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Thread: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

  1. #461
    Gigolo Luphrecio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    well yeah I didnt say go in the water ;p but yeah the beach houses, and the scenerey in summer is amazing.

    I remember the first time I went to the beach .... yeah it was diiiirty but I walked the bridge to enoshima island, It's like having catalina island in walking distance lol (catalina island is an island near L.A. of pretty much similar size.)

    but yeah, it's funny hearing people say the trash comes from China. . .

  2. #462

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    the trash doesn't come from china does it? so, i guess when you 2 are saying dirty, you mean the beach is littered with garbage? how's the water to swim in over there? I live by Toronto Canada. Some of these great lakes here are pretty yucky. lake huron is good for swimming in though.

  3. #463

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Nah, I'll be over on the other side of the main island, in Shimane. There's a beach about an hour's drive from my MIL's house that we always visit. Stunningly clean white sand on one side with water prefectly safe to swim in (unless its jellyfish season), beautiful rocky tide pools and such on the other, all nestled into one of the quaintest little fishing villages I've ever seen. Really charming.

    BTW--Can anyone point me to where the best area in or around Tokyo wherein manga and anime stuff can be found these days? We have a few days there at the end of the trip, and the kids are panting for manga/anime collectibles and merchandise.

  4. #464

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by I survived the buster call View Post
    BTW--Can anyone point me to where the best area in or around Tokyo wherein manga and anime stuff can be found these days? We have a few days there at the end of the trip, and the kids are panting for manga/anime collectibles and merchandise.
    Hmm... well, it's not like I've been there 17 times or spent literally thousands of dollars there, but I here that there's a quaint little neighborhood called "Akihabara" that's pretty much what dreams are made of for manga collectible loving kids.

    Also, I'm a big fan of the Jump Shop in Suidoubashi (right underneath the Tokyo Dome, basically). Although Akihabara has nearly everything you could ever want, the Jump Shop has quite a few Jump-series-themed exclusive products not sold anywhere else (T-shirts, wall hangings, Ace and Akainu spicy curry mix, puzzles, Saiyan armor-patterned underwear, full-size OP wanted posters, pop-up books, jewelry, Gomu gomu no Mi no gummy candies, etc.).

  5. #465

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Thankee muchly CCC--you have truly made my kids' summer. Funny--Akihabara years ago used to be famous for electronics.

  6. #466

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    ha ha. kawaii ^^ hey, BC, your kids can speak/read japanese, right?

  7. #467
    Gigolo Luphrecio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Well it just depends, the first time I went. ..there was trash everywhere, so I have never, ever, ever gotten in the water on subsequent trips, I have taken a small motor boat ride that goes half way around the island for 500 yen, that's pretty awesome, but I usually hang out with friends at the beach houses. If you want to go to some clean beaches you can go to in yugihama (something like that I always get it the name mixed up) If I remember its around kamakura. . .I only go there is there's like a music festival (which there will be in August I believe) as its a bit far. . .but beautiful and clean.

    . . .enoshima isn't nearly as dirty as lake mead (if anyone's ever been there. . . you know what I mean) just that first time I went there. . .I was like wtf especially since I'm used to the beaches in L.A. . . .>.>

    Btw I totally agree on the whole Akihabara "not being the electric city anymore" thing, I mean year theres some shops but. . .

    I went there this weekend to pick up some monitor headphones, and saw that a lot had changed in the last few years (akihabara was not a place that I visited much at all. . .and only been there 3 times in the past 5 years Ive been here, and two of thoese times were for work related stuff) anyway I among the anime themed stuff everywhere, there was 1)a guy walking around dressed like char. . ."ok whatever"

    and 2) a guy walking around in a high school girl outfit with a short miniskirt and shaved legs. . .while having pink rabbit ears and a pink wig on...
    I saw the legs out of the corner of my eye, and I was like "ooh nic. . ." FUCK! after seeing the dudes face with his 5/oclock shadow... there were some indian dudes nearby and were like WTF! @.@

    and I was only in Akihabara for like ten minutes, . . .I just bought my shit and left . . .

