Like Nagoya Magazine

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 14, 2021

Nagoya man driving stolen Lexus RX steals Lexus LX

Brand loyalty among thieves.

While there’s been a dramatic decline in car thefts over the past decade by nearly 50 percent, it remains a problem in Japan, and for at least the past three years one of the top three most stolen brands has been the Lexus luxury vehicles from Toyota.

It was certainly the vehicle of choice for one thief in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, who was first spotted stealing a Lexus RX mid-sized car-based SUV from the driveway of a residence in the middle of the night last January.

▼ A news report showing surveillance footage of the theft

As the footage shows, two suspects swooped right in and peeled back the fender, presumably to hot wire the engine. Later, one suspect appears to start the luxury car with relative ease. Shortly after, both the thief and car vanished never to be seen again…

Until the following month, when the stolen Lexus RX – valued at about five million yen (US$45,000) – drove up to a parked Lexus LX full-sized luxury SUV worth about 10 million yen ($90,000) with the intent to steal it. As a result of that theft, police arrested 37-year-old restaurant owner Shogo Matsuda for his suspected involvement in it.

▼ Maybe he too dreamed of one day driving through the cramped cobblestone streets of Europe in one of these gigantic machines

However, they arrested Matsuda again on 7 July when they confirmed the Lexus used in that theft was indeed the one stolen in January. Police are now investigating further to find any links to an organized car theft ring, or if this guy just really likes Lexus cars. Meanwhile, readers of the news were amazed at how frequently people steal these kinds of vehicles.

“He never made it to the Land Cruiser.”
“Stealing a Lexus to steal another Lexus. It’s a vicious cycle.”
“They really like Lexus.”
“I bet that ‘restaurant’ of his is a fraud to get social benefits.”
“I was thinking of buying a Lexus, but now I’m scared to.”
“The police should just plant Lexuses randomly around the city that have taser chairs when someone tries to steal them.”
“Moving up in the world one Lexus at a time.”
“Any time I see a Lexus now I assume it’s a stolen car.”

A lot of comments also saw similarities with the Japanese folk tale Warashibe Choja (Straw Millionaire) in which a peasant starts with a single piece of straw and gradually trades it up to a fortune.

However, when comparing the gas mileage between the RX and LX, it’s safe to say that Matsuda was allegedly stealing from himself in the long run. That and the fact that he was arrested for all this makes it considerably different from the fable.

Source: TV Asahi News, YouTube/ANNnewsCH, Kurukura
Top image: YouTube/F run & 日本車応援TV
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 13, 2021

Kumamoto Castle main tower damaged by 2016 quake reopens to public

The main tower of Kumamoto Castle in Kyushu reopened to the public Monday after undergoing repairs following a pair of massive earthquakes in 2016.
The old samurai fortress… Source Japan Today

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 12, 2021

After 92 years, Japan’s ‘rajio taiso’ stretching exercises still a hit daily routine for millions

A Japanese broadcast tradition known as rajio taiso started in 1928, when the Postal Life Insurance Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Communications established a national exercise programme to improve people’s health. (South China Morning Post)

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 12, 2021

Get a Kick Out of Japan – Finding Martial Arts in Nagoya

Whether you have just a passing interest or have studied for years, something is amazing about learning a martial art in the land of its conception, as well as giving you the skills necessary to improve in the sport; doing so also provides an unparalleled insight into the background, culture, and discipline of the art […] Source H&R Group K.K.

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 11, 2021

Ibaraki woman arrested for attacking Olympic torch with water gun

And not just any water gun; it was a Fancy & Toy Tonari.

It’s getting hard to believe that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are only a few weeks away – mainly because it’s 2021 now. But despite a global pandemic and widespread public opposition to the event itself, the Games will indeed go on.

And right on schedule, the torch run passed through the northern prefecture of Ibaraki on 4 and 5 July. However, during a leg in Ibaraki’s capital, Mito City, a brazen attempt on the torch’s flame was made. The entire incident was caught on video.

According to police, the woman shouted out “Olympic opposition! Stop the Olympics!” and began firing her weapon at the torch’s flame as it passed by. The runner’s security detail were well prepared, however, and even had these cool little arm shields to help repel the attack before restraining her until the police came to make the arrest for obstruction of business.

The suspect is said to be a 53-year-old woman from nearby Hitachi City. She was armed with a Fancy & Toy Tonari Splash Water Gun that boasts a five-meter (16-foot) range, 130-cubic-centimeter (4.4-fluid-ounce) clip, snubnosed 21-centimeter (8-inch) design ideal for concealed carry, and four colors of which she allegedly chose pink.

