sorge comments

Posted in: University of Tokyo to launch new 5-year program with 50% foreign students See in context

Masters degrees in the UK are usually one year (mine was 30 years ago); sounds like that they are going for that scheme.

Todai wouldn't accept the MEXT reform/bonus plan last year that was awarded to Tohoku instead, so maybe this is their strategy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. suspends travel from 26 European countries, excluding UK, Ireland, for next 30 days See in context

Seems from info so far that this “European” ban means just transit points in the schengen free trade area, so Europeans can still go from UK, Ireland and Cyprus to the US. It’s really just showing off against Merkel and the EU, and a “reward” for Brexit.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo bullet train disruption affects 230,000 passengers See in context

I was heading back to Sendai when I got caught up in this ( because some of us actually live in the North East); very frustrating, and surprisingly chaotic at Tokyo Station as they moved a line of cops in front of the ticket barrier, but no harm done in the end.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What’s Japan’s least appealing big city, and why did it get stuck with that title? See in context

Sendai is an entirely pleasant place to live, with its many trees, compact city layout and enjoyable festivals, but sadly it is otherwise a bit lacking in landmarks and urban diversity, and the weather is often poor. And despite its million-plus population, it tends to overlooked in Japan, as in both of these polls.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese heavy metal band denied U.S. entry; club cites Trump policy See in context

The UK indie band Lush were turned away from their own reunion tour in the US in 2015 because they showed up with the wrong visa, so this does happen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: M7.4 quake strikes off Fukushima, triggering tsunami See in context

That was a shaky start to the morning in Sendai; it did last a surprisingly long time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Powerful typhoon expected to make landfall over northeast Japan See in context

Seems like this typhoon is no longer deemed newsworthy, like much else in Tohoku: oh well. A lot of rain yesterday here in Miyagi, but not much damage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China beats Japan in Asian university rankings See in context

The THES rankings are primarily a reward for English language publications, notably in STEM subjects, and for international exchanges between faculty and students ( there is also the more subjective 'reputation' factor). That is at least a clear objective, and so, in my opinion, ambitious Japanese universities should know perfectly well how to meet the criteria. However, I don't think that Japanese HE is the disaster area that its fiercer critics say that is: in the postwar period, it has arguably worked well at a national level as a vehicle for social mobility and technology. The difference is that in this age of neoliberal 'global universities' there is much more pressure on individual institutions the world over to compete in an international but Anglophone market, regardless of national policies. Japanese universities are generally still too conservative and nervous to have come to terms with this. It is less a reflection of their undergraduate pedagogy (which I agree is debatable) than of how they better organize research projects.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Northern Territories Day' ad accused of promoting excessive nationalism See in context

I wonder if Japan would offer an olive branch by suggesting joint sovereignty or guaranteeing rights of residency and language for the Russian community on the islands. Otherwise this is on a hiding to nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: American, Hawaiian Airlines take aim at Delta's Haneda service See in context

The domestic connections from Haneda also need improving: there is no direct link to Sendai, which makes it actually less convenient for some of us than Narita.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmakers in tsunami-hit region eye casino to hasten recovery See in context

There is already a large amount of investment and construction throughout Sendai; rural Miyagi would be right to resent yet further expansion of the city, let alone with a tacky tourist trap like a Casino. We do not need to become Atlantic City.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Most Japanese over age 50 had rubella in their youth and are immune, so the most vulnerable group is young men, and many outbreaks are in workplaces. See in context

Well, I had an NHS rubella vaccine over 30 years ago and was still struck down with this in Miyagi last month, so immunity isn't total. At least it was only a few sore days off work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: M-6.7 quake hits northeast Japan; tsunami alert briefly issued See in context

Rather sudden start to the day in Sendai this morning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A new era for universities See in context

More globalization babble, high on pomposity (higher education and The Roman Empire?), light on details. I did notice this:

"Religion, family, culture, security are only a few of the components which universities can incorporate a systemic perspective."

Not only is this missing a preposition (!), but it is also reinforcing faith and kin at the expense of critical inquiry. The Enlightenment project apparently never happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 killed, 141 injured after 7.4 quake hits Miyagi Pref, vicinity See in context

Not too pleasant and it messed up the flat for a second time.Thankfully it was quite short and there was no blackout. I just hope they reconnect the gas in this part of Sendai soon as the cold water is getting depressing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Managing employees in times of crisis See in context

Rather strange article this, as it conflates some presuppositions about Japanese work culture, NJ employment and the disaster without ever explaining the connection; perhaps this article has been republished out of a specific context? The claim that there has been a resurgence of 'Aggressive, radical labour union activity' (and the insinuation that this is due to the pathology of the workers, rather than a legitimate aspect of industrial relations) surely needs more evidence to be substantiated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: How have the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis affected your lifestyle? See in context

There is still no gas supply in my part of Sendai, so there is no heating, hot water or home cooking. Also, milk and dairy products are very scarce. Practicalities aside, I'm impressed by the civic reasonableness of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan hit by 6.9-magnitude earthquake See in context

Felt it in Sendai, and it was strong enough to make the building rattle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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