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

Kyoto-Starbucks im traditionellen japanischen Stil / Tokyo-Tirade in der “Time”

June 28th, 2017 | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments | 726 reads

Heute stellte Starbucks Japan seine neueste Niederlassung in der alten Kaiserstadt Kyoto before¹. Die Filiale öffnet am 30. June 2017 ihre Pforten und befindet sich an der altehrwürdigen 二寧坂 Ninen-zaka-Gasse unweit des Kiyomizu-Tempels. Das zweigeschossige Gebäude ist mehr als 100 Jahre alt und komplett im traditionellen Stil aus Holz gebaut. Im Inneren gibt es die obligatorischen Tatami (Reisstrohmatten).

Ein geschickter Schachzug von Starbucks, das muss man den Marketingleuten lassen. スタバ sutaba, wie die Läden in Japan abgekürzt werden, hat hierzulande über 1’000 Filialen und mehr als 3’000 Employee. Die erste Niederlassung wurde 1996 an der Ginza eröffnet. Doch die neueste Filiale in Kyoto sollte auch etwas nachdenklich stimmen. For sure,de, man kann es nicht vermeiden, dass sich globale Ketten in historischen Gassen breit machen – das geschieht überall. Auch McDonalds hat schon vor Jahrzehnten in Kyoto Filialen eröffnet und war sogar kompromissbereit: Man verzichtete auf die übliche, in der Tat sehr aufdringliche rot-gelbe Farbmischung und einigte sich mit der Stadt auf einen Braunton. Doch man kann sich jetzt schon ausmalen, dass nicht wenige Touristen (die meisten davon werden wohl nicht aus Europa sein) einen Besuch in der traditionell japanischen Starbucks-Filiale als ein Highlight ihres Kyoto-Besuches empfinden werden. Und das ist etwas traurig, verliert man doch dabei den ursprünglichen Sinn des Reisens komplett aus den Augen.


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Das erinnerte mich ein bisschen an den Artikel Im Land der aufgehenden Langeweile erschienen bei Die Zeit und verfasst von Ulf Lippitz. Dort bedauert der Autor auch die Tatsache, dass die Globalisierung auch die japanische Hauptstadt fest im Griff hat. Mehr aber noch erinnert mich der Artikel daran, dass manche Menschen scheinbar nicht mehr die Essenz des Reisens erkennen. Vollgepumpt mit Erwartungen hat sich da der Autor auf die Reise nach Tokyo gemacht und war ganz überrascht, an den absoluten Touristenfallen nicht den Kick zu bekommen, den er erwartet hat. Wie man ein Reiseziel so absolut oberflächlich “durchrennen” can, ist mir ein Rätsel (genau so ist es mir ein Rätsel, wie er in ein Restaurant mit “Cover Charge” gelangte – danach muss man eigentlich heute fast suchen). For sure,de, Tokyo muss man nicht mögen – an den meisten Ecken ist es nicht schön. Aber bevor man als bezahlter Korrespondent Sätze wie “Ein Helene-Fischer-Konzert hätte es auch getan” in einer Beschreibung über Shibuya in der Nacht von sich gibt, hätte man sich ja wenigstens ein kleines bisschen Mühe geben können…

¹ See for example here (Starbucks-Pressemitteilung, Japanese) and here (Japan Times, English).


METI’s Patriotenporno

April 3rd, 2017 | Tagged , , | 9 Comments | 707 reads

Since I am recently a bilingual pamphlet with the evocative name “Wonder NIPPON!” stumbled, the already since a year ago by the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI) was released. The Japanese title is much better: It surprised the world Japan! – “What the world is amazed: Nippon!”. On the following page you will get back to the headline “Did you realize that Japan is getting this much attention?” – “Did you know, that Japan gets in the world so much attention?” confronted. What follows, are some nice photos, and a few pages later listless ragtag graphics, against which gets explains the astonished reader, why Japan is so so unique, that it is quite a lot of attention, certainly at least more attention than other countries, earned. It is all done in the context of the preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Wundervolles Japan. Und die Menschen erst!

