Ah_so's past comments

  • 0

    Ah_so

    the odds are more like 80/20 in favor of you being /unwelcome despised

    Nonsense - the countryside is far more welcoming in my experience.

    Posted in: Japan needs to provide more and better information on its countryside.

  • -1

    Ah_so

    A look on Google Streetview shows a town indistinguisahable from any other in Japan. OK, somewhere within it must be the "museum street", but do not be fooled into thinking that the whole place is frozen in time. You will have much the same experience at the fascinating Tokyo Museum of Architecture..

    Posted in: Kawagoe: A walk through history

  • 1

    Ah_so

    No doubt. These critics on the left don't appreciate the hard men like Chris Kyle who risk their lives to protect their right to say stupid stuff like this.

    Serrano: perhaps you could enlighten us as to how our right to free speech was being threatened by the Iraqi regime? it may have been a country run by a deeply unpleasant man, but the secular state posed no threat to the West. The actions of the allied forces (Kyle among them) have helped create that threat.

    You do not have to be on the left to think this - simply a realist with a basic understanding of foreign affairs.

    Posted in: 'American Sniper' triggers angry debate

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Sounds like the Pharmicuticle industry doesn't want people to discuss the FACT that flu vaccines only had a 23% success rate this year.

    It would appear that this year's most common form of flu vaccine has mutated, making this year's vaccine less effective. As it is normally an effective vaccine, let's hope that a poor year does not put people off in future.

    Posted in: Modern etiquette: Dealing with flu in the modern world

  • 2

    Ah_so

    I voted yes, but could easily have voted the other way.

    Most gambling operations only survive due to problem gamblers - those addicts who spend nearly everything they have in the hope of the big win that they can never get. The occasional leisure gambler does not keep the industry afloat - they are the nice-to-have top up.

    One poster mentioned how gambling has done wonders for Atlantic City. Yes, but only because it has sucked money from elsewhere. Gambling does not create wealth, it simply redistributes it from the gambler to the house. The improvement in Atlantic City is off the back of ruined lives.

    But those who need to gamble will tend to find a way - pachinko or somewhere else and casinos are nicer places than packinko parlours.

    Posted in: Are you in favor of legalizing casino gambling in Japan?

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Didn't know MTV was still going.

    Posted in: MTV airs in black and white to spark conversation on race

  • 0

    Ah_so

    There is no need for an international standard. Each country should have its own, leading to loss of license if the driver is unable to drive safely.

    Posted in: There are no established medical standards around the world about when to stop dementia patients from driving.

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Farage's wife is German, so an immigrant herself. I don't think many people could have a problem with that, but they do take issue with Farage's hypocrisy, considering his strong anti-EU stance

    It was a silly outburst from Farage, but I do not think that having a foreign wife is per se inconsistent with being broadly anti-mass immigration.

    If the space of just over a decade, the UK's population has grown about 5m - the greatest change to the make-up of the British population ever - much bigger than the immigration from the Caribbean and Kenya of the 60s. Apparently now 30% of all children born have at least one parent born outside the UK - a mind-blowing statistic.

    If Farage said that no one could have a foreign wife other than him, it would make him a hypocrite, but raising concerns about the implications of such massive immigration does not.

    Posted in: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism

  • 1

    Ah_so

    For instance, there are about 4,700 people in Japan with surname Maru (丸), but more than 50% of them live in southern Chiba. So, if you forget someone’s name in southern Chiba, Maru might be a safe guess.

    This means that there are about 2,350 people in southern Chiba named Maru. If you forget someone's name there, you would be far more likely to be right if you called them Tanaka or Suzuki.

    My understanding of Japanese surnames was that they only introduced to the main population following the meiji restoration, so for most people of non-samurai ancestory, the name is something plucked out of the air 5 or 6 generations ago, so it is not all that interesting.

    Posted in: Finding the origin and prevalence of Japanese surnames just got easier

  • 6

    Ah_so

    The ones getting snubbed are Asian-American actors.

    Good point. Often when Americans discuss race, they think "black" or possibly hispanic. Actually, black actors have done fairly well - there are a number of A-listers and they can play any leading man (I note a dearth of black women actors).

    Asian actors have it hard - most of the roles they are cast in are Asian-specific - martial arts etc.

    Apparently the next James Bond might be a black actor. The chances of him being played by an East Asian are minimal to non-existent.

    Posted in: Too white, too male: Oscar nominations under fire

  • 13

    Ah_so

    Japan was pricey 25 years ago, and its reputation lives on, but in reality it has become more and more affordable - prices are much the same as they were back in the early 90s. You can eat well for less than JPY 1000. $5 for a beer might have been a lot 20 years ago, but not today. 500 yen is also the typical attraction entry fee - a bargain compared to many developed countries.

    On the other hand, Japan lovers can exaggerate what Japan has to offer. Basically, if you don't like temples, there is not a great deal else to see that other countries do not have. Honshu is geographically quite pleasant, but it lacks the startling diversity of Britain's landscape, for example. The cities are bland and a bit samey. Kyoto has some good sites, obviously, but most of it is just standard "Japan". What is the top site in Sapporo? A pretty dull clock.

    Japanese people do enjoy their own country, but it often seems to involve goinng to a place that looks quite a lot like where they came from, staying at an onsen, and going to find the local speciality ramen that it just a teeny weeny bit different from normal ramen.

