MoriNoHogosha comments

Posted in: Incensed See in context

Mmm, yakitori scented incense. Now that would be something else.

Anyways. The Sensoji temple grounds are very nice. I was lucky enough to get there early one drizzly morning, and it was super quiet with hardly any visitors yet. With the exception of the great temple itself and the 'thunder gates', the gardens and pond area can be very serene, as is the section where Bell of Time hangs. Well... quiet except for the cicadas anyway.

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Posted in: Samsung pulls tablet PC from trade show amid row See in context

Nearly every consumer technology company I can think of has, sometime somewhere, been accused of tech plagiarism. Apple copied XEROX. MicroSoft copied Apple. Yadda yadda yadda. The list goes on.

However, Samsung did push a few too many touch-screen buttons on this one - figuratively speaking. I can't vouch for any similarities between actual parts in the iPad and the Galaxy, but I wouldn't be surprised if internal design logistics are involved.

Still, I find it funny that Samsung would counter-sue for wireless tech infringement. If they really had a case, they probably would have filed this months ago, if not years. What's even funnier is that, AFAIK, the iPhone has had more issues with wireless reliability than any Samsung phone. :P

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Posted in: Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs? See in context

People do this in many countries, not just Japan, and while it may be that women take pictures of food more often, some men do this frequently as well.

Now, I've never taken a photo of just food alone when in public, but I see no big difference between having your picture taken with friends at the table and taking a picture of the food itself. Food brings people together just as much as music, dancing, and other cultural factors/events do. What's wrong with creating a little reminder of an ocassion, no matter how simple or commonplace, if it commemorates both good food togetherness? Nothing!

If the restaurant does not allow photographs, that's understandable for keeping ambience and minimizing distractions. Otherwise, I say feel free to snap a few as long as you're not being obtrusive about it - like standing on chairs or hoisting up candelabras just to get the right angle and lighting.

Anyways. This is a trend that's not going away, and in any case, it's harmless. Complaining about is pointless. Raising a flag on such an immaterial issue is no different from Hayao Miyazaki's aversion to people using the iPad because he thinks it's suggestive and perverse - stupid and illogical. Making such a big fussy deal of something so benign is asinine and, even more so, tight-@ssed.

There are more important things to worry about and more intrusive or harmful habits that can be done away with.

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Posted in: It's all yours See in context

One would think that, as a Finance Minister, Noda has the mentality and experience to take steps towards getting Japan's economy back on track. At least he has Kan's recent budget bill to work with, should he so choose to do so. Only time will tell how well he does, if at all.

For now, everyone should just wish Noda luck and try not to paint the whole picture before he has revealed his true colors as DPJ Leader and PM. You never know what might happen. For example, a lot of people thought Kan would wreak havoc and make things worse, but in the light of recent events, he didn't do half as bad as some expected - especially in the face of disaster.

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Posted in: Quake-prone Japan looks at geothermal energy See in context

It's easy to say "Yes, this is a great option!" but the article does bring up the matter of conservation. Many of the remote regions can easily sustain both tourism and geothermal ventures, but while onsen proprietors are free to establish (almost) anywhere, it would be tougher for power companies to start drilling into sensitive land and building structures much larger than a two-story luxury ryokan.

Japan already has a lot of "green" laws, projects, and products, and some of them have been around for more than a decade. Perhaps it's time to relax the hold a little on greenbelt preservation for the sake of lowering the volume of nuclear waste.

TEPCO might throw a tantrum about the geo movement for a few years, but if they're smart (big IF there), they'll jump on the geothermal bandwagon, purchase the appropriate land rights, contract tech from Mitsubishi or Toshiba, and start letting some steam out (literally) instead of contaminating more fish, cows, and crops.

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Posted in: Are Japan's music festivals just sterile, fun-free cash cows? See in context

The answer to this headline's question depends on which category of music festivals it is directed.

The short answer with regards to the so-called "festivals" that involve an infestation of western bands and "artists" trying to pass off their noise as music is a resounding YES! There are a few North American names and groups (who play internationally) left that can actually play live and have lyrics worth listening to, but that list gets shorter every year, and even fewer of them get booked in Japan.

As for real music festivals featuring both local and national indie bands and artists as well as those signed to subsidiary labels in Japan, that answer is HECK NO! For example, the DATE.fm Music Festival in Sendai City was one of the most memorable of 2010, not just for highlighting talented bands just breaking into the industry, but also for its enthusiastic and electric atmosphere - especially when you consider how much smaller the crowds were.

