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Fun / foon Tokyo
Monday, April 12, 2004
Do Afghan mujahideen gonna take bookkeeping in Tokyo?
Topic: Japanese life
Disarming militiamen vexes U.N. force
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan -- Col. Peter Babbington, formerly of the British Royal Marines, has had a few tough assignments in a formidable career that ranged from the Falklands to Sierra Leone. But never, he suggested recently with a grimace, did he know true lunacy until he arrived in Afghanistan to work for the United Nations.... to persuade Afghanistan's recalcitrant warlords to step into line. Instead, he has only carrots to win their compliance....
However, he said, it might seem hard to imagine Afghanistan's mujahideen commanders --- bearded veterans of a 23-year Islamic holy war -- enrolling for bookkeeping classes in Tokyo.

Posted by trek/taro at 4:43 PM KDT
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Tokyo Gov Ishihara hails kamikaze sex
Topic: Japanese life
evil Tokyo Gov Ishihara

Ishihara backs sexist schooling

(Mainichi / Apr 10)

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara has slammed gender free education policies, labeling ... their advocates of being "sorry people with weakened sensibilities."
...."Kimigayo," the national anthem, and the Hinomaru Rising Sun flag "present us with a great opportunity to consider our ultimate responsibilities in a human society where membership of a state or a race is inevitable,"
...."(A kamikaze pilot) headed for battle would be given a quiet farewell off away from others by a woman he loved, but whose hand he had never even held. And he would go in the belief that he was sacrificing his own life for the sake of someone of the same age but the opposite sex," Ishihara told the throng. "We're implementing grotesque education policies that don't even take into consideration such relations between a man and a woman."

Posted by trek/taro at 12:30 PM KDT
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Thursday, April 8, 2004
Bombs rip apart packed bullet trains; heavily armed attackers disguised as homeless storm Tokyo city hall...;
Topic: Japanese life
...attack fears among tense public
07 Apr 2004 06:42
TOKYO (Reuters) - Bombs rip apart packed bullet trains; heavily armed attackers disguised as homeless people storm Tokyo's futuristic city hall; a hijacked super tanker explodes in Tokyo Bay, spewing thousands of tonnes of oil into the waters of one of the world's busiest ports....
Japan weeklies fan attack fears among tense public --Reuters / 07 Apr 2004 06:42 <

Posted by trek/taro at 4:49 PM KDT
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Good way to fix a Japanese male?
Topic: Japanese life
Mom held for slicing 4-month-old son's genitals with razor
Japan Times, April 7
OSAKA (Kyodo) A 24-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of cutting off part of her 4-month-old son's genitals early last month,. ... Shizue Tamura from Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, told investigators that she used a safety razor to attack her son's genitals at her apartment March 1, the officials said.

Posted by trek/taro at 4:12 PM KDT
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"so many otaku -- calling them 'sick' loses all meaning"
Topic: Japanese life
Otaku proud of it
Japan's 'otaku' have been branded just about everything from geeks to anoraks, but they couldn't care less
The Japan Times: April 6, 2004
....Last December's Comic Market convention at Tokyo Big Site attracted a staggering 420,000 people: per day, more visitors than the Tokyo Motor Show. ...As counterculture gatherings, otaku conventions dwarf mere "political" events. The anti-Iraq war demonstrations in Tokyo, despite being the largest of their kind for decades, only had tens of thousands of participants, whereas large otaku gatherings regularly attract hundreds of thousands.....
"When we reach the present situation -- where there are so many otaku -- calling them 'sick' loses all meaning," says Hiroki Azuma. "There are just too many."

Posted by trek/taro at 3:07 PM KDT
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More Filipina nurses!!
Topic: Japanese life
Job hunt: A reluctant Japan is being asked by Asian nations to open up its labor market.
The Asahi Shimbun / April 7

.... Nursing is a job area given special treatment. Foreigners can work up to four years in the profession in Japan as long as they have passed Japan's national qualifying exams, which are difficult and require high competency with the language.
Nguyen Thi Duyen, 23, from Vietnam, recently passed the national exam after graduating from a nursing school in Chiba Prefecture this spring. She arrived in Japan three years ago at the invitation of the Tokyo-based civic organization AHP Networks, which supports Vietnamese studying for Japanese nursing qualifications.
``Just learning Japanese was difficult (in addition to studies in nursing),'' she recalled.

