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Jul 21, 2012 | Issue: 956 | No Comments | 937 views

AXIOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE

Julio Shiiki

Regarding “Between a Cock and a Hard Place” (The Last Word, July 6): Ah, the idle confusion of youth… Seriously, though, what on earth is he on about? Some major contradictions going on in there, that’s for sure. At one stage people are watching the parade and having fun, then at the next they are listless scum who dare to buy ice cream.  It’s often young foreigners who do things once or twice and then make giant leaps of twisted logic to reach for pie-in-the-sky social axioms. This fellow is definitely one of those. I can only assume he’s never been to Danjiri in Osaka, and so has no idea what he’s talking about. Our communities are fraying at the seams because tourists are buying treats at festivals? I don’t get it and neither does this dude obviously.—johnnyrabbit

The writer responds: Of course I’m not suggesting that our communities are fraying at the seams because tourists are buying treats at festivals. You’ve got the direction of causality wrong, and you’ve simplified my argument. I’m only suggesting that the undeniable listlessness of Japanese urban festivals (with many exceptions) may be a symptom of something deeper, a loosening of the social fabric in the cities. It’s also a matter of perspective, of what you expect from a street festival and what you consider to be fun and lively, so maybe we’d best agree to disagree.—alexdudok

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

Regarding “High Time for Summer Time” (The Last Word, June 22): Aonghas Crowe writes that Japan should adopt daylight savings. This is a terrible idea. The article only cites the benefits of having the clock shift forward in summer, and does not establish at all why setting it back for winter is beneficial. There was absolutely no justification given to daylight savings! Changing the clock twice a year is confusing, causes people to miss appointments, and is not supported by logic. Here is my proposal:
In Tokyo, in June, the sun rises around 4:30am and sets around 6:30pm. As Mr. Crowe pointed out, lots of sunshine from 4:30am is mottainai. Japan, as a sovereign nation, should simply shift its time zone by 2 hours permanently. The sun would then rise at 6:30am in summer and set at 8:30pm. This much more closely matches the average salaryman’s workday, and does not inconvenience students, so must be beneficial for energy conservation. What about winter? Winter sunrise is 5:30am or so, and sunset is 4:30pm. Shifting forward the same 2 hours would provide sunrise at 7:30am and sunset at 6:30pm, also far superior to the current time zones. Doesn’t this seem like a better arrangement?—JG

FOAMING ON THE COUCH

Regarding “Foaming Spirit” (Upfront, July 6): One thing to consider, however, is that some of the craft beers in Japan legally classified as happoshu taste great and are by no means cheaper then regular Japanese beer. There are some great craft beers these days coming out of Japan. In the Midwestern United States, Hitachino Nest Beer from Ibaraki Prefecture is relatively easy to find and unlike the “Japanese” brands sold in the US, it actually comes from Japan.—texasmark

I am pretty sure that figure is supposed to be 900 million [liters of alcohol consumed per year], not 9 billion. 9 billion would mean every man, woman and child in Japan drinks 70.3 liters of alcoholic drinks a year. While salarymen easily pull that off, newborn infants do not. It would also put Japan five times higher than France, which has the highest consumption in the world at 13.1 liters.—kevinmcgue

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