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browny1Oct. 09, 2015 - 08:51PM JST
nigel - thanks for the comment.
What international media did you see?
The Japanese laureates were extensively covered on BBC. And good to see S. Alexievich was featured on nhk. Missed it. What program was that?
And I stand by my assertion that the general coverage given here ( here - because we are here), esp prime time popular media, is shallow, lowbrow and contrived to elicit wows & tears from the circus galleries.
The Nobel Awards is not Summer Koshien.
Posted in: Nobel Literature prize again eludes Japan's hope, Haruki Murakami
browny1Oct. 09, 2015 - 08:23PM JST
Sad for such a needless loss of life.
I don't know the facts but I did see the site on tv news.
It appears the most basic rule of trenching was ignored.
All trench walls must be shored up,underpinned or braced.
I couldn't see evidence of any such support system - but I could be mistaken.
Sliding, toppling or subsiding of soil into the excavation is the deadly end-result of inadequate preparations.
Who is responsible? Don't know, but it looked like an accident waiting to happen - with tragic results.
Posted in: Cave-in kills 2 workers at construction site in Yamaguchi
browny1Oct. 09, 2015 - 12:06PM JST
Funny how politicians cherry-pick "data" to suit their own agendas, but ignore it when it doesn't.
Current examples - majority of people oppose the new self defense enactments, but they(the people) just lack understanding or majority of people don't want the nuclear reactors re-started, but we're in charge not them.
Posted in: Since a majority of the public says capital punishment is unavoidable, it is not appropriate to abandon the system.
browny1Oct. 09, 2015 - 11:58AM JST
Far too many people think the nobel prize is a competition to be won, likening it to the olympics.
Such notions couldn't be further from the truth. It's an award for significant contribution / benefit to humankind. Not first past the post.
I didn't see too many (any) congratulatory messages on the popular news programs to Svetlana Alexievich or the other laureates. Better such programs focus on the Rugby World cup.
browny1Oct. 08, 2015 - 09:17AM JST
Alistair - could be, could be. ha, ha but not so ha, ha!
And in addition to the "Minister for the Ichioku - 100m" role, Kato certainly has a sweeping portfolio.
Including the Minister for Birthrates; Minister for the Elderly; Minister for the NK Abductions; and the real clanger - Minister for Womens Empowerment.
Outdone even Monty Pythons "Minister of Silly Walks".
Posted in: Opposition lawmakers criticize cabinet reshuffle
browny1Oct. 08, 2015 - 08:50AM JST
Because they're as reliable as the sun rising and tough as nuts.
Posted in: Why do extremists drive Toyotas? asks U.S.
browny1Oct. 06, 2015 - 08:23PM JST
LFR - thanks again. A final comment. I agree planning & preparation are the key ingredients for any safe successful activity - sports or otherwise. But I think your comment re " a wholesale makeover" is a bit off the mark. Retiring the pyramid-to-the-sky is hardly a sensational change - it's only a very small part of a full sports day, de-facto staple or otherwise. Change for the sake of change has little merit, but change can - surprise, surprise - usher in a whole new era of challenge and surprise. The "it's always been done" doesn't quite cut it with me. At my daughters primary school, it took years for enthusiastic parents to convince the OBs, dead - PTA members et al that changing the kids footwear from the old 50 years of tradition wearing "kurogutsu" was in the kids best interest. These post war poverty era shoes were used for all activities including sports. The reason for not wanting to change, "we wore such shoes and it's our proud tradition". The shoes were finally scrapped in 2010. This attitude I see in pyramids.
Timtak - love it. ".........imho because psychologically the Japanese are a bit too independent......."
Never thought of it before - that they have to be brow-beaten into conformity as a way to keep their independent values in check.
Posted in: 8 students suffered broken bones over 3 years in 'human pyramids' at school
browny1Oct. 06, 2015 - 03:58PM JST
LFR - thank you.
Yes, you have successfully described sports as spectacles, which is why spectators watch I guess. My point was not that, but rather that pyramid building on sports day seems to be a show event "managed" for the watchers. I personally don't care either way if these events continue or not, just in my opinion they leave a lot to be desired as a sport. As I said countless other excellent engaging activities.
And you seem a little fixated on the hard work, endurance, teamwork etc that comes with pyramid building as if it's the pinnacle of these achievements. All sports organized and developed in the right manner can achieve this. Also you said earlier about this being an example of the "sanitizing of sports". Well Iooking at the way many of the school sports clubs here operate, they are as far from sanitized as possible. At times ridiculously grueling training - like dragging car tyres around the ground in mid-summer - with what appears to be little learned support of the benefits of such activities.
I understand where you're coming from, but a statistic that comes to mind in these discussions is the 100s of deaths that have occured over the years in kids judo (yes 100s) in Japan as against the 0 deaths that have occurred in kids judo in France, where the participation rate is much higher (France has the highest judo participation rate in the world).
