Quick Japanese-English translations on Google

alc's online dictionryIf you’re like me, whenever you need a quick translation, you are probably a “regular” at the alc site. But what do you set as your home page if you are also a regular at both Google and Stippy? Now that there is a Google bar at the top of Stippy.com, part of that problem has been solved and sure, Stippy does include a link to alc on it’s links page, but it is far from the perfect solution. A little known function on Google might make your life a lot easier… Continue reading Quick Japanese-English translations on Google

Lady Tunnel Gods and Xenophobia: Japan under the surface

山の神 (The Mountain God)Even though it is widely believed that Japan is one of the most male chauvinistic (anti-female rights) countries in the developed world, it is hard to get a Japanese person to admit to that fact. Why is that so?

We all know that Japan and the Japanese like to appear to keep the peace and abide by the rules. There certainly are plenty of laws and even international treaties protecting the rights of women, and most Japanese will tell you that females enjoy the same rights as males when it comes to work and all other economic activities, the right to an education, and of course they will let you know that Japan has universal suffrage (however, they will forget to tell you that this was actually forcibly pushed into Japan by General Macarthur in 1946). Continue reading Lady Tunnel Gods and Xenophobia: Japan under the surface

WaiWai: Operator of notorious bulletin board lost in cyber space

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

All sorts of mail is bulging out of the postbox, but the thick wads of legal letters stand out. A peep inside through the windows of the Tokyo apartment provides no hint that anybody has lived inside for a while.

It’s the home of Hiroyuki Nishimura, the 29-year-old webmaster of Ni-Chaneru (http://www.2ch.net), the huge bulletin board that is arguably the Japanese language Internet’s most popular – and most notorious – site.

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Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 1 – Bicycle Valet

Bike movers in Japan ready for deploymentLet me introduce for you the first in our series of “Only in Japan” videos, made by two professional screenwriter/directors while they were living in Tokyo.

Simon Adams (who provided a previous article as a guest writer), and Andrew Johnson were pleased to offer us the “exclusive” internet screening rights (yeah right..) to their vids for stippy.com. We will introduce one “Only in Japan” video every week, for the next 4 or 5 weeks, so come back soon..!

For those who have been to Japan (or are stuck here like us), you surely wouldn’t have missed the bicycle parking area attendants (job description: bike mover), who swarm upon weary cyclists who dare to enter their mama-chari domains – there is no escaping them. Bicycle parking attendants took a stronghold in Japan after the「自転車の安全利用の促進及び自転車等の駐車対策の総合的推進に関する法律」(quite a mouthful for a law about bike parking lots!) was introduced in 1981.
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Who is the New Prime Minister of Japan?

Shinzo AbeMr. Shinzo Abe turns out to be a surprisingly interesting guy a very brief review of his history turns up that Mr. Abe is from a very long line of very successful and very well connected Japanese politicians. His grandfather, on his mother’s side, was Mr. Nobusuke Kishi, who served during the Second World War in the Emperor’s Cabinet, was imprisoned for (but never found guilty of) war crimes. The elder Mr. Kishi then became an important post-War political figure, and rose to the Prime Minister’s post in 1957. Mr. Kishi was, by all accounts, the quintessential Japanese post-war Prime Minister: a finder/builder of consensus; a non-maker of new policies. However, its understood that Mr. Kishi’s imprisonment left a very real impression upon his grandson. Prime Minister Abe’s father was Shintaro Abe, one of the most successful of Japanese political figures during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Continue reading Who is the New Prime Minister of Japan?

Lying to Survive

Monkeys “I never saw it, it wasn’t me!” These are often words uttered by children in the face of being caught doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. This is commonly known in the West as lying, and something that should have been beaten out of us by the time we leave primary school. Likewise, if you saw someone else committing the crime, it is the proper and “right” thing to do to tell the truth of what you saw. At no stage is your position in this transaction question, as you would be doing the right thing.
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