Pidestroika comments

Posted in: Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? See in context

afanofjapan, I have no idea what you're talking about. Read more carefuly what I wrote. You and a couple other guys feel you have some short of obligation to defend J-TV or you think it's another Japanese bushing cultural attack by the ignorant gaijin? Everybody here states their opinion. It's called "criticism", what you do when you say you like a movie or not. In my opinion, Japanese TV in general is unwatchable and absolutely terrible. The few exceptions prove the rule. The little I saw in other Asian countries I've been to is far better.

Keep enjoying J-TV if you like it so much. I won't.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? See in context

An answer to the typical "language", the "gaijin can't possibly know" and "the TV in other countries is worse" arguments... In all the South-East Asia countries (5) I've travelled to and stayed for a week on average, I found that the TV was FAR BETTER than the Japanese in any respect, even though I didn't understand the language. Even the TV in Cambodia was better than the Japanese and my J wife agreed too. Just because you like a few programs on some channels, that doesn't mean that the J-TV as a whole (11+ channels, broadcasting 24/7) is good. Quite the opposite.

12 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? See in context

Where do I start? It's absurd to compare J TV with other countries' and find excuses like "oh, you know in my country TV is worse, so J TV is not that bad". We are not discussing other countries' TVs. We're talking about the JAPANESE TV.

A J. friend working with one of the channels explained that most of the programs are there to provide filler for the commercials. That tells a lot.

News. Ugly casters with buffoon haircut and vintage style clothing running to tell some news, constantly interrupted by cms. Analog weather reports using pointing sticks and cotton to show clouds. Talk about the country of hi tech.

A J visiting another country. His/her words are subtitled, the voices of the locals are dubbed and subtitled. Apparently the TV gurus have decided that nobody in Japan is interested to hear people from other countries speaking.

"Downtown" used to be great. 15 years ago!!! Now they are just a bunch of supposedly genojin talking about how they spent their week. WHO CARES???

Pachinko decoration background everywhere with kitsch waterfalls, fake flowers and lot's of sparkling stuff! Absolutely, definitely need to sparkle!

Change the channel, change the program there seems to be the same director everywhere. Who's that guy?

There is no comedy after Drifters. Only the constant head-top hitting. Glowing exception, the "old men on the pillows".

Quit watching after a 2 hour special detailing which is the favorite hamburger of AKB.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context


"Barbarians"? Well, winter is coming. I prefer this one: "A large number of educated speakers and writers, for whatever reason, object to disinterested in the sense 'uninterested, unconcerned'--a sense it previously had but lost for awhile--and want the word to have only the meaning 'impartial, unprejudiced.' The criticized use has nevertheless gained such ground that it has practically driven out the other one. That change causes no harm to language as communication. We have merely lost a synonym for impartial and gained one for indifferent." (John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language, 6th ed. Wadsworth, 2010)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

With a 15y English teaching experience in Japan I can say that one of the main problems is the luck of a clear objective. What does the school education is aiming at? What is the English level the students are supposed to reach? Pre-intermediate? Intermediate? Conversation fluency? From my experience I see students who have never practiced reading and actual listening and therefore have absolutely no sense of rhythm and punctuation. Many never practiced composition, essay/letter writing and therefore have minimum skills at expressing themselves in writing. If English at school is just another lesson like all the others then it as useful as the rest of the material students usually forget after graduation. If it's supposed to actually help students to learn then I'm afraid you are asking too much. We are talking about a different form of education. Inspirational, interesting, creative...perfectly valid attributes that frankly speaking shouldn't be applied only to English but every other subject lesson. Another thing is that if English is not to be examined like all the other lessons, students lose their interest. If it is to be examined then it becomes another school subject that is to be tested in a similar way as all the other subjects. You cannot separate English teaching from the way other subjects are taught and examined in a Japanese school. And in my opinion that's where the problem is. As I see it, at the moment, the whole thing is a complete mess. Students are stuffed with lots of grammar and vocabulary, ALTs are doing their best to teach pronunciation and communication and all is done haphazardly regardless of level or clear objective. Not to mention messing with British vs American English. Personally I think English education in Japanese schools should bring the student to a pre-intermediate level, clearing all the basic grammar, with basic vocabulary and fair pronunciation and those interested in continuing their English studies to a higher level they could do so at a private school/lessons.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Step in See in context

The sign is not racist but plainly stupid. The first part "Karaoke is Japanese culture" obviously is for non-Japanese, English speakers. I'm sure there is no "いらっしゃいませ日本人", therefore what's the point of the redundant word "foreigner"? "Welcome" would be enough. Unless they are inviting the band "Foreigner"...

