powderb comments

Posted in: Yasukuni Shrine chief priest to quit for criticizing emperor See in context

The notion that a “person’s soul” can not be moved because it goes against the rules of Shintoism is absurd. These rules were made by man and can thusly be changed by man. An actual God did not manifest from the forest with eternal truths carved in stone.

If made by man it can be changed by man.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo named world's best city for 3rd year in row outside U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler poll See in context

For what it's worth, if you go to Conde Nast's own website and read the supposed 2018 awards article, the results link to the 2014 survey. Have we been duped by old news?


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kono says Japan will accept more foreign workers See in context

@browny1 You wrote Naomi Osaka left Japan because of intolerance of her in-laws. Do you have a source on that? I don't doubt it, but I'd like to see that firsthand.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Kono says Japan will accept more foreign workers See in context

Oh, I'll just sheepishly admit it: I clicked because of the woman seated on the far right.

(Begs forgiveness)

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Posted in: Naomi Osaka wins U.S. Open after Serena Williams penalized a game See in context

Congratulations to Naomi. Well deserved.

It will be an interesting media case study the next few days as Japan celebrates its Japanese champion, a person the country might have otherwise treated poorly had she not been successful.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Are more doors opening to tattooed visitors? See in context

Hamilton: well said.

Harry-Gatto: indeed! The bathing etiquette of elderly men often fails to live up to the standards of what is asked of foreign tourists.

My legs are covered in tattoos. It gives me great pleasure to look at works of art on my body. They are beautiful, to me. Out of respect to my home in Japan of several decades, I don't wear shorts, I wear sweatpants at the gym, I go to a few hot springs in ski areas that don't object to people wearing tattoos. I don't complain about it. So be it. I only ask in return to not be so gleefully judged.

I once saw a sign that said, paraphrasing, "The only difference between people with tattoos and those without is tattooed people don't care if you are not tattooed." Sums it up for me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Whaling documentaries from Japan rebut 'The Cove' See in context

Perhaps because the adult dolphins in Japan are eaten, yet the babies are sold to aquariums. What is the tradition in that? And by that logic, why ever give food or help to one poor person if you can not help them all? You have to start somewhere, and perhaps the directors thought the practice more horrific in Japan. It's a question for the director, not me.

I am not, in fact, arguing for or against hunting dolphins. I've steered clear of that. What I am firmly against is people stubbornly grasping to tradition in the name of culture or patriotism. My home country of the States certainly has traditions of shame. I do not wrap myself in the flag and shout at outsiders when those traditions were justly criticized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Whaling documentaries from Japan rebut 'The Cove' See in context

"The Cove" was not anti-Japan, nor anti-Japanese. It was anti- dolphin hunting, which so happens to be practiced in Japan by Japanese.

Having the ability to change is an admired quality. Stubbornly clinging to something in the name of "culture" or patriotism or nationalism is not.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: High-tech Tokyo tops list of world's most innovative cities See in context

Fax Machines.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Posted in: Most female doctors in poll can understand Tokyo medical school reducing female applicant scores See in context


Exactly. If you poll only those who have successfully gone through the system the chances are high you will find someone who agrees with the way the system works.

Having said that, I’ve often been surprised by how many older women in Japan are relatively comfortable with allowing sexist institutions to continue.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 chief asks Abe to consider daylight saving time See in context

I support this completely, and for nothing to do with the Olympics.

The sun starts to peak through my curtains at nearly four in the morning. That light affects sleep quality. If that light started breaking around six, all the better.

And in the evening, dinner and drink with friends at twilight that stretches until nearly nine.

This seems wonderful to me.

Apart from the idea that Japanese office workers might feel obligated to stay at work later, what are the arguments against it?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's declutter queen Marie Kondo expands her empire See in context

I've yet to go to any home or office in Japan that is not absurdly cluttered. And not, it is not a small sample size.

Good for her if she is genuinely helping people to declutter and introduce a little order into their homes. Having said that, I can imagine this being a best seller abroad because people imagine the still tranquility of Japanese gardens and temples from movies and storybooks.

The truth is, that is not at all representative of life in Japan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Temperature soars to 41.1 C in Kumagaya; highest ever in Japan See in context

Ah, Kumagaya: lived there in the late 90s. A friend described it thusly, "a commercial-industrial blob of no particular aesthetic appeal." He forgot to say it was hot, other than that, spot on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Death toll in heat wave tops 30; more than 10,000 taken to hospitals See in context

And in a few weeks hundreds of high school boys will go to Koshien to play baseball during the height of the Osaka summer.

Absolutely foolish.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's population declines at fastest pace yet to 125.2 mil See in context

Headlines should stop framing a declining or small population as a problem. It is not. The problem is a population imbalance.

