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Please note: This is a machine translated version. The original article is in German and can be accessed .

Back / 2011 – A swan song / Healthy New Year!

December 31st, 2011 | Tagged , | 18 Comments | 1754 reads

I recycle just the times Title from front 365 Meet, because it fits again. The year is still good 7 Hours, and then passes… nothing, da sind wir ja in Japan. But first, for the first part of the title. Since yesterday, so I'm back from my brief tour of the Iwate Prefecture. There it was good as expected 10 Degrees colder than Tokyo, which is slightly wintry. Unfortunately, I also took the healed than believed, prolonged cold again on the scene – After three days, then handed it to me so, and I cared for a doctor's office right in the middle of nowhere.

Compulsory New Year Card! All the best

Diagnose: Pneumonia. Na class. Since I now but anyway on the way to my final destination, Hiraizumi, was, I decided, maintain the route and simply long to sleep in the accommodation. So far, so good. The accommodation was rich and full-board dinner. I had not really big appetite, But the complete consumption's has served. Among them were raw oysters. Well, as it looks, I would prefer to omit the, because it looks like, I've caught thanks to the oyster the Noro virus. No, I will not describe the symptoms rather. The Noro virus is clearly the way far more widespread in Japan than in Germany – There is Noro-lasting waves, usually carried along by the children.

Will hot, Neujahrsfestivitäten have done for me so and I live in a self-enforced quarantine. This is very annoying, because there was a lot to do with the family. But that ends now the wretched times in 2011…

So what was going on in here 2011?

Two big issues have shaped and shape the past few months: Firstly, there would, of course, the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster, on 11. March
2011 haunt the country began. Tsunami and earthquakes are a thing – because you could not do too much and by and large you have to tell the whole, that the government is fairly under the given circumstances benenen tried. Sure you can do a lot to criticize in the actions, but the general impression tends more toward positive.
The subsequent accident in the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the other hand requires very, a lot of preparation. Only days ago came a new, independent report published, The more times again raises questions as answers, But all in all, but bring some light into the darkness trying. A few things, one has also read in the media from reporting:

– the politicians to the people apparently contained no facts – they were really clueless
– strong doubts come at TEPCO's version on, everything is caused by the tsunami. More and
speaks well for more, that the quake itself already catastrophically damaged a reactor.

Usw. usf. It is interesting, the one from the opposition (under which the nuclear industry only flourished) hears nothing constructive. Today, after all, 90% all nuclear power plants in Japan shut down, and yet the light of.

The catastrophe also raises the question, Who should pay for it all. Japan's public debt is already huge, and so slow is shaken more and more of the tax. Otherwise, I feel as a family man with children already, where the wind blows: The child tax credit for children under 15 has been deleted, and reduced child benefits. There were also small changes and a monthly tax Increase of rising energy prices.

As expected, Japan's economy slipped into negative territory after the quake, But in the third quarter was marked again at a slight upward trend. The yen is still propagated at a record high (Today we got for the first time since about. 12 Years less than 100 Yen to the euro), what a strong upturn is more detrimental. After all, the government has this year a “JA” to join the trans-Pacific free trade zone not be pressured – which promises to be a bit of hope.

Unchanged, even if the companies have changed names and titles. In principle, everything as it was.

At the 7. February there was growth, and is thriving. Lou is fairly hands-free, is quickly take in pursuit, likes to play and babbling incoherently to himself. But with the dedication. Daughter, however, goes this year to kindergarten, also with the dedication, and tomorrow 5 Years old. She had to go through a lot and give up some on after 11. March, but she has borne with composure.

This year has been rather bad, but at least it was for the first time since 2008 to Germany. Everything else was at home – including the last Ascent of Mount Fuji.

This year there were exactly 89 new entries, 1'160 Comments and nearly a quarter million page views. Particularly well attended this blog was, logically, shortly after the quake, because it lacked some truly authentic news sources.

In this sense, I wish all readers a happy New - 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. To stay awake!

Images and text on the Iwate-tour coming – promised!


