Japan Today

shonangreg comments

Posted in: U.S. soprano, offended by blackface, pulls out of Italy opera See in context

Referring to Arena's decision to use blackface makeup in “Aida,'' the singer wrote: “Let me be perfectly clear: the use of blackface under any circumstances, artistic or otherwise, is a deeply misguided practice based on archaic theatrical traditions which have no place in modern society. It is offensive, humiliating and outright racist."

Historical and cultural context are important. Blackface was the practice of darkening minstrel performers' faces as a caricature to ridicule black people. Within that context, if you're not ridiculing black people, then it's not even blackface. It's just changing your skin color to perform as someone with a different skin color.

Men dress as women, and vice-versa to portray each other. Performers wear various color wigs with straight and curly versions to portray other people. And short people wear high heels to portray taller people. It's all part of performing. Black people don't get a pass from this because they were ridiculed using the same tools in the past.

Protests need to focus on the problem. A white kid dressing up as Michael Jackson for a party is not demeaning or ridiculing black people. Protesting adoration is pointless, and it makes such campaigners look ridiculous.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Posted in: Abe shooter says he tried to make bomb: police See in context

Thanks for the link, Redstorm. It was informative.


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Train conductor left behind by own train in Ibaraki countryside See in context

"When he’s done with that, he gives a signal to the driver at the front of the train, via the station’s speaker system that he’s reboarded the train and it can depart."

On all the old trains in Japan I've been on, they do not use the station's speaker system, they use a buzzer in the train. The rear conductor closes the doors. When he confirms they're all closed, he presses a button, twice as I recall, that buzzes in the driver's compartment.

Maybe there's also a confirmation over the station's speaker system, but I really doubt it's the primary system. It sounds like the driver was preoccupied/daydreaming and just took off when he saw that all the doors were closed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: What not to do when hiking in Japan See in context

You'll also want a map app that allows you to download maps before you get to an area that may have no cell signal. A blue dot on a totally white background is not helpful.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan’s first ‘highest altitude fireworks’ display to be held on slopes of Mt Fuji See in context

Oh, come on, Japan Today. Since this is on the southeast slope of Mt. Fuji, the obvious question is: can this show be seen from Tokyo? And if it is too low on the slopes, if it were higher, would it even be possible to see a fireworks show from so far away?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Kitchen equipment piles up as pandemic shutters Japan's restaurants See in context

Tooheysnew, there is no lockdown here. What are you talking about? People aren’t eating out because they don’t want to risk getting sick. It is not because of government mandated lockdowns. If you want to blame someone who is being reckless, then go for the anti-maskers. They are spreading the disease and causing everyone more problems. That is a small problem here too, though. Do you even know what country this article is about?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Kentucky Fried Chicken installs fried chicken pick-up lockers in Tokyo, two other cities See in context

This just help everyone avoid standing in line, Mick. You don't have to gobble it down. And it would seem to actually give the staff more time to prepare your order.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's crowded trains spark fear of new coronavirus cases See in context

Why is no one talking about requiring masks on the trains and in the stations? We know masks are effective, and the private companies have the authority. It's just a small percent of the passengers who aren't already wearing masks, but those few could easily infect many others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man walking on station platform dies after bag strap gets caught on express train See in context

To several posters here, the announcements say to stand behind the yellow lines/blocks. They say nothing about staying behind them. That's where I walk, and I tell people they're in the way when they stand there. If people were standing on the blocks when this guy was walking, then they may have forced the victim to walk closer to the edge than he would have otherwise.

As to why he didn't release his bag, it is hard to imagine. Maybe some of the straps got tangled up around his arm somehow.

So, everybody, please **stand behind the yellow blocks on the platform** so you're not blocking the way endangering everybody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's 2nd-largest opposition party absorbs smaller party See in context

The Democratic Party for the People, a splinter of the now-defunct Democratic Party formed last May, will maintain its name and basic policies after being joined by members of the Liberal Party.

It would help understanding if you'd just include the Japanese names of the parties.

Which one is Minshuto? Minshinto? No one here in Japan uses the English name, possibly except for the LDP (Jiyu-minshuto or Jiminto for short) because they've been around for so long.

The same goes for names for typhoons. I'm telling my students typhoon Soudelor is coming. They say "Don't worry about that one; typhoon #13 is the one to worry about. They were the same typhoon, and not reporting both names in the English press in Japan just makes no sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 74% of Japanese companies against daylight saving time for 2020 Olympics: poll See in context

Events such as the marathon, scheduled for the morning, could be held during cooler hours -if-clocks- IF EVENTS were moved forward by one or two hours.

FIFY :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: High court finds cell phone TV owners obliged to pay NHK fees See in context

OneSeg. That's the smartphone feature that I think is at question here. Many Japanese phones come with OneSeg functionality. iPhones don't. Nexus phones also didn't.

"OneSeg" means one segment of the 13 allocated for digital TV, if memory serves. The other 12 segments carry an HD signal. The 13th segment is just for smartphones and the like.

So, if your phone is android, and it has OneSeg functionality, then you're legally on the hook.

I guess TV vs. computer display is similar. If you only have a computer display hooked up to a computer to watch hulu, Netflix, etc., then you're not legally obligated to pay dir NHK. If you're using a TV though, it can receive NHK and you're on the hook.

Now if only there was a class-action suit to force NHK to shoulder its obligation to remain independent of the LDP, then there would be justice.

For now, if you don't want to be obligated to pay, but toy want to watch videos, use only big screen displays, not TV's, and choose a phone that doesn't have OneSeg.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Microsoft's big Windows 10 push is part of broader strategy See in context


If you want to watch a DVD on tour PC, you have to pay MSFzt $15 US for a DVD driver app.

Won't VLC Player work to play the DVDs?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: U.N. envoy calls on Japan to ban extreme child manga porn See in context

I don't care for the stuff, but the arguments laid out make no sense. Drawings are not children, so there are no victims there. And when the natural issue of how such portrayals affect real child sexual abuse, we hear about poverty.

As distasteful as this artwork sounds, remember that there are a lot, A LOT! of anti-sex campaigners that want everyone else to adhere to their mores, and they will exaggerate and deflect to get their way. Force them to at least cogently articulate argument before you consider joining forces with them. For all I know, Japan's kiddie erotica manga/anime just results in presumably unhealthy fantasies that are never acted out. Prove me wrong before trying to outlaw a whole artistic enterprise.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Google launches music streaming service in Japan See in context

bogva, google's PV also says the price is 780 yen. Maybe someone made the common nana-nine translation mistake: https://youtu.be/d8Iv8R09qq4?t=1m11s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Netflix to launch in Japan on September 2 See in context

M3M3M3 wrote

Will any popular American shows be available? What's that,..No? I see. Thanks anyways.

You can already get a US Netflix account, with a credit card with a Japanese address, by using a VPN account. privateinternetaccess is one of the bigger ones. I spend about 400 yen per month and I can appear almost anywhere in the world for streaming. I let most of my PC's default to the Japanese node so that my connection is about as fast as with no VPN and no one can snoop on what I'm reading nor can they see from the other end where I am (works with bittorrent for that).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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