valekt comments

Posted in: Don’t own a TV? NHK doesn’t care, but still wants your money See in context

I'd rather fund a homeless person's drug addiction than put money towards what passes for TV here. What would happen if everybody refused? No more TV?

Bring it on, I say!

Note: I have no problem paying for Hulu each month, because I choose what I want to watch, without ads. Wish they would get up to date with Breaking Bad though :(

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese cuisine added to world heritage list See in context

What separates washoku from a lot of other cuisines is how it does so much with so little (historically, out of necessity). There is a quiet confidence and elegance in its (traditional) presentation. Humbleness is befitting of such cuisine, and I'm afraid that titles like 'World Heritage cuisine' will only add fuel to the current 日本を取り戻す fire.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 7 things that surprise Japanese people working in offices overseas See in context

I remember reading that the more time you give someone to do something, the longer it takes them. If the Japanese work day was reduced to eight hours - FLAT - then I'm 99% certain the work would still get done. The sense of obligation and dependence on one's company is really suffocating sometimes (coming from someone who works in a Japanese office (but refuses to do overtime, work during lunch, etc. thus is forever アルバイト)).

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Film critic proposes censoring latest Studio Ghibli anime for overseas release See in context

Some countries really need to draw a clear line between nudity and sexual material. If audiences can't handle seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby, then I believe that political-correctness has gone too far. There is nothing at all sexual in such an image, except perhaps to a minority who fetishise such things.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Drunk man steals taxi and crashes into two parked police vehicles See in context

Sounds like something out of a comedy movie. The Hangover 4.

I see so many people get out of their idling cars, to go into conbinis, etc. In some countries, that would effectively be saying goodbye to your car, but not in Japan. What happened to 安全第一 and all that jazz?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Police officer in trouble over handling of serial bike theft case See in context

@Knox Harrington

"Plus, he was probably let go because the incredible non-issue this crime was, stealing bicykles... Pff."

Say that to the person whose 300,000yen road bike gets stolen. Ignoring the value of the bikes, this is theft of someone else's property and that, to you, is a non-issue? When I was 18, I moved into a flat, and the first night of staying there, my brand new pair of shoes was stolen from the front door step. Felt like crap, to be honest, and it makes me wonder how people can feel at ease taking something of someone else's, and claiming it as their own.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Pop group Arashi inspires extreme fan worship See in context

How about let fan's be fan's? and let them do what they wish to show love to their favorite idols.

Fair enough, when it's only making a public display like this, but what about when they create a shrine to their favourite member in their house? What if they follow them around while they're not touring (i.e. stalking)?

Deifying another member of the human race, no matter how talented (but especially a third-rate singer in a boy band) is not healthy behaviour. Put yourself in Arashi's shoes. If you went into a super-fan's room, and found pictures of your face everywhere, how would that make you feel?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Iwate tries to crack down on upskirt photos taken with cell phones See in context

If the news is anything to go by, off-duty policemen are some of the worst culprits! They'd all be suspended if this law is implemented.

Perhaps that's a good thing?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 6-year-old boy dies after being hit by car; 78-year-old driver arrested See in context


I agree with some of what you say, but I dislike this phrase:

deprive millions of folks of their basic freedom of movement

Not everyone is 'free' to drive a car. They need to prove their competence in their handling of a vehicle. Not everyone is equal.

I know it's semantics, and I appreciate the fact that young people probably cause more accidents than the elderly (before anyone gets the wrong idea), but little things like that bother me.

On topic, though, this is a terrible accident, and one that will haunt all involved for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, no one can predict or prevent such lapses of judgment or memory. The most we can do is be careful around parking lots and driveways, but even then, sometimes it's just a matter of bad timing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Keanu Reeves explores world of samurai See in context

When will Hollywood make a film with a Japanese lead character? Why must we always thrust an American in a setting where one doesn't belong just so Americans will watch?

Answered your own question, right there. They know what sells.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony to charge monthly fee for multiplayer games on PS4 See in context

Way to slander Sony, JT... PS+ accounts have been around for ages. Plus, not all games will require PS+ for online capability. I pay 500 yen a month, and love the service (hate the slow-ass browser though!). Free games every month = I should probably put a bigger HDD in there :P

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Couple confess to abandoning 3 newborn babies over 9-yr period See in context

They're stuck in a time/mindset before abortions existed. I may be showing my ignorance, but does having an abortion carry with it any 'shame' or stigma, in Japan? Could that be their justification for such a heinous act?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Lawmaker breaks taboo by handing letter about nuclear fears to emperor See in context

Agree with the sentiments above. It's good to see someone actually do something, even if it's something as small as handing a letter to someone. My fear is that, as well as Yamamoto coming under fire now, the media will take the focus off of the letter's content, and put an emphasis on the 'taboo' that has supposedly been broken (if such a taboo ever existed). Would be interesting to hear the reasons for the taboo. I imagine if you asked someone why you couldn't hand a letter to the emperor like that, their response would be something like 'You just... can't. It's wrong...'

