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Japanese News and Culture Blog Roundup: 11/05/09-11/11/09

November 12, 2009

Japan Probe

Tatsuya Ichihashi 11/11/09: Tatsuya Ichihashi arrested in Osaka
Tatsuya Ichihashi has finally been arrested by Japanese police for the murder of Lindsay Hawker in 2007. Lindsay was an English teacher for Nova in Koiwa, and was originally from England. Tatsuya has been on the run from police ever since he was seen fleeing from his apartment, where Lindsay was found dead in a bathtub on his balconey. He has undergone several plastic surgery procedures to alter his appearance. More details about the case can be found here.

11/08/09: Nomura sued for sex and race discrimination
Nomura, a Japanese company that took over after Lehman Brothers failed, has been accused of making female employees serve tea, and subjecting them to sexual comments and insults. Nomura is denying the claims, but two former employees have hit them with a formal lawsuit regarding the allegations. More news to come…

Ai Haruna 11/05/09: Ai Haruna, Miss International Queen 2009
Ai Haruna has crowned winner of the Miss International Queen 2009 pageant in Thailand last week. The pageant is a beauty contest for transexuals, and Ai mentions that such tolerance is not to be found so easily in her home country of Japan. She won $10,000 as the grand prize, but Japan Probe points out that her plastic surgery has cost her around $660,000.

Japanese Pod 101

11/09/09: Learn Japanese Kanji – Everyday Kanji (Electric Water Heater)
Another week, another post of useful kanji! Though this is really for those living currently in Japan, unless you have a fancy imported water pot! These electric kettles are very useful for whenever you need boiling water for tea, instant noodles, and more. From when I lived in Japan, I knew what these buttons did from trial and error, but I never knew the readings or exact meanings!

Pink Tentacle

Velvet Godzilla 11/07/09: Velvet kaiju paintings
Okay, these paintings just crack me up. Tired of having that old black velvet Elvis on the wall? Why not replace it with a shining Godzilla or Mothra? Japanese pop culture + velvet = A winning combination!

Jamaipanese.com

11/09/09: A Look back at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
Coverage of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games and what they meant to Japan back then. These Olympics were the site of many “firsts” such as the first Asian hosting city, the premier of women’s volleyball and judo as events, and the first color and live TV broadcast of the games.

Tokyo Times

Chichibu Haikyo 11/05/09: Abandoned mining houses #1: Personal possessions
A great post on Japanese haikyo (abandoned buildings), specifically in an old mining town in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. I find old buildings like these, especially when all the possessions are still there, a fascinating glimpse of history. These houses are like time capsules from the Japan of 1988. What happened here that made all the inhabitants leave without even packing? We may never know.

Blue Lotus

Nishin Soba 11/11/09: Food
Ever wonder what daily meals look like in Japan? This post doesn’t necessarily contain “typical” meals, but if you want to see some more elaborate Japanese dishes and delicacies, then this post is for you! Many of the foods are from Hokkaido since they were received as omiyage (souveniers). The blogger here takes photos of both homemade and restaurant meals, so it’s a nice photo tour of Japanese food.

Other

11/10/09: How Japan Defines “Fat”
An essay by an American living in Japan about how body weight and image is perceived in Japan. The article argues that peer pressure in Japan about food and eating is much more intense than in much of America, resulting in a thinner (though perhaps more anxious) population on the whole. I personally lost weight in Japan, though I think that’s probably because I don’t like fish, and that was served for almost every meal. Ugh. The thought that Japan is only full of healthy food is of course a misconception, though the portion sizes are what keeps many people slender, I think.

11/05/09: Is Technology Dumbing Down Japanese?
Just as this same argument has been made for the English language, the debate rages on in Japan as well. Though Japanese may be hit even harder by advances in technology since computers and cell phones can make the hand writing of kanji characters nearly obsolete. As a result, quite a few Japanese may not remember how to write certain words! Though much the same could be said for Americans who can’t spell even simple words because of ubiquitous spell-checkers. Is this a corruption of language, or just an evolution? Well, it depends on who you ask.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 4:00 pm

    Hello friends,
    Great post, very well written.
    You should blog more about this.
    I’ll definitely be subscribing.
    Have a good day..

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