    *sigh*

    Maybe one day Ill write a book about all the Crazy Sh*T Ive been/experienced here. . . the above is just the tip of the iceberg. . .
    Last edited by Luphrecio; June 5th, 2012 at 06:32 AM.

  8. #468

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Luphrecio View Post

    a guy walking around in a high school girl outfit with a short miniskirt and shaved legs. . .while having pink rabbit ears and a pink wig on...
    I saw the legs out of the corner of my eye, and I was like "ooh nic. . ." FUCK! after seeing the dudes face with his 5/oclock shadow... there were some indian dudes nearby and were like WTF! @.@
    Maybe he was just looking for the AKB cafe.

  9. #469
    Gigolo Luphrecio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    nah, the akb cafe is on the other side of akihabara, like right out the station, cant miss it.

    btw, I'm going here tonight(got a friend organizing an event here) should be awesome:

    http://www.jicoofloatingbar.com/main.html

  10. #470

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by captain usopp View Post
    ha ha. kawaii ^^ hey, BC, your kids can speak/read japanese, right?
    Oh sorry for the delay in answering CU--no, they can't really. They've picked a few words up from me and Daddy, and from anime and manga, but no, they don't really speak Japanese, and certainly they do not write or read it. I don't, and I was the parent home raising them. My husband, a typical salary-man, left the house at around 7am every day, and came home anywhere from 7-9pm. He was never around to speak Japanese to them, he was tired when he got home after a full day working, and he used English to me, so home was simpler all English, for him. As a result the kids didn't have a chance to learn it. :-( No worries--they'll pick up a lot over the summer, and they will take classes, and they will go there as young adults in College I'm fairly certain. They will learn eventually.

    And good Lord on what you saw in Akihabara, Luphrecio. Wow. I guess we're all in for some sights when we get there, huh? LOL

  11. #471

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    i thought you told a story once about you and your daughter on the subway and 2 ignorant japanese men. or was that just you responding, and had nothing to do with your daughter speaking or understanding.

    ooh. hey. also; i always here about westerners going over and experiencing japan and all the "crazy things those japanese do" does your husband find a lot of weird things in western culture? I've yet to hear a reverse perspective.

  12. #472

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    I'm not really in a position for most Japanese to confide such stories to me, tbh, CU, lol. My husband finds the whole shoes in the house thing disturbing, but that's not really the same. Maybe its because our culture and lifestyle are exported through Hollywood, and have been for years, so there really aren't too many surprises for Japanese Ex-Pats in the States, I suppose. Or maybe I just forget as soon as he tells me, since I tend to do that with formless complaints about which I can do nothing, especially about the States.

    And yes, I told that story you mentioned, but it happened to an American friend of mine and his wife. She was in the military stationed in Yokohama, so I worked with him at my English School and they had chosen to send their completely white offspring to Japanese schools, so they were completely fluent in Japanese. It is important to know that the wife in question was red headed. One day when my friend and his wife and two kids were on the train, there were two Japanese businessmen across the aisle. were chit-chatting. These men made the assumption, based on appearances, that no-one in this family could speak or understand Japanese. One made a comment to the other--and one of the children, who overheard them as the businessmen made no attempt to keep their tone quiet, asked my friend what they meant when they wondered "if the hair down there" was the same color as that on top (referring of course, to that child's mother, though the child was unaware of that.) My friend told the child to tell them her daddy said they would never know. The businessmen were instantly shocked, appalled and embarrassed, and quickly moved to another car. Would that sort of thing happen in this country? It's possible I suppose, though most here expect and assume imigrants will learn Emglish, (whereas in Japan at that time, at least, the Japanese were still astonished when any foreigner could learn Japanese, and had a deep assumption that all things Japanese were incomprehensible to foreigners, LOL) so I think it's less likely unless its deliberate assholery, meant to insult. Both are insulting and demeaning, just in different ways. Which is worse?

