Mahiru Shiratori comments

Posted in: An era of technology-based communications and its implications See in context

@NetNinja, Thank you very much for responding to my post. You say "Whoever told you those things was concerned for you." I didn't get that at that time. I was very worried and panicky, and really needed more information with scientific figures. As I posted then, the radiation level rose to 0.45 microSv/hr. Some mothers in our community left here for Kyushu leaving their husbands here. And then,there was a huge criticism towards those mothers because they were just overreacting. It was sort of chaotic situation here and I was really stressed out. I really needed information with scientific figures which would make me calm. Then I posted, "According to NRC, Denver, Colorado radiation level is around 0.6 microSv/hr all the time. Although Colorado has the highest average background radiation levels in the US, the state has some of the lowest cancer incidence and death rates in the country, around 10% below national levels." Does anybody have any different info or anything, I would like to hear it. Thank you." Then you said, "@Mahiru, you are so radiated and you're gonna get cancer..." without any scientific figures. I think I was very vulnerable then, and couldn't take messages like yours. I'm very sorry that I took your message as bullying. Internet communication is difficult because one cannot see their facial expressions and tone of their voices. And then totally misunderstand what they are trying to say. You say, "You may have found a friend online here." That would be great :)

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Posted in: An era of technology-based communications and its implications See in context

Internet bullying is very serious. As Makoto says, it's easy to say things not facing the person. One day, someone said to me on the internet forum, "You are so radiated. You're gonna get cancer. You'd better get a good lawyer and insurance." because I live in a radiation hotspot Kashiwa. I was in tears for a few days because I don't have enough knowledge about radiation and I was really worried. The person said it's ok to say such things because he/she would never meet me in real. I was hurt, still I am.

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Posted in: Women's abuse hotline hours extended until Nov 20 See in context

This hotline of this article is organized by The Regional Legal Affairs Bureau which is under Ministry of Justice.

I receive some human rights consultation fliers from local government through kairanban(pass a notice around from house to house in the neighborhood) for DV, child abuse...etc. Almost all local governments have Human rights consultation section. I think many victims are advised to call or visit the local government rather than national government. After you call, the social workers come to your house and talk to you in person. They then talk to the community and get some information from the neighbors. Neighbors also can call the local government and report possible DV/child abuse in their neighborhood. Elementary & middle school children receive hotline number for child abuse at school. Teachers tell students "The number is for YOU to call for help if your mom or dad abuses you."

There are hundreds of hotlines for DV by NPO, some are 24/7 available and toll free.

There are about a hundred of shelters for DV victims. "Zenkoku Josei Shelter Net" is one of the biggest NPO

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%85%A8%E5%9B%BD%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E3%82%B7%E3%82%A7%E3%83%AB%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BC%E3%83%8D%E3%83%83%E3%83%88

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Posted in: Firm makes iPhone Geiger counter for worried Japanese See in context

This is what I understand how to check your food in Kashiwa where I live.

A do-it-yourself radiation measuring station will open in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture.The privately run station opens Tuesday and will enable consumers to measure the amount of radioactive substances that may be in food and other products they have bought or grown.The facility is equipped with eight radiation measuring instruments. Consumers pay to use the self-service devices for 20 minutes to check for radioactive material.Checking food takes between 15 minutes and 20 minutes.(Yomiuri Shimbun Oct. 8, 2011)

I watched the news about this facility the other day. People need to bring food DICED, place them in the container, and wait for 15-20 minutes. I heard this is the way how to measure radiation accurately.

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Posted in: Families of 2 kindergarten kids killed by tsunami to file suit See in context

3.11 earthquake/tsunami was just huge and everybody was panicky and confused. But still a lot of those lives of kindergarten children could have been saved by proper education for the teachers and the kids.

The lives of 1,927 elementary school children and 999 junior high school children of Kamaishi, a small coastal town in Iwae, managed to survive the tsunami. That's a survival rate of 99.8%. Many people said it was a miracle, but it wasn't. Toshitaka Katada of Gunma University has been visiting Kamaishi and giving disaster education.

