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jpntdytmrowFeb. 18, 2015 - 08:49AM JST
How very sad.
I noticed when visiting Hokkaido that there are many areas in need of repair, mostly due to the extreme temperatures.
Surely, a continued cycle of ice, snow, freezing, melting, winds, causing rust, expansion, contraction would lead to strict rules about things attached above walking people below. Things fall.
Like so many things, it is only after someone is injured that things get fixed. I suppose Chicago is in a similar climate. Wonder if they inspect old signs. (Wasn't someone in a high rise in Tokyo tossing computers out his window recenlty)?
We had NTT come and drill for a huge electric pole at the BOTTOM of neighborhood sidewalk. They were really going to put that in, forcing us to slide into it on an icy day, or having to go into the street and risk being hit by a car to get around the pole! We put notices of potential death in a basket for them to read! An NTT man came and read the notes to his supervisor..... and voila! NO pole was put in!
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is still a relevant adage.
Posted in: 21 year-old woman in coma after building sign falls on her
jpntdytmrowFeb. 17, 2015 - 10:06PM JST
Where were the neighbors or the friends of the relatives or the school faculty, doctors who saw this coming in some form in her behavior, stress or is being overwhelmed something for women to have to put up with alone in silence and only be noticed when it is too late and death of a child is involved.
In the local drug store there is a HUGE poster for parents to call if they feel overwhelmed. "Call without condemnation" it says, just call, we will help you. It says that child abuse can be prevented and offers a kind hand to a potentially fatal situation. Wonder if anyone calls?
"the husband who was still at work..."
That has so many interprtetations in Japan:
1. Still tied to his desk at 10:30 p.m.
2. At an "important meeting" in a pub or yakitori or snack bar or,....with a customer."
3. At a farewell party for employees leaving the company.
4. At a welcome party for employees entering the company.
5. At whatever the company deems important in addition to the large amounts of paper work they do.
I know many women who have small children and who have to get up at 4 a.m. to prepare bentos, breakfast, get kids to school or preschools and then even get themselves to a job and get home and pick up kids on the way and get them fed and bathed and to bed with homework.
There is no father in the picture for days on end. He comes home drunk, unattentive and uncaring. The stress level rises. This has been going on for decades! I asked about this trend some 24 years ago at a baby health care check up. The cases of mothers killing children was high then.
The welfare people didn't say anything then. What have they learned now?
So sorry for this family. Unnecessarily cruel.
Do we have any friends who need help? How can we help?
How do schools help?
It has to stop but what is causing this decades old phenomenon? How do Japanese mothers get a break?
Who is educating fathers and husbands and families to let the woman have some time off!? Let her chill on the housework for a bit!
No excuses, but common causes.
Very sad and preventable. People do not get the help they need.
Posted in: 29-year-old woman arrested for killing 2 young daughters
jpntdytmrowFeb. 13, 2015 - 09:48AM JST
I mean anyone specific. oops of course it was a male! ;o)
Posted in: 17-year-old gives birth in toilet; dumps infant by river
jpntdytmrowFeb. 13, 2015 - 09:47AM JST
We cannot assume the person who got her pregnant was anyone. Unless she tells, someone, related or unrelated is free. Coerced or willing, a young girl can keep a secret for a very long time.
jpntdytmrowJan. 29, 2015 - 08:25AM JST
On religious gatherings....
Our university student had been targeted by any number of religious groups on campus. It should be one of the things universities warn students about upon entering any school along with alcohol and drugs. They seem very innocent, often "Christian" and then they start inviting the student(s) to "snack and tea," then to join a "chorus group" and then to "attend a very nice trip at a mountainous camp or small resort area." It was surprising to find out how many students became involved in these groups in the first year.
Sometimes they hover around on weekends and claim (or maybe really are) alumni of the school. It was really hard to get the exact name of the group. They say, "Oh, we'll talk about all that in detail at the tea or dinner. Let's just enjoy singing." But, we did have enough clues to look one group up on the Internet and then study about identifying cults on campus. Any number of Internet tutorials. Worth watching with your teen while they still value your opinions or concern.