With regards to crowd control and tenacity for maintaining order, that goes with the territory. There are cases of fights, riots, fires, and even deaths (not counting outdoor stages falling apart) every year in North America due to lax security, as well as poor management of the events, of the crowds, and of the host capacity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nihon Kraft Foods Ltd See in context

A nice little bit of history and insight into what's apparently a much larger company than I thought.

"Chiclets" was one of my favorite gums as a kid ^o^

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Posted in: DPJ to pick new PM on Aug 29 if two bills pass this week See in context

ps. This flux of PM after PM is just as damaging to Japan's political and financial landscape as the incessant battering of a tsunami. Just when there's a chance that progress might actually have been made, it's all washed away in the spittle of a bunch of gabbing geezers who have their hands stuck in the coffers and their minds in the 19th century.

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Posted in: DPJ to pick new PM on Aug 29 if two bills pass this week See in context

Of all the self-serving, blow-hard geezers in the Japanese government, it's the least of them, the only one who has actually managed to stand against a raging tide of opposition (literally and figuratively), who's being booted off.

How sad and discouraging.

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Posted in: Noda seen as frontrunner to replace Kan as PM See in context

Does it really matter who wins? The PM's job here has to be one of the most thankless positions in politics anywhere in the world. Whomever gets the position will be chewed up and spit out within 6 months to a year.

^ This. Exactly.

Also, it's sad that it took a cataclysm to force a political party truce (albeit short-lived), as well as make everyone start paying more attention to the decades-old technology being used in nuclear plants whose structures are just as old, if not older.

At the very least, Kan's energy bill will start the ball rolling on safer, renewable sources for power. If even a mere 5% of electricity production over the next 5 years comes from solar, tidal, geothermal, and aerial -based technology, it's more than enough (for now) to ask of a very dense, tech-savvy, appliance-dependent population.

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Posted in: Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts See in context

The crying is a little much, but some people are just sensitive. Nothing wrong with that.

In the meantime, expect no better - and much worse - of European soccer fans. (Let's compromise. I'll simply say, "most of them".) They leave their IQs, sensitivities, respect, and common sense at the stadium entrance. You can almost hear the toilets flushing right after they open their mouths to say something. Yeah, they're full of it.

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Posted in: Body of Japanese woman found below Niagara Falls See in context

:`( I wish her spirit peace and her family comfort.

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Posted in: Shibuya opens bilingual tourist info facility See in context

Yep, it's a start. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Sadly, I still can't read Japanese worth squat. So even the slightest help is welcome. I just hope they turn it into a regular thing and that the practice spreads to other areas. (Though, I never had a problem getting English travel paraphernalia in Taito and Sendai Shi.) I wouldn't get very far without asking for directions or saying, "Eigo no chizu o kudasai" -_-'

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Posted in: Cool off in Karuizawa See in context

That's a beautiful shot. Looks like a gorgeous place to relax in. Though, if I had to travel that far from the Shitamachi area anyway, I'd probably choose some place like Niigata instead (place I'd definitely love to visit someday).

And yes, Tokyoites do like their marketplaces, it seems, even if they have to build in on the fringes of a natural haven. I wasn't all that surprised when I found souvenir shops and vending machines at the summit of Mt. Fuji o_O Well, at least this one in Karuizawa is an open-air concept and not a multi-story, air-conditioned, concrete behemoth.

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Posted in: Terrorist attacks a universal television event See in context

I have heard the commission reports (albeit condensed versions). I have seen almost every bit of footage - amateur and official - of the events. I have watched several documetaries, neutral and otherwise (except for the crap on Fox, which is always, well, crap). I have also seen and read a number of conspiracy theories, some idiotic and some surprisingly logical.

What I've come to realize is that there are way too questions left unanswered. So many people are content to simply mourn and pay their respects. Meanwhile, others have made it their priority to preach about diligence, tolerance, security measures, strengthening international ties (or in some cases nationalism), and getting the people responsible for these attacks. Yet, there aren't enough people continuing to ask questions and pressure the government for the truth concerning these events and their aftermath. Examining the lives of media personalities, be they direct or indirect witnesses to 9/11, is pointless filler that does nothing but perpetuate human drama. At the same time, most media outlets and networks are content to spew such filler while utterly neglecting the pursuit for answers.

September 11, 2001 was more of a catalyst for an invasion and a blackout effect with regards to access to some intelligence reports and financial records than it was a reminder that there are people who want to destroy America. People have always wanted to destroy America and there always will be. Hell, some Americans themselves want to destroy America, and that too is nothing new.

That whole fiasco ten years ago left a lot of loose ends, and it's a guarantee that the wars in the Middle East are a step in the wrong direction to tying them up.

