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albaleoDec. 05, 2013 - 06:00AM JST
Come on, Dave! I'm sure England will try their best. There's no need to poke fun at them when they take a hammering. (But I know the temptation is strong.)
Posted in: The heat is on as FIFA announces World Cup complicated draw procedure
albaleoDec. 01, 2013 - 08:06AM JST
Perhaps there is only one history lesson that remains the same -- old people lie and dream about the past.
Posted in: S Korea orders changes to history textbooks
albaleoNov. 29, 2013 - 02:20AM JST
I agree with your sentiments. Having moved about a bit, I've been able to support a few local teams. (One of the greatest times was when I lived in Nagai in Osaka when Cerezo started up. )
But it's not just about the fans. When Celtic won the European Cup in 1967, every player in the team had been born within 30 miles of their stadium. I doubt that will ever be repeated.
"it's about loyalty not glory"
It's also about the miserable weather, the pies, the Bovril, the chance to curse at your home team. (My first 'local team' was Queens Park. )
Posted in: Man Utd, Real Madrid and PSG into last 16 of Champions League
albaleoNov. 19, 2013 - 07:15PM JST
"This is an American director basically blaspheming a classic piece of Japanese history."
Chushingura has very little historical significance. My wife has seen hundreds of versions of this tale, but she can't place it in any historical context. Its significance is cultural. Almost every version is romanticized to the rafters. Although based on a true story, its portrayal is more like a tale from Charles Dickens or Mark Twain than say an account of Oda Nobunaga. If a Japanese theater can put on a version of Macbeth, I don't see why Holywood can't try its hand with the Ako Roshi. Having said all that, I expect I'll hate it. :-)
Posted in: Keanu Reeves explores world of samurai
albaleoNov. 18, 2013 - 07:42AM JST
"the show cements the Gulf region’s hard-won position as the global hub for 21st century travel, spearheaded by booming airlines whose reach encompasses the world."
There's nothing like objective journalism, and that's nothing like objective journalism. Well done!
Posted in: Boeing, Airbus clinch mega-orders at Dubai
albaleoOct. 29, 2013 - 05:15PM JST
"The UK really didn't care about Halloween"
Perhaps where you lived. In Glasgow, as young kids in the late 50s and early 60s, we would dress up and visit the homes of neighbours, where we would sing a song or say a poem in return for fruit, nuts, and if we were lucky, some chocolate and even a penny or two. We called this "guising". We made lanterns from turnips, which took a lot of effort. But they looked scarier than the pumpkin variety. Halloween is an old tradition in Scotland and Ireland, and as others have pointed out, was once Samhain (or equivalent in local Celtic dialects).
There is a long Robert Burns poem that describes the rural Halloween customs of the 18th century (www.djmcadam.com/halloween.htm). It sounds like it was a chance for young folk to do things they wouldn't normally do. But isn't that the purpose of all festivals.
Posted in: Since when was Halloween so popular in Japan?
albaleoOct. 27, 2013 - 05:36PM JST
'not once have I ever heard a Japanese person make fun of another person’s faith or mock someone for “believing in fairytales,” as some ill-mannered non-Japanese are apt to do.'
While I agree that Japanese generally don't mock others' beliefs, I challenge the idea that non-Japanese who do are ill-mannered. In Japan, it's rare that anyone is compelled to have religious beliefs. That's quite a contrast to my own childhood when I was threatened with eternal hell every Sunday by a man in a pulpit if I didn't believe and obey the word of god. A religion that compels others to believe can't complain when people turn round and vent their feelings. In Japan too, when you do hear contempt for religion, it tends to be towards the actively proselytizing groups. My wife is a practicing Buddhist. But never once has she or the members of her group pushed me to join or threatened me with eternal damnation for not doing so. They respect me and I respect them.
Posted in: How religious are Japanese people?
albaleoOct. 26, 2013 - 04:59PM JST
"the Japanese prefer shorter grain rice, while most of the world eats long-grain rice"
A lot of Japanese style rice is produced in other countries these days. We regularly buy brands made in the US and Italy. (I'm in the UK.) The article doesn't say, but I'd guess they were mixing imported Japanese style rice. Otherwise it would be too easy to spot the difference.
Posted in: Mie rice wholesaler raided over mislabeling scam
albaleoOct. 22, 2013 - 04:09PM JST
"So there you go Muslim apologists"
The need for such draconian laws suggests adultery and drinking is common among Muslims. So there's still hope for the emergence of a decadent Islamic movement.
Posted in: Brunei introduces tough Islamic punishments, including death by stoning for adultery
albaleoOct. 18, 2013 - 04:21PM JST
@FizzBit "It's not handwoven anymore."
The warping and beaming referred to in the article you quote are processes that take place before actual weaving. The weaving is still 'done by hand', if you consider a treadle loom to be operated by hand. Another 'authentic' requirement is that the weaving is done in the weaver's home.
Coincidentally, I'm writing this a few hundred yards from the River Tweed, which is nowhere near Harris, but still has a few woolen mills left. They use modern machinery around here.
