smartacus comments

Posted in: What's your idea of Japanese comfort food? See in context

For me, gyoza.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle See in context

My girlfriend went to a friend's apartment where there were five or six of her women friends having a royal wedding party evening. So I settled in comfortably at home, ready to watch a DVD or two. And guess what? I ended up watching the wedding, too, (so I would know what my girlfriend was talking about when she got home).

I can't understand why the Japanese commentators in the studio and the simultaneous translator kept calling Harry Henry. I know the Japanese media always do this. Do think Harry is impolite? The achbishop called him Harry during the ceremony; he called himself Harry during the exchange of vows. everybody calls him Harry except the Japanese media.

The other quaint thing was those old-fashioned vows about "for better or worse," "In sickness and in death," and "til death us do part." I mean, considering the divorce rates in every country, how many couples have broken and will break those vows? Why are they still a part of wedding rites?

Anyway, I enjoyed the pomp. Nobody does it quite as well as The British. Boy, wouldn't it be something to see a newlywed Japanese royal couple kiss in public after their wedding?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Two 17-year-old girls found dead outside school building See in context


I don't think the students were left alone or unsupervised, as you said. It was 9 p.m. on a Friday night. It's more probable they went back to the school at night and no one saw them enter. I don't know how they got in because you'd think the buildings would be locked. Maybe because the baseball team was still on the grounds, some school buildings were unlocked.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Very excited' Prince William takes Kate, new prince home See in context

Kate left the hospital 7 hours after giving birth, and in most Western countries, women leave hospital within a day or two after giving birth. Do any mothers know why, in Japan, mothers stay in hospital for sometimes 5 or 6 days after giving birth? Of course, Kate will have lots of help but I wonder why the hospital stay is so long in Japan. Is it to give mothers a little bit more time to rest before the rigor of child-rearing at home?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: No. of foreign visitors to Japan in fiscal 2017 reaches almost 30 mil See in context

The weaker yen, more flights from low cost carriers to and from Asian destinations and visa waiver programs with more Asian countries are the main reasons, I think.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What are some things that you recall hearing men say or do to women decades ago, which might be considered sexual harassment today, but which were not then? See in context

Wolf whistles, complimenting a woman on her dress were common when I was younger. Anybody remember women being kissed under the mistletoe at Christmas parties? Can you imagine that happening in this day and age?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Monex to buy hacked crypto exchange Coincheck for Y3.6 billion See in context

Some of the CEOs of these start-ups look like they are barely out of their teens. They may know all about the digital world but there is no substitute for old-fashioned business experience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 60 years later, Kim Novak reflects on 'Vertigo' See in context

There are people in my office who have never seen a Hitchcock movie or even heard of him. I wonder if today's movie-goers, under 30 years of age, for example, would even like "Vertigo." Nowadays, young people are bombarded with Marvel movies, remakes, endless sequels. I don't think they would appreciate a Hitchcock film with no sex, gratuitous violence or swearing. I recently watched "Vertigo" and "North by Northwest" again after about 15 years. Loved them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Have a good trip See in context

Just once I'd like to see them give each other a hug before the crown prince goes on a trip. Even the emperor and empress show affection for each other in public by holding hands while they are walking. I wonder what sort of an empress Masako will be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Bill Hersey, longtime society columnist for Tokyo Weekender, dies at 87 See in context

Farewell Bill. He had some amazing stories to tell about the expat community in the 1960s and '70s.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 7 years after tsunami, Japanese live uneasily with seawalls See in context

I often wonder how they test sea walls. The one in the photo with the bus going by looks high enough, but could it withstand the power of a tsunami? Would a tsunami crash through it?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Where do you think U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should have their summit? See in context

I think the DMZ would be the most likely venue, though I would like to see Trump go to Pyongyang. It would force the North to let in legions of world media whom they couldn't control.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Obama to visit Japan in late March See in context

It's protocol and courtesy for a visiting ex-president to meet the PM. They all act as elder statesmen for their country.

And darknuts and Blacklabel, Obama is far more respected in Japan than Trump ever will be.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Posted in: Mascots chosen by children for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics unveiled See in context

I like them. I think all mascots look strange at first, and even longer. I never could figure out the mascots for the London and Rio Olympics. We'll get used to these.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo can learn from Pyeongchang's weather, transport tests See in context

I don't think the timing has anything to do with baseball. I think the first two weeks of September would have been better in terms of weather, but those people saying October are forgetting that the Paralympics have to begin two weeks after the Olympics end. That would mean November, which is too cold for a "summer" Games. It's also too close to the end of year.

