Silly Grins

Friday, October 19, 2012

'Why Japan Sucks!'

Blog Vintage: 

November 2003

You can go insane trying to stay sane in an insane world....

Estimated Reading Time for Introduction: 2 minutes
Estimated Reading Time for Main Body: 10-13 minutes


Number of characters (without spaces) :
Number of words :
Number of sentences :
Average number of characters per word :
Average number of syllables per word :
Average number of words per sentence:

Indication of the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to easily understand the text on the first reading
Gunning Fog index :

Approximate representation of the U.S. grade level needed to comprehend the text :

Coleman Liau index :
Flesch Kincaid Grade level :

ARI (Automated Readability Index) :


Flesch Reading Ease :


At the time the blog Why Japan Sucks was first written, in 2003, the blogoshphere was comparatively small, estimated at about one million. If you take a look at the chart below, you’ll see that the number of blogs were estimated to be doubling every six months.

Not so important...but something to think about.

Fast forward to today-ish and 156 million is a rough number. If anyone's got better info, go ahead, shoot. Just say the word and we'll update this puppy.


All you need is the equivalent of the reading level of a freshman high school student to be able to get the meaning of the following thirty-four-hundred or so words in the first reading. Not included in that number are my notes (the red Merlot bits) as a form of shorthand summary and thoughts.
What you are about to read is currently being blogged about, but on a much larger scale than before.


Most of the links in the original posts have gone 404… but not like that matters. 


A blog about the never-ending frustrations of an American living in the nightmare known as modern Japan....the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

(Going for the truth, the whole sushi, and nothing but the ‘raw’ stuff.)

Saturday, November 01, 2003 

Here is a story that hits close to home:Tokyo outskirts a hotbed of teen rompers Thought I was exaggerating about the disgusting place I live? Don't bet the farm on it! 
Posted by: Sensei / 2:28 PM
Monday, November 03, 2003

(See no, speak no, hear no)

Here is a story that has been mostly ignored by the international press: Teacher Terrorizes 4th-Grader I have reported on this before but I wanted to bring it up again for those who may have missed it the first time. Spread the word about this incident because it is the only way to shame the Japanese for ignoring problems like this until it is too late.

The story in brief: A fourth-grade student's mother innocently told his teacher - a man with a background in engineering who gained his teaching credential via a correspondence course - that her son's great-grandfather was an American. The teacher responded angrily by saying that the boy was "tainted with foreign blood!" This little "Hitler" then began to harass the boy at school telling him in front of the class that he should be sorry for his tainted blood; that he didn't deserve to live; and that he should kill himself. He also physically abused the boy with various sadistic punishments named after cartoon characters: Pulling cheeks was called "Anpan-man'' after the popular cartoon, yanking on earswas "Mickey Mouse,'' and swinging the boy around by his nose was called "Pinnochio.'' These are just three of five "punishments'' the teacher forced the boy to pick from when the child couldn't get his things ready to go home in the 10 seconds the teacher allotted him. The child suffered numerous bruises, bloody noses, and a chipped tooth. Not surprisingly, he began experiencing mental problems.

Complaints to the school got only a feeble response. Other teachers were asked to sit-in the classroom but as soon as they left the teacher would resume his torture. The principal did not want to remove the teacher and the board of education likewise ignored the problem. Other teachers at the school must have been aware of the torture but they also ignored it and buried their heads in the sand, a typical behavior of Japanese people when confronted with something unpleasant or something that disturbs the harmony of the group. The teacher, of course, denies everything and was suspended for 6 months for "bullying" but later appealed his punishment.

The response of the foreign community here in Japan has been one of outrage but few were shocked by this behavior. Anyone who has lived here for any length of time can tell nightmarish stories of what goes on in Japanese classrooms. A letter written by "Mela" of Meladramas sums up quite eloquently how foreign residents feel about Japanese responses to these types of problems.