Feelings about the incident were mixed online. Many people agreed with the fundamental point the suspect was trying to make, but some felt she could have gone about it a better way. After all, harassing a torch runner in this way to oppose the Olympics is a bit like throwing ketchup at the menu at McDonald’s because you disapprove of the company’s contribution to deforestation.

“It was a crime of conscience the likes of which have not been seen in recent years.”
“So if the torch was extinguished then they cancel the Olympics? That’s how it works?”
“If you got something to say, just make a sign.”
“Even if you don’t agree with it, you have to give her some respect for taking action rather than just whining about it online.”
“The torch goes out all the time and there’s constantly a spare fire nearby. This was a pointless act.”
“It feels about a step away from terrorism. Who knows what could have been in that gun?”
“The guards were right on top of her in about three seconds though. Good to see they’re doing their job.”
“She got the runner a little wet though. He might catch a cold now.”

Indeed, it was an irresponsible act, no matter what the reasoning behind it. And interfering a man who just wanted to live out his once-in-a-lifetime chance to run with the Olympic torch is a rather selfish and ineffective way to make your voice heard.

Furthermore, I worry that the politicians in Tokyo might enact stricter water gun laws in the wake of this incident, such as by raising the legal age of ownership to five years old. In anticipation of this, I ran down to my local 100-yen store and bought out their entire stock. If the powers-that-be ever try coming for them, they better be ready to get super soaked.

▼ I always aim for the socks, and my boy Kirby doesn’t miss.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, and when this is all said and done we can remember that water guns don’t terrorize public events, people do.

Source: NHK News Web, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 9, 2021

What it’s like to get the Moderna vaccine at the large-scale vaccination centre in Tokyo

A helpful guide to the reservation process, precautions, and possible side effects you can expect when getting the jab in Japan.

While a lot of countries overseas have been vaccinating their residents for a while now, Japan has been relatively slow to follow suit, with a large number of under-65s still waiting to receive vouchers from the local government, which are required to receive the free vaccine.

It hasn’t been an easy road for those who’ve received their vouchers either, as many have run into problems when trying to secure an appointment, and our reporter Ikuna Kamezawa found herself in that exact situation when she tried to make a booking at a clinic in Nakano, the ward of Tokyo where she resides.

Bookings were full until 15 August, after which time she’d have to battle it out with other residents to get her jab, so she decided to try her luck at the mass vaccination site set up by the Self Defense Forces in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.

The mass vaccination site has been set up as an option for those wanting to receive their shot as soon as possible, but it too requires a reservation, so Ikuna had her laptop at the ready at 11:45 p.m. on 25 June, 15 minutes before reservations for the week began.

As soon as reservations opened, a notice appeared, which read:

“Due to extreme congestion, you will be connected to the reservation site in turn. However, please be aware there is a possibility that the reservation screen may not show by the time you are connected.”

This had Ikuna on edge, but she was thankfully able to proceed to the reservation page and book a time for 28 June. It certainly wasn’t easy to secure a vaccination, even with a vaccination voucher, but Ikuna finally had her first jab booked, and when the big day came, she took a train to Otemachi Station, which is a ten-minute walk from the vaccination site.

▼ Posters are set up at the station to help guide the many people making their way to the site.

▼ Once she’d made her way out of Exit C2b, her destination was a short two-minute walk away.

▼ The sign at the centre reads: Self Defense Forces Large-Scale Vaccination Centre

On the day of your booking, there are two things you mustn’t forget to take with you: your vaccination voucher and a form of I.D. such as a driver’s license. It’s also recommended that you print out the “preliminary examination slip” from the centre’s official website in advance and fill it out to save time, although it is possible to receive the form and fill it out at the centre.

Once Ikuna was inside, she took a look around and saw it was mostly filled with older people, aged in their 60s and 70s. Ikuna appeared to be the only one under 40. That made sense, though, as over-65s were given priority with the vaccine, meaning they probably received their first dose a month or so earlier and were now back for their second dose.

At this site, they were administering the Moderna vaccine, which requires a second dose within 28 to 38 days after the first inoculation.

Once Ikuna had made her way through reception, she was given a coloured transparent file and guided to a long line with others holding a similarly coloured file. The “blue group” to which Ikuna belonged appeared to be made up of people receiving their first jab, and there weren’t many people in this group, so it was a relatively smooth progression from step 1 to 3 in the process.

▼ Step 1 involves confirmation of the pre-examination slip, Step 2 is the pre-examination and Step 3 is the vaccination.

Ikuna was surprised at the thoroughness involved in steps 1 and 2, with staff and doctors asking those waiting to be vaccinated about any possible allergies and enquiring about their physical condition on multiple occasions.

Ikuna could feel the tension of the staff in the centre, who appeared to be taking every precaution possible to ensure no mistakes were made. When she visited, both staff and visitors alike were polite and well-mannered, though, which made the experience as pleasant as possible.

