takobeya comments

Posted in: Actress Takahata apologizes over son’s arrest on rape charge See in context

It's one of the reasons for the low crime rate in Japan. You commit a crime, your whole family will suffer, not just you.

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Posted in: Japan beats U.S. in shootout to win Women's World Cup soccer See in context

Big credit to both teams. Lord knows they don't do it for the money.

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Posted in: Japan beats U.S. in shootout to win Women's World Cup soccer See in context

Great game. The US dominated most of the open play, and created most of the chances, especially in the first half, but that's the way it is in football... the dominant team doesn't always win. Japan soaked up the pressure and waited for their half-chances, which eventually came. The penalty kicks were astonishing... a colossal case of nerves is all I can think of that would account for the tameness of some of them, but credit to Kaihori for saving two. Miyama and Kumagai were ice-cold from the spot.

Look forward to seeing them play again in the next year's Olympics in London.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What to watch for when Japan-US play in WCup final See in context

Should be a cracking match... either team would be a worthy winner. Let's only hope the outcome is not decided by dodgy officiating, which has marred some of the matches in this tournament. Thankfully, neither the US nor the Japan team tend strongly toward theatrical diving and fake injuries (although, it's amazing how easy is is to lose one's sense of balance in front of the goal...)

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Posted in: Japan beats Sweden 3-1 for place in final See in context

A mouth-watering prospect for the final.... Barcelona v. Man United. For the neutral observer it should be great.

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Posted in: Japan to play Sweden for place in World Cup final See in context

They are certainly down-to-earth girls. I don't think it worries them too much that they will not win any beauty contests.

I expect the game against Sweden won't be easy. The Swedes are a good side, disciplined and organised. This one will really be up to the 'god of football' as coach Sasaki said.

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Posted in: Japan to play Sweden for place in World Cup final See in context

Lionel Messi --- arguably the world's greatest player at the moment --- is only 169cm tall, quite short for the men's game (compare with Peter Crouch at 201cm). Sawa Homare is 164cm tall. So, indeed, height will not be the deciding factor tonight.

Actually, the German game plan backfired to some extent because they focused on the aerial game --- firing crosses into the box where they assumed their superior height would mean they would get the free headers into the net... it didn't happen.

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Posted in: Iron man See in context

.. but is he ready to fight for right, against wrong..?

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Posted in: Japan beats Germany to make Women's WCup semis See in context

I watched the entire game from beginning to end and would have to disagree that the Japanese "got away with murder"... in fact the Mexican referee was I think quite harsh to the Japanese girls who had to defend themselves against all manner of shoving, elbowing, and --in one case -- even a kick to the groin by the physically bigger and stronger Germans. Behringer in particular was an absolute thug (and a constant whiner to boot..). Despite that, the referee handed out four yellow cards to the Japanese, one to the Germans. The Germans had one legitimate shout tor a penalty when Inka Grings went down in the box after she was shouldered and lost the ball... the referee was about 3 meters away at the time and judged that there was not enough contact to warrant a penalty. There will always be contact in the box and players will always go down, that is just part of the game. The referee did not make the difference in the match --- Germany were just not good enough on the night.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Germany confident ahead of WCup quarters See in context

Good grief. I'm in shock.. what a war of attrition that was... Japan overcame the Germans 1-0 in 120 gruelling minutes. The Nadeshiko defended for dear life, picking up I don't know how many yellow cards as they repeatedly fended off the muscular Germans. Then a moment of counterattacking brilliance by Maruyama in the 108th minute from a lovely cross from Sawa. But there were still 12 desperate minutes to play.. frantic defending saw out the match. Whew...

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Posted in: A toast for Ai See in context

mmm.. he lipstick doesn't do her any favours

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Posted in: Japan says Tokyo may drop 2020 bid See in context

Despite the building of the Tokaido Shinkansen and the Monorail to Haneda, the 1964 Olympics were a disaster for Tokyo. Enormous swathes of the city were destroyed... ask anyone who was around then. I shudder to think what kind of projects they would dream up if they 'won' the 2020 bid.

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Posted in: Boeing Japan See in context

Glad he has a "culture coach"...

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Posted in: Germany confident ahead of WCup quarters See in context

Japan's number four ranking flatters them somewhat. I can't see how they could beat Germany, but at least they will have a chance to shine on the biggest possible stage... the Wolfsberg arena holds 38.000 and I expect it will be sold out. For female players some of whom, like Sakaguchi Mizuho, are used to playing on a mud field in front of 300 people in Niigata, that will be quite an experience. Come on you Nadeshiko...

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Posted in: Vietnamese protest against China amid rising tensions See in context

The last time a would-be 'superpower' thought the Vietnamese would be pushovers, things went rather worse than expected for them.

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Posted in: How much longer can photographic film hold on? See in context

I think Kodak and Agfa will eventually stop producing altogether. There are a couple of niche producers in Eastern Europe and China who may carry on, though.

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Posted in: New magazine SAMURAI.JP launches in search of Japan’s lost values See in context

The thing about these magazines which their Japanese editors utterly fail to grasp (and I hope Samurai.jp will be an exception..) is that if I, as a foreigner, want to read and learn about Japan, I want to hear from and engage with JAPANESE people themselves ... I don't want to hear and read about what other foreigners think about Japan: why do I need to read a magazine for that? I could talk to my own friends and we could feel wise and self-important as we tell ourselves all about Japan, learning nothing in the process. I mean.. if I go to, say, Sweden, I want to talk to Swedes and learn what they have to say about their own country, not some American I find living in Stockholm, regardless of how long he's been there.

Almost all these magazines feel the need to showcase 'foreign experts' who maunder on about "Japan" and "the Japanese", or else they bring in some achingly self-regarding hipster from Berlin or New York or Helsinki to spend a week in a temple or interview a Japanese sword-maker. WHY? WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK..? (Obviously the Japanese themselves, that's why they do it...) If see one more article by Donald Richie about Japanese films, or one more interview about the service in top-end Kyoto ryokan or the Japanese approach to branding, I am going to spontaneously combust.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: New magazine SAMURAI.JP launches in search of Japan’s lost values See in context

This joins a long list of similar magazines which have launched and folded within a year or two. They all seek to in some way "present" Japan to the West, usually in a favourable light. They have a kind of schizophrenic premise -- their readership ends up being largely Japanese who want to have some insight into what kind of impression westerners have of Japan (the typical Japanese obsession with what other people think of them). There was a magazine called just "Japan" which launched in 2001 (and folded in 2002) which had pretty much the same model -- a lot of copies which went to western readers were actually via subscriptions taken out by Japanese as presents for their western friends, or by Japanese companies for their western clients, seeking to "educate" them about Japan.

The only magazine with roughly this same remit which has managed to survive has been Kateigaho (KIE), which I suspect is because it is 1) subsidized by the publisher, and 2) mainly a vehicle to advertise western luxury brands to the Japanese.

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Posted in: The Mediterranean of Japan: Discovering Seto Inland Sea See in context

Actually a lot of gaijin go to Shiraishi because of the Okayama prefecture Shiraishi International Villa; so it is not really 'off the beaten track'. Also you didn't mention the view of the huge gas-works on the opposite shore... You wouldn't really want to get stuck there for a week.

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