Posted in: Tweed takes over Tokyo for Japan Fashion Week
albaleoOct. 06, 2013 - 03:34AM JST
@USNinJapan " for one am glad that security at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is as tight as it evidently is"
I'm not sure I agree. We could argue that security is pretty weak when police have to resort to shooting someone because they are unable to bring a vehicle to a stop. Until I hear further information, as a poster above says, it appears like a summary execution.
Posted in: Official: Woman killed in Washington chase was delusional
albaleoSep. 23, 2013 - 06:45AM JST
A lot of criticism here, but Japan's road safety record is pretty good. Road fatality rates are relatively low, however measured. While there's no need for complacency, some other countries might want to take note.
[nostalgia alert] I got caught speeding in Nara once during the spring campaign. The policeman who stopped me was pretty funny. He told me I was an idiot for not knowing it was the campaign season, pretty much implying it was OK to speed at any other time of year. I was able to avoid the points penalty by attending a lecture. It was very good. They showed the effect of a 50kph crash with a video of a car being dropped from a crane. Worth seeing.
Posted in: Autumn traffic-safety campaign starts
albaleoSep. 20, 2013 - 05:24PM JST
"has anything else in the history of the world sold as much as $800 million in product in one day"
NTT Mobile stock - $18.4 billion on the first day of issue
Posted in: 'Grand Theft Auto V' hauls in $800 mil in debut
albaleoSep. 18, 2013 - 05:37PM JST
One of my favourite quotes (among a long list from Billy Connolly)
"Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on. "
Posted in: Comedian Billy Connolly treated for cancer, diagnosed with Parkinson's
albaleoSep. 17, 2013 - 05:29PM JST
"However, the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 (Carter) changed how mental institutions were funded and supported on a national scale."
I believe that Act increased funding for treatment, especially for community care as a support for those leaving institutions. It was a law of the following year (different president) that greatly slashed the budgets for mental car, essentially rescinding much of the 1980 Act.
Posted in: 13 dead in shooting rampage at U.S. Navy complex in Washington
albaleoSep. 06, 2013 - 06:00PM JST
if you have an emergency birth or need a c-section, then you'll end up out of pocket a lot more.
if you have an emergency birth or need a c-section, then you'll end up out of pocket a lot more.
Just to back up Cleo's comment above. My wife had a c-section and because of the way child birth is treated under the kokumin hoken, it worked out cheaper than a regular birth. (I'm not advocating c-sections. My wife would have paid anything not to go through that again.) This was a long time ago, so things may have changed. Then, there was a fixed 100,000 yen 'gift' for having a child. Childbirth costs were typically about 300,000 at the time. But as a c-section was treated as a medical cost, the entire childbirth bill was covered by the insurance. Only pay 30%, and even then, there was an upper limit on what you had to pay. (At the time, I think the limit was 200,000)
[nostalgia alert] I have a fond memory from the ward office in Osaka where I went to sort out the rebate. After sorting out the rebate, I was told to then go to another counter to pick up the 100,000 'gift'. I didn't realize we would get the 100,000 in addition to the rebate, and I must have questioned this. An elderly lady behind me in the queue touched me on the shoulder and said something to the effect of, 'don't ask questions when someone is giving out money'.
Posted in: Japanese mother compares child-rearing techniques in U.S. and Japan
albaleoAug. 27, 2013 - 05:38PM JST
The timing of Kerry's outburst seems strange. Why not wait until the UN inspectors have finished their investigation?
Posted in: U.S. warns Assad over 'undeniable' chemical weapons attack
albaleoAug. 27, 2013 - 05:25PM JST
"Self-defense is not a legal defense like it is in many countries."
Article 36 of the penal code: "An act unavoidably performed to protect the rights of oneself or any other person against imminent and unlawful infringement is not punishable." So it would appear to be a legal defense.
The same law also states: "An act exceeding the limits of self-defense may lead to the punishment being reduced or may exculpate the offender in light of the circumstances."
I'm not sure this is so different from most other countries.
Posted in: Four teenagers mug man to buy special attack uniforms for meeting AKB48
albaleoAug. 25, 2013 - 11:48PM JST
"Surely not 530,000 jobs... ??"
That may be 530 jobs in this universe, and the same in each of the 1000 parallel universes that the particle collisions will open up.
Posted in: Scientists propose site in Tohoku for International Linear Collider
albaleoAug. 25, 2013 - 11:02PM JST
"the now scientifically predictable effects of man-made global warming"
So predictable, that almost none of the global climate models were able to predict the temperature standstill of the last 10 to 15 years.
Posted in: Temperatures forecast to be higher than average for Sept-Nov
Dec. 06, 2013 - 06:05PM JST
Posted in: Tempers flare in Diet over state secrets bill
Dec. 06, 2013 - 06:04PM JST
Zichi, can you put into plain and simple terms what 150 microsieverts per hour actually means?…
Posted in: Japan may set up UK-style decommission agency for Fukushima plant
Dec. 06, 2013 - 06:00PM JST
I hope people don't start comparing Mandela with Ghandi. Ghandi achieved what he did without violence,…
Posted in: NELSON MANDELA DIES AT 95
It disturbs me that this is not dealt with differently. By acquiescing to the demands in…
Posted in: Children threatened with death if school doesn't cancel 'bonenkai'
You know, this could have been a teacher who didn't want to attend because he/she had…