Posted by: voyagerguide | January 7, 2008

What is Japan Business Federation?

Japan Business Federation, known in Japanese as the Nihon Keidanren, is a economic organization founded in May 2002 by amalgamation of Keidanren and Nikkeiren. Its 1584 members consist of 1286 companies including 79 foreign ownership. This organization encourages the government to enact policies which are advantageous for member compaies. And, in comparison with other nations, the head of Japan Business Federation often have a talk with the prime minister directly. The industrial policies of the organiztion are very different from those of the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. On the other hand, JBF positively gets close to the ministry of foreign affairs for the purpose of gaining information about  gloval codes and standards of products. On the whole, JBF is just simple pressure group, because the goal of JBF is buildup of Japanese industrial arena.

Posted by: voyagerguide | January 6, 2008

Rakugo, Comic storytelling

Rakugo, a vaudeville performance developed in the Edo Period(1603-1867). Rakugo is performed in entertainment halls called yose. The rakugo artist sits on stage on a dais, wearing a kimono, and performs his humorous piece solo, with puns and wordplay, usually in the form of a dialogue. The main feature is applying the punch line at the end of the piece. Folding fans and hand towels are used for props. In making these sort of props come alive, rakugo artists lead the spectators into an imaginative world. In Japan, the drama series featuring a female rakugo artist is now on air. This drama creates the rakugo boom. The rakugo entertainment hall, Hanjoutei is literally thriving. Rakugo is performed in Japanese, but some rakugo artists attempted to perform rakugo in English and finished up the better off. 

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 24, 2007

Habit of Thinking themselves

In Japan, emphasizin the power of thinking for themselves is on the rise today. I feel that we are manipulated by mass media.  I think the way TV programs tell me. Therefore, I make the habit of thinking about articles on newspapers. But, I think that the power of thinking should be used for moving to improve something or other. Thinking about articles which are given me by mass media is nothing more than flattering unction. What the Japanese are lacking is not the power of thinking but courage to put ideas into actions. Taking actio on something is followed by thinking to reach one’s goal.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 23, 2007

A Japanese talk about Whale-hunting

Japan is doing whale-hunting from the acient times. Anti-whalers asserted that some pieces of whales are at risk of extinction and that frequent whale-hunting may cause the destruction of the sea ecology. On the other hand, pro-whalers, Japan, Norway, Iceland and so on, insisted that objections of their whale-hunting are not endangered species and that whales may cause the destruction of the sea ecology by eating twice as much fish as humans eat. In Japan, meat of whales appeal to a lot of people except younger generation. In 1988, the Japanese government switched from commercial whaling to research whaling. Since then, much meat of whales didn’t hit the marcket. Therefore, those who were born after the year, 1988, have never eaten meat of whales. It can be said that not all of the Japanese are demanding lifting ban of hunting-whale. And when Japan was under control of occupation forces led by U.S., GHQ encouraged undernourished Japanese people to eat meat of whales. Moreover, when Commodore Perry and his squadron of American ships appeared in Japan to press for the opening of the country, he demanded that the Japanese government should supply water and fuel to ships for whale-hunting. The Japanese government critisized U.S. for having done whale-hunting, but I think that the Japanese government is worth critisizing U.S. The Japanese government is restricting catch by Ainu, the aboriginal people of Japan. And, I think that both anti-whaler and pro-whaler should consider whale-hunting much more. This problem is linked with different kinds of cultures, costoms and habits. Therefore, experience of finding solution to this problem will be worth of praise.     

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 23, 2007

Japanese Curinary Life vol.1

Omusubi, rice ball, is made by rolling rice in the palms of the hands. Usually, they are made into triangular or round shapes, and various kinds of food, such like a pickled plum or fish are put into rice balls. My mother often put them into my lunch box when I was a student. By the way, I like rice balls put dried bonito seasoned with soy sause into. In Japan, they have rice balls at the convenience strores. One rice ball usually costs $1, but some among them is so expensive that is put constly ingredient into. And, in a Japanese folktales rice balls comes up. Rice balls can be said to have been appealing to Japanese people for such a long time. 

