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kyrie comments

Posted in: Kuroki, Tabe team up for detective drama See in context

With the Colombo hair, obviously Tabe will be the one who relies on knowledge.

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Posted in: Obama addresses Arab world; urges Israel to go back to 1967 borders See in context

In other news, in a session at the U.N., Mexico has outlined a series of initiatives urging that the Mexican state be expanded based on its 1846 borders. Britain immediately jumped on the band wagon demanding a renegotiation of the outcome of the Revolutionary War and sensing a financial opportunity, France has also urged the Obama Administration to renegotiate the Louisiana purchase. Secretary General Moon expressed his exasperation by saying, “Come on! What’s the point of war then?”

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Posted in: 'Hikikomori' disorder could complicate Japan quake recovery See in context

In the article, the worry is about Japan recovering. The ACCP website says there are still 154,000 people in shelters. Psychology Today says only 1 percent of the population suffers from hikikomori / Avoidant Personality Disorder. So how on earth "could" 1540 people "cause a unique concern for the country’ s relief and restoration efforts"? And if the author is talking about hikikomori from north to south what effect could they possibly have on Japan's recovery from radiation, earthquake, and tsunami. I'm with thepro on this one, "I don't see a connection" whatsoever. Unless the author is implying the evacuees are tending toward hikikomori by staying hunkered down in their evacuation centers and not moving out, and moving on.

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Posted in: 'Hikikomori' disorder could complicate Japan quake recovery See in context

I have a question, specifically for Frungy since that post was so informative. Is it possible that the writer is referring to the people left homeless as a group rather than individuals? I can understand some individuals wanting to "avoid" facing recovery from the earthquake however it seems that whole groups of folks are avoiding recovering. I keep reading about how they don't want to move, they want to stay, the youth suddenly want to stay and rebuild, etc... Basically, they don't want to move to places where work exists, house exists, and relative safety exists. To me this sounds like "Avoidant group Personality Disorder" if I may make up a new category. Anyhoo, could this be what the author is not directly referring to? Just curious.

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Posted in: Former yakuza Tatsuya Shindo turns to God See in context

With Suzuki as his predecessor, Shindo believes that it’s perfectly logical for gangsters to seek a path towards Christ. The rigid, top-down hierarchy of criminal families, he says, is similar to that of a church. “And in both cases, you have to listen to your boss.”

Assuming that his reference to the "boss" is Jesus (not the pastor) then he has it half right. Likening God's heirarchy to to the mafia, he has it wrong. Jesus does not tell anyone what to do and demand that he or she do it. That IS the mafia way. Jesus speaks, followers listen, and Jesus empowers them via the Holy Spirit to do what he told them. Fear of retribution from God is NOT what Christianity is about. Nor is listening to a pastor and doing what he says.

alladin said, Before he can truly turn to christ, he must make amends with all of the people that he victimized.

I'm so glad that you aren't in charge of the grace and mercy department. And how do you know he hasn't attempted to make restitution as Jesus reveals his sins to him and leads him through the rest of his life? That is a huge part of being a Christian.

And for tkoind2 who is standing firmly against Shindo and Jesus, and Christianity, your jealousy and hate are shining today! Methinks you doth protest too much. It's as if you have some personal ax to grind. Japan Today is probably not the best choice to work through bitterness. But if you must...

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Posted in: On parade See in context

I agree with kisekicaroline. They are practicing for sports day. In fact the school just outside my north windows had their sports day today. Weirdly, the teachers here (way out on the Boso) are also wearing the same blue tee shirts. Must be the 2010 sports day staff uniform.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Do you have any links or sources for this statement?

Halloween originated because folks believed that was the night that the dead return to walk the earth.

I checked wiki real quick and read that all souls day is a catholic tradition. I'm not catholic so I'm not real sure what that's all about. But the quick read made me think that the souls are not returning to earth but are in purgatory and a mass is observed for those souls. Are masses the same thing as obon festivals to comfort the dead? Yeah, I can see the similarity.

