Japan Today

Pudgins comments

Posted in: Ramen on the phone See in context

I don't understand. Does she throw up after eating? What does she do in order not to gain weight?

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Posted in: Monster cyclone pummels northeast Australian coast See in context

My thoughts and prayers go out to all there. Queensland has already suffered enough with the terrible flooding recently.

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Posted in: Local improv comedians keep things fast, furious and funny See in context

Don't read Metropolis, so glad to read this story here. I want to check out a performance!

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Posted in: Why do you think that Christmas decorations and illumination displays are put up so early in Japan? See in context

For the same reason they do it in the U.S. - get people shopping and spending earlier. The economy needs a boost, so retailers are lowering prices and having big sales before "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving when big sales used to begin. Really, Thanksgiving is becoming a forgotten holiday in some ways. Christmas stuff begins earlier and earlier every year, it seems.

There are many stores here (Midwest U.S.) already decorated for Christmas, there is one radio station already playing ALL Christmas music, and many people have already put up their outside decorations - but that may be because folks took advantage of the brief spell of warmish weather we had last week. Easier to hang lights when you're not freezing your bits off.

I suppose the decorations and illuminations also help lift the mood. The gray and gloomy days of November can get you down!

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

To those who overly criticize Japanese English teachers, please reflect on how many different ways they are pressured and pulled. They won't be leaving their job in a year or two. They can't afford to ruffle too many feathers. That's reality. Another reality is that the goal of K - 12 education here is to prepare students to take entrance exams for university. English instruction is part of that preparation. There is no speaking component (as yet, as far as I know) to these entrance exams, therefore, it is not an important part of English instruction. In fact, focusing on improving speaking skills takes class time away from grammar instruction, which is vital for passing the exams. Japanese English teachers are pressured by parents, other faculty members, and even the students themselves to "teach for the test". The presence of a naive and (most likely) untrained "teacher" in their classroom may represent a serious difficulty for them. During my time as a JET, I met many dedicated Japanese English teachers who spoke English well, and really wanted to improve English language education at their schools. Many of them attended continuing teacher training courses in their free time. However, on so many levels, their hands were tied when it came to making real changes.

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

If the goal is to improve foreign language instruction/learning in Japan, then cut JET and use the money to help finance mandatory study abroad courses for Japanese university students planning to become foreign language teachers. If the goal is a kind of superficial "internationalization", then the government has to decide if the billions in tax money it's spending is worth it.

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Posted in: In Japan, the customer is not king See in context

What Cleo said is technically correct, but only proves the point of the article. The customer is not king. I've never been charged extra anywhere outside Japan when I've asked for a soft drink without ice, and I get a full glass. Most places wouldn't consider it worth irritating a customer to refuse or change extra. In addition, because there are probably so few customers that request "no ice" there is no significant monetary loss to the restaurant.

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Posted in: Dolphin show See in context

Would you like a side of irony with that dolphin, sir?

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Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

Maybe Truitt's boss didn't want to hurt his feelings by telling him directly that his hair looked ridiculous. To make it a matter of professional grooming was indirect and effective, or would have been if Truitt possessed any degree of self-awareness.

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Posted in: IWC meeting abuzz over Japan vote-buying accusations See in context

Busby said those aid-recipient nations consistently vote in support of Japan.

“It makes it all meaningless. There’s no point to debate the issues because positions are predetermined,” she said in an interview.

Isn't this always the way? Meetings I attend here rarely involve debate or discussion. Surprises are not welcome, and debate might mean some surprises.

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