Posted in: 19-year-old girl arrested for killing 77-year-old woman in Nagoya
jpntdytmrowJan. 13, 2015 - 11:16AM JST
It is interesting to remember that when the Germans came to Japan in the late 19th Century, they brought beer making skills, found medicinal value of hot springs, and the medical system was directly related to the extent that all students of medical and science fields were expected to study German until recent decades.
They were here long before the turn of political events after WWI.They stayed during WWII (a time when most foreign residents were sent home or sent to certain areas like Karuizawa). After WWII, the Japanese government along with the GHQ rounded up all people of German descent, including those who had come here during a peaceful time and likely had no connections to political events and they were sent back to Germany,a divided Germany many of them did not know...many were from parts of Germany that no longer existed.
So, my point being that history shows that there are no distinctions made between foreign residents of Japan who came with skills, proper papers, and new and future immigrants who come here to work. Foreign is as foreign does when anti-immigration sentiments rise.
For a while, one might find security in being of one color and not another or in dressing in a more "acceptable" way, but if it starts to turn, all foreign-looking persons, including Japanese with more facial hair or deep set eyes will be suspect. I have seen the latter first-hand when a relative, Japanese, was stopped on numerous occasions and asked for his papers.
Posted in: Le Pen urges Japan to avoid making same mistakes as France
jpntdytmrowJan. 12, 2015 - 10:15AM JST
Well, the end is near for Japan anyway.
Any number of immigrants here do have 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 children who will grow up and actually continue to live in Japan and marry and have other mixed race children who will be able to vote and lead and do more than sell cosmetics and be hafu fashion models.
Any public school already has a few students of mixed parentage who consider themselves to be "Japanese".
Japan is and will be all the better for its opening its doors to people wanting to live here, and not only in the urban areas.
Land is plentiful and cheap in the countryside! Go forth, build, have them babies!
If they are welcomed, they won't be on the margins of society! They will work and strengthen Japan. Win Win situation!
There is already a group of young adults with mixed parentage and they are great citizens.
No way Japan will ever be like France.
Remember the Huegenots?
jpntdytmrowJan. 12, 2015 - 10:01AM JST
I won't be anywhere near the Olympics before or during.
Expect an increase in being stopped and asked to "show your papers."
Already had that happen last summer. "Just a random check" I was told.
Posted in: 2020 Olympic planners gear up for high-tech security
jpntdytmrowJan. 08, 2015 - 09:34AM JST
Loved being married.....still do....but the company took so much of my husband's time and energy.
Loved having children and being home with them and teaching and helping them grow. But the isolation was just amazing. Having a spouse and children and attending the same school is not enough to find things in common with other women who also have a spouse, children and attend the same school.
Inside each woman is a human being with her own interests and character and thoughts. It was just very hard to find someone with the similar outlook on life.
Trying to go along with the group for the sake of the children only adds to the stress if one cannot fit into a clique.
My mother said the same thing when in the 1950's after WWII, US women were "encouraged" to return home to take care of the family and be like the women on TV... "Father Knows Best " and the like.
Some women were like in straight jackets and longed for more, though they loved their spouse and children.
Sylvia Plath, Phyllis Diller, come to mind.
So, try as I did, the park, the schools of various kinds, and other women's groups just caused me stress and I pulled out. Much happier to find my own interests and hobbies and work, creativity and animals. I never enjoyed standing and chatting, ever.
Eventually, the kids do not like being the topic of conversation among the mothers in the park of school grounds, nor do they like to listen to the stories of the "husbands," their fathers, either. Honestly, most of the conversations took on a negative air about school, family, husbands, children, mother-in-laws. Or, boasting. Rarely did they talk about Abenomics or North Korea or the people still in need of help in Tohoku, or how their kids can become great thinkers and physicists and inventors! :o)
In the end, one has to find people who they share similarities with. In the same way, I also do not think that being foreign among non-foreign is enough to make a strong friendship, either.
Parenting is a hard job and my heart goes out to anyone doing it at any given time. Bless you.
Posted in: Mama-friendships can be deceptive
jpntdytmrowJan. 04, 2015 - 12:36AM JST
Here, save yerself the trouble and just continue to send students to .....