  13. #473

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    both? what? are we talking about differences in cultures? I don't see anything wrong with looking at the different perspectives. I'm not making fun of them, just interested in different points of view

    I have an East Indian friend who just finished driving across Canada. I asked him his first impression of my home province. He said lots of bugs. I didn't take offense. I found that interesting. I don't deny it, but it's not the first thing that comes to my mind as someone who grew up there.

  14. #474
    Gigolo Luphrecio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by I survived the buster call View Post
    I'm not really in a position for most Japanese to confide such stories to me, tbh, CU, lol. My husband finds the whole shoes in the house thing disturbing, but that's not really the same. Maybe its because our culture and lifestyle are exported through Hollywood, and have been for years, so there really aren't too many surprises for Japanese Ex-Pats in the States, I suppose. Or maybe I just forget as soon as he tells me, since I tend to do that with formless complaints about which I can do nothing, especially about the States.

    And yes, I told that story you mentioned, but it happened to an American friend of mine and his wife. She was in the military stationed in Yokohama, so I worked with him at my English School and they had chosen to send their completely white offspring to Japanese schools, so they were completely fluent in Japanese. It is important to know that the wife in question was red headed. One day when my friend and his wife and two kids were on the train, there were two Japanese businessmen across the aisle. were chit-chatting. These men made the assumption, based on appearances, that no-one in this family could speak or understand Japanese. One made a comment to the other--and one of the children, who overheard them as the businessmen made no attempt to keep their tone quiet, asked my friend what they meant when they wondered "if the hair down there" was the same color as that on top (referring of course, to that child's mother, though the child was unaware of that.) My friend told the child to tell them her daddy said they would never know. The businessmen were instantly shocked, appalled and embarrassed, and quickly moved to another car. Would that sort of thing happen in this country? It's possible I suppose, though most here expect and assume imigrants will learn Emglish, (whereas in Japan at that time, at least, the Japanese were still astonished when any foreigner could learn Japanese, and had a deep assumption that all things Japanese were incomprehensible to foreigners, LOL) so I think it's less likely unless its deliberate assholery, meant to insult. Both are insulting and demeaning, just in different ways. Which is worse?
    Meh, that kinda stuff happens all the time, I just dont pay attention to it. ALTHOUGH. . . THIS bothered me. . .just a little:

    I had no words. (and Im not even white, but still I was just. . .shaking my head.)

  15. #475

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CCC View Post
    Hmm... well, it's not like I've been there 17 times or spent literally thousands of dollars there, but I here that there's a quaint little neighborhood called "Akihabara" that's pretty much what dreams are made of for manga collectible loving kids.

    Also, I'm a big fan of the Jump Shop in Suidoubashi (right underneath the Tokyo Dome, basically). Although Akihabara has nearly everything you could ever want, the Jump Shop has quite a few Jump-series-themed exclusive products not sold anywhere else (T-shirts, wall hangings, Ace and Akainu spicy curry mix, puzzles, Saiyan armor-patterned underwear, full-size OP wanted posters, pop-up books, jewelry, Gomu gomu no Mi no gummy candies, etc.).
    So... sorry to bother you more CCC--my family and I are in Japan at the moment--arrived about 2 weeks ago, and in one week we go to Tokyo--and I wanted to be absolutely clear about the Jump shop. Is this the location you mean? http://www.shonenjump.com/e/jumpshop...e_english.html
    Is it real easy to find?