Wonderful Japan. And people only!

As we learn, among other things, the Japanese (and indeed all!) perceive the nature very different, feel quasi with other senses – presented to “five Japanese keywords, that could impress the world” (“Five Japanese keywords that may impress the world”). Also learn, perceive that Japanese colors differently. And since my favorite subject should not be missed: All four sides of the 64-page brochure is the 4 dedicated Seasons, of which many Japanese still believe, that these are very special. Believe it or not: These four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and winter!

What strangely missing, is the so-vaunted lately “omotenashi” – Japanese hospitality. In an interesting arc strikes this column in the Japan Times doing a bow to an important aspect of Omotenashi – the term Conjecture sontaku. The direct translation is not easy, but it basically means, someone read a wish / to meet, The summit was before ever expressed. Thus was recently in the scandal surrounding the involvement of Prime Minister Abe along with wife in the award of a property well below its value at the ultra-right school operators Moritomo Gakuen (see here) also explains, why the Treasury was the deal to approve the land at all: The Moritomo boss accepted, it around “sontaku” negotiated – those in charge at the Treasury assumed, Abe to do a favor, without the prime minister himself knew about it. Elsewhere it's called felt or corruption, however, in Japan it is a virtue. Sontaku eben. Or anticipatory obedience.

Japan is special, no question. It's just an island nation, the long time spent in voluntary isolation. Japanese people but colors and the like perceive differently than other people, is outrageous nonsense. And whether the tipping over of entire mountains with gray concrete should include the specific nature of understanding of Japanese, may also be discussed. The METI could therefore also likes to paint the other, apply vaunted virtue: Humility kenkyo. modesty. Because Japan has enough without this strange exaggeration to offer. Since I'm less worried about the foreigners, reading this pamphlet – but more to the Japanese, reading this and probably believe everything, what does it say. Denn note: It should even be places outside of Japan, where there are four seasons. It was rumored to be other countries, where hospitality is important. And it should even be countries, where the food tastes. Kaum zu glauben, aber wahr.


context, Baby, context…

February 13th, 2017 | Tagged , | 10 Comments | 812 reads

Lately I get back propagated emails and messages with links to worrying news about the state of the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima, often with the annotation, that the situation seems to get there out of control (ergo: You will all die!). One of the messages found in itself Heise for example. Consequently, never before measured values ​​of around were 650 Sievert / hour found. “About” therefore, because the radiation is so high, that one can only extrapolate the value – with a high error rate. This radiation No one can endure more than a few seconds.

So far, so good. The context, however, seem to many news sites (and consequently some anxious readers) to overlook: We created this extremely high values ​​for the first time, therefore, firmly, because it has now measured right there for the first time, where there were once the fuel rods. Images of the robot also show, that there is a passable hole in the inner pressure vessel, through which the nuclear material has eaten apparently. This incredibly high readings are therefore nothing new – the intensity of radiation expected since 2011 Be the Same, only that one is only just now penetrated to there. More subtitles as “even robots keep this radiation than two hours from” care course for additional goosebumps (which layman can already measure, what that really means).

Reason to panic? Yes and no. Beziehungsweise: Not more than before. Although TEPCO still refuses, to speak of a meltdown, but that's only quibble, because the problem persists: A highly irradiated reactor ruin stands right on the Pacific, with molten fuel rods in reactor vessels holey, which can not be recovered so quickly. What would for a return, happen powerful tsunami? Would this not part of the mass are flushed into the sea? One may not imagine. Yet: Before again it is mentioned, that now it was all over and the situation has deteriorated dramatically, you should be aware of the context clearly. And the essence of the selfsame's just, that the values ​​are not about increased – but that one is the first time penetrated into the heart of the reactor, where it has found so far never measured values.

