Pidestroika comments

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

djv124: thank you for sharing your personal experience regarding your daughters with us and I wish you all the best. Unfortunately the parents commenting on JT who claim their children have no problems with the word "hafu" and face no discrimination are usually "white". Before you (and I don't mean you only) say that "hafu" is and innocent word, please inquire if any children or adults with one "black" parent especially from an African country or from India, Bangladesh or from China or Korea who were born and raised in Japan, speak perrfect Japanese, know the culture and everything else you mention, like to be called "hafu".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

djv124: "anyone who isn't pure Japanese blood" - loved that part! Tells a lot. Please come back and let us know if your daughters have any problem finding a job because they are not "100% Japanese" or renting a house the owner labels "Japanese only" or been constantly stopped in the street by police to be asked for their "Torko" etc etc or if they will still be patted in the head when they reach their 30s-40s.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

A: (asks in English) Where are you from?

B:(answers in Japanese) I'm Japanese

A: (in English) eeeh.....Where you born?

B: (answers in Japanese) In Ehime on the island of Shikoku

A:(in Japanese) OH! You are good at Japanese!

(dialogue continues in Japanese)

B: I'm Japanese so it's only natural.

A: (hits fist on open palm) Oh, I got it! You are half!

B: No I'm 100% Japanese

A: Your parents...?

B: What about my parents?

A: Where were they born?

B: My mother was born in Hokaido, my father in Shikoku

A: But why...?

B: Why what?

A: Why is your skin black?

B: Because my grandfather was from Brazil

A: Oh so you are half!!!

B: No I'm 100% Japanese damn it!

A: But all Japanese are yellow! There are no black Japanese.

B: So, you judge people from the color of their skin? Isn't this racist?

A: I'M NOT RACIST!!! I love the Beatles and the Carpenters!....

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Toshiba crisis shines light on Japan's corporate culture See in context

word of the day for Japanese readers interested to learn "good" English: bourse

From MW: a European stock exchange

From other dictionaries: A stock exchange, especially one in a continental European city. a stock market, especially one in Europe, not including the UK

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Cleaner robot pulled from Fukushima reactor due to radiation See in context

Cleaner robot pulled from Fukushima reactor due to radiation

The robot got cleaner due to radiation?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to boost coast guard to defend East China Sea islands See in context

Yamaguchi-san, there is no plural in "aircraft". "Airplanes" yes, "aircrafts" no.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Comfort woman' statue at Sydney church upsets Japanese-Australian community See in context

Without even a hint of denying the atrocities committed by the Japanese Army (NOT Japan) or the existence of sexual slaves, I admit I fail to understand how exactly women forced into prostitution and their sufferings are exactly equal to the mass extermination of a whole ethnic group based on their race and religion or the attacks with atomic weapons on largely civilian populations. I don't understand the logic behind the constant claim of Korean nationalists and some comments here that the statues of sex-slave women are exactly equal to holocaust memorials and if the latter exist then the former should exist too. Or that somehow (in random order) Auschwitz=Nanking=Hiroshima=Ianfu and a memorial of one of these horrible events justifies the erection of memorials for the others. Wouldn't it help some wounds to heal more easily if these events were treated individually even though they happened during the same time period?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Gov't reconsiders plan to change Japan's iconic hot spring symbol after backlash See in context

Setting aside nationalists who don't want to change a single thing in Japan and money/time wasting committees, the old symbol for "onsen" is not one easily recognizable internationally. It could mean "hot soup", "liquid waste disposal facility" or even "nose diving jelly fish". Just because (some?) Westerners and permanent residents in Japan understand what it means, does not necessarily mean that visitors from ALL OVER THE WORLD will immediately grasp the meaning. So personally I understand the effort to improve on the symbol, and yes the new one is towards the more easily identifiable direction. To those who are more confused, how when you see the "male/female" symbol on a train station you immediately understand that it means WC? Having said that, googling "hot spring map symbol" shows only the old one and nothing else. I also agree that on maps etc a symbol explanation solves any misunderstanding. How about more important and urgent symbols like "hospital"? Will they keep the (red) cross symbol? Many Japanese maps don't have it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Getting stopped by police in Japan – how often does it happen (and why?) See in context

