yagura comments

Posted in: Up a pole See in context

The event was organized by the Ecentral career and networking website and copromoted by 12 Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Tokyo

JT is just reporting this as news. Anger should be directed at the very classy and very professional people at Ecentral and those 12 Chambers of Commerce who decided to turn the event into a bachelor party. For some reason, I have a feeling that those involved in arranging the entertainment are going to really need those 'career and networking' skills sometime soon.

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Posted in: Police launch 'Stop Train Violence' campaign See in context

Unfortunately this problem is never going to go away until, as Mirai Hirashi posted earlier, JR stops allowing people to push and elbow their way into train cars already loaded well beyond capacity.

I take JR everyday and everyday I see the same thing. People pushing and shoving their way into a car where there just isn't any room. I see people arguing and fighitng everyday. I see people falling, being stepped on or being pushed everyday.

Moreover, it's not just inside the cars themselves. The platforms, stairways and escalators are just as bad. The JR staff just stand there helplessly because there's really nothing they can do or want to do. You've got millions and millions of people commuting by train into Tokyo every morning and then back to their homes in the evening. There are just too many people for the system to handle comfortablely. And the real sad thing as that all of the campaigns and other bs aren't going to change a thing. There's just too many people.

It's not only commuters. You've got students, tourists, shoppers, etc. all deciding to use the train at the same times. Been on train during rush hours where you've got school groups of 20-30 kids and teachers all trying to squeeze in the same car just to get to Disneyland. Or people heading to Narita or Hanada or whatever lugging 3 or 4 huge suitcases with them. Or high school kids with their baseball gear, guitars, kyudo bows, etc. heading off to school or some tournament/event. Everybody uses the trains and the system and the staff just can't deal with them all.

I just know that one day probably not to far off into the future there is gonna be a horrible accident on one of these train lines. It's not a question of if, but when. A train loaded way over capacity is going to derail or something and it is going to be horrible. The Fukuchiyama accident was horrible but the next one is going to be even worse.

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Posted in: Things that foreigners miss about Japan when they return home See in context

Another vote for the washlet from me.

I've tried to explain it to family and friends back home but it's just one of those things you have to experience first hand to truly appreciate.

First stop after arriving back in Narita is always a washroom. :D

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Posted in: How do you feel about being a ‘gaijin’ in Japan? See in context

tmarieAPR. 05, 2012 - 04:45PM JST Yagura, when Japanese are called "gaijin: outside of Japan they get ruffled feathers because they know it is rude and means they don't belong to the "in" group. Drawing attention to the fact that THEY are the outsider is a slur. Which is why decent media in this country doesn't allow it.

I really am not an expert on the etymology of the word even after having lived here for almost more than half my life (almost 25 years) and have heard it used many many times. Honestly, it never has really bothered me but maybe it's time for a rethink. I was just trying to point out that word 外人seems (at least according to the dictionary I checked) to have two meanings: (1)外国人. 「―選手」「―墓地」 and (2 )内輪でない人,他人, 外部の人. Maybe that dictionary is incorrect when it says ”gaijin” means "gaikokujin".

So to me it's not too hard to imagine some Japanese people using meaning (2) to describe non-Japanese people even when they are outside Japan. Perhaps they are using it just among themselves. I hope that they aren't walking around and shouting it at any non-Japanese they see. I've never heard a Japanese person use it overseas myself but maybe it would bother me if I did. Not sure.

Moreover, I personally don't go out of my way to call Japanese outside of Japan "gaijin", so I have really no idea as to how they react. But if you say it makes them uncomfortable then I am not going to say your wrong.

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Posted in: How do you feel about being a ‘gaijin’ in Japan? See in context

smithinjapanAPR. 05, 2012 - 03:29PM JST You're using euphemisms. While I don't care about the term at all, it literally means 'outsider', and is best translated as 'foreigner', not 'non-Japanese'. A Japanese national calling an Australian in Australia 'gaijin' is just plain ignorant. The Japanese in that case is clearly the '外' person, no?

