Japan Today

osakaretired comments

Posted in: Second opinion needed See in context

The best (worst?) I've seen was at the Tohoku Shinkansen Station in Ueno just after the that line had been opened. I went into the men's room and at first all looked OK. The first half-dozen or so stalls were marked 「和式」 and "Japanese Style." But the last one was marked 「洋式」 and "Western Style Camber Pot." OUCH! I knew that "Habukari" was an Edo Era or earlier word for toilet. back in the daysof old Japan the non-flush toilets were attached to houses by a short hallway. When I got back home, I looked up "Habukri" in my replica copy of Hepburn's original "Japanese-English Dictionary" (dated in the late i1860's or so?) and, sure eough, the English translation for "Habukari" was "Western Style Chamber Pot." Evidently some English teacher back in the 1860's or so had used this translation when teaching English to his students and the word was continued down through the nth generation. So, correct or not, I had a very good laugh. In case you don't know what a Chamber Pot might be,it was a (usually creamic) bowl about 15 or 16 inches across with a lid. It was kept under the bed in the "bed chamber" in the days of outdoor toilets without electricity or heat and were very convenient at night--at least compared to walking 50 feet or so in the dark, sitting down with the spiders (and cold if it was winter). I remember still seeing a few around in rural Kansas in the 1940's.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Nankai Railways, Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train See in context

I have been in Osaka since before the Nankai opened this line. I must admit that I don't follow Japanese manga that closely, but I was impressed by how much the train looked like those one would see in futuristic comic books in the U.S. in the late 1930s and 1940s. Is Gundam really an American? Osaka Jim

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Posted in: Justice ministry worker arrested for taking photos up woman's skirt on train See in context

Matthew, Most likely Ide was working at the Ministry of Justice a year ago. Possilby he could/should have been fired at that time but wasn't.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Why we love riding the rails in Japan See in context

I have lived in Japan nearly 50 of the past 60 years and haven't owned a car while in Japan since 1970. So, I do agree that the Japanese train (and bus) system is great. However one problem is that many younger Japanese (junior high through 50) ignore the requests to give your seats to those in need. This is particularly true in the Osaka area where it is common to see groups of junior/senior high school kids running for the priority seats weve when half the seats in the train are empty. Tokyo is much better--in fact sometimes I am offered a seat! Surprise (at almost 80). At times, when I see no one over the age of 30 in any ot the priority seats and there is an older man or woman or someone else who should really be allowed to sit down nearby, I'll sometimes yell out in Japanese: "Isn't there anyone here polite enough to give up their seat?" More than likely a woman in her 20s or 30s will do so before any of the teenaged boys even consider doing it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Employee injured as suicidal man leaps in front of train See in context

To quote the above: "Of course, the loss of life is nothing compared to a few minutes of waiting for a train," Is that what the reporter meant to say? That a few minutes of waiting for train is more important than loosing a life!!!! Or, hopefully, the sentence is backwards and should be: "Of course, a few minutes of waiting for a train is nothing compared to the loss of [a] life."

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Posted in: Love-1 Festival See in context

They sure didn't look that nice during the Korean War! Osakaretired

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Posted in: Do it at home: Train manners in Japan See in context

"Crowded" was the Chuo Line from Mitaka to Ichigaya in the late 1960's! Sometimes I had to go to Ochanomizu before I could get off and then go back to Ichigaya. At 75, I'm now able to get away with a little game. When I do get a seat in the "elderly, etc." section and someone gets out a cell phone I point at the sign and then at my heart. Nearly every time they either more or put it away. And, while I've never asked anyone to move so that I could sit down, I have asked so that another obviously "elderly" could get a seat as well as chased junior high brats away when there were still plenty of ordinary seats left. By the way--I don't have a heart problem.

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Posted in: Murdered Tokyo couple had cash stashed all over the house See in context

As a child growing up in the same area, my wife was a friend of the murdered husband's older sister and used to go to their house to play. She knew that they were "extremely rich" but even though she understood "rich" to an extent, "extremely rich" didn't mean much to her. Whenever she would play with the Seta girl, a maid would always be standing nearby and the maid would applaud and/or laugh at the proper moments. Maybe that is what "extremely rich" meant in those days. She doesn't remember her friend's younger brother (the deceased) but he was most likely still a baby at that time. My wife has also told me that the operator of a small store near the Seta's house would always admonish my wife with a "You shouldn't be playing with the daughter of that family." But, she didn't understand what he meant then then nor does she understand it now. PS: She has hadn't any contact with any of them family since before the War.

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