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zaichik comments

Posted in: Tokyo University See in context

My daughter has passsed the entrance exam!!! It's not even 4pm, and I'm drinking! Relief more than happiness at the moment.


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Posted in: Workers rally See in context

the death of the translation industry is a structural thing that's been years in the making.

I'm sure you're right, Ness, but it isn't something I've been aware of in my own little bubble - the work has multiplied over the years and in the last 2 months I've been busier than ever. It has apparently come as a shock to the company's clients as well....

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Posted in: Workers rally See in context

The rally was held to highlight the need for job security, equality and a living wage for all workers in Japan.

Not really in the same league, because I still have the day job, but I've just heard that the company (a subsidiary of a major Japanese corporation) for which I've been doing freelance translation work for the last 9 years is getting out of the translation business. I'm not a happy bunny right now, to say the least....

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Posted in: $21 mil lawsuit by Japanese space tourist can proceed See in context

I think the company was perfectly justified in booting him off, at least until such time as some company has established a "spaceship ambulance" service for medevacs from space stations. I don't think anyone's offering space travel insurance yet, either.

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Posted in: Hello! Kitty to collaborate with X Japan See in context

What do you expect when you see punks on the street trying their hardest to look tough and rebellious, yet have a gigantic pink kawaii teddy bear hanging from their keitai?

Yes, but pink kawaii cats are much tougher and more rebellious....

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Posted in: Obama: Every voice must be heard on health reform See in context

So he's open to compromise on Thursday, but if it's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or the weekend, forget about it.

"signaled on Thursday that he’s open to compromise" would have been a slightly better way of putting it, to my mind.

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Posted in: Hideo Nomo appears in TV commercials for air conditioners See in context

Didn't he used to do coffee CMs?

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Posted in: Tokyo’s thriving Ainu community keeps traditional culture alive See in context

It would be good to see Ainu culture come to be valued in Japan in the same way that Maori culture has come to be valued in NZ.

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Posted in: Different strokes for different folks See in context

Your vocab suck anyway, so you not going to say anything.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Good on the author for not respnding to provocation - you're always going to be in the wrong in the eyes of the law if you take a swing first. Remember our Aussie friend with the lilac tie?

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Posted in: Mud festival See in context

Oh for crying out loud, people! Bordering on child abuse indeed! Lighten up! Yours (with a few exceptions) are the sort of attitudes that would put paid to daft but fundamentally harmless traditions like cheese rolling in the UK, in the name of health and safety.

It's just another one of those eccentric festivals that make Japan the bizarre, endlessly entertaining country that it is. Surely you wouldn't have moved to Japan if it was like everywhere else?

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Posted in: Strong yen drawing Japanese women to S Korea for plastic surgery See in context

I do not want to sound like a male chauvanist pig

I'm afraid you failed miserably on that score. Better luck next time.

I can't see the relationship between someone attempting DIY cosmetic surgery and the rush for cheap cosmetic surgery....

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Posted in: Tokamachi Snow Festival See in context


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Posted in: Alcohol-free Kirin beer See in context

Russia's Baltica 0 non-alcohol actually tastes like beer.

Haven't seen that, but I do like Baltika's alcoholic beers....

The best near-beer I've ever had was Kaliber, bottled by Guinness. It's hard to find though, and I've never seen it in Japan.

I think I've seen it here in NZ.

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Posted in: Nakagawa seen 'misbehaving' at Vatican; Russian official says he acted like 'brain was turned off' See in context

If the situation was so bad, I wonder if the Japanese side's translator was making it up to make some attempt at saving Nakagawa.

I'd be willing to put money on it.

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Posted in: Alcohol-free Kirin beer See in context

Sounds vile....

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Posted in: The Great Sasuke arrested on suspicion of assaulting man on train See in context

Wear a famous mask and then get mad when a JR employee wants to snap your photo? I believe Murakawa has just failed "The Logic Test."

Indeed - if you don't want to be photographed, don't prance around in a silly mask.

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Posted in: Yokohama to build partnership with Seven-Eleven See in context

hot water to make powdered milk

Or even hot water to mix with powdered milk. Can't make powdered milk from hot water....

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Posted in: Cop busted for trying to sneak into colleague's house to spy on wife See in context

Apparently he's from what was formerly Niitsu City. They're a bit strange over there (and it's impossible to find a decent place to eat there on a Sunday, too!)