That day at Kamaishi-Higashi Junior High School when the earthquake struck the school's intercom system was damaged and didn't function, but the children took it upon themselves to leave the school. "A tsunami is coming," they said, as they headed for the designated evacuation area. The children from the nearby Unosumai Elementary School, who always took part in evacuation drills together with the junior high school kids, followed close behind. Then, as it seemed like the cliff behind the evacuation center might collapse, one of the boys suggested that they move to an even higher place, which they did. Looking back on the road along which they had just come, a cloud of dust caused by the tsunami boiled high into the air. Around this time they encountered some young children fleeing from a local kindergarten. As they fled to higher ground, some junior high kids were leading elementary school children to safety, while others were pushing baby strollers. Before long the designated evacuation area was engulfed by the wave. But the children had just managed to reach higher ground.Kamaishi Elementary School near Kamaishi Port was operating on shortened hours at the end of the school term, so most of the children had already left for the day when the earthquake hit. But all the children from this school managed to survive the tsunami.

The students, teachers, and parents have been learning the following. "Don't put all your faith in hazard maps" No matter how much knowledge you acquire, with time you forget it. To be able act without thinking when a disaster happens, you need to make this knowledge your own through actual practice. With this in mind, elementary schools in Kamaishi spent from five to 15 hours per year on tsunami education.To sum up the disaster education, what he tried to teach children and their parents was that they shouldn't put too much faith in hazard maps. These maps contain places that are considered safe and the high-points that tsunami may reach, based on the latest scientific knowledge. But at the end of the day these are no more than scenarios. Ultimately you have to assess the situation for yourself and act accordingly. No matter how big the tsunami walls and other physical defenses you build are, the tsunami may be bigger than you envisaged. At the end of the day, what you have to rely on is the ability of each member of the community to respond appropriately. This ability can be enhanced through education, training and drills.

The detail is on the website: http://wedge.ismedia.jp/articles/-/1334?page=1

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Posted in: TEPCO says conditions for nuclear plant workers improving See in context

Masao Yoshida, one of those Fukushima 50 a plant manager, has been said "the most trustworthy manager" by other workers. On March 12, about 28 hours after the tsunami struck, Tepco executives had ordered workers to start injecting seawater into Reactor No. 1. But 21 minutes later, they ordered Yoshida to suspend the operation. (Tepco executives were saying something like this, "We do not have government approval yet. Injecting seawater means reactor decommissioning. We need PM Kan's approval...blah blah blah"). Yoshida chose to ignore the order and continued injecting seawater, otherwise...

He had an official interview yesterday for the first time since 3.11. He is answering to the questions quite frankly and I found it very interesting.

http://www.ytv.co.jp/press/n-movie/movie.cgi?movie=20111112_0054.300k

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Posted in: Tough times See in context

After I became exhausted waiting on the train platform, a homeless person gave me a piece of his cardboard. "Lie on it, its freezing out." Even though we are always ignoring them. It was so touching. @aquarius_rabbit

One of the tweets on 3.11

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Posted in: Up you go See in context

I love watching female figure skating. I hate male figure skating. I just can't stand a guy wearing tights...

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Posted in: Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out? See in context

I agree with cleo that said, "It's people that make us happy, not places." Makoto found happiness in Connecticut. In my opinion, she found happiness there not because people in Connecticut accept different people. The people she met in Connecticut accepted her and liked her. If Julia Roberts the hooker from West Hollywood (Makoto calls it sub-society?) went to Connecticut, some people would accept her and some people wouldn't. That would depend on Julia Roberts' personality. And it's the same thing, if she came to a small town or a big city in Japan, it all depends on the people who she meets.

And I agree with tmarie that said "hard to be different anywhere when you are young". It's true (at least from my own experience) especially being a girl in high school whether you are in Japan or in the U.S.

FernandoUchiyama, I don't know what to say...but your story is a bit old? Maybe from non-Japanese point of view, Japan still looks that way, but I have never been taught to be same as everybody else. Not at school or parents or anybody. At least when I was in Japanese elementary school, there was a discussion class (called Gakkyu-kai) and there we were given one agenda and say different opinions, and tried to find the solution. Also there was a class called (Doutoku). I don't remember much, but I think we were learning more like "accept the difference" rather than "do just like other people do"

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Posted in: JAL to decrease international fare fuel surcharge from Jan 1 See in context

Who clicked Bad to my comment "I'm in luuuuve xoxo"? How did you find me here? Some one is stalking me >< but I'm ok coz I'm in luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuve xoxo <3<3<3

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Posted in: TPP opponents accuse Noda of making hasty decision to join talks See in context

