A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Patwa Translator App / Japanese Men share Woes Before and After Marriage / Professions Japanese Women Won't Date

Wow I have some free time this weekend. Lovely! Recently, I've been playing with the thought of going back to Jamaica. Japan is ok and all but can't really see myself living here forever. Don't be surprised if I just suddenly pack my bags and leave. Economically, it would be a crazy choice, because Jamaica's economy is in shambles, has always been as far as I can remember. But who knows, let's see.


Patwa / Jamaican Dialect Translator app

My friend from High school days, Owayne Brown created an app for android users. This app translates patois (patwa) or Jamaican dialect to whatever language you want and vise versa. Check it out.




These are some bitter Japanese men

Japanese men share a list of common male woes before and after marriage

By Krista Rogers, RocketNews24

Ladies, do you think that life is all fun and games for your male counterparts? As a multitude of men would have you know, that’s certainly not always the case.
The following list chronicling all the expectations and financial burdens placed on Japanese men both before and after marriage has been circulating the web. Of course, not to rule out the many challenges that women also face, myself being a woman, perhaps it would be better to just say that life can be a real drag for everyone.
Whoever compiled the following list is either extremely bitter about life or has experienced some of these hardships firsthand. While reading, remember that cultural, societal, and legal expectations for men and women in Japan are most likely different in at least some ways from those of your own country, and that this list compiles the reflections of only one individual. A few of the items seem a bit questionable in their harshness, but maybe the original author was just having a bad day…
Men prior to marriage
1. The man is expected to confess his love, and eventually propose, to the woman.
2. The man is always expected to pay for the meal.
3. The man is expected to either give presents unconditionally, or to give presents worth three times as much as the presents his girlfriend buys for him.
4. The man is always expected to make calls and send messages to his sweetheart.
5. The man is expected to decide on the ideal location for a date, dinner, etc.
6. The man must always give preference to his girlfriend’s opinions when it comes to dates.
7. Women are allowed to judge men based on their income and appearance, but the opposite does not hold true.
8. The man is expected to go and meet his girlfriend’s parents first.
9. While meeting her parents, he must prostrate himself before them and endure a shower of criticisms from her father.
10. The man’s side of the family is expected to offer up a large sum of money as an engagement gift.
11. The man is expected to pay for the wedding ceremony and reception.
12. The man is expected to pay for the engagement rings and other jewelry.
Men after marriage
1. The husband is expected to pay for the honeymoon.
2. The husband is expected to buy a house with his own money, and continue paying off loans until he dies.
3. If the husband refuses the sexual advances of his wife, he becomes the perpetrator of DV [domestic violence].
4. If the husband’s sexual advances come off too strongly, he becomes the perpetrator of DV.
5. Even if the wife is a housewife, the husband is still responsible for a share of housework and childrearing.
6. Regardless of whether he did or didn’t do the above, the man loses custody of the children and must pay alimony in the event of a divorce.
7. Even if the man has a higher source of income, almost all of his visitation rights are taken and he must pay high child support.
8. Even if the man wins custody of the children, he cannot seek child support from his former wife.
9. Almost all of a husband’s salary is eaten up by extravagant purchases by his wife, school expenses for his children, gas and electricity bills, and food expenses.
10. If the husband does not surrender the full amount of his salary, which he slaved away working for, to his wife, it can be considered DV.
11. The husband must make due with the minuscule allowance he receives from his wife, but the wife is excused from taking secret savings out of his salary [Note: Traditionally, the wife is expected to keep track of all of the finances in a Japanese household].
12. While the husband gobbles down a 380 yen (US $3.16) lunch at a beef bowl fast-food restaurant, his wife enjoys a 3,000 yen ($24.95) lunch at a sit-down restaurant.
13. Husbands spend their entire lives living under the mantra “What’s his is hers, and what’s hers is hers.”
Needless to say, the lists provoked both sympathetic and incredulous reactions from online commenters:
“Eh, what a pain. Guess I’ll stay single for life.”
“Are we talking about husbands, or slaves?”
“We’re like livestock…”
“You’ve left out taking care of your wife’s aging parents.”
“I’m gonna get a sex change.”
“I’d rather not think that all women are like this.”
“There are probably households like that, but mine is different (^-^)”
“How about writing a reasonable contract before marriage?”
Guys, if these lists are anything to go by, shelling out a load of cash might be part of your future if you’re settling down in Japan. Hopefully your future lives are filled with dramatically less bitterness than the author of this list.