Posted by trek/taro at 2:18 PM KDT
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Using keitai & holding an umbrella while bicycling
Topic: Japanese life
Using keitai, putting on make-up and holding an umbrella while bicycling in a typhoon....Sheesh, that's like half the population of Tokyo.
Japan cracks down on 'killer' cyclists, 7 April
... campaign against cyclists yesterday after more than 2,000 pedestrians were injured and six killed in collisions with bicycles last year ... Cycling while using a mobile phone or holding an umbrella will be liable to fines of up to #250 or up to three months in jail.

"Masuyama" Rare Lehman Toy. 1910. Chinese coolie pulling a geisha girl in a ricshaw $2300.00

Posted by trek/taro at 11:57 AM KDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 12:06 PM KDT
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Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Get Geisha!
Topic: Japanese life
Via Metafilter check out...

Immortal Geisha

Posted by trek/taro at 4:43 PM KDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 9:35 AM KDT
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Sunday, April 4, 2004
'Ganguro": Geisha in blackface?
Topic: Japanese life
Yikes! Now here's a damn smart pimpin' scam.
For Japanese Girls, Black Is Beautiful
New York Times / April 4, 2004
.....Since graduating from the M.F.A. program at Yale in 2002, Ms. Brown, who lives and works in Chillum, Md., has been included in almost two dozen group exhibitions. She has dealers in New York, Washington and Los Angeles, and in February received a grant to travel back to Asia.
"At the base of it, I'm intrigued by the global influence of hip-hop," she said. "I want to return to Japan to look for ganguro, , but also check out China and Korea, where I am told that hip-hop is big. The ganguro is just one idea, and I don't want to, you know, pimp it."

Posted by trek/taro at 2:59 PM KDT
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Missing Bach transexual found out after 80 years hidden in Japan
Topic: Japanese life
Missing Bach original piece found after 80 years
TACHIKAWA, Japan (Kyodo) April 4
....part of a musical score composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), which had been missing for about 80 years but has been found among the possessions of the late Japanese pianist Chieko Hara, at his school in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, on April 3.

The real news was uncovered by Kyodo Press, was that the "late Japanese pianist Chieko Hara" was actually a beguiling transexual.

Posted by trek/taro at 1:39 PM KDT
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Saturday, April 3, 2004
Topic: Japanese life


See the full-size JPEG at$77

Posted by trek/taro at 1:30 AM JST
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Friday, April 2, 2004
'Japan became rich before it became old' China won't
Topic: Japanese life
Demographic obstacles in Asia's way
Straits Times / Fri April 2- -
.....Japan is the worst example of an ageing Asian country. In 2025, 30 per cent of its population will be over 65. It will have 'nearly as many .... the economic consequences of Japan's ageing population may not be as dire as predicted... Greying Japan's economy is bound to slow, but that doesn't mean it won't grow at all....
.... that China may suffer worse economic consequences from its ageing population. Nearly 300 million Chinese, or 21.4 per cent of the population, will be over 60 in 2025. 'To put the matter bluntly, Japan became rich before it became old; China will do things the other way around.'
.....problems in China: a virtually non-functioning pension system; a one-child policy leaving a one-to-one ratio between elderly parents and the children obliged to support them; and the combination of relatively less healthy ageing and the relatively more arduous nature of work in the country leaving fewer older Chinese productive...

Posted by trek/taro at 3:17 PM JST
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WTF with Japanese 'corokke' in Kenya?
Topic: Japanese life
1.) The average daily wage in Kenya is $1.75. 2.) Kenyans know how to spell, "croquette". 3.) Potatos are grown cheaply in the highlands of Kenya.

Japanese 'corokke' shop opens in Kenya Kyodo - Friday Apr 02 11:05 AM SGT
Africa's first Japanese "corokke" shop has opened in Nairobi, with the Japanese operator realizing a longtime goal of taking a step into the African market.... At the shop, one dumpling, which the company says is made only from premium Japanese potatoes, sells for 50 Kenyan shillings (less than US$1).