Notes from the North: Miyako

December 27th, 2011 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 1189 reads

20111227-210720.jpgThis morning I drove by express train from Morioka to Miyako – Miyako is a small town on the Pacific coast of Iwate Prefecture and was in many other cities in the region on 11. March hit by the tsunami. And not only that – The quake itself was already the maximum on the Japanese intensity scale 7.

What I want here? Firstly, Iwate has long been on my list. And the landscape is famous for Miyako. The ruins are also largely cleared. And the area lives in part by tourism, So why avoid.

Of course I'm also an ex-geographer with a focus on urban planning, a certain interest, to see, what will happen to the city. I'm not the first time – 1998 I was with my professor in Kobe, to make the same.

20111227-215342.jpgNow, the debris are cleaned up, and is in the city has returned to a certain degree normality, even if the disaster still seems to be the number one topic of conversation. The foreign aid seems to really be very welcome – Today, I walked behind two old men, who talked about. The first woman said, “Ah, My son was also washed away, that was really bad. But all the foreign aid is really impressive. Just yesterday, all students in the class of my grandson with Chinese sporting goods donated dressed”.

Yesterday I was at the bar in my ryokan a long conversation with an employee. Eventually we came to talk to Fukushima (which in this region here bequeathed much less evidence). He noted this, that he knows the chief of the planning team of the Onagawa nuclear power plant. In memory: Onagawa is also near the sea, is much closer to the epicenter turn. Onagawa was also hit by the tsunami and earthquake, while it was in operation – However, there is hardly anything happens. Apparently, however, was the chief planner for the construction of nuclear power plants fired, because the costs were for the safety of the price too much driven up.

More later. Tomorrow we take the bus to Kamaishi, and from there inland to Tono, Home of the Kappa.


Travel Planning – Cruel facts

December 20th, 2011 | Tagged , | 8 Comments | 1180 reads

Actually I wanted to leave time between Christmas and New Year for a change, the country – Finally, the Japanese yen is currently quite strong and therefore the chance of very low. I actually quite thirsty, but it mainly, again to go to a new country. After some searching I gave up but. It's not worth it anyway, for 4 Nights somewhere to fly for hours (So I'm not still here too long!).

Ex-hostel in Miyako: Google Maps ist up to date...

Instead, I am once again somewhat, which is simply illogical: I drive from Tokyo, where at the time cold and the days are very short, north, where it is colder – and the days are even shorter. It does not matter. There are three prefectures, not yet in the dubious pleasure of my visit came. This is one of Iwate in the Northeast. For one day it will it go to Miyako to the coast. The place is famous for two things: For his wild, rugged coastline. And for that, that the tsunami took away half the town in March. If Ex-(?)Geographer drives me, of course, a certain curiosity: What really happened there, and how it looks now there?

Also – Search for accommodation. Very positive mention there is a small, fine hostel (a Ryokan, to be exact). Looked up quickly, where the hostel is. And switching to Google Street View. Weia. It says nothing. Only the foundation. And the mark of Google Maps: Jodogahama inn (Jodo-ga-mites Ryokan). After all, it has probably made the manager of the hostel and his family, to escape in time. Mediator present I could find another accommodation – a small hotel. Where only the first floor was destroyed.


Character of the Year 2011: Bonds (kizuna)

December 13th, 2011 | Tagged , | 1 Kommentar | 1274 reads

Delegated = Bindung

And the winner is… a character, that not even the ca. 2,300 main character is. Read it “have” or “ban”, “kizuna” as well as “hoda-sareru”. The left radical means thread, and so it has to do something: The sign used to stand for a band, fascinated with the horse you Foot. Today is the sign, if at all, used with a reading: kizuna. This means Binding, and is meant that since the severe earthquake and tsunami in March often evoked the bond between people / in society, get through the tragedy together to. The word or. Characters you see in fact quite often these days.

With the human bond between it worked not always so, as it should – after the quake, there was looting in Japan, and from a reliable source I know of at least one case, where someone was stabbed because of a canister filled with fuel – But in the great whole, the solidarity among themselves very remarkable, and the discipline anyway: It will be donated, there's no tomorrow, and very, many Japanese are driven at least once to the north, to help.

