powderb comments

Posted in: Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike See in context

@since1981

A very fair reply in listing those illnesses; your point is taken.

You write "it's no time for politics" but please do check the timeline on this page. It was most definitely not I that broached the issue of left vs. right politics. You were the fourth person posting on this page and you were the first to do so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike See in context

@kohakuebisu: that, entirely.

The act of having the hanami party itself is, of course, more important to the Japanese than, let's say, Americans who don't have such a tradition.

But the idea that a Japanese person can look at a field of flowers and feel an appreciation for it, some stirring of the soul, that, let's say again, an American would not feel while is laughably absurd.

I am grateful for the good life I have in my second home here in Japan, but the Japanese Appreciate Nature More than Others storyline will forever be at the top of my pet peeves.

I am quite certain the average Japanese person does appreciate and enjoy nature, but no more so or less than anyone else. What modern Japanese construction and architecture has done to the country is another, sadder matter entirely.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike See in context

@since1981

People are not criticizing Trump or other (generally conservative) politicians for saying the virus "is China born."

The criticism is in calling it "the Wuhan Virus" or "the China Virus" which may seem a minor distinction, but it's not. Those words have weight, and the stigma it carries is an unneeded burden.

It's an odd hill for people to plant their flags upon: "Why can't I call it the Wuhan Virus?" Because it does have a name: COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Anything else is unnecessarily inflammatory and born of a fear of anything foreign, and on a site such as this, where people of different nations come together to share opinions, I would say it's something that should not be done.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike See in context

And what she fails to see in her own analogy is that hugs have, in fact, been taken away from Italians.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

Posted in: Sapporo Snow Festival ending after unprecedented lack of snow See in context

@roten

Moisture content in snow can vary wildly by region, and what makes Hokkaido snow justifiably famous for winter sports is the low moisture count, sometimes as low as 5% by volume. Ski resorts in the Pacific Northwest in the States and Canada have a much higher moisture content, which makes the snow much heavier and for many, less desirable.

Putting it differently: if you’ve have ever made a snowball that compacts easily and quickly turns to a hard ball of slush, well, that has a higher moisture content. Whereas in a typical year the snow in Hokkaido is simply too dry to make a snowball.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sapporo Snow Festival ending after unprecedented lack of snow See in context

Only this year did I learn that the Self Defense Force played such a large role in constructing these sculptures, which a Japanese friend called “advertising” and I cynically labeled “propaganda.”

We both agreed it seemed a less than ideal use of tax money.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: 8 French people caught in Hokkaido avalanche; 1 dead See in context

To those saying they were skiing somewhere they should not have been, that may be so, but it absolutely not clear from this article.

“The group was skiing outside an area managed by the ski resort” does not necessarily mean they were skiing in a prohibited area. They may have been, but ski resorts in Japan now make a clear distinction between areas that are strictly prohibited and areas which are ski at your own risk, meaning you are allowed to ski there but there will be no patrols sweeping the area at the end of the day, thus “not managed” by resort.

Resorts in Japan now have backcountry gates which allow access to “not managed” areas, from the more progressive Niseko in Hokkaido to even the traditional Okushiga in Nagano.

From this article alone there is truly not enough information to say they were skiing in a prohibited area, so until that is made clear, please have some sympathy and refrain from judgement

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 8 French people caught in Hokkaido avalanche; 1 dead See in context

For all those connected with it: my deep sympathies.

As a avid skier, I do hope this doesn’t lead to limits on side and backcountry skiing. The accidents can be more frightening and dramatic, for sure, but actually less common than typical injuries sustained on-piste on at crowded resorts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Criticism of Japan's coal policy raising climate awareness at home: Koizumi See in context

What a particularly painful dinner that must have been.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Thin line between neglect and independence for Japanese kids See in context

The author seems to confuse being independent and being left alone.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 unveils 15,000-seat Olympic aquatics center See in context

In a display of confidence, perhaps they could use the contaminated water from Fukushima instead of releasing it back into the ocean.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: A crash course in Japan’s blood type theory See in context

No mention at all that it has roots in eugenics and closely related to the idea that some people are genetically superior?

To ignore that is to publish a poorly researched article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Actress Sawajiri admits to using MDMA, other illegal drugs See in context

An interesting observation by a Japanese lawyer on Twitter: she was already being followed and filmed in the street by the media the day before the arrest, which leads that lawyer to believe they had been made aware of the pending arrest. That seems unfair at best and quite likely illegal.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Music by the numbers: Scientists reveal a secret to great song writing See in context

The Jack Black reference is actually quite clever

When he was playing with the duo Tenacious D they had a humorous song called “Tribute” which was a tribute to “the greatest song in the world.”

A funny video, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC Tokyo Olympic marathon edict should give pause to other cities See in context

The first paragraph is truly poorly written.

To phrase it as “taking on” the games as if they volunteered to help half a million refugees out of the goodness of their heart and are now facing difficulties in carrying out such a noble pursuit.

The government ignored every reasonable argument against hosting the games, yet choose to do so for reasons only they know, but I’ll ascribe it to ego and pride.

This is lazy writing and should be edited.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Make climate fight 'sexy' and 'fun,' says Japan's new environment minister See in context

Japan Today should start a Koizumi Meter: a running tally of entirely uncritical fluff pieces that heap praise on him.

If every article refers to him as a rising star without actually saying why that is, then propaganda mission accomplished.

His father was Prime Minister; he speaks English, and his fiancé is beautiful.

Is there anything of substance in the resume before he is so ordained?

