Japan Today

Lowly comments

Posted in: Should I stay or should I go? See in context

From this long-termer's perspective, it's a little too light-hearted and shallow a piece.

If you're here for the money then you are here only for a couple of years, and are most likely still in your twenties. Nothing wrong with pursuing a job that lets you save, and lets you see a little bit of the world, I recommend it. But that money (and being here at all, and a lot of things) are meaningless if you don't know what you want to do. And "want to do" is usually a bit different from "which country to be in". Get a goal, get a passion, and pursue it. Saving first if you need to is a good thing. But if you are wondering the kinds of things in this article, you don't have that project, or that special person you are want to devote yourself to and sacrifice for. Once you have that, which country will be easier to decide. But do be careful if a long term expat.

In my case, I've gone through several different "phases" here, including almost two decades of feeling like an "insider" or living as Japanese in many ways. No I don't mean taking my shoes off when going inside felt normal, a little different than that. But I felt betrayed in a really awful way in one central relationship, awful way= racist, and like dominoes feelings about other aspects of my life here/ the country in general, began to tumble. Even after being here so long and knowing so many wonderful people. When you get stung by someone so close, you can't help wondering what others really think. So "going back or not" for me comes from that sad perspective of, maybe I just can't make myself at home here no matter what. Of course, I would only have reverse culture shock if I went back now!!

People who are the most successful (= "adjusted" or whatever, not money or job) here are either like me, completely, or nearly completely throwing off their home culture and taking the J moves as they come (but hopefully w/o the feeling of betrayal I went through), or people who have a family here, generally married. In the case of married people, they do not usually try to be as immersed in J culture as I did, and they don't need to. They are simultaneously accepted as ultimate insiders through their in-laws, and let be and also by those around them they are accepted as playing the role of a foreigner who is also married and therefore a trustworthy member of society. Perhaps the best situation to be in.

In any case, have a passion, a woman or a man that simply must be loved, a research that must get done, a craft that must be mastered, an immature self that must be made adult, whatever it is, and go after it. Nothing wrong with playing or saving when young, but have something you really want to do, wherever you go.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: A dying business: family graves in Japan See in context


"spread my ashes"

I too like this custom, but it is Western. In Japan I believe it is illegal, and in any case, VERY kimochi warui from the few conversations I've had with J peeps about it. All the associations of impurity, a dead body (despite ash), and of course ghosts and spirits haunting that must be appeased. Even way out in the ocean would be unkosher (so to speak!) from a J perspective.

(Of course, it's not like anyone would ever know…)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan Expo in France See in context

Tessa, the Vienna Boys Choir is trained to do something difficult and to do it well. These girls are trained to be pretty, appealing and obedient, and occasionally lip synch in annoying videos. The VBC is not sexualized as far as I know, tho I'm sure they have their fans. These girls job is basically to be a sex symbol. And that's ok as far as that goes, maybe, but they are the chosen ambassadors for their country. =weird.

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Posted in: Japan Expo in France See in context

Anyone else feel it weird they are using too-young girls in obvious school-girl outfits to create interest in their country?

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Posted in: Woman arrested for calling 110 more than 900 times in 14 hours See in context

Obviously someone with a problem of some sort

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Posted in: Large bronze statue weighing 300 kgs stolen from high school in Ibaraki See in context

Didn't like the same thing happen several mos ago?

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Posted in: Girlfriend says Guam man hallucinated before rampage See in context


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Posted in: Cameron Diaz bares all in 'Sex Tape' movie See in context

@Missing CylonModel,

Yeah, and the follow-up question to that is, once a tape is gone how can you "get it back?"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Suspect in murder of woman at Yokosuka hotel refuses to talk to police See in context

I think that's two different things. It is fairly easy to get someone's address from the public offices, I believe. And that sounds like she just wanted hers kept secret. They say restraining order when there is a restraining order.

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Posted in: Suspect in murder of woman at Yokosuka hotel refuses to talk to police See in context

I would assume in this case there is a mountain of evidence, quite likely a hotel video, if not of the actual corner of the room where he stabbed her, then of entering moments before the stabbing. As well as DNA, blood, etc.

However, in most other cases, yes, as many say, we want more real investigation and not roughshod police confessions. Japan is like a communist country w/ everyone kept toeing the line and envious of small benefits another may have, and then the obfuscation, hiding and finally the self-criticism and public castigation that all of that entails. In crime, this all feeds into an immense pressure to confess, both internally on the part of the suspect, and externally from the cops and society, and a self-righteous yappari feeling of superiority and condemnation when the confession comes. It's a dramatic enactment for everyone's ego and has nothing to do with truth or crime anymore. It's all to support everyone's place in the show. It doesn't matter if the suspect did it or not, an actor for the role has been found...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Mao Asada to be reporter for TV program 'Sekai Fushigi Hakken!' See in context


yeah, except they will report the negative views of Japan as long as they can make the people saying them seem kooky or funny.