Find this discussion pretty interesting so I looked up the term in some online Japanese dictionary. Here's what I found:

(1)外国人。 「―選手」「―墓地」

(2)内輪でない人。他人。外部の人。

I think we as non-Japanese living in Japan tend to focus on (1). So in that sense, sure a Japanese person in Australia is a "gaijin". For many of us (at least I was this way for the first couple of years I lived here), (2) doesn't even pop into our heads. To us, "gaijin" means "gaikokujin" which means "foreigner". This probably has to do with the way we experience the word and commonly hear it used.

But, is it not possible that the distinction between (1) and (2) is not so clear cut for some Japanese (perhaps older Japanese)? Could the Japanese person in Australia be focusing on (2) and thus still refer to an Australian as "gaijin" simply because the Australian is not part of the Japanese person's group (i.e. nationality).

Not trying to ruffle any feathers or insult anyone. Just thought it would be interesting to hear if this makes sense to anybody but myself.

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Posted in: How do you feel about being a ‘gaijin’ in Japan? See in context

kaminarioyajiAPR. 04, 2012 - 09:41AM JST Negative - Not being sat next to on a fairly busy train/bus. A real acid test on trains is to sit in the seat next to the end seat by the door - Japanese seem to love that seat! I guess easier for napping. If your in the seat next to the end seat, it's empty, and there are people standing, it's highly likely those people don't want to sit next to a gaijin. Of course, you may view this positively from the "silver lining" aspect of having more room to yourself.

I hear people say that but I never have had that happen to me. Sometimes when the trains are crowded, I wish it would but maybe I'm just unlucky. Also, I also sometimes draw the seat next to the end seat. If it's occupied, the person sitting next to me doesn't get up and move. And, if the seat does become unoccupied it doesn't stay that way for long.

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Posted in: Good news for renters in Japan: Security deposits, key money on the demise See in context

tmarieMAR. 31, 2012 - 12:26AM JST Yagura, I would have fought had we lived in the area. We moved from the area so didn't have a choice. I'm glad more people are putting their foot down but more need to. I have laughed in the faces of agents who have tried to tell me key money and whatnot is over 30 man. More so when I don't live in a big city , the buildings are old... Greedy, greedy landlords and agents. I am glad the jig is looking like it is up. Now if we could only convince the housing market to be "buy and sell" not "buy and die in it".

Not sure why you didn't have a choice. We were in a similar situation. We moved completely across the country from Western to Eastern Japan. We contested the charges at our final meeting, moved to our new place and found a group in our new area to help us out. The rest was done via email and letters.

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Posted in: Good news for renters in Japan: Security deposits, key money on the demise See in context

tmarieMAR. 30, 2012 - 06:11PM JST I have no problem with the concept of a "security deposit" I have a problem with the way it is done here. As you pointed out, they try and keep it regardless of how clean the apartment is. Having paid security deposits in two other countries and having always gotten it back, Japanese landlords try it to - knowing full well that most people will suck it and not fight it. I have fought it and gotten more back than originally offered but not nearly the full deposit. Regular wear and tear shouldn't be charged for - but it is. Tatami and wallpaper are supposed to be replaced at the cost of the landlord - not the renter. Thing is, here the will add it in - illegally. The place I live in now is brand now, no key money and one month deposit. There is a two year re-newer fee but we're going to try and get out of it. You shouldn't have to pay to renew. All a money making scam considering the quality of housing and apartments here, let alone the size.

Once again, I have no problem the concept (=idea) behind a security deposit. However, I will agree with you in that often what happens (not just here in Japan) is often quite different.

Like I posted, lots of companies will try to get away with what they can. Whether you let them or not is another story. If somebody is charging you more than you feel they are entitled to then there are places you can go to for help/advice. Sometimes you have to be a little proactive, find out what your rights are, and then take action accordingly. If you do nothing because it's too much of a hassle then the same thing will keep happening to you over and over again until you do.

Good luck with your renewal fee. Personally, I don't have a problem with them as long as they are reasonable, but we all have to choose when and where we want to make a stand.

Luckily, I don't have to rent anymore. I own my own place free and clear (no loans). All I have to do is pay my taxes, etc. on time which is a completely different story all together :D

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Posted in: Kakuryu promoted to ozeki See in context

TorafusuTorasanMAR. 30, 2012 - 02:14AM JST One thing is for certain: It would have to be a Japan Sumo Association sactioned trip, especially after previous yokozuna Asashoryu's scandals including the unsanctioned soccer game he appeared in on a trip back to his homeland, Mongolia. Around half of the top two ranks of wrestlers are from Mongolia, while others are from Estonia, Bulgaria, and Japan.