1-8 Aza Shibakusa, Oaza Tarao, Ten'ei-mura, Iwase-gun, Fukushima
0120-131-386 [ Reception hours 9:30 - 19:30 ]
Some high schools in Tokyo had annual trips in the summer to have students immerse themselves in the British Hills English only program, complete with cricket and high tea. The courses were run so that a certificate of completion was earned. The March 2011 disaster put a dent in the trip but, hey, they could start the ball rolling again and rejuvenate the local economy and thereby lessen the resentment in Fukushima toward the Tokyo Olympics!
"What is British Hills? British Hills was established by the Sano Education Foundation, the owners of Kanda University of International Studies and Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in 1994.
It was designed as a place where people could experience British culture without leaving Japan."
Wow!!! Some of the JET teachers brought over were ......in diapers when this English Immersion program began.....and so it goes, on and on, far into the night.....
(disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this place, and have never been there...though wouldn't mind going and learning how to be British!) ;o)
Posted in: Is an entirely English-speaking village coming to Tokyo?
jpntdytmrowJan. 03, 2015 - 03:12PM JST
Just returned from a trip to my home town in the USA.
Hotel cleaning and restaurant staff: spoke ONLY Spanish.
Local liquor store owners: bilingual English and Chinese.
Airport cleaning staff: bilingual and unknown language, unfamiliar culture (to me);
Airport McDonald's staff: able to take customer orders in English, but all were speaking an unfamiliar African language among each other while working. (Ethiopian-guess?)
Nearby town had public signs ONLY in Spanish;
Food sold in regular supermarkets were targeted at many cultures, even Chinese cabbage was stocked. All advertisements were bilingual, Spanish and English.
TMG is sending its teachers to live for 3 months in Australia and the USA.
One teacher said he just found out he will be living in the USA with a family that speaks Farsi at home.
Japan may have the only "English Village" in the world!
jpntdytmrowDec. 06, 2014 - 09:13PM JST
I'm not necessarily an anti-vaccine person but I do wonder at the flu hype.
I have had it over the years, and kids got it but we were strong enough to get through it
with aches and pains and soup and rest and not going out.
One year, I was so sick that I actually did go to the doctor, but the waiting room was so full of elderly
filling prescriptions that I just went back home, stopping to buy Aquarius on the way.
I don't like the flu, who does, but feel it works better to keep one's strength up before it comes.
The end of the year is ripe with people working overtime, sleepless because of countless bonenkai,
and school events, including exams, etc so people are run down.
One year sticks in my mind when one member of our family got the flu vaccine. That same person was the only one to come down with a different strain of the flu that same season!
Please stay home if you "might" have the flu or are not really over it. Companies should tell workers that they will be punished if they come to work sick.
"No heroes welcome. Be a wuss. Stay home!"
jpntdytmrowDec. 02, 2014 - 07:46PM JST
Some high schools have eliminated the listening portion of mid-term and end of term English exams.
When asked, I was told that the students did not need "listening skills because they were not college bound."
Interesting to note that if foreign workers come to Japan, many of them will be working alongside Japanese laborers from Japanese schools that did not provide listening or speaking skills in English.
They are graded only on writing the letter from the multiple choice questions.
On the other hand, other schools are being groomed for producing better English speakers with more classes with more skills.
I think it should be mandatory that students have rudimentory English ability to graduate whether or not they intend to go onto higher academic levels.
Some train stations have excellent bilingual maps and train line explanations. I was really impressed. At other stations, I see tourists send people run up and down the stairs to confirm what platform they are to be on only to have them get to another platform but come back because trains have been suddenly rerouted. No announcements in English. Like a cartoon. Pretty funny to watch but not fun to experience!
Buses!! I won't even touch that subject with some boarding at the back, paying as you get off, and others paying a flat fee when boarding from the front!
Just some random ideas.
I like the idea of cheaper flights to Okinawa also from major airports.
Posted in: Japan is looking to increase the number of annual tourists to 20 million by 2020. What suggestions do you have for this to happen?
jpntdytmrowNov. 18, 2014 - 11:29PM JST
Thank you JT for articles like this.
At least we have a place for discussion.
I don't care how tall or big the person is, as someone wrote, shooting is no substitute for the law and the right to a fair and unbiased trial.
We are not supposed to have police officers who gun down people, except in self defense.
An 18 year old young man was killed.
I do not accept for a moment that there could be different degrees of justice based on race or demographics for citizens of the United States of America.
Laws are meant to protect all citizens, equally.