Of course, the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics did start on Nov 8, but I think it must have been cold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What is your favorite chocolate brand? See in context

Cadbury's for me. Then Lindt.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context


So you think Trump is the greatest president ever, do you? Greater than Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR? It's because of people with such extreme views as yours (and on the other side as well) that American politics has become so polarized and is ripping the country's social fabric to shreds. It will take decades for the U.S. to get over this division.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Over 110,000 volunteers needed for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics See in context

I see the Japan-bashers are out in force. Olympics volunteers are not paid, nor are Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Cup soccer, Rugby World Cup volunteers and so on. It's fun and exciting to be part of the event. I was in Sydney for the Olympics and the volunteer spirit was wonderful. Nobody expected to get paid. The same goes for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this year.

Tokyo will have no trouble. There will be plenty of volunteers. If I can get time off, I'm going to volunteer, too. I might take my summer vacation then.

Language will be a problem but it won't matter. Everyone will be having a good time ... except the Japan bashers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Which is more beneficial to a country: Extreme rightwing ideology or extreme leftwing ideology? See in context

Unfortunately, politics in many countries is becoming more polarized by the day and the divisions are growing wider. The U.S. is a good example. In Japan, Abe would be considered by some to be extreme rightwing but I don't consider him as dangerous as say, Trump. On the other hand, I'm not sure what leftwing ideology looks like either.

There just doesn't seem to be anything in between. I wonder if there will be any democracies in 50 years' time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ristorante Casa Setouchi - A culinary journey to Shodoshima See in context

I might give it a try. I like these small, intimate restaurants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says U.S., allies prepared to defend freedom See in context

No matter how you feel about who is president, there is always something inspiring about seeing Air Force One land. I'd love to go on board for a tour.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Koike to challenge Abe with new party See in context

I don’t understand something. What happened to Koike’s other party, the Tokyo Citizens First Party? Has that been turned into this new Hope Party or is it a separate entity?

I think she is grandstanding a bit. She has repeatedly said that her first duty is Tokyo governor and she has her hands full with the Olympics and fish market relocation. That’s where her responsibility lies. How does she even have time to form a new party?

We see this every election. I remember before the last one, there were seven opposition parties, at least three of which were formed two weeks before the election. Some got a few seats, while others got none and after the election, they dissolved.

All these opposition parties actually strengthen the LDP. Sure, Koike's announcement may rattle Abe but the LDP offers stability in the rural areas and among elderly voters, while young people couldn’t care less. You end up with candidates in new and unknown parties whom nobody really knows running in various districts. People vote for the devil they know.

There are 475 seats at stake in this lower house election. Koike can’t possibly hope to field candidates in that many seats. The Hope Party may win a few seats, but so will the Democratic Party, Japanese Communist party and all the other opposition parties. There is no way the Hope Party could win enough seats to form a majority and unseat the ruling coalition.

Former Osaka Mayor Hashimoto tried to make an impact on national politics and failed. So, too, will Koike.

Governor, please stick to running Tokyo. You already have a mess on your hands with Toyosu and the Olympics. Fix those issues first.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Koike inspects Toyosu market with local residents See in context

She looks like she is doing her best Julie Andrews imitation from the "Sound of Music."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Meet Lulu Hashimoto, the 'living doll' fashion model See in context

That's something you don't see every day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Heatstroke concerns mount over 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon See in context

I think one factor that everybody is forgetting is the Paralympics. They have to be held in summer, too, and always start about two weeks after the Olympics end. So if the Olympics were held, say, from Oct 1-15, as many here are advocating, that would mean the Paralympics would have to be held from about Oct 30-Nov 10. I think that may be too cold.

Personally, I think Sept 1-15 for the Olympics and then Oct 1-10 for the Paralympics would have been ideal.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Former TV announcer Mao Kobayashi dies of cancer at 34 See in context

This news has made me so depressed today. Cancer is a cursed disease. It seems a lot of celebs have died of it in the past month -- Roger Moore, Erin Moran, Adam West (I think), the Rocky movie director and now Mao. But I want to also remember all those who probably died today, also of cancer, but we do not know them because they are not famous.

I wish I could say something that would comfort them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan enacts law to toughen penalties for sex offenses See in context

I saw this on the TV news last night. There were other members of the group with Yamamoto, partially seen in this photo. They were so thrilled at the very moment the law was passed. Obviously, the photographer wanted to capture their reaction. Considering Ms Yamamoto's personal life experience, this must have been a supreme moment for her, seeing the results of her tireless efforts come to fruition. I don't what the actual gesture means, but I am certain she would have no objection to seeing this photo in the media.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Bon voyage See in context

Just once, I'd like to see members of the imperial family give each a hug goodbye or a kiss on the cheek before one of them departs on an overseas trip.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: United faces public-relations fiasco over dragged passenger See in context

Overbooking should not be allowed anywhere - on airlines, in movie theaters, restaurants, at events, etc. So some people don't show up. That's too bad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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