The problem wasn't that he played in a *soccer game in Mongolia**. It was that he played in that soccer game while claiming to be injured and therefore unable to participate in the official regional tour that was ongoing at the time. These tours are very important to the JSA and sekitori (even Yokozuna) are expected to participate unless there is a very good reason they can't. He said he needed to be back home (in Mongolia) to properly recover from this injury so they gave him permission to skip it. It's not surprising that they suspended him when they saw TV footage of him playing in that soccer game. They would've probably done the same if he had been seen playing golf somewhere in Japan.

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Posted in: Good news for renters in Japan: Security deposits, key money on the demise See in context

Key money (reikin) is just another one of those fees that seem to be everywhere in Japan. I always viewed it as a necessary evil if I really wanted to live in a particular place. I understood that it was essentially a "gift" that I was not going to get back. That didn't make it any easier to pay, but at least I know what it was from the start. Having said that, I'm glad that it seems to becoming less and less common.

I have no problem with the concept of a "security deposit" (shikikin). In my experience they are (were) quite the norm in the U.S. as well. Amount would vary but it would usually be about 2 to 3 months rent. Even in the States many real estate companies/property owners will try and get as much of it as they can if you're not careful. You have to watch how they assess things and make sure they are not charging you for something that they are not legally entitled to do. Had a few landlords try to do this to me while I was a student. One of them literally walked through the apartment with white gloves on looking for dust. Most of the time an agreement that was satisfactory to both sides could be reached after some hammering out. I never had to, but I knew of some people then ended up going to court to get their money back.

The key term to remember in Japan is "原状回復" (Genjou Kaifuku). Basically you are only obligated to return any rented property back to the state it was in when you moved in. This is tricky since what you think and what the management company thinks are often quite different. But, there are specific guidelines available to help you figure out what is what.

Of course, if you put holes in the wall, break any of the fixtures, or cause damage that would not be considered "normal wear and tear", the management company can take the cost of those repairs out of your "security deposit". The problem is that too many companies see the ending of a lease as an opportunity to basically get the former tenant to pay for (some or all) the cost of remodeling the unit for future tenants. They try to get you to pay the cost of everything from normal cleaning (they're supposed to cover that themselves), replacing all of the tatami mats (if even only one is slightly discolored), re-papering all of the walls (because of a pinhole or some discoloration somewhere), etc., etc. Instead of returning the unit to the condition it was when you moved in, the company wants to return it to the condition it was before anybody moved in. Most companies know they are not suppose to do this but they will still try and get away with what they can if you're not careful. The laws are already in place, you just have to be a little proactive and look for them.

Personal experience: The last unit we rented we had lived in for about 5 years. We had paid about 25 man as shikiken. It was a little dirty and there was some minor damage that we knew was our fault but for the most part it was still in pretty good shape. On the day we left, an agent for our management company came by to look at the apartment and sign us out. He walked through the place, holding a calculator-like thing and just started entering stuff that he saw. When he had finished, he told us that all of the cleaning charges, etc. would be about 23 man and he printed us out a list to sign. We looked over the list, pointed out things that we felt were incorrectly added and told him that he was asking for too much. He didn't budge so we told him that we would not sign and were contesting the charges. After moving to our new home, we checked online and found a group that helped people in similar situations. They confirmed what we thought and through their help we were able to get the company to drop the amount they wanted to about 4 man (which we felt was reasonable). Whole process from when we moved out to when we got our money back took about 3 months.

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Posted in: Illiteracy costs Japan's economy $87.78 billion: World Literacy Foundation See in context

I guess they could use only hiragana. Personally, I think that would just make things more confusing since it would might be hard in some cases to distinguish where one word ends and another begins. It might make easier to read each individual character but make it harder to understand what is being written.

Maybe that would be an interesting experiment. Replace all of the kanji and katakana used in a newspaper with hiragana, give that paper to a bunch of 10 year olds, and see how many understand what they are reading.

