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Old 2013-10-14, 23:48   Link #3241
Sumeragi
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Not offended, just noting the missing part which helps understand the holiday better.
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Old 2013-10-15, 08:25   Link #3242
SaintessHeart
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Typhoon threatens Japan; precautions at Fukushima nuclear plant

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(Reuters) - A once-in-a-decade typhoon threatened Japan on Tuesday, disrupting travel and shipping and forcing precautions to be taken at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Typhoon Wipha is moving across the Pacific straight towards the capital, Tokyo, and is expected to make landfall during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the metropolitan area of 30 million people.

The center of the storm was 860 km (535 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 0800 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. It was moving north-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph).

The storm had weakened as it headed north over the sea but was still packing sustained winds of about 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts as high as 194 kph (120 mph), the agency said.

The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.

A spokesman for the meteorological agency said the storm was a "once in a decade event".

The typhoon is expected to sweep through northern Japan after making landfall and to pass near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, on the coast 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, later on Wednesday.

The operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Corp, which has been struggling to contain radioactive leaks, said it would cancel all offshore work and it would decide whether to continue work onshore after assessing the weather.

The utility will also take down cranes and secure all cables, hoses and machinery, a company spokesman said.

RADIOACTIVE WATER

Tokyo Electric said it would pump out the rainwater expected to fall into protective containers at the base of some 1,000 tanks storing radioactive water.

The radioactive water is a by-product of its jerry-rigged cooling system designed to keep under control reactors wrecked in a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The rainwater that builds up will be pumped into an empty tank, checked for radioactivity, and if uncontaminated, released into the sea, the company said.

Typhoon Wipha is the strongest storm to approach eastern Japan since October 2004. That cyclone triggered floods and landslides that killed almost 100 people, forced thousands from their homes and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Four Japanese oil refining companies said they suspended marine berth shipments in eastern Japan as the typhoon approached but there was no impact on refining operations.

The affected facilities are Idemitsu Kosan Co's Chiba and Aichi refineries, JX Holdings Inc's Negishi, Kashima and Sendai refineries, Fuji Oil Co's Sodegaura refinery and Cosmo Oil Co's Chiba refinery.

Japan Airlines Co cancelled 183 domestic flights on Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly from Tokyo's Haneda airport. Rival ANA Holdings Inc halted 210 flights in Japan with three international flights also cancelled. The combined cancellations will affect 60,850 passengers, the airlines said.

East Japan Railway Co said it had cancelled 31 bullet trains going north and west from Tokyo.

Nissan Motor Co said it was cancelling the Wednesday morning shift at its Oppama and Yokohama plants south of Tokyo. Oppama makes the all-electric Leaf and other models.
Please stay safe for the upcoming holidays!
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Old 2013-11-03, 15:33   Link #3243
Nerroth
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I wasn't sure if there was a better place to mention this or not, so apologies if it would be best posted elsewhere; but CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (a show which combines travel and cuisine, but not in the way you'd think; a series which has already gone from places as diverse as Copenhagen and the Congo, Jerusalem and Johannesburg, and so forth) will be airing an episode set in Tokyo later tonight.



Quote:
Japan is a paradox. The low birthrate, the dedication, the conformity, and the life of a salary man are well known. There is also a competitive and rigid culture that gives way to some unique subcultures. Bourdain has traveled to Tokyo countless times, but on this trip he is in search of the city's dark, extreme, and bizarrely fetishistic underside.
It looks like there is already an itinerary of sorts for this episode's journeys on the website, but it might be somewhat spoiler-ish if you'd rather wait and see what the episode itself has to say (for good or ill).
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Old 2013-11-03, 16:46   Link #3244
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I'll certainly watch that tonight. It has been on my bookmarks since last week.
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Old 2013-11-03, 17:04   Link #3245
willx
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Having seen both a "high-end" and "low budget local" version of some of Japan's urban centres .. I think this'll be very very very interesting!
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Old 2013-11-03, 17:30   Link #3246
Sumeragi
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I always try not to snicker whenever people go about Tokyo's "dark, extreme, and bizarrely fetishistic underside". It's the same with every damn large cities.
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Old 2013-11-03, 19:18   Link #3247
AmeNoJaku
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
I always try not to snicker whenever people go about Tokyo's "dark, extreme, and bizarrely fetishistic underside". It's the same with every damn large cities.
That's very true. Though Tokyo is not dark at all, compared at least with London, Frankfurt and Paris.
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Old 2013-11-03, 22:07   Link #3248
willx
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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
So, I saw this episode just now and other than shock value, and good advertising for an indie heavy metal (death metal?) band .. Andy says: "Who are we to judge?"

