Source: Gaijin Pot
The flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games arrived in Japan from Greece just in time to be extinguished.
Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic is here and it’ll take months to get back to our normal lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) knows it, the governments know it, hell, we all know it. Regardless of this well-known fact, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government stubbornly put off deciding to postpone the games for weeks.
If it weren’t for the Canadian committee’s decision to withdraw from the 2020 Olympics had it not be postponed, the IOC and the Japanese government would still be turning a blind eye to the current outbreak.
About freaking time
A survey last week showed that two-thirds of Japanese people believed postponing the games was necessary, and it was only a matter of time before the government finally caved in.
This was the perfect opportunity to parody Tokyo Olympic bid ambassador Christel Takigawa’s speech on Japanese おもてなし, a term expressing the spirit of Japanese selfless hospitality, with relatable memes.
Twitter users reshared the parody below spelling out how the Olympic postponement was an obvious move.
No other move.
Let’s reset the clock
The iconic anime Akira predicted 2020 Olympic Game setbacks in a scene that showed a signboard with a countdown until the 2020 opening ceremony. Japanese Twitter peeps kindly offered to reset the countdown timer to 444 days.
It’s time to talk about the politics of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and how Prime Minister Abe has put Japan at risk for the sake of a sports meet. Dr. Jeff Kingston of Temple University Japan has posted a salient article today about the politicking between Abe’s minions and and the International Olympic Committee, and how Abe may exploit any crisis he exacerbated for his own political benefit. It’s very much worth a read.
Kingston Abstract: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been widely criticized for ineptitude in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Keen to host the Olympics in 2020, he put public health at risk. Strong international criticism finally forced the IOC and Abe to accept the inevitable and defer the Olympics until 2021. Now both parties are now trying to claim credit for making this decision. The Japanese policy of limiting testing kept policymakers and citizens in the dark and handicapped responses to the outbreak. As the number of infections surges, the government is playing catch up. The combination of an accelerating COVID-19 outbreak in Japan and imminent global economic recession will hit Japan hard and could lead to Abe’s ouster. For now, there are growing concerns that he may exploit this crisis to advance his political agenda of constitutional revision.
Comment: All because the people who have money would rather risk the lives of the elderly and immunocompromised (as happened in the 1980s with Japan’s Health Ministry and HIV-tainted blood) than let any economic impacts of postponing an Olympics reduce their political power or their already-stuffed wallets. The short-sightedness and greed of people richer than God who won’t subsidize consumers and taxpayers (who have long subsidized THEIR lives) is astonishing. Especially since a dead consumer/taxpayer and their remaining resentful kith and kin is of no …continue reading
Source: Visual Anthropology of Japan
Remnants of suki yaki/shabu shabu at the refurbished restaurant.
I liked the place the way it was…
Some places get refurbished… Some places change their menus… Some places make portions smaller and items more expensive… Some places lose the previous quality and it just doesn’t taste good anymore… And some places close.
To be continued…
Source: Gaijin Pot
The same week Animal Crossing, Japan’s biggest Nintendo Switch release ever, is taking over the world, a local assembly in Kagawa Prefecture adopted a controversial ordinance aimed at limiting video game time for children.
Will parents be brave enough to take their children’s Switch away?
Playing video games shall be limited to one hour per day
The ordinance, which has no enforcement mechanism whatsoever, states that parents should limit computer and video playing to 60 minutes per day on school days and 90 minutes a day on weekends and holidays for kids under 18.
Moreover, they suggested parents require junior high school students to turn their smartphones off by 9 p.m. while high school students can chat with their friends on the messaging app LINE until 10 p.m.
The timing couldn’t be worse
Kagawa’s deemed “irrational” ban on video games for kids will go into effect on April 1st. But the country, bracing for a possible coronavirus outbreak, may very well keep schools closed until mid-April at the very least.
Parents will have to keep their children entertained indoors and video games offer a welcome escape so both kids and adults can enjoy themselves during this difficult time.
For many, the edict is nonsensical and overly prescriptive for parents. To sum it up, this ordinance is just an old-fashioned move. Naturally, Japanese folks took it upon themselves to let the prefecture know how they really felt.
= On Google Maps, the Prefectural Assembly of Kagawa is now shown as a retirement home, lol
This has got to be the most clever way to say, “OK, boomer,” we’ve ever seen. The joke quickly spread and in one day, Google Maps received a range of entertaining suggestions for the prefectural office should really be called.
Source: Gaijin Pot
With Japan being such a homogenous country, many visitors don’t realize outlying islands Okinawa and Hokkaido have their own indigenous ethnology. The Ainu, indigenous hunter-gatherers of Hokkaido, in particular, have been fighting to maintain their cultural identity for ages.
When Japan colonized the mountainous, frozen island off the mainland’s northern shores in 1869, the Ainu were forced to assimilate. Like most colonized civilizations, they have been met with a lack of acknowledgment and disrespect. They weren’t even recognized as Japan’s original inhabitants until April of 2019 when a bill was passed banning discrimination against them.
Japan has been criticized for failing to apologize for the mistreatment of the Ainu. When Japanese authorities uphold their unapologetic stance by claiming “an apology would be uncomfortable for many Japanese,” the criticism is more than warranted.
Fortunately, efforts to maintain the culture by the local people still prevail. Visitors to Hokkaido can learn more about the Ainu by exploring the Kamikawa Region where their traditions and way of life still thrive.
Kamikawa is Ainu country
Surrounded by the Daisetsuzan Mountains in the heart of Hokkaido, lies the Kamikawa Region, where many Ainu descendants still live. The area and culture itself are celebrated as “Japan Heritage.” Flowing rivers, quiet streets, and towns in Kamikawa are still graced with Ainu names.