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Posted in: Germany inflict historic 7-1 defeat on Brazil See in context

Scolari after the 7-1 defeat by Germany: "The person who decided the line-up, the tactics, was me. It was my choice." "My message for the Brazilian people is please excuse us for this performance".

Zaccheroni after the 4-1 defeat by COLOMBIA: "It was a nice game. We played well in the first half." "We all thought we would do a lot better, that we would perform much better as we showed in the first half (against Colombia) when we play intensely as we normally do and we are able to generate opportunities to win a match."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China says U.S. should be concerned about Japanese nationalism See in context

Yes, there is indeed a significant rise of Japanese nationalism. Japanese undoubtly prefer AKB48 and Momoiro Clover Z to Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Rainbow Pride See in context

LBGT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and others

Who exactly are the "others"?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Sending a message See in context

Ruud sadly is not ofcourse your average comentator who just found this site. Google her name and you'll see. She is looking for compensation from the Japanese gov and her whole ideology as with most Korean/Chinese ultra nationalists is revolving around the Santayana saying and is fed on hatred.

Also I wonder how the commentators of this site feel having their comments translated in Korean.

Would it be possible for JT to blog any comments on such subjects like Yasukuni and Japan/Korean/Chinese nationalism? Aren't death threats towards commentators enough? Everybody has said their piece more than once.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Sending a message See in context

"Crazy, but that's how it goes Millions of people living as foes Maybe it's not too late To learn how to love And forget how to hate"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Garden party See in context

toon toon toonnnn, chu hah! toon toon toon, chu hah! "What's your name? Who's your daddy? Is he rich like me?"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: 3 stabbed in drunken brawl between Japanese, non-Japanese outside station See in context

Apparently some would prefer the news to be reported as:

"Seven human beings had an excessive discussion with 10 other human beings and one of them used a metallic kitchen utensil to persuade them they were wrong."

Note that mentioning the location and the time should not be politically correct since it could discriminate towards the other residents of the area and could create fear to the readers. Or even better instead of "human beings" put "living organisms" to avoid discrimination towards animals... Thankfully we don't live in Kita Chosen.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 3 stabbed in drunken brawl between Japanese, non-Japanese outside station See in context

Ok, I just saw the video posted by dmhondz. My bad. It's Nishi-Guchi one of the streets where prostitutes often gather. Mostly Korean shops in the area but also Thai. The kobban is a few meters from where it happened. There is also an Uyoku bar nearby. Maybe some drunk grabbed the butt of a hooker and she wasn't happy...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 stabbed in drunken brawl between Japanese, non-Japanese outside station See in context

Since we live in Nishi-Kawaguchi, we were wondering what the hell was going on with all the ambulances last Sunday night...

The "red light district" is not "in front of the station". The area changed about 5 years ago.

Nishi-Guchi of the station has a koban right in front of the exit so most probably that's not where it happened. It's the atrea where the "red light disctrict" is now with the strip joints and where most of the foreign prostitutes gather. (And don't start me with the word "foreigner". I've heard them arguing many times and they've tried to pick me so I know first hand they're not Japanese)

Higashi-guchi where the red-light used to be has a number of food joints you really wouldn't like to visit. There is no koban there, only a button you can press to call the police. This is where the brawl most probably happened. And in this particular area there are many Chinese (Koreans are on the other Guchi) and, trust me, very few of them are "university students". There are even a couple "izakayas" with a large hinomaru permanently hanging in the entrance, and there are at least a couple Uyoku groups (and an Uyoku newspaper hq). You can draw your conclusions...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 20 words of English origin that Japanese people often mistake for real thing See in context

manikyua-"manicure" (treatment for the care of the hands and fingernails) instead of "nail polish" echi shimasho -Let's make "H", doesn't mean let's do a perticular kind of drug.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey to find Japan’s 50 favorite Western musical acts now on See in context


