Robusta comments

Posted in: Hello Work See in context

In this picture they are all somewhat better dressed that those you might see in the job centres in the UK - a good start. Perhaps their cans of super-strength lager are beneath their chairs, and their dogs-on-ropes tied up outside.

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Posted in: Japan's century club swells to more than 40,000 See in context

Hats off to the Japanese diet, you should eat it whether in Japan or not. Especially 'goya', manna from heaven.......... oh yeah, and tofu.... crap outside Japan, but otherwise delicious. I wanna be 100 too...

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Posted in: Taxi driver See in context

How so many taxi drivers can survive when they spend most of their days waiting/chatting is a mystery. One opinion I have heard is that many took this career during the bubble when everyone had loads of spare cash... times are hard, especially in provincial cities where people see taxis as an unnecessary luxury.

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Posted in: 93-year-old man 1st person to be certified as survivor of both A-bombings See in context

Or the luckiest to make it to 93.. best check to see whether he was around during the Kanto earthquake, or perhaps was on the Tokyo subway 14 years ago this week...

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Posted in: Sarin attack anniversary observed at Tokyo subway station See in context

I remember it well - it was chilling. Having grown up in London where we were constantly worried about IRA bombs on trains, I never would have imagined such an event in Japan.

You just can't account for that hidden nutter factor...

The trouble is that everyone's so wrapped up in telling each other how safe the country is (which it is...), that the oddballs can just melt into the background...

In the UK there are knives and extremists, but no one does creepy weirdo like Japan.

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Posted in: Tokyo’s St Patrick’s Day Parade – It’s a long way from Tipperary See in context

It's got to be Murphy's... with oysters...

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Posted in: Aso's reading blunders spark study spree See in context

jonnyboy: "japanese has far too many homonyms for this to work, it seems"

Point taken, but homonyms are usually comprehensible through context, don't you think? Although I agree that Japanese does have rather more than, say English.

Perhaps any ambiguity could be tackled by even more loan words ;)

herefornow - I concur - any written system should surely be evaluated in terms of its practicality. Japanese takes so long to learn, whether you're a native or not, that it is impractical. That the system is both interesting and subtle is not in doubt, but the impracticality will always preclude the language from being an 'international' one. I wonder how long it will be before it dies out entirely, taking a unique culture with it.

We are privileged to see 'Japan' as it is now - in 100 years, my guess is that it won't be here.

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Posted in: Aso's reading blunders spark study spree See in context

The rate of literacy in Japan is frequently said to be over 99%, which just can't be possible - more than 1% of any population must have learning difficulties to some degree. So it's just propaganda....

Whilst the Japanese writing system is fascinating, it's a real pain to study, causes all sorts of stress for kids, which perhaps suggests it is flawed as a mode of communication..

Just use hiragana and leave spaces between the words... that would work...

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Posted in: Half and haafu See in context

My 'haafu' kids love being so - we live in the UK but spend the summer in Japan, and they're still young enough to be treated like minor celebrities - and have incredibly cultured palates!

My view is that things are going to change in in Japan, the way they have in the UK, over time. The world is getting smaller, people are mixing all over the place, and soon the Japanese will be just as cool with it as the majority of people are here. Every year I can't believe how much more international Tokyo is than it used to be, so I guess it won't be long before 'haafu' really aren't all that unusual.

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