I'm a tad disappointed, I thought there'd be more social commentary one way or another, but it's like taking a stroll through a "under culture" museum..
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Old 2013-11-04, 20:21   Link #3249
Nerroth
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One thing I noticed was the camera pausing momentarily on a figure of a certain Galactic Fairy during the course of the episode.
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Old 2013-11-05, 09:49   Link #3250
SeijiSensei
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If the Emperor Wore a Kimono

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Japan no longer needs its emperor to demonstrate, by his choice of dress, that his family is on a par with other royal families — and by extension, that Japan is a civilized nation. We are long past that point. By the same token, there is no reason the emperor should continue to be presented as anything other than a citizen of Japan like any other. At the conclusion of World War II, when Emperor Hirohito renounced his divinity (along with the doctrine of Japanese racial superiority), something known as the “symbolic emperor system” began to take shape.

What better way to complete this process — and thus to neutralize the power the emperor continues to hold for those who see him as more than just another citizen — than to cloak the emperor in that other, more quotidian symbol of Japaneseness, the kimono?

So at the Olympic opening ceremony, I would like to see Emperor Akihito on television, watching from the stands with the empress at his side, both of them dressed in kimonos. They might turn and chat with the foreign guests around them, and even — why not? — pass around boxes of sushi as a snack.

Norihito Kato is a literary scholar and a professor at Waseda University.
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Old 2013-11-05, 10:47   Link #3251
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Just cause he's not "divinity" doesn't mean he's not the symbolic head of state..
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Old 2013-11-05, 14:08   Link #3252
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Technically, the Tenno is not even the head of state. He is just "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people".
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Old 2013-11-06, 03:34   Link #3253
LeoXiao
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I find the Tenno-worship (at least pre-1945) and kokutai ideals the way they manifested in modern history to be really intriguing. Because of his cultural relevance, the emperor as god seems in many ways a much easier sell than trying to convince Germans or Russians of Hitler/Stalin's divinity. And because the Tenno is mostly a symbolic figure who doesn't have much of a secular footprint, he gets to maintain that sacred image in a way impossible for other leaders.

Is the Emperor still culturally relevant in Japan besides just diplomacy and other formalities? I't'd be interesting to know how much, if any, of that prewar spirit survived to modernity.
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Old 2013-11-06, 05:56   Link #3254
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I thought for the extreme right wing the emperor is still very relevant, as they are still trying to push the old Japan, or rather restore it back to its past.
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Old 2013-11-06, 08:44   Link #3255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
I find the Tenno-worship (at least pre-1945) and kokutai ideals the way they manifested in modern history to be really intriguing. Because of his cultural relevance, the emperor as god seems in many ways a much easier sell than trying to convince Germans or Russians of Hitler/Stalin's divinity.
Though neither Hitler and Stalin claimed divinity - even they weren't that crazy.
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Old 2013-11-06, 10:03   Link #3256
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Though neither Hitler and Stalin claimed divinity - even they weren't that crazy.
To imply the Tenno sacredness thing as simply crazy is...very oversimplification of its entire history. Besides, it was really only used as a political tool during the Imperial (the modern one, not the pre-Kamakura period) era
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Old 2013-11-06, 10:24   Link #3257
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The Divine Status of Japanese Tennou has been around for longer period then the Roman Pope has been revered to as God's representative on earth. It's already something very deeply rooted and natural in Japanese society.
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Old 2013-11-06, 10:47   Link #3258
AmeNoJaku
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The concept has been around for a long while, but it became significant (as a symbol of unity) only during the later Tokugawa era, first as an icon of opposition to the bakufu, and later the strawman for the fascists. Because Japanese upper classes had very limited interactions with foreigners (in order to develop a nationalistic identity comparatively) and the social as well as cultural minorities were repressed for centuries, the choice for a symbols to rally behind were very different from the Old World, even the rest of Asia.

As for its contemporary significance, my experience is that natives couldn't care less, unless they are ultra-conservative, heavily involved in Shinto, or military freaks... the closest equivalent I can think of are presidents in functional parliamentary democracies, where they embody and express ideals that unify the population of the state (whether it's culturally, linguistically, and/or religiously homogeneous or not).
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Old 2013-11-07, 00:28   Link #3259
LeoXiao
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Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
Though neither Hitler and Stalin claimed divinity - even they weren't that crazy.
See, that's the thing. They wouldn't be able to pull it off in Germany or Russia.
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Old 2013-11-07, 00:42   Link #3260
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Quote:
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What's wrong with wearing traditional attires?

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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Technically, the Tenno is not even the head of state. He is just "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people".
They seemed to have acted like god before the Meiji. They just watched people live their lives, not much care of what those "mortals" are doing, while continue praying upon to them for blessing and advice.
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