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browny1Apr. 26, 2015 - 10:52AM JST
Hugging is but one aspect of a generally non-touching society, esp in public.
In recent years the "handshake" has broken the touching ice so as to speak, but even now a supposedly complimentary tap on the shoulder or congratulatory pat on the arm may well freeze a few folks.
2 instances in the popular media reflecting this, remain firmly etched in my mind.
One - a son(about 60) reunited with his mother(80s) after 40years, and they stood 10cms apart crying so deeply and I thought just wrap your arms around your mum and hold her dearly and share the warmth of the moment. It seemed so ..almost unnatural - but then by affirming that I'd be culturally discriminating wouldn't I?
Second - in 2004 when US deserter Charles Jenkins (he spent 40 years in Korea and married Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga) was finally released and re-united with his wife in Indonesia they kissed and embraced as he disembarked. Incredible how the focus here was on THAT KISS. It seemed as if everything else was secondary. It took weeks for the media and I dare say for a chunk of the population to get over the "shock".
That an expression of love through touch, hardly raising an eyebrow elsewhere, could be so sensational still resonates within me. While not wishing to impose my biased cultural barbarisms onto others, I can't but help to think, just a little physical warming has a great efficacy. I believe much of the mammalian world participates in such hard-wired practices, and sadly with some of us humans it is culturally expunged.
But then I'm a Tactile Junkie.
Posted in: Why do Japanese people seldom hug friends or family in public?
browny1Apr. 23, 2015 - 08:46AM JST
The equally disgusting element of this tale of animal abuse is the fact that the govt officials went there 34 times and there requests were ignored.
So the city actually contributed to the suffering of the animals by not promptly closing down the hell hole.
Once warned is lenient, twice warned is on the verge and 3 times is definitely out. But not here. One can only suspect (suspect I say) he had yakuza connections, because historically many shady characters have been involved in the "animmal trade".
As much as I don't like the booming pet shop industry, at least the modern stores I have seen are spacious, bright, clean and have caring staff. How such an abommination as the Tokyo shop remained needs further investigation.
Posted in: Officials close Tokyo pet shop for poor practices in 1st such case
browny1Apr. 21, 2015 - 09:07AM JST
Disturbing act - that now may well prompt some serious debate on animal welfare and the suffering of many from abandoned pets to jikoku-ryori.
Posted in: Teacher who buried kittens alive charged with violating animal cruelty law
browny1Apr. 21, 2015 - 08:47AM JST
Reformed B - why would the sincerity of a person's an anti-war comment be brought into question because they disagree with Abe's push for increased military spending, increased military operations abroad and his govt's promotion of the weapons industry and global weapons marketing as good for business?
To me the two are inextricably linked - no argument.
Posted in: Iwo Jima vet, Okinawa survivor wrestle with WWII legacy
browny1Apr. 19, 2015 - 02:13PM JST
Agree with many posters - stop the brain numbing ritualized cropping of trees. The positive impact of greening urban zones to reduce temperatures has long been scientifically established.
I had a big argument with my city council over this a few years back and the weak justification was that in Japan we have a history of trimming (scalping) trees.
I said a street tree is not a garden tree. I asked them "What is the role of a street tree?" To make the street more beautiful they absent mindedly answered. So I said how does an annual heavy pruning of a tree leaving minimal or no canopy for most of the year make a street more beautiful???
I kid you not - their answer was along the lines that we Japanese have a different concept of "traditionally beautiful".
I just gave up.
Posted in: Gov't discusses ways to keep streets, sidewalks cool during 2020 Olympics
browny1Apr. 19, 2015 - 11:27AM JST
Ossan - Make sure you read Jersey's reply slowly & carefully.
The reasons he stated are certainly contributing to this ongoing pantomine.
The commments by some of the nations most influential politicians & business leaders, in essence effectively repudiating previous apologies, has outraged those who are easily outraged.
It's been obvious for some time now that Abe refuses to accept criticism of any type on any topic by anyone, so he continues to pump himself and his lot up, while effusing a reality created in his own image with little or no humility.
Murakami simply notes this, and states what may be necesssary to score victory in an act of heart-felt diplomacy.
Posted in: Japan must apologise for WWII until it is forgiven: Novelist Murakami
browny1Apr. 14, 2015 - 08:57AM JST
Cleo - right on!
Health care workers working conditions and salaries are nothing short of attrocious. Sloths sitting at desks sharpening pencils get at least double the pay & benefits of such workers.
If Abe wants to increase the number of workers - do something concrete - make real changes & introduce new rules to the game. I'm not holding my breath though, coz the spooners can afford whatever it takes for their health care.
Posted in: The government is encouraging unemployed people to consider becoming health care workers because there is a chronic shortage in the nursing care business. Do you think that is a good idea?
browny1Apr. 13, 2015 - 08:38AM JST
While not condoning bad public behaviour, I can't help but think this is NOTHING at all.
If some Japanese teenagers did an impromptu short dance in an uncrowded train or bent some sakura branches to take snapshots - would it be International News?
If the Thai people want to see another side of Japanese train etiquette witness the late night drunk "expresses" or wonder why there are women only carriages to avoid sexual harrassment. Or another twist on the "sacredness" of sakura, witness the alcohol fueled swim throughs with all their bawdy, noisy behaviour, that take place on blue tarps under the sacred trees.
None of the above behaviour is to be welcomed at any time, but the Thai kids acts seem way out of proportion to the attack on them.
Posted in: Group of teenage Thai actors punished for dancing on Japanese train
browny1Apr. 11, 2015 - 07:15PM JST
Illyas - i have no clear understanding of your response.
Please explain what you mean.
