kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Newlywed Rei Kikukawa’s husband in hot water over multiple affairs, out-of-wedlock children See in context

Some people are getting downarrowed but by definition, the age of consent is the age at which consent can be given. So sex with a minor is sex without consent because a minor is legally incapable of giving it. The act is a form of rape. Note that the law recognizes that this is not the same the better-known form of rape where you physically force yourself onto the victim, and the fact that the girl was 17 will be taken into account. This is also the case with rape of an intoxicated victim.

As for the story, you would have thought the "Tokudane" program she is on would have many contacts in the press, including the grubby press, and so it's likely she'd have been told of the guy's reputation, if not the specifics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Abandoned railroads in spotlight as tourist attractions See in context

I know a couple that are hiking/walking paths. One is the Mukogawa Gorge, just north of Takarazuka in Kansai, which is very scenic but has long tunnels, and the other is a cycleway along the coast in Itoigawa at the south end of Niigata, which is about 30km along a mostly flat path with some bits on the road.

Leaving the rails and fitting special mountain bikes to them limits the possible uses but I suppose it means the path can be monetized. This may be needed to pay for maintenance to tunnels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context


I agree with you, maybe except for the "easy way to keep your kids out of trouble", which I haven't experienced (yet).

My main point is that I do not think the overbearing take-over-your-kids-life aspect of clubs is parent-driven. I have absolutely no say in how many practices my kids' clubs have. That is decided by the coaches and the club's "traditions". I would be happier with less, not more. I'd also being happier if my kids could do different sports without having to show slavish devotion to a single one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo police urge go-kart tour companies to improve safety measures See in context

Just regarding the issue of street legality, nine times out of ten these go karts will be driven by a noob with a licence for a much larger vehicle (a car) with different sightlines and handling. Mopeds, other three-wheelers like the pizza ones, and other unusual vehicles will be driven by the same person who will be used to driving it. These go karts themselves might be safe in themselves, but not when driven by the worst of the noobs who pay to have a go on them.

If self-driving cars had the same accident rate as these go karts, even for "minor"? accidents, I'm sure they wouldn't be allowed in central Tokyo. The same accident rate would be a PR disaster.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Man spends wife’s inheritance from her mother on mobile games See in context

Games are specifically designed now with monetization in mind. The old model was to make a complete console game, sell it for say $50, and let players compete based on skill to see how far they can get.

The model now is to make a free mobile game with pay gates specifically designed into the game. You force people to buy more tries or power ups or add-ons. The game will be pretty much impossible to play without them. Older, wiser players may grind their way through using whatever powerups they can get without paying, but more impulsive players (generally younger) can be made to pay for whatever they need to get deeper into the game. Note that there are plenty of people out there without the mental faculties to resist this approach. Games may use coins or tokens within the game as an abstraction from real money, and deliberately not provide enough for the powerups needed to get past the pay gates or to be competitive in online play. Well known examples of games like this are Puzzles and Dragons and Candy Crush.

This method is well known in the game industry and has been well covered on sites like Gama Sutra. As a parent, I'm much happier for my kids to play Minecraft on a console than Puzzles/Dragons or some other extortion-fest on a phone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

I don't know about what happens in the city, but in inaka, clubs do not "babysit" kids. For starters, most clubs are from JHS upwards, so the kids aren't babies and can be left alone. Also, having kids in a club makes you far more busy with rotas and (in inaka) running your kids around all over the place, taikais that are two or three hours' drive away and involve 6am starts etc., so lazy parents don't let their kids do them. It's much easier and cheaper to just let your kids play video games, watch tv or read manga.

The idea that clubs do all the work in raising kids, leaving parents to do their own thing is false in inaka. The club gets first call on your kids' free time and yours too if they want you on duty or to be treasurer or chief or whatever. Fewer kids in inaka means fewer parents to do the same number of yakuin jobs. Some people can find themselves doing club things for their kids on every day off.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

This is very nice in theory but does not consider deeply entrenched labour practices and the fact that such practices are often already illegal. It is pointless creating new initiatives when existing laws are not enforced.

