kohakuebisu's past comments

  • 0

    kohakuebisu

    I'm not in the loop but do Japanese teachers have to study for TOEIC? I thought it would have been STEP tests (Eiken), the Japanese only test that is run by amakudari. TOEIC is at least internationally recognized and, from what I was told a long time ago, has a harder listening test.

    Posted in: Why can't Japanese teachers of English ... speak English?

  • 2

    kohakuebisu

    Back in the day, English was seen simply a means for Japanese people to learn about technology etc. from gaikoku. For passive information acquisition only. It was enough to be able to read books.

    Many years may have passed, but I don't think the way English is taught has changed much. The focus is on being able to understand complex written sentences, not on using spoken language which, among other things, would help people ask the questions needed to properly understand the complex information they are supposed to be acquiring.

    As for the teaching method, I suspect that since Japanese literacy involves rote learning of lots of kanji, this biases the learning of other subjects toward rote learning as well. The linked article says "overseas training is expensive" but in inaka, teachers in public schools are relatively well paid compared to everyone else. The cost of sending a teacher overseas for a year or two, say 10 million yen for two years, to learn real English pales compared to paying them 6 million a year for forty years to speak unnatural English ("my hobby is....", "Three things I want to do on holiday" etc.) with katakana pronunciation.

    Posted in: Why can't Japanese teachers of English ... speak English?

  • 2

    kohakuebisu

    So 30,000 accidents in 5 years, but only 10,000 of them on the way to or from school. 2/3 must be on the way to Kumon or some extra-curricular thing, their friend's house, playing in the road, etc. These journeys may be by the kids alone without the older children who may accompany them at least part of the way to school. That's the way it works where we are.

    If they are not going to or coming from school, I prefer to have kids referred to as 7 year olds rather than first graders. I think that confuses the reader into thinking more than 1/3 of the accidents are related to walking to school. The 2/3 unrelated to that are the bigger problem.

    fwiw, I think its great for kids to walk to school or take the train or whatever, but it definitely can be beyond some 6 year olds. I hope that everyone can be sufficiently proactive in that situation and not hide behind pride or unrealistic expectations. I've been told that there is a trend for hoikuen and yochien to not warn schools about children they've been looking after who have apparent difficulties in case it causes problems with monster parents. Some children will definitely need help and I sincerely hope they get it.

    Posted in: Children aged 7 most numerous among all age groups in pedestrian accidents: police

  • 0

    kohakuebisu

    I bet they all get away with it, but I'm enjoying them squirm and implicate each other all the same.

    Osaka wouldn't have been my first choice of a place to build a kindergarden where you get the kids to say "Abe PM, Banzai!" or try to make the Emperor divine again, too many tricky parents, but there you go.

    Posted in: School operator head testifies in Diet he got Y1 mil donation from Akie Abe

  • 4

    kohakuebisu

    The story doesn't say whether the guide was a friend or someone employed by her, but this shouldn't happen with a guide around. A number of guides do die in the mountains, but usually when they are off doing their own thing. I hope that is what happened here. It shouldn't happen for a customer on a guided tour.

    Yesterday saw a blast of high-temp sticky snow fall on mountains that have been through repeated melt-freeze. Had they referred to it, the avalanche advisory for Minakami was "considerable" for tree line and above. You have to be careful in those conditions.

    RIP

    Posted in: Woman killed by avalanche while snowboarding in Gunma

  • -3

    kohakuebisu

    In an ideal world, he'd have got a short sentence in a prison where they sew mailbags.

    (yes I know they don't do that in Japanese prisons, and doubt that mailbags are even used any more)

    Posted in: 'Chainsaw Man' gets suspended sentence for threat posted on YouTube

  • 1

    kohakuebisu

    Many things in Japan cost more than they should, the staple food of rice being the classic example, but Japan is not an expensive country. People in Japan struggle to get by or to get ahead because their wages are low, not because prices are high. Wages for part time work done mainly by women in particular are terrible.

    Posted in: Strong yen puts Tokyo, Osaka back on list of world's 10 most costly cities

  • 3

    kohakuebisu

    I was in Nozawa on Sunday. Most people ski offpiste in the trees in Japan looking for powder, but it was spring conditions there, old melt-freeze snow that is icy and super fast first thing but softens during the day, quickly in the sun and slowly, if its warm enough, in the shade. Its hard enough to ride open steep glades in such variable conditions, let alone with trees in the way. Its completely different to riding trees in forgiving powder conditions. It is hard to stay in control on skis, let alone on a snowboard with a single edge and soft boots. The same area that might be the time of your life with powder in January can be almost unrideable with alternating slush, ice, and breakable crust on corn snow in March. You have to crank it back and ride defensively, which isn't as much fun.

    RIP to a fellow snow enthusiast.

    Posted in: Canadian man dies in snowboarding accident in Nagano

  • 5

    kohakuebisu

    Drivers aged 75 or older accounted for 13.2% of fatal traffic accidents in Aichi in 2016, up from 7.7% in 2007, according to the prefectural police.

