kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Superman to star in upcoming gourmet manga series See in context

I watched the Donner version of Superman II the other day. Its partly a nostaglia trip for me, but I like it much more than the modern superhero flicks where its dark all the time. Margot Kidder was also fantastic.

Unless he's sponsored by JA, there is no way Superman is going to eat a heaped bowl of rice. He's far too ripped for masses of carbs. Lex Luthor is a far more worthy opponent than a tonkatsu.

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Posted in: Tokyo LGBTQ center head hoping Olympics spark social change See in context

....hopes the games will prove a catalyst in fostering a society in which discrimination is no longer accepted and diversity is embraced

What utter nonense. The IOC supported Mori during the sexism row and he only had to step down due to pressure from sponsors. The IOC happily waves flags and plays national anthems from countries where homosexuality is criminalized. See the link below for a list of all 69 countries, some may surprise you. The Olympic Games does this because the commercial interests are more important than gay rights or anyone else's rights. They are just a circus in the "bread and circuses" of old. It is there to distract you, not to make your life better.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: With Kane struggling, Scotland holds England to 0-0 draw See in context

Some good games in the tournament, but Sweden-Slovakia was a borefest and England-Scotland was even worse.

The headline is blaming Kane but he had no service. Scotland are a poor side but England played two defensive midfielders, both of whom did nothing. Phillips played well the other day, so I'd leave him and replace Rice with at least Henderson or preferably Grealish. Scotland are low ranked and did not deserve that much respect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: African gang clears over ¥100 million in marriage scams before police lower the boom See in context

These evil scammers play on the women's feelings of loneliness and desire for financial security.

Yes certainly to the former. I suspect the scammers push the romance angle as far as they can before the "send me some money so I can send you more" scam begins.

A "desire for financial security" is pretty much universal. I'm raising three kids and have a strong one myself. I doubt that desire in itself is anywhere near enough for people to get drawn into scams. The way to fool people is to hook them in with emotions, romantically or with ideas of self-improvement ("unleash your inner power" etc.). It is these emotions that cause people to ignore their better judgment.

As for these men, seize their assets, lock them up, and then kick them out of the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Naomi Osaka won't be required to talk to press at Tokyo Olympics See in context

It's not the interview issue, but I wonder if there is pressure on her to play simply to get another entry in the medal table for Japan. She is representing Japan here, something she doesn't do in the other tennis tournaments.

It is clear that some people are ambivalent about her or simply don't like her, but I'm sure some of the same people will care about Japan as a country getting a record medal haul. A lot of politicians pushing for the Games want lots of medals, and Naomi Osaka on a hard court is one of Japan's best hopefuls for an entry in the Golds column.

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Posted in: Tokyo gov't begins COVID-19 vaccinations for Olympic workers, media See in context

Wow, Koike reappears!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Are you old enough to remember a time when there were no cell phones, no email, no internet and no way to keep you connected to the world 24 hours a day? If so, do you sometimes think fondly back on that time? See in context

Yes, I remember it, but no to thinking fondly of it.

I live in the countryside, which would be cut off and dull without the internet, and do freelance translation, which was possible pre-email but meant faxes and sending floppy discs in the post. Reading blurry Japanese off a fax is a nightmare! What we have now is a huge improvement. I buy most things online, mostly from second-hand sites like Yahoo Auctions and Mercari, and this is way better than shopping in inaka. We built our home and again, being limited to researching out of books would have meant getting what the builders gave us. I think we would have paid more and got less.

I got married before messaging and social media were big, and I can see a big negative side there. Have your relationship potentially out in the open and having to judge your partner's mood from little messages, some which may just be emojis, sounds needy and stressful.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Mazda aims to launch 13 electrified car models by 2025 See in context

We've got a CX-5, the original turbodiesel we bought second hand from a Mazda dealer. It gets about 12km/l and diesel is cheap in Japan, so it costs little to run for what is a big car and is 4wd. It does 0-100 in about 8 seconds, so plenty of zoom zoom, and it's nicely decked out with leather and JBL, almost like an Audi or a BMW which cost way more. It's actually faster than the 1.6 five speed MX-5 we had years ago. If you're getting one of them, get the six speed 1.8 or the MazdaSpeed. MX-5s corner like they are glued to the road. I've also driven a new Mazda 3 we got as a courtesy car. It was just the 1.5, but it still felt like a drivers' car. It'll be interesting to see what Mazda do with electrics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bear shot dead after rampaging through Sapporo See in context

I think its sensible that the schools took measures about the kids walking home. However, the news that several flights were cancelled for one bear reminded me of British Rail in the UK cancelling trains because there were leaves on the line.