However (!), if creating a "kids week" in September weakens the tiresome notion that summer is automatically over by September 1st, I am all for it! Average daily high on Sept. 1 in Tokyo is 29.9C. It's still 27C (just over 80F) by mid September.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Businesses aimed at supporting working women on the increase See in context

Whoops, somehow that got posted while I was writing it, but the kits mostly just contain cut meat and cut vegetables. Depending on peoples' skills, time and degree of organization, that might be a big benefit, but my initial impression is that people are paying a lot for not very much. I don't think the kits themselves are anything special over getting veggies delivered and preparing them yourself in seconds with a mandolin slicer.

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Posted in: Businesses aimed at supporting working women on the increase See in context

I cook for my family and out of interest looked at the Kit Oisix website. It's an exaggeration to say Most of the kits do not include "all necessary ingredients" and you have to have all the condiments and seasonings yourself.

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Posted in: Tokyo police urge go-kart tour companies to improve safety measures See in context

Twelve accidents since the end of March? Two a week? Given the low numbers renting the carts, that sounds pretty high to me. The % must be way higher than a simple car or moped journey in Tokyo.

The carts are cool, but I wouldn't want to drive alongside them. They are much lower than anything else on the road.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Apple growers in Japan see opportunities in cider business See in context

Cider is a fantastic drink, especially when it's hot like in Japan.

Given that fruit in Japan has to be blemish free and people will pay more for alcoholic drinks than simple juice, I guess this gives Japanese growers a chance to make money on a larger part of what their trees produce.

Most Japanese apples are grown with huge amounts of chemicals and labour to keep them blemish free. Despite the high prices, growers won't be making much money. They will also be exposing themselves to lots of very nasty chemicals, traces of which will of course remain in the fruit. It will be easier to cut down on chemicals if a larger part of the harvest can be monetized as cider.

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Posted in: Japan to tighten crackdown on coercion in porn video business See in context

I agree that undercover female police is the best approach.

I also wonder why it isn't used to stop gropers on the trains.

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Posted in: Female stork shot mistakenly by hunter in Shimane See in context

If this is a kou-no-tori, they are huge, much bigger than a heron. I've seen one before, alerted to it by a group of about a dozen photographers standing among the local paddies.

The one I saw had four or five multicolored rings on one leg. This bird may have bred in the wild, but sounds like it was from the breeding center they have, so I suspect it might have been marked as well, especially if they can say with confidence that it had just laid eggs. That suggests it must have been a tracked bird.

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Posted in: Toxicity levels 100 times safety limit detected again at new fish market site See in context

What a mess. It sounds like there is not going to be a best solution, only a least worst one, so I can foresee Koike getting a lot of flak whatever they choose to do. In relative terms against other Japanese politicians, she doesn't seem that bad, so it will be unfortunate if she ends up being judged on how she handles what are other people's mistakes.

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Posted in: Woman, daughter lost overboard during ferry trip See in context

I understand that depression is a serious condition and don't have a problem with suicide itself, but I wish people wouldn't do it on public transport. Some people have to work on that ferry or drive that train.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Oita zoo names baby monkey Piko after PPAP singer See in context

I wish I'd had the chance to vote, given "Trump" was only 25 votes short.

If it's anything like Nagano, I suspect there will be plenty of wild monkeys (macaques) in Oita, the mountainous bits at least, so you don't have to go to the zoo to see them. Just go to some onsen up in the hills.

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Posted in: Princess Mako to get engaged See in context

I know things are hard in the world of journalism, but this is all over the place.

From the Japanese press, the guy Kei Komuro sounds like he modeled for a tourism campaign a few years ago promoting beaches as "Prince of the Sea". It is cute trivia about him, not his job.

It sounds like he works for a law firm but is not qualified as a lawyer. Before attending ICU, he went to International Schools. Mako sama herself went to Leicester University for a year.

