Number 10 is a bit unfair. I mean, I can see how it can be used wrongly, but it isn't always a lie. I've never said it unless I meant it.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
I'm sure she's a lovely woman, but Mariah Carey as her role model?! She can do better than that. The woman is a sub-talent, ego-driven over-singer. She probably hasn't had an original idea in her entire career, and is so image sensitive that she has her album covers Photoshopped to make her legs look longer. There must be a few women in Japan who would make far better role models.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
She will not live a normal life after this. Even if she agreed to do these things, the men knew she was underage. It's all quite sad more than anything-a young girl getting involved in this business, and a couple of creeps who could have left her alone. People ain't no good, sometimes.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
harvey pekar, get over it! It was an honest mistake! I'm sure worse things happen, equally newsworthy, for a chuckle, but we need not resort to condescending rhetoric-which ironically makes you 'the ugly American', an accusation that you bemoan like a child.
2 ( +6 / -4 )
Walking is still free. It works for me! Ha!
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Much as I quite like Matsuko, I don't think having AKB at the Olympics would be a problem. And to the poster who called them 'pedo', I think that is just ridiculous! Seems there are more foreigners obsessed with that than the Japanese, who get accused of it all the time. Idol pop goes way back in this country, and a lot of girls like thefemale idols. Get over it. Even enka legend, Misora Hibari, was very young when she started out. So was Matsuda Seiko. It never bothered anyone then, and it is not going away any time soon. Worry about other matters, folks, seriously!
-1 ( +7 / -8 )
No photoshop going on here. She looks exactly as she does in the TV news spots covering this. I think she's gorgeous!
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Funny how many posters simply see the US bases as only a drain on the US economy. The fact is the Japanese government helps to maintain the bases financially. I would say the Japanese people would benefit to a degree by US base reduction or closing. Apart from the money wasted coming from local taxes, the obnoxious behaviour of some soldiers disappearing would be a blessing.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
The definitions of paedophilia and also of child pornography are very grey areas to some. Thoughts can be considered offensive, but if a man has a sexual fantasy involving a young girl, it remains a thought. It's untouchable. If a man acts on it, it's a crime--that is very clear.
As for child pornography, I take it to mean depictions of sexual acts involving or deliberately erotic nudity depicting minors--but then the latter is rather fuzzy when one takes into account just how a person defines erotic. In days of old, before the advent and open availability of pornographic images and film, which later moved into the realm of video, people had to fuel their visual fantasies with images of underwear-clad women in department store catalogues--if they needed actual imagery at all, or had any access to it; otherwise, fantasy was their only recourse. In any case, to some, the image of an underwear model was erotic enough, and it took Hollywood many years (although bear in mind things were different before the Censorship Board was established) to even show women in bikinis, and then finally nudity.
Several years ago, Japanese photographer Kishin Shinoyama, whose iconic image if John Lennon and Yoko Ono kissing adorns cover of the couple's Double Fantasy album from 1980, encountered some trouble over a photo book featuring a very young Chiaki Kuriyama--at the time around 13 or 14, and in some cases depicted nude, although apart from the odd view of her breasts and side angles of her nude body, many would consider the images harmless--and most would argue they were part of his art. Shinoyama is primarily known for his erotic and nude photography, and has encountered other problems with his in-public shots of nude adult women, but that has not, nor has the Chiaki book, affected his career (in fact, Mr Kuriyama is doing very well for herself these days, as both a model and actress). For the most part, the photo book--which was withdrawn, remained pretty much a non-issue to Japanese people.