Another case for the police context: When I recently for another website wrote an article about Japanese subjects and the subsequent reference to working life, I mentioned, that women in particular can hardly use their studying at the Universities of subjects later, there are still very difficult to reconcile for women's career and family. Back came from the editor a graphic, showing, that the proportion of Two-income tomobataraki (= Both work)-Couples has risen sharply in recent years, and already a few years ago the proportion of married couples, in which only the husband goes to work, has overtaken. This graphic should refute, that most women her study in a job may not apply later. Unfortunately, even here the context was completely overlooked, because the graphic was 1) not limited to graduates, and 2) she said nothing at all from, in which employment, women were: There is completely overlooked, that the proportion of dual-earner among other reasons increases so much, because in more and more cases, is no longer sufficient, the content of the man. The graph also shows not, that many women, go to work today, not as “Studied specialist for English and American Literature” are active, but to sell at the local shop paraphernalia Tünnef to housewives, which do not rely on it, go to work (or, also there are quite often, Although the wish to work, but can not, because they get no kindergarten – or because the man does not want, that the woman goes to work.

I try on my blog for the past 11 Years, elaborate these relationships. I hope, with a little success. However, there will also always relationships, I even overlooked. One can only hope, there are not too many.


Staatlich geförderte Scharlatanerie an japanischen Schulen

February 7th, 2017 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments | 832 reads

labsaEine Textmitteilung meiner Frau schaffte es heute, mich auf die Palme zu bringen. In der Nachricht klagte sie über vergeudete Zeit in der heutigen PTA-Sitzung. PTA = Parent Teacher Association (I think, das hieß? called? Elternbeirat im Deutschen). Die PTA besteht aus mehr oder weniger freiwilligen Mitgliedern und veranstaltet Sachen wie “Schulessen – wie es gemacht wird (und wie es schmeckt)” and the same. In diesem Jahr gab es insgesamt vier Veranstaltungen – in der zweiten ging es um “Kinder und der Umgang mit Smartphones”, ein durchaus legitimes Thema. Bei der dritten Veranstaltung kam eine Vertreterin der 誕生学® – the “Geburtenwissenschaft” (man beachte das ®!). Betrieben von der 誕生学協会, the “Life and Birth Studies Association”. Ein staatlich als “allgemeinnützig” anerkannter Verein, gegründet von 大葉ナナコ Nanako Ōba, Ex-Model und Absolventin einer Kunst-Kurzuni (zwei Jahre Pseudostudium). Eine Frau ohne jegliche medizinische oder psychologische Ausbildung, die dutzende Bücher zum Thema Geburt, Babymassage und dergleichen veröffentlichte und sich selbst illustre Titel wie “Geburtsberaterin” und dergleichen gibt. Und mit klugen Thesen daherkommt wie:

  • Schangerschaftserbrechen ist bei Frauen mit gelassenerem Charakter weniger schlimm
  • Wehen sind weniger heftig, wenn die Gebährende unter Stress steht
  • Wehenbeschleuniger sollten nur dann eingesetzt werden, wenn der Gebährenden klargemacht wird, dass dies die Freude der Geburt schmälert
  • Bei Müttern, die nicht stillen können, mangelt es an Fürsorge (gegenüber der Mutter)

Etc.. Und so tingeln Vertreter des Vereins dank des eigens ins Leben gerufenen Schulprogramms durch japanische Kindergärten und Schulen und verkünden ihre kruden Botschaften aus Laienmund.

Die Veranstaltung heute war aber scheinbar noch besser: Ein selbsternannter 統計心理学者 – “Statistischer Psychologe” – tauchte heute auf – mit einer lustlos zusammengewürfelten PowerPoint-Präsentation. Beruflicher Hintergrund: Bankangestellter, heute Cafébesitzer. Seine These: Es gibt im wesentlichen vier Arten von Menschen, und das ist bei Kindern genauso. If you do not know, mit welcher Art Kind man es zu tun hat, macht man Fehler bein Loben, Schimpfen und überhaupt. Woran man erkennt, zu welcher Gruppe das Kind gehört? The answer: Am Geburtsdatum. Yes, am Geburtsdatum. Einige Mütter baten dann darum, ihnen eine Analyse ihrer Kinder zu geben, oder zumindest zu offenbaren, wo man denn die Ergebnisse der wissenschaftlichen Studie einsehen könne, aber der tapfere Ex-Bankangestellte zierte sich: Er fragte stattdessen die Mütter nach deren Geburtsdatum und legte drauf los. Und sagte zum Schluß, wer seine Kinder aufgrund der Geburtstage analysiert haben möchte, solle in sein Café kommen – er sei öfter dort und könne dann dort Auskunft geben.