There are pro-Join Talks on TPP, anti-JT on TPP, and Shinchou-ha(cautious)-JT on TPP among DPJ.Those pro-groups are simply saying, "Let's join the talks and see what will happen". Noda said clearly, "We will protect what needs to be protected, and win what we need to gain." I think those Shinchou-ha made complicated things more complicated. I thought Shinchou-ha is anti-Join Talks on TTP. Some senior members including former farm minister Masahiko Yamada took part in the Tokyo rally, which involved around 6,000 farmers, politicians and consumer groups. When Noda announced Japan will join talks on TPP yesterday, what Yamada said is, "I'm so relieved to hear Noda limit himself to announcing consultations rather than committing himself to join the talks." I have no idea what he was saying there. What in the world does Shinchou-ha mean??? TPP is a negotiation. Of course each country should be shinchou(cautious) to protect their own country. Those vague words from DPJ politicians, such as "shinchou-ha" "ittei no medo", make complicated things (or maybe very simple thing) more complicated.

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Posted in: Ringleader of U.S. army unit jailed for life for killing Afghan civilians See in context

I have the highest regard for men/women in uniform. These acts by a few tarnish the brave service of the majority of US military. I have an American friend who has been deployed in Afghanistan as an eod tech. I really hope he will come home safe to his family back in the U.S.A.

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Posted in: JAL to decrease international fare fuel surcharge from Jan 1 See in context

I'm in luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuve xoxo

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Posted in: Japanese aid worker injured in Turkey quake dies See in context

RIP Miyazaki san and big thanks again to all those Turkish people: the owner, the chefs, and other volunteers of a Turkish restaurant "Resat" in Ikebukuro for offering hot meals for 1000 + evacuees in Ishinomaki, Miyagi right after 3.11 earthquake/tsunami.

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Posted in: 79-year-old woman arrested for 24th time for pickpocketing See in context

She has been known as "Depa-chika no Sato Baa" (Granny Sato of the food basement department store). She is a wealthy woman, an owner of an apartment and everything, living with her family. Her neighbors are talking about her like this. "I haven't seen Sato for a while." "She must be in jail AGAIN."

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

There has been so much to learn for me from other people's opinions and experience. It's true that Japanese public manner is worse than western countries. It's embarrassing to have "silver seats" on trains and a train conductor's announcement that says "Please give your seat to elderly, pregnant women". It's embarrassing to have to put up the posters that say "Don't touch women's butt on the train. It's a crime." It's embarrassing to have "Women only trains" during rush hour. Those are the things that Japanese are at least aware of and trying to fix it. But things that Japanese are not aware of is "holding a door for the people coming behind" as many posters here complain. I remember several years ago or more, when we used escalators, we did not make space for people who were in a hurry. But now we stand on the left side and make space on the right side so that people in a hurry can run down/up faster. I believe the idea is from the west. Also when we use the public bathroom, we make one line and wait. It wasn't like that before. The idea is from the West, too. Many Japanese people travel abroad and experience this kind of manner and we like it. That's why we've started doing it. I'd like to believe Japanese people still have HOPE for "holding a door for the people behind". Many of them must have experienced this manner overseas and liked it. Sometimes some people do it whether they learned it from their trip to the west, or maybe they just do it. But the number is still very low. Most of us are not aware that "not holding a door" is a bad manner. But when we experience someone hold it, we like it. Then hopefully more and more people will start doing it, too. It's just a door thing, but doing a little nice thing makes better and happier society:)

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

A little bit of language tip for intermediate & advanced level of Japanese. If you are Japanese 101, maybe it's ok to think Arigato=Thank you. People understand what you are trying to say. But "Arigato" is not exactly "Thank you". If someone holds a door for you and you said, "Arigato", this is pretty rude. It's like someone holds a door for the emperor and he says, "Arigato". Even Empress Michiko wouldn't say "Arigato". Or maybe like a dirty old man would say "Arigato" when a high school girl with a short skirt holds a door for him. It's the same thing, when a waitress fills your glass and you say "Arigato", if I was the waitress, I would feel really insulted and might say like "What are you? Emperor?". I never say "Arigato" to my parents. They will be furious. If you are in Japanese middle school/high school, and you say "Arigato" to senpai (1~2 year older), you will be in biiiiiiig trouble. "Arigato" is pretty much 'ue kara mesen'. It applies to Japanese companies, neighborhood, stores, restaurants...etc. "Arigato" can be used only among close friends, couples, from sempai to kohai, a boss to his secretary (maybe), or if you don't know each other then from obviously older person to younger person(more like obaa-chan says to kids). "Arigato" is used very carefully among native Japanese speakers. It's not exactly the same as English "Thank you". If someone holds a door for you, or fills your glass, it is appropriate to say "sumimasen" or "suimasen" or just bow. "sumimasen/suimasen" is not exactly an apology. Some might say "Arigato gozaimasu", but it sounds a bit awkward if you just hold a door for you or fill your glass. "Arigato gozaimasu" can be used when they really appreciate your help. The word "Arigato" is actually very difficult how to/when to/where to/who to use.