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Posted in: Illiteracy costs Japan's economy $87.78 billion: World Literacy Foundation See in context

japan_cynicMAR. 29, 2012 - 04:48PM JST I think that any system that effectively prevents children from reading everyday sources of information such as newspapers before they reach the age of about 15-16 is not fit for purpose.

I don't think it effectively prevents them from doing so. Perhaps the subject matter is just not as interesting to them as other things. When I was 10 I didn't spend too much time going through the paper everyday. Doesn't mean I couldn't read it, just read things I was interested in. Also, these kids could be getting the same information the paper provides from other sources.

I not going to say that every Japanese 10 year old can read every single character appearing in a newspaper without any difficulty at all. But, I'd imagine that those that do try are capable of either figuring out by themselves (i.e. look up) or asking somebody else (perhaps a parent or teacher) how to read a certain character. I don't it is kanji is that is necessarily retarding their intellectual development.

Just curious. What would you propose that the Japanese use instead of kanji? Roma-ji? English?

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Posted in: Eyes on Pujols, Darvish as MLB season begins See in context

sfjp330MAR. 28, 2012 - 08:00AM JST It was a huge mistake by Angels. The Angels are paying for what Pujols did in St. Louis over the last 11 years, not what he'll do for them in the next 10.

Most contracts for professional sports athletes are partly based upon what they have done in the past, aren't they? Of course there are always exceptions, but usually baseball contracts are based a lot on what the particular player has done to date as well as what it is hoped they will continue to do in the future.

Pujols has been considered the best player in the game by many over the past few years so that it partly what the Angels are paying for. But, they are also hoping (gambling) that he will continue to play at that level for at least the next 4-5 years (I doubt they think he perform at the same level for the next 10) and in that time bring them at least one (possibly more) championships. Sure it's a gamble, but they feel it's one they can live with. Whether it turns out to be a huge mistake or not remains to be scene.

I think the Angels are gonna be pretty good this year. And with the new playoff format, they have a really good chance of making the post season. Once they get in, a player like Pujols can end up doing lots of damage if he gets hot.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 27, 2012 - 11:21AM JST Not at all. I was merely pointing out YOU brought up the notion of debt, not I. Something you already agreed to.

Neither myself nor anybody else never said that you used the term "debt" first. I only used it to express the idea that it makes no difference to me how people spend their money on their wedding.

You on the other hand were the one that said: I just find the whole thing sad - and sad that people would actually put themselves in debt for one day. which is kinda of different from how I feel.

Also, saying people who choose to get married at Disneyland are "pathetic" sounds like you consider them to be a bit more than a "tad" inconsiderate regardless of how far their guests have to travel.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 27, 2012 - 10:23AM JST And that was my point.

Your point is that anyone who decides to hold their wedding at Tokyo Disneyland is pathetic and that those who would go into debt to do so were sad. You also seem to imply that holding a wedding at Tokyo Disneyland was in some way inconsiderate to those that might be invited to such a wedding.

My point is that it makes no difference to me how people spend their own money on their own weddings even if they go into debt to do so. If that's what they want to do then that's OK with me. If i'm invited to such a wedding then it's up to me to decide whether to go. If I don't go or can't go, I'm not going to blame it on the couple getting married.

Two completely different takes on the same situation, yet it seems like you're trying to support your position by stating that I mentioned "debt" first as if I somehow agree with you, even though we couldn't be further apart on this.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 27, 2012 - 09:35AM JST It is an article on a posting board. If I care, don't you as well for posting about it?

Sure posting is fun. Post all you want. Just not sure why you felt the need to bring me into your discussion with Ambrosia about debt when Ambrosia's post was obviously directed at your following comment

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 03:10PM JST I just find the whole thing sad - and sad that people would actually put themselves in debt for one day. A wedding is ONE day of a marriage that hopefully lasts for the rest of your life.

Ambrosia was not referring to my comment

yaguraMAR. 26, 2012 - 02:26PM JST If somebody wants to use their savings, their parent's money, or even go into debt to have their wedding at Tokyo Disneyland and they're happy with that decision then that's good enough for me.

You are right. I did mention debt first, although in a slightly different context, so guilty as charged. But, my post wasn't trying to imply that people who spend their money on their wedding in a manner that they feel is appropriate, even if causes them to go into debt, were sad for doing so. It seems to me (and I might just be reading too much into this) like you were somehow trying to use my comment to justify yours in response to both Ambrosia and Cleo.