Posted by trek/taro at 2:47 PM JST
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Nekura VS Neo-masochists in Nippon
Topic: Japanese life

The Dark Subculture of Japanese Youth

Yo Yahata, Sekai (monthly magazine), Tokyo, Japan, February 2004; From the April 2004 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 51, No. 4)
Recently, there is a growing trend for some young people to lean toward a spirit of something we may call ?the dark.? ....the term ?gloomy old men? (nekura) gained popularity with stand-up comics, and the previously lauded workingmen with brows knit from their laborious efforts fell out of favor and were no longer respected. The worker?s masochism of people who used to believe that ?as long as I endure, someday I?ll be rewarded? has ceased, and I believe that in its place we now have the neo-masochism of young people who tend toward ?the dark.?
....working masochists think that they (the suffering workers) are nobler than those who relax and enjoy their lives. Neo-masochists think they (the innocents) are nobler than the sullied, worldly people.
But the elements they have in common end there. The endurance of the working masochists soon changes into resentment. The intensity of this identification as a victim tends to put distance between the masochists and the people around them.
The neo-masochists who expose their bleeding wrists in public are unlikely to ask, ?Who put me in this situation??

Posted by trek/taro at 10:50 AM JST
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Thursday, April 1, 2004
If you're at H-08, where are you in Tokyo?
Topic: Japanese life

Tokyo's subway revamped to make it more foreigner friendly
Thursday April 1, 6:05 PM
Tokyo's subway network has had a spring makeover, receiving a new mapping system aimed at making it easier for foreign visitors to find their way around.
As of Thursday, the Teito Rapid Transit Authority which operates eight of 12 subway lines in the capital, has changed its name to Tokyo Metro Co., and has assigned a letter of the alphabet to each line and numbered each station in sequence.pan class="gensmall">

Posted by trek/taro at 9:05 PM JST
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Hey, where's the funeral? ( black-suited new hires)
Topic: Japanese life
The April Fools, Japan Inc's newly hired employees are out in force today in their black "recuit suits" (リクルートスーツ)
Tomoko Recuitcute suitsmanners for suits
textsuit pointers
Osaka guidelines for new hires
The friend which is strong in job hunting
One body of handicapped person employment guidance

Posted by trek/taro at 4:18 PM JST
Updated: Thursday, April 1, 2004 4:19 PM JST
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Japan is a "Loser Dog Nation"
Topic: Japanese life
Junko Sakai--->
Junko Sakai is bigtime in Japan and now NEWSWEEK is featuring her in their April 5 edition, page 9.

Letter From Tokyo: Loser Dog Nation
By Kay Itoi / Newsweek International / April 5 issue
This may be the year of monkey, but Japanese will remember 2004 as the Year of Loser Dogs, thanks to an ongoing national debate.
It started with Junko Sakai's book, "Loser Dogs Barking," out since October. Single and childless women in their 30s or older are makeinu, the author declared. It doesn't matter how successful, beautiful or happy they might be. They're all "loser dogs."
...nearly a third of Tokyo's female thirtysomethings are single. But the figure is 44 percent for men. (Loser dawgs?) Yet nobody blames them.
...Sakai's book has sold 150,000 copies---a big hit
... that's why "Loser Dogs Barking" has sparked such an uproar. Just as loser dogs can't live up to what society expects of them, so Japan can't deliver what's expected of it...Call us Loser Dog Nation.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:28 AM JST
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Japanese 'maneki-neko' , or beckoning cat is full of pooh
Topic: Japanese life

"An employee of Disney Store Japan shows off Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals dressed in 'maneki-neko', or beckoning cat"

Posted by trek/taro at 4:27 PM JST
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Today is ARSON DAY!
Topic: Japanese life


You folks in the Real World you still have time to celebrate March 29th:
ARSON DAY! when my favorite J-babe of all time, Yaoya Oshichi, started the Great Fire at Sugamo Temple.

Posted by trek/taro at 8:50 AM JST
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004
An amazing 10% of Japanese teachers can speak engRish
Topic: Japanese life
English teachers lack language skills, survey says
Yomiuri Shimbun / March 30

Only about 10 percent of public middle school teachers and 20 percent of public high school teachers have passed the Practical English Proficiency Test at pre-first level or higher, according to a survey by the Education, Science and Technology Ministry.

Posted by trek/taro at 2:05 PM JST
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