Shipwrecker comments

Posted in: 5 parakeets stolen from pet store in Fukuoka Pref See in context

I grew up in West Africa and a lot of my friends had African Greys. They are incredible mimics. One of my friends' parrot could mimic the sound of the phone as well as the footsteps of the person running to answer it. The thieves better be careful not to make any incriminating sounds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context

Marmite, tea, Oxo cubes, and liquorice allsorts.

I also bring back treacle, although I'm sure there must be a Japanese alternative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Powerful storm lashes parts of Japan; snarls holiday travel See in context

We're getting level 3 warnings here in Okayama which seems about right (stay alert and elderly people should consider evacuating). The wind doesn't seem too bad but after last year's floods everyone is a little wary of the heavy rainfall.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Have you ever used a capsule hotel in Japan? If so, what was the experience like? See in context

I sometimes use them when traveling alone because they often have really good baths. One person snoring can ruin your night's sleep though.

I remember staying at a really small, run-down one in Hiroshima around twelve years ago. When I went to the bath, it was just me and an older Japanese guy. He looked like a really ordinary salary man, maybe about 60 years old, in a plain grey suit. However, when he took it off he was completely covered in tattoos, neck to ankle. Added a little colour to my trip (literally).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of teleworking? See in context

@reckless: No, but only because my wife also often works from home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of teleworking? See in context

I'm self-employed and work from home. The biggest pros are no commute, always being home to have dinner with my family, and starting work when there's work to be done and finishing when its finished.

The only real con has been a significant reduction in social interactions. Probably one of the reasons why I've started posting on here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Do people think about their retirement money on the assumption they'll live to 100? I don't think ordinary people do. People have to think now about whether or not they've got any money. See in context

I ran this through my Oyaji to English translator. It came out as "I have no idea about the worries and concerns of ordinary people."

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: Police reprimand over 20 officers for paid work on study guides See in context

And only 20 are going to take the fall?

It could be these guys were the ringleaders or brokers. Reading the Japanese news, it seems that each PD is handling the matter internally and that some of the PDs have yet to decide the punishments and who will receive them. The punishments being mentioned range from being fired to a 10% pay cut for three months. It looks like they will be dished out according to the amount of money received.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: JAXA says space probe landed on asteroid to get soil sample See in context

Excellent. Let's hope they can bring it back safely next year so we can have a look at what it finds.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you think machines will ever be as good as humans at translating from one language into another? See in context

No, but I think machine translation will become increasingly useful as a tool for aiding translation with different algorithms being developed for specific purposes and situations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 630 cases of violence against train station employees reported in fiscal 2018 See in context


It says in the tiny bullet points at the bottom that JR will call the police on any violent conduct and that it can result in jail time of up to 15 years. I agree with you that this should be the main thrust of the poster.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: City begins square watermelon shipments See in context

The fact they are so expensive is why people buy them. Status symbol to show off to the neighbors or an expensive ochuugen for someone you are trying to impress. If they were around 3,000 yen I bet no-one would bother.

Where I live, 10,000 yen gets you an allotment for four years. Plenty of time to learn to grow your own edible watermelons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of some of the beverages sold in vending machines and stores in Japan? Seen anything really bizarre? See in context

Peaker Bitter Energy

I necked one and spent the rest of the day furiously pacing around muttering, "I'll show them. I'll show them all!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Which of Japan's three mobile operators — NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI — would you recommend and why? See in context

You missed the other option, which is an MVNO. I'm not a heavy phone user, so a few years ago I switched to an MVNO that uses the Docomo network. You can get a decent sim-free phone for about 20-30,000 yen and my monthly bill is less than a quarter of what I was paying SoftBank. So far so good.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony holds 40th anniversary event for iconic Walkman music player See in context

I walk very quietly compared to my wife and kids. I think the reason is because I spent most of my teens trying to walk in a way that wouldn't make my Walkman jiggle, which would cut out the music for a second. The hard Alice-band style headphones would also make my ears hurt after a while. Still loved it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: In the world of geopolitics, do you think of Japan as part of the West? See in context

Not at all. Japan openly deals with Iran and Russia in a way I think would be difficult for Western countries.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: What’s your impression of parental supervision of children when families are out and about in Japan? See in context

Parents have to walk a fine line between giving kids enough freedom to grow and keeping them safe and out of trouble. I think in general, Japanese parents achieve this balance well. There are a lot of elementary school kids who play out in the streets around where I live but I rarely see them near the busier roads or out after dusk.