As for the so-called junior idol market, remember that it is both thriving and a springboard for many careers of young women in Japan. A couple of perfect examples of how young models move into other areas of entertainment--and it may mean from junior idol or it may not--are the talents Ai Shinozaki, whose modelling began from when she was around 14; her appeal has a great deal to do with her large breasts, that is certain, which she appeared to be endowed with from a very young age. Another is top model Kana Hashimoto, who has appeared on fashion magazine covers and is a frequent guest on TV variety programmes--all at 15 years old! She has also come out of the so-called U-15 genre of models (girls under 15). Finally, Saaya, another shapely young woman of about 19 or 20 now, still models and does TV spots on a regular basis--she began working at around 11 years old. There are even beauty pageant winners in Japan who are in their low teens--and that is far different from the the distinctly creepy American child pageants that nobody remarks about; on the contrary, they are 'okay', but a 13 year old Japanese model is not. Hypocrisy at its most glaring.
I know my knowledge of all of this will earn me plenty of snide remarks, but I have done my research and I regularly watch Japanese TV. Just to add to the discussion food for thought: if the writer and plenty of her supporters had their way, AKB48 or other similar idol groups would also disappear, because many members of these groups are as young as 12 or 13, and one can't deny a certain element of 'sexualizing' of the participants, with their costumes and stage dances at time being somewhat provocative.
Be that as it may, if we push for censoring the way this writer does, say goodbye to Nabokov's Lolita (which was in fact banned in many places not soon after it first appeared in print), in which not only is sex with a minor clearly described and in graphic detail, but also Nabaokov goes to great lengths to 'show' the reader what Lolita's nude body looks like. Let's take things a step further and ban Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet--in which partial nudity involving a very young Olivia Hussey passed the censors--in 1968.
My point might best be summed up, then, as 'much ado about nothing'. This woman's complaints will continue to receive much support, but I can't say I side with her views much. I also think that foreigners messing with Japan's morals are occasionally entitled to comment, but they likely won't change the views of most Japanese--who are quite comfortable with a youth-centric pop culture, and it's not going to go away soon, nor should it necessarily. If non-nude material featuring girls of very young ages is a hot commodity, and fuels erotic fantasies of the men who buy it, so long as they are not rabid rapists and child molesters as a result (take a good look at the adult porn here in Japan, first, and make your correlations between it and public behaviour; to date, rare example anywhere in the world of images spawning anti-social bahaviour have been clearly and validly documented), what is the problem?
5 ( +7 / -2 )
An insightful article, but with one glaring point with which I must take exception, although often words we choose are not always consciously infused with the political, or in the case of this--at least potentially--religious. 'It is a marketable item designed to satisfy the needs and wants of an entire nation's future.' I wouldn't have chosen 'designed', unless I had no certainty of Evolution.
Other than that quibble, I'd say you are spot-on!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I wish people would take it easy with the 'only in Japan' mantra. What, is this another planet or something? Of course, there are many things unique to Japan, but it's so often employed as something derogatory that it comes off as plainly offensive. Imagine if you substitute Japan with any other country's name, and the response you would get! Sure, I sometimes hear and see 'only in America' (I'm not American, so I'm not getting all self-righteous here), and usually it's some comment about guns or whatever, but hardly as much as this 'only in Japan' business, which is usually in response to some sort of off-colour or titillating (no pun intended, just to show my sense of humour is not gone) story like this.
While I am not a porn consumer, I certainly don't have any problems with it in general. If these girls are willing to take part in something like this for AIDS awareness, so be it. I would prefer to see most of them also demand changes to the nature and content of the adult entertainment industry; it's not a very glamorous-looking profession, and the women could change how they are depicted and treated, but at least they have consciences and are lending their 'assets' to a good cause. That's another cause I think they ought to pursue, but it's also, hopefully, another news story.
Finally, the sausage fellow who made the comment about the women all looking 15, I'm not sure exactly where he's going with that. Obviously, not a person who lives in Japan, where adult women often do look very young, or else it's a dig at another issue that gets under foreigners' skin: Japan's youth-oriented entertainment industry. It seriously causes nobody any real harm if teenage girls enter the entertainment world, and hopefully stay away from illegal areas until they are adults--if they must. So many of them dream of being in an AKB-type situation, so let them have their fun! For goodness sake.