Mind: Eltern zahlen PTA-Beiträge. Und Redner, die dort auftauchen, bekommen eine Aufwandsentschädigung. And: Schuldirektoren und Lehrer müssen die Veranstaltung absegnen. Bei der Geburtenexpertin keine einmalige Sache – sie macht diese Veranstaltung schon seit Jahren in dieser Schule. Einer öffentlichen Schule.

PTA & Co. verlangen den Müttern in Japan sehr viel Zeit ab – that's for sure. Japanische Mütter haben dank dieses Systems kaum Zeit, selber arbeiten zu gehen. Dass die Zeit dann aber damit verbracht werden soll, sich so einen Stuss anzuhören, defies description. For sure,de, der Hang zum Metaphysischen ist in Japan besonders stark ausgeprägt (Keyword: Blutgruppenhoroskop), aber das so etwas auch noch staatlich gefördert wird, schlägt dem Fass den Boden aus.


4 x 6 = 24? Forget it!

February 17th, 2015 | Tagged , | 23 Comments | 2314 reads

Mathelehrbuch der 2. Klasse

Math textbook 2. Class

The other day daughter, second grade elementary school, slightly kinked home. Actually, they may well Math, but this time there was no 100 Points, but only 85. This is not so tragic, Finally, it could be approximately 85 Be points less, but the problem was because, daughter that the reason for the deduction of points not understood.

“A bouquet includes 6 Flowers. There are four bouquets. How many flowers there are a total of?”

In response daughter wrote so “4 x 6 = 24”. And that is what is wrong. Just like the following task:

“There are 9 Benches. View on a bench 7 People Place. How many people can sit in total?”

9 x 7 = 63? Aber nicht doch.

Math was once really my forte. Or rather, I had no major problems with it. At the beginning, of course, but I can not remember, and therefore it does not have much to say, if completely unknown to me appears the reason for the deduction of points. Oh, and, the reasoning is as follows:

For multiplication to write out the number of a unit, and then how many times the whole. The truth is so:

6 (a flower times 6) x 4 = 24 Flowers

(7 People x 1 Seat) x 9 Benches = 63

In Japanese, the rule looks like this:

"The number of one minute" × "several minutes"

Say: Number of subunits * How many units.

Look at! The result may not be correct – importance is attached to the order! Flight times researched something, and behold: There is even a really long entry at Wikipedia for Issue the order for multiplication. And there really amazing to read: Das MEXT (Ministry of Education) recommends, for example,, the above, “correct” Order to teach. Ultimately, however, leaves the MEXT schools (or. Teachers) the decision, OB “wrong” Order is to be regarded as a point deduction or not. Leave? So there you go to school X in Japan, where he met the basics and that 7 times 9 = 63 is – then you will be transferred to another school, where it undergoes, that 7 times 9 is not the same as 9 times 7?

The Wikipedia entry is also experiences, that is well informed in the reverse order in the USA – “Violations” are not punished.

Why now in Japan so much emphasis on it, this “Rule” (their sense, I really do not fully opens) enforce, is unknown to me. Since then I am probably too very results-oriented. For sure,de, Help rules – if they help. But in this case seems to be the rule to do only one: To confuse children more. In Japanese Internet very many parents seem – cope – to get excited about. The tenor – and this is true not only in mathematics textbooks – is: “Why must children, Write exactly as nonsensical content in textbooks, order not to lose points?”. Good question. But the quality of Japanese school textbooks can be broadly anyway to be desired. Since no free-thinking people are made, but yes-men.

