*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Japan: try making anything for your climate

Just a few notes, Japan, as if you're going to change unless you are invaded or nuked again (even then only superficially).

Your old buildings, and your new buildings, are built for some other climate, and are miserable three-quarters of the year.  Your 'western buildings' are never properly heated either, especially anywhere with any outside light, as opposed to fluorescent hells.  And umbrellas, no matter how wet the snow, are not the right tool for the job.

If you cleared snow before trampled to ice, you'd have no ice the next day, rather than for the next week.

Do you need round eyes to see the drawbacks to this form of snow clearing?

Gaijin, you realize the only reason the trains are not heated in such a fuck-witted way as their homes is because Japanese won't stand on the tables, rush hour or not.

Is there any reason, Japan, you dress your children so poorly for winter, inside and outside (amounting to the same thing)?  If it makes them so 'genki', why do I see so much running green phlegm, and people of all ages coughing, with uncovered mouths, of course?

To my lovely J-wife, no, it is not because I am a Gaijin that I won't take our son from our poorly heated home to make a snowman out of slush: it's because we've all had twice as many days sick as we would have in Canada, and I thought I'd put an end to that.  By the way, this is not a snowman, even if you people are short.

This is.

This house could be warmer than one of your own, but you had to cock it up lest the population realize it's better than their sheds: try a door.

Some old links from and about previous miserable Japanese winters.


  1. I was talking the other day about the kids running around in shorts. The only reason I can think of for sending a kindergarten age kid out in shorts in this weather is because it looks "cute". Please tell me that's not the real reason...

    1. Usual 'gaman' 'genki-saseru' bullshit, one's told. In truth, like everything else, an exercise in internalizing arbitrary rules.

  2. Recently moved into a brand new (built in 2013) apartment. Efficient heating in all rooms, south-facing to allow sunlight from late morning to evening (meaning no need for artificial heating), nice design and layout (clean and modern, but elegant). Very happy with our new digs. Unfortunately, all that primitive, shitty-looking housing you see everywhere really stands out now. I mean, sometimes it's fucking depressing.

    Most expats here from other developed nations don't mind the "living in Japan is like camping" thing for the first year or two, but after it gets old and you start thinking "how is this the world's 3rd-largest economy?" you either upgrade your own shit and ignore how everyone else is living, or you go nuts. I prefer not going nuts.

    As for the kids' uniforms... why do boys get to wear long pants from middle school onward, but the girls have to keep wearing the skirts? (not really looking for an answer, as I already have some good guesses)...

    1. Agreed on all points.

      We're here for four years total, leaving in summer. It was a year by year plan, so it was never worth investing much in comfort. Also, rent in MIL's unused apartment in her building was too cheap to argue. However, if I'd known we'd be here so long I wouldn't still be sleeping on a fucking futon at over forty, nor roasting a glorified microwave.

      And the asinine uniforms: wee-Prussian fascist cosplay or lolicon-fuck-bunny. Can't say I'm unhappy we take the kids from here long before that.

  3. Guys, as much as I do agree on the poor level of building and insulation in Japanese houses, girls' uniforms are NOT "skirts" : they are LONG skirts (= to the ankles), that girls do shorten to look cute. They could keep it long if they wanted to, but the truth is girls don't have problems with the cold weather. Even adults wear skirts in winter, and nobody is forcing them to.