Japan is an extremely xenophobic country and is unlikely to change in the near future. Recent comments by the Governor of Kanagawa prefecture reflect popular opinion here: Foreigners are "sneaky thieves" A recent survey on Japanese attitudes to increasing tourism brought this unsurprising result: 1 in 3 Japanese don't want foreign tourists Of course, Tokyo Governor Ishihara must be included here for his incredibly stupid and racist comments: Ishihara=Hitler

Perhaps all of the foreign residents should just pack up and leave these "special" people to themselves....I think that is what they would like us to do. It would then be so much easier for the little "Hitlers" like Governors Ishihara and Matsuzawa to get away with their brand of Japanese fascism....
Posted by: Sensei / 3:47 PM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

(It’s all about addiction, getting people hooked)

Just when you think that things can't get any crazier in Japan, the Japanese manage to surprise you:Tobacco Gum: Now Available in Japan! Yes, kids, that's right! The Japanese are now selling gum which contains the same nicotine content as a cigarette! The slogan for this new product, known as "Firebreak" is "When you can't smoke." This is a very simple and clever slogan and may lead you to believe that this gum just has a simple nicotine additive. However, nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact this gum contains....wait for it......2.5% TOBACCO!!!!!!

Interestingly enough, this rather crucial fact has been left out of the article from the Daily Yomiuri. Perhaps it was just an oversight? Or maybe that is because the packaging may not clearly state the tobacco content? Thus, people buying this so-called "gum" are actually buying smokeless chewing tobacco and they don't know it! Hideo Ichiki, secretary of an international federation of dentists concerned with the promotion of nonsmoking seems to think so. He warned, "Chewing tobacco has a cause-and-effect relationship with oral cancer." In a statement urging the Finance Ministry to withdraw its approval for the gum, two Japanese dental organizations said: "Because the gum doesn't emit any smoke, it has the illusion of being safe. We fear that adults will think likewise." Yuko Takahashi, medical professor at Nara Women's University who works with children who smoke, said: "There's tolerance for this gum because it looks like normal candy. Even when chewing it, it's indistinguishable from normal chewing gum. It could trigger some people to go from being nicotine-dependent to being a smoker."

It has been labeled as a "tobacco product" rather than "chewing tobacco" by the Ministry of Finance which owns over 60% of Japan Tobacco, the third largest tobacco company in the world. Yet, the gum can be purchased at convenience stores and kiosks around Tokyo. Hmmmm.....Why would the Ministry of Finance/Japan Tobacco want to sell tobacco gum in Japan? Wouldn't that decrease sales of their "coffin nails"? Hmmmm.....

Or are they just trying to discourage people from quitting smoking because of a few feeble attempts to ban smoking here in Japan? "Work for a Western company that bans smoking in the office? Use the train a lot? Fly overseas frequently? Just chew your tobacco rather than smoke it! It won't harm you nor does it stain the teeth!" That's mighty thoughtful of them! That saves smokers from having to play a game of cat and mouse as they sneak their smokes in the airplane lavatory, in their seat under their blankets, in stairwells, under their desks, in the broom closet or just about a million other places that Japan's nicotine-crazed smokers can find to anonymously light-up and spread their poisonous smoke to their innocent victims. Chewing smokeless tobacco erroneously labelled as "gum" is certainly easier than quitting, isn't it?

Or could it be that Japan Tobacco/Ministry of Finance simply wants to sell a deceptively labelled product that looks like candy and thus would appeal to young people? Wouldn't this candy-like product with a macho-sounding name appeal to Japan's notoriously gullible and easily-led youth/sheep? The Ministry of Health obviously thinks this could be a problem. They asked the Ministry of Finance to consider a policy concerning minors, but the ministry reportedly responded by saying only, "We'll deal with it when and if a problem arises." Hmmmmm....I can bet that there won't be any problems with Japan's nicotine-addicted youth! They can use this smoke-less tobacco product right in the classroom instead of waiting to light-up at lunch time in the toilet or on the balcony!

Hooray Japan Tobacco/Ministry of Finance! Way to go, guys! You managed to find another way to covertly hook a whole new generation of young people on nicotine! I expected nothing less from a company that is trying to profit from cancer gene research! What a responsible government/drug pusher we have here in Japan! 
Posted by: Sensei / 3:51 PM
Wednesday, November 05, 2003

(Do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions)

Here is another story sent in by "Ron from Nara" that sheds some light on the Finest Healthcare System in the World!

Trust me, going to a Japanese hospital can be a life-shortening event. Take the case of the 16-year-old girl mentioned in today's article. She had a lump in her jaw. She went to a clinic and was operated on. She was then given a week's dosage of an anti-cancer drug every day for seven days! Of course, the end result of this massive overdose was a painful death and a purple corpse. The doctor had never treated her type of cancer, had never administered that drug before, misread the dosage, and ignored the possible side-effects! But, hey! He got some practice and I am sure he wont make that mistake next time, right? The old expression, "Live and let die!" takes on a whole new meaning here in Nippon!