    Thanks for any help you can offer. We are having a great visit thus far--went to Matsue Thursday, stopped at a huge silver mine and the town that used to service it back in the Edo period--its closed now, but in its heyday was the third largest producer of silver in the world, so now its considered a World historic treasure site. It was certainly quaint and fun to visit. Spent the night at my brother-in-law's house, then went to see Matsue Castle and the still mostly intact street of houses (across from the castle moat) that used to house the mid level and above samurai that serviced the castle (we ate Soba, a famous product of the area, there, in a house turned into a restaurant--beautiful gardens with amazingly huge koi) Then on the walk back to the car stopped at a place set up as a museum of Ninja. Funny and interesting, and thus far my 10-year old son's fave location to visit. On the drive back we stopped at a HUGE Buddhist temple, still a working temple, with enormous grounds, and there was some sort of service being conducted while we were there. We bought our fortunes, hung them on the proper ropes, threw our coins in the wooden trough, clapped and prayed, then walked a bit around the very large grounds. Lovely, peaceful place. On the drive back to my Mother-in-law's, we stopped for dinner at a sea-side "Viking" Restaurant. Bet you'll never guess what that means (unless you already know from experience, lol) It was an all-you-can eat buffet, but the only thing vaguely Scandinavian on the menu was Sweedish (did I spell that right--it looks odd but I'm too tired to figure it out) meatballs, lol. The rest was salmon sushi, curry, weiners, fried chicken, Japanese style pickles and salads, miso-shiro (from a fountain like a soda machine-and t was tasty, too) and, of course, soba. It was perfect for all of our varying tastes.

    This week the Uncle and one of his sons paid for the entire family to stay at a nearby Onsen town (22 people!--they wanted to save my Mother-in-law from too much work--she is 80--though her house is an inn, and there in plenty of room). It will be so good to see everyone after all this time. My huband's family are so nice, I really like them. Anyway,then the next day is the Obon festival. A few days after that we go to Tokyo for four days of sight seeing and dinner out with friends I haven't seen since I lived there 13 years ago.

    Then home (about 13 plus hours to Detroit, then another 2 hour flight to the local airport, but not as grueling as the trip here, as we came straight and it ended up, with layovers and whatnot, being over 33 hours of travel from our local airport to Hiroshima, then by bus to my MILs. Man were we exhausted!)

    I am loving it here and remembering why I miss it, though I do remember why I wanted to go, a lot has changed and I must say it already seems, here in the country, much easier to be a gaijin here than it was 22 years ago when I first got married. :-)
    Last edited by I survived the buster call; August 10th, 2012 at 04:41 PM.

  16. #476

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Yup, that's the Jump Shop I'm talking about.
    Glad to hear you're having such a great time! I'm actually in Tokyo now and will likely be skulking around the Jump Shop at some point next week...

    And I'd be curious to know how you're finding it "easier" to be a foreigner here now, as opposed to 22 years ago. Language-wise? Or in terms of something profoundly cultural?

  17. #477

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CCC View Post
    Yup, that's the Jump Shop I'm talking about.
    Glad to hear you're having such a great time! I'm actually in Tokyo now and will likely be skulking around the Jump Shop at some point next week...
    Hey have to give the computer to my daughter, but wanted to write and say we'd love to meet you, if you wanted to meet at the Jump store and then have lunch or something. I'm not sure which day yet, but wll advise asap, if you're at all interested in meeting a middle aged Obasan (No, make that Obaterian) and her offsrping. LOL. I'm sure you have a million things to do, and maybe I was misreading your post (it sounded a little like you were headed in the direction of suggeting a meetup) so its no biggie if I misread you--we certainly have a ton of stuff to do as well. Just--it never hurts to ask, and it could be fun. :-)

