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browny1Jul. 24, 2014 - 06:40PM JST
kchoze - your comments appear to be heavily focused on economics as if that's the be all and end all of life.
As I posted earlier the God of Convenience is more oft than not the rod by which many conduct their lives here - but that doesn't make it the most harmonious factor for quality lifestyle or is conducive to notions other than ease of effort.
Maybe we should all live in capsule hotels next to conbinis and train stations.
Posted in: 400-year-old garden in Okayama to be replaced with condominium complex
browny1Jul. 24, 2014 - 09:03AM JST
I love the positive spins on Japaenese town planning - rational(need a school for the poor kids - build it), flexible (need a flyover - build it), efficient(environmental concerns waste time - build it) .......
Sure, in a basically "flexible" planning system the developers get what they want - whether they be small or large scale.
But the negatives abound. Some local examples.
- a crash repair body shop (one of the most toxic industries) built opposite the university, next to a convenience store across from apartments and houses all within 1km of the prefectural govt building. Nothing like the smell of thinners in the morning. Nice, very Nice.
- 15 floor apartment built next to a small temple / kindergarten(my daughter went there) suddenly overshadowing everything. The sense of scale, intimacy, privacy, light, breezes gone. Nice one.
- an historical garden in my city that easily equals the "top 3", but can never be afforded that status because of the weak weak zoning laws which allowed for the development of many high apartments around / near the perimeter destroying the "shakkei" but making a big sales point for the sellers. Nice.
I could spend a day writing about this in just my area and never be done.
Haphazardness has taken over cities and towns planning and the public have bought into it with the suck-hole mantra of "convenience".
browny1Jul. 23, 2014 - 10:25AM JST
I agree with most views above, but think the standout point re costs is the coddling of the fruit.
Deliberately reducing crop yields by removing buds or young fruit forcing the trres to concentrate energy on the remaining fruit. Then hand wrapping each fruit in situ and hand harvesting one by one. Finally each individual fruit is chosen for perfect size, shape and coloring (by hand) and placed into bespoke containers.
All this costs. But is the fruit superior in taste & nutrition? I don't think so. But people believe so.
Near here in a famous olive growing area, I watched a while back pickers picking olives one by one - to make premium olive oil they said ( I think their 200ml bottles sell for about ￥3,000.) .
Not much I could say after witnessing that - except maybe mottainai.
Posted in: Why are summer fruits, such as peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, etc, so expensive in Japan?
browny1Jul. 23, 2014 - 10:11AM JST
Many excellent, but one always sticks in my mind as an example of on the edge, DIY reporting -
Posted in: Name 3 of the best documentaries you have ever seen.
browny1Jul. 23, 2014 - 10:05AM JST
Agree totally with all posters.
The lack of awareness of adults to the problems associated with high temperatures/humidity is surely the major contributing factor.
Maintaining body fluids, resting in peak heat times and dare I suggest it - cancelling events when the conditions exceed a set level.
In my city today the UV forecast is for a max of 9.5 @ midday - that's almost extreme rating- but rest assured there wiill be little change in the local schools club activities.
At my daughters closing of the term ceremony on Friday a boy who received an award on stage - and had to remain there standing for over 30mins - fainted and fell 1.5 meters to the floor below. He had concussion and a seizure. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and has now fully recovered. The conditions in the hall at the time with over 1,000 people in attendance were stifling. At no time was there a hint of even stopping or shortening the ceremony.
Posted in: The major cause of heatstroke is abnormal weather, but children’s lifestyle of playing games in air-conditioned indoor settings has likely contributed to the increase.
browny1Jul. 23, 2014 - 09:06AM JST
What a sad state of affairs. I've been there a good many years ago with a uni group. A delightful oasis, incorporating many of the classical aspects of japanese garden design.
It's extraordinary that the city or ken could not take over the garden and maintain it for posterity.
Sadly I've seen this time and time again over the years. People wet themselves over places being awarded world heritage status ( and consequently flock there in numbers devaluing the very status), but when it comes to preservation of minor historical heritage sites the lack of action is at times striking.
Governments and citizens need to become much more pro-active in conservation and an institution similar to National Trust with teeth and laws needs to be developed.
So many wonderful places already lost, but it's not too late.
browny1Jul. 21, 2014 - 12:34PM JST
toshiko - "you can not blame him for things happened in Japan before 2012".
