Is Japan ready for the next big earthquake?
Nov 25 2016
Great YouTube channel by renowned Japan lawyer Timothy Langley
Join host Timothy Langley and Michael Cucek for another episode of Tokyo on Fire!
Japan suffered from a 7.4 earthquake this week in the same area that was devastated nearly 6 years ago. This time, however, the response of emergency authorities was swift and efficient.
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Sep 30 2016
“I have a pen, I have an apple — apple pen,” Piko Taro, a character created by Japanese comedian and DJ Kosaka Daimaou sings in the clip, clad in matching animal print and busting some serious dance moves. The video has already collected more than 1 million views on YouTube, and Bieber’s endorsement probably won’t hurt.
My favorite video on the internet 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/oJOqMMyNvw
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 27, 2016
Sep 02 2016
Interesting story at spoon-tamago.com
And another parody here:
Maybe they’ll have some effin sales???
Sep 02 2016
Most Japanese want to be married, but are finding it hard
Sep 3rd 2016 | TOKYO | The Economist
A local official in Aichi prefecture set out a daring proposal. Tomonaga Osada suggested that the authorities could distribute secretly punctured condoms to young married couples, who would then get to work boosting the birth rate. His unorthodox ploy won few supporters,…
SEIKO, a 35-year-old journalist in Tokyo, is what the Japanese refer to as“New Year Noodles”. The year ends on December 31st, and, by analogy, the period when a Japanese woman is deemed a desirable marriage prospect ends after 31. It could have been worse: the slang term used to be “Christmas cake” because a woman’s best-before date was considered to be 25.
Soon a new expression may be needed: men and women in Japan are marrying later, or sometimes not at all. Since 1970 the average age of first marriage has risen by 4.2 and 5.2 years for men and women respectively, to 31.1 and 29.4. The proportion of Japanese who had never married by the age of 50 rose from 5% in 1970 to 16% in 2010.
Something similar is happening in other rich countries, but Japan leads the way in Asia. (The proportion of South Koreans who have never married by 50 is 4%, for example.) And whereas, in the West, the decline of marriage has been accompanied by a big rise in the number of unmarried couples living together, only around 1.6% of Japanese couples cohabit in this way. So in Japan fewer marriages means fewer babies—a calamity for a country with a shrinking and ageing population. Only 2% of Japanese children are born outside marriage, compared with over 40% in Britain and America.
Some of the reasons for the flight from marriage in Japan are the same as in other rich countries. Women are better educated, pursue careers, can support themselves financially and don’t see the traditional family as the only way to lead a fulfilling life. Some of the details are different in Japan, however. Couples are expected to have children shortly after getting married, so women who want to delay childbearing have a strong incentive to delay marriage. Even so, a large majority of Japanese still want to get married eventually: 86% of men and 89% of women, according to a survey published in 2010 by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, a government agency.
Economics is a big part of the problem. Women seek men with financial security. Men want to be able to provide it. This is hard, however, when more and more young ones are stuck in temporary or part-time jobs. “I don’t want my wife and children to miss out on experiences because we can’t afford them,” says Junki Igata, a 24-year-old trainee at an international hotel chain, who says he will put off marriage until his mid- or late thirties. Men in part-time jobs are less likely to be married than full-timers.
The opposite holds for women: there are more unmarried women among full-time professionals than part-time ones. The problem for them is the persistence of a traditional view of marital responsibilities, which makes it especially hard for a Japanese woman to juggle a full-time career with children. Her husband will often want her to give up work. (Seiko’s boyfriend asked her to do so after only three months together; she refused.) Also, domestic chores are unevenly shared in Japanese marriages: men do only an hour and seven minutes of housework and child care a day, compared with around three hours in America and two-and-a-half hours in France.
People are finding it harder to meet, too. The days of omiai, or arranged marriage, are more or less gone. University students spend their free time joining clubs to bolster their CVs as good jobs become scarcer. Workers toil for long hours. Some reckon men in particular have become shyer (or lazier) about approaching prospective mates.
High expectations pose another barrier. Takako Okiie, a “concierge” at Partner Agent, a sleek matchmaking agency manned by perfectly made-up women, says clients are often all “me, me, me”. They want a dream partner (Ms Okiie says it takes 18 months to knock this out of them) or, at the very least, what Japan refers to as the “three averages”: average income, average looks, average education.
The difficulty young Japanese have in pairing up is one reason why the fertility rate has plunged. The number of children a Japanese woman can expect to have in her lifetime is now 1.42, down from 2.13 in 1970. Little wonder the population is shrinking.
