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Steven M. Jankowski comments

Posted in: Shoichiro Toyoda, son of Toyota founder, dies at 97 See in context

Toyota’s beginnings were humble. Shoichiro Toyoda ’s grandfather, Sakichi Toyoda, invented the automatic loom in a backyard shed, mainly because he wanted to help his mother, who often was weaving in their home.

Clarification here, Sakichi didn't invent the [world's first] automatic loom (a.k.a. "power loom"). He invented the first one in Japan, today called the "Type G automatic loom".



2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Seven-time Olympian, pioneer woman lawmaker Hashimoto appointed Olympics minister See in context

Will that post be made redundant as soon as the Olympics are over next summer?

Possibly, but I would guess/hope that means she's also the top person when it comes to any Olympics-related matters, Summer or Winter, including qualifying competitions, handling legal matters, etc.


Hashimoto will also serve as Minister in Charge of Women's Empowerment.

So while the Olympics part of her job may become less important (or be made redundant) after next year, she still will have plenty of work ahead of her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Seven-time Olympian, pioneer woman lawmaker Hashimoto appointed Olympics minister See in context

Should a veteran truck driver with 30 years of... truck-driving, be appointed as a transport ministry head? I do not think this is how it works.

Better that than someone who has never driven a car or has a license... a la the former IT minster who had never used a computer.

Besides, a former Olympian who is also a lawmaker will have more experience and understanding of what the position entails.  Then there's this:

Currently vice president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, she has also served as a Tokyo 2020 Executive Board member and president of the Japanese Skating Association.

So yeah, I think she's qualified.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to use family name first in Roman alphabet in documents See in context

@Hello Kitty 321

you cannot use the Western name order on old names because there are those with a 'no' in between the surname and first name, ie. Ike-no-Taiga.

You absolutely can use it with old names.  Just drop the dashes that are used for style and move the 'no' to the end of the family name.

"Ikeno Taiga"

"Hirano Satoshi"

"Uchino Sakura"

"Nakano Miyabi"

"Takeno Hiro"

"Tsuchino Hikari"

"Mizuno Masato"

(Note, any names listed above are only examples, I don't know if they are all real people.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The decision by Kyoto police to announce the names of all 35 people who died in the July 18 arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co has sparked a debate because some bereaved families didn't want the names released, saying it would cause them more pain. Do you think names of murder victims should be released to the public? See in context


While they may be public record, it's another thing entirely to publicize that information in media, on TV, on news programs.  Those who are curious to know more can search the public record.  The news and media can just provide a link to that rather than declaring all the victims and running a picture or video montage for days/weeks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: International launch set for Disney+ streaming service See in context

Ok, $7 is a good monthly price, if they provide serialized content.

I'd only go for the Hulu bundle if they offered an ad-free version.  I pay enough for Netflix and Japanese TV as it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Starbucks vs two popular Japanese coffee shops: Which gives best value? See in context

Starbucks is good for atmosphere and drink selection, but as the article mentions, it's food/snack menu and pricing is high.  My drink alone is a little over 600 yen most times, and I don't necessarily want a sweet when I'm there for a while to work/study.  Their sandwiches and such are mostly overpriced, under-filled bread.

Tully's has the worst drink selection to my tastes, and they use entirely too much ice in their cold drinks (not to mention it's cubes, so even more space wasted in the cup).  And the one nearest to me only has one or two outlets in their entire second floor seating area, and none on their ground floor.  I only go if friends are meeting there, I would never choose it if alone.

Haven't tried Dotour yet. Maybe I should, but no wifi (as some comments note) would be a deal-breaker to me staying in long.

Anyone know if Komeda's is good?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New James Bond film title 'No Time To Die' See in context

Yes, yes, yes!  I've been wondering when we would get this!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Matrix 4' announced with Keanu Reeves to return as Neo See in context


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Post to end Saturday standard mail delivery next year See in context

Oh good, the PO will stop delivering unnecessary mailers and flyers to my house on the weekend now.

Waste of gas and labor, that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency rate lowest in 25 years See in context

Maybe if the fields used to grow rice were used more than half the year, there would be less need to import.

Down by me, the fields all around my house and town are only used to grow rice between June and November.  Even in winter it's good enough to grow certain hardy crops, and there's no real reason not to grow from March.  It's just so inefficient.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Rakuten partners with Marie Kondo See in context

As part of the partnership, Rakuten said it will invest in KonMari Media to become a majority shareholder and support its management to grow the business worldwide and develop synergies with the Rakuten Group.

In other words, Rakuten buys out KonMari Media in order to push cleaning supplies and organizational materials sales.

To champion an organizing culture for workplaces around the world, Kondo will also be appointed as Rakuten's first "Joy Ambassador."

Wasn't she already a "Joy Ambassador" without making it a weird job title?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sultans of spin: Japanese breakdancers busting Olympic moves See in context

Breakdancing in the Olympics. WTF, seriously?

Why not yo-yoing, frisbee, miming, or coding?

Yo-yoing would fall into a similar category as ribbons in gymnastics.  And the Chinese yo-yo/diabolo does take a lot of skill to master.

Ultimate Frisbee is a valid and growing summer competitive team sport, much like rugby and lacrosse.

Miming might fall into a similar category of performance art/sport like figure-skating and freestyle gymnastics, and potentially now breakdancing.  I personally don't see it happening, though.

