Haiku reflections on Japan

Renshuu refurbishment

Change is mostly a

good and positive thing but

in this case it ain’t.


Well I visited Renshuu the other day after a week or so away (see last post) and I found they had changed the format of the site.  I’m kind of annoyed because I can’t find where I left off!!    It’s neater alright, ironically, but it was much easier to go back to where you left off with the old format.  I hope they’re not going to mess around with it any further.   I don’t want it going down the Memrise sinkhole route!

I watched a documentary this weekend morning about sinkholes – yeah fascinating you say but in fact it was very interesting – after what happened in Hakata that time (see previous post). This was mostly US-focused, particularly Louisiana and Florida.   Sinkholes are far more dangerous than you would think.  I wondered while watching it if it was such a good idea that the Hakata cities authorities rebuilt the street so quickly that time.

On a human level, it is amazing how greedy some housing developers are – not just in America but everywhere-  that they know full well that they are building housing developments on sink-hole vulnerable plots of land and yet it is the eventual home owners who are left to deal with the, often tragic, consequences of it.  And how they even get to development stage is amazing.  So it’s not just property developers at fault (but city authorities who allow them to go ahead without proper assessments of the land).   Real estate agents are also guilty of hiding the truth about properties they are in charge of selling.  Anyway, not only might the homeowners lose their lives but also the value of their house which they find they can’t sell on because of this geological feature that no one can do much about, and that they were knowingly left unaware of.  so they are doomed to stay there.   Some public authorities have special sinkhole zone maps people can refer to if they want to research an area in which they wish to buy a house which is something but not all public authorities have these.  Unless you’re eyeing up an area already known for sinkholes (in which case why?), it’s probably not on your list of things to research when thinking of buying a house!  The documentary also featured people who are aware of sinkholes in their area but due to technology that will warn them of anything that will ‘activate’, so to speak, a threatening sinkhole and/or a genuine love of their community, when they could otherwise afford to move, decide to stay put despite the risk.

Well, I’ll try to think of something less grim for my next post : (









Haiku reflections on Japan, Snapshots of Japan

After the Storm

After the Storm – 

another hit from the

class Kore-eda?

There’s a film out at the moment called ‘After the Storm’ starring Hiroshi Abe and Kiki Kirin which is meant to be really good.   I’d go see it only it’s not available anywhere near me.  I might have to head to another city to see it so we’ll see.   It looks like one I’d add to my ‘Films worth a look’ list.   It’s another one by Kore-eda whose films are nearly always about family ties.

Haven’t studied any Japanese in a few weeks.  I think I just got to a level on Renshuu that I had to think ‘Oh well where do I go now?’   I went to another part of the site that specialised in kanji but found myself going over old ground, really basic old ground so was not very motivated to continue it.  I like to copy a lot of sentences from it which have new terms in them, or certain grammar structures I want to perfect, into word files according to theme and then I try to go back to the Word files once in a while to look over what I’ve learned – I’ve pages and pages by now per theme (politics, business, sport, food/drink, household, etc.) – to review them.   Well, good intentions and all ….  I don’t usually have the time.   Still, it’s good to give something a break now and then so you can return to it with a clear mind.

One or two files that are really handy at the moment are the politics and war files considering the antagonism coming from NK towards Japan and the new leader in South Korea.  Another is my weather and climate file since firstly Japan has such a wide range of weather conditions and catastrophes and secondly since the climate is more important than ever and not just because or since that clown in the White House pulled out of the all-important Paris agreement.  Boooo!! 馬鹿だよ!

Any thoughts on this?  I look forward to hearing them.

Slightly edited – 3/6 – to add haiku and other additions to main text.

Haiku reflections on Japan, International or other matters

Kowtowing to the wrong people

Most twisted news I

have heard in a while in the

women’s affairs sphere

So the UN are compiling a secret vote as to whether to allow Saudi Arabia onto a body which discusses and deals with women’s rights.  You have got to be joking.  The only reason I heard of it was that over the last couple of days, our Minister for Foreign Affairs has refused to reveal whether he said yes or no to it.  The secret part of it is that Saudi Arabia won’t know who voted for or against them or who voted at all.   So yeah I guess they’d find out if it was all over the media but people have a right to know what their government is getting up to internationally.  So who cares if they find out.  Surely we don’t need their business that much?  They don’t deserve our beef!  It’s the UN who need their head testing even considering it though I suppose they might think they will be helping women in Saudi Arabia, or they can keep an eye on Saudi Arabia.  Rather naive I think as Saudi Arabia has so far got away with murder, literally, at home and abroad, and knows it can because people depend on it for oil.

Anyway, our Foreign Affairs minister says he’s not telling anyone, even people in the government cabinet (which I find hard to believe) and our Prime Minister is looking insincere, which he is in my opinion, for not being clear on whether he brought it (women’s issues) up with the Saudis on a previous trade mission trip in 2014.    I can’t imagine he did bring it up specifically, the kowtowing groveller that he is.  Too interested in getting business from that place.    Though he is meant to be stepping down soon (leave already!), I can’t see his replacement being any better.  I’m talking about this here because Japan’s PM seems very fond of Saudi Arabia also (and well he is PM of a country where women have had to fight to keep their own name after getting married for flip sake), and often seems to be kowtowing in the most obsequious manner (to use the onomatopoeia ぺこぺこ). These two PMs are not the only ones almost afraid of bringing Saudi Arabia to task on this very important issue and making them change their backward attitude to women and give them legal rights to carry out things that are normal in most civilised countries but they’re the ones who interest me most obviously.   An extreme example of too much money (made from their oil which sadly many countries want) and no sense.  Leaders of countries including mine are afraid they might lose business.  Pathetic.  They should make them improve before inviting them on any such bodies, if they absolutely have to do that.    Some proof of improvement, I think, would be the introduction of laws to allow women certain rights which the rest of the world would then see.  And abolishing certain existing laws of course.   Politicians in many countries have deplorable, sad attitudes to women, including their female counterparts in parliament, and women under the yoke of the Catholic Church here and elsewhere had it hard for a long time also – so it’s not just there that religion affects  laws and/or attitudes.  Saudi Arabia and other countries nearby still, however, choose to remain a world apart.  Of course, some men have had it hard there too like the blogger who was flogged for revealing information about the country through his blog.  But for women it is a whole lot worse.

No, I have not been there and I have no interest in going in the next lifetime.   I wouldn’t put my time or money into the tourism industry of a country, Saudi Arabia or neighbouring countries with similar attitudes, that treats women like that.  Hell, I don’t even like the idea of visiting the US on holiday, which I otherwise would like to do, while the orange clown is in charge, nor France should Le Pen win this weekend (and I don’t think Macron is a great choice either but she’s awful, not as bad as her old dinosaur father but just as harmful to France’s future as he would have been).