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 21, 2007

The life in Japan, Dec 20

The prices of crude oil skyrocket in the world. In Japan, the price of regular gasoline a litre is $1.36. I don’t feel using cars very costly because I rarely drive the car, but every my families oftem said, “I can’t go on an outing by car. ” The price of kerosene is also high, $0.90. We could buy a litre of regular gasoline for $0.80 some 10 years ago. But the consumer price index of Japan is still below 1%, therefore, Bank of Japan is keeping ultra-loose monetary policy. The deposit rate is close on 0%. But Japan has over $7.2 trillion government bond. If the government raise policy rate, we are suffer from much bond-related expenditures. Whatever will become of Japan?  

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 21, 2007

Japanese swords

Japanese swords, “Nihon-to”, are forged with a pecuriarly Japanese method. The method makes Japanese swords really sharp and beatiful. In the Edo period(the feudal times of Japan, 1603-1867), every warrior had one or two Japanese swards, which are the symbol of the soul of the samurai. In the Meiji Period (following the Edo Period), samurai were forced to give up position of Japanese swords. Thereafter, military officers wore them as symbols of rank. After the war, in Japan, position of them are permitted only when people appreciate them as art objects. In fact, a lot of people all over the world have fascination with limpid purity and beauty of Japanese swords.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 18, 2007

Japanese Spirit: Honne Tatemae

Japan is not only a mountainous country, but also a small coutry. Many people live in small area. In this circumstance, it is very important to live together peacefully and harmoniously. This theory is still up and running. In Japan, when expressing honest feelings might hurt or offend others, official stance is expressed instead to keep peace in a community. Honest feelings are Japanese for “Honne(本音)” and official stance is Japanese for “Tatemae(建前)”. This Japanese spirit produced the custom avoiding expressing “Honne” and adjusting to “Tatemae”. The west often criticises the Japanese for not readily expressing their opinions because of this spirit. Peoply say that  these days the traditional custom is gradually changing in proportion to grobalization in Japan, but I think that Honne and Tatemae is a deep-rooted Japanese spirit, seeing that Japanese educational system still makes much of not encouraging to make a habit of thinking by oneself  but encouraging to imitate textbook.

In Japan, Fibrinogen, blood products made by Green Cross Corp., was often used to hemorrhaging expectant mothers in 1980s. Afterwards it was revealed that Fibrinogen caused mass infections of hepatitis. First of all, Fibrinogen was banned in 1977 in the United States. The Japanese government banned Fibrinogen in 1988.  Like this, the Japanese government did nothing appropriate as to tainted Fibrinogen, until eight people were infected with hepatitis C in a hospital in Aomori Prefecture in 1987. Since then, many people seemed to infected with Hepatitis C through Fibrinogen sued the nation and drugmakers one after another. Currently, some 200 people are fighting in the court. On Dec.13, the 13 represent some 200 plaintiffs rejected an Osaka High Court compromise settlement apparently because not all the affetced parties would be properly compensated. This compromise settlement is based on a Tokyou District Court ruling in March that narrowed the scope of the defendant’s liablity depending on when the plaintiff were treated with the tainted fibrinogen. The plaintiffs hope that the nation change its stance and help all hepatitis C patients, including the thousands who have not joined the suits. Many patients cannot fight in court because their medical records were destroyed by their doctors.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 12, 2007

The enthusiasm for learnig English in Japan

There are many tests gauging one’s proficiency in English such like TOEIC, TOEFL and the English Proficiency Test. Each test is executed thoughout Japan from two to eight times. With regard to TOEIC, 1.5 million Japanese take it per year. Precisely, TOEIC was developed based on its preccursor, the TOEFL test, following a request from Japan Federation of Economic Organization. The test is held in some 60 countries, but most of the examinee are Japanese and South Korean. Many Japanese companies force employees to take TOEIC test to determine deployments  of employees. In Japan, a lot of books to tell you how to level up your score of TOEIC are sold at book stores. Among them, some books write only makeshift measures to get high score. The real objection of  learning English in Japan is not so much communicating in English as decorating themselves with high score of TOEIC test. 

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