Samantha Ueno comments

Posted in: The skill of speaking fluent Japanese See in context

I agree with the author. I put myself in an environment where I could converse in Japanese over 50% of the day, thought in Japanese, and in 2 years of studying in Hawaii I went to Japan and could function in daily life, shopping, train, interacting with my boyfriend and host family, without using English at all. My kanji caught up in the 3rd and 4th year and I can pick up a novel and read it at about half the speed I read English, and comprehend it OK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Autism cases rising in U.S. See in context

It's not unheard of in Japan either. In our small kindergarten there were 3 children who clearly had a spectrum disorder in our school. One boy had tics and would stand in the same spot doing nothing until you told him what to do in the morning (take off your jacket, put the bag in the basket, etc) But in Japan people would just say "Oh, he's just shy" or "It's because he was born in the year of the Monkey." Parents are in denial a lot of the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why does the existence of AKB48 bother so many readers of Japan Today (judging from the comments on the discussion board)? See in context

I'm a fan of Morning Musume because they have had a lot more individuality and talent in the group. And the ones that weren't terribly talented musically still shone and grew over the years (Asami Konno, went to University and became a newscaster, etc) They do some questionable things and yes, many of the fans are men, but they do not go to the extremes like AKB, kissing in TV commercials, shooting regular music videos in full lingerie, making "babies" with the fans, etc. AKB represents the bigger problems with Japanese society and their objectification and plain lack of respect for women. Every tabloid here is filled with porn and said papers are regularly advertised in the train. "Prime Minister says some BS" "Full Nude shot of G cup beauty". Schoolgirls are forced to wear skirts even in the dead of winter, and even from elementary school girls must have pink or red bags and boys must have black or blue. Girls are constantly pushed to look "cute", its a multibillion dollar industry that US cosmetic companies absolutely dream of. Any female "talent" or celebrity is either a cute cookiecutter like AKB, or they are an "ugly" comedian open for ridicule and never taken seriously. There is no room for individual strengths and weaknesses, and women are not even noticed for anything other than being "cute" and vapid. Which is why I decided a long time before she was even a thought that I would not raise my daughter in Japan. AKB is just a perfectly packaged example of everything I'm against.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: Edano says Japan facing power shortage in summer See in context

In the 3 years I lived in Japan, the a/c in my apt wasn't used once. A fan and cold water got me through last summer, people need to stop whining, unless you have very small children or elderly people living with you there's no reason to use an air conditioner. Closing pachinko would help too...all it does is line pockets of yaks and North Koreans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 50 reasons Tokyo is the world's greatest city See in context

I miss Tokyo. The people, not so much, but I loved walking through Shinjuku-Shin-Okubo area, Sugamo, the Imperial Palace, etc. And the food and drinks and karaoke boxes! And since I don't drive a car, I loved having one of the most advanced transportation systems in the world in easy access.....Yes, in Tokyo, you could always have a good time. But every place has its good points and bad points.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for abusing 2-week-old twins See in context

Maybe it's because Japan has gotten so medicalized and westernized, and there are no doulas/midwives who would actually come to your house and actively help you, instead of showing up at their office and getting a "ganbatte"...and also in the hospital they've taken to the practice of whisking baby away to another room as soon as they're out, and Mommy will also leave baby on the futon or in the crib alone at home, instead of establishing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible which can greatly reduce PPD. and Cos, wow, sounds like you really resent and hate your twins. I worked at a kindergarten and taught a set of twin boys for 5 hours almost every day from when they were 2, and to me they acted like two of any other kid, crying for mommy the first few days and then settling in and playing. They're a little more touchy-feely with each other than other kids are and I have to discourage it or other kids will start copying and touching other kids' faces, eyes, etc. But on a whole they were both great boys and I would love to have twins someday. At 3 years old, neither of them scream and they both know how to wait their turn for something. Maybe it's because they were taught??

