Archive for July, 2009

A loud neighbor

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    A clip from FTV of a loud drunk man caught on camera as he walked around his neighborhood shouting threats at his neighbor:

    The man is angrily shouting insults while accusing his neighbor of theft and damaging his car. This was apparently a regular occurrence, so the victim set up a security camera to prepare evidence for the police. The man was arrested for disturbing the peace.

    It was not the first time this kind of thing had happened. The report mentions that he had been arrested twice before for the same crime in the last three years.

    8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - July 31, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Categories: General Japan

    Hokkaido Belly Button Festival

    heso matsuri

    The city of Furano held its annual Heso Matsuri (“Belly Button Festival”) yesterday. Participants took to the streets with a variety of amusing faces painted on their bellies.

    Here are a few belly button parades video clips that folks have uploaded to YouTube:

    The second clip is the best. Gotta love those Dragonball bellies and the Barack Obama dude!

    dragonball bellies


    [hat tip to Ken Y-N]

    5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - July 30, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Categories: Odd / Strange

    Japanese company makes Harvard graduates serve tea


    How Nomura Holdings treats its female employees (from the Wall Street Journal, via Foreign Policy):

    Japanese brokerage firm Nomura Holdings Inc. kicked off a training session for new hires in April by separating the men and women. The women, including Harvard graduates hired by Lehman Brothers before it collapsed, were taught how to wear their hair, serve tea and choose their wardrobes according to the season, say executives who fielded a complaint about the session.


    Asked about the training sessions for new hires, a Nomura spokeswoman said that both sexes were taught business etiquette, and the men and women were trained separately for logistical reasons.

    Some Nomura managers interpreted strictly the company’s dress code for women. They told women joining from Lehman to remove highlights from their hair, to wear sleeves no shorter than midbicep and to avoid brightly colored clothing, according to several people who joined from Lehman. Several women were sent home from the trading floor for dressing “inappropriately,” these people say.

    “I was sent home for wearing a short-sleeve dress, even though I was wearing a jacket,” says one woman who says she plans to leave as soon as she receives her final guaranteed bonus payment.

    Nomura’s human-resources department changed some women’s email addresses to their married names, from their maiden names, without asking which names they used professionally, according to the people who joined from Lehman.

    The article does not specify whether or not male employees were given instructions on how to wear their hair and how to serve tea.

    104 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 3:08 pm

    Categories: Discrimination

    Weight loss tips from Japan

    Two interesting diet advice books from Japan for all of you out there that want to slim down this summer:

    Japanese diet

    First we have Sayonara, Mr. Fatty, a book of advice from an otaku who was once fat:

    In this uplifting memoir, famous Japanese pop culture “King of the Geeks” Toshio Okada tells of the diet and lifestyle changes he made in his fight against obesity, and how his public perception dramatically improved as a result of his healthier appearance.

    Okada lost 110lbs in one year, without the use of funky dieting techniques or exercises, using nothing but a notepad. He recognized that a diet is doomed to fail if it’s unsustainable, and a person cannot continue something they do not enjoy. Examining various diets and exercise regimes—even considering surgery—he concluded that a recording diet would be the most effective method. By succeeding in the recording diet, a person will learn a means of self-control that can be applied to other aspects of life, such as budgeting. Toshio Okada’s diet reflects the six stages of space flight, each stage a little bit closer to the final goal of health and self confidence!

    And you might also want to check out So I Need to Lose 15 Pounds, a dieting manga by Shiho Torii:

    Who hasn’t worried about their weight at one time or another? This book presents an amusing new way to look at dieting. A non-fiction self-help book written in a comic format, it takes the hard issue of dieting techniques and presents them in the humorous style of Japanese “manga.”

    Popular diets such as Macrobiotics, based on traditional Japanese cuisine, to way out there diets such as using experimental NASA equipment and hypnosis are tested in a 27 diet challenge. Readers can find motivation to lose weight and helpful information on which diets give the best results while laughing all the way. Written in the manga format from the country that does it best, this is the how-to comic based on one young author’s struggles with weight.

    You can get an idea of her amusing illustration style by checking out her blog.

    3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 10:03 am

    Categories: Books

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