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Posted in: 2-year-old boy falls onto tracks at Nagoya Station See in context

Of course it was an accident, one obviously caused by negligence. There's no point trying to separate the two. Arguing over it it just pointless. Accidents are obviously caused by no other than negligence and/or carelessness. Otherwise, one would have to categorize this an attempt to actually harm the child, and if that were accurate (which I don't think it is) it would just be [well, not rare, but nonetheless] shocking.

Second, as already said, the most critical of posters likely don't have any children of their own, and even if they do, they don't have all the facts. For all we know, there could have been a rush to get on the train, some pushing or shoving, or the child - being a two year old - could very well have been rambunctious or uncooperative.

Let it go. Give the parent a virtual smack in the head, wish them more diligence (or discipline), and just be glad the child wasn't badly hurt or worse.

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Posted in: Rebooting the PC industry: Tablets force a shift See in context

Tablet PCs were already in the market years prior to the iPad launch. The iPad is more a gimmick that it is anything new - or useful for that matter. Tablets have become faster and more savvy, but as nothing more than an oversized, glorified smart phone, they're not going to replace desktops or laptops anytime soon. While tablets have filled in a gap for mobile users, it has not made as great a dent or shift in the desktop market as this article purports.

Desktop computer sales were already on a steep decline prior to the emergence of new tablets. Yes, the need for upgrading has plateaued, and the longevity of the machines themselves has also improved. However, the technology itself has stagnated. Engineers have hit a brick wall when it comes to computing hardware innovation. Thus the sudden shift from simply trying to make things more powerful to making them more compact, mobile, and intuitive.

Take a look at GPUs for instance. Software technology is actually ahead of what current graphic cards can render. It has been this way since at least 1995. The same bottleneck has held true for CPUs for years as well, at least since the birth of generation-2 multiple-core units. The latter, aside from the obvious mass advertising and user-info-siphoning opportunities, is one of the biggest reasons why cloud computing is being pushed as the "next big thing". Cloud computing is not new. Parallel processing through arrayed or networked CPUs has been around since before the WWW became a household concept. I'm sure most people bothering to read this article have heard of SETI.

One thing the article doesn't mention is gaming consoles. Gamers take up a very large chunk of the PC consumer body. With the massive influx of titles and developer efforts into the console market, the PC gamer is a bit of a dying breed. As well, since fewer titles are being developed for the PC itself (and with developers beating the dead horse in terms of PC-based MMOs with old rendering engines), the need for upgrading is delayed even further.

The market has not exactly shifted, and it's certainly not due solely to tablets. Manufacturers simply run out of things to sell and people to sell to. This is exactly why they're turning to emerging markets -- ie. growing economies in developing and booming countries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Niagara Falls search for Japanese woman turns up man's body See in context

If you see a parent smacking their child around, you would surely intervene or at least call child services, right?

Yet, if you see someone doing something potentially deadly like climbing over the guards surrounding a rather large and extremely powerful waterway, you wouldn't do or say anything? What if it was your kid trying to climb over those rails?

THAT is the real trouble with the world today. They are quick to blame and insult parties involved in any particular incident yet completely ignore the lack of social integrity and responsibility. Yes, people are most certainly responsible for their actions, but that doesn't always mean everyone else off the hook.

Perhaps someone was close enough to hold her back, perhaps not. It doesn't take self-righteous duty and springing boldly into action like some superhero wannabe to save a life. Sometimes, all it takes is a, "Don't climb over that, or you might kill yourself, you f-ing moron!"

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Posted in: Niagara Falls search for Japanese woman turns up man's body See in context

^ Aquatic valve controls for either pressure or level are, AFAIK, implemented only in dams or on waterways that require ship locks. I believe the hydro dams are downstream from the tourist spots. The more "scenic" areas of Niagara Falls where tourists converge most often do not have any such facilities built on them (not that I've seen anyway). The water flow on both the American and Canadian sightseeing sides are still natural and uncontrolled.

So, as far as the area where this student fell is concerned, no, the falls cannot be "turned off".

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Posted in: Teacher arrested for molesting woman on train See in context

It's true enough that there are numerous sexual perverts who board the trains and subways everyday. However, let's not automatically condemn every man (and on rare ocassions a woman) who gets accused of train-groping. There have been cases where two (or more) of girls will accuse a perfectly innocent man of groping. One plays the victim and the other plays the witness. The goal being, of course, none other than extortion. "Pay up, mister, or we'll call the police!"

This also reminds me of a sign I've seen on a train. I'm sure what I'm thinking is what it was meant to convey (but I'm not 100% because my ability to read Japanese is next to nothing). The text and images pretty much boiled down to "Keep your hands busy." -- and not in the chikan way! :)p

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Niagara Falls search for Japanese woman turns up man's body See in context

You know what's even more stupid? The fact that tourists know it's dangerous to climb over those rails, and yet in the absence of patrolling staff (who regularly yell at people who risk their lives for a photo op), they themselves do absolutely nothing when they see people climbing over the barriers.