Coding, however, might not fit into strictly athletic/physical performances.  There are already many programming and e-sports competitions, however, where it would fit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Leaving Japan: What you need to do See in context

Lots of useful information but the title should read “Leaving Tokyo (not Japan): What you need to do”.

I'm with you, Educator.

Tokyo is Japan, but Japan is not Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to set up panel on stable imperial succession by year-end See in context

Just allow women in the Imperial line of succession again!

I say "again" because they've had at least 10 empresses in the past in the official line!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Kyoto arson suspect spotted near sites featured in studio's anime See in context

It's up to 35 now?  It just keeps getting worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Major Japanese firms hike wages by average 2.43% a month See in context

Right, a pay increase among a select number of companies that will hardly offset the increased sales tax in a few months.

At least there IS a pay increase, but it'd be nicer if this was to the national minimum wage.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Train comes into contact with drill that pierced tunnel, no injuries See in context


I don't know about the "drought management" part (maybe something to do with irrigation and rainwater control?) but Nagasaki is finally getting Shinkansen connections by 2022.  It'll pass through Omura and down to Nagasaki City coming from Fukuoka and Saga (I believe there'll be a stop in Ureshino or Takeo as well).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Invisible pandemic': WHO offers global plan to fight superbugs See in context

This includes antibiotics, which work only against bacterial infections, prescribed to treat viruses.

As I have heard all too often when people go to the doctor here in Japan for a cold.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 70% want 'noisy' rally restricted during Hiroshima A-bomb ceremony See in context

Protest all you want, but it seems very disrespectful to the dead they claim to be protesting on behalf of, to be doing it loudly during a moment of silence.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Getting to zero: Tokushima town tries to recycle all its waste See in context

Where I live in Japan, my town has between 7-10 categories of sorting, depending on how you dispose of certain items (some are easier to dispose of individually, or can be broken down to fit another category if you're willing to do the work.)

All the neighboring communities were absorbed by other larger administrative district cities, and so most everything goes into a single bag.  They have recycling to various degrees, but because it's all handled on such a large scale, most people just toss it all in one and the city just deals with it.

I love my town's efforts to sort, recycle, and properly dispose of things.  They sell the bales of metals and plastics back for funds that support the town.  I'm always disappointed when I visit my friends around me and they say that everything just goes in the same trash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Automobiles are dangerous objects. If you feel you are becoming slower to react, it’s best to consider your life and return your license before you hurt someone. See in context

I know that something has to be done about all of these accidents, but just telling people to give up their licenses is not realistic.

A good start would be more retesting for ability.  Not necessarily passing the absurd driving test again (since so many fail it when they are young), but perhaps an "elderly driver" version.  At the very least, I think refresher testing, vision and reaction time checks, etc. should be required more frequently.  This should also apply to all ages, by decade.

What might make the above more effective would be to associate it with medical checks, since so many go to doctors regularly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese firms getting serious about food waste; households lag behind See in context

The majority of "fresh" food I buy at the supermarket is the discounted, near-end-of-shelf-life items.  It saves me money and it's perfect for living alone.  Lots of people come by, and usually almost everything is sold out before 9p.

The only thing that tends to be wasted at my supermarket is onigiri and the overabundance of take-home sushi/sashimi.  My heart weeps at the amount of overfishing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fast-food chain Yoshinoya to sell beef bowl without rice See in context

I'm a Sukiya fan, but I'll definitely pop in to Yoshinoya to give this a try.  That's a pretty good price point, too.

Maybe Sukiya will follow suit and add something like this to their menu if Yoshinoya shows it's successful?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's CD album output falls below 100 mil for 1st time in 2018 See in context

I still buy soundtrack CDs once in a while from secondhand stores (collecting older stuff), and I rent from Geo or Tsutaya to build up my digital library.

Unless it's a special collectors edition, I see no point in spending more than a dollar/100yen per song on the disc for anything new.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What is your all-time favorite anime series? See in context

I grew up watching and loving anything in the pre-CG era.  I especially love the art style indicative to the mid 80s up to around 1994.  Toonami and Adult Swim had great series in the 90s and early 2000s.

Tezuka Osamu and Matsumoto Leiji works have a special place.

I'm still a huge fan of Mecha series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann hit all the sweet spots for me in college.  Gundam still always tops my lists.  Code Geass was fantastic, even when it was being hammy.

I also thoroughly enjoy a good shoujo drama series, Marmalade Boy being one of my favorites.  Kare Kano was really good for most of its run.

Classic fantasy series, like Record of Lodoss War, Flame of Recca, and Escaflowne regularly inspire me, while Those Who Hunt Elves and Slayers have the right mix of comedic elements.

Of course, there are some quite beautiful works that have come out in the past few years.  Little Witch Academia made me feel like a kid again.  Overlord lets me enjoy the "bad guys".

My favorite obscure series, though?  That honor goes to Brigadoon.  It manages to blend so many genres together so well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Starbucks Japan’s new strawberry Frappuccinos are so social media-savvy their names are hashtags See in context

Those hashtags are far too long to be "social media savvy".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Court convicts man of drug possession but rules GPS probe without warrant illegal See in context

As someone who is concerned about my privacy in this ever-growing "always public" world, with IoT and cameras everywhere connected to who-knows-what and being hackable, this court decision pleases me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Day of the dolls See in context

Do they tow the boat back in eventually?  Or are these essentially being dumped into the ocean?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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