Japan Today

saborichan comments

Posted in: Happy birthday See in context

Poor Imperial family members. It's like being a zoo exhibit for your whole life, without a cage.

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Posted in: Facebook founder's story no longer his alone See in context

It's true that it has been, so to speak, the facebook that launched a thousand ships... There are so many applications and sales that occur based on facebook. Mobile phone sellers use keeping up to date on your facebook as one of their selling points for smart phones. And there are a host of mostly-free games on facebook that offer bonuses for people willing to pay in cash. Facebook has, almost accidentally, become a huge testing ground for virtual currencies, which people treat very differently to 'real money', even if they paid cash to get some of it. It's kickstarted a whole bunch of ideas and projects.

But would I want to see the movie? Not so much...

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Posted in: Stallone keeps on hammering away See in context

From the sound of it, you didn't pay for it, lovejapan. Maybe you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

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Posted in: What makes Japanese women say, 'I never want to see that jerk again!' See in context

More or less these things apply equally to women. Nobody wants to hear someone prattle on about themselves or be crude.

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Posted in: Too much katakana contributing to Japan's malaise See in context

This doesn't seem to be a problem with Katakana itself, but Katakana English. I mean, in other countries, we continue to refer to foreign words in their native tongue. Some slip into English usage, some do not. I don't think it's necessary to make a translated equivalent of every word you want to refer to, and it can dilute the meaning if you try.

I don't think the problem is with katakana. It's with a people who don't converse in the same way we do in English, and so they can't grasp English well, eventually leading to a mystique around 'impossible' English which is in fact just another thing you can master to sufficient degree. But the mystique has meant katakana English has a separate function to meaning as listed above, and that does contribute to thinness of native language skill.

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Posted in: 11-year-old boy playing on roof falls to death See in context

Disillusioned, come on.... Part of the attraction of going up there is that It Is Forbiddddddennnnnn... So of course they are interested. Japanese kids are told plenty of the time that this and that are abunai ... These kids just disregarded it because they haven't experienced a terrible injury, perhaps, so they don't appreciate how big the risks can be...

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Posted in: Who wants to work abroad? Almost no-one See in context

Ridiculous premise for the whole article. I mean, if it was 20%, it might as well be titled 'One in Five Japanese wants to get out!' And that would sound unpatriotic.

I think 16% is a healthy amount. What's more of a problem is what they think they can get out of a foreign period ; it could be much more or less.

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Posted in: Dragging child abuse out into the open See in context

Mist: You really didn't get the point of what I was saying at all, did you?

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Posted in: Paris Hilton leaves for U.S. after being denied entry into Japan See in context

Her fans? What fans?

What does this person even -do- ?

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Posted in: Dragging child abuse out into the open See in context

Leonard, evidently you made an account just to tell us all about a bad situation in America. But if you haven't got anything to contribute to the discussion in JAPAN, or you don't have any knowledge or experience of the Japanese system, please refrain from making any comments here. You clearly don't understand that Japan is a country where family trouble is swept under the rug and where ACCOUNTABILITY for abuse is completely absent. I watched many Japanese teachers roughing up students in various physical and mental ways and it always made me feel dirty to be associated with it. I stopped what I could.

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Posted in: All the presidents' best-selling books See in context

I think that's 'Jonathan Franzen'. I'm just reading his new book 'Freedom' at this very moment.

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Posted in: All the presidents' best-selling books See in context

Is it legitimate for someone who can't read to 'write' a book?

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Posted in: Berry fruit mix juice See in context

Yeah, those little 100ml drink packs usually have about 17-20g sugar.

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Posted in: Android worker See in context

Japan is chasing robotics because it's been a leader in that field for a long time. The idea that robots could replace people in this walking, moving sense is fairly new - it's not how Japan started with robotics, and the idea of using it as an alternative labour source rather than a tool to reduce labour needs is also new. Japan didn't start out chasing robotics to get rid of those pesky gaijin.

It's actually sort of ironic... Japan is investing in an untried and risky labour alternative to immiration, which, if it goes poorly, will see Japan fall far behind its neighbours. And when it turns belatedly to immigration, the ensuing rush to enter a relatively clean, safe, prosperous country may well result in precisely the sort of ethnic accumulations they're afraid of.

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Posted in: On parade See in context

It's the fact that the picture is possibly taken from outside school grounds that makes it an issue. I've been in enough schools to know some of their layouts. I'm not impugning the rights of photographers here. I'm just echoing comments that the persective is creepy. Look at the picture again. See those trees and power lines? They imply a road going beneath that school. Which in turn suggests the picture was taken from well outside the grounds. Maybe that's not true, maybe it's a perfectly legitimate picture. But it has the appearance of a creepy surreptitious photo.

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Posted in: On parade See in context

proxy, a lot of people are sensitive on privacy issues and it could well be that the photographer didn't have permission! How creepy is that? I mean, the shot very much says 'telephoto lens', doesn't it?

As for people not picking up their mothers, that just sounds like bunk. And have you met any Japanese people? There are plenty who are coddled and immature, the other end of the scale and a possible result of being too close to one's parents.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

This idea that the 'yutori' education is somehow bad is misleading. The so-called relaxed education isn't any different to the previous broken model except for having less hours. Both systems are broken, and they are just veering back the other way to the older one.