I'll post after a very long time and disappear again. I'm "white" European (nothing to do with the Caucasus mountains) and have been stopped only once falling in the new-face-in-the-area category. The author obviously doesn't know what "profiling" is. They should go to Nippori where there is a constant hunt targeting Asians, especially Chinese and Koreans. I was never, ever, stopped there when Asians around me were constantly stopped and checked. Same thing happens to most people from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, India etc. They are persistently checked wherever they are to the point of harassment. Also male Japanese bicycle riders in their 20s are constantly harassed by the police having their bicycles checked while elderly, salary-men or mothers with 3 children on the bike are never stopped.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?” See in context

I'm not Christian and I wish people Merry Christmas. I celebrate Christmas as well. And by no means am I a rarity.

Good for you. There are people though who do follow a religion, celebrate the birth of Jesus and don't just enjoy the lights and the presents. Have a good one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?” See in context

Because I believe that "Merry Xmas" is a CHRISTIAN wish among CHRISTIANS and I am not. They pre-suppose I'm Christian based on the color of my skin or whatever. "Good intentions" shows the wish "happy holidays".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?” See in context

So you get peeved when people are sending good intentions your way?

"Merry Xmas" means "enjoy Christmas". I'm not Christian and I don't celebrate Christmas.

Seems weird.

Yes, it does seem weird you don't understand what I'm trying to say. Supposing you're not Muslim, how would you feel if somebody wished you around July 17: "Eid Mubarak. May Allah blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always." Or would you wish a guy from Saudi Arabia "Merry Xmas"? If they were annoyed, would you call that weird?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?” See in context

First of all nobody can force people to "replace expressions". People will keep wishing to each other any way they like. Having said, that I'm peeved (just peeved, not angry at all) when people who don't know me wish me automatically "Merry X'Mas" just because I'm hakujin and therefore I should be Christian, when I'm not. I would prefer to be asked first "Do you celebrate X'Mas?". I repeat I'm talking about people who don't know me. Because those who do just wish me "enjoy the holiday season and happy new year".

I'm really happy living in Japan where religion plays such a small part in the every day life of the people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Steel nut found in Kanagawa elementary school lunch See in context

For nuts of steel go to Yamato City!

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Posted in: Boats with decomposed bodies recently found drifting off Japan See in context

after "the walking dead", here come "the seafaring dead". The whole story could easily come out of or become a horror movie.

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Posted in: 9 ways Tokyo could become more foreigner-friendly in time for 2020 Olympics See in context

Yubaru - Putting aside the Greeks who 50+% speak English fluent enough due to the 25mil tourists visiting the country annually, what did the Chinese do when they hosted the Beijing Olympics? Did they ask their guests to change or did they try their best to accommodate them and make them happy (and take their money)? It seems there are people in Japan who feel uneasy or are clearly afraid because they think there's going to be a "foreign invasion" and they will be "required" to change. They see the Olympics and other issues (whale and dolphin hunting for example) as efforts by "foreigners" (who exactly?) to make the Japanese lose their identity and "uniqueness". Imagine the Japanese stop going to MacD and to start going to WenD because foreigners told them to! Other Olympic host countries saw the games as an opportunity to fix some things, put up a good show, attract investment and generally looked in the future. Some in Japan look in the past. Thankfully they are a minority.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: 9 ways Tokyo could become more foreigner-friendly in time for 2020 Olympics See in context

gogogo - how about Japanese realize that their foreign guests for the Olympics don't speak Japanese and are not interested to learn for the few days the games are held.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Posted in: 9 ways Tokyo could become more foreigner-friendly in time for 2020 Olympics See in context

