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Report 32 Januar 14, 2009

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Japanese Libary of Diet-coming soon


Report 28 Dezember 2, 2008

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Nagoya and more-coming soon

Report 26 November 3, 2008

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You think there are no revolutionary (self-proclaimed) forces in Japan? Look closer.Still not? Look closer.Still?

Take a microscope. More about why (vids and pics) soon.

Report 25 November 3, 2008

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Helloween in Tokyo (yes,it exists)…soon

Report 23- 17th. yearly German language recitation contest-coming soon Oktober 19, 2008

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s. title

Report 19 August 15, 2008

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At the Yasukuni Shrine on the day Japan officialy lost the war-coming soon

Report 17 Juli 19, 2008

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Obon at the Yasukuni shrine-coming soon

Report 16 Juli 19, 2008

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Meeting Hayao Myazaki in the Totoro forest-coming soon

Report 15 Juli 19, 2008

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Watching an actual morning Sumotori training-coming soon (propably after the examination phase is over…..)

Some thoughts about the Akihabara Incident Juni 17, 2008

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Last Sunday (15.06) I went to Akihabara.One reason was that I wanted to browse through the newest electronic gizmos.
The other one was,that I wanted to know it something has changed since last week.It has.For one thing,there are now policemen patroling the streets. I don’t know for how long this will go on but I can’t remember having seen any before.
Policemen patroling the streets
The same goes for police cars.
One of many police cars patroling the streets in Akihabara,until now a very uncommon sight...

Of course, after such an incident this is totally understandable,it gives people a feeling of security. For me personaly,it does not,because,when there is much police patroling the streets it must mean that there is danger lurking around.
Although Akihabara was as noisy and crowded as always there was one place that seemed a little bit less noisier than usual.---

There a seemingly never-ending flows of people were laying down flowers,bottles and cans of soda/tea/alcoholic beverages (as an offering for the souls of those killed),lighting incense and saying prayers.Some few of them were foreigners.
After I bought a short novel and,yes,even a Manga (why? because one of the characters is POLISH… I haven’t read it yet,though) I went to a Ramen Shop to get myself something to eat.There I overheard a conversation between a waitress and a mid-aged man concerning the stabbings.
As I was sitting right next to him I asked him what he thinks the reason for it was. From what he said I understood,that,according to him the problem is,that social ties are loosening up and people don’t look,f.e,after/over their,f.e,neighbours as they used to in the past. For me,this sounded rather like symptoms than reasons so I started to think this whole thing over for myself.
Random stabbing sprees,although not often,do happen from time to time.This is the 3 time something like this happens this
What are the reasons? I think it depends on whom you ask.Tabloids (like the Yuukan (evening) Fuji) point out that he was a nerd,or,in Japanese,an Otaku.
above- the crime of an Akiba-otaku below- good-natured lolicon speed lunatic
Otakus is the therme for people spending enormous amounts of time for their hobbies (mostly somehow connected to Manga/Anime/Videogames) while they are o-taku (literary „(at) home“, this word is considered offensive although some people use it to describe themselves in the same way homosexuals began to use the word „gay“).This is something Akihabare is overflowing off.
To be honest,they are,mostly,very friendly,open-minded people.Kind of wierd or a little bit nerdy (f.e males dressing up as female characters from videogames…),yes,but personally,I would rather talk to them than to an average salaryman.Last but not least,I can not see how their unusual hobby could be anyhow harmful to others.But someone has to be the scapegoat I guess (in Germany,brutal videogames are considered to be the source of all evil by some self-declared inteligent people…)

On TV,most discussion amounted to something like this (place cursor on the picture for a translation).

17 casualities! Akihabara indiscriminate killing incident The company...parents....society is to blame

His claims,that his discontent with his life,his lack of personal perspectives for the future and his blaming of society for all this was,mostly,dismissed as a carmouflage for being a mere sociopath.What if the problem lies deeper? If you need more than a patch
to prevent to prevent the next spree from happening?
Although I feel repelled by his deed I can’t help feeling that there is at least a grain of truth in his accusations.Let me explain.
Japanese society is know for its high competiveness which puts a great amount of pressure and stress on its members.
It starts at craming to get to the best f.e middle school,than high school,then university (with Tokyo U (national),Waseda and Kaio (private) beeing a free-ticket to a good job,even when you are not better than s.o from a university not beeing among the top ten…)
After that,if your studies take longer than the normal 4 years,you will have great trouble finding a job altogether.
If you hold a job,you are expected to work more than your contract encompasses,especially if you want to be promoted even if it means not spending as much time with your family as you would like to.
This is considered rather normal by mainstream and rather worthy to achieve
(Or isn’t it? There seems to be a growing amount of people who have other,non-mainstream,individualistic ideas about life and/or its meaning like,among others,before-mentioned Otaku…)
What,if you fail to achieve this,for whatever reasons?
For example,if you have to start to work early because your parents cannot afford sending you to a private university and you fail to enter a public one (which much lower tuition fees)?

Basically you will never be able to get a well paid job and live a life as a so-called „freeta“ (=freelancer taking up one temporarily job after another) meaning poor healt insurance,virtually no possibility to reach a higher income level (freeta hour wages seldom go over 1000 Yen/hour,around 6 Euros) and,along with that,a good standing in society,

and thus only little hope to start a family.This is not a problem of Japanese society only,of course,but after the neo-liberal economic reforms following the bubble years the number of people actually confined to such a life-style and for the most part,excluded from attaining any prestige in society, is on the rise.

Until now the Japanese administration/society as a whole has not shown any significant efford to adress the problem these people are facing by,at least,offering them some free councling.

Kato Tomohito,the Akihabara stabber, was such a freeta.

Of course,

most people are able to,and will,endure/cope with such a situation without resulting to violence against others.A small amount of people will result to violence as a means to express their discontent when beeing confronted with the prospect of a rather sinister future.

The point is that,with rising numbers of people who feel themselves excluded by society and de facto no means of prevention the next incident is only a matter of time I think.

As to Kato Tomohito:

Most propably he will be declared mentally sane, sentenced to death and hanged in a matter of maximally 10 years,like the three that were today. (