Before anyone says bears are venturing into inhabited areas because of "a lack of acorns", was it an emaciated bear? It looks plenty strong in the photos. Is anyone out there actually counting bear numbers? The deer population and wild boar population in Japan are currently very high. They are certainly not suffering from a lack of food.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Friends are saying 'I do' – but might not understand the legal risks of their platonic marriages See in context

For people worried about the sanctity of marriage, I'm afraid that boat sailed a very long time ago. People have always married for status, gold digging, visas.... If its Henry VIII, you can strategic alliances and heir production.

I suspect a major concern here is that these newlyweds will qualify for welfare or other state support. It is well understood, but not widely publicized, that welfare fraud is a tiny problem compared to tax evasion. People are focusing on the wrong thing. We should go after Google and Amazon, not two people possibly getting 10,000 yen a month off their tax bill.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Nadal, Osaka both out of Wimbledon; she'll go to Olympics See in context

She will pull out of the Olympics in a few weeks.

I think she or her people got it completely wrong on the interviews issue, but holding back and pretending she is going to the Olympics is a good PR move for now. When the time comes, she can just have "tight hamstrings" or something.

The Olympics is just a bonus to tennis, and these withdrawals show us how commited the players actually are to it when some inconvenience or other negativity is involved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Teacher in Japan literally picks up truant kid, carries him out of house to make him go to class See in context

My kids elementary and JHS have lunch rooms. Schools are different in every prefecture. The act of going to school but sitting in another room is called "hokenshitsu-tou-kou" as per the Wikipedia link, because the hoken-shitsu is the most common other room for kids to study in.

This is getting very TL:DR but the main point is that non-attendance is very common and teachers should be trained about established strategies to deal with it. If they were, they would not turn up and drag a child out of the house. This may be an extreme case, but this lack of training or a rule book is bound to manifest itself in other, more common aspects of classroom management and caring for children.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Why doesn't Father's Day carry the same importance as Mother's Day? Or does it? See in context

Why doesn't Father's Day carry the same importance as Mother's Day? Or does it?

No it doesn't, and i would say this is more so for Japan than the West.

In my eldest's year, the elementary school did a "half-seijin shiki" at school, a halfway to coming-of-age event where the 10 year olds did a performance and each read out a letter thanking their parents, presumably written with teacher prompting. My daughter mentioned me, but only about a quarter of the kids mentioned their fathers in their thank you letter. When my son was 10, his year group didn't do it.

fwiw, I am a believer in the traditional family and don't mind women having a greater role in childraising. The thing I oppose most is fathers being at work all the time, especially when their own wives welcome it.

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Posted in: Teacher in Japan literally picks up truant kid, carries him out of house to make him go to class See in context

According to this article, non-attendance ("futo-ko-" in Japanese) is 1% for elementary and about 4% for junior high. They count kids who miss 30 days or more.


It is a grey area whether kids who go to school but sit in the hokenshitsu or the lunch room away from the classroom are counted as "attending". I bet most of them are for convenience purposes, which would mean more kids do not attend class than the Ministry of Education is willing to admit.


We know a child who stopped going to elementary for three weeks due to stress from competing with classmates at a sports club. This was a perfectly-adjusted top of the class kid who you would never imagine missing school. The child liked school, and the pressure was either self-created or came from the club or other club members. It wasn't from the parents. In that case, the teacher, who the child liked, was able to rescue the situation. I'm sure children with bad home situations are much more likely to have problems with school, but based on what we saw with the child I have described, I would say all children are at risk from anxiety. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, not just ones that can be blamed on people's shortcomings.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Giant Buddhist goddess gets face mask See in context

53m is massive (!) It's four times the height of the Daibutsu at Kamakura and equal to a sixteen story building. Which begs the question of why build a massive thing out of an ugly material? Why give it planning permission? It has nothing to do with tradition. If you are going to build such a ridiculous thing, it is no less ridiculous to put a mask on it.