Survey asks Japanese women what professions they don’t want to date

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

Japan is a country that values fiscal responsibility and economic security, and that can influence how people judge a possible romantic partner. For example, we previously looked at a survey in which an overwhelming number of women said they’d rather date a man who’s ugly but rich than a guy who’s handsome and unemployed.
That doesn’t mean that just any old job will do, though. A new poll asked Japanese women what jobs were deal-breakers for a potential boyfriend, and the resulting list includes some surprisingly high-paying professions.
Women’s interest Internet portal My Navi Woman conducted the survey during March of this year, receiving 206 responses from women aged between 22 and 34. Let’s dive right into their dating landmine field with a look at the top six responses.
6. Pilot (7.4% of respondents)
Sorry Bro
Starting off with a surprise, the number six answer was pilot, which in the Japanese job market generally means a commercial airline pilot. Despite the necessary intelligence and skill for the role, plus the accompanying salary and cool factor, maybe some women just don’t like the idea of their guy being gone for days at a time on international routes, gallivanting all over the sky with a crew of perky young flight attendants.
5. Small business owner (7.9%)
A recurring theme of the list is that the respondents seemed to place more of a premium on stability than absolute earning potential. While owning your own business allows you to soar as high as the free market allows, it also means there’s no safety net to catch you if you fall, and the difference between success and failure is sometimes a single-minded devotion to work that leaves no time for romantic dates.
4. Teacher (10.9%)

In general, Japan has a deep respect for educators and learning institutions, but some of the women polled seemed to feel that deference can go to a teacher’s head even once he steps outside the classroom. “A lot of teachers are very logical people,” observed one 33-year-old respondent. “They have too many of their own convictions, and whoever they’re talking to, they sound like they think they’re superior to them.”
“I have the impression that many of them have a narrow-minded way of thinking, and lack common sense,” added another woman.
There’s also the fact that many teachers take their position of molding young people’s minds pretty seriously. “I think the school would always be his priority,” speculated one woman, “and his private life would be secondary.”
2 (tie). Medical practitioner (12.4%)
Wow, seriously? Doctors couldn’t catch a break with this group of women? Once again, a lack of stability seems to have hurt Japan’s healers. Aside from concerns about their prideful personalities, some worried that the busy, irregular hours of medical work would leave them handling all the child-rearing duties should the relationship lead to marriage and kids.
That wasn’t the only family issue, either. Japan is dotted with small, privately owned clinics, which are sometimes passed down from parent to child. The result is families made up of generations of doctors, and more than one woman worried about measuring up to the lofty standards of the potentially elitist parents of a boyfriend from the medical field.
2 (tie). Beautician (12.4%)

The ratio of male to female beauticians in Japan is much more even than it is in many other countries, and being a male hairdressers doesn’t come with the stereotyped stigma that you’re not interested in females. Some of them, however, won’t be interested in you.
Being a successful hairdresser in Japan often requires not only keeping up on the latest trends and radiating a stylish image, but also being outgoing and able to chat enthusiastically with anyone. But while that’s all good for the salon’s bottom line, some women aren’t sure a beautician boyfriend could turn it off when he finishes his shift, and worry that he’d end up being a flakey social butterfly in his private life.
Then there’s the 25-year-old financial worker who’s not sure she wants a guy with such a keen eye for detail. “I think he’d be really outspoken and critical in his opinion of how I look,” she says.
1. Food industry worker (14.4%)

As social norms change, men in Japan are gradually becoming expected to do more housework, meal-preparation included. That doesn’t mean the women in the survey want their boyfriend doing it professionally, though.
At least in the eyes of the survey respondents, restaurant work seems to combine the worst of both worlds, with low pay and irregular time off as a result of having to serve dinner and weekend patrons. “They don’t seem to make much money,” fretted a 24-year-old apparel worker, “and they’re so busy, I don’t think we’d have anything left over for each other, and we’d just fight all the time.”
Still, all else equal, a guy who enjoys fine food and drink is a good thing, right? Well, maybe not so much the second part, it seems. “People who work in the food industry tend to like to drink a lot,” said a 33-year old respondent, “and they’re bad drunks.”


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jamaican Cupcakes in Japan / Woman slashes husband / ISIS inspiring some Japanese / Recent Update

I'm not gone, I'm not gone.... It's just difficult to keep up since I came back to Yokohama.

The following news stuff are a bit old but still interesting nevertheless.