Same sport, same risks, same +ive benefits - but something is / was quite wrong here.
browny1Oct. 06, 2015 - 01:04PM JST
LFR - risk taking as you suggest is a part of life - no ones arguing that point. Sports can not only build healthy bodies & minds but also help in developing a sense of comittment, achievement, teamwork, dedication, problem solving etc etc. And fun should be at the centre of all this. I was a mediocre sports player in my school years - but I did play Aussie football, cricket, basketball, swimming, cross country and grass hockey. I enjoyed because training was generally twice a week and in season we played GAMES every week. I was always in the lower level teams - B or C grade - but I competed. If I went to school in Japan, the chances of me ever playing a game, ( ie making the first team because there is only a first team), would be close to buckleys. I'm extremely thankful that I had such experiences. Sadly many kids here won't - not in school teams anyway.
But I reiterate, and as others have said - these pyramid building activities (esp the many tiered ones) are yet to convince me of any great inherent benefit - other than a spectacle for onlookers. There are countless other sporting activities - with risks & challenges - that could be incorporated into sports days.
browny1Oct. 06, 2015 - 09:29AM JST
Rat - I agree. With the time devoted to sports & hard training in many schools here, you'd thiink that there would be world class teams across most sports - but there isn't. For the population and the time spent on training I'd say Japan is well under-represented. Must be doing something wrong.
And the pyramid building seems to have gotten bigger & bigger over the years. A kind of reach for the sky challenge with no limits. And I'm not sure if it really is a sport or not. Human card stacking.
browny1Oct. 06, 2015 - 09:22AM JST
Mr Noidall - not everyone who has a particular dislike for Abe, Jiminto and their cohorts hates Japan. You are painting with a very w-i-d-e brush. Of course some may hate Japan in its entirety, but stop the stereo typing of all who have opinions different to yours.
The most vitriol I've ever heard against Abe has come from a close Japanese friend - a retiring type, a doctor in his mid 70s and he pours it on Abe. His father died in the war, and you'd think it was yesterday sometimes. He'll take this contempt of Abe & Co to his grave. But at the same time he is a wonderful calm man with 3 children & 8 grand children and he loves his country.
Posted in: Abe's new slogan stirs memories of wartime rhetoric
browny1Oct. 05, 2015 - 09:18PM JST
I had read the article - I was simply making comment re Tina's post.
And I stand by my suggestion. The coincidence of the newly coined "......100mill can be active........" with past "calls for 100mill...." is quite remarkable.
Abe recently has taken more than enough flak as it is, who'd have thought his elves hadn't given this one due consideration. So I'd suggest it's a possible hat-tip to the thinly veiled ones amongst other things. Simple.
browny1Oct. 05, 2015 - 08:10PM JST
Can't believe 100mill. is a rounded 126mill.
106mill, OK then. 116mill, well a far stretch. And 126mill, that's just nonsense.
Tina - he could have said ichi ten ni oku nin if he wanted a short simple expression.
I'd suggest he was dragging baggage with intent or naive or naively informed or all of these.
browny1Oct. 04, 2015 - 11:15AM JST
Momii needs to understand that it is what is "left out" more than what is "put in" that constitutes an obvious obeisance.
But then he'd know that wouldn't he?
Posted in: We are often called the Abe channel online, but there is no government interference in our coverage. I don’t think our coverage is biased.
browny1Oct. 04, 2015 - 11:12AM JST
Agree with Yubaru - pre-school teachers salaries in my prefecture are notoriously low with demanding conditions to boot. Most of the teachers - quite a few - I've met over the years are dedicated and love kids. But they burn out. A few years back my daughters kinder teacher - about 25 years old - quit end of term to work in docomo customer service (telephone) Compared to teaching, her salary was "heaven", her daily schedule was set, and she had comparatively little stress.
A society / govt. that neglects the world of education does so at it's own risk. Esp early childhood and primary education are critical for childrens future social / academic development. Make it right at the start for all concerned - including teachers - and society will benefit.
How an ordinary officious paper shuffler in a govt office (at my city hall) can attract a salary & benefits far in excess of those dealing with the lives of children is beyond me.
Posted in: Perks planned to get nursery school teachers on leave back to work
browny1Sep. 29, 2015 - 05:22PM JST
This was a tragedy for the boy and his family, and they must have mixed feelings about the courts decision.
However in defense of Schindler, the whole operations including service & maintenance were taken over by SEC. It was SEC's negligence entirely. However at the time of the incident, a trial by media witch hunt was conducted and Schindler was nailed to the wall.
