Susan Elizabeth-Marsh Tanabe comments

Posted in: Tokyo, as you've never seen it before See in context

Humans need green, however for daily life I'm quite satisfied with lots of indoor and deck plants, the gorgeous hydrangea and other greenery on sidewalks all over Tokyo, and local parks. Building vertically and infill (using property in the city, tearing down old buildings and using the space for new ones) allows natural green spaces outside the urban growth boundary to flourish. We can easily get to wilder spaces, parks, hiking areas.

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Posted in: Neo Kimono releases innovative traditional heel covers made from artisanal fabric See in context

Lovely, honestly i think these are fun, however the price is absurd. Surely some are available for under 3!

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Posted in: 59-year-old 'eternal idol' Seiko Matsuda amazes fans with hasn’t-aged-a-day self-cover See in context

Recently, both Twyla Tharp (80) and Carole King (70) posted photos of themselves in the 1970s and today. Each has aged beautifully, healthy and strong. I have never had negative feelings toward Seiko Matsuda however this video feels quite "off". Not only the hair color, strangely unaged-face, and fake Euro-town... even worse, perhaps, the light blue child's dress with a "Peter-Pan" collar... truly odd for any woman over 14. Wouldn't it be grand if Seiko could show she is proud of her gained wisdom and experiences, and show her age gracefully?

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Posted in: Tokyo high schools ask students to certify hair color not altered: NHK See in context

However... watch ANY anime which takes place in a Japanese high school. Count the number of students who have straight black hair. Perhaps half. The other half have various shades of brown, some almost red, some a bit wavy. None are blonde or curly, but it is absurd to care, honestly. Do Japanese educators believe dyed hair is dangerously distracting? Will cause students to become vain? Worry about true concerns. Economic worries, unhoused students, students dealing with hunger, those who cannot afford their texts or uniforms... NOT hair color. Perhaps limit to colors found in nature (no hot pink or lime green hair), but otherwise LET IT GO.

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Posted in: A trip to Todoroki Valley, Tokyo’s tucked-away green oasis See in context

My 1977 host family still lives here, the next generation has continued living in the family home, extended, as is common in Japan. I had a two hour community (each way) to college, however every minute was worth it; I loved the walk home from Todoroki Station, strolling through the temple grounds near our house, and walking to the Tama River on weekends. Gorgeous place.

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Posted in: Japan's suicides jump 16% in COVID-19 2nd wave: study See in context

Reading the article, domestic violence has increased. I believe the increase in suicides, stated as occurring most for children, youth, and women, can be linked to ways of thinking which Japan needs to change. Ideas like "domestic violence is acceptable", "women must keep the home happy and safe", "on their own, men must earn enough for the family to thrive", "children must constantly strive for the next level (in whatever)", For myself, my family, my friends in Ireland and in the US during this pandemic we have learned to live more simply, play games and watch movies and take walks and exercise with our families, wave to neighbors and chat but not too closely, and most importantly STEP AWAY from the ideas i listed above. Think of this as a "gap year" for everyone. Some of our family and friends in Japan are doing this. I realize it is not easy, especially with small homes/apartments and the number of Japanese who live alone, however it can be done with community and local government help. Our church connections are helpful as well. This too shall pass.

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Posted in: Used car exports drives pollution to developing world See in context

Even in the 70s and 80s I can recall asking why we saw so few "vintage" cars, and being told they were sold to Africa and SE Asia. Sadly, nothing new here. The news would be if/when we stop using gasoline! Ecars are the future!

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Posted in: Tokyo governor asks residents to grocery shop only every 3 days See in context

what one USUALLY eats is irrelevant. Buy what will last. Crackers and cheese, apples, broccoli... we shop 1x/10days. We do order dinner out/delivery 1x/wk and make it last two meals. Want to support local restaurants!