BTW, I intended to add an :b to my "Please don't try and throw me under the bus in an attempt to save your own rear end." Perhaps that would've made it seem less serious sounding and more lighthearted as originally intended.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 05:36PM JST And actually, Yagura was the one that brought the issue of "debt" up.

What? Are you referring to this?

yaguraMAR. 26, 2012 - 02:26PM JST If somebody wants to use their savings, their parent's money, or even go into debt to have their wedding at Tokyo Disneyland and they're happy with that decision then that's good enough for me.

My point was that, like Cleo, I don't really care how people spend their money, especially if they're spending on something that makes them happy even if that happens to be a wedding at Cinderella's Castle. On the other hand, you seem to have an interest (perhaps an unhealthy one at that) in how these people decide to spend their money on their wedding.

Please don't try and throw me under the bus in an attempt to save your own rear end.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 03:10PM JST When we got married, we basically did as Godan did. Kept it simple because that's what we both wanted. I don't think 200 people is simple!

200 people? Think we're referring to two different posts. I was referring to

GodanMAR. 25, 2012 - 10:25AM JST @Gudni - been married for 15 years. Simply put, Mrs. Godan and I went down to the ward office, got a hanko or two, and that was that. Had an intimate dinner party for close friends and relatives in a nice little restaurant. Thank Zeus I married a woman who had no need for spending money on this kind of thing. Always makes me laugh when people who often spend the most on weddings take the marriage so lightly and end up divorcing. And that isn't applicable to only Japan. Love to KISS. ;-)

Think you've got that confused with

Gudni GudnasonMAR. 25, 2012 - 10:15AM JST Dear Godan; are you single? Have you any idea how much it costs to get married in Japan? That is a medium price range for a wedding in Japan, take the Okura hotel for 50 peeps and you need to double or triple that amount. Me and my wife did a ceremony at the infamous Meiji Shrine and a dinner at the Meiji Kinanken with just 200 people and that was freaking expensive. If we did Disneys deal would have saved us money.... yuppp they charge the gazoooba out of people and people spend that amount, even though we do have 60% divorce rate...lol

At least I thought I was referring to Godan, my bad if that wasn't clear.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

ambrosiaMAR. 26, 2012 - 02:34PM JST Yagura: Too right! Get married where you want and enjoy every moment of it. If you've been invited and see it as a burden, then by all means, don't go. Who wants bitter guests ruining their big day, be it at TDL or Grandma's back yard? My husband and I are from different continents and live in a third. Where would have been a thoughtful place for us to get married?

Not sure. I had a few friends in similar situations who ended up eventually doing three weddings. Was even invited to all three by one couple. Only went to the one here in Japan, wasn't at Disneyland though. :D

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 02:16PM JST Wedding in Hawaii aren't huge weddings. The bride and groom usually understand the cost associated with travel so invite only a few friends and family. Bosses and family really can't check "no".

I don't know about that. Never attended or have been invited to one of those weddings. Seems like those invited would include more than just family and a few friends. Of course, not everyone who is invited ends up going, but there are probably some who do go not only for just the wedding but also for a vacation in Hawaii, even if they have to cover some or all of their expenses. :D

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 02:16PM JST I thought about distance for guests when it came to my wedding - I thought that was just normal. It seems it isn't.

Actually, I think that's quite considerate and normal. But, I don't think it's any less normal or less considerate for somebody to want to have their wedding in a place like Disneyland any more than it is for somebody to rent out a church in their hometown and hold it there. One person's normal is in many cases another person's abnormal :D

Look, disagree by all means but I just find it pathetic that "adults" get married at Disneyland. By all means disagree with it - seems many do - but I find it sad.

I find weddings to be happy occasions. I remember my Ma yelling out "you'll be sorry" whenever she saw cars all decorated and honking their horns on their way from the church to the reception hall. I remember being a ring bearer at an aunt's wedding, I remember throwing rice and dancing at a friend's wedding, I remember being the best man at a brother's wedding. Disneyland, Hawaii, Kyoto, ward office, some local church or wherever, if it makes the lucky couple happy , it can't be that bad, can't it? If it makes them happy then why the hell should it make anyone so sad.

