Who is Japan’s little known rice growin’
The UK has it’s first bank run in 150 years. Citibank fired it’s CEO. The whole financial world is reeling from the financial mess called subprime (see here for our easy to understand footnote on subprime).
Even GM (last I checked they made cars and not houses!) has been forced to book a multi-billion dollar loss due to subprime. While hedge fund managers are collapsing left, right and centre, could there possibly be a Saviour? What’s that I see on the horizon? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No… it’s a Japanese farmer!???
This sort of turmoil in the international financial market is unusual. In July Ben Bernanke, head of the US Fed, saw subprime losses reaching $100 billion US dollars. By early October, most market watchers had increased this figure to $400 billion US dollars. And with yet another collapse in asset backed securities (ABS) prices in the last few weeks, the growth in the turmoil seems to be growing again. Continue reading Japanese Farmers and Subprime: Would the real farmer please stand up?
Japanese Corporate Governance – Slowly Changing?
Maybe it is because I’m a closet fan of Koizumi and Takenaka, but I haven’t thrown in the towel on Japanese corporate governance yet. After the spectacular failure of Steel Partners to stop the Bulldog Sauce poison pill, most foreign investors seem to have given up hope completely. (Have you seen the Bulldog Sauce share price recently?) It’s simple to jump to the conclusion that corporate Japan hasn’t changed at all – but although you can only call them baby steps at best, I think that things are slowly changing.
Sure, an arrogant gaijin was a failure when he tried to pick a fight in true Western style, but we are slowly starting to see the emergence of Continue reading Shareholder Activism The Japanese way: Is it all about “Wa”?
Had enough of the Tokyo heat? What better way to spend a quiet stippy weekend than hit the streets of Hong Kong for a bite of 飲茶 (Yum Cha / Dim Sum) and a couple of rounds of 麻雀 (Mahjongg) with the locals in Kowloon Park? If you catch JAL, you can even convince yourself that you’re doing something to help the Mother Country. But JAL isn’t the only connection that Hong Kong has with Japan (and whatever else it is that we at Stippy.com claim we are writing about). We are always keen for a challenge and love it when our readers Continue reading Japanese Beatles in Hong Kong – Mr. Moonlight is the new Abbey Road?
じてんしゃそうぎょう (jitensha sogyou)
* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”
I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more focus by the media on what Nova really was. Nothing more than a long lived Ponzi Scheme.
I guess for the foreign press it is easier to win over readers with a sob story about how many gaijin will be fired/evicted due to the mess that Nova is today. What is most amazing about this scandal is how quickly it has snuck upon us. Only three years ago Nova’s share price was trading above 600 yen (this week it is closer to 16 yen!). Why did the proverbial $hit hit the fan so quickly? Because Nova was a house of cards. Continue reading J-WOTD: 自転車操業
Would you buy a used car from this man? Which man? Well that’s a good question. (I probably wouldn’t buy one from either) In this instance, I mean the man on the left, Masahiro Origuchi (折口雅博), the infamous ex-President of Comsn (コムスン) – the company that, according to their English homepage, is “preserving the dignity and independence of the elderly” (link) when they are not screwing taxpayers by lining their pockets with illegal subsidies.
To be frank, I don’t know if I’d buy a used car from a guy with a smile like that, but want about a used plane? Continue reading Would you buy a used car from this man?
Call me paranoid, but I’m really worried about what my wife eats these days. This is the fourth installment in a series about my personal experience of being pregnant in Japan (or perhaps I should say, of my wife being pregnant). Although I hope that some of the observations have value for gaijin of both sexes, I’m intentionally writing this series from my own perspective – a Gaijin Father / Japanese Mother. There is no topic better than pregnancy for old wives tales to prevail and it seems that the topic of food – what you can, can’t or shouldn’t eat – really takes the cake when it comes to misconceptions in not only Japan but every country in the world. Especially when it comes to Continue reading Getting Pregnant in Japan – Part Four: Do Japanese Mums need less Calcium?
This is the third installment in a series about my personal experience of being pregnant in Japan (or perhaps I should say, of my wife being pregnant). Although I hope that some of the observations have value for gaijin of both sexes, I’m intentionally writing this series from my own perspective – a Gaijin Father / Japanese Mother. There is no topic better than pregnancy for old wives tales to prevail and I’ve been amazed by the seemingly endless views about pregnancy that differ between Japan and the West (where I’m from). While it is hard to argue that either view is right or wrong, I personally would have loved to have had a resource that taught me about both sides of the fence- hopes, expectations, taboo, you name it. That is the purpose of this series.
In the second installment I talked about my favorite reference books. I had hoped for a more balanced view of the world by buying a bunch of books on Amazon. I realized after about my 6th book that ironically I was getting a biased view of the world in a way that I had completely unexpected. Continue reading Getting Pregnant in Japan – Part Three: Handy Internet Bookmarks
This is the second installment (find the first here) in a series about my personal experience of being pregnant in Japan (or perhaps I should say, of my wife being pregnant). Although I hope that some of the observations have value for gaijin of both sexes, I’m intentionally writing this series from my own perspective – a Gaijin Father / Japanese Mother. There is no topic better than pregnancy for old wives tales to prevail, and I’ve been amazed by the seemingly endless views about pregnancy that differ between Japan and the West (where I’m from). While it is hard to argue that Continue reading Getting Pregnant in Japan – Part Two: Which baby books to buy, and in which language?
I’ve got something in common with Leslie Nielsen. While I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t look as good as him in a full nude photograph, the photo does give you a hint. I, too, am pregnant (well.. actually, my wife is!).
Getting pregnant with our first baby was a huge change for our household. Only a few months into our marriage, and just learning the ins and outs of what it means to have an international marriage, a whole new perspective showed its face when we found out that my wife was pregnant. Marriage is all about finding common ground when you both have differing opinions and there is no topic better than children to bring out the best (and worst) of Continue reading Getting Pregnant in Japan – Part One: Becoming a Gaijin Daddy in Your Home Away From Home
Could the LDP actually lose control of the Upper house in the upcoming election on July 29? While it isn’t a no-brainer that the Democrats steal the majority from beneath Abe’s feet, it is looking more and more likely the way the latest opinion polls are lining up. For those of you who aren’t on top of the current Japanese political situation, half of the Upper House (参議院, sangiin) is up for re-election later this month. Every three years, half of the house comes up for re-election meaning the average member has a term of 6 years. Continue reading Japan Upper House Election – Who would you vote for on July 29?