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Posted in: Watery welcome See in context

In the US, it goes state by state. People in many states foolishly continue life as usual... attending events, going to bars, cafes, restaurants, even school. In Oregon we've been "self-quarantining" for weeks. I was in Japan, feeling guilty. Came back to Oregon and find it is quite reassuring to know how hard people are struggling to make this work and "flatten the curve". Teachers are working overtime to reach all students online and create effective lessons in new ways. All medical professionals are working overtime as well, and DO NOT HAVE the personal protection equipment (PPE) they need (no thanks to the present cult/administration). Busy with take out and delivery only, most restaurants, bakeries, etc. seem to manage. Essential shops (pharmacies, groceries, some home improvement stores) are open, delivery or shopping online then picking up by "drive up" are encouraged. All "non-essentials" are closed; NO concerts, bars, department stores, boutiques, coffee shops. This is true also in Washington and California, New York, Colorado, and many other states. WHY don't all states do this? WHY is the US "president" so ineffective and disrespectful of science? He does not even practice social distancing and still shakes hands. Also.... WHY is Japan not trying self-quarantining? STAY HOME SAVE LIVES.

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Posted in: New Age funerals: Celebration prevails over mourning See in context

Whether Buddhist, strictly Shinto, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Baha'i, Wican, Native American religion, Pagan.... no matter where one believes one's soul will go, or if one believes in no soul or afterlife, the fact is when our bodies die, they are simply a shell and no longer needed. I realize Hindus and Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and others may believe in reincarnation and am not certain if they believe the earthly body is needed..... so perhaps they are an exception. The idea which gives me chills is that of my body decomposing. My parents, siblings, spouse and many others plan to be cremated; not take up space on our earth, not take funds from our children.

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Posted in: Pixar alters 'Inside Out' visuals for Japanese release, removing broccoli See in context

Wow ~ where do you live, Saul and bicultural? I agree with Michelle. I suppose it is a regional opinion. America is a huge nation and I am often surprised by what is "normal" in one section of the country! In Oregon, broccoli is grown fairly locally. I have never seen or even heard of canned broccoli. Most kids love it, calling it "little trees". What a shock to hear some people eat it from a can....sounds horrid! We love fresh broccoli!

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Posted in: Books do make a room See in context

Your home must be glorious~nothing more beautiful than books!

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Posted in: Japan: Where even milk and toilet paper are courteous See in context

Danone; How about "Live Long and Prosper", made famous by Leonard Nimoy as Spock in the Star Trek series? He passed away last week, at he good age of 83. In Japanese, "長寿と繁栄を” (^.^)

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Posted in: Isetan Mitsukoshi to hold New Year Festival at 3 main stores in Tokyo See in context

Isetan was a lifesaver for me as a young bride, then as a young mom..... so welcoming, with many spaces to just BE; a parent/baby area for resting, many coffeeshops and restaurants, This will be a thrilling event for the community, once again Isetan impresses!

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Posted in: Taking the trains to Tokyo's foreign enclaves See in context

Halal meals are served at most hostels as well, which often provide prayer rooms. We were also impressed to see Halal meals at Tokyo International University in Kawagoe, Saitama. Though not Muslim, I am unable to eat pork (which is so very common in Japan, and not always easy to avoid as lard is used even when pork is not listed as an ingredient) and appreciate Kosher or Halal offerings.

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Posted in: 5 tips for staying healthy while traveling in Japan this winter See in context

No one in Japan carries a handkerchief more than a day, so I'd not call the one in their handbag a "petri dish". We've stayed in hotels, ryokan and hostels; only one, in Miyajima near Hiroshima, was at all questionable in the cleanliness department. In fact, hostels use crisp clean linens and have plentiful soap & hot water even in the dining areas.

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Posted in: Worst date ever! Japanese ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid See in context

Though not at all for me, I am curious ~ what type of dates DO Japanese young women find interesting?

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Posted in: Japan from the outside - Not easy, but not that different See in context

Language skills and manners are key; even a few months of study will pay off with respect. Get an actual HUMAN TEACHER, rather than a computer program; the latter is fine for vocabulary building, however the human will give you verb conjugations, traditions and manners, secrets for acceptance... truly, one can gain some important skills in a few months and even more if you can give it a year. You'll never, ever regret it.

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Posted in: Toyota’s dance craze contest invites you to Wakudoki your way to Tokyo See in context

The article states it is a new commercial, so evidently Toyota is selling this pickup in Japan. At any rate, it was indeed silly. Nothing wrong with silly.