I always try ... key word "try" to support my Jamaican brothers and sisters who are trying some sort of business venture in Japan. I've tried quite a few things myself but nothing has taken off exceptionally well for me to use it and support myself. That's the dream in the long run. I'm however very slowly coming to the realization that I'm not particularly good at management. Organizing and planning yes, but management, not really. Anyway, support this sister:

Frosty feeling - Jamaican takes cupcakes to new heights

by Chris Betros - Japan Today

If you have trouble finding great cupcakes in Japan, then help is only a click away. Jamaican Sasha Lee Seals makes fantastic cupcakes and sells them through her online store http://www.yummcupcakery.com/cakesjamaican-desserts.html.

Where are you from and what brought you to Japan?
I am originally from Jamaica. When I was there, I saw a “Harajuku” girl and wanted to know more, so I found out about Japanese fashion. Then I was dating a fellow Jamaican who was in Japan; after finishing university, I moved to Japan 10 years ago to work in the fashion industry. I spoke no Japanese at the time, so a job in fashion wasn’t possible. I started working as a kindergarten/elementary school English teacher. After that, I worked as a recruiter in the fashion industry for a few years before the market crashed.
How did you get the idea to start yummcupcakery?
When my first daughter was one year old, I wanted to have cakes and cupcakes and there were none here that I liked, so I decided to make my own. That is how yumm started.
Is your recipe an original one or has it been handed down by your mother?
I grew up in a house where my mom and aunts would always bake for any and all reasons, so baking is in my blood. I had a tiny mixer and blender and learned all my baking from my mom and my aunts. Some of the recipes are from my mom; others I experiment.
What is the difference between a good cupcake and a great one?
A good cupcake is basic icing and cake. A great cupcake has the perfect amount of icing to cake ratio - 1:2, is made of fresh ingredients, and you can tell all the flavors. They are not just sweet with silky or grainy buttercream/frosting.
How is business?
Business has its good days. Some weeks I have very few orders and others I bake non-stop.
Are you only selling cupcakes online or are they available in stores or restaurants?
I sell mostly through my website www.yummcupcakery.com and recently we have started selling them at the Pink Cow in Roppongi and cookies at King George Cafe in Daikanyama.
Would you like to have a dedicated retail outlet one day?
I would love to have a café. It would be more like a home away from home, with awesome drinks to compliment the cupcakes.

Have you thought of offering baking lessons?
I have taught a few lessons to my eldest daughter’s friends and their moms. I plan to have more structured lessons that teach Japanese women and men who want to learn to make cupcakes.
Do Japanese like the same flavors as Americans? Do they prefer them to be sweeter or about the same?
I had to cut the sugar way down so my Japanese customers enjoy it. Also, Japanese want natural colors. For example, I have never had a Japanese customer order red velvet but for my foreign customers, red velvet is a winner.
How many cupcakes do you and your family eat each week?
My husband will eat six vanilla cupcakes in one sitting. The amount of cupcakes is a secret…well, actually I have no idea when you add up all the cupcakes, cookies and Jamaican desserts.



Ohhh Japan Japan.

Woman slashes husband for not washing his hands after using toilet

Japan Today

Police in Tokyo’s Ota Ward said Monday they have arrested a 29-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted murder after she slashed her husband because he didn’t wash his hands after using the toilet.
According to police, the woman, identified as Emi Mamiya, got into an argument with her 34-year-old husband in the second-floor apartment at around 1 p.m. Sunday, Sankei reported. The woman told police later that she got mad at her husband because he was going to touch their 3-year-old son without having washed his hands after using the toilet. She also complained that he left the toilet smelly and that her child could not use it in that condition.
Police said she threatened her husband with an 18-cm-long knife and when he dared her to kill him, she slashed his left cheek.
A passerby who heard the argument called police.
Mamiya told police she and her husband had often quarreled about his toilet manners and that she was fed up with him.



Some crazy people are here you know....

Man, inspired by IS video, threatens to behead ex-girlfriend

Japan Today

Police have arrested a 33-year-old Yokohama man on suspicion of threatening to kill his former girlfriend in a series of messages on the LINE app.
According to police, Shinichiro Misu sent seven messages to his ex-girlfriend, who is in her 20s, after she rejected his attempt to rekindle their relationship in February, Fuji TV reported.
Misu, a company employee, was quoted by police as saying he was inspired by Islamic State videos showing Japanese hostages being beheaded.
In his messages to his ex-girlfriend, Misu threatened to make her live in terror. He said he would pluck out one of her eyes and then behead her.



