) salmon" - "take home some salmon as omiyage" operation. So parts two and three will still function without part one. Maybe they could project map some fish onto the tank.

In more serious terms, there are record high sea temps around Japan. We are heading into strong El Nino but the sea is much warmer than in previous El Nino events like 2015-16. We may be in for some unusual weather. Big snowstorms in unusual places etc.

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