A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 Things To Watch Out For (Beware Of) In Japan (Part 2)

Days 1691 - 1697
Sunday, November 4 - Saturday, November 10, 2012    

Day 1691 ( Electronic Giants In Trouble )
Sunday, November 4, 2012

Had dinner with 2 friends of mine in Kyoto today. One of them I knew over 4 years ago when I just came to Japan. He is in his final year at one of the top universities in Japan called Doushisha. The 3 of us ate at a French restaurant. The food there was ok.

Later on I took a shinkansen (bullet train) back to Yokohama. It took about 2hrs 30 mins. A bus would have taken about 6 - 7 hours.


Electronics giants caught in race against time

Japan's battered electronics giants are in a race against time, analysts say, as losses that threaten their very survival mount and overseas rivals appear to be on the verge of running away with the show.

The latest earnings season has been ugly for the likes of Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp., which project an eye-watering combined annual loss of more than ¥1.2 trillion, underlining fears about the sector's future.
Money-losing Sony offered a glimmer of hope by reporting it is still on course to eke out an annual profit, following four years in the red. But Sharp almost doubled its estimated losses to a record ¥450 billion and voiced doubt for the first time over its future as a going concern, just a day after Panasonic said it would lose in excess of ¥770 billion in the year to March.

The sector's myriad woes range from high labor costs at domestic plants and the strong yen to strategic blunders and a failure to keep up with such rivals as Apple Inc. and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. in the lucrative smartphone and tablet markets.




Day 1692 ( 10 Things To Beware Of In Japan   )
Monday, November 5, 2012

Searched on the internet for hotels in Negril, Jamaica after work today. Yeah I am planning to go home for the winter hooraaay!!! I haven't seen Christmas in Jamaica since December 2007.


10 Things To Beware Of In Japan  (part 2)

Beware #
(6) Japanese Only Restaurants, Bars, Shops, Institutions etc.

Seeing is believing. You would think that a 1st world country like Japan wouldn't have buildings out in the public like these, but believe it or not, they are very much here.

Some time ago, me and my female Japanese friend had a big argument about this. I get her point but it is still considered racism if only your race of people are allowed to do something / go some places, while others are not allowed. She says that foreigners go into these bars and restaurants and make too much noise, destroy property and what not. There is some truth to this, but barring all foreigners just isn't morally acceptable.

Beware #
(7) NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Guys

NHK is the National TV station for Japan and is owned by the Japanese Government. In Jamaica it would be the same as TVJ. Only that TVJ is privately owned now. For any entity to operate successfully, it of course needs money. So how does NHK gets money? From you of course! By law in Japan, if you own a TV, you should be paying a fee every month...So NHK send some dudes to every house and apartment, to collect money..... Hahahaha... Almost all foreigners ignore this. Some Japanese as well. We should pay it by law, but it is one of those many Japanese laws that is not enforced. Even people who work for the said government, told us foreigners not to pay the fee. All we do is either don't answer the door bell, or tell the people we don't speak Japanese.

Beware # 
(8) Perverted Japanese Men (For Foreign Women Only)

Because I am male, foreigner and black, this of course would not happen to me. But I have heard several stories about stalking, verbal sexual harassment and advances. One Jamaican friend of mine who was in Osaka told me that some dude followed her straight to her apartment, held her hands and told her "she is beautiful" and he want to touch her breasts.

Another Jamaica friend told me that while she was in a supermarket, every isle she went to, a Japanese dude would follow her, while pretending to be looking at something else. So she went over to the lingerie section which was like upstairs... The dude was very much there looking at the female lingerie???? So she cashed and ran out of the supermarket as well as called one of her Jamaican male friends.

Actually, Japanese women are not spared from these guys either. They sometime mess around with school girls on the trains. Others take up-skirt photos. The strangest thing is that, many of these men are actually married.

