songwillem2011 comments

Posted in: The decline of traditional Japanese tatami flooring See in context

A decline of a third in 20 years sounds more like a simple sign of the declining population and waning fortunes of Japan than a change in attitudes if you ask me. In think since the 60s 90% of Japanese have generally moved towards wanting Western style mansions "but" with one or two Japanese style rooms usually a high maintenance common room.

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Posted in: Wedding wear See in context

@semperfi Money, Shinto weddings are longer, more complicated and more expensive than Christian ones. For instance underneath the bride's white kimono is another red one. The white represents the bride's symbolic death from her parent's family while the red represents her rebirth into her husband's. In Japan they have a saying: Born Shinto, Marry Christian, Die Buddhist. It is starting to change though, the number of Shinto marriages and funerals are increasing.

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Posted in: Tokyo must embrace diversity and inclusion to avoid a bleak future See in context

Neanderthal in its attitude to its LGBT population my foot in my opinion. I've been to countries or have relatives or homo-sexual friends who have been to countries with so-called homo-sapien attitudes towards LGBTs and while Japan has yet to embrace homosexual marriage (which I think could be a solution to the foster home crisis for instance) or completely rid itself of certain ignorances (eg. all gay men have AIDS) there are few places in the world that are as tolerant or in fact as indifferent to homosexuals and transexuals as Japan. Even countries that have legalized gay marriage still have their shares of intolerant even violently intolerant people. Not so in Japan. Or at least I've never heard of gay people being lynched there like I have in countries I've lived in.

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Posted in: Builders of the new economy See in context

Anyone else think Larry looks like Michael Rourke? No offense intended to either of them.

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Posted in: Stem cell controversy sets back Japanese science See in context

@gobshite While my first instinct would be condemned sexism in the Japanese science community (well most communities are sexist against women so I don't feel inclined to single out Japan) I think this is less an attack on women and more simply an attack on a head researcher who just happens to be a young woman. RIKEN seems very keen (a little too keen) to have this swept aside as quickly as possible if only to save face. I just hope neither her nor her work become complete discredited for the future.

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Posted in: Gov't draws up plans to overhaul arms export ban See in context

Hello Japan. This is South-East Asia and Australia. We eagerly await buying your advanced submarines, warships, radars and interceptor missile systems.

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Posted in: Japan to tap civilian technology for military use See in context

Here's to hoping that they might snap up the HAL exoskeleton suits first and foremost. Fantasies about power armor soldiers aside (I'm of the belief that Japan will be the first) those HAL suits would be very useful for everything from carrying extra body armor against IEDs, to assisting in disaster relief - gods know how useful all that extra strength would be in the Philippines right now. Plus it might help jump start Japan Inc. at long last. I mean DARPA help make the Internet and look what did to America Inc.

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Posted in: Man jumps onto car of wife's underwear thief; holds on for 2.5 kilometers See in context

That's pretty badass all things considered, like right out of a Hollywood movie though he probably wasn't really thinking. People can do something mad things when their blood is up. There was that other guy Hideaki Akaiwa who dove into the 2011 tsunami twice to rescue his wife and mother, what's with all these Japanese men and these crazy acts of heroism. On another note I don't think this kind of perversion is anything unique to Japan, we get all kinds of deviancy everywhere but I'll admit Japan does push the boat when it comes to weird.

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Posted in: Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury debt drop in June See in context

I've always wondered why people talk about China pulling the strings but never mention Japan.

Possibility because Japanese loans are very low interest and the US government trusts the Japanese government a lot more than the Chinese government.

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Posted in: Defense review could help contractors to compete globally See in context

Japan may be able to find buyers sooner than they think. Many countries in Southeast Asia and even Australia have already expressed strong interest in buying Japanese arms mostly vehicles, helicopters, missiles, aircraft and most importantly warships the last of which Japan is still a great maker of even under Article 9. Australia already wants Soryu subs and I heard SEA would like a few Japanese destroyers. A lot of their other stuff are quite excellent as well.

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Posted in: Emperor, empress to visit Iwate Thursday, Friday See in context

@shinhiyata That sounds lovely and I'm sure the public and the Imperial couple would love it too but with the strictness of Imperial behavior would they even be allowed to?

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Posted in: Camera bag made from same material as bulletproof vest See in context

About the equivalent of $400 is reasonable I think for a kevlar/aramid bag specially crafted for camera carrying. Aramid vests can fetch up to $1500 while kevlar reinforced items like surfboards and bicycle frames can cost several hundred.

