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kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Paris film fans embrace 'Tora-san' as appetite for Japan movies grows See in context

The acting in japanese movies is also a copycat of American movies.

No one here talks like that in real life. No one is that open and spontaneous.

I agree that most speech in doramas and modern films seems fake and exaggerated, but don't know if it has anything to do with America. I find that it is much worse in modern Japanese productions than in ones from the 50s and 60s.

I find this (limited) foreign appreciation of Tora san a bit bemusing, but whatever floats your boat. The bits I've seen have not encouraged me to watch more. I like Japanese cinema, but the more arty or cinephile end. From the Tora san era, I like Shohei Imamura's films like Vengeance is Mine, almost the polar opposite to Tora san.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: A Japanese government panel has proposed changing the country's age definition of elderly people from 65 or over, to 70 or over, in line with an increase in healthy life expectancy. What do you think about this? See in context

As sakurasuki says, this sounds like a sticking plaster for the pension scheme.

The people who live longest in Japan are women, many of whom only pay in to the pension scheme until they get married. Once married, they have thirty years as a dependent spouse on their husband's shakai hoken. Since female life expectancy is 88, this means 23 years of a receiving a pension they paid very litte for. It also means full time working women who do pay in see their contributions support part time or non working women who do not pay in. Making people who receive a pension pay for it is vastly preferable to making people who actually do pay in wait for longer and ultimately get less.

(my wife is a dependent spouse who doesn't pay in)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan constructs world's 1st wooden satellite See in context

I have a magnolia sapling in a pot. I know nothing about it as timber, but as a tree magnolias produce showy white flowers in spring. Like yoshino sakura, they bloom before they leaf out, so its quite striking. The Japanese name is "kobushi".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Over 40 locations in Japan log record-breaking rainfall for May See in context

So we can soon expect vegetables and fruit prices to skyrocket as every time there is a weather anomaly we pay through the nose, even though there are many other places that grow, but JA and others take advantage of it.

Its already happened with cabbages. The problem is often one area dominates production, so bad weather there forces up prices across the country. For cabbages, that area is Aichi. The bad weather was a cold and wet March. In Nagano, it snowed throughout March for the first time in maybe 10 years.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Toyota, Mazda, Subaru to develop new engines in hybrid push See in context

Yes, with Mazda, you'd want them to hybridize the efficient, high-compression engines they sell as "SkyActiv". This assumes they could spin em up quickly on demand, a key factor for Toyota's hybrid system where the engine is stopped about 2/3 of the time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Premier League undergoes postseason managerial upheaval with Maresca set for Chelsea See in context

Poch had Chelsea purring toward the end of the season, so this strikes me as another step backwards. It sounds like their Directors of Football had an issue with Pochball, not so much with the results.

Liverpool need to replace Salah, VVD, and Alisson in the next season or two. That is a bigger issue than the manager. West Ham sold Declan Rice and conceded 20 more goals with the same manager. Arsenal with Rice conceded 14 fewer than the previous season, again with the same manager. Elite players make a big difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Himakajima: The Japanese island with one traffic light that only turns green once a year See in context

I've been here. The coastline was almost entirely tetrapods or concrete, so I found it quite depressing and not "quaint". We had a seafood course at a minshuku that was very tasty though, as mentioned the octopus in particular. Freshly boiled octopus is competely different to what you find in supermarkets. There is no comparison.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota, Mazda, Subaru to develop new engines in hybrid push See in context

I don't think the world is ready for a large percentage of EVs.

Some hybrids are fantastic and others are meh, the Subaru XV for example. It all depends on how its done. F1 cars and most super cars and hyper cars are hybrids now. Each car should be judged on its merits, not on whether its a "hybrid" or an "EV". Lots of EVs are great, but there are also moronic ones like the Cybertruck. Anything that can cut its owner's leg just by brushing past it or can cut your fingers when you wash it has serious problems.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Holes poked in mesh screen barrier at popular Mount Fuji viewing spot See in context

Every news report I see from this location shows lots of cars driving down that road. So if folks are walking back and forth across the road, dragging suitcases etc, I can see it being very tiresome for locals.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo-Osaka bullet train services may be suspended due to heavy rain See in context

Hanging a carrier bag from the handlebars is a no-no, but fair play to the cyclist for being dressed properly and not holding an umbrella. That would be very dangerous in driving rain like today.

The last six weeks have been very dry on the Japan Sea side and in northern Honshu. We've had as much rain today as we've had in the last month. Here's a weather map.


It maxxed out here at (just) 15mm an hour, but I had to drive through it and there were huge puddles and oncoming cars and trucks at or very close to the center line. It wasn't a pleasant experience.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Maybe it’s high time 'majime' Japan turned 'wagamama' (Part 1) See in context

I find the tendency to navel gaze (self analyze) and constantly ask foreigners their opinion of Japan one of the least interesting and attractive things about the country and Japanese culture. I think it is neurotic.