    It took me two minutes to find the population numbers, but In 2005, % of Japanese people over 75 = 9.1% In 2015, % of Japanese people over 75 = 12.8%

    (the expression used is 後期老年人口割) https://ecitizen.jp/Population/Country/JP

    This strikes me as a non-issue that is fueling misunderstanding about old people and their capabilities. Independence is huge for the elderly and outside the city, cars are a big part of that. A good chunk of Aichi is suburban, and the north east corner is mountainous, just like south Nagano. In the suburbs, shotengai have been mostly wiped out by big supermarkets people drive to.

    Posted in: Funeral discount offered to elderly people who return driver licenses

  • 5

    kohakuebisu

    I heard someone say that there is word for alternative medicine that has been proven in clinical trials. It's "medicine".

    There is a lot we don't know about the human body and lots of potential for millions of treatments out there to work. Ones that do though generally get adopted by the medical profession. Doctors aren't conspiring against you/us.

    I don't know what "mind-body medicine" is but it should be obvious that the two are very heavily linked.

    Posted in: What do you think of alternative health care methods such as homeopathy, indigenous medicine, acupuncture, mind-body medicine and so on?

  • 0

    kohakuebisu

    There was another press release/story about a company called Kaname doing this last week. It's not a large part of Japan, but conventional solar panels don't get a warranty if you use them in heavy snow areas (gosetsu chitai) regardless of how steep your roof is. 2m would qualify, so I guess these and Kaname's will be warrantied. In central Honshu, the area in question will be the Nozawa-Yuzawa-Myoko triangle and Hakuba/Otari. Most of Nagano and the Niigata coast doesn't get huge amounts of snow.

    Part of the reason you'd want the warranty is that it protects you from electrical faults and freak weather, like hail or mega gusts of winds blowing heavy tree branches around, that can occur regardless of how much snow falls in your area.

    Posted in: Panasonic integrates solar panel with residential roof

  • 1

    kohakuebisu

    Close to one quarter of the 2.38 million are in their twenties. Getting on for about 600,000.

    There are 6.6 million Japanese in their twenties, so around 1 in 12 people in this age group in Japan is non-Japanese. I bet that would surprise most people, but that is what the numbers say.

    It's a shame that a large number will be doing migrant-labour type work, which limits the effect they can have on Japanese society.

    Posted in: Record 2.38 mil registered foreigners living in Japan in 2016

  • 9

    kohakuebisu

    Just go to a bar and say "The drinks are on me!" Cheaper than 80,000 yen! ;)

    Posted in: Company offers fake friends photo service to help customers look popular on social media

  • 2

    kohakuebisu

    Since the woman in the story works and has two teenage kids, I'll just point out that for working Japanese parents, the obligations they have with work, parenting, kids clubs, PTA, residents associations etc. can make regular exercise very difficult indeed. You don't get much time to do your own thing, or things as a family either. That's not how parenting in Japan works.

    So if regular exercise is difficult, not eating a cake is one way to avoid the 350 calories you'd burn running 5km or doing 40 minutes of aerobics, if you had time to do them.

    Posted in: Where super-thin is still in: Attitudes to body image in Japan

  • 3

    kohakuebisu

    Interesting to read the comments, especially those from people who are hafu themselves. Thanks everyone.

    The documentary Hafu can be watched on Amazon Video, for free if you have Amazon Prime. It follows five hafu who have very different backgrounds but enough of a shared experience to give the film coherence. I watched it with my eldest, a fifth grader, and I hope it will help her with situations she may encounter.

    Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids

  • 1

    kohakuebisu

    "Art Getting Closer" with a canvas that costs I'm guessing 200k US?

    Posted in: Vroom, vroom

  • 0

    kohakuebisu

    Since this is aimed at a Japan-based or Japan-interested readership, I'll just say that the accusation that co-sleeping, common throughout Asia, is "not safe" has not been proven. Co-sleeping may destroy your sex life, but it is very unlikely to kill your baby. There is no established link between it and SIDS.

    People in international marriages have enough things to disagree on without being fed incorrect information relating to their children's safety. That can only make matters worse.

    Posted in: Cardboard boxes as cribs? Safety sleep program expands

  • 2

    kohakuebisu

    Lock em up for fraud. It's the only way.

    Posted in: Toshiba crisis shines light on Japan's corporate culture

  • 2

    kohakuebisu

    Like marcelito, my impression of the story was why couldn't he just commit a petty crime?

    The example I thought of was smashing a shop window. A tramp does it for a night in the cells in the Yosser episode of the famous "Boys from the Blackstuff" UK TV drama from the 1980s.

    Posted in: Man beats stranger to death in order to get arrested

  • 1

    kohakuebisu

    The expression that leaps out is "for some households".

    I'm all for the government spending more on children, but the cost of education is a burden for many, not "some households". Personally I think having to pay for public senior high school (i.e., 16 to 18) is much more incongruous than having to pay to attend college. Though not compulsory, most parents would like their kids to graduate SHS at least.

    Quite a few self-employed people in Japan are "low-income", but only because they choose to take a low salary for tax purposes and get away with sticking lots of things on expenses. My guess would be that this is more common than actual couples pretending to be separate to game the system.

    Posted in: Japan lays groundwork for free education policy to help economy

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