As for bulletproof durability probably very low to non-existent. Kevlar vests are actually composed of laminated layers of fiber weaves designed like padding often dozens of layers thick but this only stops standard 9mm without modification like armor piercing. For higher caliber and pointed ammunition like those used in rifles ceramic insert plates are needed. Kevlar is also used in ships and vehicles to stop fragmentation known as spalling which can produce high velocity fragments as small as a grain of sand but shape is not uniform and definitely not needle shaped or angled. But again this must be specially designed and if I'm not mistaken formed into a composite for it to work that way. Thus a kevlar weave bag like this will probably have no issue where sewing is concerned (a problem police sadly have is that their vests can actually be pierced by needle-like shivs in fights, they're working on it mind you) but you'd need a very special pair of scissors for cutting. This kevlar bag is made more for durability ie roughing it through hazardous terrain, not that I imagine the camera itself would survive.

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Posted in: Chinese supercomputer world's fastest See in context

And this will probably hole and sink any argument China makes against its alleged hacking of foreign systems and sites.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Electric begins testing new proton therapy tech for cancer treatment See in context

I sincerely wish Mitsubishi Electric the best of luck in this endeavor.

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Posted in: Quality vs cost in Japan See in context

I believe this like Japan's polite culture are tied to a historical feudal system known as Chonindo literally the Way of the Townfolk an equivalent to Bushido the Way of the Warrior. Chonindo evolved out of Japan's Edo period growing middle class as a response to improve their social standing next to the samurai. It emulated aspects of samurai military culture including spartan thrift, discipline, virtue and loyalty but it was also a response to shortages to materials and technology due to its isolation policy. A very strong market chain grew out of the high isolated island nation as did a society of recyclers and exchangers so much so that virtually any kind of waste was used for something. I think this is where this attitude comes from.

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Posted in: France wants to boost Japan relations, maintain China ties See in context

Suggestion France and Japan: Do a co-opt movie entitled the Real Last Samurai featuring Jean Reno as Jules Brunet and Ken Watanabe as Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Japan-France ties would go straight up after that.

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Posted in: Gov't planning to build robot care assistants See in context

Decidedly this may be better for the next aging generation rather than the current one if only due to this present generation's love of digital interaction over actual ones IMO. That said while a good start this is probably not altogether the best place to start IMHO, J,Gov please hurry up and invest in HAL-5s already. I want to buy two one for my grandmother and the other for my aunt both had strokes and can barely walk! People would really buy it not just the disabled but labor workers, companies and even the unfit. You want to revive your export industry start there. People have been waiting for you Japan since Back to the Future II!

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Posted in: Manga critic calls for Japanese comics to read from left to right See in context

@Shanatc I second your opinion. Perhaps the great beauty of "Japanese" manga is ironically individuality. Compared to American comics manga stands out not only for its expressive and dynamic (often unique) artistic style (compared to rather bland American comics IMHO) but also because every manga is written by an individual producing an original story rather than endless rehashes of Marvel or DC franchises and what-not. What's more these original works actually live past 6 issues to see their writer's vision end rather than ending early due to poor initial sales.

But annoying cultural imperialism aside (sorry) converting manga into a left-to-right format without just mirror imaging the whole thing is not entirely doable and is time consuming (I draw manga). Its typical black and white coloration and easy to read panel uniformity does means a person with enough time can simply edit most pages by simply moving panels. Splash pages are easier. But oddly shaped panels and across panel images are virtually impossible without physically touching up the image and half the beauty of a comic is in its visual messages so I would fall on the party of don't change the format please!

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Posted in: Asia's F-35 buyers forced to wait as China seeks edge See in context

The J-20 and J-31 for the most part appear to be formidable aircraft so I'm not holding my breath for the F-35 to make the difference. By contrast I'm more interested in Japan's domestic projects namely the ATD-X Shinshin which may eventually become the Mitsubishi F-3 and the in all probability the interlinked new Kaga-class carriers intended to supersede the much smaller Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers. And while it's still just a prototype if it specifications I've read are to be believe then the ATD-X/F-3 is smaller, lighter and probably stealthier than the even the already tiny F-35 or J-31 but has powerful engines comparable to the F-22 (>20000 lbs. each) with movable paddle nozzles for increased agility. The Eurofighter Typhoon already proved that smaller is better for aerial superiority even against the F-22 which makes sense. The F-3 may just become the Mitsubishi Zero of the 21st century for all that may amount to. Just speculation on my part though. :)

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Posted in: Japan to offer bullet train technology to Taiwan See in context

The Japanese Shinkansen has never had a single death except for possible one caused by a closing door (it's written on wiki but no direct reference) and only one derailment while carrying passengers caused by the 6.8 magnitude Chuetsu earthquake in 2004 to which there were no fatalities. By contrast Chinese high-speed has been marred by a long list of problems not the least of which is corruption and most notably the Wenzhou collision accident caused by a lightning strike which killed 40 people. And this is despite very similar frequency of trips.