It's a little arrogant to take the attitude of 'educating' the Japanese ( who incidentally have their own popular music tradition ) in your own personal tastes*. Nothing to do with my personal tastes (read again my second posting). All I'm saying is that this survey reveals how little the average Japanese knows about music outside Japan. Subjectivity. It's one thing to know a band/artist, another to like them or not. You know Cave even if you don't like him. And I'm not trying to "educate" anybody. Just stating my conclusions based on the survey so far. It's not that the Japanese simply love Carpenters and Billy Joel. It's that they don't know anything else. It's a typical answer, like in the "do you eat nato?" question. I've asked personally groups of 12 Japanese (various ages) to tell me some of their favorite foreign artists. Every time the answer is Carpenters, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson. Not because they really like them (nobody was able to tell me even one song title of Eric Clapton, for example) but because they don't know anyone else. Madonna, for example. An artist with dozens of huge hit songs. Ask any Japanese which Madonna songs they know. They answer is always: "Papa don't preach" and "Material girl". Why? Because these are the only songs the radio stations play. And they play them because everybody knows them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey to find Japan’s 50 favorite Western musical acts now on See in context

@Lew Archie Emotional. Well, I do like music. I mentioned some really famous artists, very little known in Japan, not so much what kind of music I like. Elvis, for example. Everybody knows him in Japan. If you ask them to tell you the title of even one of his songs, nobody will be able to anwer. But EVERYBODY knows "Honestyyyy". I believe there are three reasons for this.

"people" like songs they can sing in karaoke. So Pink Floyd are too "difficult". there are no dedicated music programmes on TV or radio. They always try to play music "everybody" will know and like or whatever play-list the music companies will give them. Programmes, like Kobayashi Katsuya's, rely mostly on the Billboard and the US tops. Nothing else.

Check some the bands in the NHK list of 50. ABC (a basically 1-hit band) but they don't include the Human League, Kajagoogoo (another 1-hit band), Michel Polnareff (who? A Billboard guy), Todd Rundgren (????), The Nolans (????), Three Dog Night (??????)

Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Sisters of Mercy, Motorhead, Dead Can Dance, Procol Harum, Tool, Frank Zappa etc etc are not in the list.

By the way, nobody's out there to fix the article?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Quickie See in context

Seconds anyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey to find Japan’s 50 favorite Western musical acts now on See in context

This survey just confirms how poorly musically educated is the majority of the Japanese. Really pathetic. "Carpenters"? I've never met even one Japanese who doesn't know them. Unfortunately I've met A LOT who don't know Deep Purple, Bob Marley, Black Sabbath/Ozzy, Jerry Lee Lewis, Simply Red, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd,...even Led Zep and The Doors. It's really depressing to try to start a conversation about music with a Japanese and all you get is "Carpenters". And "world music" TV programmes keep playing Chaka Khan (who?), Boz Scaggs (what?), Billy Joel (Hoooonestyyyyy)...seriously?. PATHETIC!!!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: A salute to ramen See in context

I LOVE RAMEN!!! My favorite joint: Ramen Suika inside Ueno Station. VERY good! Worst Ramen-ya ever: cheap Chinese Ramen in Nippori; rubber band noodles with soup tasting like dishwasher water. Most exotic Ramen-ya: Uguisudani. Cook casually started spraying a cockroach running on the wall right beside us eating on the counter.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 11-year-old boy throws himself under train near Osaka See in context

Typical Japanese behavior. Even the way he committed suicide is unimaginative. Like eeeevrybody else, he jumped in front of a train. In every other country he could have:

gathered signatures started a protest within the school gathered support from the parents and teachers sent protest letters/emails to the city mayor distributeed flyers organizeed protest events...and many other ideas

Only in Japan teenagers cannot protest about anything, don't have a voice and release their frustration either by bulling or killing others or by killing themselves. Only in Japan this news doesn't stir a furor, does not become front page news and doesn't provoke discussions on the media. Why? Because it happens so often. From the salariman protesting against his company's whatever decision by throwing himeself in front of a train to the kid who is doing exactly the same thing. And the society remains totally indiferent. Dozens of shocked gaijin and plenty of embarassed Japanese who feel that news like this tarnishes the disneyland image of their country. Japan needs to lie down on the shrink's sofa, urgently.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Happy Valen-Tarantino See in context

3 in 1.

