Things Japanese Part II: Modern Culture

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Kassandra
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Re: Things Japanese: Modern

Post by Kassandra »

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Saw that on Netflix a few months ago. I admired the writer and director presenting such a bleak story with such integrity, not prettying anything up to make the viewer feel better, nor trying to satisfy any expectations of a happy ending for that story, because sometimes in life, there just isn't one.

Do you think that movie was based on a real case(s)? Heartbreaking.




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ness
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Re: Things Japanese: Modern

Post by ness »

From what I read, it is based on a real story. That makes the movie all the more heartbreaking. The director had used such subtlety to display the condition of the kids. Especially one thing that stood out to me was how the little girl starts drawing with crayons that her mom got her and as we get to the end, we see that she is still coloring but now the crayons are small for her to even hold. That is what I loved so much about that movie, it was heartbreaking but it wasn't in your face... it was just those small things that haunt you even after you were done watching the movie.

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Kassandra
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Re: Things Japanese: Modern

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ness wrote:Especially one thing that stood out to me was how the little girl starts drawing with crayons that her mom got her and as we get to the end, we see that she is still coloring but now the crayons are small for her to even hold...those small things that haunt you even after you were done watching the movie.
Hmm, I missed that detail, and no doubt countless others. It's one of those productions where so much thought was put into it that it merits multiple viewings to be appreciated in full. Superb movie-making, but a disturbing, inconvenient truth about life conditions for some.

Grave of the Fireflies is like that, too, a beautifully-done anime that I dare anyone to keep a dry eye as he or she views it. Wouldn't be surprised if it were based on a true story, as well. Perhaps these movies are compendiums of actual case files of displaced children and their experiences, given a visual format for the masses to see and feel.




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shatteredsouls
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Re: Things Japanese: Modern

Post by shatteredsouls »

Anybody watched Studio Ghibli's "The Wind Rises"? It's Hayao Miyazaki's retirement film. That movie tells me quite a bit about japanese culture. It's based on a real Japanese as well.

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Respect for the Aged Day - Keiro No Hi

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Keiro-no-Hi-Respect-for-the-Aged-Day.jpg
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The third Monday of September is Respect for the Aged Day, a national holiday in Japan. The Japanese call national holidays “red days” because they appear in red print on the calendar. As this will make September 12–14 a long weekend, be prepared for heavier than usual traffic and crowded trains if you are traveling.

Japanese people traditionally wear red on their 60th birthday because 60 years is one cycle on the Chinese calendar and after 60, it is said that you become a baby again. Babies in Japan are called aka-chan or “red one.”

Respect for the Aged Day, called keiro no hi, is not quite like “Grandparent’s Day” in the U.S. It is far more serious. Neighborhoods will have volunteers distribute free obento boxed lunches to elderly people in the neighborhood and smaller villages will hold keirokai shows where the younger people and school children prepare dances and songs for a special keirokai ceremony. The elderly attendees are also treated to lunch, tea, and sweets after the performance.

As Japan’s nation grays and people get older and older, some of these traditions may change, however. On the small island of 700 people where I live, the keirokai ceremony used to be held for those 60 years old and over. But with so many people over the age of 60 now, the qualifying age to attend the keirokai has steadily increased, and is now 65. As Japan’s society ages and nursing homes become more popular, being old may not be so special anymore—but rather the norm.

Respect for the Aged Day is also a way to honor longevity, and Japanese people have always been some of the longest living in the world. But this is also changing as more and more Japanese people add meat and other western foods to their diets. In addition, city living is seen to cut lifespan due to pollution and stress.

Amy Chavez is a columnist for The Japan Times. Visit her website at moooobar.com

Source: http://www.planettokyo.com/blog/japanes ... -aged-day/




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Kassandra
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Tycoon, Skosh, & 6 More English Words from Japanese

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japanese-to-english.jpg
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We may call them "borrowings," but we're not giving them back.



Tycoon

Definition:
1) a top leader (as in politics)
2) a businessperson of exceptional wealth and power : magnate

Two real estate tycoons—a young New Mexico up-and-comer and an older West Texas powerhouse—are duking it out in the courts over a bungled investment deal that has pitted the former business partners against each other.
— Lauren Villagran, The Albuquerque Journal, 14 June 2016

While tycoon now most often refers to a very wealthy and powerful businessperson, the word has had two other uses in English as well. When the United States forced Japan to open full commercial and diplomatic relations with the West in 1854, the real ruler of the island nation was the shogun. Officially only a military deputy of the emperor, the shogun—a title shortened from seii-taishōgun, meaning “barbarian-subjugating generalissimo”—stood at the pinnacle of a feudal hierarchy based at Edo (later Tokyo) that effectively controlled the imperial court at Kyoto and ruled the country. Westerners in the initial period of diplomatic relations concluded that the shogun was a sort of secular emperor and the emperor something like the pope. Townsend Harris, the first American consul to Japan, got the idea that the shogun's correct title was taikun, a Japanese borrowing from Middle Chinese elements equivalent to Beijing Chinese “great” and jūn “prince.”