Well not everything - but as a former prime minister and as a senior silver spoon member of the ldp for decades, we can surely point the finger.
Abe has currently the most sophisticated PR machine afforded by any leader in Japan on board. It's purpose is to keep the ldp in power at all costs, and will never miss an opportunity to milk as much credit from a situation as it possibly can.
Abe is not alone in this, but the experts of experts are on his payroll.
Posted in: Abe says Japan willing to help in Malaysia jet crash probe
browny1Jul. 21, 2014 - 12:20PM JST
Cortes Elijah - I'm afraid your post contains far too many common sense initiatives.
As such, they would surely fall on the publics deaf ears.
Posted in: 3-year-old girl hit and killed by car in Osaka; driver arrested
browny1Jul. 20, 2014 - 09:47PM JST
semperfi - why all the shouting?
And many countries have offered assistance - nothing special about abe's offer(more a media beat up).
And in the world of political wink - winks, nothing is ever lost by playing the game.
And abe is in(as are others).
browny1Jun. 05, 2014 - 09:54PM JST
Many posters are focussing on manga, whereas the new legislation is for photographic&video child porn - which brings me to the BIG question - why has it taken so many years and so much external pressure to introduce this legislation, when it has been clear that real life childrens rights have been abused and violated? Why the hold up? Why the foot dragging with the sexualization of real kids?
I shudder to think of the real answer.
Posted in: Japan to ban possession of child porn, but manga, anime exempt
browny1Jun. 05, 2014 - 08:55AM JST
el - I too have often wondered about Japanese censors fixation with pubic hair/genitals and their need to pixelate such images to protect social morals.
A few years ago, a long thought lost original, historical footage(1920's) of native Papuans first contact with outsiders was unearthed and shown on nhk I think. To my disbelief the naked natives genitalia were blurred.
But the exploitation of children through degrading images, to satisfy the lustful urges of men(mainly) is ok.
browny1Jun. 04, 2014 - 09:37PM JST
90 years ago - but when? The 3rd of June or Mid August?
This year Hokkaido has already experienced 30+ deg. weeks ago in what should be still early spring.
I'd suggest that this current bout is unprecedented.
Posted in: Hokkaido experiences highest temperatures in 90 years
browny1Jun. 04, 2014 - 07:28PM JST
I'm with Magnet - I thought OC was short strayt talk for Obsessive Compulsive.
And there's plenty of that to go around - esp on Youtube.
Posted in: OC Desu: It’s what all the cool kids are typing nowadays
browny1Jun. 04, 2014 - 07:24PM JST
JLee - Riken's integrity is already under question for their irresponsible manner in which this affair was monitored and administered.
Since when do recently appointed junior associates have seemingly no-bounds criteria for publishing research. I say no bounds because Riken as the controlling supervising institution, apparently gave open license to Obokata - or - were delinquent in their expected senior supervisory & monitoring role. Either way, the buck stops with Riken.
Riken certainly has lost face in the science world, due purely to it's own inadequacies.
Posted in: Obokata agrees to retract stem cell papers: RIKEN
browny1May. 28, 2014 - 12:02PM JST
Alphaape - A well connected political family - er the Bush family readily comes to mind.
Unfortunately Aso's many, many "gaffes" over the years are still tolerated by the media and the people (or they display little show of disaffection) and strangely so, because often it's the "people" whom he slights.
Has there ever been a strong move to have him removed over his statements? In many democracies he would not have survived this long.
Posted in: I'm 73, going on 74, and I've never had a long stay in hospital. It's not fair that the tax I pay covers all the medical expenses of slouches.
browny1May. 28, 2014 - 08:48AM JST
The Masterpiece of Masterpieces - "Allegro non Troppo"
Then the game changer "Akira"
And for it's scope, drama and fun the "Toy story series"
Posted in: What are your three favorite animated films of all time?
browny1May. 22, 2014 - 08:58AM JST
Braniac - my sentiments exactly.
They went from a "zero involvement of citizens in the process at all" - to a " citizens judge(they can question), jury, executioner" system.
As I believe, most jury systems in the world bear the responsibility of only listening to and discussing evidence amongst themselves and deciding guilt.
Whoever thought it would be a good idea for local Taro & Aiko jurors to kill (govt. sanctioned) someone.