▼ After 47 minutes since entering reception, Ikuna was finally vaccinated!

The injection is usually given on the non-dominant arm, but right-handed Ikuna had a rash on her left arm, so she got the jab in her right arm instead. Serious allergic reactions may occur within 30 minutes after inoculation, so Ikuna waited for half an hour in the designated waiting space at the venue. There were no problems here, so all that was left for her to do was make her second reservation with the staff and she was done!

As for side effects, which Ikuna had been concerned about, the only thing she suffered was pain in a five-centimetre (two-inch) radius around the place where she’d been injected, which began to hurt immediately after the jab. The night after her vaccination, she turned onto her right arm in her sleep, which hurt so much it woke her up, and she says she found it difficult to raise her arm above her chest the following day.

▼ Despite the pain, there was no swelling at the injection site.

Ikuna was able to type away on her computer and eat without any problems, and after three days, the pain had completely disappeared. Five days later, she’d forgotten about the pain and couldn’t even feel where she’d been injected.

Possible symptoms that may appear after vaccination include fever, headache and tiredness, which Ikuna didn’t really suffer from, although she did feel listless at work, but that’s not unusual for her during a workday.

According to what Ikuna’s heard from those who’ve had two jabs of Moderna, it seems more likely that the second dose will have stronger side effects than the first dose, so those concerned about possible side effects should time their jab accordingly, and make a reservation for a time when they don’t have to go in to work afterwards.

It’s not easy to make your second booking as the ideal date may not be available, but as long as you get the second dose within the suggested timeframe, there should be nothing to worry about. Although she was nervous to get the jab at first, Ikuna is glad she did it and is now one step closer to being fully vaccinated, with her second jab scheduled for 26 July.

Related: Ministry of Defense / Self-Defense Forces Official HP
Photos © SoraNews24
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 9, 2021

Engrish mistake turns innocent sign into X-rated notice at Japanese store

This isn’t the type of self-service they were meaning.

Japan is scattered with well-intended English-language signs that contain seemingly obvious translation mistakes, with even big companies like Pizza Hut and Osaka Metro proving that the simplest of messages run the risk of becoming lost in translation.

These “Engrish” mistakes, as they’re known, often make native English speakers smile, but one recent find had people blushing in embarrassment instead. That’s because a chainstore in Japan decided it was okay to display this:

Image: Aaron Sompong 

That’s right — a section of the Arakawaoki branch of the Joyful 2 hobby specialty store, located at Tsuchiura in Ibaraki Prefecture, had a sign that read “Self-Sucking Corner“. And that’s not the only branch where the sign was displayed, as it was also photographed at the chain’s Chiba New Town branch in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture.

Image: Blain Armstrong

While the English sign was intended as a nice gesture designed to help English-speaking customers, it no doubt left them scratching their heads instead. While “self-sucking corner” gives a whole other meaning to “Joyful 2”, the actual act of self-sucking in a corner of the store would be legally off-limits, and likely physically impossible, so what were they really aiming to convey with this sign?

The reason for the mistake is revealed in the katakana message printed next to it, which reads phonetically as “self-sacking corner“. The problem occurs with the word “サッキング”, as the (sa) sounds similar to the “su” in the English word for “suck”, so much so that a search for “サッキングパッド” (read phonetically as “sacking pad“) on Google will take you to “sucking pads”, a product designed to be added as an attachment to baby carriers for babies to suck on.

With the katakana word for “sack” being used to mean “suck” in some cases, and “sack” at other times, the confusion between the two words becomes understandable. Still, the store sign was so noteworthy for its hilarious mistake that it even made its way to Japanese sites, where Japanese commenters had a laugh at the sign as well.

“So…what happens if I self-suck at the self-sucking corner?”
“My body isn’t supple enough for this store.”
“Mistaking “u” and “a” can make a huge difference!”
“Businesses should really avoid posting signs they don’t understand themselves!”
“It’s hard to tell the difference in pronunciation between ‘sucking’ and ‘sacking’.”

It’s true that these small nuances in pronunciation make it difficult for Japanese speakers to differentiate between the two words, especially when it comes to speaking and listening. It’s one of the many reasons why Engrish exists and continues to this day, even creating blunders that include making Kyoto the enemy of the world. Oops!

Source: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images used with permission
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jul 9, 2021

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! Enjoy Nagoya’s Famous Cochin Chicken

Shortly before I first came to Japan, I was at a friend’s wedding party, and knowing of my impending trip, the bride had set me at the table next to a Japanese woman. As I peppered her with the usual questions about my soon-to-be home, she noted, quite matter of factly, “one of Nagoya’s delicacies […] Source H&R Group K.K.