Beware #
(9) US Army/Navy/Air force A$$ holes

Being very very very general here, many of the foreigners who are not from the US, don't really like the ones who are from the US. I had my fair share of torture from them when I was in countryside Japan. Again I am being very general, please don't attack me. But, we don't like the high pride "I am always right, and you are a fool" attitude. Well, add all of that with even more pride, some testosterone and an overdose of dogma and confidence and that's the US Army/Navy dudes in Japan. Possibly everywhere, but I don't know. Definitely not all of them are like this, but many of them. The worst thing about it is that, they are almost untouchable, unless they do something extreme and found guilty. Like these 2 guys who got busted very recently for raping and robbing a girl in Okinawa.

Here is some news about the incident.


Some of these dudes are really cool I must admit, but others, Ohh boy. Some of them go in the clubs and pick fights and also do all sorts of mischief. I also happen to live not too far from a naval base. So many Japanese in the area, automatically associate me with the US Navy. I have been mistaken quite a few times.

Beware #
(10) Low Door Entrances

If you are 6ft (183 cm) or over, you need to take special care when entering buildings. You may hit your head several times. I am only about 5ft 8in (175cm) and still cutting it a bit close.



Day 1693 ( Another Term For Barak Obama )
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just a normal day today.


As much as I try to avoid talking too much about the US, I must say congratulations to Barak Obama for winning again. I hate politics, and I am not a big fan of the US, but respect is due. The US is the most powerful nation presently and they were kind enough to grant me a visa since back in 1996. So I won't be too ungrateful. They are unlike the UK who turned me down at a visa interview in 2005 for reasons I still don't fully understand. And I have now intention of trying to go there again.

I hate politics, and I hate US politics even more, but I am glad they gave Obama a second chance. I am not one of the persons who is happy that he got re-elected just because he is black, but I think he seems much more capable than Mit Romney. If the persons of other predominantly black nations believe that Obama has any interest in them, then they better think again.

Barack Obama was elected to a second presidential term Tuesday, defeating Republican Mitt Romney by reassembling the political coalition that boosted him to victory four years ago, and by remaking himself from a hopeful uniter into a determined fighter for middle-class interests.

Obama, the nation's first African-American president, scored a decisive victory by stringing together a series of narrow ones. Of the election's seven major battlegrounds, he won at least six.

As the election results came in, they showed that Obama's promises had won over the groups for which he had promised to fight the hardest. He lost among white men by a large margin, as expected. But he performed strongly among African-Americans, won by double digits among women, and routed Romney among a key and expanding demographic, taking 69 percent of the Latino vote in early exit polls.




Day 1694 ( The Death Penalty In Japan )
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Applied for leave today to go back to Jamaica in December 2012 and January 2013.

After work, I had my private student. We spoke mostly about our events of last week as well as his opinion about hanging / capital punishment in Japan. Capital punishment is a usual thing for Asian countries. In almost all south east Asian countries, drug trafficking is punishable by death. Japan is a bit more lenient with drugs, but if you get caught, more than likely you will be deported.

Anyway, my student believes that serial murderers shouldn't be locked away but should be given the death penalty in order to stop them from killing others. I am still not sure what my stance is on it. Right now its 50/50. In the future I plan to make a more fulsome discussion/debate on this topic via this blog.


This old Japanese lady is very dangerous. My student believe that she should definitely be hanged.

Miyoko Sumida - Even her picture is scary
Police served fresh arrest warrants Wednesday on key figures over the dumping of a corpse in a concrete-filled metal drum into a harbor in Okayama Prefecture.

The police believe Miyoko Sumida, 64, was the chief culprit among eight people involved after the drum and body of Jiro Hashimoto, 53, were retrieved from Bizen port late last month.
The seven others, some of whom remain at large, include Miyoko's 38-year-old cousin, Masanori Ri, her 59-year-old sister-in-law, Mieko Sumida, who is also in custody, and her 27-year-old daughter-in-law, Rui Sumida.
According to investigators, Miyoko Sumida has admitted she was involved in the dumping of Hashimoto's corpse but has claimed not all of the other seven suspects were party to the crime.
Police suspect Sumida and the others conspired in July 2011 to carry Hashimoto's body out of Sumida's residence in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, and dump it in a drum filled with concrete in Bizen port in early November. Relatives of Sumida who were living with her have confessed that they carried Hashimoto's body at Sumida's behest.