    And I'd be curious to know how you're finding it "easier" to be a foreigner here now, as opposed to 22 years ago. Language-wise? Or in terms of something profoundly cultural?
    I have been giving this thought all day, because I wanted to answer as best could. Its just a feeling mostly, completely subjective, though some is based on the things friends here have mentioned as we've talked when making plans to get together. I honestly feel that as a gaijn now I am less stared at--more ho-hum than I used to be. You have to understand that there was a time, when I was a new bride, when I was at Narita Airport, using the ladies room, and when I came out there was a line of lades waiting for the stalls. The next person due to go when I came out was a young mother with a small child--the child noticed me leaving stall, but mom told her that it was dirty now, and she couldn't use it, because I'd just come out. Another time, in a Tokyo grocery, a little girl started to cry in fear after seeing me. At my apartment building, I would see people closing their doors really fast when I was coming or going, in case tried to talk to them. I dunno--maybe its different because I am, but I feel less like I'm being stared at like a zoo exhibit than I used to feel, especially here in the country, where people were really thrown off by my presence.

    Obviously it still happens, and people being people, there will probably always be prejudice and etc, but it feels like its less, and gven that back then there was all of ONE gaijin on TV who spoke Japanese, and many Japanese acted as if you were some sort of amazing magician if you spoke a word or two, but these days it seems as if you can shake a tree and have half a dozen fluent people fall out, that may be part of the reason. TV can help make things feel more normal and less alien, after all, although given that ridiculous commercial posted above, I can see that the dancng monkey gaijin is still alive and well.

    On other notes, its just easier all around. When I first got married, there just were few places to get western goods--either food or products. I could order clothes to fit me from all of 2 catalogs back in the states, and one took 6-8 week minimum to ship--not much chance I was sending anything back when it took that long. Food only came from the Foreign Buyers Club, and you had to order by the case or not at all. You had to get friends to order in tandem, because who the heck has the room in these tiny apato to store cases of stuff? (Though I wll admit I ordered a case of strawberry Poptarts, no frosting. Hadn't eaten then since childhood, but as soon as I saw them on the list, I had to have them.) ETA that there was also that market I've mentioned here in Tokyo, but it was a full day's adventure to get there and back from where I lived, and the prices were prohibitive. Now-a-days, my friends tell me they can get practically anything through Amazon.jp these days. My one friend, living in Yokohama, said that just after the earthquakes and Tsunami, when the stores were all sold out of milk, she was able to order it from Amazon. Amazing, huh? My friend also tells me that medicine and doctors are all a lot easier too, in a variety of ways, but I've gone on long enough for the moment.

    Anyway, these are the simple things I've been able to notice as a tourist. Nothing deep--no time for that. And I wanted to be clear that I didn't mean to say its easy--I recognize how hard it still is on you all who are here now, (and probably always will be.) Its very foreign, no getting around that--but to me, overall, there seems to have been some subtle but telling shifts. Hope I've answered your question.
    Last edited by I survived the buster call; August 11th, 2012 at 04:46 PM.

  18. #478

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    omg. wall of text two. i'll have to read that when i come home. sounds like quite an adventure from your first post. I want to see this ninja museum, that has a young boy so excited. XD

    edit: omg. i was just gonna say, you 2 should meet up! XD and in no way was that boasting, about your experience. i think it was very informative and interesting.
    Last edited by captain usopp; August 11th, 2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: ok, i read the second wall.

  19. #479

    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Ah! Sorry for the late reply! I haven't had computer access! I'd love to meet (wasn't necessarily suggesting that, but...), but for better or worse, my mom is visiting from New York this week, and we've only got a bit more time together (likely followed by at least another year of her not seeing me). So... I don't think that could work, but of course I appreciate the offer. D:

    And thanks for the comprehensive reply re: my question! I couldn't have imagined that it was that bad even 20 years ago. My petty concerns now seem completely irrelevant in light of the racist hellhole that this apparently used to be (just a racist cesspit now, I guess). The foreign food stuff too... although the inaka isn't much better about that, even today.

  20. #480
    Mumblecore Gliblord's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "I've lived/spent time in Japan" Commiseration Thread

    Jeesh, I can't believe you were treated like that! Isn't 20 years ago around when the Japanese disposable income bubble popped? Maybe people became more withdrawn after that?

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