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Posted in: Navigating a Japanese bathroom See in context

Kathryn Sunday, spot on! My thoughts, exactly. Jerseyboy, it might be humour however Japan Today is not a humour source, and readers will take this as truth. The write does not want to mislead, as is evident by his polite acceptance of a previous correction. He can take it (^.^)!

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Posted in: Special English zones proposed as part of Cool Japan tourism initiative See in context

A plethora of negative comment here! Regarding HOW Japanese youth can gain truly communicative skills; a bit off the usual track, west of Tokyo, is Kawagoe. This city has glorious history and takes great pride in making it accessible. Tokyo International University is there. TIU is using creative and unique methods to teach English. Students truly practice; research techniques, critical thinking, comprehension, and speaking skills. TIU has a branch in Oregon, on the west coast of the USA, where students take course at their Sister School of Willamette University, the oldest college west of the Mississippi. Japanese CAN gain try English skills....but to do so they must be brave and step out of their comfort zone. It is to be hoped any non-Japanese living or visiting Japan is willing to do the same, however considering the upcoming Olympics the priority of raising English levels is understandable.

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Posted in: Obama says that after 9/11, 'we tortured some folks' See in context

Important detail; President Obama tell of what the US/CIA did following 9/11. Remember; he was NOT president at that time.

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Posted in: Chinese newspaper posts map of A-bombed Japan See in context

Agree 100%, however i must say the textbook i use (teaching Japanese to high school students) uses a mushroom cloud to show Hiroshima. I was furious. This book was published in Hawai'i. All authors are Japanese or Japanese Americans and should know better. At first i thought it an OAK TREE....then, with a gasp, i realized what it truly was. I inform my students of the ignorance shown by the artist; that Hiroshima is known for other things as well. Their suggestions? A PEACE SIGN. Love it.

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Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s See in context

Surprising to me that everyone assumes this is a Japanese issue. I've lived and taught over 30 years in both the US and Japan, and we have three bilingual/bicultural/biracial children. Teachers in the US are OFTEN forced to attend school events where they teach and miss events where their children attend school. This is one reason many elect to move their own children to the school where they teach. Teachers in the US do NOT have "vacation" or other time they can take off; in my school district we have TWO days in the entire year which we can take off for "personal" reasons.... therefore events are attended because we have no option for NOT attending. Not a complaint, simply an observation; teaching is, everywhere, an occupation which SEEMS family friendly, however is not quite so.

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Posted in: You know you’ve been in Japan too long when… See in context

Lived in Tokyo in the 1980s. Husband is from Wakayama. Family, many friends in both places. I return nearly every year, he 2-3x/yr. We are HAPPY at the changes in the U.S.! MANY people ask guests to take off their shoes. Everyone (even my high school students) loves sushi, edamame, panko, yakisoba, ramen, ... and they know how to use hashi. We can buy kara age powder, wasabi, nori, sake, furikake, satsuma imo, etc. at any supermarket! It has become easier and easier to enjoy Japanese culture while living in Oregon.

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Posted in: 5 reasons foreigners find it hard to become friends with Japanese people See in context

Perhaps it is my age, but it seems the author and most who comment are all rather inflexible. I first met students from Japan at my uni in 1977, also studied in Japan that same year knowing NO Japanese, but having a wonderful homestay. Since them i fell in love a couple of times, married, gave birth in Tokyo, gave birth 2 more times in the States, taught English in Tokyo (5 years) and Japanese in Oregon (almost 30 years) at the college and high school levels. I've gone back nearly 20 times, usually escorting students. My husband seems very Japanese; from Wakayama, he even has practiced and taught Shorinji Kempo over 30 years. Still, when asked "what is it like to be married to a gaijin?" He answers "I don't think of her that way. She is a woman, the woman i love." Honestly, people are different of course..... yet whether family in Wakayama or Dublin, friends in Tokyo, Boston, Portland, Kawagoe, or Kyoto, i see them all as people. I make allowances and bend, as does he bamboo, without breaking. They do the same for me. Try it.

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