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Posted in: Microsoft's new IE9 promises zippier performance See in context

Speaking of IE, my old Japanese high school used something like IE6 or 7. Might have even been five. All I know was, lots of websites would scold me and ask me to upgrade, but it was all networked and backed up, and the Board of Edumacation didn't change those things quickly.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

Judderman: as someone who worked in jnr and elementary schools for five years, I wouldn't send kids there when I have some. Maybe elementary, but only someplace progressive where kids get a chance to be themselves and not repeat inane crap and call it 'opinion'.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

flip, I've heard various explanations for Juku - that it's free childminding, that it is to exhaust teenagers so they won't go chasing sex, that it's to teach good team spirit more than make sports stars... I suppose they are all partly right.

I actually dislike juku because it crushes the individual ego. Students have no time to develop their own identity - they are just what they do. I asked countless kids what they like 'oh, baseball'. And what else? Uhhhh... now they have to think about it. They just become club members and it becomes a huge part of their self. Then their three years ends and they bawl at their last match because a huge part of them has been ripped out and they have to make a concious choice to continue with it or find something new.

Doing something with passion is great. But I worry that the kids don't develop rounded egos because they overdo it. And not even an ego as players, either. They play as team members, but they're sometimes awful at playing as individuals. As I told my students when I left them, I think you guys would beat an Australian team hands down - but one-on-one? I don't know. Because their style of drilling gives great fundamentals but no room for individual discovery of play styles, tricks, your own special skills, etc. Thus why I think they should cut it to three days a week, to leave kids to their own devices more - however scary that may be.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

smith: I agree, Juku has got to be looked at too. It's great that J-kids are so healthy - I just came back to Aus and all I see is fat people around; I believe we recently surpassed America as the most obese nation. I think there should be a three-day limit on Juku per week. And with less drills and more game practice - kids don't get excited by drills, they get excited by playing. I feel so sad for the ichinensei who have to stand at attention by the courtside and barrack for their teams - what the hell kind of training is that? Give them passion and the cheering at game time will come naturally.

I wonder why S. Korea, which is basically doing the same thing Japan was twenty years ago in terms of exam hell and intensive hours for schooling, is succeeding? I suspect it's because S.K. is on the rise like Japan was. The challenge will be if S.K. can keep things going in the second/third generations to be put through this wringer.

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Posted in: Kiddyland See in context

Jkanda, we're probably manly enough not to ride scooters and wear pink jackets like the 'bad' boys in my town do.

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Posted in: Where has the wonder of innovation gone? See in context

I suppose the author is getting at how unbelievable some technology is, and how we lack that wonder, more than how transformative any given article has been. And that's true - we don't really ask questions as much these days about strange new technologies, we just say 'huh, it does that? That's great!' . And I would argue that the internet did have that wonder for a little while. As a kid, growing up with computers, I couldn't get my head around the idea of data travelling over phone lines as fast as it does. I couldn't understand how that volume would be possible. But now I don't really think about it. It was a wondrous moment for me, but only because I knew enough about computers.

As a wise person once joked, 'sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic' ... I guess celphones slip into that category; these days a star-trek badge phone is totally believeable...

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Posted in: Kiddyland See in context

Their body language doesn't say boy, but their looks sure do.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

Sigh. I just left after five years of teaching in jnr and elementary, and this just saddens me. I read about it happening some time ago, of course. It's just precisely the opposite of what's needed. They're rubbishing the child-centered approach to teaching when they didn't do it right even in the slightest! What a tragedy! They will have a few years of crippling failure coming up as they revert to the old system to find the kids are more resistant to that than ever - they know it's the path to monotony, to dead lives as salarymen for companies they don't give a damn about. And they aren't willing to put themselves in line for that, especially if they already enjoy some luxury on their parents' backs.

Japanese teachers have -no- training on student-centred methods of teaching, and anything even slightly outside the top-down teacher-knows-all approach doesn't get a look in. So how can they say they encouraged thinking and child-centred learning when they completely f-----d it up? It's so aggravating.

I kind of hope this fails dismally and Japan is forced to really examine its approach to education honestly. Because the system is a sinking ship at the moment.

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Posted in: Kicking zombie butt See in context

She acts just fine for the role. And I thought she was funny and just the right kind of quirky in The Fifth Element.

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Posted in: Microsoft's Xbox ready for bigger battle in Japan See in context

If Microsoft thinks that they will penetrate the Japanese market with controlerless gaming, they've got another thought coming. It's not even a model that's ready to work for the western market yet, let alone Japanese, who can't rent games to try things out. You'd really, really need to create a series of games very catered to the Japanese market in order to sell them on Kinect. Stuff like Samurai fighting, family kumitaisou / radio calisthenics, fukuwarai for the family, etc. And that would just get the hobby game families who want novelty. It wouldn't attract the money gamers at all.

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Posted in: Body found on Beppu mountainside identified as missing Kobe nurse See in context

I went to Beppu recently and walked the streets of the dodgy areas late at night... Nobody gave me any trouble, but as a white guy I rarely get any in Japan. There were plenty of shifty types around. I'd hate to think who you might encounter off the beaten track around there.

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Posted in: MySpace users can now sync posts to Facebook See in context

I'm sure you can turn those email notifications off.

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Posted in: Former principal rearrested for committing lewd acts with primary school girls See in context

How the hell did he wind up in a position of authority after the first time?

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