Complaints were thick and fast about the inferior foreign product and when the lift was replaced by Mitsubishi(I think) , everyone was thankful that they now had a safe Japanese product. The German head of Schindler even came and bowed profusely in public - to little avail.
Now it seems the court has got it right and Schindler bears no blame for the ineptitude of the maintenance company.
I paralled this story with an advanced english study group a while back, to the ongoing Takata air-bag controversy and how the media here has been relatively light on the company considering all the deaths. But many couldn't really see that parallel.
browny1Sep. 22, 2015 - 05:50PM JST
Peace out - my sentiments exactly.
Sadly a long life is lost and another long life ruined. And we can't change that.
And as you said we weren't there, so don't know the exact situation, but from personal experience and others stories, the police often take the easy way out - the car must be in the wrong. No need for in depth analysis.
Seen it with my own eyes. I actually argued strongly for a driver in a supermarket carpark incident. I saw it all and the negligent child was at fault - no 2 ways about it. I as the only witness said I'd support the driver a 1,000 times in court.
I never knew the final outcome - BUT I do know the driver was never charged and never saw the inside of a courtroom.
Nothing involving cars & people is always cut & dried.
Posted in: 91-year-old woman hit and killed by car while on her way to Respect for Aged Day ceremony
browny1Sep. 21, 2015 - 10:32AM JST
Alpha - interesting comments. A few points.
NZ & Argentina don't to my knowledge have extensive US military bases on their soil. It's the full time presence of the world's most sophisticted military in japan that changes the equation - regardless of your thinking.
"Japan wants to change it's constitution, so what." you said. Well, problem is there are legal protocols (laws) to follow in order to change the constitution. These are set in place so serious debate / referendum / analysis can take place before a change is approved by a 66% majority. Abe did not follow the law - simply by-passed it by interpreting it in his own vision.
And re a nation having an army to defend itself. Yes you are right many countries do. BIG point is - Japan already has a military created for exactly that - to defend itself. It's called the "Self Defence Force". It's in the top 8 or so military forces in the world and is certainly greater in size than Britains.
All this fuss you ask about can simply be answered by - "What is Abe's intent?" Self glory, USA smooching, Industrial military complex pleasing, right wing back rubbing, appeasing the soul of grandfather PM Kishi by finishing his military "work"..........? Only he knows but we can all have an educated guess.
Posted in: Abe faces backlash over security legislation; cabinet support rate falls
browny1Sep. 15, 2015 - 07:45PM JST
LFR - thanks again. Interesting discussion.
An interesting read in related field is Takeo Doi "The anatomy of dependence" focussing on the concept of "Amae"and "The anatomy of self: the indivdual versus society".
Perhaps you are familiar with, but if not I reccomend as a good read. Doi is probably the most famous/respected Japanese academic in the field of psychiatry.
Posted in: Documentary looks at why Japanese parents let young kids walk to school by themselves
browny1Sep. 15, 2015 - 04:52PM JST
LFR - thank you for your comments.
I don't disagreee with your sentiments re the general level of safety for a child here, say compared to Aust ( I don't know the states). And safety in general across the age spectrum. I've rarely felt threatened here compared to Aust.
But my point was, being a person(child ~ adult) of independence is not solely reliant upon safety. The program puts the notion to an Australian viewing audience, that kids here are so much more independent because one girl can brush her hair and commute to school alone. It was a very shallow portrayal of reality. I could just as easily make an 8 min docu in my city showing how the inter-dependence of Japanese society through kids is reinforced by group, communal activities. I'm sure many Australians would be surprised to see kids walking to school in groups, supervised by "uniformed" volunteers along the main routes. (routes are designated in my city as the correct way to go to and from). The regimentation of daily school life - from sitting 40 in a class in rows of desks, all in the same perfect uniforms (my prefecture), all learning the same stuff at the same age as all the others because - well, er ...they are the same. I could make such a program - BUT would it be a fair reflection on all kids in Japan. No.
As I alluded to in earlier posts - many of the children ~ uni students I've come across over the decades here lack confidence outside their group and comfort zones. Not unique in that, but it's prevalent enough to be significant.
If the problem is the semantics of the term "independence" then so be it, but by my reckoning it includes the ability to express oneself freely without fear of ridicule or disapproval by others. To have an independent opinion and the conviction to challenge others. I don't often see it. A terrible cliche, but holds a grain of truth for this society "the nail that stands out gets hammered down". Not exactly conducive to indepenence. Far greater analysts than I could ever imagine to be, have written tomes on the nature of groupism in Japanese society.
Also your mentioned Hajimete no Otsukai as if it was true for all Japanese. TV is an illusion - be careful. Also - did you watch the documentary? Hajimete no Otsukai was featured.
Finally, I agree that freedom of movement is an integral aspectof being independent, but if freedom of indivdual thought is not actively encouraged and engaged then it's a shallower independence.
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