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ukguyjpMay. 10, 2013 - 07:38AM JST
Good and getting better, though I would say generally French is better than Itailan here.
Posted in: What do you think of the quality of French and Italian restaurants in Japan?
ukguyjpMay. 10, 2013 - 07:34AM JST
Who needs a police force when you have civic minded members of the public who are willing to turn you in?!
Posted in: Teacher suspended for taking part-time job as call girl
ukguyjpMar. 27, 2013 - 04:10AM JST
Of course. If you are straight, and opposed to gay marriage, you are denying gay people a right which you yourself enjoy.
Posted in: Do you support same-sex marriages?
ukguyjpMar. 21, 2013 - 02:58AM JST
Depressing. Maybe Oprah has encouraged reading among her fan base, but she has caused untold harm thru her uncritical promotion of all kinds of claptrap: the paranormal, psychics, new age spiritualism, conspiracy theories, quack celebrity diets, past life regression, angels, ghosts, alternative therapies like acupuncture and homeopathy, anti-vaccination, detoxification, vitamin megadosing, you name it.
Posted in: Oprah named most influential celebrity for 2nd year
ukguyjpFeb. 09, 2013 - 08:43AM JST
They are generally good and not necessarily expensive. My barber charges 1600 yen for a good cut.
Posted in: What do you think of barber shops and hair styling salons in Japan?
ukguyjpJan. 17, 2013 - 08:17AM JST
"Irasshaimase". Isn't only a way of welcoming customers. It also has the function of letting customers know their presence has been noted, thereby also detering possible thievery, and also alerts other shop workers to be on their toes.
Posted in: 7 services that don’t make sense to foreigners in Japan
ukguyjpJan. 03, 2013 - 10:18AM JST
Of course these prisoners have the right to be informed when their punishment is to be carried out.
I am amazed at the cruel and vindictive lust for revenge expressed by some comments above.
When we decide public policy, we do not look to vengeful, vindictive, " eye for an eye" emotion for moral guidance. Rather, we aspire to a higher morality, one which is considered, sensible, humane and compassionate.
In Japan, death row inmates may wait, year in, year out, never knowing when their time will come. Though we may despise their crimes, prisoners DO have human rights.
Posted in: Death row inmates want prior warning instead of being told on day of execution
ukguyjpDec. 29, 2012 - 11:05AM JST
Shame on these men for such a cowardly and ferocious attack, and shame on men anywhere who perpetrate violence against women. My heart goes out to this young woman and her family.
Posted in: Indian gang-rape victim dies in Singapore hospital
ukguyjpDec. 24, 2012 - 07:14AM JST
KariHaruka: Do you know how the death penalty is carried out in Japan? Its a human rights disgrace:
Posted in: 111 countries vote against death penalty; Japan among 41 voting for it
ukguyjpDec. 24, 2012 - 07:12AM JST
KariHaruka: those feelings would be understandable. Most people who lost a loved one to violent crime might have feelings of vengefulness. But thankfully we don't make public policy in the heat of the moment, while we feeling emotional or angry. We make those decisions after giving calm and considered thought to an issue. Capital punishment does NOT prevent murders, this have consistentl been proven by research, as has the fact that the death penalty is applied unfairly.
ukguyjpDec. 24, 2012 - 07:06AM JST
" Japan said it had to keep the possibility of hanging prisoners because “heinous” crimes are still being committed."
" Japan said it had to keep the possibility of hanging prisoners because “heinous” crimes are still being committed."
What exactly is that supposed to mean? Typically vague, meaningless, thought processing.
ukguyjpNov. 29, 2012 - 12:42PM JST
It's true of course, that you can find great food which is much cheaper than in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
For the price, many restaurants in Japan and elsewhere are excellent. An ordinary lunch teishoku can be fabulous..for that price.
However, in my experience you can always tell the difference in a Michelin-starred establishment. The ingredients, overall quality and creativity are a cut above.
Whether it's worth the money is for each individual patron to decide for him or herself.
I've paid 20,000 yen (per person) for Michelin-recommended food in Japan. It's a hell of a lot of money for me, but what an experience, especially for a special celebration such as a birthday.
By the way, if you look around, you can find fantastic Tokyo Michelin experiences in the 3,000 to 8,000 yen price range.
Posted in: Tokyo retains title as Michelin's world gourmet capital for sixth year
ukguyjpNov. 18, 2012 - 08:05AM JST
"You, as a customer, have a different role"
Yes, I'm always amazed at the way Japanese (men, usually) bark orders at waiters and waitresses. Yet Japanese people (women, usually) seem appreciative, even admiring, when I say 'Thank you' to the waitress.
Posted in: How to bow like a Japanese
ukguyjpNov. 18, 2012 - 07:55AM JST
I'm a uni teacher.
I recently met two western women who are studying Japanese here in Japan. One, 20, is at a university in Kyoto and quite satisfied with the language practice she receives, though not the content of the classes.
The other, 29, is at a university in Hyogo. She is truly appalled by the academic standards she has encountered. It's only the fact that she is getting a lot of Japanese practice, and making friends, that saves the day.
One interesting observation she had was that it's the students who DON'T speak up and participate or challenge the teacher who get the best grades. Again, she's a 29 year old mature student and a teacher herself.
One of my Japanese colleagues lived in the USA for ten years. I asked her if she missed anything about it. She said yes, the academic freedom and engaged students. She says students in Japan have declined dramatically in terms of being academically engaged in the last twenty years.
She teaches a course in japanese literature for a combined class of foreign and Japanese students. They read then discuss the texts, as you'd expect in that kind of seminar.