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: iPhone rolls out with 1-km-long line of fans in Ginza See in context

My mother-in-law pointed something out, when we browsed the 'Hokkaido Fair', at Mitsukoshi, last weekend. She said, "Japanese people love lining up for things. It doesn't even have to be special, or all that interesting. If there's a line, people here will join it."

When you compound that with the fact that people here go crazy for anything advertised as new, and Apple pushes these 'new' models out every year, it's no wonder they see such success here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: TEPCO apologizes for getting Abe's name wrong during his visit to Fukushima See in context

A quick Google search would have been enough to double check. But I guess that's a bit too much to ask of an organisation that oversees nuclear power plants.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: 18-month-old girl dies after being left alone in hot room for 18 hours See in context

I propose that our 'pension' money should stop going to the elderly, who tend to spend it on luxury items and unnecessary things, and should start going to more people like this - single parents who need to spend the time rearing their child(ren).

It probably sounds brutal, but I'd feel much better knowing that my money was being put towards the future rather than the past.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 youths busted for posing for Twitter photos on top of patrol car See in context

Stupid Twitter photos move out of fast food and conbinis, and into the streets! Who knows what will happen next?

Tune in next week, when someone will no doubt photograph themselves in the midst of something ridiculous. Please let it be a politician this time!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Snoozing here, there and everywhere See in context

Mr. Kobayashi

bildenburg, 10pm? Are you 70 years old? I go to bed at 11:30 and wake up at 5:30 every morning. A solid 6 hours is enough.

Actually, the older you get, the less sleep you need. Therefore, if you only need six hours, perhaps it's you who are 70?

I used to fall asleep on the train, if I had to spend upwards of 30-45 minutes on there. I get motion sickness fairly easily, so using my phone the whole time, or reading a book etc. are out of the question. Often I would just admire the scenery (outside the window of course :P), and sometimes listen to music, which would cause me to nod off.

In NZ, I never saw anyone asleep in a public place/on public transportation, though I never saw people standing on the bus either - except for the free shuttle bus around town.

I doubt that most naps are intentional. People doze off; that's it. It's just lucky that, in Japan, you can do that and wake up with everything intact!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: AirAsia Japan rebranded as Vanilla Air See in context

They could call it Motherloving Air, for all I care. The thing that gets me is their reason for it. "Everyone loves vanilla."

Rather than trying to pick a safe name that 'everybody' already 'loves', how about being a brand that everybody respects, therefore establishing your own identity. Seriously, this sounds like a placeholder name that they would use during the planning stages, before they roll out the real name.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Photo of Pizza Hut employee with dough on his face causes stir See in context

The only reason this is ANY kind of news/big deal is because the idiot posted it on one of, if not THE, most public forums in the world.

It's the kind of thing that you do after you finish work, take a photo, and show it to your friends, but you don't go posting it for everyone to see (especially since Twitter is dominating in Japan).

Good to hear that Pizza Hutt are just as strict as they should be, when it comes to the disposal of food past the expiry date too. Heard horror stories of the expiry-date-fixing they do in Subway, in Europe.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Coffee shop offers tips on how to get a boyfriend See in context

I think some people are overreacting. I also think Japan could do with more humour.

The line of thought that they're inciting people to commit crime is dangerously close to 'she was wearing a miniskirt - she was asking for it'.

On the other hand, Japanese language is a different beast to English, so the command to "ぶっかけろ" is a little different to the passive English.

Ah man, now I'm conflicted!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 3 most unattractive women’s hairstyles (according to Japanese men) See in context

It's interesting reading the reactions on here, especially since a lot of us (myself included) berate Japanese TV for placing so much emphasis on crowd reactions.

In a lot of these JT 'survey results' articles, I find the most grating part to be the additions of the author who seems to weigh in (unnecessarily a lot of times) on what is, by itself, harmless information.

More on-topic, I don't see the point in discussing what hairstyles you find least attractive... Like many other commenters, I feel it depends entirely on what suits the person. That's like talking about 'What do you think is the least attractive colour on the opposite sex?'

