Category Archives: Japan (日本)
Articles pertaining to different aspects of Japan.
By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS) When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s in Hawaii, movies underwent severe censorship and there wasn’t much nudity or violence. Look at some of the American films from the period and I’m pretty sure you’ll find them quite mild by today’s standards. The Hays Code created by the Motion Picture Association of America, which monitored the films was strictly observed from 1934 to the 1960s. It would be 1963 before an American actress would bare her breasts in a mainstream film (Promises! Promises!). All of this continued until the Code was abandoned in 1967. On the other hand, films from Japan that were all in Japanese or loosely subtitled seemed to escape the censorship. There were nude public bath scenes, rapes, body parts realistically cut off in samurai films and other […]
Cashless Payments: Surveillance State’s Dream (キャッシュレス：監視社会の理想制度)
By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS) Written May 6, 2019 Here in Japan, Prime Minister Abe’s administration wants to raise the ratio of cashless payments to 40 percent by 2025. Although the government cites convenience and the need to pander to visitors at the 2020 Olympics, I’m pretty sure that the real motives are to target Japan’s very large underground economy, collect more taxes and to pave the way for 24-7 surveillance of the people living in the country. When you make a cashless payment you are providing information on your spending. Companies and the government can search your data to find out what you bought – even to the point of knowing how many rolls of bathroom tissue you purchased in a month. They can check what kinds of meds you’re on, what kind of diseases you’re being treated […]
By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS) When I was an elementary school student, we learned to remember vowels by reciting, “a – e- i – o – u and sometimes y and w” Here in Japan, students are often taught to remember them in the order of the Japanese syllabary: a – i – u – e – o (アイウエオ）. Teaching them in this fashion gets the major uses, but it will give them trouble when they hit the i (pronounced eye) in words like cry, fly, my and so on. Likewise, it will be confusing when they hear the “w” as a second vowel sound in words like “how” or “bow.” I modified the order when I taught my juku students to a – i – u – e – o (アイウエオ）and sometimes “y” and “w” to […]