If not, we have some serious introspection to do.
Is it possible that within the USA, some people as the saying goes are, "more equal than others?"
We need to spell that out if it is the case that laws do not apply to all people equally.
Posted in: Missouri governor declares state of emergency ahead of ruling on Ferguson shooting
jpntdytmrowNov. 10, 2014 - 11:26PM JST
@ BertieWoosterNov. 10, 2014 - 08:23AM JST
I miss the kissaten of the 80's.
Coffee was expensive, but it was excellent and you could stay as long as you liked.
There were specialised kissaten. There was a jazz cafe in Kichijoji that I spent hours at, listening to jazz on an amazing hifi system.
I sometimes reminisce about that jazz cafe in Kichijoji! Was really fun. No one was allowed to speak. We could request albums by writing on pieces of paper!
I also want to have the PacMan coffee tables!
Now, I just go to conbini for 100 yen, brew my own or, I go to get the DRIP coffee from SB, because they give you a refill receipt that I either use or find someone who may enjoy it .
Posted in: When you drink coffee or tea in Japan, do you prefer the chains like Starbucks, Tully's, Doutor, etc, or do you prefer the traditional "kissaten?"
jpntdytmrowNov. 10, 2014 - 11:03PM JST
Just a political cartoon type poster. Not offended at all.
J-WAVE radio had some US Election Eikaiwa lesson the other night
like all listeners need to be able to talk about the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Posted in: NHK’s U.S. election banner amuses Internet users
jpntdytmrowNov. 07, 2014 - 11:54PM JST
Surely the country issuing his passport has information on him by now (today?).
I have been following this on social media and glad Japan Today furthered his
"fame". Thanks for sharing the Change.org petition, Scott Ackerman.
Posted in: Video of pick-up artist grabbing Japanese women on street triggers online protests
jpntdytmrowNov. 04, 2014 - 08:50AM JST
A mother was bringing her daughter to kindergarten. The little girl was crying and having a rough start to her day.
I read the mother's Enlish sweathirt aloud. This time the English was right on the money, but the mother had no idea of the message. When the little girl understood that, she cheered right up!
It read, "If we only look down, we will never see a rainbow" on the back
and "A smile brings sunshine" on the front.
She wears the shirt to take her daughter to kindergarten when she feels "down."
Posted in: Why does 'Engrish' happen in Japan?
jpntdytmrowOct. 20, 2014 - 08:38PM JST
Again, written in past tense.
Perhaps JT could add an "announcement" section in Features where readers could inform one another of upcoming events like drills that might save lives should one gargantuan, deadly volcano erupt in addition to earthquake activity.
Readers reading and speaking Japanese would be encouraged to read their local bulletins and post any events they find that might be of interest to other readers not in-the-know.
I am sure there are not enough JT staff members to read every government announcement so we could help one another.
Just a suggestion to help us all live here as active members of society.
Simple announcements with online links.
Posted in: 4,000 take part in Mt Fuji eruption drill
jpntdytmrowOct. 17, 2014 - 03:44PM JST
I have a great respect for these elders and people involved in this exchange.
My own landlord had his home leveled by the B-52s in Shinjuku (all of the station area, he said) but he rents to me without any hate. My elderly neighbor carried her siblings over and around dead bodies in Hachioji after the air raids then. She has the biggest heart and was the most open of neighbors when I moved to our current home. Both of these people were jr. high schoolers. She can still remember eating the potatoes that were scorched from the bombing.
Great article. Would love to have heard the talk at Temple University!
Posted in: Ex-U.S. POWs visit Japan, recall horrors of war
Feb. 28, 2015 - 10:54PM JST
I read through many of the posts with most blaming the boy entirely for their actions,…
Posted in: Gang leader killed boy, say 2 other suspects
Feb. 28, 2015 - 10:52PM JST
Feb. 28, 2015 - 10:47PM JST
Spock: "History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant. You must have faith."
Posted in: Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr Spock on 'Star Trek,' dies at 83
Feb. 28, 2015 - 10:43PM JST
Percentages, numbers speak for themselves. They don't deceive. Gun related deaths in the US may seem…
Posted in: Nine dead after Missouri mass murder
Both fake, both without use and not worth the money people work hard to put into…
Posted in: Prince William strikes a friendly contrast to crown prince