The statue, built 33 years ago

The Bubble.

I don't know about this one in particular, but Japan has a number of large Buddhist statues built solely to attract tourists. There is one on the Niigata/Nagano border.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Teacher in Japan literally picks up truant kid, carries him out of house to make him go to class See in context

Around one in thirty kids in Japan does not go to school. It is extremely common. Some kids "attend", but sit in the hokenshitsu, the nurse's room, all day and do not enter the actual classroom.

I think the most important thing to take away from this story is that despite this situation being extremely common (see above), the teacher decided to act on her own judgment and handled the problem in her own way. This means that teachers are not being trained to handle common classroom situations and there are no or drastically insufficient guidelines and punishments to stop them going rogue. Extensive research has been done into education and child psychology, but it's all being ignored and instead you just get what the teacher or school thinks is best.

My own experience with my kids in Japanese education is that if the teacher is good, everything is fine, but if not, it can be terrible. It is a complete roll of the dice. You get more consumer protection with a 5000 yen hair dryer.

Forcibly carrying a child to school sounds very traumatic for the child and will almost certainly not improve the situation.

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Posted in: No time to waste, warns Japanese climate activist See in context

I think Japan should import a portion of its electricity, say 10-15%, from solar plants in Mongolia. Mongolia's location would extend solar supply into the Japanese evening.

There is the security issue, but Japan is already dependent on imported everything, oil, food, and coal included. All of these could be blockaded.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: This Tom and Jerry Cheesecake has jumped straight out from the animation See in context

In Japan ホイップクリーム is mostly or entirely vegetable fat. It is fake cream.

So people are paying big for cheesecake made with low-quality ingredients.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sake is losing ground as it fails to offer classic combinations, such as wine for steak and beer for ‘yakiniku’ grilled meat. It’s a critical situation. See in context

This idea that alcohol pairing with certain food, while having some basis, is not an absolute.

I can only speak for myself, but I am not a believer in pairing of drinks with foods and dislike the snobbery around it.

I do not think this is the best and only way for alcohol producers to market their products. There has been an explosion in the popularity of red wine, but this has coincided with increase ABVs, punchier fruitier tastes, and people pouring more generous servings, not the 120ml glass of old. Large servings of 15% by vol wine means people drinking wine are getting drunk.

To sell lots of sake what are they going to pair it with? Gyoza? Karaage chicken? Raamen? Katsu curry? Because that is what people eat. Most people eat good sushi or kaiseki once in a blue moon. Sushi means Kappa Zushi for the average person.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Aussie Spirit See in context

One of the main justifications for the Olympics is to inspire us and our children to be better people, to be more active and work toward our dreams.

It's not the fault of the Australian team, but I personally get very little inspiration from this.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: This Tom and Jerry Cheesecake has jumped straight out from the animation See in context

With shipping, over 1000 yen per 100g!

The copyright in Japan on older Tom and Jerry cartoons has probably expired, it has on many old Disney movies like Snow White, so the DVD is probably a couple of hundred yen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Road accident deaths in Japan fall to record low in 2020 See in context

An atypical year, so the number doesn't mean much.

Cars are getting safer and safer, so it is possible to have more accidents but fewer deaths, the headline number here. Non-fatal accidents can still be very serious.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan should have scrapped domestic COVID vaccine trials: Kono See in context

I see it as a mistake myself. I am assuming of course that the Japanese public would have agreed to be vaccinated without a trial on Japanese people. There is quite a lot of anti-vaxxer sentiment in Japan and it, along with Japanese people thinking they are different and special, must share the blame.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Osaka must find 'safe space' to overcome issues, says Evert See in context

Her people, she will have a team of assistants and advisors, either advised her badly about the interview issue or she ignored them and handled it badly herself.