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Posted in: Tokyo Disneyland to allow Cinderella Castle to be used for weddings See in context

tmarieMAR. 26, 2012 - 01:32PM JST Cleo, it is one thing to have a wedding where the family is from, where one works... This lady isn't from that area and made everyone truck up to Tokyo for it. I didn't go - was invited but didn't feel the need to pay. Yes, it is a general practise but it doesn't cover near the expense. A 20 something year old "women" having a wedding in a place where she didn't live, doesn't have family, doesn't work... all in the name of Disney. Consumerism at its best.

Don't see what the issue is. When we got married, we basically did as Godan did. Kept it simple because that's what we both wanted. But, I've had relatives and friends that have done the full church + all the trimmings type of weddings. I also have had friends that have had two (or more) ceremonies in different countries because that was where their families were and that's what they wanted to do.

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I saw that quite a few of the nicer hotels along Waikiki Beach were offering wedding packages. It seemed that most of the people (Japanese and otherwise) these hotels were targeting did not live in Hawaii, did not have family in Hawaii, and did not work in Hawaii. Not sure how much it all would cost or if it would be cheaper than what Tokyo Disneyland is offering but I imagine it would be pretty expensive considering all that is involved.

I've been invited to quite a few weddings back home for family and friends. Some I've gone to, others I haven't and have sent a gift instead. Flew to Akita-ken once to attend the wedding of one of my wife's college classmates (this was before we got married ourselves). Didn't have to go but I wanted to. I paid for our expenses and didn't begrudge her friends for holding their wedding so far from us. On the contrary, I looked at it as chance to go and see a part of Japan that I had never been to before and we turned it into nice little trip. Perhaps many guests attending these Disneyland weddings feel the same. Maybe some of the invited guests have kids and they see this as an opportunity to take a little vacation with the family as well as attend the wedding of their friend. Or, maybe they just want to share in somebody's happy moment, and hope that some of that happiness rubs off on them.

If somebody wants to use their savings, their parent's money, or even go into debt to have their wedding at Tokyo Disneyland and they're happy with that decision then that's good enough for me.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

smithinjapanMAR. 09, 2012 - 08:58PM JST yagura: And yes, you ARE admitting what I said by having to explain the meaning of the name -- it does not stand on its own.

Not really. I said in my first post that it would be hard for some people to pronounce correctly the first time around. I'm just repeating that. I am not contradicting myself. My first post was before yours so if anything you are agreeing with me.

Also, the name of the river 鬼怒川 and that area while not very familiar to you, may be more familiar to Japanese people. It's a pretty big river so it's not too much of a leap to say that some Japanese people would know the reading "kinu" for 鬼怒 even if you or I didn't at first.

You also said his surname is the one character 鬼. I said it's seems to be the two characters 鬼怒. Again this is not me agreeing with you.

You said that it is not usual to have 3-character family names and only single character first names. I said it's not all that uncommon. You can take any of the surnames and given names that Blair Herron gave you and combined them into a name. Again this is not me agreeing with you.

Finally I never said it was a good or bad choice. I said it was kind of clever.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

GWMAR. 09, 2012 - 07:25PM JST Cleo, I have no argument with him getting a new passport, but surely you can understand how it may crate a bit on some of us pee-ons, its like the laws of this country, they apply to some, but no others, this one I aint sweating much but it is an example of special treatment, simple as that, nothing more, nothing less. And if yr fine with cool, just dont complain next time some prez or politician gets turn their nose up at the "laws" because they are special also

Yes, but it appears to be written into the law that the Minister of Justice has the ability to waive the age and residency requirements for people who have special relationship with Japan. That's not special treatment, that's part of the law.

Mr. Keene has not been the first person this has been done for and he will probably not be the last.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

smithinjapanMAR. 09, 2012 - 05:44PM JST So you're admitting what I said -- it needs to literally be explained to make sense, and doesn't stand on its own. I know the reference to the river from the explanation in the article, but how many people who DON'T get his reference are going to understand what he himself and you explain? My point was as a four character name it does not work well with the one syllable surname and three syllable first name (using Japanese phonetics, anyway). I like the creativity the man put into the name and agree it's clever, and again it's his name and of course his choice, I'm just saying I think it's awkward.