Do I find masses and dances to comfort the dead creepy? Yes, I do. Simply because the dead are dead. They are not alive in any sense. A lie is a lie.

As Hotbox said, his family goes to the grave, cleans it, (don't like the praying part though...who are they praying to anyway?) and then went to lunch. Very respectful and it sounds like they don't mess around with dead spirits, souls, or whatever. Similar to putting flowers on a grave in the U.S.

Having said all that the Japanese still have a family alter in which they nurture the ancestor daily. Obon comes along and many, many, many come out to publicly nurture their dead.

The question arises do they believe in what they are doing or is it just for fun as everyone here seems to believe. The handful of Japanese I have talked to (hardly conclusive) are very serious about keeping the ancestor as pleased as possible so that the ancestor will help them and their families each day in every situation.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

I'm back from work. Hi, Himajin, I live on the Boso Peninsula. Yeah my relatives have four pictures up. One of them (the founder of the 家 ie) is the "ancestor" or god of the house. The others are ancestors, of course, and may be prayed / talked to depending on how close one feels to the particular ancestor. By "fear" I didn't mean afraid I meant deep respect. Should have used that word.... As far as Hotbox putting all kinds of words in my post, I'd like that to stop. I never said people dig up bones. You did! What I said is that the family brings the ancestor home in a lantern. Lanterns hold a light or fire. Not bones. Nor did I say it is sinister. Again, You did. I did not get my info from Wikipedia. I read Choon Sup Bae's thesis (University of Pretoria) on Ancestor Veneration in Korea, Japan, and Africa.

Here is a short web page about Obon. I'll paste some tidbits. http://www.allsands.com/history/events/japanesefestiva_rwb_gn.htm

The word 'Matsuri' or 'Festival' literally means worshiping gods or ancestral spirits.

...prayers are said for anyone who has died in the previous year as it is believed that they need more guidance to find their way.

...bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. In actual fact, these lanterns were originally to guide the dead spirits home from the spirit world and then back again,

These dances are important because it is said they soothe the spirits of the dead during their visit.

These fiery rafts (Kyoto) are to guide the ancestors back to the spirit world.

Turn on the TV and you'll see ancestors heading back in the lanterns on the rivers. My town doesn't have a river so they hand carry the ancestor in a lantern (available at Cainz Home Center) to and from the tomb.

My point is the Obon Festival has far deeper meaning than Westerners perceive. It is not just fun dances, exciting music, good food, and beautiful parades. Ancestor worship is what makes Japan tick. Obon is just a public way to observe it. The butsudan in the house is the private way to observe ancestor worship.

If you happen to think there is nothing wrong with ancestor worship, fine. But I still think it is creepy and leads directly to the Sempai Kohai (Elders must lead and youngsters must follow) problem in this country and a host of other issues.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

First of all Hotbox you don't know what I like. Second,

In actuality, Japanese simply go to their hometowns, visit their ancestors graves to do their annual cleaning of their tombstones (which I feel is more respectful than burying them and forgetting about them forever, and letting weeds grow over), and praying to them.

You forgot the part of going as a family to the temple at the grave site and paying 5000 yen or more for a match that lights the obon lantern. The priest says a prayer that transfers the dead relative from the tomb (ether) into the lantern. The family carries it home and the ancestor is back in his household in the form of light. At the end of the festival the family carries the lantern back to the temple and the priest puts the ancestor back in the tomb (ether). The Japanese family is very serious about this. This obon festival is the heartbeat of ancestor worship (as you said praying TO the dead for him to take care of them, watch over them, give them money and other good luck) in this country. It is also the taboo to speak ill of it. Which is why many won't comment .

