Miyagi Ken comments

Posted in: From 'batsu' to 'maru:' Japan’s shift in attitude toward untying the knot See in context

Divorce is a terrible thing. It is very good that the it is viewed negatively. People have an immature and selfish understanding of love. And think that "falling in love" means meeting someone that makes me happy. There is such little commitment these days in a number of countries. There are a couple good reasons for divorce and certainly a cheating spouse would be one, though if possible reconciliation would be preferable. Persons who go through divorce should have a sense of shame about what happened. I sincerely hope that Japan does not begin to see marriage as cheaply as some other cultures do. If I were ever to get divorced the only person I would consider marrying would be remarrying my original wife.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Posted in: If someone wanted to learn a martial art in order to feel more secure, which one would you recommend? See in context

Criminal's attack people that they think they can dominate. If a criminal sees someone that walks confidently or will be trouble for them then the criminal would rather just leave them alone and wait to find another victim that they think might be able to deal with so walking confidently is important.

With self defense the most important thing is getting away, especially if there is more than one attacker. Because of this grappling arts such as Judo or jujutsu are not as effective. If you grab someone and they have a partner in crime then you are in a lot of trouble. The grappling arts are probably the best for a full body work out though and if there is some drunk guy that is beligerant then taking him to the ground and holding him there until the police arrive is easier if you know a grappling art.

If your only goal is self defence I would say practice karate, taido, or kempo. And make running a hobby. When an attack comes after you get away as face as you can, maybe that means just running, maybe you will have to punch him in the face and then immediately run while he is still shocked and in pain. Get away and call the police.

When I visit America I study at a Shur-ryu(首里流)karate school, I attend Judo classes now in Japan and I have studied and am trying to open a dojo for Ryukyu Kobudo (琉球古武道)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Should the statue of a girl dedicated to the memory of Korean women forced to work in Japanese military wartime brothels be removed from outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul? See in context

Disillusioned- The article I read said it was a part of the deal. If it is not a part of the deal then Korea still needs to do what it said it would do. If it is not a part of the deal then there is more to consider. Like I said, Japan needs to live up to their part of the deal as well. Integrity is important.

(Integrity is also important in reporting but not all sites are quite as well researched as JT)

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Posted in: Should the statue of a girl dedicated to the memory of Korean women forced to work in Japanese military wartime brothels be removed from outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul? See in context

The Japanese and South Korean Governments made a deal. Part of that deal was moving the statue. South Korea should live up to that part of the deal just like Japan should live up to everything they promised. We can look at problems between the two countries in the past and point out problems of integrity, but if the countries truly want to have a better relationship then both parties need to act with integrity now moving forward. I am not commenting on whether the recent agreement was right. I am saying South Korea should move the statue because they said they would.

-19 ( +11 / -29 )

Posted in: Are you financially better off than you were this time last year? See in context

At the time that I voted the dispersion was 29% 37% and 33%. If those numbers hold about where they are then I would suggest that their relative closeness indicates that the economy isn't any different. With those kind of numbers it seems to me that personal choice and performance would have played a higher role in financial matters than changes in the economy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to propose new fund for former 'comfort women' See in context

Unless this fund is accompanied by an apology for "sex slavery" there probably won't be any positive result.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Posted in: Do you think that a man giving up his seat on a bus or train to a woman, holding a door open for her or holding her chair as she sits down is outmoded? See in context

Outmoded would imply that at some point it was the common practice and is now considered common practice. Taking into account that this is a Japanese newspaper we should reasonably assume that this question is about Japan specifically in which case, no it is not outmoded because it was never common in the first place.

We have a reputation for being a very polite people here, but I believe that the truth is there is no great difference in the level of politeness between Japanese or many other countries. The two nations which I have lived in are America and Japan so those are the only two I can appropriately contrast. I have a drivers license in both countries and to me the Japanese appear far more rude than the Americans when it comes to cutting people off, abruptly stopping or slowing, parking on the side of the road and disrupting traffic. In the part of America I used to live in all of these things would be considered very rude. The same incosideration (I am not sure if that is a an actual English word but I think it works) is true when people are walking. Especially in aisles in the stores. People will stand in a way so that no one can pass them, or they will abruptly turn, stop or without even looking over their shoulder and cause the people behind them to have to stop or duck out of the way to avoid being hit.