Posted in: Obama, Castro to hold historic talks
browny1Apr. 11, 2015 - 10:37AM JST
Finally a start to the end of an elongated cold war ostracism. Should have been over at least 2 decades ago. What possible benefit has there been in this display of overt powering - a decrease in the threat to the life, liberty & justice of Americans?
Remarkable even more, is that during this period, some of USA's diverse anti-democratic buddies - Saudi, China, etc - have been responsible for highly questionable state sponsored military acts, repression of human rights, stomping on press freedom and the crushing of civil dissent - yet nary a sanction in comparison to the extreme harrassment of Big, Bad, Bogey-boy Cuba.
If Goliath ever had his foot on the throat of David this was it.
browny1Apr. 11, 2015 - 10:11AM JST
El nino didn't emerge last summer and last into winter.
Posted in: El Nino likely to emerge by summer, says weather bureau
browny1Apr. 11, 2015 - 10:09AM JST
Typical nanny state over-kill!
The only reason for this is because Abe's nose was bloodied by the uproar over the murder of Goto & co after his cozying up to the "good" arab states. So it "can't happen on my watch" again, issue a blanket ban. Incredulous!!!
Sugimoto is a seasoned war zone reporter - not a death wish, flight of fancy, wanna-be commando. Reporters from all over the world ply their trade in conflict zones. Switch on the BBC and you will see live reports from such areas every day. Yes it's dangerous. Yes it's risky. Yes there's a high chance kidnap / torture / death in some instances. But to deny respected professionals access to the source is simply dictatorial.
And Sugimoto didn't want to go to the live combat zone, but to a border refugee camp under control of the Kurds, not IS.
Classic Abe deMOCKracy.
Posted in: Journalist's new passport bans him from going to Iraq, Syria
browny1Apr. 10, 2015 - 09:22AM JST
Ken Watanabe - one of the true talents of the entertainment industry. Versatile, charismatic and all round nice guy.
An acquaintance met him briefly on a studio site years back and said he oozed "charm & allure" and everyone felt it.
I'm sure he'll win many admirers in NY.
Posted in: Ken Watanabe on 'The King and I'
browny1Apr. 05, 2015 - 10:59AM JST
As i may have posted elsewhere - the fact that he has to "craft" a statement with the aid and advice of a panel of 16 experts over a few months - indicates to me that any ensuing words will not be genuine and just more apparat-ese.
Why can't Abe just straight out say what he thinks & feels of his own volition?
Because if he did it would be way, way off the mark.
Posted in: Abe to craft war history statement with eye on U.S.
browny1Apr. 03, 2015 - 09:04AM JST
I don't see the point of your anecdotes. Do you expect congratulations?
Just because you don't have audio-sensory overload, doesn't mean others don't and that shouldn't be seen as a weakness.
Are you reccomending a "ganbatte, Shape up, or Ship out" program?
Posted in: Residents up in arms over children's noise at daycare centers
browny1Apr. 03, 2015 - 08:55AM JST
All of these worrying social trends and problems developed under LDP's watch - growing like cancer over decades of neglect.
Now Abe throws his hat into the ring with a bread & circus show - almost daily, telling how he's going to save Japan, but never any remorse for contributinging to the creation of such situations.
Posted in: Abe unveils plans for fund to tackle child poverty
browny1Apr. 02, 2015 - 09:10AM JST
The best short term scenario will be for Onaga to decline to meet with Suga - to heat things up a little more.
Abe & Suga's refusal to meet Onaga last year was just childish and smacked of condescension.
The LDP have had decades to negotiate long term solutions, but have lacked a true acknowledgement of the feelings of most Okinawans and lacked the spine to challenge the Americans.
Posted in: Suga to visit Okinawa on Saturday
browny1Apr. 02, 2015 - 08:54AM JST
commanteer - Ha, Ha!
That's why you need the wine & heavy metal - then you're deemed sane!!!
But - someone please try it and report back on it's efficacy.
Posted in: Japanese company makes tear-free onions
browny1Apr. 02, 2015 - 08:50AM JST
Sensato - totally agree. Incessant at times.
A few years back stayed at a friends "besso" log cabin in a largish town for a weekend.
Sunday morning @ 6:30am, wife & I shocked out of our slumber by Beethoven's 9th at full bore.
Followed by a squeaking and scratching speaker and finally the loud, staccato rambling of the local senior, announcing that there were no messages today.
In a peaceful town - I kid you not.
browny1Apr. 01, 2015 - 08:00PM JST
When slicing or dicing onions, a good way to prevent tears is to clasp a full slice of bread , by the edge crust between your teeth so 95% of the slice droops downwards.
The sulphuric compounds that waft upwards are mostly absorbed by the bread - before reaching the eyes.
After finishing, pour a nice glass of shiraz, put on some heavy metal, sit down and relax while nibbling the onion flavoured bread between sips & sups.
As an alternative the bread can be toasted, but you will need to retain a heavy dollop of metal.
PS - this is not April Foolery - please try.
Apr. 28, 2015 - 01:59AM JST
@Bogi: you also see European people, before a judo match, bowing. Nothing weird...
Not a good…
Posted in: Give us a hug
Apr. 28, 2015 - 01:45AM JST
An instructor eh? Perhaps now that they've caught the chikan sensei they will nip this problem…
Posted in: Police inspector questioned over groping incident on Osaka train
Apr. 28, 2015 - 01:30AM JST
No, but Putin probably supported downing Korean Air Lines Flight 007. Just because your country…
Posted in: Putin accuses U.S. of supporting separatists in Russia
Apr. 28, 2015 - 01:22AM JST
KERRY FOR 2016!
There is zero harm in offering the apology. Do it until it's accepted, not when you…
Posted in: Abe says he may drop direct apology in WWII statement