"We Japanese are this and foreigners are that" type comments are almost always based on characature versions of Japan and whatever is being presented as gaikoku. The question "Why do Japanese keep their opinions to themselves?” can only be asked by someone who, for example, has never seen "Curb Your Enthusiasm", a comedy show whose comedy is mostly based on the social awkwardness of its character's inability to keep his opinions to himself in, yes, gaikoku.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Operators are facing a difficult decision as to whether to keep focusing on ¥100 products or to expand their business beyond them. See in context

A lot of Daiso's products are made specially for Daiso. This means that they have the power to do shrinkflation, i.e., shrink the product so it is still profitable at 100 yen. The 50g bag of peanuts becomes 40g. The 8m roll of electricians tape becomes 5m etc.

The last 100 yen shop I went to was the ex-video rental half of a Tsutaya. It had self service tills, the first time I've seen them in a 100 yen shop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: High-profile opposition figure Renho to run for Tokyo governor See in context

I hope she gets elected on a "let's reopen the Olympics' books" ticket and goes after everyone who got an envelope full of bills.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Mister Donut apologizes for selling 'Meat Pies' that didn’t contain meat See in context

I suppose the danger here is folks with a soy allergy eating it. Paying for meat and not getting it is just false advertising, which is bad but will not kill you or kick off an allergy.

Most Bolognaise sauce retort packets in Japan contain less than 8g of protein, meaning there is only tiny amounts of meat in them. A meat pie with the equivalent of maybe one eighth of such a packet of source will only have 1g or so of meat in it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tourists making memories via pottery rebirth, manga stamp experiences See in context

Just for my own education, but what is "Bengal Red" and its place in traditional Japanese crafts? Everyone who knows basic Japanese wordworking will know "bengara", which is powdered iron oxide (rusty red or jet black). This is used, usually in combination with astringent persimmon juice (kakishibu) as a wood finish for darkening wood. Is "Bengal Red" the worldwide name for iron oxide as a pigment? A quick Google suggest Bengal red is simply the name of a colour, which depening on the seller be more like scarlet than rusty red. Basic kintsugi kits are on sale on Rakuten and yes, indeed, the pigment material they include is bengara, in both red and black forms.

My suspicion here is that bengara=Bengal Red is a bad translation which Japanese people are just repeating as if its the truth. The name "bengara" comes from kanji for red, its "kou" for kouyou (autumn leaves) and has another reading of "kurenai" (at least in the name of a hydrangea in our garden). I don't think the bengara name of the substance has anything to do with "Bengal" in India. Such associations should not be introduced by (bad) translators.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Newsrooms experimenting with generative AI, warts and all See in context

Ninety odd percent of current "journalism" is just passing on announcements.

China's spokesman said this. Taiwan's spokesman said this. Basic wiki-type background. Done, next story.

Yen down against dollar. BOJ spokesman said this. Dial-a-quote trader said this. Done, next story.

This does not require any form of intelligence and is not real journalism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Pair of premium Yubari melons sell for ¥3 million See in context

For $30, 000 the producers of these melons get national and international coverage.

Its now less than 20k USD, :(, and cost the buyer, not the producer.

What I am most interested in though is the assertion that this got meaningful "international coverage". I suspect the international media are bored with this. If they bothered to find out that the melons are grown over winter (average outside temp for Dec to Feb is minus 5.6C) in superheated polytunnels, I doubt Western media would be so keen on acting as patsies handing out valuable free promotion. Any news outlet supposedly keen on reporting on climate issues would probably want to comment on the heating bill. Yubari climate in this link here.


The idea of growing melons over winter in Hokkaido is very artificial and denies the Japanese central claim of eating "shun no mono" (seasonal food).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Wi-Fi, drones and sharp blades on Japan's whaling mothership See in context

Food security does not come from catching huge creatures in the Antarctic in hard-to-maintain ships that use literally tons and tons of fuel oil. Were whale meat to ever become a valuable resource, the ship will likely need a military escort.

It is far easier to just shoot a few deer or raise some chickens and rabbits.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Record 19.1 million int'l passengers used Haneda airport in FY2023 See in context

It's 1-2% no?

Yep, inbound tourism at the current record breaking pace is on course for about 7 cho yen this year.

For reference, while declining, pachinko is still about 5 cho yen. For less touristy prefectures, pachinko will still be a bigger part of GDP than inbound tourism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: British Prime Minister Sunak sets July 4 election date as his Conservatives face a likely defeat See in context

“In the Middle East, the forces of Islamist extremism threaten regional and ultimately global stability. China is seeking to dominate the 21st century by steeling a lead in technology."

That's the BBC transcribing Sunak's announcement, so the misspelling of "steal" is theirs not mine. Journalism for you in 2024. The comment about the Middle East, two days after the arrest warrant for Netanyahu, is typical nonsense but the idea of China "stealing a lead in technology" is completely mad. China is already miles ahead of the UK.