Interestingly, it should be noted, that the whole math textbook 2. Class is not a word of this rule. That will probably only mentioned in accompanying materials. And either the teacher, the rule does not explain well, or my daughter was busy with something else. Chances 49:51. Or 51:49?


The Woman Whisperer – bald wieder in Tokyo

November 8th, 2014 | Tagged , | 12 Comments | 35494 reads

You see them occasionally – and unfortunately very often in Japan: Arrogant foreigners, who believe themselves in paradise, since it is, after all too easily, with the foreigners bonus to begin a thing all kinds of women. The king of this species seems to be a certain Julien Blanc, the dress deserves your money with dubious seminars on women. Anywhere in the world. As time appeared not so long ago a video of him on, in which the good Lord declares, how things run in Japan with the women so. The original video is hard to find, and I do not want any more visitors to his channel added control, but a short clip is here on a Japanese channel:

According to Twitter message Julien Blanc to come back in mid-November to Japan. And there are enough people, who would like to prevent the – see for example here. There was and is even against numerous petitions (and for!) Men – who provided, among other things, that venues in Australia he announced and even his visa was canceled. A similar petition is on the way, which should make the Japanese immigration authorities at the man carefully.

Now, neither he nor the visitors of his seminars are really worth a blog entry. If you look at but be “Match” an – called “The Game” – can a just fear and worry are. This is not to Anmachtricks, but sometimes even cruel mind games, partially coupled with violence or the threat of selfsame, to make people complacent. But what really upset me, is the following quote:

… just grabbing girls and it’s like (motions) head on dick (pfft) head on dick, yelling ‘PIKACHU’ with a Pikachu shirt on….Every foreigner who is white does this. When you see that one foreigner in the crowd in Tokyo and your eyes will lock and you know that he knows and he knows that and it’s this guilty look like you both fucked a hooker or something.”

All right! If even one believes Japanese, that this is so – or worse – if only one of the visitors of his seminars believes that and therefore makes his way to Japan – then this is definitely worth a comment. Clear, polarized the man. He is not worth it, to be taken seriously. But it is unfortunately people, take it quite seriously. And the women, running him not knowing about the way, are also not to say the least enviable. In this sense,: You’re not welcome.


Book review: “The long breath” Nina Jäckle

July 17th, 2014 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments | 3198 reads

"Der lange Atem" von Nina Jäckle. ISBN: 9783863510770

“The long breath” Nina Jäckle. ISBN: 9783863510770

Actually, I have resisted me inside, however,, to read this book. A German author deals because from a distance with the only good three years earlier and thus still quite young triple disaster in northeastern Japan. What are you doing? A sequence of conjectures? Fanciful embellished reports of life after the tsunami? Moralinsaure treatises on Fukushima? Wer lebt living in Japan, speaks the language and knows the culture, and also still the disaster areas – before and after the disaster – knows well, likely to feel like.

The book tells about life from the perspective of a phantom image signatory after the disaster, the basis of photos of unidentified, to be or to more accurately, unidentifiable victims reconstructed faces, to the nameless dead return its name. The background is real – today tried the Japanese police, inter alia here, in this way to identify victims. For sure,de, Sketch artist are some usual, but the sheer amount of victims is likely to have made the most hardened of its kind on a stress test.

But back to the book. Thank God keeps the author in an attempt, to explore Japanese culture and mindset, back. In places special features dive, where you can read, what was researched exactly or the means by which messages at that time resorted the author. But essentially it leaves the nationality and culture outside and describes the all too human: The shock of the sudden Lost. The impotence, affects people, when nothing is in one fell swoop so, as it once was. And that starts in the novel as:

It was the eleventh in March, and the sea exhaled, into the countryside, it breathed out and then it took a deep breath again.