The suggestions are all "Mediocre" as IJ would say. Last week I was at Nippori station taking my parents back to their home country when I discovered they had installed an excellent "Train Route Information" machine-thing. It looks like the ticket machine and is in English, French, Chinese and Korean (if I remember correctly). You type where you want to go and out comes a lovely little printed piece of paper like a bank receipt with instructions. Which line and track as well as estimated time and fare. Clear and precise and absolutely wonderful! Congrats to those who thought of that. More of these at major stations properly indicated (not just hidden at some dark corner) would be a great help to all visitors.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: 10 factors that make Japan a safe country See in context

No guns and no drugs. These are the only two reasons. The rest are just "suppositions and assumptions" as others very correctly mentioned put together by an Abe supporter. If there was easy access to guns as in the States we'd read of school massacres by bullied students every other week and turf wars by bosozoku gangs. Singapore is a multi-culture, multi-ethnic, multi-religion country as safe as Japan.

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Posted in: Irate passenger arrested after getting off train stopped between two stations See in context

No comedy at all! Because of these two A(capital)$#"%&' I was imobilized in Tabata for more than 40 mins and arrived home by taxi an hour later completely exhausted after a long day's work. Who's gonna pay me back the 2500yen of the taxi? Who's gonna compensate me for the all the trouble? Why JR doesn't give other passengers the right to sue these two for damages? I could use the 56yo drunk's house.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

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

Bill Adams: when you've spent quite some time here in Japan and see the polite and delicate manner Japanese (not all ofcourse) interact with eachother and then...all of a sudden the switch goes on and they (not all ofcourse) behave awkwardly, blunt or utterly weird towards foreigners, then there are grounds to share the frustrations you've experienced, wishing they could at least just behave towards you as they behave towards eachother. In my konbini there is a clerk that always says "arashta" (the kombini version of "arigato gozaimashita") to every single customer except to non-Japanese like me to whom he says absolutely nothing. You can call this "paranoia" on my part or whatever you like. In my eyes the clerk lucks social skills. And I believe that's what this is all about. Is it rude for the Japanese to automatically speak English to any hakujin they see? Well, presumptuousness is indeed a form of rudeness. When you see a woman wearing a wedding ring you don't immediately ask how many children she has. You ask more delicately IF she has any children.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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

crustpunker: The 3rd question I'm ALWAYS asked is whether I like Japanese food (duh!) followed by the the absolutely obligatory "do you eat nato?" Then I get depending on the answer:

"No" - "Why not? It's good for your health" "Yes" - "Really? Isn't it smelly?"

I've never met any Japanese who doesn't want to know whether I eat nato or not. It seems somebody, somewhere has written a "how to break the ice with a foreigner" textbook which is compulsory reading for all Japanese with absolutely no exceptions and no deviations. No Japanese has EVER asked me what kind of music or movies I like, if I like manga, what's my favorite sport, my best or worst experience in Japan or any other conversation starters. It's always, ALWAYS the "nato question". Japanese readers, please help, I really want to know: do you ask the "nato question" when you encounter another Asian or African or is it an exclusive to hakujin question?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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

In connection to the previous article "noteworthy types of foreigners" I wonder what types of Japanese "non-westerners" encounter while living in Japan. The six mentioned here and good and true, at least to me, and I've encountered all of them but does a Korean living in Japan ever meet the Wannabe Westerner, perhaps mutated to Wannabe Korean? Does a Chinese living in Japan encounter the English Vampire, transformed into the Chinese Vampire? If an Asian looking US citizen asks something in perfect English, what response/reaction would they get? What is the commonest reaction when a Japanese encounters a fashion model from Kenya or Brasil? How do Japanese behave around faithful Muslim women casually doing their shoping?

