Monday, April 14, 2008

Early Monday Morning Visual Offerings...

Kattobase Kanemoto!

(Photo borrowed from The Daily Yomiuri, 4/13/08, p. 24)

This is of course great news for Hanshin Tigers fans, and this is a great photo. Look at their eyes...

Tomoaki Kanemoto got his 2,000th hit on Saturday, earning his entry into the Golden Players Club. Kanemoto also holds the (world) record for most consecutive games played, 1,199.

Read the whole story:

Link to "Kanemoto hits 2,000 mark"

Interested in the Hanshin Tigers and Japanese baseball? Check out these links: is dedicated to discussions about Japanese baseball. It has an incredible amount of information about the game, the teams and players. This site is a great example of open access and collaboration.

Link to

Want to learn the songs and chants for all the Hanshin Tigers players? These sites will help you:

Link to "Fight Songs" in the Tiger Tails 2008 blog:

Link to Tigers players fight songs:

How to say "Australia" in JSL

Recently my former student, "The Aussie kid," sent me this photo after he returned home. Here he is meeting a Gaidai exchange student and they are demonstrating what they remember from the JSL Study Group, the sign for Australia. It's a kangaroo, get it? Why did an Australian student come to Japan to learn how to say his country in Japanese Sign Language? I'm happy they remember...


I promised to post some cherry blossom photos. This one is from a week ago. My students have been blogging about hanami as well. Check out their posts here, here and here. Here's one about plum blossoms.

This is a more recent shot, after much wind and rain.

Mind your manners!

Here's the latest attempt to get people on the train to show consideration for the people around them:

Japan Today's "Picture of the Day," April 13, 2008. Caption reads: The latest manner poster from Tokyo Metro asks subway passengers not to take up space by making a mess.

Link to Japan Today Picture of the Day:

In February, The Daily Yomiuri entitled "Yokohama subway staff to 'encorage courtesy'." Unfortunately the story (2/5/08) seems to be removed from the Yomiuri web site, but it began with the following text:

The elderly, infirm and women who are pregnant are set to have a more pleasant subway journey in Yokohama from March after the city government announced plans to introduce "courtesy staff" on a new municipal subway line. Members of the "smiling courtesy improvement staff" will be tasked with encouraging passengers to give up their seats to people considered in greater need of one...

There were some interesting comments from people the newspaper interviewed about the subject.

A 56-year-old housewife... said she welcomed the move, saying in the past she had been too shy to offer her seat but that the new staff would encourage her to do so.

A 15-year-old high school girl... opposed the scheme, saying she would feel embarrassed if she was told to give up her seat.

An 81-year-old man... said he thought giving up one's seat should be a voluntary decision.

Another version of the story can be found at the Times Online.

The Japanese have a reputation for being well mannered, but this seems to be yet another stereotype that can be called into question with daily experience and observation. The blog, "What Japan Thinks" lists these behaviors as problematic. How many of these have you experienced? Do they bother you? Are these behaviors really big problems?

Sitting with legs akimbo
Young or fit people in the priority seats
Not squeezing up when the bench seat is almost full
Not following telephone manners
Not following the rules when getting on and off
Sitting on the floor
Being noisy in the train
Leaky headphones
Putting on makeup
Luggage in the way
Eating and drinking on board

Link to "Worst train manners"

Oh it's an eclectic Monday... こん週も頑張りましょう!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Interesting post about the train stuff. I ride the train everyday to and from the area where my homestay family lives and I see lots of the "problems" that were listed.

Aside from taking up too much space, I think most annoyances can be fixed by doing one thing: sleeping with your head down - makes everything else go away and as long as you're in the right place, you're not doing anything that would make anyone bitter. Seems like those sleepy salarymen are on to something...

I really don't mind too much, though, and don't see a lot of people caring, either (perhaps it's all the sleeping). Also, I've found that, often, when I scoot over, I just end up looking weird because no one will take the seat I've made and now I'm just closer to the person next to me!

Also, thanks for posting the baseball fight songs. When I went to the game, I haphazardly learned them from the guy sitting next to us. They're fun, though!