Mao is a kid, I doubt she will have any influence. Anyone who trains at the level she does is going to have some grit, but not necessarily intelligence. I know a skater and she a very good skater, but is not bright. Also, tho Mao trains everywhere, she has been on a training schedule and not had much fun. She will probably be an enthusiastic gear in the machine.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Man sets himself on fire in Tokyo in protest against Abe See in context


REally?! Because it looked like he wasn't even burning, and then woof! Poor guy. Except he chose it. Definitely a mussed up rescue attempt though.

That's actually something no one is talking about either, though. W/ a news blackout on this stuff, they can't investigate the rescue protocol and if any mistakes were made.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Mao Asada to be reporter for TV program 'Sekai Fushigi Hakken!' See in context

@Basher, just sayin, high production values and serious actors makes good shows. Of course not all shows, and there will of course be personal preference.

J TV is just "umai" or "mazui!!!" Mao will be doing a similar performance, despite the fact that she is a world traveller and a very highly trained young woman, i.e. she can have perspective on stuff. I doubt that will be much in demand. She will be indistinguishable from the lip syncers and unfunny comedians.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Man sets himself on fire in Tokyo in protest against Abe See in context

Watched that vid, it was weird. He was on a platform or scaffolding, kind of lying over with flames around him but not seemingly on him, he was motionless, then a rescue guy comes to get him, pulls at him which causes him to fall like 5m, hits like a sack of potatoes, ouch!, I'm thinking, and then his body bursts into flames. The flames up above continue burning too.

I hope he really really wanted to do that, because living as a burn victim is supposedly not too fun.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Increasing workplace harassment blamed for spike in work-related illnesses See in context

I imagine the 1400 work-related illnesses and the 63 work related suicides and all the other numbers mentioned are all tips of some giant icebergs.

Shouting and public humiliation is really over the top here. It is one way of getting ppl to work, sure. My question is, is it the only way? Is it an effective way?

dracpoo- Why do you say "becoming"?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Mao Asada to be reporter for TV program 'Sekai Fushigi Hakken!' See in context

reformed basher,

Well, I don't know what we are talking about, I'm sure there is a lot of crap and there is also personal taste. I find the mediocre US and Brit shows to be amazingly well produced and well acted, even if they are uninteresting or stupid, the skill level is really high these days (Dexter, Mad Men). And the stuff that has some heart is off the charts. (Try "the Wire", "Breaking Bad" etc).

In comparison, the J tube has people who are either famous for being famous, or who are pretty models who lip-synch music for lots of money, i.e. no skill to speak of, sit around and offer banal comments on current events, or eat stuff and show us that it either tastes really good, or that some of them don't like it and fall off their chairs gagging. (Then there's the news where they read off the police blotter and give the pols' comments as if that in itself is analysis and reporting.)

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Posted in: As the public increasingly looks harder at education, teachers are losing confidence and sight of their social roles. See in context

The problem is as I see it,

1, Teachers here are saddled with an amazing number, and also diversity of kind, of duties. They have so many papers to file and so many things to keep track of, projects to roll out, and homeroom kids to look after, that they cannot focus on planning lessons, thinking of new ideas and trying new things. (And don't forget being a club advisor such that they attend practice after school and on weekends, and have to travel to all kinds of tournaments).

2, The god darn college entrance exams, which dictate exactly what must be taught to the kids in exactly what manner. Teachers must focus on "test" education, and nationally approved textbooks (almost exclusively), irregardless of having no time to get together new ideas, as per reason 1 above.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Mao Asada to be reporter for TV program 'Sekai Fushigi Hakken!' See in context

I never understood the attraction of Mao. Once she got a little older, she stopped seeming annoying to me. But still does not exactly draw me in with her scintillating personality.

I stopped watching J TV like 2 or 3 yrs ago when I got cable. Doubt I will ever go back, it is so bad, and the American shows are so good.

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Posted in: Sexist views dent Japan push for women's rights See in context

The problem is with the women. Seriously. How many of those reps got bawled out by their wives when they went home after making fun of their co-worker in public?

Women need to stand up for themselves as a group, until that happens, women's rights will be a few relatively infrequent public skirmishes like this one, and a lot of private humiliation and groping gaman-ed in private, and very little change. That's my prediction.