The politeness that foreigners speak of about Japanese I think is touted across the Western world because of tourists not residents. To me it seems that the things which are rare in America are common hear, and the shock of these things (plus the fact that tourists usually are not driving and instead of going to grocery stores on their visits they just go to restaurants) allows them to overlook the things they would consider impolite.

I think that even though we are no more or less polite than western nations that we shouldn't judge our standards of politeness by these western nations if they were never conventions here. Seriously, pulling a chair out for someone? That is hard to do when for much of our history we were sitting on the floor.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of school uniforms? Should schools even have uniforms? See in context

I think that uniforms are fine but that weather should be better taken into consideration. Having three or four approved tops and bottoms for both of the sexes so that they can wear cooler clothes in the summer and warmer clothes in the winter would be good. Seeing girls with skirts when it is below zero or guys wearing suit jackets when it is over 30 is upsetting.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Avenue of light See in context

Jozenjidori in Sendai is better.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you think the mass media brainwash or try to brainwash the masses in your country? See in context

Brainwash is to strong of a word for most countries. Influence, intimidate, coerce are all fine, but brainwash is the wrong word for most of the countries that JT readers are from.

Convincing someone that a certain issue is good or bad is not brainwashing, likewise, convincing someone to by a product is not brainwashing. Convincing a citizen of a free country to defect and become a terrorist is brainwashing. Throwing someone in solitary confinement or torturing them to the point that they don't properly understand reality is brainwashing.

One of the things the media does do far to frequently is use inflamed words like brainwashing. Another thing is to use words incorrectly. Instead of using the proper word certain media may choose a word that has a positive or negative connotation so that by using it people could be made more sympathetic to the desires of the company. This however is still not the same as brainwashing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't targets boosting birth rate to increase economic growth See in context

Many commenters her have noted the Japanese work culture as the primary deterrent to having children. This seems fairly obvious to me as well. When I speak with my foreign friends it is probably accepted by about 80% of them as an enormous detriment to the birthrate. When I speak with my Japanese friends about 80% of them have never thought of any potential causes or solutions to the problem.

What I would suggest is that the Japanese school and work cultures are both working against Japan's progress (in many areas). If children are taught always to be busy in school, all the while never learning critical thinking this problem will persist and grow as they reach adulthood. We will not have the time to raise a family of our own, and we will not have the ability to figure out solutions to it.

I almost feel like there needs to be a social leader to develop who is himself outside of the political process but can rally a few million Japanese people to the ideas that our schools and companies need to loosen the bonds over the monopoly they have on our time week in and week out. I have absolutely no idea who this social leader could be, perhaps a foreigner, perhaps a retired politician, perhaps a doctor. I just hope that it wouldn't be a comedian because his credibility would be shot with most people even if he spoke the truth.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: What do you think about the way English is used in the branding and marketing of products in Japan? See in context

sensei258 I found my favorite example so far on a box of laundry detergent at "Donkey Hote". It was a pink box with flowers and a smiling teddy bear beckoning consumers to, and I kid you not, "Feel the Oriental Woody"

It's Don Quijote not "donkey hote". If you want to spell it out by sound that is cool, but "Don" and "Kihote" are the separate words used. So the space should be in a different place. Even on the advertisements for the company you can see a dot after ドン that separates it from the rest. Sorry to be nit-picky but it is my most frequented shop.

On another note. Whether British English or American English is more refined is irrelevant when someone that has virtually no skill in either is speaking to someone who is fluent. To try and argue that the problem lies in the fact that you studied British English in School and are thereby unable to communicate properly with an America is rather immature, arrogant, or both.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 6 types of Japanese people you’ll meet while living in Japan See in context

Sometimes foreigners don't speak English at all though. I know many Vietnamese people living in Miyagi that cannot speak English but have studied for two years at a Japanese school and passed the N2. They are often met with people speaking English to them because they don't look Japanese. Or people that have never met will ask if they speak English instead of asking if they speak Japanese. Likewise, I have heard stories of people visiting Australia (I have never gone myself) and the locals greet them by saying "ni hao". They are asian so the assumption is that they must speak Mandarin. This upsets my friends, so I tell them that it is the same with foreigners here.

