Japan Today

zaichik comments

Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

This could quite possibly be the most disliked article in JT history.

No, I think that might have been the article by the (?Aussie?) idiot in a purple shirt, who got arrested after a punch-up with a Japanese chap and spent a week in jail, and then got given column space in Metropolis/JT to rant about it.

But this runs that a close second. This guy's boss was just trying to give him a heads-up before the fashion police came round to dye his hair back to a single colour and make him sign a binding commitment to stop subscribing to the George Michael style bible.

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Posted in: Cost-cutting hits TV stations See in context

One way of cutting costs would be to have game shows with "ordinary" people as participants, not tarento. I've never understood why only tarento seem to get the opportunity to win the good prizes - aren't they getting paid to appear anyway? You wouldn't have to pay a fee to get ordinary people to participate - just train fares, a bento and the chance of a decent prize.

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Posted in: Kyushu sex worker tries to drown 5-year-old son in bathtub See in context

The boy is 5. He will remember every bit of it.

Not necessarily. People can blank out unpleasant things quite readily.

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Posted in: Happy birthday See in context

I don't like Akishino; he gives off a bad vibe.

It's the bowl-cut hairdo and the contrast between the dark grey of the moustache and the light grey of the hair. It's like British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling's black eyebrows and white hair - it's freaky. As one of my friends once said, Prince Akishino looks like he has obscure hobbies....

But happy birthday to the Emperor, anyway! And a very merry Christmas to all at JT!

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Posted in: The KFC-Christmas connection See in context

Duck for us for Christmas this year. Contemplated goose (just to see what it would be like), but it was going to be in the region of $100 NZD (7,500 JPY or thereabouts, about quadruple the price of a duck), so decided in favour of fiscal responsibility.

Never did the KFC thing in Japan - only set foot in KFC once, and that was in Bangkok...

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Posted in: 10 ways to get a seat on a packed commuter train in Japan See in context

Amusing! It's been so long since I was a regular on public transport (primarily buses) in Japan, I can't really remember whether people were reluctant to sit next to me. Don't think there was any particularly noticeable reluctance, though.

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Posted in: Emperor, on 20th anniversary of accession, concerned young people forgetting history See in context

"Coronated" is not a word, JT!

My apologies - further research suggests that it is a word. But you have to admit, it's a damned odd one, even given the noun "coronation".

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Posted in: Emperor, on 20th anniversary of accession, concerned young people forgetting history See in context

"Coronated" is not a word, JT!

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Posted in: Komaki: Culture, sex and death See in context

There's a similar festival in rural Niigata - Hodare-matsuri. The festival in Niigata uses a less garish artefact....

I once stayed in a hotel in Komaki (was flying to Seoul from Nagoya Airport the next day). The Chinese restaurant in the hotel served subuta without pineapple but with all the rest of the fruit salad - including the cherries. Very weird!

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Very good news indeed. I watched the reports on BBC World earlier with a feeling of grim satisfaction. It won't bring Lindsey back, but at least this lowlife isn't free any longer.

Bet they sent more than 9 cops to apprehend him this time, though....

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Posted in: Veteran tour escort relates travelers' lack of decorum See in context

There are plenty of people in NZ who shouldn't be let past their front gate, let alone out of the country. Japan certainly doesn't have a monopoly on clueless/impolite travellers....

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Posted in: Miyuki Hatoyama named Best Jeanist for 2009 See in context

That must mean it's nraly time for the best pearlist award....

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Posted in: How to stay beautiful in Japan through your diet See in context

Doesn't that have a lot of fat and calories? But, hey, if you just have a small piece...

The higher the cocoa content, the lower the fat and also the less you want to eat. I've switched to 72% cocoa content chocolate (Whittakers - one of the best things about NZ, and I'm speaking as one who was hitherto a Cadbury's devotee) and am satisfied with just a couple of squares a day.

The author missed out pomegranates, which were one of the diet fads a few years ago. At which point, everything became pomegranate-flavoured, in order to attract custom, even if the closest the product had ever come to a pomegranate was seeing one once!

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Posted in: Health insurance gets more complicated with new visa law See in context

Having said all that, if you're in a long-term coma after an accident and need to be transported home to a country with free public healthcare, then private insurance perhaps has the edge. Then again, if the accident was caused by another party, then their insurer will probably end up paying the bill in the long run, whether directly or via subrogation.

(/insurance bore) (time for dinner)

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Posted in: Health insurance gets more complicated with new visa law See in context

I pay 8000 yen a month with Global Health Care and I have 100% coverage anywhere

I know the InterGlobal policies (= Global Health Care) backwards and this certainly doesn't tell the whole story. You're not covered for pre-existing conditions (unless you're fortunate enough to be in one of the big group plans where medical history is disregarded), you have to pay upfront for outpatient expenses, including MRIs, and if the hospital you need to be admitted to is slow in providing the requisite info to your insurer, you may have to pay upfront for your inpatient charges as well. Not to mention the fact that the Japanese national scheme isn't bothered about pre-existing conditions or whether you've been abusing your liver for years. Many hospitals charge 150% of the standard charge if you're not insured through the Japanese national scheme, so if the treatment you need might really cost your insurer an arm and a leg, it wouldn't be unheard-of for them to get you to enrol in the national scheme anyway (possibly paying the back charges for you, if it's cost-effective). If you develop a chronic condition or your insured child has a congenital condition at birth, there may be a cap on what your insurer will pay out.