I have read a lot on JT about the need to change the society, politics, cultural, education etc.... and this festival and all that it entails is the root of the stubborn resistance to change. The ancestor in each family is GOD. He is danced to. He is remembered, He is lived for simply because he gives them life. Every moment of every day. You don't believe me? Ask someone. Make light of their dependence on their ancestor to their face and you will then understand their passion and fear of him.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Hi Peachy, I'm from the USA and dressed up, trick or treated, and went to Halloween parties. But Halloween has nothing to do with dead relatives returning to their ancestral home. Depending on your take, it has to do with the fall harvest festivals, All Saints Day, or satanic rituals of devil worship. Whichever you choose Halloween is not about bringing home your dead relative from the graveyard. I tend to agree with you that dancing for the dead is probably not their primary motivation. It may or may not even occur to the individual dancer. But the fact stands there stubbornly. It isn't call Obon dori for nothing. How may out there know how much the match costs to light the lantern (the Bon) that holds the "spirit" of the passed family member? Based on the age of the members in the picture, I'm guessing probably everyone in the picture, has bought the match and brought the lantern home.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Sorry to have worn you out there Ranger. I would like to comment on the group activity remark but it is way off the topic. The topic is festivals welcoming the dead. Any takers on my comment that I find this creepy. I think, a normal human living freely would reject anything to do with dancing for the returned dead. And using your word I say they do all of this under duress BUT they don't perceive it as duress due to years of indoctrination.

Which makes me want to ask Bicultural a question. What makes his normally reserved wife get excited about matsuri? Just curious. My wife likes to watch the dashi and omikoshi (so do I) but she nor I participate. I have three reasons. Two are unacceptable to the "chiefs" and they used to apply pressure. However, my bum foot was enough to convince them to lay off.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Ahem, the caption clearly says

The folk dances are performed to welcome the souls of ancestors during the Bon season

And wikipedia confirms it. This one isn't a simple summer or autumn festival (if there is such a thing. I'm quite confident that all cultural festivals are steeped in Shinto or Buddhist belief.) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awa_Dance_Festival for more understanding.

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Posted in: Awa-Odori See in context

Really, if it was not fun, people wouldn't continue to do it, would they now

Apparently somebody doesn't understand the way of Japan. People do not participate because it is fun. They do so because their neighborhood chiefs require them to participate which is precisely what Japanese culture is all about. (Fear the sempai) Yeah, sure they may end up having fun but that is not their motivation whatsoever.

Also, where

everyone is chanting "A-soran-a-soran"

over and over can quickly become tiresome.

And does anyone else think that dancing to welcome home the dead is ridiculous and downright creepy?

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Posted in: The truth about lying See in context

I recommend watching a new series called 'Lie to me'. Looks very interesting!

dolphingirl is right! I watched the first episode! It was very interesting. I can't wait for it to start weekly on Sky Perfect.

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Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

Oops I apologize, bisoy, Saborichan said the first thing I quoted you as saying. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I should have said, Sorry, Saborichan, but I am familiar with it. In fact the dropping of subjects and particles make speaking Japanese quite easy but that really isn't the point.. However, the point of the article and most of the posters here, is that there is something wrong with the amount of time studying vs the ability to think which begs the question why you guys can't understand and answer complex questions after all of that studying.


After mulling it over a bit, I think bisoy is probably right. Romaji would never work. Can you imagine how long it would take to retrain the J brain to recognize word segmented sentences. And not only that the embedded concordance that each kanji character hauls along with it would be lost. And to top it all off the sentence length would appear to stretch out making books appear to be much longer and therefore probably a put off except to the most die hard readers.

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Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

Bisoy said, >Kyrie: You're only showing your own unfamiliarity with Japanese and other languages in general. If people aren't raised using a language where those things are necessarily the same, you can't expect them to grasp the differences easily.

Sorry Bisoy but I am familiar with it. In fact the dropping of subjects and particles make speaking Japanese quite easy but that really isn't the point.. However, the point of the article and most of the posters here, is that there is something wrong with the amount of time studying vs the ability to think which begs the question why you guys can't understand and answer complex questions after all of that studying.