I'm not admitting what you said. I'm say that it seems like he considers his surname to be 鬼怒 (two characters) and he considers his given name to be 怒鳴門 (3 characters). He just chooses to write it as 鬼怒鳴門. I did say in my very first post that most people would probably not correctly pronounce it right the first time.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

tmarieMAR. 09, 2012 - 05:25PM JST PR does have a min period though. This guy just moved back, has been here less than a year and gets the red carpet rolled out for him. I doubt if he was a nobody this would have happened.

That is the point. This guy isn't just a "nobody" (your word not mine). Which is probably why in his case the age and residence requirements were waived. Not sure why that is so difficult to accept. Probably there are lots of countries that do similar things for similar people.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

tmarieMAR. 09, 2012 - 04:45PM JST which is the phonetic equivalent of his name “Keene Donald.” No it isn't. Phonetic represent sounds and do na ru do is NOT the equivalent to Donald. Four months for him? Glad to see the government isn't fair in this. How many of us have been here for years and are still waiting for permanent residence?

Permanent residency and citizenship are not solely based on "time served". Lots of other things come into play. It's not uncommon for professional athletes, etc. to be put on the fast track for citizenry because of their fame and because of their contributions to Japanese sport, culture, etc.

From Wikipedia: "The Minister of Justice may waive the age and residence requirements if the applicant has a special relationship to Japan (for example, a Japanese parent)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nationality_law#Naturalization

In Mr. Keene's case, I'm sure his age was a big factor but the guy has been "a friend of Japan" and promoting things Japanese for decades. He is an extraordinary person so they sped up the process for him. If you had a similar track record (if you do then I apologize) then you probably would be given the same consideration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keene

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

smithinjapanMAR. 09, 2012 - 04:00PM JST yagura: "There are lots of 3-character first names. Usually they are for women but there are some for men." Lots of three character first names with one character surnames?

But his surname is not read as just one character. It's read as a combination of the two.

It's the combination of 鬼怒 that gives it the reading "kiinu". This is in reference to the "Kinugawa" river. You have take the two together for it to make sense.

So, his name is sort of like: 鬼怒 (怒)鳴門

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

zichiMAR. 09, 2012 - 03:07PM JST Congrats to hime, new citizen at 89-years, I guess they cut the procedure time. I've had a kanji name for more than 15 years and a fistful of hanko's, 舞来庵 慈智 路蓮津

"buraian jichi rorantsu"

Brian Zichi (or Jichi) Lorentz (or Lawrence)?

Pretty cool.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

smithinjapanMAR. 09, 2012 - 03:04PM JST I like the 'narudo' part, but on the whole the name doesn't work for me because if you go by Japanese names with four characters generally it's the family name that has two or three characters, not the first name. It would read more like, "Keendo narudo" if it were a normal Japanese four-character name. But hey, it doesn't have to work for me as it's not my name, and if the guy likes playing with words, all the power to him. And of course, now that he's Japanese and has taken on a Japanese name, HE can decide what is the first and family name. And good on this guy for the reason for staying here.

There are lots of 3-character first names. Usually they are for women but there are some for men.

For example: Michiko, Sachiko, Mieko, Ayako, Ayano, Kenjiro, etc., etc. can all be written in 3 characters.

The trick in reading Mr. Keene's name is that not only the second kanji (the "do") both a part of the reading of his first and last names but the reading is different in each case. Kind of clever in my opinion.

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Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

When you're 89 and have been involved with Japan as long as Mr. Keene is then you can get away choosing such kanji for your name.

Actually I think the name of the river is the "Kinugawa" river and not the "Kidogawa" river (unless there is another river that uses those kanji). You got to be careful with those "ateji", they're tricky little buggers. If you don't pronounce it as "kinugawa" then you might not make the connection with "kiinu"

Pretty high concept stuff that most people will probably not be able to correctly pronounce at first since you essentially have to read the "do" kanji twice in two different ways and voice the final "to" of "Naruto" as "do". Tricky stuff :D

Kiinu = Keene, (Do)narudo = Donald

Wish I knew how to write kanji on these posts. It would make things so much easier to follow.

Moderator: The name of the kanji has been corrected.

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