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Posted in: Hillary meets empress See in context

Who's Kim Song Il?

The trousers don't seem to hang very well either - I'd go one further than Cleo and say shoot the stylist. Someone call the fashion police! :-)

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Posted in: Fukuoka: Japan's most architecturally forward-thinking city See in context

I wanted to take a trip to Kyushu before we left Japan for NZ, and depart from Fukuoka after visiting my old host family in Kumamoto, but sadly we were out of time and budget, and also wanted to catch up with Mr Zaichik's Russian pals in Tokyo. Leaving from Fukuoka would have been a nice way to complete the circle, since my first arrival in Japan was at Fukuoka, on the way to Kumamoto for my year at uni there in 1995/6. My first night in Japan, my classmate and I wandered around the streets of Fukuoka, minds blown by the fact that we were actually in Japan. The canals and the ramen stalls on the street remain uppermost in my memory, along with some old hexagonal building (part of a temple?)

Since then, I've only ever passed through Fukuoka on the way to/from Kumamoto, but it's always seemed like it would be a cool place to live. Maybe I'll have the chance sometime in the future....

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Posted in: Doggie bag See in context

Interesting, Cleo - despite the proximity of Toyama to Joetsu, where I spent my first two years after leaving uni, I never spent any time there, so I didn't know about the lavish hospitality there.

Incidentally, you can get pretty little boxes to take home any kaiseki leftovers after a full tea ceremony.

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Posted in: Koinobori socks with children's photos See in context

I should have added, about the dressy wool soxs were in fad amongst a lot of golfers at the time & my rather was taking to starting up golf again.

I think they mean sock as in wind sock, rather than the things you put on your feet....

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Posted in: It is not good for their health if their legs are too cold. See in context

There aren't many things more resistant to the cold in this world than a high school girl's legs, particularly in Niigata! It used to amuse me that you'd see them trudging through the snow in Joetsu in Ugg boots, but with an acre of bare leg. Seemed to defeat the object of the sheepskin boots....

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Posted in: Megumi Yasu serves as poster girl for female firefighter recruitment drive See in context

What she is recruiting for is local volunteer fire brigades消防団, not the actual municipal full-time fire brigades消防署

Ah, suddenly everything becomes clear. Hmmmm....if they get more female members, the oyaji-tachi that dominate the shouboudan at present will have to forego the regular drinking parties with paid female companions, which seemed to be their sole motivation for enrolling in these groups, according to my ex.

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Posted in: Blackboard bonanza See in context

What sort of lazy-a** person can't copy down what's on a blackboard (whiteboard, yes!?).

They're very handy for meetings - means that everybody gets the same version of the structures/notes on there. We have one in our office - think the exec use it quite a lot.

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Posted in: Rakuten to offer PHS service from April See in context

China's getting rid of PHS and Japan's reintroducing it. I thought PHS was now obsolete technology....

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Posted in: 7 Pounds See in context

A better title than the original "7 Pounds" - after all, isn't the movie about Smith changing the lives of 7 people for the better?

I don't know about "better", but certainly more appropriate for the Japanese market, which is less likely to know about Shakespeare and the pound of flesh, which is what the English title refers to, I believe.

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Posted in: J-pop industry taking the music out of music business See in context

I agree that disposable manager-created pop is not unique to Japan. Similarly, not all Japanese pop is disposable J-pop. E.g. Pizzicato Five - non-disposable Japanese pop that stands up to serious appraisal - their single Twiggy Twiggy gets the occasional outing on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 show, and the late lamented John Peel played them on his show - it doesn't get more credible than that.

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Posted in: 'Homeless' hone their rough-living skills See in context

Reminds me of the episode of Drop the Dead Donkey where Damien lives rough for a few days. Hope these guys don't find themselves in danger of getting beaten up by local youths wanting to "clean up" the local area....

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Posted in: Men come here for different reasons, mainly because they want to be listened to. See in context

I went a couple of times to a hostess bar in Niigata that some of my female colleagues liked. The hostesses there were friendly and I found myself listening to the boyfriend troubles of one. It was quite fun. As someone who doesn't find it easy to make small talk with people with whom I have nothing in common (e.g. most of my in-laws), I've developed a greater appreciation of the abilities required of your average hostess, who has to talk to the punters, regardless of whether they find them interesting or not.

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