    Saying that, I love it, and on reflection I think i disagree with pretty much everything I just wrote - I would encourage everyone to visit Japan, even if only once.

    Posted in: Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination?

  • 2

    Ah_so

    Accordingly, there is no way in hell I'll call myself Charlie when they mock what I believe in.

    They can mock my beliefs all they want and I will still support them. The line that they crossed was an important one. If people take themselves too seriously, they should be mocked. An irrational taboo on the depiction of Mohammed is one of them. Could either of those killers articulate the reason for this taboo? I doubt it and quite frankly, Charlie Hebdo is not going to lead to people committing the sin of idolatry.

    Posted in: Following the murderous attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, “Je suis Charlie” — I am Charlie -- has gone viral around the world as a show of support for free speech. However, there is also a growing number of “Je ne suis pas Charlie” — I am not Charlie — messages online, triggering a debate about free speech and its limits. Where do you stand?

  • 1

    Ah_so

    A fax! Love it.

    Posted in: Southern All Stars singer Kuwata apologizes over concert antics

  • 2

    Ah_so

    I have been turned away with total disinterest in more than one medical emergency. My son got hit in the face and had a nosebleed which wouldnt stop, on a weekend late afternoon. We were turned away from two hospitals, and it took 2 hours to find someone willing to see him.

    I have had a similar problem. I remember sitting in an ambulance with my daughter while the paramedics tried to find a hospital that would take a child in the evening. We eventually found somewhere 45 minutes away. Fortunately it was not a life or death matter, but a broken bone. This bit of Japan's health service is broken and it is potentially the most important part.

    Posted in: What do you think of the quality of medical care at hospitals in Japan?

  • 1

    Ah_so

    When a fire alarm goes off, we evacuate the building. A tsunami warning should be no different - you should evacuate.

    Posted in: Miyagi driving school ordered to pay damages over students' tsunami deaths

  • 5

    Ah_so

    Netminder - Mohammed was a human being who actually existed, as have many others before or after. If we want to draw him, it is fair. Where does the prohibition come on drawing him (other than other people saying that it is prohibted?).

    You may be offended by drawings of Mohammed, but being offensive was not the purpose of these pictures and nor are they abusive of him. They are policitcal cartoons.

    We recognise that there are limits somewhere to free speech, but the right not to be offended by something that you are not required to look at is not one of them. If the writer set out specifically to cause offense or insight violence, it would be another matter.

    In the event that God/Allah actually exists and Mohammed had some special communication with him, then I am sure that the pair of them are big enough to look after themselves, and do not need overgrown adolescents with guns to sort out their insult.

    To me, this is about childlike men killing adults about something that almost certainly does not exist over perceived offense that cannot be articulated. Imagine meeting an alien tomorrow and tryng to explain that. They would get back on their space ship and keep away from earth.

    Posted in: Following the murderous attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, “Je suis Charlie” — I am Charlie -- has gone viral around the world as a show of support for free speech. However, there is also a growing number of “Je ne suis pas Charlie” — I am not Charlie — messages online, triggering a debate about free speech and its limits. Where do you stand?

  • 2

    Ah_so

    I ate JHS school lunches in Japan for a couple of years and was impressed - by and large hot, tasty and filling and all for less that 300 yen. The only day I did not like was "bread day" where some sikly sweet bread was servced up to accompany some white stew or something. The Japanese dishes tended to be excellent. One school seemed to have access to vast quantities of quails eggs and would fill up big bowls of udon with them.

    Posted in: A brief history of the evolution of Japanese school lunches

  • 0

    Ah_so

    I have never worked in anything but an open plan office, so do not know any different. In my firm, even the head of the whole organisation works open plan (although he does have a private room as well).

    Posted in: Do you think the open-office trend is good for productivity or is it having a negative impact on the workplace?

  • -1

    Ah_so

    Good for her - not many people of her age, in any jurisdiction, would have the wherewithal to take on a large corporation.

    She's not a girl. She's a grown woman.

    "Girl" and "woman" may have legal definitions, but culturally we accept the terms far beyond the arbitrary ages that the legal system has introduced. It may seem a bit patronizing for a 22 year-old, but it acknowledges the fact that an undergraduate college student is not a real grown up - they are usually fully dependent upon their parents and in the strange but enjoyable phase of kidulthood. Also, terms such as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" are quite acceptable for people of all ages, and only really begin to sound absurd once people reach their 50s.

    Having said that, she has clearly displayed the maturity and strength of an adult and fought back against the old fashioned patriarchy of Japan, probably against the advice of many around her. Well done - an example to Japan's youth.

    Posted in: NTV settles with college girl; offers her announcer position

  • 3

    Ah_so

    In somewhere like London, outside of the city centre and a few other areas, the Japanese food on offer is pretty awful. Normally it appears to be made by a Chinese cook who has bought a Japanese cookbook. I have had taken, served without soup, katsudon made from fried chicken, served on plain long grain rice (pretty sure the cook had never tasted this dish before). The list of crimes is long.

    You do not have to be Japanese to cook good Japanese food, but it does help to have had some training in preparing the cuisine. In my experience, this is obviously rare.

    A neighbourhood japanese restaurant in japan surpasses these imitations.

    Posted in: Japanese restaurants are springing up all over the world - most of them fake

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