Day 1695 (  )
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nothing much today either. Just had dinner with a friend of mine.



Day 1696 ( White Dave / First Swimming Lesson )
Friday, November 9, 2012

While walking from work today, I heard some one behind me shouting "Dave sensei", So I turned around and saw a Japanese lady calling me. I have no clue who she was but she was signalling that I should come to her. So I went to her, then she started backing away slowly in fear. I was like "What the heck? Didn't this stupid lady just call me???" So she asked "are you Dave sensei?" So I said "um, yes!!!" Then she said that my appearance is different. I asked her "how different??" To which she said that almost everything about me seem different. So I asked for example WHAT!!! She said my color changed.... ????? O.o I told her that as far as I know, I always looked like this. Only to realize that there was also a white guy who taught at the school next to mine, with the name Dave as well. Are her eyes that bad? Didn't she notice that I was not white while I was a few meters ahead? lol


I basically confirmed today that I won't be taking anymore swimming lessons at the YMCA after this unless it is free. I was told by my boss that even though I am a part-time member of staff, I still have to pay the full 9600 yen (US $120) for only 3 lessons. I was going to quit doing the lesson but I decided to go through with it.

I actually did manage to learn some stuff about swimming during the lesson today. The very first thing was to exhale through my nose, into the water, then inhale through my mouth when I lift up my head. This very simple thing I did not know. However, adding to the hefty cost of this lesson, was that the teacher spoke to me only in Japanese. The lesson took 45 mins. And I only managed to swim by myself for a maximum of 6 meters. I keep sinking into the water for some unknown reason.



Day 1697 ( Lying Child!!! )
Saturday, October 10, 2012

Today I experienced one of the scariest Saturdays of my life while at the YMCA. It began like this. Went to the YMCA for work this morning, like what I do most Saturdays. My first of 3 classes went better than usual. The second one was sort of disastrous, because 3 male kids and 1 female kid kept mis-behaving. They just wouldn't listen to me. This was all happening while a visiting mom was watching my class with a child who would potentially be a part of my class later on. I got angry about 4 different times but I had to calm down in order to give the visiting mom a good impression.

Anyway, after this class, it was time for my nightmare class. The 2 and 3 year olds. I started the lesson always by kicking around a ball and doing random things to make them run around a bit. Then sing some songs from a CD, then do some coloring. While coloring, the 2 kids were quiet. Then suddenly, one of them started crying. I asked him what was wrong. He then showed me a small bruise on his finger. So I started to hush the child a bit then he stopped crying for about 1 minute. Then he started crying again, this time holding his jaw and saying his jaw hurts. His mother was outside, and heard him crying really loud, so she came in. The kid jumped out of my hands and ran straight to his mom. His mom then asked him whats the matter...And guess what the kid said???? The kid basically said that I hit him. I was of course shocked.

His mom took him outside for a while and he was still crying. And she asked him again what was the matter, to which he again replied, "Dave sensei hurt him". I have never hit a child in all my years... Especially in Japan!!! And I have been teaching this kid since April. Why in the world did he suddenly decide to do this? I am still at a lost. His mom eventually came back in with him and he stopped crying. When his mom was leaving, he started to cry again. So his mom asked me if she could sit in for a while. So I told her that its no problem. She stayed until the end of the class, and the child stopped crying.

As soon as the class was over, I reported the incident to my boss and another staff member. My boss said that the child does have some issues. Not with me, just some issues. The staff member said that the situation was indeed dangerous and I should probably request that another staff member be in the class room with me. So this is my plan now, I won't teach this class unless there is a staff member looking on. If the mom should some how believe the child, this situation has the potential of getting the police involved and making me lose my jobs!!!Just because of 1 lying kid.

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