Anyway, my two cents is running a bit thin. I think I've made my point.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
As a rule, I tend to find the 'half' female personalities less attractive than Japanese. However, in Jun's case, I would say she's stunning! It might be, for me, her dominant features appear to come from the Japanese side. Either way, she's beautiful! She's got a nice personality, tooｰfunny and down to earth. That's a plus, definitely. It'll serve her well when she ends up moving away from modelling and doing more variety TV in Japan, which is the usual career path for models in Japan.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
How about dropping the word 'ugly' completely, and try to suggest someone can be more attractive if they try to avoid a few of these traits. I reserve 'ugly' solely for people who wear it through bad personalities. That's ugly, not something as trivial as a timid voice.
I teach high school kids, and some must endure such crippling shyness that they have great trouble bringing out their inner beauty, but it's there. No amount of superficial cosmetic fluff or insincerity will do it, but dropping the 'busu' crap and letting them know they are human will give them a chance.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
I saw him in Canada during my trip home last summer. He really puts on a show, but I wonder if he pushes himself a bit. He was excellent, no complaints from me, but he is 71, and it must get that much more tiring each time around. Well, I suppose as fans we ought to be grateful for his tireless recording, touring, and his massive contribution to popular culture. Let's just hope he does get well, and his fans here can see him perform.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
I don't think this is a big deal. I suppose instead they could just as easily have donated the money they spend on disaster relief, but they meant no harm. If anything, it helped to keep us aware that it was a mere three years ago. There is still much rebuilding to be done.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I think as long as the official apology stands, and for a change just toss the right-wingers a raspberry, the issue should be consigned to history. In truth, despite a few idiotic deniers here, I feel Japan's post-war strength and economic stability have in fact helped Asia in general. Let's move on already!
11 ( +16 / -5 )
I watched an amazing documentary about the yakuza--I think by Journeyman Pictures out of Australia. One of the interviewees had actually been granted the 'right' to leave without fearing harm, and now he runs a shrine. He still visits his old boss, though. No hard feelings, I guess! Some of the other stuff wasn't so 'happy-ending'-like, if you know what I mean, but it is worth watching just to get an idea of how the underworld operates.
I don't know to what extent they had in bosozoku, but those bike gangs are literally gone from where I live. Not a peep. I always assumed they were associated, but perhaps the bikers were just out on their own. Does the yakuza still harass yatai owners at festivals? One would hope ordinary folks like that would be the first to benefit from the crackdowns.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
First of all, save everyone all the fuss and trouble, Malaysia, and set up a Ministry of Allah to protect the name of your god. But all kidding aside, there is such a thing as theocracy and I see it happening in Malaysia. Possibly most comical is that the government fears conversion of faith--from a comic book! Of course children need to be protected, but not by the elders of faith; they need to be protected from them--imposing religion on a child is abuse, plain and simple. Perhaps the Malay Government ought to worry about that first.
The first rule of faith should be this: Let anyone show as much disrespect and hatred toward anyone's religion, including your own. If the faith can stand the heat, it will need no support.
I'm just so glad I'm an atheist. I don't go out to offend for the sake of offending; religion brings on the criticism in its arcane and, frankly, uncivilized 'laws'.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
@AnonymousArizonan, you could at least give these young people credit. If there are dangers, the Canadian Govt. will be available for assistance. As for others' belongings shoring up, they do plan, where possible, to return them to their rightful owners.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
In Japan there are a lot of loveless marriages, which I think both women and men realize. It's not the only place on the planet where you'll find this. In fact, the notion of romance in marriage is relatively new in most societies. I would not say these marriages are devoid of mutual respect in all cases.