If the news story is the timing of the election, Robert Peston reckons that the Treasury has told Sunak that there is no money for a pre-election tax cut in the autumn. So no point in waiting any longer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Record 19.1 million int'l passengers used Haneda airport in FY2023 See in context

They need to build a selfie deck so people can take the above photo. It might ease the pressure on folks standing opposite Lawsons or walking down the middle of the road at Kawaguchiko.

Building a Lawsons in the foreground would also be an option.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Norway, Ireland and Spain say they will recognize Palestinian state, deepening Israel's isolation See in context

This wouldn't have happened in September 2023, so it's fair to conclude that Israel is "losing".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese players in MLB: Are they overhyped? See in context

Matsuzaka was overpitched as a schoolkid, whole games with extra innings on consecutive days! There are stricter rules about it now, so hopefully the next generation of Japanese pitchers will get off easier.

Japanese pitchers breaking down after two or three seasons in MLB is a known problem and has been written about before.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 2-year-old girl dies after her neck gets stuck in car window See in context


If this happens to anyone, it's safe to smash the window. It will shatter into thousands of rounded pieces which aren't sharp. I've broken a car window before by kicking up a stone with my weed whacker.

Powered sliding doors have an auto stop, but windows don't. You need to be careful with manual doors if you have kids and park on a slope. They can slam shut under their own weight.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's new whaling factory ship sets sail on first hunt See in context

Like most people, my family doesn't eat whale unless someone gives it to us. I object to anyone saying that we don't eat it because of "a lack of public awareness". We are perfectly capable of making our choices without being told what to do. No-one gets to criticize our "identity" based on what we eat or don't eat.

If whale meat is going to be given to people who do not choose what they eat, school children, people in old folks' homes, people in prison, etc. then it should all be tested and cleared for mercury content. Its a basic idea, but no-one should be force fed food that will damage their health.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan ranks 3rd among top world travel destinations after U.S., Spain: report See in context

If only people realized what a huge chance this is to revitalize regional Japan, 

The entire middle of the USA is referred to as the "flyover states". Many Americans themselves aren't interested in them, let alone any Asian or European tourists. Most people's dream first trip to the USA is not Kansas CIty, Missouri. I've lived nearly half my life in Japanese inaka, but most of it isn't for everyone and is of little interest to mainstream short term visitors. People need to have realistic expectations about what tourists are after.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan weighs incentivizing childbirth by fully covering expenses See in context

Anyone saying the government shouldn't make childbirth completely free should note that there is private maternity clinic industry in Japan which, at the high end, offers hotel like services like private rooms, French food, hairdressing, nail art, yoga, etc. as part of the package. Most Japanese already go in for a full week, something unheard of in some advanced countries.

I think the system as is is very good, you get a lump sum that will cover a standard birth and if you want extras, you pay for them yourself. Note that it is actually risky for an older woman or someone with complications to give birth at a maternity clinic, because they have no ER services. If something goes wrong, they'll simply call an ambulance.

fwiw, all my kids were born at a maternity clinic with us in a private room. No French food or aromatherapy though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan enacts law to restrict onshore wind farm construction See in context

Japan has no continental shelf at the coast. This means offshore wind for Japan is deep sea offshore wind, which is way more expensive. Onshore wind is cheap.

We live in a very scenic place but a few turbines in our view wouldn't bother me. I'd be up in arms if they wanted to build a new expressway or Shinkansen line.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Time is valuable to tourists. Lots of them think they can be doing something else rather than having to wait in line at a restaurant, so we're getting a great response. See in context

A fee based reservation system? Are they copying this from Disneyland's fast pass playbook which used to be free?

The Disney one is awful. You pay 2000 yen per single ride per person or wait for two hours. $14 USD for single friends from overseas mightn't seem much, but it is a lot if its 8000 yen for a family of four earning yen. This payment is on top of already paying to get in and ride the rides for "free". I have ridden many planes that involved walking through business class and never thought "why do these folks have more than me?" but that was the feeling I got seeing many folks paying to skip the queue and walk past us at Disney earlier this year. Since I only found out about it on arrival, I end up griping about the system to my family members when we were there. Nobody who goes to Disneyland wants to hear moaning, even perfectly justified moaning.

I didn't know TableCheck had a pay to skip the queue at restaurant feature, but I do not see it as progress. If you get there early enough, anyone can eat Michelin starred ramen for the regular price. I do not think letting only people who can pay double eat it without waiting would be a better situation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese firms offer highest pay hike in 32 years in spring wage talks See in context

Many freelancers (or folks employed as "independent providers") will be now be doing their accounts with Invoice Seido for the first time. We just got ours back and my tax bill went up 125,000, which was only for a half year from October. It is essentially a pay cut.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

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