The idea that you can just go up an start talking to anyone that looks different in a specific language is rude at best and racists at worst. If you hear someone speaking English or see them on a park bench reading an English book or something, then that is different, but to just assume foreign equals English is rude. This is Japan so people living here should be 1. able to speak Japanese or 2. currently learning Japanese. It is best to approach someone with a Japanese greeting and then ask about their English ability.

If we live in a country we should be trying to learn and use the language of that country. We should also greet people in that language.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Are you proud of your nationality, whatever it is? See in context

There were a few posts that stated there is no need for nations anymore. These claims are remarkably naive. I do not want to suggest that there will always be a need for nations, but our social structures have not developed to a point where nations have become irrelevant.

So if every government in the world today collapsed but one which then was given authority over the whole of the earth it would not govern well. Massive areas (I would say full continents) would fall into anarchy as the one government is trying to establish its ability to enforce law and order as well as provide aid. All humans are equal however, we are dramatically different. To think that one form of government could successfully govern us today shows a lack of understanding of the diversity of human culture and thought. It could happen one day, but I am sure it would be decades or probably more likely a few centuries away.

Like most of the other respondents I do not look at my nation in terms of pride or shame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Should permanent foreign residents in Japan have the right to vote? See in context

Japantoday staff. As I read this the dual citizenship issue seemed to pop up a lot. Maybe that is good for a future question.

I don't think of myself as primarily loyal to a nation. I think of myself as primarily loyal to my God and secondarily loyal to my family. Though there is nothing that indicates God cares about national citizenship I don't really think it matters.

My family on the other hand does matter. Mostly that is my kids. After we are finished having children then there is really nothing to stop us from both being Japanese for sake of convenience. But because being a citizen makes things so much easier for both countries we want our kids to have the option. If we end up in America but the kids want to return back home to Japan for college, or if we stay here (current plan) and they want to go to America for college.

However, if Japan allowed dual citizenship then we would both pursue dual citizenship for our own convenience in travel as we would hope to somewhat frequently visit both sides of the family.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of adulterous dating sites like Ashley Madison? See in context

The website is garbage. It helps to facilitate infidelity. The true problem however is not the site itself. The problem is that people are unwilling to be loyal. They don't care about their spouses or commitments that they have made. It also seems that people who engage in adulterous behavior don't care to much about their children. There is probably a significant chance that they will be found out which will put the children in a bad position too. Adultery and an adultery industry indicate a massive moral failure of the cultures which tolerate it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: By The Numbers: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima See in context

Regardless of whether or not the use of atomic weapons against Japan was a good or moral decision. The truth of the matter is that the U.S. are allied with Japan in one of the strongest most mutually beneficial arrangement between any two countries. It is certainly the most important alliance that Japan has and arguably the most important alliance that the U.S. have.

There are certainly the occasional tensions between the two nations within the business world, in trying to determine trading rights, and sadly the current spying issue. However, both countries have moved on from the atrocities of World War Two.

Though I have no realistic solution to the international relationships between Japan and its frustrated neighbors, the current U.S./Japan relationship demonstrates that it is possible to move past terrible things.

17 ( +18 / -2 )

Posted in: Capable human resources will continue to decline given Japan’s low birthrate, so we’re looking to nurture foreign staff as prospective executives. See in context

The work culture of Japan needs to change. It is one of the driving reasons for so many of the other problems of Japan. If Japan really does allow legal immigration to be an easier process and works to help foreigners assimilate more easily would be fine. It will not be enough. Until promotions are based on merit. And the mandatory attendance in the office until the boss leaves, and the semi-mandatory company outings each night to a bar are done then the problems will persist.