Perhaps millions of people crowding into earthquake- prone cities and mountainous flood-prone countryside is not a particularly wise idea.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Man on platform hit by train after argument with commuter See in context

I have nothing but sympathy and compassion for this man in the hospital.

I was not there. I don't know what happened. I do know that if other passengers were simply having a "loud" conversation at 12:35 am on a train on a Saturday night on a holiday weekend, and not being aggressive or hostile towards other passengers, I would have bit my tongue and not said anything. I've had a few loud conversations on trains with friends late on a Saturday night after dinner and a few drinks. I would think many people have, regardless of nationality.

It seems such a trivial matter to risk the potential escalation. And yes, I do wonder if ill-will towards Chinese and Chinese speakers played a part.

And still, despite all that, there is no reason at all for violence. For that, the suspect is entirely in the wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man on platform hit by train after argument with commuter See in context

There is no place for a physical altercation or violence. Full stop.

I spent an hour on the train yesterday, passing through Kichijoji, and the loud groups of junior high school kids was merely part of the background noise. So be it. It would never occur to me to tell them to be quiet, so it does beg the question: had it been Japanese men speaking Japanese loudly would this all have been avoided?

For all the talk of celebrated train manners in Japan, I think the low tolerance for otherness is a better representation of the city’s character than the so-called good manners themselves.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Posted in: London murder rate overtakes New York as stabbings surge See in context

A more accurate representation would be “New York’s murder rate has fallen, now similar to London’s.”

New York’s crime rate has dropped drastically over the past two decades, and this is the actual story.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife See in context

Abe has said he would resign if either he or his wife were directly involved. These are on the record quotes.

Be a man of your word.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan is safest place to be born, UNICEF report says See in context

It’s the quality of the part between birth and death that needs improving.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: 20-year-old student sent to prosecutors over fatal bike crash See in context

Phone in one hand? Drink in the other hand? I would love to see this on closed circuit tv.

Yes, she is responsible. Yes, it is terrible. But sending a 20 year old to jail forever (or hanged?) seems extreme for something done out of negligence, not criminal intent.

I am an avid cyclist and indeed follow road rules. I have also had multiple near accidents with elderly pedestrians crossing in the middle of the road, suddenly entering the street where I am rightly riding. Had I ever hit one of them, no doubt both of us would have been injured, perhaps gravely. This is not at all victim blaming, but pedestrians need to use caution as well.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Showing their moves See in context

Chris Reed, born and raised in the States. Apparently doesn't speak much Japanese. His older sister has actually skated for Georgia.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Freezing Tokyo sees most ambulance calls for 80 years See in context

As of Thursday night, the otherwise impressive Police Hospital (警察病院) in Nakano had literally cleared a 10cm path from the main bus stop the entrance. Around it was essentially a thick sheet of ice. It would be little surprise if the elderly, sick, and already injured were to fall. On the other hand, already close to getting help.

@dango bong: it’s “climate change,” not “global warming” and do people really need to explain the difference between climate and weather?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to nominate ancient tombs in Osaka for World Heritage See in context

There is a Ph.D thesis here begging to be researched:

Japanese source of pride: Four Seasons and World Heritage Sites, which is the greater good.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Seven-Eleven stores in Japan to start selling English-labeled foods See in context

@nathan brown: seriously? The food is the same. The taste is the same. The packages will also have English... and this is an outrage?

7-11 is, after all, a “convenience” store. Let it be convenient. Much easier to have simple multilingual packaging than to have non-Japanese speaking customers asking non-English speaking questions about the contents of curious looking items.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Harassment of women can never be tolerated: Ivanka Trump See in context

R.I.P. Satire

November, 2017

Tokyo, Japan

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Posted in: Nagasaki rejoices over Ishiguro's winning Nobel Prize in literature See in context

In speaking with the Mainichi, "To me, Japan is a foreign country, but emotionally it's a special country, it's another mother land."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese companies struggle to hire, retain staff as labor shortage worsens See in context

I have nothing to add but another voice in the crowd: pay people well, give them reasonable benefits, treat them fairly, and there will be no so-called labour shortage.

The headline and article are so aligned with management and not labor that it borders on pathetic.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Tattooist fined for operating without medical certification See in context

@sensei258 Genuinely curious: Have you ever, in fact, been to a tattoo studio in Japan? They are not sharing needles and using the ink from ballpoint pens, as if it were a scene from a movie about life in prison.

And yes: by this logic what makes it different than getting a piercing?

Just like restaurants and supermarkets have governing departments to ensure sanitary conditions, do the same with tattoo studios. But don't infringe on the livelihoods of these artists and those who want tattoos.

I would suspect people supporting this decision merely don't like the idea of a tattoo.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

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