But who knows maybe the new kids -boys and girls- will surprise us w/ just being different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman or machine? New robots look eerily human See in context

Didn't read the article, but from the pix, it's just the latex face-sculpting that looks human, something we have been able to do using materials like wood, stone, wax, metal, ice, etc as well as latex, for like thousands of years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: College girls tipple, then topple en masse on Shinjuku street See in context

Frungy and others,

I would classify alcohol as a "weak" drug where the effects vary greatly among individuals from ppl who could become seriously ill from half a beer, to ppl like me who can, if they've been drinking regularly recently, can have a whole bottle of wine and just start to get tipsy.

Then there's things like cyanide, a much stronger chemical, where any human being will just simply die no matter what from a tiny amount sprayed on your skin, with no variation among individuals. I imagine these date rape drugs were stronger types that simply put you out no matter what. I imagine that the guys presumably wanted to get them home to prey on them, and gave the girls the drugs at almost the same time, just before leaving, and gave them a little too much, or didn't know which drugs to use or something, and then when they went outside, still a group before they separated, hadn't gone far yet, the girls just started to feel the urge to sit down on the curb and sleep.

The fact that "several were reported to have soiled themselves" shows us that there was variation in the degree of reaction. The vid was out, but I saw the pix. One girl looked to be sitting, while others were lying on their stomachs, implying variation.

I believe the girls were drugged, and sadly the would-be rapists will figure out their mistakes and eventually get the right dose and proceed to attempt rape. Teach any young ppl you know about this danger.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Jump in my car See in context

I personally think if something is going to be gaudy or "loud", it might as well be all the way. Nothing against pink, but wouldn't drive a car such. However, the super-sports car look and shape is already so over the top with those too-agressively aerodynamic lines, why not paint it pink, or tiger stripes?

I say two thumbs up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe apologizes for LDP member's sexist jeering See in context

You see, these poor pols have to be really sincere all the time, and average folk like you and me just can't understand the stress that causes, the poor guys were just letting off a little steam.

And yes, yes, yes to Tessa above. (But!-- Though the foreign attention will cause the J media to actually pay attention, it will also give plenty of fuel to the "they don't understand us" and "the real Japanese way is different" fire, which will reinforce sexist conservatism.)

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Posted in: Body of woman found in dry riverbed; ex-boyfriend arrested See in context

Sad story. Too much stalking and beating and killing going on.

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Posted in: What is the best onsen you have ever been to in Japan? See in context

Sukayu in Aomori. Milk white, absolutely amazing water. You will be healed. 3 levels of room- cook your own food, cheapish ryokan, and mildly expensive ryokan, w/ different rooms and different food. Highly recommended tho off the path as beaten.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What is a slur? Redskins case forces us to decide See in context

To me,

A slur is the confluence of when I feel someone is talking down to me and using my race or nationality or whatever as evidence of my inferiority with the intent of the other person to talk down to me and insult me. i.e. I think I should be careful of being too sensitive, or misunderstanding someone whose communication I haven't confirmed.

The Redskins logo is in a grey zone as it is not necessarily meant as insult and it is also not one person, but an organization. It does reduce a whole bunch of very different people to one ID, however, and as a whaddayacall, social phenomenon or whatever, it has a great influence on non-native americans as to how they view people grouped as "redskins".

To me this would be eminently annoying! In Japan, if they had a sports team called "The Gais!" and a furrener were the mascot, would I like it? The history is different and the symbology is different too, but in general, This isn't for the greater good.

On the other hand, the team's been around a long time, has its own mythology, and is a kind of self-referential icon at this time. Is it possible that it has post-modernized itself?

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Posted in: What for you is the most exciting sport to watch, when it is played well, and what is the most boring? See in context

It really depends who's playing. But,

Marial arts/ boxing stuff can be interesting. American football before they started taking time outs to measure stuff and check the instant replays all the time used to be great, it still has its moments now. Hockey sometimes, so fast.

Boring: tennis, golf, baseball.

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Posted in: Rola looking for boyfriend: 'That’s why I dress in skimpy outfits' See in context


Buy cheap buy twice.

I assume you are talking about the clothes. However, Rola needs to be told that is what happens to her if she seriously means portraying herself as cheap is going to get a good guy. The guys will just move on to the next cheap girl.

Can't stand her laugh, her voice, her facial expressions. She doesn't even approach sexy. She is permanently in the sexless 12-yr-old category.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: CNN newscaster can’t stop laughing at crazy Japanese mascot See in context

They should have included more at the beginning, hard to see why she is laughing, when all the thing did was wave its hand.

Read "Wages of Guilt" by Buruma for an interesting take on manga and infintilization of Japanese culture. (Compares Germany and Japan post-WWii reconstruction and societal growth, very cool).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest man over attempted kidnapping of 14-year-old girl in Chiba See in context

Glad she got away, glad they got the guy.

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