In other words could we please have, at some point, an article not written by and for "westerners" but at the very least from a different viewpoint? Or is there to be a followup with "5 types of girls you'll probably like to meet, or not, in Japan", "5 types of salariman you really hate", "5 types of wonderful obasans"...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for making 7,000 false claim calls to 1,200 shops See in context

As the the Church of England Inquisition would say: "Cake or death?"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: SoftBank warns droid owners not to try sex with them See in context

I think the-very-Softbank finally replied to my repeated suggestions for improvement and claims for compensation. I told them a million times that every time I try to put a hose on Pepper it runs a ladder and in the process I've ruined dozens of them. Don't get me started on garter belts, fishnet stockings and high heels. A nightmare! Either they improve the design to be lingerie-friendly or compensate me for the ruined clothes. A dissatisfied customer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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

Absolutely NO. Because it all comes down to the length of your intestine! I am convinced that the correct length gives the Japanese, and the Japanese only, this unique ability to choose their own government. Do you have the uniquely Japanese extra-long intestine? No? Then you should not be allowed to vote. "Permanent" - spermanent. A thorough measuring test of the intestine, and that only, should determine whether a gaijin is Japanese enough to vote. Actually I think we should all wait to be reborn with a longer intestine to be allocated the right to vote. Tough, I know, but stop eating too much meat, eat your vegies and especially your fermented soybeans, don't forget the occasional whale meat to feel natsukashiiiiii washed down by plenty of haibooru and in a thousand years maybe you'll grow an intestine Japanese enough to vote. Until then...gaman sinasai.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Five types of foreigner you’ll meet in Japan See in context

How about the Iranian guy working in a kebab stand who left his country to get away from the religious oppression? Or the Nigerian guy working as a construction worker. Or the Korean lady cleaning hospitals who fell madly in love with her Japanese husband 20 happy years ago. Or the Chinese couple running a tiny clothes store arguing every single night next to my bedroom because she wants to bring her family to Tokyo while he is desperately pleading: "but we left China to get away from them!". Or the Greek criminal anthropologist professor who was constantly harassed by her Japanese colleagues just because she was a woman. Or the Argentinian guy with his own design company who loves it here. Or the guy running a bar in Yokohama for 50+ years who calls the guys with the tats when there is a problem. Or the British guy with the nose stuck to his forehead trying to teach the Japanese how to properly write in romaji. Or the guy from Bangladesh, modern and open minded as any of us, with an extremely religious conservative family who destroyed his marriage with his Japanese wife. Or the Philippine girls spending their nights and youth at the local kyabakura keeping company to drunks who just can't keep their hands to themselves.

I wonder which of the 5 types these foreigners belong to. But I guess all these decent people struggling on a daily basis to fit in and make a living are just not funny enough so we'll never hear how they see Japan.

29 ( +34 / -5 )

Posted in: 7 decades after WWII, many praise Germany, scorn Japan See in context

For me it would have been more interesting to read how other colonial powers have atoned for their past sins and what apologies they have offered. The French to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Dutch to Indonesia, the US to the Philippines, the British to Burma and especialy to India. Because I never read about apologies and reparations given or demands for such. THAT would be an interesting article; comparing Japan to Britain or France, instead of the classic with Germany all Korean and Chinese nationalists like to do.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences between the way Japanese and Western media report the news? See in context

Strangerland-You can keep saying it, doesn't mean you are right. Western Media do not use the word "suspect" after every criminal's name. Here. I'll give you the last word and you can go to bed happy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences between the way Japanese and Western media report the news? See in context

Because I read it every day. WOW! How many languages do you speak? French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish...

No, which is why I mentioned that your country may be different. So, you do read meadia from all the Western countries but you don't know how they report it. Interesting.

And I'm saying it's the norm in western media too Ok.You can keep saying it, doesn't mean you are right. Contrary to ALL Western media, only in Japan they instist on "Bin Laden-yogisha" and "Kouachi-yogisha" but you can keep insisting that BBC and CNN call them "Bin Ladin-suspect". But instead of being opinionated and just repeat what you think I got wrong, do you have anything to add to the conversation about the differences between the "Western" and Japanese media?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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