This on the one hand very general;, and yet very expressive language was special for me about this book. At the I-narrative you get used to quickly, and also because, that many sets with “My wife” begin, was – I'm suddenly conservative, when I read this from the pen of a writer – initially irritated me. However, the manner, how to build conflicts in the book, is described very well done and drives to read more.

What interested me before reading most, was the importance, Fukushima should be measured to. We remember: While in Japan almost 20,000 People mainly came by the tsunami killed, echoed only the name Fukushima by the German press, and let everything else almost forgotten. And lo and behold, is equal to twice since the speech of mutant butterflies or phrases such as:

From the words of iodine, Cesium and plutonium, the rhymes will soon be, the children learn quickly.

This sounds very poetic, but that's just everything other than Japanese. Exactly this or something similar will not happen, and the mutant butterflies appeared only once in the news – with plenty of skeptics about. The following sentence with regard to the nuclear part of the disaster could, however, do not write appropriate:

There have not yet been born long all the injured, states.

Ever – while reading I met occasionally to unusual, thought-provoking phrases, I liked in their own way – including, for example, this one:

… and who is behind you, call out the children. It is the sea, do not call the children.

Conclusion: This only 170 Pages long novel from the publisher Klopfer & Meyer is a nachdenlich-provoking and well-researched reading about 11. March 2011 – if you have a lot to do with Japan or not.

More about the author Nina Jäckle one learns here. And the book of course there are the well-stocked bookstores or from Amazon.


Movie review: Emperor – Fight for peace

December 23rd, 2013 | Tagged , , | 1 Kommentar | 5906 reads

Filmplakat 'Emperor'

Filmplakat 'Emperor’

What were seeing my inflamed eyes today at the video rental: A new film from Hollywood, entitled Emperor shūsen no emperaa the end of the war (Literally: The Emperor at the end of the war), mit Tommy Lee Jones als General MacArthur. Uninformed as I am, me was the approach of this film completely escaped. Now I know indeed the whole backstory, but of course I was still – or perhaps because – curious, as the topic was packed. MacArthur in Japan knows every child, because the General played the central role in post-war Japan. Essentially, it was in the movie about the war guilt of the Japanese Emperor. It was during and after the Second World War have enough votes, the Emperor if not the gallows, so but wanted to see at least before the court-martial. Finally, were all Japanese soldiers virtually in the emperor's name “on the way”. To anticipate: Der Kaiser blieb unangetastet, but lost its status gods. Surely deal was feared, that removal of the emperor Japan would have completely applied against the winner of the war.

Now, the movie starts, as he had to start: With historic photographs of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A short time later, Tommy Lee Jones comes into scene – as gruff, narcissistic but far-sighted General MacArthur. And he plays his role well. The scenes with him are refreshing and interesting. Also Toshiyuki Ishida, a very famous actor in Japan, shines as General Kajima. Before, I was not a fan of Nishida, but I've changed my mind a while ago, and this film for me is further evidence, that Nishida is excellent for such roles. Also Masato Mother as Lord Privy Seal Kido plays his role perfectly and is also very well known in Japan.

So far, so good. The pictures of Tokyo in the first few weeks after the war are expected to apokalytpisch and commemorate historic photos from the time. There would be determined quite a lot of interesting dialogues and scenes, which would have the time involved and the historical background more could illuminate. Doch oh weh – Instead, it was decided to, incorporate into the plot even a love story, namely between Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, played by Matthew Fox, and a Japanese teacher named Aya, the Fellers met before the outbreak of the war in America. And so the conversation from her definitely interesting film with numerous flashbacks dismembered himself in the love story between Aya and Bonner. Burning Trümmerwüste Tokyo – Section – Aya rennt, blinded vo sunlight, through a bamboo grove. That's cruel and disturbing. These flashbacks, or AYA itself does not need a man. Too bad, because with this cast and this topic would it really be a good movie.