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Posted in: New rising barrier system for train stations to be tested See in context

@dcog9065 It could be design to drop in sequence like a wave as the train body passes from one section to other saving time without affecting safety. Plus since this is composed of wires rather than a full screen it may well be light enough to rise and drop very quickly thus not affecting time schedules.

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Posted in: 10 yen coin disrupts bullet train schedule See in context

If this weren't real it would seem almost comic. I mean it bears a stark resemblance to old comedy skits where in which a tiny little thing like a coin or a banana peal manages to cause a massive catastrophe.

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Posted in: Robot suit gets global safety certificate See in context

@Samuraiblue Aside from fuel cells and batteries one of the most promising devices for powering exoskeletons are microturbines which are small palm sized gas turbines run on fossil fuels. A Japanese article I read a while back was considering it for HAL.

I've been following this suit for nearly 5 years now I'm glad it's finally got to this stage and I'm hoping a big company like Mitsubishi (who incidentally were supposed to have built the AMP suits in James Cameron's Avatar) or Honda (who incidentally have a suit of their own) will buy or merge with Cyberdyne and start mass-producing them so I can buy them overseas for my grandmother and aunt who both suffered strokes and no longer have full motor functions. Hopefully this will become the next big Made In Japan product.

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Posted in: Why aren't Japanese dating and mating? See in context

Declining birthrates is not bad thing. I'd rather there be more parents out there seriously dedicated to one or two children than neglectful of 4 to 10. That said I think even that is something a lot of people worldwide need to work on as well.

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Posted in: Gov't plans to spend Y10 tril on public works in 15 months See in context

Does anyone even think there's a way out for countries like Japan and the US besides huge spending cuts and austerity measures while simply accepting that they're no longer at the top of world and quietly finding a corner?

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Posted in: Gov't plans to spend Y10 tril on public works in 15 months See in context

@Ichiro20 That's actually a really good idea however I believe that most countries owe Japan a lot already anyway. America owes Japan about $0.91 trillion, incidentally they owe China about $1.01. Reminds of the movie Dictator when he says "America. Owned by the Chinese!". I remember saying to friend don't forget the Japanese lol. Recently you might have read that Japan cancelled Myanmar's debt to it worth some $3.5 billion. One scenario I believe would significantly improve Japan's economy would be if the government cancelled "all" the debt countries owed them. It's not like those countries can really afford to pay back Japan anyway and doing so may very well prompt those nations to go on a massive "Buy Made in Japan only" spree while stabilizing their own economy. Unless the Japanese government is actually getting income from that debt. I can imagine that the Americans would go absolutely nuts over not having $0.91 trillion in debt anymore. There would still be the other $5 trillion (if I recall correctly) though :p.

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Posted in: Crown prince marks 53rd birthday See in context

Oh and before I forget Omedeto gozaimasu!

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Posted in: Crown prince marks 53rd birthday See in context

So what are your reasons for this respect and admiration?

Can't someone simply have respect and admiration for a royal family or is it because I admitted I'm Chinese?

Well aside from previous members of the Imperial family from WWII which is understandable I find the current generation to be kind, decent and well-behaved people compared to many other monarchs whether they be European or Asian. No offense to them I respect and admire many of them too but I actually grew up in an absolute monarchy that's part of the British Commonwealth and I find that while decent themselves my country's royal family and the British royal family (no offense to them) tend to be how shall we say a little rough around the edges which tends to drive down my personal feelings for them.

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Posted in: Gov't plans to spend Y10 tril on public works in 15 months See in context

Here's an idea close down lots of roads, airports and other public sites that are no longer needed for a shrinking population and sell that land to private owners. You'd drive the housing prices and land owner prices down and the government would make money for itself by privatizing land ownership. In a country with such expensive land I'm sure the people will jump at the idea of having more and cheaper land to move into and away from over-crowded cities and doing so would reduce the need for roads thus allowing even more land to be freed up for private sales. And then while they're at it put that money into patching up the now "fewer" numbers of public works that need fixing and start building or completing renewable energy power sources so as to drive down prices on everything including manufacturing exports.

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Posted in: Crown prince marks 53rd birthday See in context

I'm Chinese and even I have nothing but respect and admiration for the Imperial Family of Japan.

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