However, when it comes to vehicular safety such as bicycle helmets, child seats, and seat belts, people are way too lax. I see my daughters' friends standing up between their parents in the front seats as the car is moving all the time. Mothers riding a bicycle through traffic with a small baby in a sling strapped to their front is another one that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

As with Kohakuebisu, these are all inaka observations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fly-over See in context

Love, love, love Taro Okamoto. This is one of my favorites because of its setting. You get different views of it as you walk around the Expo park.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. catches heat for Women's World Cup goal celebrations See in context


Even after the 2014 semi-final I remember reading an article about how by muting their celebrations, the Germans were "patronizing" the Brazilians, adding further humiliation. I think you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: The Cultural Affairs Agency plans to issue a directive calling on public offices, media agencies and other organizations to use the surname first for Romanized Japanese names, something which Foreign Minister Taro Kono has been urging. What's your stance on this? See in context

Don't you mean Kono Taro...

Seriously though, I think this should be left up to media outlets and their own policies on style. Kono has let everyone know his opinion. Any further action will make him look like a micro-managing kacho.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo gov't website ridiculed for child abuse snafu See in context


Also proof of exactly how effective yet another mascot character is at raising attention about an issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ocean plastic waste is one of the issues topping the G20 summit agenda, and as the chair of the meeting, we will exercise leadership to solve the matter. See in context

What leadership? This is as reactionary as it comes. If it wasn't on the G20 agenda, I bet absolutely no action would be taken on this issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Rubber part falls from chopper onto school in Okinawa: U.S. Marines See in context

Out of curiosity, I used the wonderful Splat Calculator to try and work out what force 20 grams would have if it hit you. Dropped from a height of 500m it would be like heading a soccer ball (98.00 joules). From 1km it would be like being taken out by a rugby player (196.00 joules). Although this doesn't take into account the shape of the object, which probably would have slowed it down. (Disclaimer: I have a poor grasp of physics. This might be wrong)

I'm sure because of the location, there will be all sorts of hysteria about this incident, but at the same time, if the same thing happened at the school my kids go to I would be pretty concerned.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: What can be done to help Japan's 'hikikomori' (recluses)? See in context

Hikikomori is too broad a label. The person in question might be a spoiled entitled brat, but they might also be someone who has been broken by years of persistent bullying, or a person with mental health issues that have escalated due to a lack of proper treatment or support.

I think a lot of cases could be handled by the families if they have access to expert, personalized advice. This means training counselors who understand the possible social and medical factors and putting a system in place in which normal people know about and can easily access these professionals.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Hospitals in Japan: Invasive checkups, bungled diagnoses, botched operations? See in context


The small doctor's clinics and the pharmacies nearby usually have a business connection that is openly acknowledged. It makes sense. The pharmacy knows what kinds of medicines the doctor is likely to prescribe and can stock accordingly. The doctor can write prescriptions knowing that the patient will be able to get them quickly and conveniently (a big factor when a lot of patients are elderly and not able to travel far). At the end of the day, its not that different from having an in-house pharmacy in a big hospital and although the doctor might recommend the nearby pharmacy, the patient is still free to go wherever he or she likes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man pulled over for drunk driving claims his body 'produces alcohol' See in context


I think it would be awful. All the negative effects of getting drunk without getting to enjoy the actual drinking part. I wonder if a person with such a condition can get a driving license?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: More details emerge over Kawasaki stabbing rampage, killer See in context

Why no picture of him? Are criminals having rights to hide their identity now?

Good. I don't want to see a picture of him or know anything about him, other than maybe what drove him to do this.

I will take time to read stories about the victims if they are published, even though it is especially sad when a child is involved.

Remember the lives tragically lost and forget about the one that was wasted.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Pillow fight See in context


Thanks for the link. I love how they have to start lying down in a bed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Shiny green wasabi pearls become hot selling topping See in context

Many years ago I used to work in a restaurant that used wasabi tobiko as an ingredient. It was delicious. Looks like a bigger version of that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Work of art See in context

Beautiful art, but I'll be appreciating it from a distance...

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