Of course, malpractice lawsuits are virtually unknown here in Japan where everyone is trained from birth to accept mediocrity, incompetence, and a lack of responsibility as a normal part of their lives as Japanese. A few people have begun to fight back but their efforts are like an ant attacking an elephant. Since there are few records kept of medical malpractice, (easier to avoid lawsuits, right?), it is really difficult to know just how many cases actually occur. One survey of 82 leading hospitals discovered 15,201 recorded cases over three years. That means that approximately 185 cases were recorded at each of these 82 hospitals over a three year period. Now, there are 9300 hospitals in Japan. If we factor this out we discover that in three years, there would be 1,720,500 possible cases of recorded medical malpractice in Japan! I know these rough estimates don't represent good science but since hospitals don't admit medical malpractice unless they are forced to by aggrieved victims, this number represents my best guess. I must add that this number is actually probably on the low side since the original numbers of recorded medical malpractice occurred at leading hospitals and not the chamber of horrors that serve as hospitals in rural areas.

Still in doubt? Well, here is a story that I have run before but it is a classic:'Nurse! Help! I've rejoined
the elbow upside down!!'
Still not satisfied? Don't take my word as gospel....let's hear what a professor at one of Japan's most prestigious universities has to say. According to Dr.Makoto Kondo, a radiology lecturer at Keio University School of Medicine,
the situation is so hopeless in Japan "that most times it is best not to seek treatment at all" and advises, "Not going to the hospital is better for your health!"
Japanese always like to brag about their longevity but I think those that live the longest here in Japan are those who stay out of the hands of Japanese doctors!

That about says it all.....
Posted by: Sensei / 3:11 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2003

(If you’ve got kids here,  better to be feared by the teachers and respected by your children)

Here is a great article that sheds some much-needed attention on the behavior of teachers here in Japan:Sex Education in Japan I know some of you may be surprised by what you read here but any foreign teacher working in the Japanese school system could probably tell you many similar stories. Sexual harassment is rampant in Japan's schools and begins at even the earliest levels.

I have also seen my share of it including male teachers who would wait until the girls were changing in their dressing room and then open the door and make comments about the girls. Other teachers use to quite openly date the students and would send them emails asking them for dates and even encouraged his former 16-year-old conquests to fix him up with their classmates! Another teacher use to throw girls over his shoulder and carry them through the hallway so that everyone could see their colored panties! The list of shocking acts is endless. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not condemned. Rather, other teachers, especially female teachers, just seemed to accept this behavior as normal.

Foreign exchange students are also given the special treatment. One particularly strange teacher used to invite foreign exchange students to his home over the summer break. He would then wait until the girl was in the shower and would then walk in and act surprised as if he had made a mistake. The student gave him the benefit of the doubt until he did the same thing again the next day! Another 16-year-old foreign exchange student was taken to a hostess club on her first night in Japan by members of the local Rotary Club. They proceeded to get drunk while being entertained by hostesses. Some of these leading members of Japanese society then repeatedly tried to hold hands with the student and kiss her! What a great bunch of citizens! 

 Of course, sexual indecency doesn't end at school. High school girls are worth their weight in gold here in sex-mad Japan. Just read this story and ask yourself what the future holds for the safest country in the world 
Posted by: Sensei / 6:01 PM

Friday, November 07, 2003

(Elections are noisy)

Well, another crazy day here in Japan. It is election time and the sound trucks are out in force blasting their idiotic messages at ear-shattering volume as they circle the neighborhood. Add to this cacophany of high-pitched screeching the fact that they are re-modelling the apartment underneath me and this for some reason requires jackhammers and you can imagine the week I have had. I remarked to my Japanese wife last night that I was beginning to wonder if I wasn't being used as some sort of central character in a Japanese version of the "Truman Show". No doubt it is called the "Smeggu-san Super-Genki Torture Hour!" or something along those lines......It is completely plausible since Japanese humour seems to revolve around torturing and humiliating other people. Apparently, watching other people suffer gives the Japanese a lot of personal enjoyment. Anyways, I will spend the afternoon searching for the hidden doubt I will be interrupted by some Japanese "friends" dropping by to see how I am doing.....