Judging also from a few comments here, the gloating that some foreigners display at this fact cannot hide the complete hypocrisy of many, particularly males, who boast of their triumphs with married women here while maintaining relationships of their own. Naturally their girlfriends/wives are usually unaware of their foreign partners' messing around.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
I taught a Sony employee. They are moving into medical equipment these days. Sony's Walkman audio is actually the best portable audio player out there, and it sells well in Japan at least. For sound fidelity it makes the iPod look like a toy, but young people want convenience over quality. Sony may never recover its quality status.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Good idea. Deer meat is delicious! Wild boar is probably good, too. Cue the predictable whining and grumbling from the foreign community.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Blur just played Tokyo. I call them big. I only wish they would come to Nagoya. Saw Dylan last timeｰhighly recommended, but I will save for another show by someone I have never seen. Jeff Beck perhaps?
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I watched the third instalment, and found it to be anything but heartless or even exploiting stereotypes. If anything, it could wake people up to the alarming reality that--Yes!--Japan has orphans! Surprise! I personally thought it was good, and will continue to watch it. AC have bravely stepped in to provide advertising, and after the wonderful work they did post Touhoku earthquake, bringing messages of hope to a country facing its worst disaster since the Hanshin earthquake, and their messages were far preferable to the vacuous promises of products that will 'change your life and make you beautiful'. Most advertisements lack even a shred of soul, but the AC messages were good--reminding people of their mobile phone use bad manners and how harmful it can be to others, addressing AIDS in Japan, and bringing commentary on serious environmental issues to the fore. I hope the programme, and AC, can keep the show afloat to the end.
If we took the same worries to everything in the world of art and literature, there is quite a real possibility that children might never read Oliver Twist, Dickens' uplifting story of an orphan boy in 19th century Britain, or Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, which at no point shies away from the issues of racial inequality in America at the time of its writing.
All stories are fair to be told. If they can enlighten us to understand the woes and sadness so prevalent in this world, they can move us to be more human.
21 ( +21 / -0 )
I think it's easy to rattle off the stereotypes, some of which are valid, to an extent. The difference in food taste definitely is, but I am guilty of noticing it myself. Milk in Japan really does taste different. What got me about the gripes was the affection thing. I guess I'm just used to the self proclaimed virile foreign men boasting about 'satisfying' lonely Japanese married women. They aren't as cold as some of these guys claim. Perhaps THEY might not be showing love to their wives?
5 ( +7 / -2 )
Well, we can go on about how the Japanese believed they had a living divinity as emperor, but make sure you remind us that your Jesus is coming back asｰyou guessed itｰa living divinity. A shockingly large number of Amercans think their imported fairy god is real and he created everything some mere 4000 or so years ago.
Of course textbook revision and outright historical lies are of serious concern, which is also the same as celebrating Columbus Day.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
I sense the usual superiority complex many foreigners have towards any Jｰtv or pop culture in the smug tone of some on this forum. I have enjoyed the drama and think the naysayers probably have not even given this drama a chance. Their loss; it has been very good. I take issue with the article calling Kimura's character Roid from the start. Ando names him, and at one point later he is referred to as Lloyd.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
It is well-known that men in military service will frequent brothels or call upon the services of prostitutes--the legendary French Foreign Legion supposedly had on-base 'services' for its men--so what? The point is not that men might turn to prostitutes for a bit of stress release; it is the outright questioning of the whole 'comfort women' issue and the suggestion that sex crimes can be reduced by allowing men in service some time in a brothel, that strike me as both offensive and naive. So, we can combat rape by encouraging a weekly visit to a brothel? No, rape is a crime. A sick one, and one that is used as fantasy material in Japanese pornography--which if I had it my way, would be made illegal, no questions asked. Rape is not a fantasy, and the desire to do it is a sickness.
How about education instead? These men can spend as much as they want on prostitutes; I'm not judging that. However, the urge to rape, or thinking it might be 'fun' as a fantasy fulfilment, requires a visit to a doctor
13 ( +16 / -3 )
Posted in: Japan to vaccinate Olympic athletes: reports
Posted in: There will be no sacred cows. So if a business is not our strength, or if a business is not in an industry of growth, or if we cannot solve the problem of carbon neutral, then I think we are going to have to ask ourselves some really tough questions.