How many reporters thus far have mentioned witness testimony from people who saw this young woman climbing the rails? Niagara falls is always crowded at this time of the year. I'm sure there were other people mere feet away from this Japanese student. I bet none of them did anything. I bet none of them said anything. If so, then they are all just as responsible.

True, this lady did something stupid and has, in all likelihood, paid the ultimate price for it. But what of the people around her? What of the person who was taking the picture?

Apparently, they're all stupid, too.

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Posted in: The world below See in context

Re: Temperatures at the summit of Mt. Fuji (during peak season, mid July to mid August)

Depending on your own comfort levels, you may want to climb during the day to watch the sunset from the summit, which is just as beautiful. Of course, I recommend experiencing both :D

When in doubt, bring a spring jacket and 3-4 light, breathable tops (polyster-blend running wear works well), with at least one of those long-sleeved. You can layer these easily (long-sleeves first, short sleeves on top of that) and switch out if they get hot or sweaty.

If you tend to sweat heavily during hikes, do not wear cotton sweaters. The weight will literally drag you down, and the chill will be very uncomfortable.

I climbed in the first week of August last year, an overnight trek in order to watch the sunrise. Because it had rained heavily for most of the day, not only was it windy, it was also chilly and misty on the slopes. By the time I got to the top, much of my black toque had turned white -- it had a distinct layer of frost on it.

As always, you don't have to take the word from commentary, but do research and plan hikes well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: In memory See in context

Would love to know how to purchase a high resolution version of this photo.

The headline photo links to a larger image, which may be suitable for your purposes.

Simply right-click on the photo above and choose "Open Link In New Tab" from the contextual menu (wording may vary depending on browser). You may then use your browser's file menu to save the photo directly from the resulting tab or use another right-click menu option to save it.

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Posted in: In memory See in context

A beautiful and solemn sight.

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Posted in: Watch out -- a Level 4 gokiburi alert has just been called! See in context

We'd have to go back 50 million years in time and kill the very first roaches, then we wouldn't have this huge problem all over the world... And Shintarou Ishihara would have never hatched in the first place.

^O^ (couldn't resist)

But seriously, fumigation is just terrible. The residue and mist from those toxins hang around for weeks on end and probably do more damage to the returning residents than they do to the roaches - which always manage to come back anyway.

Biological control can be extremely effective, but not many people would want to live with small snakes or field mice (or an army of praying mantises) running/crawling loose in their homes.

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Posted in: The world below See in context

Kudos on the excellent shot. What a clear view. Usually can't see anything below because of all the cloud cover this time of the year.

Yep, judging by the view and the terrain, this was most likely taken on the Subashiri trail, and he's probably on the way down. His clothing should be okay for the rest of the hike if he's already descending. I've been on the Yoshida-Guchi and Subashiri trails. I'd love to go back and try the more difficult route, which apparently is less used but has some ruins along the way.

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Posted in: China calls Japan defense comments irresponsible See in context

Since enough of China's shoddy trustworthyness and lackluster track record have been mentioned, all I have to say is that this is, once again, hyprocrisy and lying at its finest by an archaic political body.

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Posted in: On guard See in context

A bit of an odd choice to hold a fencing demonstration, though certainly a good place for taking advantage of ambient publicity. Always lots of people at Sensoji.

I was rather captivated by the serenity of the Benten-Do and the Bell of Time. Very peaceful area, a nearly isolated little spot of the temple grounds.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Sushi industry hurting from radiation scare See in context

Though I'm now back in Canada (where I live less than a 15minute drive from a nuclear power plant) I still wouldn't hesitate to eat any saltwater fish caught north or south of Fukushima. True, labelling is problematic, but I suppose the farther away the fish's origin from that area, the better the chances of it being untainted.

Either way, as has been said, it's the freshwater fish and any kind of shellfish from the northeast that one should be wary of.

And yes, there is definitely more Tsukiji-pandering in this article than there are actual facts about the radiation levels found in fish from Fukushima and surrounding areas.

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Posted in: Taken for a ride See in context

^_^ Always nice to see photos of places I've actually been to on JT's PotD. The Naka-Mise is pretty much a tourist trap of doodads and trinkets, but the marketplaces and shopping areas west/southwest of the Asakusa Temple grounds have several cafes, restaurants, and a huge variety of small shops. Highlights: Best takoyaki I have ever had and a very lovely hand-painted tenugui.

ps. Not to be confused with the Asakusa shopping center that's at/near the station of the same name. That's just your average Taito mall.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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