Again, sorry Bisoy, I am in agreement with the romaji suggestion by IntheKnow. Just don't forget to add the spaces between the words.

And while I'm railing on you bisoy, you can't just mention that you stole a quote. You are supposed to mention who you stole it from.

Agreed with Ivan, "there is no cognition in this burg!"

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Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

As far as not understanding questions there's more to it than just inability in kanji, There are also grammar problems. For example, if the math question is something like this, "If you are on a train and you leave the station and 2pm and the train is traveling at 30kph and the next station is 60kph away, what time will you arrive at the station?" Students just don't know who the "you" refers to because they have never familiarized themselves with pronouns or personal pronouns except when it comes to talking about themselves. Instead of "I" they blurt out "Eriko ha....", "Hiroshi ha....", or "Papa ha...". Plus they just don't comprehend how verbs encode the timing of events. Present, present progressive and future tenses are a blur for them. On top of that answers to questions are routinely repetitions. Tanoshii ne? Un, tanoshii. Or stranger yet, "What's that?" "It's cold." Huh??? If it wasn't so sad it'd be funny.

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Posted in: US church creates stir with gay exorcism video See in context

Why all the mocking? The church believes that a man should be with a woman and vice versa. People and groups can believe whatever they want. No harm, no foul. The boy went to the church specifically to have his demons driven out and ended up making three requests for the ritual. Anyone can attend any gathering they want. No harm, no foul by the youth.

Skipthesong asked, “Does this work?” Before that question can be answered one must ask is this real. So, how many of you have been in a church where someone is totally out of control and collapses during a service? How many of you have asked someone to pray for you and you begin vomiting so violently and heavily that they need more plastic bags to help you? And then after the prayers you go limp and slide to the floor? Have you ever seen this kind of behavior? Strange ain’t it? Seems real enough to at least have a look regardless of the century.

Last question, Jesus, in the Bible, cast out demons, Would you ROTF and L at him making wild claims about it being the first century and how the wonderful Romans having enlightened you since those B.C.E. days?

So, to answer skipthesongs question, it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. According to the article, it sounds like this one worked. Vomiting followed up by resting quietly sounds quite like deliverance. I’ve seen one where a 200+lb woman, howling like a wolf was taken out of a service and received prayer (she did not ask for this we presumed – there’s lots of that of course- which is what you are probably all laughing at). Promptly she slithered like a snake off the sofa and around a chair and curled up under the pastor’s desk. My usher buddy and I stood there speechless. They got her back on the sofa and called her family and they came and took her home. She was not delivered. Did she have demons? I dunno. But she certainly had something going on that didn’t fit this century worldview.

I have been on both ends of the “ritual”. First off there is nothing ritualistic about it. It’s more like a war. Sometimes, the person in need is ready to be freed from all whatevers (as in my case) and there are others who need specific attention to details regarding who or what it is and how it came to be in there. This means conversation with the entity like it or not. Once enough is known then the entity can be told to leave. This when some rituals are used to get it to come out. Yes, sometimes it takes yelling at the entity because, often the entity is yelling at YOU to leave it alone. How do you know it isn’t just the person trying to get the hell away from the clergy? Because you have bypassed the person and have been talking with the entity and you know its voice, it’s mannerism, and so on. Sure, laugh all you want. But there are lots of people who can support this point of view. In fact, “Kamora Herrington, who runs a mentoring program at True Colors and has worked with the youth, said she believes it’s fairly common. ‘This happens all the time, she said. This is not isolated.’ ”

Lastly, Cleo, I think, the pastor of the church was using Bible language justifying her position. Biblical prophets were rejected by nearly everyone. Thus, her comment. I doubt she is claiming to be a prophet. If she had said she is a discerner of spirits or a receiver of knowledge the media wouldn’t print it because it isn’t sensational. Prophets are and always have been sensational and oh so easy to label and laugh at.

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