0 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: M6.1 quake jolts Chiba, surrounding areas See in context

People run outside to an open area like a wide street or a parking lot to get out of the way of any buildings that might fall or roofs that might cave in. It's especially smart if you have kids, you can hold them and protect their heads. 6.1 is pretty big. Still not too late to buy an extra pack of toilet paper, baby wipes, 2L water, and some canned goods to store in your closet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan falls silent for tsunami victims See in context

My boss will pause.

3 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Palin movie 'Game Change' premieres in U.S. See in context

I wonder if they touched on the "birth" of her downs syndrome child in the movie.....you know, the pregnancy that suddenly popped out at 8 months, then she went into labor during a speech and flew cross-country and drove across Alaska to go to a certain hospital that has no record of the birth. Add the fact that any legitimate midwife or OBGYN would absolutely not allow a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to board a plane after going into labor. Meanwhile her abstinence only educated daughter was out of school for months due to a mono infection, and transfered after it cleared up.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Kagoshima woman arrested for abusing 11-month-old baby boy See in context

how could you even do that...after carrying him for 9 months...it's so unthinkable.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo to relax rules on poisonous puffer fish See in context

@Cos One week? Maybe if it's some kind of super-intense 16 hour day course! My husband is licensed in Tokyo and Kanagawa, and it took him months of study, practice at home using a special fugu-only cooking board and non-edible fugu from Tsukiji bought at a discount (cross-contamination can kill you too), with some practice classes/test runs before he learned how to successfully take out ALL of the poisonous parts, leaving ALL of the edible parts, without cross-contaminating, in under 20 minutes. I'm gonna check out that wiki article for good measure, but it is not something that can be done in a week.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ben & Jerry’s to return to Japan with Omotesando Hills store See in context

I imagine the wait for an ice cream cone in 10 degrees temp will be about 2 hours...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Some Japanese customs that may confuse foreigners See in context

I prefer to sit on the floor, even in a chair or booth somewhere like a restaurant I take off my shoes and sit cross-legged or seiza. It keeps me more alert and in a better posture, so I prefer it. I drink water just fine but hubby likes flavor so we're drinking mugicha....it is non-caffienated and has minerals so probably not a bad idea in the summer. And if walking pigeon toed is caused by seiza how come people like me or men don't do it? Especially when in Japan seiza is the way boys and girls sit from infancy through preschool, years when little bones are developing and bending the most. And only those asinine Shibuya-types do it too. hmm....willing to bet that its a learned habit.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: 3.11 - WHAT WERE YOU DOING THAT DAY? See in context

American, female, Kita-ku Tokyo, preschool teacher

My boss, coworker and I were hanging out in the office during break while Japanese boss was out and Japanese teacher was doing a 1 hour play-time with about 10 kids. My coworker felt the shake before I did, and my boss immediately stood up and all three of us dashed into the room with the kids and got them under the table just as the real shakes came. We heard things falling down, later we would find the heavy file cabinet toppled over and cups of tea broken on the floor....As soon as the shaking stopped we each grabbed a smaller kid, and led all of the kids down the stairs in their socks to the first floor, and formed a circle in the parking lot, adults on the outside (we had a few parents that came right away) and kids on the inside, each adult with 1-2 kids protecting them with our bodies every time there was an aftershock. We closed the school and went home after all the kids were safely with their mothers, at around 5:00. I was mainly focused on protecting those little ones, that I didn't really think of contacting my husband or anyone until other people mentioned it, and I mainly used mixi, twitter, and facebook to get in touch with everyone. When I got home (to Nerima-ku, I took a bus and walked about 20 minutes in all, very lucky) nothing was broken, hardly anything had toppled...the plusses of living in a 40 year old concrete and steel building! My SIL just down the street in a cheap wood apaato had a bad cleanup to do! The next day, the TV only showed such depressing images...plus the place was shaking hourly....I had to get out and walk around....went karaoke...then went to the supermarket and got another dose of reality when all the shelves were empty from panic-buying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Record-high 384 child abuse cases reported in 2011 See in context