What the heck does "Valen" mean? All I get is places in Norway. Isn't Valen plus Tarantino=Valentino (the fasion designer)? Wish I was there Tarantino to "whip me into a frenzy"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: High pollen count expected this year, ministry warns See in context

There is actually an anual estimation of the amount of pollen that will be produced? Really? How do they do that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: In Japan, women, not men, throng stores to buy Valentine's chocolates See in context

In Japan, women, not men, throng stores to buy Valentine's chocolates

Really! After a dozen years in Japan if it wasn't for the article I wouldn't have noticed. Always wondered what was it I was doing wrong. Glad to learn something new. Thank you JT. Did I read "thong"?....No? My bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of barber shops and hair styling salons in Japan? See in context

For many years I had problem with hairsalons here in Tokyo and dreaded going to one. They never understand what a simple male haircut mean and they have to ask dozens of questions like: "How short do you want them? Fairly short please (keko mijikai)" "Eeeehhh, how many centimeters? No idea, don't have a ruler on me" "Eeeehhh, when was the last time you cut them? Don't remember, stop asking me" Anyway, in the end I used to get a decent haircut but only after they've bust my coconuts.

What's up with that ridiculous "spootsu gari" style of the early 20th century that is so popular in Japan? And why do they shave the heads of young kids? Is lice such a big problem?

BUT, recently I discovered the best Japanese barber EVER. Old, traditional, doesn't use an electric razor and he understands immediately what I want. Cheap too. 1,000yen for 10 min. Absolutely no complaints.

Don't you guys have problem to explain how you want them in Japanese?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shimane town demands pants for Michelangelo's David sculpture See in context

I think there is some confusion in a number of comments. I hope everybody understands that the existence of public onsen and ofuro, the various matsuri and the custom of taking a family bath are not justifications for human public nudity. Just because a Japanese father takes a bath with his son does not mean it's okay to walk naked in the house, for example. So these customs and statues and art is like apples and oranges.

In the Shimane case we are talking about an OBJECT of Art. Not controversial, not sensual, not provocative, not erotic. It's not Robert Mapplethorp nude posters in public display. That there are people who complain just proves the lack of cultural education and it is for that reason alone that the statue should not be removed or covered.

@Tahoochi If by Japanese culture you mean AKB dancing in front of statues of Buddha at a World Heritage site then I hope you will allow me to believe there is something wrong with Japan of in 2013. And in my dozen years in Japan I have not yet met any Japanese who can tell me two works by Michelangelo (or even Picasso) or has actually seen even one Kurosawa movie.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Renowned photographer Leslie Kee arrested in Japan over obscene photos See in context

There are A LOT of totally nude female statues around Japan even inside train stations. No mozaiku there, it's art. No wonder J men get excited when they see a hint of a bra or a thread of a panty. Agree with everyone. There is no other country with such level of hypocrisy. "Soap massage parlors" right next to koban (Sinjuku) are daijyobu but male cucumbers and meat balls in art photos are "obscene".

Why? Because there was never any sexual revolution in the 60s in Japan. Check how little is covered in Wiki So Japan continues in a confusing and ambiguous path either conservative/childishly shy or extremely dirty/porn as if human sexual behavior can only be either of the two. Notice the absence of anything erotic anywhere and how women on TV desperately try to cover up in case "something" might show. Once the Great Master Araki departs for a different dimension it's welcome absolute monopoly of Disneyland and AKB.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: AKB48 singer shaves her head as act of contrition for dating See in context

Absolutely meaninglss rubbish! Japan has nothing else to do than talk on a daily basis about these totally untalented kids. Lamentable!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you consider the way AKB48 are presented and marketed a form of porn? See in context

Just found this video. Culturally, ethically, religiously, can't get any more disrespectful and vulgar. To my eyes this is definitely pornography! The country that has produced Kawabata, Murakami, Edogawa, Hiroshige, Kurosawa and Oshima (rip), just to name a few, has reduced itself to this low. Omedeto! Tanoshinde:

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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