Here is an interesting article by a noted Japan expert, Chalmers Johnson. He makes some very interesting comments about the LDP and the Yakuza as well as pointing out the cynical, self-serving, anti-democratic nature of the Japanese political sysytem and the corrupt bureaucrats running the show.

On a different note, it may have escaped your notice, but last week news was released of a Japanese woman who defected to North Korea! It is a rather murky story but more details have become available and may be of interest to discerning readers: Woman who fled to North Korea was government mole in Aum! Any guesses as to why she defected?

Well, I have to get back to my search for the hidden cameras....I know they must be here somewhere! Ooooops! There's the doorbell! No doubt the cable guy back to make another of his mysterious adjustments to my cable connection..... 

Posted by: Sensei / 3:36 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003

(Know your our history)

Well, troops it is Remembrance Day in the UK today so I thought I would take this opportunity to point out a few sites of interest to those of you may have trouble remembering. You know who you are, right?

The first site is a brief introduction to the Death Railway. Another interesting link, Hell Fire Pass provides lots of pictures and details that Japanese tourists to Thailand and Burma wont find in their guidebooks. Visit this site if you would like to read the stories of former soldiers who served in the Far East and experienced the "peace-loving" Japanese first-hand.

Another forgotten bit of Japanese handiwork may be found at this site: Sandakan Death March. More details can be found here:Sandakan. Sabah is still a popular place for Japanese tourist but I wonder how many know what happened there?

Another interesting site devoted to female prisoners of war of the Japanese can be found here: BETTY JEFFREY. For an interesting Japanese perspective of Japanese crimes against women I encourage you to visit this site: Mr. Yoshida's story. For a good synopsis of Japan's wartime activities I would suggest visiting this website:Japanese War Crimes.

There are so many other stories to tell of Japan's wartime atrocities but today I thought I would look at a few which don't seem to attract as much attention these days. The veterans are becoming fewer in number each year and their stories are so easily forgotten. Hope we all learned something.
Posted by: Sensei / 3:57 PM

Saturday, November 08, 2003
Well, troops, the election madness is over at last. As soon as I finish this posting I will have a very large beer and celebrate the end of the mindless caterwauling until the next, never-ending election cycle begins again. Anyway, I thought you might find this article interesting: Cult influence on Japanese election. Don't expect to see stories like this on CNN since they only seem to report stories that reflect favorably on Japan. Can't have half the world discovering that a weird religious cult controls the government of Japan, can we?

Want to read more? Lot's of interesting stuff here at this Japanese site: The Victims of Soka Gakkai Association Read on! 

8am and the election soundtrucks are blasting away! Wonder when the construction jackhammers in the apartment below will begin their song of destruction..... 
Posted by: Sensei / 8:09 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I have an interesting experiment for you today. Go to a search engine such as Yahoo or Google and enter the following as your search topic: "American Girls". What kind of sites did you find? 
 (Kids stuff)

Now begin another search and use this as your search topic: "Japanese Girls". What kind of sites did you find?

Shocked? (No) Disgusted? (Those are English search words...) I wonder if this has anything to do with your results:Yakuza Kiddie Porn Ring Busted! (That’s the stuff that needs to be dealt with)

The NPA is, as usual, a day late and a dollar short.....
(Not surprised)

Sunday, November 16, 2003
Here is an interesting article that illustrates the attitude of far too many people here these days: Monkey see, monkey do! Interesting points to note are:
a) Despite the train being packed with people, nobody helped the girl.
b) The other people involved were allowed to walk free ostensibly because the girl couldn't identify them.
c) Amazingly enough, no other passengers were asked to appear as witnesses when the group was apprehended.
d) The arrested individual shows no remorse or even recognition that what he did was wrong claiming instead "those guys started molesting her, while I just went along with the flow and joined them in touching her."
e) Groups of train molesters have their own website and even their own clubs: Join a club!

Posted by: Sensei / 4:04 PM

Thursday, November 20, 2003
For those of you who think Japan has changed since WWII, I urge you to read this:Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Rises Again! Nothing has actually changed here in the hearts and minds of your average Japanese person. The vast majority are historically ignorant and those that that do have some idea of their governments actions 70 years ago prefer to pretend that nothing happened. Thus, politicians in Japan have free reign to reinterpret history, demean non-Japanese people, scapegoat foreign residents, and generally do everything possible to make it difficult for foreign professionals and foreign businesses to have any influence or impact on Japan.