For the first three weeks the foreign students were very patient in painfully slow discussions with their Japanese classmates, but after the third week they started to have their own conversations.
Soon after, all the Japanese students dropped out.
Posted in: Japanese universities in crisis - what they can learn from Europe
ukguyjpNov. 18, 2012 - 07:38AM JST
You offer a lot of useful suggestions.
"Some people...may warn that your child will become “confused” or suffer other hardships trying to learn two languages at once."
Yes, as you say, this is nonsense. In fact, bilingual kids, though they may fall behind in the beginning, outpace other kids not only in language learning but many other academic areas and cognitive functions later on. But that's a difficult message to get across in Japan, especially when most kids are focused on acquiring kanji and being indoctrinated into accepting Japanese culture as the prevailing ideology.
Importance of reading is key, the work of Stephen Krashen has underlined this.
Not necessarily true that "English can be picked up later, when the child is older" - depending on what you mean by "older.
Linguistics research shows that the "critical period" of language learning takes place well before the late teens. I see this all the time in my university classes, where it's too late for the majority of students. They have had far too little meaningful engagement with English to acquire it properly, and few of them will have the chance to live abroad and acquire English relatively painlessly. It's the students from mixed-culture backgrounds, plus those with high motivation, who can really speak English.
I think one main problem is the enculturation which actively hinders English acquisition. Katakana is not necessarily a useful tool, in fact it encourages fossilisation ("ke-ki", "ho-to"). Without exposure to natural English, Japanese students could talk to each other for decades and they still sound, well, just like Japanese students!
In this regard there are lot of things the society as a whole could do, too. For instance 50% of NHK's children's programming should be in English only, with English (not Japanese) subtitles.
Japan should also follow the example of asian neighbours like The Philippines and make English AND Japanese the official languages. The Philippines accomplished this in the period between 1898 and 1946, admittedly when it was was under U.S. sovereignty. But a similar turnaround could be accomplished in two generations if Japan was truly committed to bilingualism. ..which it demonstrably isn't.
Posted in: 12 more tips for raising a bilingual child in Japan
ukguyjpNov. 18, 2012 - 07:04AM JST
"with the number of smoking areas in restaurants and cafes in Japan becoming fewer and fewer each year"
Oh really? Maybe things are improving slowly, but Japan still seems like a smoker's paradise to me.
Sittibg outside at my local Starbucks, surrounded by smoke! Sitting on the train in the morning, overcome by smoke from smoker6¥7s area on the platform and the stink of the smoker next to me....
Posted in: Japanese company advertises jobs online: 'We do not employ smokers'
ukguyjpOct. 04, 2012 - 08:51AM JST
Not only is this a serious infringement on civil liberties, it is also embarrassing to Japan, making it seem out of touch and curmudgeonly. What particularly irritates me is the lack of protest on the part of young Japanese, who like their parents' generation seem happy to take state control lying down. Hard to imagine western club-goers accepting this kind of government intrusion into their social lives. The kids should protesting - and dancing - in the streets.
I had heard that the ban on dancing had something to do with curbing drug use and delinquency. If that's the case, my question is: WHAT drug use? WHAT delinquency? I have seen precious little in all my years frequenting Japanese dance venues, which are friendly, chilled and safer than their western counterparts.
It also strikes me that this is quite harmful to local economies - before this crackdown you'd find thousands of people dancing and partying in Osaka, the clubs were doing a roaring trade. Now those areas are like ghost towns on the weekend. As a party animal and music lover I am bitterly disappointed by this ridiculous and counter-pproductive measure.
It's interesting to note that during Japan's disastrous pre-war nationalist takeover, western music and dancing were outlawed as a way of enforcing "Japanese-ness" upon an unwitting populace. With the rise of neo-fascists like Hashimoto, plus the worrying situation between China and Japan, one might have cause to worry.
Posted in: What do you think about the crackdown on dancing at nightclubs which has seen many closed down in the last few months?
ukguyjpOct. 03, 2012 - 03:19PM JST
Posted in: Japan’s first 'cuddle cafe' lets you sleep with a stranger for Y6,000 an hour
ukguyjpSep. 26, 2012 - 08:35AM JST
This summer I travelled to Manila, Vancouver BC and Hong Kong. In all three cities you are hardly ever far from excellent wi-fi. In Kyoto, where I live, it's almost impossible to find, even on a major downtown shopping street which grandly proclaims free wi-fi! Come on, Japan!
Posted in: JR East to offer free public wireless LAN service for overseas visitors
ukguyjpSep. 11, 2012 - 01:25AM JST
I saw one of the Osaka Zepp shows. It was magnificent.
Posted in: Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan still rocking
May. 19, 2013 - 10:26PM JST
Keen to hear his new plan regarding immigration
Don't hold your breath!
Posted in: Abe outlines targets in latest growth strategy
May. 19, 2013 - 10:23PM JST
annnsow: have you ever been in a Tokyo train at peak hour? Just wondering where you…
Posted in: Guilty and never proven innocent – every male train rider's nightmare in Japan
May. 19, 2013 - 10:19PM JST
Wikipe3dia often uses ? when it has problems in a vocabruary in Japanese . State Shintō…
Posted in: Abe defends right to visit Yasukuni Shrine
May. 19, 2013 - 10:16PM JST
Your comment sounds a little strange. Destroying an innocent individuals life is not acceptable. The…
May. 19, 2013 - 10:15PM JST
@ Smithy - in fairness to the mods, rest assured that at least 90% of NigelPensioner's…
Posted in: Restoration Party member ousted over Korean prostitution remarks