(if they are the symbol of the country, why is the Japanese royal family going to a Christian university? I would have guessed that kunaicho wouldn't allow it to please the "nihonjin de yokatta, raise the hinomaru in your heart" nationalists at the Shinto shrine association)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo universities end up taking the younger generations away from regional areas. See in context

I live in inaka and no-one bats an eyelid at the cost of driving aside from the cost at the pump. fwiw, I personally think the cost of driving is heavily subsidized by city people who have a non-kei status-symbol car and pay the car tax and weight tax but only use their car on the weekends. The car insurance ads on the tv say things like "for 3000km a year, the premium is just 20,000 yen". No one in inaka is paying all the fixed costs of ownership to drive that little. Even old dears in their kei trucks do way more than that to and from the tanbo. To be fair, the government would tax fuel (i.e., pollution) not ownership, but that is not going to happen. It would hit inaka very hard.

You should also see how much it costs to go 5km on a rural bus service that only runs once every two hours. You'd soon forget the cost of a car license.

Getting back to the brain drain but I didn't know that universities in Japan were increasing their numbers. I would doubt that since the number of 18 year olds is falling every year. My suspicion is that the smaller student pool makes it easier for kids from inaka who've not been to some hardcore city cram school from age 13 to get into the more prestigious universities that tend to be in places like Tokyo.

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Posted in: Desperately short of labor, mid-sized Japanese firms plan to buy robots See in context

More automation will only push wages down.

Maybe this is inevitable, but I would say that low wages are already a big problem in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

fwiw, I wouldn't have much of a problem with this poster if it simply said "日本はいい国だ”.

That's what most people actually mean when they say the expression on the poster. They usually say it on eating some good Japanese food or seeing some nice scenery or sakura or autumn leaves. Yes, there are great things in Japan. It's only the nationalists/racists who want to push this into a nationality/race issue. Anyone in Japan can enjoy Japanese food and sakura. In fact, Bill Gates with his massive house in Karuizawa and huge fortune can afford to eat more high-class Japanese food than a full 100% of 日本人で生まれた people. He and the rest of us get to enjoy the fruits of Japan without being Japanese.

It shouldn't need saying, but there would also be nothing abnormal about the Chinese woman on the poster thinking that Japan is an いい国. Since she is not Japanese, the statement on the poster is apt for ridicule.

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Posted in: Surgery won’t help degenerative knee problems, experts say See in context

If doing a new sport, in my case it was road biking but it can be running, skiing, or others, watch out for too much, too soon. Sometimes knee pain is from insufficient support from the surrounding muscles, not from weakness in the knee itself. The buzz from doing a new hobby makes it very very easy to overdo it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Best Mother Awards recipients named See in context

Re: the last post, kids who go to daycare do not go to cram school. They won't go to "clubs" either, because clubs start at school, mostly JHS, not elementary school. Preschoolers may go to "narai-goto", dance classes, English, piano, sports etc., but only if their parents (mothers) physically accompany them there. People who work all day leave their kids for extended daycare (encho).

As for the general cult of celebrity, urghh! Get on with your own life and do not project things onto other people or concern yourself with whatever idolized image of themselves they may present, either as a celeb through the media or an ordinary person through social media.

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Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

If anyone is still reading, the BBC apparently contacted the photo agency who confirmed that the model is Chinese.

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Posted in: Cheap is king nowadays, but there are hidden risks See in context

I would rather pay the going global rate for aspirins or paracetemol, which will be under 100 yen for two dozen or more, than pay the ridiculous price of Bufferin, which if I remember correctly is eight times that.

It doesn't really exist in Japan, but there is such a thing in the civilized world as consumer protection. This article is suggesting we just blame the victim if the price paid appears to be low. To suggest that caveat emptor is enough for people buying houses is just simply silly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Global summit in Tokyo discusses women's empowerment See in context

I don't think you can entirely blame men for this. It's a minority but there is a significant number of women who are reasonably happy with the way things are and don't want to fight. If anything, they may feel threatened by ambitious women. I think that's part of the reason there have not been grassroots campaigns to significantly improve the life chances of women in Japan. A number of women either don't want to work or don't want to have to put up with all the things working women do. I would say the biggest winner in Japanese society at present is the unambitious woman who successfully lands herself a breadwinner husband. The biggest loser is the ambitious woman, especially one who wants a family. The second biggest loser is the capable man who in many companies will have to play the corporate game and kowtow to less capable seniors. Untalented men who still get promoted thanks to seniority are the other big winners.