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan and the rise of the male parasol See in context

Perhaps it's just that we've come to associate the term 'parasol' with frilly/lacy/feminine umbrellas. What if you just started calling them 'Sunbrellas'? I call them that all the time, anyway. (Not that I use one, but my wife sometimes does.)

I'll admit that my first reaction was an internal groan, but after thinking about it, I can appreciate the practicality. Though I really believe people need to dress appropriately. Keeping the suit jacket on; tucking the shirt in; wearing a tie... I know these are standard business practice, but isn't it time that we put function over form? A person can still be presentable in an untucked shirt, without a tie.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Major quake alert mistakenly issued for minor shake See in context

Thus a new fable is born: "The phone that cried Earthquake"

But seriously, I was in a small meeting room, alone, waiting to be connected for a Google+ hangout and, suddenly, SCREECH SCREECH SCREECH. Heart attack material, right there. Especially since I always keep my phone on silent mode.

Echoing the sentiments of others, though, I'm fine with the occasional false alarm, as long as it positively identifies when a big shake happens. In this case, a false positive does less harm than a false negative.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 19-year-old youth arrested after assaulting acquaintance See in context

In my home country (New Zealand), people 'come of age' when they're 21 - embodied by a huge birthday party, with a yard glass, etc. But legally, people are considered adults once they reach 18.

Japan is extremely stubborn about some things, and this is one of them. There should be emphasis that people can still come of age when they turn 20, but they need to be held legally responsible for their actions before that.

You could go deeper, and say that perhaps under-20s are considered minors here because they are attributed a very minor amount of responsibility (most living with their parents until they get married), but it doesn't go far beyond speculation. I'm no expert, but I've found that if you treat adolescents like responsible people, they are more likely to act the part. Treat them like kids who have no concept of action->consequence, and they're just as likely to act like that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Five things not to do on a romantic getaway in Japan See in context

Another note: In the text, it says "after the first couple of days..." Perhaps it was more because of my previous job at a conversation school, but it's hard to get more than a few days off, in a lot of Japanese companies, anyway. :P

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Five things not to do on a romantic getaway in Japan See in context

The points posted above have absolutely no relevance to Japan. No offence to the author, as I'm sure they believe that they're posting helpful tips, but I notice that some people living in Japan get an inflated ego, and start to think that these common-sense tips are somehow not common sense anymore.

One thing that wasn't mentioned: many people don't appreciate spontaneity in their vacations, which is a shame. Trying to plan everything, and refusing to deviate from the plan, is a surefire way to lose any romantic spark, or sense of adventure.

Of course, things don't always work out as they do in the movies, and you may have your bum days, but remaining flexible and open to suggestion (read: sometimes just going where the wind takes you) is a good way to ensure you get the most enjoyment from your trip.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Suspect arrested in connection with dumping of baby's body in public toilet See in context

When backed into a corner, these girls probably feel that this is their only option. Mind you, they are backed into this corner very gradually, while the baby is growing inside them. As others have commented, there really needs to be some sort of support, either from family or government sources, or legalise abortion (as a last resort).

It really is quite animalistic to do such a thing - self-preservation at its most severe. At least this baby has been spared a life of pain with this young woman, who clearly is not fit to be a mother. RIP, little one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Men’s bras appear to be on the rise in Japan See in context

Would be interested to know what constitutes 'on the rise'. Perhaps they sold two last week, instead of one?

In any case, all this talk of what 'real men' do is rather pointless. I used to get called a pussy, just because I wouldn't get blind drunk with certain friends, in town, back when I lived in NZ. Never was into alcohol, so I would spend time with two or three of my close friends instead of going clubbing.

Just because people have different interests, doesn't make them any less valid than the majority.

On the other hand, I don't think this should be promoted as normal behaviour. If you want to do it, fine, but you have to accept that that is not the norm. It would be interesting to see what kind of other behavioral traits the men who wear bras, as a hobby/fetish, display.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Has Japan’s K-pop bubble burst? Weakening yen hits major Korean record label hard See in context

It's interesting, as Japanese people are often touted as being narrow-minded musically (and, given the state of pop 'music', it's not hard to see why), however there are many musical subcultures here that have bigger followings than the same subcultures would see overseas; proving that niche markets here are still enough to keep any artist relevant.

I guess the key difference is that, within these subcultures, bands and musicians are no-doubt doing their best to be original, while keeping true to 'their sound/artist's spirit', while 'artists' like Girls Generation and KARA have middle-aged men doing their best to make them wear less in their next music video.

Audiences are not stupid; thus, they can tell when artists have real substance behind their art.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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