Randbemerkung: Interestingly, the Miyagi event Kyūjō Jiken – Palace incident explained in some detail in the film: After rumors began circulating, that the Tennō was ready, to surrender, tried circles of the army in a military coup, the targeted directly against the Emperor. Having refused, however, large parts of the army, to join in, committed leader, General Tanaka, Suicide. Many others also committed suicide and the coup attempt failed. Fortunately, you have to say probably, because Japan had not surrendered, things for Japan would certainly have not improved. By the surrender the land escaped perhaps even the fate of Germany – want to be called, a division of the country. This coup is missing (how many other incidents also) in Japanese textbooks, and so it is quite welcome, that this movie in this respect makes a little reconnaissance work.


Why does Japan still propagated through journalism is not the point?

February 23rd, 2012 | Tagged , , | 33 Comments | 3058 reads

I recently stumbled as a regular user of the evening news app (the, so much praise must be, is very well done) a short article entitled “The multiple forgetting Fukushima“. A video was also there to (Now it would appear to be gone) and dozens of comments, which to me really turned the stomach. The comments can not find it. Is probably better that way.

I read the article so by, I get to deal with fear. Are all the news topics researched so bad? Actually, one should expect from the relatively high-quality journalism ARD, or?

My first impression after arriving in Tokyo was a sobering: For the inhabitants of the mega-city Fukushima seems to be as far away as the people in Cologne and Berlin. On the streets there is activity, as known from her photographs and films.

Goodness – what is expected of the rapporteur? The all gas mask with his head down and sad and sad sneak through the streets? Had the reporters but with the help of his interpreter, I hope he had it, at least a couple of people interviewed! Then he would have probably figured out quickly, the disaster that the people still plugged into the bone! Hardly a day goes by without significant tremors. Fukushima and appeared almost daily in the news. Many people feel, that not everything was. Especially not when it comes to earthquakes, because many researchers have recently reported, that the probability, the Tokyo in the fairly near future could experience a major direct hit has risen sharply.

The concern for irradiated foods and the feeling, that in the Fukushima nuclear power is not everything in the bag, is present in many. But, rather Reporter, three times you are allowed to advise, from what the capital city has more fear: Before an earthquake directly under the city with tens of thousands of dead, hundreds of thousands of houses destroyed, weeks of supply shortages and so on and so forth, or from Fukushima? Before Fukushima course? Is clear…

In the evening the city lights flicker and, No trace of power outages – although now only three of the whole once 54 Nuclear power plant in the country are on the network.

It all sounds so simple, or? As if to the 54 Nuclear power plant had operated entirely for fun! Perhaps it should be mentioned with a tiny footnote, that Japan will pay a very high price for. Due to the current situation reported Japan's first trade deficit since the data collection 1979. Why? Fossil fuels must be imported expensive. The result, mainly due to rising energy prices for months: Recession. Back. Clear, without nuclear power, it is better – and the last 3 You can now also switch off quietly (but that will not happen as quickly).

After all, the reporter has to with Japanese company Minami-Soma risky, and his observations are there in part to the, what I experienced there. The region is still propagated in a state of emergency.

Significantly worse than the article were the comments. A poor, good writing in German and Japanese almost desperate and tried to explain it, what value which part of the disaster for the Japanese. She was naturally dismissed as equal Atomlobbyistin. Who does not like us, must be one of those. One commentator was also quite sure, that soon the whole of Japan, Korea and Siberia will be contaminated.

Now – The aim of the reporter was, themselves “… make a picture of it, which has left traces of the greatest disaster since the Chernobyl reactor in this country – on the streets, Fields and rooftops of cities around the reactor, but also in the minds and hearts of people.” Target missed. Maybe someday a reporter understands, that the three components - Tsunami, Earthquakes and nuclear disaster - should not be so readily separated? Are alone in Minamisoma over 400 Leute vom Tsunami getötet be, and about 1’000 Residents are still missing. Even the people working nachwievor. But earthquakes and tsunami are likely to be abstract, and as far away as Cologne or Berlin…


Equal education for all? A small peek behind the scenes

February 5th, 2012 | Tagged , | 15 Comments | 1870 reads

In recent weeks I had in my work to do pretty much with the school system in Japan. In theory, and in practice. Specifically, it was said by the Colleges in Japan. Brief Introduction: In Japan, students are only 6 Years of primary school (Elementary school, Elementary School), after 3 Years of Junior High School 中 学校 (Intermediate) and then to 高校 Senior High School (Advanced level). Reason- and middle school (6 Years to 15 Years) are required in Japan; However, not high school, But from a social obligation to the upper level is already – just 95% The Japanese go to high school (and almost 50% later, the university or. other higher education institutions).