The idea that being at the office long hours is a good thing is harming Japan. It starts in school with all of the extra curricular activities. We need to reward our people that can work or study efficiently by letting them go home when they have accomplished the tasks that they are assigned.

Perhaps taking in foreigners to be executives will speed along this process, so while I am cautious to think this is going to provide much of a solution to current problems I do think it has potential and is a good step in the right direction.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Is setting targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions an effective way to fight global warming? See in context

No, I greatly care about the environment. And think that things such as solar power, public transportation, using more energy efficient appliances tax exemption for installing solar or wind power on private properties, hydrogen powered cars or any number of things great.

However, if we just arbitrarily set a number and a date then what we are dong is we are robbing the free market of the ability to produce these things. If we place demands on companies and individuals we will all suffer. Instead we need to realize as a culture that we need to change. If we just continue to advocate environmental protections. Or as I personally like to think of it, stewardship of the Earth. Then we will change. We have changed, it is obvious that many people care very deeply about the environment. I simply do not believe that the government is able to adequately handle this issue. Teach the people properly and we will continue to desire more environmentally friendly products.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Bowing is an important outward sign of contrition by Japanese company executives caught up in a scandal. But how sincere do you think the act of bowing is, as an apology? See in context

It is virtually impossible to judge the act of bowing itself as sincere in isolation from what other things the person does. If someone rips people of and they apologize and bow and then repays them then we can say okay he was sincere. If he bows and then does nothing, then he is being insincere.

In the west it is said actions speak louder than words. I would suggest the same may go for bows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of Japan’s school education system? See in context


If you are being sarcastic then I don't think the sarcastic tone carried though the medium. I assume you are being sarcastic because of what I see as the complete disconnect with reality in what you have to say. Well-adjusted is not an appropriate word for the citizenship of Japan. Karoshi, hikikomori, high suicide rates, fathers spending no time with their children or wives, among other problems, Japan is obviously struggling greatly.

I have a great love for this country, but to look honestly at the nation requires a recognition of severe problems which are leading Japan into a terrible direction. As much as I don't like it I think that the school system (at least starting from Jr. High) is perpetuating the problem rather than helping to solve it. In order to be spared from an economical and cultural disaster within the next 20 years the Japanese school and work environments need to be completely overhauled. One of the chief obstacles to this however is that the systems are self perpetuating. I have a real concern that the only hope for Japan as a nation to turn around is for it to go through that bottleneck of the next couple decades and be unable to cope so they can shocked in to actually believing that we have to change as a nation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you think that constant use of abbreviations while texting messages or sending email is having an adverse effect on your spelling, grammar and punctuation? See in context

I don't use abbreviations in texting. I probably take a lot longer to write a text than most friends but I don't like shortening every other word.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: If you were given a choice to live and work in Japan or China, which would you choose? See in context

Considering the nature of this newspaper we should expect that most people are going to vote to live in Japan.

Regarding Katsu78's post. You have an interesting point. The experience in living in a country is different from a perception. However, the perception still mattes. Most people make a choice based on a perception. There may be a few people who plan to live one year in China then a year in Japan and then choose. But most people hear about a foreign nation research it and then move there if they want to. The image of a country is very important.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: The gun control debate: Do you support the right of citizens to own and bear firearms? See in context

This is a very complex question. In some countries there is high gun ownership and low gun crime rates (Switzerland). In some countries there is high ownership and high crime. (A few Africa nations) In some there is high ownership and lets same medium violence (USA) In some there is low ownership low violence (Japan) And in some nations there is low ownership and high violence (dictatorial countries.)

The answer to this question needs to be taken individually for each country. A blanket law should not be passed on all locations. Before a non citizen looks at another country and condemns what their law regarding gun control is they should look at the history and culture of that country as well as the reasons for their current laws.