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

But very very few Japanese in my experience have a bad word to say about Japan, or will even acknowledge someone elses with a less than rosy view of this country.

Nicky, my husband takes everything personal if I criticize Japan. He has no problems however with criticizing other countries. When I have pointed this out to him, he gets stroppy and I point out what he's doing is actually why Japan is in such a situation where they are - debt, crappy economy, horrific manners...

I think it's only natural that when you are criticized by other nationality, they tend to defend your own country. When Chinese bullet train had an accident, I heard Chinese people were criticizing their government. But at CNN readers forum where non-Chinese criticize Chinese government, Chinese readers were furious of all those comments and started defending their government. If I (as a Japanese national) said "Mr. Bean is ugly" to someone from UK, s/he would get pissed and say, "What are you talking about!!! Shimura Ken is uglier!!!" even if s/he thinks Mr. Bean is ugly. Nicky and tmarie, why don't you tell your Japanese husband "Shimura Ken is ugly" and see his reaction. Maybe they will start defending Shimura Ken and would tell you how beautiful he is.

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

But shy is cute if you are 90 year old obaa-chan :)

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

Thank you, Nicky. I'm still not sure if I understand you correctly, but is it the same thing like, "Japanese technology is the best of the best. Even if Fukushima nuke plants are out of control, we don't need any help from foreign countries because we know what to do. We are Japanese."??? I want to ask one more thing. I want to hear "offensive jokes about Japanese". I know they are pretty offensive. Even my close friends don't tell me those jokes even if I beg them to tell me. It's the best way to know what other people see other culture, you know. But probably moderator will remove them, huh!!!

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

It's very interesting to hear what foreigners living in Japan think about Japanese, especially negative aspects. As being Japanese myself, I barely hear honest negative opinions in detail. (I hear some negative stuff in general, tho) I never knew foreigners are pissed about "I am polite because I am Japanese" thing and they hear/experience this thing quite often. I would like to know more in detail because I might have done this thing unintentionally. Is this thing among all ages or certain generation, male/female...???

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

@Makoto I'm glad you leave comment here. Many readers here are pissed about "I am supposed to be more polite than them. I am Japanese!" When I first read this part, I didn't understand what you were trying say. I have never thought in that way when I was in the states. Well... I was a teenager then, so the most important thing for me was just blending in with my girlfriends and do exactly the same things with other girls, just like "Gossip Girl" girls (lol) But you (and me) are a grownup and living in a foreign country is different than teenagers do. I've been trying to understand what your statement really means. I came out with a bit different interpretation than other readers took it literary. Maybe you meant you are supposed to be politer than anybody else because some people see you as you represent all Japanese people. If you act rude, people might think all Japanese are rude. Is that why you thought "I am supposed to be more polite than them. I am Japanese!"???

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

It is true in Japan that "If you get a gift, you are supposed to give 'okaeshi' in return" at only certain occasion, such as wedding, funeral, baby shower...etc. It's a Japanese tradition and written on "kan-kon-so-sai" manual. The gift in return is supposed to be a half the price of the first gift. Otherwise, you embarrass the first giver. I follow this tradition only on wedding and funeral.