About 500,000 People participated in the survey for the character of the year 2011. Good 60,000 selected “kizuna” (not bad, good about. 10,000 Characters in total). Place 2 occupied “Disaster – sai” (Accident, Character of the Year 2004) and 3 “Shock – shin” (Quake, Character of the Year 1995, see below). So slowly we go from here, the character for disasters, and I hope to open one more positive sign (pun intended) next year.

Trivial as a sign of the year: After the war, hundreds of characters simplifies. Including the sign 半 – The two slashes run up originally mirrored horizontally (So they show up mid-and out but not up). Even characters, The characters of this, were modified accordingly. But not 绊 – which is not one of the most important characters.

Here is an overview of the characters of the year since 1995:

1995 Shock (Shin = quake: Kobe Erdbeben)
1996 Food (Shoku = food: O-157 food poisoning, BSE usw.)
1997 Inverted (Tō = drop, go bankrupt: Numerous bankruptcies of large capital companies)
1998 Poison (Doku = Poison: Dioxin- und Hormone scan Dale, Poisoning with toxic curry etc)
1999 End (Sue = Ende: End of the millennium, Doomsday scenarios, Nuklearunfall in Tokaimura etc.)
2000 Gold (Kin = Gold, Money: Medaillen in Sydney, Kim Song-Il, new coins and notes, etc.)
2001 War (Sen = fight: Terroranschlag auf World Trade Center usw.)
2002 Come (Ki = return: Economy is showing signs of recovery, Reduce workers' overtime, etc.)
2003 Tiger (Ko / zoom = Tiger: Economy strengthened, Hope)
2004 Disaster (Sai / wazawai = Unglück: Extremely hot summer, many typhoons, major earthquake in Niigata)
2005 Love (Ai = Love: Motto der Expo, Reconstruction after disasters, celebrity weddings)
2006 Life (Inochi = Life: Born Princess, Suicide of schoolchildren, Uncertainty in life)
2007 False (Denise = fake: Numerous food labeling fraud, Politician's wife Dale usw.)
2008 Change (kawaru change =: Major changes in policy – Obama, Climate change, Economic problems)
2009 New (Shin = new: New balance of power in Parliament, new laws, etc.)
2010 Heat (Sho = s own words: Record summer, Miners in Chile survive in hot tunnels, etc.)


Finds: Tekitōismus or: a lost piece of wood

December 8th, 2011 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments | 1093 reads

Now, I'm finally equipped with a reasonably usable for the Internet Camera (with the phone you can even), I can finally make spontaneous recordings of everyday trivialities and write a few lines about it. Otherwise, I feel even after almost 650 Articles of the fabric, or I must look again for a long, to make sure, not already been written about it to have.

The photo at right was now on my way to work. The place: Station 新木場 Shinkiba, The platform リン かい 線 Rinkai-sen (literally, in about: Shore-line). This line is one of the youngest train lines in Tokyo; the first portion (von Shinkiba bis Tōkyō Teleport) was 1996 completed, the remainder (Osaki bus 大 崎 an der Yamanote-Linie) only 2002. The line runs mostly underground and is connected to the 埼 京 线 Saikyo-Linie (Saikyo stands for Saitama ↔ TōKYŌ – Saitama Prefecture is the north of the capital). This means, you can easily and fairly quickly from east to Shinkiba in Ebisu, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro usw. go. The only disadvantage: The line is compared to other lines almost twice as expensive. Advantage which in turn: The trains are usually pretty empty. I have certainly never have. This is good, because then I can go to work something. Or write pointless blog entries.

Back to photo: Since the line's new, the whole system including. of course, new stations. An orgy of concrete and steel, and as one is used generally in Japan, everything is squeaky clean. Only this small board at the end of the train, with the screwed 発車 ベル (Train departure signal button), somehow does not quite fit into the picture. What happened was probably?

“Of, Head, all ready! Looks great, or?” – “Well? And where is the train departure signal button if you please? Forgot your bonus Kannste! And until tomorrow morning at 4 Clock I expect a hand-written statement from you, why you have so failed! In 20 copies! But now let us first at a karaoke shed antütern. I'll see you tomorrow at home sometimes, I have an old lie somewhere Board ..”