It seems obvious that this question is posed because of the recent shooting at a Church in the U.S. The amount of gun violence in the U.S. is overblown by the media. It is certainly far to high, but that doesn't mean the media should blow it out of proportion. Because this was racially motivated the liberal media is covering it extensively, if it were religiously motivated then it would have been conservative media covering it. The problem is bad but the U.S. media seems to only make it worse.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: Which martial arts would you recommend to someone wanting to learn a means of self-defense? See in context

As a martial artist who wants to one day open a Ryukyu kobudo (okinawan weapons) dojo I would love to see people take an interest in that. However for practical every day self defense in case you are attacked I would suggest karate.

There are other more important issues to keeping safe than knowing a martial art though. There have been a number of cases where people don't cry out for help because they would be embarrassed.

1 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Taking aim See in context

Yubaru. Based on your statement I would assume you have never seen their ammunition before. These guns can not be cranked up to have the pellets fire at a lethal rate. They could blind someone if you shot them in the eye, so I am not denying they are dangerous. Your assessment about them being deadly is completely wrong though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: How can corruption be eliminated from organizations that control global sports, such as FIFA, the IOC and so on? See in context

JohnBecker, The major corruption in the recent scandal was not focus on the players but the administrators. Cutting pay for the players may address some issues but not the problems of corruption. In fact it would increase the problem.

The reasons athletes are paid so well is because sports generate so much money. A handful of athletes can compete but the amount of people just coming to the venue for a single game could generate more than a million dollars in ticket sales. All that money has to go somewhere and if the players cut is decreased it means administrators will have more. The ticket sales of course are not the only aspect that makes money: advertisements, concessions, merchandise even parking (pending on if the venue has its own lot) generate money. That is of course if players would be willing to play under those conditions which would be hard since they couldn't support a family and the schedule is to rigorous to have another full time job.

Your suggestion is not effective.

I agree with most of the people who have posted so far. Corruption can't be eliminated. My reasoning for this is that people are basically evil and will try to do what they can get away with, may fly in the face of other peoples reasoning, but here we are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Working to death in Japan: Health warning over 'no overtime' law See in context

There is a major cultural problem at work her. Supey11 was pretty well on point with his remarks but our entire culture here needs to realize a number of things. We need to take a step back and look at what contributing factors are leading to the problem. As some of you all have noted the attitude starts in Jr. High with club activities, there is a left over feeling of the benefits of overwork because of the results seen in boom years that are long since past. People have equated being physically present to being loyal and loyalty to the company as the highest virtue. And on separate articles some of you have posted about the desires that women have to marry men that make a lot of money and are never home so they can personally do what they want.

There is frankly a lot of garbage that we have to sort through to regarding this problem. But the truth of the matter is that the cultural view of what the purpose of life is must be changed. Many people practically believe that work is the purpose of life, not family, not friendship, not service to a God, not enjoying themselves. If you look at their lives the evidence of how they spend time, relationships they prioritize, and what they worry and think about overwhelmingly supports that work is the purpose of their life. This needs to change.

The truth of the matter though is that you can not legislate a cultural change in attitude. Legislation can be conducive to supporting national goals, but unless the people of Japan as distinct from the government of Japan sees that they need to reevaluate their priorities then the legislation will be ineffective.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe eyes new action plan to boost tourism to Japan See in context

I think that tourism could be a wonderful but small part of the Japanese Economy. As I am sure all of us who frequent this sight know there are plenty of wonderful thing to see across our wonderful country. Some of these things are naturally beautiful and some man-made, and some a combination of the man-made things in a beautiful natural setting.

I think that one of the biggest incentives to visit this country would be simultaneously the biggest help in overcoming some of the difficulties that tourists face. If Japan were to make it easier for foreigners to move to Japan then their own families would have reason to visit them, and when they do visit them the difficulties of language would be negated because the family member who is hosting them would be able to act as a guide for the visitors.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Are you tired of hearing calls from South Korea and China for Japan to address World War II issues with apologies? See in context

Like many of the people here I am tired of the calls from S.K. and China but until Japan actually admits that what they did was wrong they are going to continue. Not "we regret" not "its unfortunate". It needs to be something like "Japan was wrong and committed several atrocities/sins against many other nations. We recognize the fault in our nations past ask forgiveness for the wrongs of sex slavery, massacre, and forced labor/slavery of conquered peoples."

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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