Some fret about a rise in the number of isolated people and “parasite singles”: people who live with and depend on their parents well into adulthood. The state can provide economic support, but the sort of civic groups and community associations that help people feel integrated into society have weakened in Japan as elsewhere. The once-tight connection between workers and their company has loosened too with the decline of jobs for life. “I worry about what will happen when these people’s parents die,” says Masahiro Yamada, a sociologist at Chuo University who coined the term “parasite single”.
Not many singletons have boyfriends or girlfriends, even if they are neither otaku (men who are obsessed with anime or computer games) nor hikikomori (those who lock themselves away in their rooms). Mr Yamada reckons that if people aren’t marrying and aren’t dating, they must be doing something to satisfy their need for intimacy. He is researching whether they are opting for sexual and romantic alternatives such as prostitutes, romantic video games, celebrity obsessions, pornography or pets.
Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, is concerned. His government wants women to have more babies. It would also like marriage to remain the basis of family life. It has paid subsidies to towns that organise dating events, tried to create more nursery places and this week announced a bid to scrap a spousal tax break that discourages married women from earning more than 1.03m yen ($10,000) a year.
Such tinkering may help at the margins. So too would shorter working hours and—more important—an acceptance by Japanese men that they can’t get married on the terms their fathers did. Governments are mostly powerless to direct such cultural change, however. Japanese men and women will either have to figure out ways to live together—or remain alone.
Aug 31 2016
Japanichiban has a huge following from the Philippines. Maybe in the near future we can help you come to Japan and secure a job in housekeeping or babysitting as the rules are being relaxed.
I know a lot of ex-pats living in Tokyo already hire full time live in au pairs.
Housekeepers from abroad may be allowed in Tokyo
By NAOKI TSUZAKA/
The Tokyo metropolitan government will consider granting foreign housekeepers visas and permits to work in Tokyo to plug a hole in the work force as Japan’s population is expected to shrink further in the future.
The Tokyo government has changed its tack and decided to study the possibility of creating a “special zone” that would allow deregulation of certain laws in a specified region, in this case allowing foreign citizens to be employed as domestic helpers in the capital.
Under Japan’s Immigration Control Law, allowing foreigners in to work as housekeepers is banned, but in a special zone those who meet certain criteria, such as having one or more years of work experience in housekeeping, may be granted a work permit.
If the plan is realized, Tokyo will be the third municipality to make this move following Kanagawa Prefecture and Osaka city.
It is likely other municipalities may follow if Tokyo, which has been reluctant to deregulate, adopts the new policy.
The metropolitan government has invested in housekeeper training programs to boost the number of people to take up such employment, rather than allowing foreign domestic helpers in. The government did this in the hope more women could work outside the home, boosting the work force.
It is understood that the change in Tokyo’s attitude resulted from a greater acknowledgment of the problems of a shrinking population and work force as well as the fact that Kanagawa Prefecture and Osaka city have introduced the special zones.
Aug 24 2016
Another great vid from Micaela…
Micaela: “Coming at you from my dirty bland bedroom because it’s the only room with decent air conditioning right now.
I was talking to a friend last week (who is also an introvert) about how when we try to explain our quiet dispositions to Japanese people, we’re usually met with denial, about how we couldn’t possibly be introverts because we’re not shattered shells of our former selves.
There’s a bit of misunderstanding behind what an introvert is, and what it means here, but I think when you explore the meaning you find that introverts are actually well suited to life in Japan.”
Aug 22 2016
What’s your favorite onigiri?
Lately I’ve been having a lot of homemade ‘genmai’ (brown rice) onigiri to lose a bit of weight but when I’m on the run, I usually hit the 7/11 for a salmon onigiri.
Check out Micaela’s onigiri vid.
O-nigiri (お握り or 御握り; おにぎり?), also known as o-musubi (お結び; おむすび?), nigirimeshi (握り飯; にぎりめし?) or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or cylinder shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (umeboshi), salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, most convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors. There are even specialized shops which only sell onigiri to take out. Due to its popularity in Japan, the trend of small restaurants and convenience stores selling onigiri has traveled to other parts of the world, such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Switzerland, Hawaii, New York City, London, Australia, Canada, and parts of California.
Jul 25 2016
Japan Ichiban Friend Finder is still going strong and we hope to keep going.
Some of our competition sites have recently thrown in the towel and stopped providing the service.
Gaijin Pot Friendfinder folded about 18 months ago.
Japan Guide also.
Recently Japan Zone also stopped providing the service.
The explosion of social media Facebook et al, has made it harder for sites like these to remain profitable but we hope to keep on providing the service as long as possible.
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