Posted in: This week marks the 5th anniversary of the start of the lay judge system in Japan. Do you think having lay judges is a better system than an all-professional judge system in criminal trials?
browny1May. 21, 2014 - 11:02PM JST
My original statement was re the notion of how people believe certain foods are superior (eg wagyu) without knowing much about the product at all and esp the misconstrued idea of what is "natural". Similar to how people believe golf courses are "Nature". Yes well they have elemnts of nature - grass & trees, but it could be easily argued that they are not natural but artificial. And a key point was "superior in what way - to what"
"..And I laugh when folks try to tell me how superior wagyu is. Superior in what way to what? Superior in creating the most artificial meat on the market. Fed lots of unnatural ingredients (for cows), kept inside in doctored environments with a minimum of exercise and that's meant to be natural.."
As a non-meat eater I don't care what meat people eat, but if I was, I'd rather choose a free range variety - whether that be cows, chickens, sheep or whatever - for reasons other than just spiked-with-what flesh, but as someone concerned with the quality of life of animals (and I don't mean the right to listen to Bach while being pandered in their stalls and fed tid-bits).
In addition, as I stated, One +-ive aspect of TPP would be the start of solid questioning of current agricultural practices and the role of agriculture over the next century. Sustainability, environmental & resource imprints, land degradation, human resources are just a few of the issues needing to be discussed in depth by people at large.
Posted in: Farm tariffs to stay, Japan tells Pacific trading partners
browny1May. 20, 2014 - 09:38PM JST
Re the quality of Japanese produce - much of it appears to be of high quality, but then we are being constantly told so.
However the common folk are really being hoodwinked when they are told it's the safest. By what scientific comparison with which countries? Only comparing to China is of little value. Millions of tons of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibacterial agents etc etc are in use every year - as they are in many other countries - but if JA says it's ok, then everyone thinks it's OK.
And I laugh when folks try to tell me how superior wagyu is. Superior in what way to what? Superior in creating the most artificial meat on the market. Fed lots of unnatural ingredients (for cows), kept inside in doctored environments with a minimum of exercise and that's meant to be natural.
The TPP has many problems esp in the financial, property. insurance and service sectors to mention a few - but a reformation of Japan's antiquated and vested interest agriculture sector brought on by the TPP is a neccessary reality. Over 80% of the "farmers" are not farmers but weekend hobbyists with full time jobs. Their acreages, lifestyles and incomes are being subsidised by the willing(or unwilling) masses and this duplicity needs to be addressed.
Japanese agriculture will not disappear because of the TPP, but it may well disappear if changes to the current situation don't occur. Now 100,000's of hecatares of farmland are idle because of aged farmers or the benefits of not farming the land outweigh the use.
There are young enterprising farmers with vision who are relishing the challenge of the new era, but the valuable votes of the cronies and the staid policies of the powers to be are hampering their spirits.
Bring on the revolution.
browny1May. 17, 2014 - 06:24PM JST
Frungy - couldn't agree more.
Why does being left inclined or supporting peace so often attract antagonistic flak?
I can only believe the pushers are scared of their own shadows, so to elevate themselves they blurt.
What Japan needs are more people willing to speak up and challenge the status quo and not accept everything as a given.
So often internet rightists use belittlement to justify their misguided self-righteousness.
Lame never had it so good.
Posted in: Anyone who opposes something is characterized as ‘leftist’ and targeted for attack. Okinawa protesters have become just one more target for Internet rightists.
Jul. 24, 2014 - 11:43PM JST
There’s a new villain called Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. The possibility she will…
Posted in: Batman will not appear in Fox's 'Gotham' series
Jul. 24, 2014 - 11:41PM JST
"American aviation authorities extended a ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for a second day,…
Posted in: Gaza death toll rises as more airlines shun Israel
Jul. 24, 2014 - 11:34PM JST
The teachers may very well have not known about it. In Japan, the teachers change…
Posted in: Bullying suspected in Aomori high school girl's death
Jul. 24, 2014 - 11:30PM JST
I think a previous poster asked a good question.
Why not use anesthesia? Then give a…
Posted in: Condemned man takes nearly 2 hours to die in botched execution in Arizona
Jul. 24, 2014 - 11:29PM JST
Who cares, if it's 1 minute or 10 hours suffering....they deserve that!