mojibake comments

Posted in: Old Japanese maps on Google Earth unveil 'burakumin' secrets See in context

Show me one alleged crusty reactionary Japanese who "learned" something that he didn't already know from these "secret" maps, and I'll show you a shill for the burakumin liberation league.

The fact is that this information is already known to everyone, but republishing the maps with their original non-politically correct labels opens old wounds (think nazi memorabilia). That hasn't stopped the Western media from spinning this as yet another "dirty dark secrets of Japan" story though.

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Posted in: Holy mackerel: A breakthrough in tuna science? See in context

When overseas (especially Chinese) buyers purchase tuna in Tsukiji, does the fish get counted as having been consumed in Japan?

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Posted in: For allergy season, Japan turns to surgical masks See in context

Gotta love how the AP blurs the line between "news" and "history". Allergy season and masks may have been news in February, but cedar pollen season is already over!

Oh, and spudman, thanks for the helpful wikipedia cut-and-paste, but I thought pseudoephedrine was illegal in Japan?

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Posted in: Organic adventures See in context

Re food miles, look around you -- Japan is a bit of a jungle, with insects and fungi lurking everywhere. So it's harder to grow stuff, especially non-native varieties, without chemicals or aseptic (and tasteless) hydroponics. In that context, imported vs. locally-grown is a bit more of a complex decision.

Of course, if you really wanted to be conscientious, you should eat only stuff that grows easily here: Chinese cabbage, daikon, mitsuba, and seaweed. And of course three sho of rice.

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Posted in: You can learn a lot about Japanese culture from kindergarten classes See in context

applauds for syndenham

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Posted in: Nana Natsume adds spice to 'Zombie Strippers' See in context

Cue comments about "bushi quality" in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

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Posted in: Passengers see improvements in U.S. airline services See in context

No, flight attendants are special because unions and seniority mean EVERYTHING in their world. Try going into work every day with the mindset that "it's just another few more years" until you get sempai privileges -- and making a traveller's life pleasant is probably the last thing on your mind.

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Posted in: The power of rumors See in context

Whew, in contrast to 2chan, I'm glad we have respectable and well-moderated forums, like Japan Today Discussion!

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Posted in: The power of rumors See in context

Singapore: uncomfortably warm, yes. But cheap?

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Posted in: Realistically speaking, what do you think the police should be doing to catch Tatsuya Ichihashi, the suspect in the 2007 murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker? See in context

He left Japan long ago. The parents and media need to direct their pressure at Interpol or whatever. Are they really accomplishing anything by forcing them to resort to making essentially pull-string talking dolls of him?

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Posted in: Marui shop attendants See in context

Second from the left, bottom row is cute.

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Posted in: Different strokes for different folks See in context

Let me try to understand the point of your article. Based on your story, one might conclude that Japanese are silently racist towards gentlemen like yourself and your friend, and openly racist towards those from the Korean peninsula. And short-statured to boot?

Point taken. I suppose it's a commonly articulated one, although usually by drunken non-Japanese.

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Posted in: Japan turns to 'work-sharing' to avoid layoffs See in context

Work-sharing wins the best plannist award for ways to reduce domestic consumption. Instead of laid-off people motivated to look for a job or be entrepreneurial, you have created a laconic society of penny-pinchers.

Great for the economy. Not.

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Posted in: The future of contract work in Japan: First steps to change See in context

Why is full-time work considered the end-all, be-all of employment in Japan? I am most definitely not on the management side, and often wonder how much more efficient things would be if everyone was truly responsible and empowered to take control of their own productivity. Of course, right now contract workers are sort of second-class citizens compared to the entitled workers huddled under the umbrella of labour unions and cushy laws. But perhaps the move towards more contract employment is not so much a sign of "corporate exploitation" but merely an admission that the full-time employment system isn't quite compatible with the realities of international competition.

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Posted in: Maiko See in context

Everything I know about geisha I learned from Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Posted in: NEC develops Japanese-English interpretation software for cell phones See in context

It's actually not bad as long as you stick to travel phrases ... think of it as a phrasebook that won't survive getting wet.

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Posted in: Tobu World Square See in context

seez WTC twin towers in the back

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Posted in: Israeli forces slice deeper into Gaza See in context

Egad, is this the year 2009 or 1009?

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Posted in: Whalers get reprieve as protest ship refuels See in context

None of the whales being ... err, researched, are endangered species...

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Posted in: Hibiya Park See in context

Hey, I recognize some of the faces in that pic as the same folks who were lining up for a Quarter Pounder. What gives?

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Posted in: Whalers get reprieve as protest ship refuels See in context

I guess they ran out of rancid butter...

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Posted in: Japan auto sales plunge as young lose interest See in context

A car is still a necessity in most areas of Japan outside of the big cities. But give us a decent car and we'll buy one! Compared to cars designed around 1990, today's cars have been cost-reduced in the important mechanical areas and bloated with gadgets at the same time. Just try to find something as simple as a new inexpensive car that's lightweight and has disc brakes and independent suspension all around.

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Posted in: Sea lion See in context

See, this is why seals can get residency permits while the rest of us have a harder time. How many of you can do kanji by mouth??

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Posted in: Subaru pulls out of World Rally Championship See in context

FIA got what they've wanted all these years. Instead of a World Rally Championship, it's a EuroCar Rally Championship!

Next year I hear they're going to require all entrants run on diesel.

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Posted in: 1 Japanese climber rescued from NZ mountain; 2nd one dies See in context

Kudos to the NZ rescue squad for working around the weather. Instructions even included in Japanese? Wow.

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Posted in: Senior citizens being wooed back into workforce See in context

I dunno, rather than disparaging the older lady who's working at McD's, we should be praising her. Because unlike the throbbing masses of other seniors who feel it is their unalienable right to enjoy their golden years without consideration for future generations, she's actually contributing economically. And even McD's deserves a nod for providing a work environment that's enjoyable and rewarding enough for her. Surely there are other angles to this story (economic hardship and whatnot), but if you look on the positive side, more companies ought to try to give seniors something productive to do.

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Posted in: NHK casting for foreigners for drama See in context

Actually they're not being racists -- the article specifically mentioned "ethnicity." Presumably, you could be racially white and ethnically middle eastern and still apply for the role.

Or is this just another instance of somebody throwing around the word "ethnicity" because they're afraid to use the "race" word?

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Posted in: Tamogami's testimony stirs hornets' nest in Diet See in context

FYI, if you're not interested in financially supporting people like this, APA GROUP operates the following businesses: Apaman Shop (real estate) Apa Hotel Apa Mansion, etc. Nihon Kaihatsu Finance

I'm glad I didn't use Apaman for finding an apartment this time around. Good riddance.

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Posted in: Bite counter See in context

Forget kids, my adult coworkers could use this...

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Posted in: The future of contract employment in Japan See in context

Recruiters would love a world with that kind of regular turnover. Don't fall for it! If everybody stuck to their guns and demanded better working conditions before signing that employment contract, we wouldn't be in this mess.

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