Now I had to do on behalf of an educational publisher in the educational system in stages and thus gained a bit more insight into the system, which has to do with the system in Germany, for example, not very much: In Japan there are public and private upper level – in the greater Tokyo area are for example more than 50% the upper level private; in the country, however there are very few private schools. In large cities, parents send their children to private schools, to give their children better educational opportunities (and because they can afford it). In the countryside, private schools are, however often the last chance for students, to attend private school, if they have not managed because of lack of services to a regular school.

In their lessons from the Ministry of Education (Ministry of Education, short MEXT) approved textbooks are used. There are officially approved for each subject textbooks from multiple publishers. Which textbooks are used, it decides the carrier of the school: Is there a senior Prefecture (Prefectural – kenritsu), decided by the education committee of the prefecture. Is it an urban school (Municipal – ichiritsu), decides that the education committee of the City. In private schools (Private – shiritsu) however, be decided by the owner and / or the teachers'. These official textbooks can not be purchased openly, and the books themselves with publishers because of the low prices no profit.

But here come the Vice textbooks – fukukyōzai – Accompanying materials into play. They do not have to be approved by the Ministry. And: These supplementary materials must be of the students (or. Of course their parents) be paid - because without the parents can have a say, understood. The sum of the supplementary materials for a single subject can ever quite ca. 100 Euros per year are. And this applies not only to private schools, but also for public (and it really free) Train. And there's only sports 9 various subjects. But who decides, what additional materials will be used? There are a number of publishers for each subject, the court the favor of the teacher. And so the publishers send their representatives at regular intervals in the schools, to grab the teachers there and they rub their latest support materials below the nose.

The whole thing is after all a huge market. Let's go from an average high school school: Japan has about. 1’000 Student. So, every student of the school “forced”, annual support materials for trade price for the value of 100 To buy Euro, makes the 100’000 Euro sales representative for a school for these. In Japan it is currently a good 5’000 Upper stages. Now there are some differences from school to school: Shingakuko (Shingakkō) called, “good” Schools with a reputation, place their students to be able later to good universities, use more ancillary products. Specifically, the following happens told: These schools buy the official teaching materials, as this is duty (even in private schools). As the level of these are textbooks for these schools is too low, these textbooks are not used in practice: Accompanying materials become the main textbooks.

There is also the opposite: The Education and difficulties in school – Konnan-Gakko Kyoiku-: “Schools in the education crisis”. Some representative told me this, they report that these schools are in principle. O-Ton: “At these schools are not ancillary products used. The level is bad there follows, that some high school students with sorrow and distress can write your name in characters.” A manager asked me later distribution, where I live and if I have children. I answered readily, and he immediately said “Ah ja. Send your children under any circumstances at this or that school!”.

Unfortunately, my research did not have the opportunity, to drill a little deeper. For example, the question then, what this system actually lubricates. For example, teachers receive benefits of any kind, if they choose so and publishing? (A representative said only then succinctly: “Previously this was probably as, but no longer).

Anyway - unfortunately I can not compare with the system in Germany, I know it's not good enough. But baffled the inequality in the Japanese education system, I always. Likewise also all the hidden costs and inconsistencies: Why do parents pay for their children in public schools for accompanying materials by publishers - simply because it decides the school and / or teachers as? And why even sit in private schools in general about. 40 Students in a class? And why only seems to bother me? Most Japanese only nod to the topic - probably, because they do not know yourself better.


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