Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Chopping off my little finger
In Korea people remove portions of their fingers by way of protest, sometimes against the Japanese. Such protests would be inclined to backfire since finger removal is so closely associated with criminals.
In one manga i read, a Yakuza debt collector (some Yakuza earn their living in this way) threatened the debtor saying "If I don't take your debt back to my boss he is going to ask for my finger, so I will chop it off here," and proceeded to take out a kitchen knife and prepared to make the cut. The debtor was so alarmed at the prospect of seeing someone cut their finger off that they paid back their debt, before the yakuza drew blood.
Apparently it is "surprisingly painful." I am not sure what that means. It looks painful. How could it be surprising?
A gentleman that I knew with no top finger joint used a prosthetic finger to cover his loss. He was a restaurant manager when I met him but I could not help thinking that he was a Yakuza who had fallen from grace.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sex Related Pharmaceuticals
The top rows contain a variety of sexual strength enhancement potions, such as Maca (a peruvian root) and extract of tortoise. There are many varieties of condom beneath. Japanese condoms are smaller and thinner than those sold in the UK.
The Japanese are big users and producers of condoms, with contraceptive pill being illegal until only a few years ago. Feminists see the absense of the pill as further evidence for the servile status of the Japanese woman.
I believe that his is related to the fact that women's sex organs are considerably more taboo than those of men. Men's hang out, and can be encapsulate in latex, but interfering with the dreaded womb would is treasonable.
Sadly, from the point of view of HIV prevention, the Japanese have been using less condoms recently, not apparently because they are using the contraceptive pill, but because they are having unsafe sex. One day soon HIV will hit Japan fairly hard.
Monday, September 19, 2005
The price tag whited out to obscure producer, but they were shockingly expensive.
Each apple is at least the size of a grapefruit having been nurtured individually by a farmer whose farm is about the size of your back yard.
There is a myth in Japan that foreign produce is more likely to be contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. In fact, as far as I know (and according to a Newsweek or Time article) Japanese farmers, with their labour intensive mini farms producing giant fruit use more chemicals than anyone. I watched farmers of giant grapes (kyohou) from Okayama dip each and every one of their grapes into a solution of some sort of chemical which prevented the grape from creating seeds.
Fruit comes individually wrapped in pink plastic stockings, because it is so shockingly expensive. It may be fair to say that fruit is only eaten as a treat, rather than as a normal part of the Japanese diet.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.