As for the coverage for repatriation of mortal remains, it's a rare case where the insurer gets the information to provide coverage before the repatriation takes place. In most cases, the insured's family (or company, for the luckier ones) have to pay upfront and then claim back, making their own arrangements with a funeral director (local cremation in Japan and transport of ashes back home in a family member's hand luggage is much cheaper). So unless you or your family has that ready cash, it's not that much of an advantage - you could just as easily pay a little extra into a life insurance policy.

Having said all that, if you're

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Posted in: Police officer reprimanded for destroying documents on wandering cat in Hyogo See in context

Sorry to hear about your Dobie, Cleo.

It does seem daft that an omawarisan would want potentially to add to the stray cat population....

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Posted in: Tomoka Kurotani to whip it into shape with her first exercise DVD See in context

i believe it was Devo

I stand corrected....

The perils of attempting to recall a conversation with a friend five years ago in which both Oingo Boingo and Devo were mentioned....

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Posted in: Tomoka Kurotani to whip it into shape with her first exercise DVD See in context

Watch the oingo boingo fans come out of the woodwork....

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Posted in: 18-year-old Japanese woman loses Y8 mil antique violin on Austrian subway See in context

Vienna has a subway

Yup - nice small one with only 3 (IIRC) lines. Made the city wonderfully easy to get around when we were on a school exchange there when I was 16. Happy days....


If it was insured for full value, while overseas, without a very high excess, and she's got a proper police report, then she'll not lose out financially, but that's a lot of if's <travel insurance geek off>. Plus there's the sentimental value of such a violin, not to mention the difficulty in finding an instrument of similar quality.

I once left my clarinet (comparatively cheap model as these things go, but would have been tough financially for Mum to replace it at the time) on the bus from Heathrow to Euston when I was 17. I had a lot of luggage on my way back from a school trip to Maastricht and it got overlooked in the hurry to gather everything together. I was distraught when I realised what had happened. I rang Mum to tell her the situation, and by the time she met me off the train in Liverpool, the clarinet had been found and was in the London Transport lost property office awaiting collection by my cousin, who worked in London. I hope things work out equally well for this young lady.

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Posted in: Veggie-inspired KitKats See in context

KitKat really have done some weird and wonderful flavours, haven't they? Apple and carrot isn't a bad combination, but ume and shiitake doesn't appeal, much as I love ume.

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Posted in: Air New Zealand targets Japanese travelers with special charter flights See in context

What's with the negativity about NZ, anjinsanjpnz? Looking at your posting history, you appear only to be here looking for opportunities to knock NZ. What's wrong? Did a kiwi peck you once?

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Posted in: Saitama cop arrested for trying to steal woman’s underwear on Twilight Express See in context

Ah, the last train of the day from Kakizaki to Naoetsu, and the cheapest way to get from Niigata to Kyoto - I've taken this train quite a few times. Fortunately I was never assailed by a knicker nicker, though.

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Posted in: Girls of Natto Angel express their love for natto See in context

Mr Zaichik was buying natto in an Asian grocery store here in Auckland the other day. Looking rather taken aback, the cashier said to him, "Do you know what that is?" Mr Zaichik answered in the affirmative. The cashier said, "I guess your wife must be Japanese." Mr Zaichik replied, "No, she isn't - we just lived in Japan and got to like natto a lot."

After all, it smells no worse than some cheeses. Natto omelette is really good!

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Posted in: Takeo Doi, scholar on Japanese psyche, dies See in context

Yes, he was on our third year reading list (Vogel was there too). Not that I ever read the books on the reading list....

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Posted in: Japan's summer music juggernaut rolls on See in context

[pedant]The Manic Street Preachers are Welsh, not English.[/pedant]

Thanks, Ersby - you've saved me having to write that. I saw the Manics at Fuji Rock 9 years ago....

Gogol Bordello are bluddy brilliant and I'm told they're particularly good live.

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Posted in: Arson-murder case shrouded in mystery See in context

can only bereave

I think the word you're looking for is grieve rather than bereave.....

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Posted in: 1-year-old girl killed after father backs car over her See in context

Very sad indeed.

It's not only children that this can happen to - we had a case at work a few months ago where a man managed to reverse over his adult daughter while backing out of his drive. She survived, but she was in hospital for ages....

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Posted in: Marie, at AIDS awareness concert, says she has sex five times a day See in context

That's nice dear. How do you find time for anything else?

Methinks she exaggerates slightly....

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Posted in: Strange phone call directs police to Nagano crime scene See in context

Another murder in Nagano - bit disconcerted to find that Nagano's turning into Saitama.....

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Posted in: Idiocy versus intelligence on Japanese quiz shows See in context

I would pay millions to see someone say "mazui!!!")

Me too - could be fun to make a satirical program taking the p out of these shows.

I was rather fond of a J-drama called Let's Go Nagatacho, which was taking the p out of the government of the day (Koizumi, Tanaka Makiko, etc.), but it got poor ratings and was pulled before the end of the run. Proof that Japan isn't ready for political satire, sadly....

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