The players are all contracted to do the interviews on the tour. If she wanted special treatment, she should have worked behind the scenes toward some kind of compromise. Instead, we had her unilaterally refusing, resulting in an understandable backlash against her, and only then revealing she had mental health issues, resulting in an understandable backlash against the tournament. She then dropped out, compromising the tournament as a tennis contest and leaving a bad taste.

The guy who was former head of the press office at the French Open tennis tournament is a regular on "The Cycling Podcast" which I listen to sometimes, and he said basically the same thing. He described the contracts they sign about doing press conferences in detail and said it was wrong to paint sports journalists as the enemy of sports stars. The relationship is fundamentally cooperative and not antagonistic.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Just how many seasons does Japan really have? See in context

Good article. In my experience, Japanese will refer to the first warm day after New Year as "spring already", the first cool evening in summer as "autumn already", and the first cold day later in the year as "winter already". But they will not say the first 30C plus day of the year, often around Golden Week at my place, is "summer already". There is also resistance to saying rainy season is summer, and since it's not spring, that logic means Japan cannot have only four seasons. It must have five or more.

For me, rainy season is summer. So is most of September. Many swimming pools close on September 1, but that is just the calendar talking. If we are going to use the calendar, for me, Winter = Dec to Feb, Spring = March & April, Summer = May to Sep, and Autumn = Oct & Nov. That's at 800m asl in the mountains.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Crowdfunding opens on Japanese version of a gadget that makes any canned beer easier to drink See in context

+1 for Yona Yona, a great beer at an affordable price. Which it ceases to be if you use an expensive gadget to slice the top off. It pains me to say it because it's made by DHC, but that New England IPA in the pink can is also very good. Super fruity and drinkable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Historic Asakusa shopping street in danger as Taito Ward calls for shop evictions See in context

I can't recall ever going down this street on the four or five times I must have been to Asakusa. I just walked down the main drag from the gate to the temple following the crowds. However I have just checked on Street View and

The shops that line Denboin-doori are the epitome of Edo-era Japanese style buildings,

is complete nonsense. The buildings are all Showa (=post-war) and only look traditional because of the street-level open frontage. They use such traditional Edo-era features as metal shutters, fluorescent lighting, corrugated iron, Western tiles, and aluminum framed windows. They may give off an older vibe, but only due to the usual Japanese lack of maintenance. If you ripped everything there down and built actual Edo-era Japanese style buildings, it would be an improvement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Message for Olympic visitors See in context

Its sunny and 35C and you can't take frozen drink pouches or a water bottle with more than 750ml or water. Yet more evidence that we are all just little people to be bossed around by this stupid charade we are paying for ourselves.

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Posted in: A minute with Boy George on turning 60, new music and biopic See in context

I grew up in that era, got my musical taste from my brother (punk, post-punk, heavy metal), and thought all the Smash Hits bands the girls around me liked were basically posers. I have since reappraised several of them, Duran Duran, Kajaagoogoo, Go West (Pino!), etc. could all really play, but Culture Club still sound like twee pop with a mediocre singer. They just got a massive worldwide buzz because of how Boy George looked.

I can understand the interest and certainly the commercial potential after the Freddie Mercury and Elton John film biographies, but compared to them, Boy George is a massive step down in terms of musical ability and songwriting.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: What event did you hate most in elementary school? Survey asks Japanese adults See in context

In some countries, I don't think you'd get insurance for kids of 12 and under running 4km. I know that in the UK, under 18s can't run half marathons because the UK Athletics won't insure them. I know several JHS kids who've done (i.e,. had to do) 20km plus cross country events. Some of them belong to sports clubs where fast twitch muscles were needed and the ability to run for hours was irrelevant.

Some schools pretend their marathons are "big walks" in kanji but the kids are made to run them. A JHS girl died in a big 13km "walk" a couple of years ago. She'd done the first 10km in about 1:10. Nobody walks at 7 minute a kilometer pace. That is running. If its a running event, you need hydration and first aid and an AED and probably medical staff as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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