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Posted in: A culture shock – generosity isn’t free See in context

I'm surprised when I read this article. The other day, Makoto posted her article about "international marriage" where she said nationality doesn't matter. But here, she says totally opposite I'm still not sure what's the point of this article, but I found she is contradicting herself in some ways. "When we are nice in Japan, we don't mean we want to be your friends immediately nor do we want something in return." But later on she says,"Now I observe people more and release my generosity if my instinct tells me it's safe to do so." If she doesn't expect anything in return, she doesn't need to observe people or pick who to release her generosity. She is obviously expecting something in return. She expects people to recognize and appreciate her generosity. She seems to be very narrow minded. She must have been pissed when she did something nice to someone but they didn't appreciate her kindness and then she turned this event into cultural difference and start judging Americans. I have lived in America for several years in different places. I have met some extremely generous people there whether it is a big city or small town. It is rather easy to find generous/helpful people in small town and it is often said the people in a big city are cold. It is not exactly true. Remember 3.11 when people were stranded in Tokyo and tried to walk home taking several hours. I heard many shops, small restaurants, individual homes were offering some rice-balls, miso-soup, bathrooms, and just some spaces for people to get rest for total strangers. They were offering help without expecting anything in return. Right after 3.11, a number of Americans (and other people overseas) who did not belong to any organizations spent their money on airfare and everything, and came to Tohoku and did volunteer work. In one country in Africa (forgot which country), some poor farmers asked a JICA member if she could send their beans to Japanese people. They heard the news and they wanted to help hungry Japanese people by offering half of their food. I would call all those people extremely generous. These people are not observing who to release their generosity. There are purely want to help people in trouble. That's I would call "generous".

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Posted in: Princess Aiko hospitalized with cold symptoms See in context

I have seen some overprotected kids, and they are having hard/miserable life now and in the future. There is one girl in my neighborhood, she is a middle school student. She is one of those Toko-kyohi kid. She was just fine a few years ago, but one day she got flu and was absent from school for a week. After she recovered, she started refusing to go to school because she said she could not catch up the study. Her mother sometimes takes her to school on special occasions, like sports festival, graduation ceremony... I was so shocked when I saw her with her mother. She looked like 5-year-old girl sticking to her mother the whole time at school. Maybe she goes to homeschooling or having private tutor or so. But I wonder if she will be able to go to high school, college, and eventually go out in the world to get a job??? Right now, she seems like she has to be with her mother for the rest of her life. There are many those kinds of kids in Japan. I don't know about Aiko if she is overprotected or not. If she had 39C fever for a few days and taken to a hospital, I don't think she is overprotected. But she will be one of an important figure representing Japan. She should be raised to be stronger than average kids. If I was a mother of Aiko and she was bullied by boys at school, I would say to her, "Punch him back and tell them 'I AM the PRINCESS!!!'

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Posted in: Lawmaker drinks decontaminated water from Fukushima plant See in context

@choiwaruoyaji

I kind of agree with you. He was shaking when he was drinking. I think he was shaking not because he was afraid of being radiated, but I think because he knew it is a stupid act and he would get so much criticism from everywhere. But he did it just because one freelance journalist told him to...

btw, you don't look choiwaru, but megawaru :D

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Posted in: Lawmaker drinks decontaminated water from Fukushima plant See in context

How do you say "Hey Y'all, watch this!" in Japanese?

"Teme~~~ra, yoOOOku miteroyoooooooo!!!"

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Posted in: Lawmaker drinks decontaminated water from Fukushima plant See in context

I don't mean to be on Sonoda's side, but the things have been going on between Sonoda and the free journalist for a couple of weeks. On October 7, Sonoda was explaining to journalists about decontaminated water, then one free journalist said, "If you say it is so safe, can you drink it in front of us?" Sonoda said "I'll think about it." And yesterday, the same journalist was there, so Sonoda drank the water in front of him. As Sonoda has kept saying "Just drinking decontaminated water doesn't mean safety has been confirmed, I know that. Presenting data to the public is the best way." I think he just did it because he knew the journalist would keep asking him to drink the water until he actually does it. After Sonoda drank the water, the journalist said, "Still... it doesn't prove anything!!!" What a jerk!!! He's the one who started it.

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Posted in: Noda apologizes for receiving donations from foreign nationals See in context

@Mr/Ms. Moderator It is very important to know some background knowledge related to this topic in order to stay on topic with further discussion.

Moderator: The nationality of the donors has not been revealed.

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Posted in: Noda apologizes for receiving donations from foreign nationals See in context

I have some zainichi-korean friends here. They said more zainichi South Koreans tend to be naturalized than zainichi North Koreans. They have a choice to stay Koreans or be Japanese, but those who want to stay zainichi Koreans have strong identity of being Korean. My zainichi korean friends barely speak Korean language. They were using fake Japanese names until starting college because they went to a public Japanese school and they would be bullied by having Korean names. One of my friends said he wishes he could be naturalized to be a Japanese but his father said no to him.

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