Day 2601 ( Hakkeijima Outing )
Monday, May 4, 2015

Went to an amusing park not too far from my apartment. This is probably my 5th time here, but the last time was about 3 years ago.



Day 2606 ( A Surprise Trip to Toyama )
Saturday, May 9, 2015

Flew down to Toyama on a cheap ticket today. Cost only 11,000 yen. What I like about the people in Toyama is that, I can send a message tonight and get a few people to meet up.



Day 2607 ( Surprise Baby Shower )
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Surprised the director of my music video today by attending her "surprise baby shower". It was crazy fun.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity / Japanese women list top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them / Recent Update

Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity

By Elaine Lies and Shiori Ito - Japan Today

Ariana Miyamoto hadn’t planned to enter a Japanese beauty contest because she figured her multiracial origins meant she couldn’t win. Then a close multiracial friend committed suicide.
So Miyamoto, the daughter of a Japanese woman and an African-American man, whose bronze skin and height of 1.73 meters are unusual in Japan, where she was born and brought up, took part in the pageant and won, becoming Miss Japan.
“I thought that, for my friend’s sake, if there was something I could do to change Japan, I should,” Miyamoto, 20, a dual Japanese and U.S. national, told Reuters.
“He always felt unaccepted by Japanese ... and that made him unable to accept himself,” she added, in perfect Japanese.

Miyamoto’s selection last month as Japan’s representative to the Miss Universe contest set off an internet firestorm, despite a push to welcome foreigners ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
“That big mouth, that gaudy face. This is Miss Japan?” one social media commenter wrote. Another said she resembled an ant.
The carping was not new for Miyamoto, who attended a Japanese public school where children would refuse to touch her because “my color might rub off,” she said. Fed up, she attended a U.S. high school.
But the pull of her birthplace was too strong and she returned, though she said she is handed English menus and otherwise treated like a foreigner every day.
It’s a frustration shared by a growing number of multiracial Japanese, who may look different in an extremely homogeneous nation. Some have won fame in entertainment, but others lack acceptance as the Japanese they feel they are.
In 2013, international marriages made up 3.3% of the total, government figures show, or four times the 1980 figure. Mixed race children were 1.9% of those born that year.
Miyamoto’s victory was “refreshing”, said Greg Dvorak, a researcher in Asian and Pacific culture and history at Hitotsubashi University, adding that Japan’s reputation as closed to diversity is overblown, despite instances of xenophobia.
“My sense is there is a growing shift among younger generations to accept that people with all faces can speak Japanese and function successfully in Japanese society,” he said. “Whether that will translate into all sorts of appearances being accepted as Japanese remains to be seen.”
Miyamoto hopes to do her part, especially if she wins the Miss Universe title. Japanese contestants have won twice before.
“Japan is trying to change itself,” she said. “I’d like to help it change even more.”