Is it the? Or is on page 1328 of 5. Appendix to 42. revised edition of the railway construction manual (valid only for South Tokyo), that the departure of the train is very important signal transmitter mounted on a board, otherwise fall through the vibrations of the incoming train, a screw could? You do not know.

In general, Japanese people in professional and amateur perfectionists. * However, with an all too human tendency to Tekitōismus.

*tekitō (Suitable) – actually “appropriate” or. “passend”, this word is also often used for “somehow hinbiegen” used.


2 x = change phone providers 1 marry x

December 2nd, 2011 | Tagged | 8 Comments | 1552 reads

Did I ever get the BHA-Scale presented? This is the BAUTHORITIES-Haare-Ausrauf-Scale. No, they do not open up, 10 is the maximum value and stands for at least 5,000 torn hair. Head hair, mind you. People, who know me, know, I no longer many 8+ BHA operations need to total baldness. Here are a few guidelines, I moor in Japan as far as could:

9 International marriage
9 Permanent residence permit without a lawyer help
7 Permanent residence permit with the aid lawyer
5 Telephone company switch
5 Move
5 Visa extension
4 Bank account / Telephone contract
3 Internet banking log on
2 New child register
2 Tax return
2 Remittance from abroad to Japanese account

I let the 10 open times. Surely there are processes, that can outperform even unprecedented. As a candidate I would as for example the adoption of Japanese citizenship in the sense.

Today I am concerned, however, sometimes with a procedure with a 5 on the BHA-scale: The change of provider. Admittedly, under difficult conditions. Firstly because I wanted to not only, but also to change my wife. And secondly, the fun began to have the original contract. Because: The phone my wife was logged into her father's name. So that they can call free of charge in the family. My phone was registered again under the name of my wife – I also belong to the family. Sounds complicated? It is also. With each small change was a result of my father's consent is required. At least you could set it up but so, that the money could be paid by Bunsen accounts.

Well you could certainly put simply terminate the contract and a new, But of course, prefer to make the potential for only a few years, MNP (mobile number portability) Use. Will hot, you can switch providers and keep their number. If yes is determined in other countries, I take time to. Long story short - just in case, that someone has to do something similar, or even after a few years ago I again want to change providers, Here is a small summary of the steps and documents. Previous phone provider: A. New phone provider: B.

1. Go to B and finish preliminary contract. Needs to be a bank- or credit card and any card (Driver's license, Alien Registration Card, for example,)
At B will be informed about the procedure and receive documents. Among them should also 委任状 (Power of Attorney Forms) be, the device will not run on its own behalf.

2. I know man die Person, is registered under the unit, not even want to grind to load, Copy of the license or the like can make.

3. Thus, the unit will not run under its own name, Family register (Extract from the stud book - aliens have something but not) spouse's request. This is confirmed by the family relationship. The statement must apply to a rule there, where it was registered. The family book does not drag. Because the council house to my wife about 1,000 km away, The following steps were added:

3 a Application for an extract from the pedigree from the Internet, Print and fill out
3 b Postbank to go and buy bank drafts (usually 300 Yen fee for an extract, more 150 Yen fee for issue of crossed checks)
3 c Crossed check and application along with a stamped return envelope to send to city hall responsible

4. Number of service provider's own (A) call. However, this must make the person, was registered on the device. There MNP request. Then you get a number announced. Most of you probably paid 2,100 Yen for the process - are deducted from the next phone bill. A few days later you get the confirmation number and sent by post.

Power of attorney letter can fill those of, run in whose name the device

6. Go to B:

– MNP papers
– Power of attorney letter
– existing mobile phones (to the phonebook synchronization)
– Copy of a document of the previous contract holder
– Statement of the spouse (Driver's license or similar)
– Own identity
– Money- or credit card
– Lots of patience, particularly, if you can only go during the lunch break

After that everything should really be a problem. Theoretically. Even worked on the first attempt, and after nearly two weeks. All too often you want to do that but not – whether in Japan or elsewhere. Actually, the whole process is quite understandable – would not it not for the wretched pedigree, the procurement or. the associated cumbersome nature of the fee payment is driving me up the wall every time.