This word, in the spelling tycoon, became quite popular in America immediately before and during the Civil War as a colloquialism meaning “top leader” or “potentate.” (John Hay, President Lincoln's personal secretary—and later Secretary of State to Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt—referred to Lincoln as "the Tycoon.") After fading from use for several decades tycoon was revived in 1920s journalism with the narrower sense “a businessman of exceptional wealth and power,” a usage that continues to be part of English.





Honcho

Definition: a person who is in charge of other people: boss, big shot; also: hotshot

[Mandy Patinkin is] one of the most versatile talents in show business, best known at the moment as CIA head honcho Saul Berenson on the TV hit, Homeland…. — Karen Fricker, The Toronto Star (thestar.com), 12 June 2016

Honcho dates back—in English—to at least 1945, as World War II was coming to a close. American prisoners learned the word while in captivity in Japan. In Japanese, the word translates as "squad leader," from han, meaning "squad," and chō, meaning "head, chief." Not long after the war ended, in 1952, General Eisenhower himself was called the "chief honcho" in the Los Angeles Times. Often the word appears in the mildly redundant, but pleasantly alliterative phrase, head honcho.




Skosh


Definition: a small amount : bit, smidgen —used adverbially with a

A few dogs are huddling just inside the gate when Odenkirk unlatches it. He opens it a skosh, and one of them, an Irish setter, bolts and runs across the parking lot. —Scott Raab, Esquire, 6 May 2016


Skosh is another word introduced into English by U.S. soldiers, though this time those soldiers learned the word while stationed in Japan after World War II had ended—our earliest evidence of it in use in English is from 1952. Our word skosh comes from Japanese sukoshi, which is pronounced \skoh-shee. Sukoshi is translated as "a tiny bit" or "a small amount," making our word skosh identical in meaning to its parent word. The English word, however, is also sometimes used adverbially with a, as in "I'm fine, just a skosh tired."



Read more here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at ... ese/tycoon





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Kassandra
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Geisha with Stratocaster, After Kuniyasu

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Legendary Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyasu (1794-1832) provides the platform for this photoshop opportunity by Mike Licht of NotionsCapitol blog, who somehow knew that Kuniyasu was missing one special element in this work. Now at long last, an important destiny has been fulfilled.

Rock on. halfsm



click to enlarge
Geisha with Stratocaster.jpg
Image & text source: http://www.stratoblogster.com/2010/10/g ... aster.html




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shatteredsouls
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Re: Things Japanese Part II: Modern Culture

Post by shatteredsouls »

Came across an interesting article about Japan's ageing population. They're facing care workers shortage, unsure if it's real but they started using robots (not all places)!

"Every morning, the facility organizes an exercise session for about 20 minutes, led by a communication robot named Palro, made by Fujisoft Inc.
Using artificial intelligence, the robot can exercise, dance and remember the names and faces of more than 100 people. It can even hold conversations."
Full news article: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002752218

My guess is, while robots can hold conversations and lead exercises, it'll probably not be enough to fill that emotional compartment in the long run... :(

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Kassandra
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Re: Things Japanese Part II: Modern Culture

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Unfortunately, some might say Japan has led the way as far as what some consider to be a "transhumanist" agenda on the planet. You'll be seeing A LOT more of this kind of thing in the future, in every walk of human life. That is the plan, in my understanding. AI is nothing to play with, but will appear to be this benign toy that humans have the perception, however incorrect it might be, that they have "control" over. However, it's my belief that humans, in the end, will be the ones who get totally played.

But by that time, they'll have built up such a dependency on AI, nanotech, and such, they will be unable to subsist without it all. This is a choice humanity is making for itself, setting a foundation now in little ways that will add up in the end. These are just my thoughts due to certain experiences I've had, and certainly don't reflect the majority opinion on seemingly-innocent robotics like what you're describing with the seniors. I think the worker shortage is a cover story, and there will be many more. They persuade societies they "need" AI, can't function without it, etc.




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