Mindy Kotler has, according to her on CV, made her entire career out of being critical of Japan. Or, to put it another way, she has made a career out of Japan-bashing. Which of these is more true is really for the observer to decide. This post will deal simply with her total ignorance and wrongheadedness displayed in a piece on Yasukuni that I was unfortunate enough to come across.
The piece aims to compare Yasukuni Shrine, which is dedicated to the souls of the millions who have died in service of the Emperor, to Arlington National Cemetery, on which holds the remains of some select hundreds of thousands who have died in service of the US military. As the title, “Sorry Japan: Yasukuni is not Arlington” reveals, the aim of this comparison is to prove that they are fundamentally different places (with the “sorry” indicating that Yasukuni will come off unfavorably in this comparison). So let’s have a look at the arguments in the order in which they are presented: Continue reading
Saw this comment on a Youtube video about biking in Japan.
“Why does it cost to park? In Sweden there’s places to park your bike all over the place, and if there aren’t any places where you are, you just put it wherever.”
Because nothing in life is free. Bicycle parking economics work exactly the same as those for car parking. That is, it costs money to create and maintain the parking facilities, and the space they physically occupy could be used for something else if the parking lot wasn’t there. This is as true in some provincial town in Sweden as it is in Tokyo. The two main differences are in terms of land cost and crowdedness (which obviously will go hand-in-hand), but I’ll come to those in a moment. Continue reading
Happy Valentines Day!
In a previous post I included a quote about how a country’s strengths are often its same weaknesses and vice versa. I think that is largely true, and today I’d like to apply that to food and drink. Continue reading
Let’s analyze this new video from the Financial Times. It’s pretty much the archetype of stereotypical reporting on Japan, so I think it is worth looking at not so much to point out how dumb the Financial Times reporting is, but rather as a demonstration of all the typical elements of bad reporting on Japan.
First we have the title. This is the most important decision to make because it is the main thing that will get people to click on your video. The Financial Times shows us how to do it right: just make an inflammatory lie. They went with “The last of Japan’s video arcades.” How is that even remotely true? The one arcade the reporter went to is far from being “the last” one; there are about five thousand officially licensed arcades in Japan. The trend since the peak in the mid-1980s has been to have fewer, larger, more centrally located arcades, but we are still a long way from some random SEGA Hi-Tech Land being the last one. Continue reading
Another Japanese 3DS download title that does not appear to have a single review in English anywhere, so I’ll write one.
Creeping Terror is one of a small number of horror games available on the 3DS. It is the product of Sushi Typhoon, a horror-focused subsidiary of the Nikkatsu film studio. Continue reading
Just wanted to post a quick note alerting everyone who enjoyed the first Densha Unten Shirei that a sequel has come out!
This time we’re going in the other direction from Tokyo, following the coast east and south down past Tokyo Disneyland and into Chiba Prefecture. Continue reading
I’m taking a look at a Japan Guide post that is not the original post for a change:
“So, basically, these stores are asking YOU to give your CDs away so that THEY can make money out of them?!?! Is this some kind of Bizzaro parallel universe??”
To answer the second question first: yes, it is. Seriously Japan is as different as you can get from the West while still maintaining developed “first-world” institutions.