Japanese women list top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them

By Casey Baseel, Rocket News 24

It’s often said that honesty is the best policy. Anyone who’s spent much time in the dating pool, though, will tell you that not everyone communicates in such an upfront and open manner.
From well-meaning fibs like “Hey, it’s been fun” (when it really hasn’t) to more alarming lies like “I have no idea how your sister’s panties ended up on my kitchen floor!” some women feel they’ve been exposed to so much dishonesty from men that they’ve become experts in detecting it. Seeking to find out the phrases tip them off, a recent survey asked Japanese women which words they know aren’t true as soon as they hear a guy say them.
To compile the results, Internet portal Livedoor News spoke with 441 women, ranging in age from 19 to 78 years old, asking “Is there a phrase you can’t trust if it’s coming from a guy?” Before getting to the top 10, we should point out that over 70% of the respondents don’t deal in absolutes, answering “no” to that question.
On the other hand, that leaves 28.8%, or 127 women, whose warning bells do get set off by certain lines, and below are the most common responses.
10. “You’re beautiful. / Kirei.” (two respondents)
“So many guys act like it’s no big deal to say this, so I can’t believe them,” explained one 29-year-old survey participant.
9. “I’ll do it later. / Ato de yaru.” (two respondents)
The respondents didn’t specify what they wanted done, but apparently the fact that the men in question never did it is enough to convince them that, for men, the only things really worth doing are worth doing right now.
8. “You’re the only one… / Omae dake…” (three respondents)
Encompassing “You’re the only one I want to be with” and “You’re the only one who makes me feel this way,” next up is a phrase that can be completed in multiple ways. And in the eyes of these respondents, the guy saying it probably has a different finisher for each girl he tells it to.
7. “I’d never cheat on you. / Uwaki nante shinai.” (five respondents)
“Only guys who are cheating say this,” explained the 22-year-old administrative assistant who thinks some men doth protest too much.
6. “I’ll never do that again. / Mou nido to shinai.” (five respondents)
“Oh yes he will,” laughed the 23-year-old insurance company employee who designated this line as a red flag. And if he does, he’ll probably say the same thing then, too.
5. “I love you. / Ai shiteiru.” (eight respondents)
To clarify, Japanese has two ways to say “I love you.” Well, actually a lot more than two, but for now, let’s stick to the two major ones.
First, there’s “suki desu,” which can range in intensity from slightly more than platonic attraction to full-on romantic love. More cut-and-dried, though, is ai shiteiru, which in a dating context is only used for romantic love. It’s this latter, more serious declaration of emotion that these respondents say they know isn’t true when they hear it.
4. “You’re cute. / Kawaii.” (11 respondents)
Surprisingly, “You’re cute” outpaced “You’re beautiful” on the survey, and by a pretty wide margin. The likely explanation is that kawaii (“cute”) is the more common go-to compliment in Japanese society, encompassing a wider spectrum of warm feminine attractiveness than its English equivalent is usually used for. That prevalence itself that made these respondents feel the words aren’t genuine, with a 27-year-old IT worker dismissing it since “Everyone says it as a meaningless social nicety.”
3. “I’ll call/email/text you. / Mata renraku suru.” (17 respondents)
Speaking of social niceties, here’s another. “It’s not just with men,” adds a 27-year-old medical worker. “In general, I don’t believe people when they say this.”
2. “Let’s go out for dinner/a drink sometime. / Kondo shokuji/nomi ni ikou.” (18 respondents)
As always, the devil’s in the details. “How about dinner on Friday?” That’s a sure sign that he’s into you. But “sometime?” Once they hear that, these women know what’s coming, and it’s a lot of waiting for an invitation that’s never going to come.
1. “Absolutely… / Zettai ni…” (27 respondents)
The top answer actually overlaps with many of the lower-ranking responses. Offered as possible ways to complete the lie were “I absolutely won’t cheat on you” and “I’ll absolutely make you happy.” These respondents, though, ultimately, definitely, won’t believe a guy who lays those lines on them.
While being deceived is always unpleasant, looking over the list, there seems to be a catch-22 going on in earning some of these ladies’ trust. Sure, it’s definitely suspicious if a guy, apropos of nothing, suddenly mentions, “Oh, by the way, I would never cheat on you.” But while many of these phrases can be incorporated in painful lies, some of them, if said earnestly, are sort of required for a functional and happy relationship.
For example, having a guy declare “I love you,” before you’re done with the appetizers on your first date would probably be pretty creepy. But on the other hand, if you’ve been going out for months or years, immediately assuming he’s being dishonest when he says those three special words (or two, in the case of ai shiteiru) is going to sabotage your chances at lasting romance. Likewise, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot if every time a guy says you look nice, you conclude he’s a liar (not to mention potentially wrecking your own self-esteem, as far as your appearance is concerned).
Taking a closer look at the data, while the women surveyed were in the wide age range of 19 to 78, it seems that many of those who answered “yes” to the question of if there’s a phrase they can’t trust are in their early 20s. Getting stung by a lie once or twice at such a young age can be traumatic, and without the perspective and experience necessary to judge people’s trustworthiness on an individual basis, it’s easy to see how many might jump to a blanket ruling of “Guys are always lying if they say this!” Here’s hoping, though, that those emotional scars heal as they move away from the bottom age groups covered by the survey.



Recent Life Update

Ohh how busy I became.... I have to force myself to update this blog.

Day 2585 ( Visiting Utsunomiya, Tochigi )
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Went to Utsunomiya today to meet some peeps. And also watched Fast and Furious 7.

Crazy fun and action... plus kinda emotional ... 10/10.



Day 2593 ( Game of Thrones / Attack on Titan )
Sunday, April 26, 2015

Started watching season 5 of Game of thrones and another anime called Attack on Titan. Both has captured my attention when I'm not too busy. But I need to start studying Japanese again as I'm apparently the only one in the office that is not fluent in Japanese.