fwiw, I think its great for women (parents) to stop working and raise young children as shufu. In fact I think it is better for everyone if parents raise their own babies and toddlers and don't use super-subsidized childcare to work in dead-end jobs as happens in inaka, if not the rest of Japan. However, there must be something seriously wrong with society if kids of school age or older need a housewife mother for support. A childless man should not require his wife to not work either. Housework isn't that big a deal. Lots of working couples manage to do it.

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Posted in: Fukushima village begins sowing rice for 1st time since nuclear disaster See in context

My guess is that it'll be mixed into gyomu-yo rice, ostensibly for commercial uses like restaurants but bought by anyone looking to save money. This may include schools, care homes, prisons, etc. To avoid it, buy rice with a clearly marked prefecture.

I seem to remember watching a video of a public meeting where a Tohoku farmer was protesting that he was having to sell produce he would not eat himself, so I wouldn't jump to any "they're happy to sell it" conclusion. Maybe someone knows the link.

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Posted in: 91-year-old man, driving wrong way on expressway, dies after head-on collision See in context

At some places in the city, the entrance and exit are side by side under the expressway. If you are turning right into it across traffic, I can imagine people being stressed and taking the near road when they should take the far one, especially if they rarely drive and are depending on a satnav for directions.

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Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

Just to repeat Alfie and CH3CHO's posts, the posters were created by the Association of Shinto Shrines, I didn't know that they distributed them in the past and nationally (so why have they turned up now and in Kyoto?), and the photo of the female model was taken in Beijing, leading to speculation that the lady is probably not Japanese.


The Association of Shinto Shrines is well known for lobbying to get the flag and national anthems into schools and to have politicians visit Yasukuni, which certainly and knowingly offends lots of non-Japanese, even if their interpretation of the Japanese expression on this poster (mine is a passive aggressive "Thank Christ I'm Japanese! (and not one of them Koreans or Chinese)" does not.

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Posted in: Central Tokyo population expected to keep growing See in context

I freelance and have lived in the countryside for over 15 years. Obviously the environment is much better than the city and I get to enjoy outdoor sports. If you are gaijin san and on the outskirts of society and don't have to deal with anyone, it's a pretty good life. At altitude, its also much cooler in summer.

The kicker is that Japanese people from or moving to the countryside are not on the outskirts of society. They become subject to all the old-fashioned community ties and obligations that you get in spades in inaka. I think part of the attraction of city life to Japanese is that you go to work, you come home, and once you close your apartment door, no-one is going to bother you about joining the fire brigade or doing communal weed whacking or sidewalk sweeping or coerce you into being kumi cho or ku cho and lose half of your free time. Your missus won't have to join a fujinkai and spend her day off making onigiri and then planting pansies in a flowerbed covered in black plastic mulch. City schools have PTAs too, but they are nothing compared to hardcore inaka ones that will have you in every week, often during office hours, for some nonsense task that you have no say about. This side of inaka living is common sense to most Japanese, but sites dealing with "I turn" and "ijuu" (moving to inaka) warn the few people who don't know about it already.

If you want a cruisy time in inaka, I recommend moving somewhere with plenty of outsiders and not so hardcore inaka people like Karuizawa. If you think you can farm successfully, some parts of inaka already have vast stretches of unused marginal farmland that can be rented for next to nothing. If you are growing rice however, note that this can be a communal activity with various chores and it's unlikely you will be left alone to do it as you please. It's easier just to stick to having a vegetable patch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Study finds large regional disparities in Japanese marriage rates See in context

14% may be a record, but I'm still surprised that 86% of Japanese 50 y-o women have experienced marriage. That's six out of seven. Even in cosmopolitan Tokyo, it's four out of five. The glass is far more full than empty.

I expect the number of never-marrieds to climb much higher in the future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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