On a different note, some of my regular readers may have noticed a decrease in the number of postings recently. I have to apologize for this and beg your forbearance. Life in this country is not always easy. Those of you who live here know what I mean. 
Posted by: Sensei / 5:19 PM

Friday, November 21, 2003
Well, let's see what Japan's much-maligned National Police Agency have been up to recently: NPA in Action.

Hmmmm....well I am sure this sort of behavior must be "rare" in a country that likes to boast of it's "fine" record of public safety.

Well, what can I say? There are always a few bad apples in every bunch, right? Hmmm....maybe it is not a simple case of having a few bad apples in the bunch.....maybe a better analogy might be something along the lines of bad apples never fall far from the rotten tree!

Somehow this does seem to be more appropriate. 
Posted by: Sensei / 1:44 PM

Sunday, November 30, 2003
Sorry folks....but I am just worn out. This crazy place is enough to drive anyone around the bend! So, with that in mind, I think it is time for someone else to carry the load. I have gone as far as I can go for the time being. I need a break! I therefore leave the field open for others with more time and energy. Remember: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
(Looking around in 2012… there are still a few sane people around and plenty of material)

Take care and don't let them get away with pretending that nothing has happened....both in the past and today. Get off your butts and shed some light on the disgraceful things the Japanese have tried to cover up for so long. Let people know that nothing here has changed....believe you me, nothing has changed.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Smeg Whipper


It's about half...

If you'd care for more, start at the beginning:

I couldn't help reading this post from 2003 and thinking, not much has changed this last decade... except for maybe the near exponential growth of  the blogoshphere.

Now, if you'll excuse me...


  1. I wonder if the blog growth chart takes dead blogs into account. They never get deleted, they just linger on the net forever... until one day they RISE.

    The hospital story - my sister could have been one of those stats if she'd listened to the doctor she went to in Japan.

    1. As far as dead blogs goes, that is a good question. The site the chart was taken from mentioned that. In addition, I am not sure if the non-English blogs are taken into account. Either way, fear we the day they come back on their own volition.

      Modern med'cine seems pretty much hit and miss here. For us Yanks, it's pretty good in terms of being able to actually get treated. For you folks from the land of woe and wonder, paying for treatment, even if it kills you, ain't so good.

      Thanks to the Internet and a Japanese sports physical therapist who was brave enough to politely suggest in a roundabout way that I might want to maybe seek a second opinion... thanks to recommendation of the physical therapist, life is a lot less painless than it would have been had I stuck with my first practitioner.

      Glad to hear your sister made it (assuming she's on your good side at the moment and doesn't owe you any money).


  2. The blogosphere has gotten pretty big. I kinda wished I had just kept my original blog alive. Instead I ported it all out to Tumblr (huge mistake) and eventually started a new blogger.... As a blogger I still have the same issues as before; impatient friends begging me to update Facebook crap instead of taking the time to read my blog. Too many words I guess; damn short attention spans. You know I find so many abandoned blogs, where someone starts a blog and then just leaves it hanging FOREVER. I at least destroyed my old one instead of leaving it hanging.

    Reading these excerpts about Japan is a trip. Stuff that got under people's skin back in the early 2000's still doing the same now. I just hear about it more because there are more bloggers.

    1. Words of warning about the Tumbler ordeal in your sidebar played a part in my decision to not head in that direction.

      Similarly, my FB sits idle - for the most part. There's simply too much noise to filter out.

      Abandoned blogs... I come across a few, now and then, that are pretty interesting and appreciated that they are still floating around out there, despite being uninhabited.

      This blog's 'life' won't last much beyond next year due to it's Five Post Mission. Perhaps the Next Generation will just continue. I'll definitely put a sign up on the front, letting people know that, despite being checked up on from time to time, the 'Reptiles and Samurai'.

      "Stuff that got under people's skin..." - kind of like the lyrics, just before 'they hide in my mind/the speak with my tongue'. The people who blog about what gets under their skin have, in the past, been shouted over, ignored, or told to leave. Eventually, it wears most of the sane people down.

      I used to be more forward about warning people who just got here about some of the obstacles they might encounter, just as a matter of habit and figuring it to be the right thing. I still do now, but just not as much. No reason to be anyone's doormat and no reason to get taken advantage of. Unless it's just a matter of preference.

      The denial is what I don't like. That's kind of what this post is all about.