If leaving toddlers home alone and punishing children by sending them outside in thin pajamas in the winter was actually considered to be abuse and neglect, there might be a lot more reported cases.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Honeymooner from Japan killed in Hawaii motorbike crash See in context

Yes, US and Japan need stricter safety laws......but really, why? If people have a choice to protect themselves or risk death, why do they choose the latter? If there was more common sense, we would need less laws like helmet laws, home alone laws, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Hasegawa confirms break-up with Kanda because he wouldn't propose to her See in context

Why didn't she just get pregnant like most Japanese girls these days?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Meisa Kuroki cancels appearance at March 4 event for fans See in context

Most pregnant woman work every day through the 1st and 2nd trimester, at actual jobs. She can't show up at a store and sing a song, shake some hands, and smile for a couple hours? Or whatever she was supposed to do at this event. Beyonce, Koda Kumi, Tsuji Nozomi, all did concerts through their first trimester.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Two sisters, aged 5 and 3, perish in Tokyo fire See in context

It's really obvious that Japan needs a law stating the minimum age required to be home alone with no adults on the property...people just don't get it. So many stories of kids dying in fires, falling off balconies, that are being left alone, and they are not even old enough for elementary school. I used to teach in 2-5 in preschool and could not imagine leaving even the most mature and sensible of those students alone in a house for even 15 minutes, let alone 30 or more. And just because a 5 year old seems really really mature next to a 3 year old, doesn't mean they're actually trustworthy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Adele dominates Grammy ceremony, clouded by Houston's death See in context

They should have given the Grammy to Whitney.

Why? She didn't release any new albums, singles, or performances this year which is what the Grammy awards are about. They did tributes to her and Amy Winehouse (who was releasing material until she passed which is why she actually won an award) and a bunch of other artists who passed away since last year's Grammys.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman arrested over murder of 5-month-old son in Kobe See in context

In economically stable situations I would say PPD is definitely made worse by the "Western" practice of taking the baby from the mother and putting it in a nursery from birth instead of skin-to-skin with mom as much as possible. Well the good news is she probably can't have any more kids.

-8 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Fukushima's No. 2 reactor may be reheating See in context

Hope people held on to their potassium iodide tablets from the first scare.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Ice queens See in context

Again with the attitude. The chick with the bronze looks happy, and she's in THIRD.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do Japanese change their attitude when they communicate with foreigners? See in context

I didn't really mind being different, used it to my advantage sometimes even, but sometimes I do just want to blend in, you know? I got to really like wearing masks on the train during flu season, for example. It would be hard to live somewhere where you will never really fit in for life. And think of halfy kids too....if they look too foreign they are treated like celebrities half the time and like disabled half the time. That's how I see it, and I love Japan but America may be the better way to go for my family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Lady Gaga world tour to kick off in Seoul See in context

Seriously, why couldn't she have done the Half-time show instead of that ridiculous Madonna? At least she acts her age.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kuroki reported pregnant 2 weeks after denying relationship with Akanishi See in context

Does anyone in Japan marry for love and plan a family anymore?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Book details JFK affair with teen White House intern See in context

Both JFK and Clinton had incredible charisma and I think they were sexy, even if not in the usual Adam Lambert way sexy.....Obama is quite sexy too. But could you imagine anyone wanting to go to bed with George W Bush? Ugh!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Philippine rescuers search for quake survivors; 43 dead See in context

I really do not like all this activity in the Ring of Fire....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Good manners See in context

I've eaten on the train before...usually an onigiri or piece of bread to hold me over through the next task/lesson/etc. Tokyo lifestyle doesn't really allow for leisurely sit-down meals...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Earthquake drill See in context

I agree with Nicky, that stuff all goes out the window when the real one hits. On 3/11 we got under the table as we always do, and when it was over we all grabbed a toddler or two and bolted, and formed a circle in the parking lot with adults on the outside and kids on the inside, in laps. We had emergency bags in each room, but not one made it downstairs. After the biggest aftershocks teachers went in one by one to get shoes, blankets, the phone list, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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