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Posted in: 9-year-old boy collapses during judo practice in Okinawa See in context

When he was complaining that his head was hurting, especially in the midst of an intense training session, his instructors should have insisted he sit out for awhile-- he is young so I imagine he probably wanted to continue, his peers told him to keep going, or the instructors did not take his complaints seriously enough, dismissed it and allowed him to participate further. At his age, I was stubborn myself but my instructor told me to take a break and said it is better that I sit out temporarily and have the ability to still practice later rather than overexert myself and cause permanent damage to my body. That said, I hope he recovers and that this lesson is learned from the incident.

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Posted in: Boy seriously injured after jumping from 4th floor of school building See in context

Comment written by Pixilated

I don't want to sound cold, but with all the focus being put on trying to prevent bullying, I wonder if any emphasis has ever been put on making kids emotionally and mentally tougher. That is to say, jumping off a roof because a coach verbally reprimanded him sounds like these kids today have become too soft and sensitive. They need "thicker skins" so to speak to accept that in life, there are going to be times where you're going to have to face negativity from other people, but you can't just go jumping off a roof every time someone says or does something mean.

The article does not really tell enough of the situation to draw such a conclusion. Sure, the kid could have jumped solely as a result of being reprimanded by the coach but there is a lot of information we do not know. The kid has probably been bullied by his teammates, or may have a strained relationship with his parents, or is a general target of ijime within his school. Judging by his age and the information stating he is in junior high, he is also most likely dealing with pressures involving entrance examinations-- suicide rates for people going through this period of life is pretty high, which is partially due to a Japanese mentality of not wanting to burden others with their problems.

Regardless of what the reason may be, it is quite sad to hear, and the situation should definitely be investigated further to come to an understanding and hopefully, a solution.

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Posted in: Japan chooses Pikachu as its official mascot for World Cup See in context

To capture lots of attention, choosing Pikachu makes a lot of sense to me-- you probably will not find many, if anybody that live today and do not know about Pikachu. I feel like it will draw in people (perhaps primarily children, but still) who were not previously interested to support the Blue Samurai team. Given that this was likely their intention, I would say they succeeded in that. Not sure if people will take them as seriously though that is another concern...

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Posted in: Taxi drivers complain about entertainers See in context

From my experience of how I treat people who in customer service, I have adopted a Japanese mentality to an extent. Rather than thanking the customer, I am subtle and just kind of bow my head to acknowledge that I have been helped. When I went to America for college, I was very annoyed when I would call for a taxi and I would wait 15-20 minutes longer than I was told, and being mad that it caused me to be late, it should only be expected that I was stern and hasty to be "rude" when I would often receive lapses in professionalism. In Japan however, I never had problems with the taxi drivers. They always know exactly where I want to go, always arrive on time, and only speak to me when I am the one to initiate the conversation. I know that these acts are committed not only Japanese celebrities but it is still quite unpleasant to hear.

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

I'm from Okinawa so perhaps my way of making friends is quite different from a Westerner but from my experience I'm often the type of person who this article speaks of. There are many people I meet-- Okinawans, Japanese and other people-- who want to pursue friendships but I am often the one who is more hesitant to open up to people and most of my close friends are those from my high school, and for the aforementioned people who want to hang out I must plan it in advance or else it is too troublesome to bother. While I don't try to divide my friendships by treating them like gaijin or soto, when people don't understand why sometimes my mind is radically different I just say it's a cultural thing and leave it at that. But maybe the biggest reason I am the way I am is because I'm naturally introverted and don't try to make myself stand out in any way.

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