34 ( +37 / -3 )

Posted in: Dignitaries from over 190 countries expected at emperor's post-accession ceremony See in context

Adding a touch of regality and class to the whole proceedings will be a musical number by (checks notes, gasps) Arashi.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/18/national/popular-j-pop-band-arashi-tapped-perform-festival-celebrating-emperors-enthronement/#.XYLUn-cza-o

I shudder to think what cringeworthy entertainment there will be during the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

The majority of Japanese support same sex marriage. A few seconds of google searches will answer that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@TheLongTermer: and what of the Japanese half of the relationship? What rights does he have in his own country?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@Jcosplay: a fair reply.

Let's reframe the entire story:

Instead of "American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa" let's rewrite it this way: "Japanese citizen married to same-sex American partner sues gov't for long-term visa."

This is, in fact, what is happening.

If it were, let's say, two American men suing the Japanese government for full rights in Japan, then, for the sake of discussion, I can go along with the idea that they are pushing their western ideals on Japan. Still disagree, but ok, I can concede to a degree.

But one half of this relationship is Japanese. What of his rights in his own country? What of his rights to marry who he wants and live in his home country?

Those supporting this are also saying: if you are gay and lesbian and happen to fall in love while abroad and want to be married, you are forfeiting your right to return to Japan. This is ok with you? Is this not simply discrimination? The supporters here are saying: if you are gay or lesbian and fall in love with a foreigner, you may not live in Japan as a married couple. That's not the West pushing its ideals on Japan. It's the very definition of discrimination.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

Japan is, in fact, trending towards more LGBT rights. This is the right moment in time for such lawsuits to be brought. Japanese nationals have made similar claims; the fact that this particular issue has a foreigner involved is almost secondary. Don't forget one half of this couple is Japanese. What about his rights in his own country? His right to be married in his own country is being denied. Is that the West pushing its ideals on Japan? This is a Japanese citizen protesting something he feels is unjust.

For those saying this is cultural imperialism, then what do you say to Japanese lawmakers and Japanese plaintiffs in similar lawsuits? There are numerous cases.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/05/national/tokyo-adopts-ordinance-banning-discrimination-lgbt-community/#.XXrs6ZMzaqk

Here, a Japanese couple with a similar suit:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190905/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

If you can't accept two adults, in love, wanting their love to be officially recognized, then you are on the wrong side of history.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

It would be easier if all the people supporting this would simply come out and say, "Man, I hate those f*gs." Just be out with your hate and bigotry, because that the end of the day, that's what it comes down to.

@Jcosplay: Is Japan ever wrong in your eyes? Serious question, not sarcasm. Is it possible that on some issues it might be lacking? I'm from the States originally and have lengthy list of things of things that are wrong in my home country. If an "outsider" criticizes it, I owe it to everyone to listen.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

This couple is not asking to be married in Japan; they are asking that their marriage be honored in Japan. It's a huge distinction. As noted in the article there are cases setting legal precedent for same-sex partnerships, so why not this particular case, too?

As an aside, or perhaps it's the main issue, after all: it's time to lose the bigotry.

To those who proclaim it's one country or culture pushing their values on another, well, perhaps it is to a degree. But if you are planting a flag on a hill that says two adults, in love and happy, who happen to be gay or lesbian, can not get married, and can not travel freely, then perhaps your values are indeed flawed.

Every country and culture has its own beauty and its own warts; defending all of it in its entirety benefits no one.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@burning bush:

You write, "Because the laws of foreign countries don’t apply in Japan."

Actually, with regards to marriage they do, insofar as marriages abroad are recognized in Japan, and that is the point of the lawsuit.

A heterosexual marriage from America is recognized in Japan, whereas a marriage between a gay or lesbian couple is not. And that's why they have a legitimate claim that this is discriminatory.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: Koizumi seeks further innovation in Japan to fight climate change See in context

"a rising political star in Japan" is, quite simply, bad reporting and bad writing.

He may very well be an excellent human being and turn out to be an excellent politician. The latter is not something I expect at all, but I'll focus on the writing itself.

What are the reasons to support such a phrase? Without that, it comes across as nothing but propaganda fluff.

The author should be embarrassed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Uber Eats to test delivery of convenience store items in Japan See in context

I’m neither lazy nor anti-social and I consider myself quite able in the kitchen, but some days I’d rather have someone else do it for me, particularly if that something else requires ingredients I don’t happen to have at the moment.

No shame at all in ordering something delicious when I’d rather be doing something else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Wondering if your boyfriend will be a good husband? Give him the tea test See in context

Are you happy together?

End of test.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian tourist arrested over graffiti around Kamogawa River in Kyoto See in context

In related news, the Bansky graffiti is still being celebrated by Yuriko Koike and the city government.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: AKB48 sister group member criticizes probe into assault on her as 'lies' See in context

I’m asking out of wide-eyed bewilderment: can someone please explain the “not indicted” aspect?

Do the police need someone to actually press charges? I’m assuming if I were stabbed by a would-be mugger I surely wouldn’t need to go through the formality of pressing charges. The police would act, regardless of my involvement after the fact. Why should attempted rape or related charges be any different?

Failing that, can the victim herself press charges?

What an awful sham of a justice system.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: U.N. rights committee urges Japan to let children be children See in context

@yokohamaries: this exactly. Life through elementary school does seem like a wonderful time, what comes after is the what is troubling and sad to watch. Of course, there are countless exceptions and people find ways to create happiness, but. Just but.

Anecdotes are not the best for evidence, but here is one: a good friend (English father, Japanese mother) wanted to visit the U.K. this past Christmas holiday but did not because their 14 year old son had baseball practice in the week between Christmas and New Year's. They told the coach they wanted to miss practice, but were told, quite clearly, that he would be letting down his team and school by not showing his spirit. Again: practice in the middle of winter, just before the most important holiday on the Japanese calendar, for a summer sport.

The child's grandmother died this past January. They did not see her. They did not say goodbye. All for not letting down the team for a practice of almost no value.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

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