Thursday - News!

So, turns out that Sumo Wrestlers have (gasp!) ties with the Yakuza!

Who'da thunk it?

Starting a few weeks ago, the police have been investigating their money/gambling/match-fixing practices.  It's gotten so bad that the police are thinking about confiscating their cell phones and see who they were corresponding with.  (A big  no no in Japan.)

Speaking of Sumo, it is a bit interesting how, over the last 10 years or so, the number of Japanese sumo wrestlers has dwindles to almost nothing.  The most famous wrestlers in recent memory have been Russian, Hawaiian, and 2 Mongolians.  The pride of Japan has been taken, like almost all things here now, by foreigners.

this brings the question... what does 'Japanese' even mean anymore.

Stay frosty!


Wednes day - Engrish!

This has SOOO many layers to it I can't even begin...

Stay frosty!

Tuesday Kanji day!

Alright guys, it's the Kanji lesson you've all been waiting for!

遊女 this is pronounced two ways.  One is Yuujo, and the other is tawareme.  They both mean the same thing... harlot, prostitute, etc.

Then there is 娼女 which is pronounced shoujo and it, of course, means the same thing.

The ironic part of this last one is that it is pronounced exactly the same as 少女 which means 'little girl'... oh my dear Japan...

Stay Frosty!


Monday - Stay a while

So, you have decided to stay for as long as you can?  Really?  you willing to give up your home, familiar customs, and food and live in the srange, new world that is Japan?

Well, then go for it!

Living in Japan is actually quite easy.  If there is one thing that Japanese people do well, it's making everything as convenient as possible. (Well, almost everything...)

EVery bill you have (Water, Gas, Electricity, Cellphone, Internet, TAxes) can be paid at any of your local convience stores.  (Like 7/11 for example)

Also, since Japan is reletively small, at least compared to countries like China, America, etc, getting things by mail is VERY fast and you can COD everything!

When my computer died, as I stated last post, I ordered everything via a website called http://www.dospara.com/ and had it delivered to my house within 24 hours!  And I just paid the mailman cash and I was good to go. 

It's the little things that make all the difference.

Now, if you want to live in Japan for a long time, you need to find a good place to live.  By good, I mean one that you can stay in for as long as possible.  In Japan, there are two kinds of security deposits when you move into an apartment.  One is called 礼金 (reikin) which roughly translates to THank YOu money.  this money you do not get back!  This practice started in Japan after WW2, when no one had any money or anything and to get a place to stay, they would 'Thank' the owner of the house/room with money.  70 years later, they still do it.  It will typically be about 1-2 months rent.

Something to look forward to, however, is that the practice of charging 'Thank you money' is disappearing.  (What?  you mean people don't like paying for nothing? Imagine that...)

Then there is 敷金 (shikikin) which is just like a regular security deposit.  This is also typically 1-2 months rent.

So, everytime you move to a new apartment, you end up paying about 5 months rent in advance.  That is why is it VERY important to find an apartment that you feel you can live in for a long time.  Of course cost is an issue but also be sure to check for cracks and hole for cockraoches etc. 

I was once living in a rural place and had an apartment that cost 330 bucks a month.  (In or near Tokyo, that the cheapest I have ever found)  But, the space between to door and the floor was rather wide, and every night was like a cockraoch barmitsva!

So, be sure to check for things like that.

Stay frosty!!!


I am back from the Dead!!

Sorry for not posting this week.

The truth is, my computer got AIDS and died!

So, I had to get new one.

Instead of paying a bunch of money for a BTO, I decided to try my hand at building it myself!

Here're the new specs:

AMD 3.3ghz 6 core CPU
8gb RAM
Radeon HD 6850 graphics card
Some awesome motherboard that I can't recall the name of
Windows 7

All this for 750$!!

But, building it was not a walk in the park... but it works awesome now!!  I can play Starcraft 2 on all the MAXIMUM settings and not a single hiccup!

Well, that's all for now, see you next week!

Stay Frosty!


Friday Free Day

So, being Friday, I just thought I would share some thoughts I've been having recently. 

Someone in the comments once asked me about what I think of World War 2.

Now, obviously war is never a good thing, but putting that aside for a moment...

The ONE thing that war seems to do well is cause change.  Both social and economic.  For example, take a look at America with it's War in Iraq etc.  For better or worse, it has caused change in America and in many other places around the world.  Another example, technology that was developed for WW2 was then used and purchased by the average consumer (things like computers and internet etc) later.  Also, the Vietnam and Korean wars led to the Hippy-peace-loving movement, and American people's constant hatred and distrust of their own government as well.

Japan, on the other hand, doesn't have an army and is forbidden to go to war a la their constitution.  So, Japan has not had any of those social stimuli to change their thinking and social systems. 

Of course I would never say that War is a good thing, because that would be untrue.  But, I will say that the effects of war or not always negative... just mostly so.

Japan has had no need for civil rights changes because very few foreigners choose to stay here.  On top of that, VERY few get naturalized to become Japanese citizens.  Why is that important?  Because until they do that, they have no foundation on which to stand and say 'We need better treatment'.  Because, being still a 'foreigner' they will just be told to 'Go home if you don't like it'.

Japan has had no Malcom X, no Martin Luther Kings, no Rosa Parks.  To be fair, foreigners are not treated nearly as badly as Black people were in the 50s and 60s.  But, they are still treated... shall we say, unfairly. 

Someone needs to stand up and protest or something.

Stay Frosty!


Thursday - And then there was snow...

In Niigata Prefecture, (just some backwater place) they have had record snow fall.

How bad, you ask?

Well, how about 4 meters!!

yup yup, with a total monthly snowfall of 409 cm, it is the most snow to EVER fall in that area, and probably everywhere else except like Russia or something. 

It's so bad, they had to call in the Army (Well, in Japan's case they don't have an army, but whatever) to help clear it all out.

You know, people talk about Global Warming and such, but I just don't see it...

sauce: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110203a2.html


Tuesday Kanji Kanji

Today's Kanji are for the words for 'Loud' 'Annoying' or 'Shut up!'

うるさい 煩い 五月蠅い

All three of these are pronounced the same way.  URUSAI

Also, 黙れ! 

DAMARE!  This is literally the command form of 'to be quiet'.

So, now you know what to say when the crazy Right-wing Japanese nationalists come blaring their megaphones about the 'evils of foreigners.

Stay Frosty!