Who Owns Japan’s Media?

The U.S media is often criticized for ignoring major news stories or covering them with obvious bias, and more people are becoming aware that this is because the media is owned by just five major corporations – General Electric, Time Warner, Viacom, The Walt Disney Co. and News Corporation. The media is an incredibly powerful tool for social control, so I’ve been wondering if a similar situation exists in Japan… […]

I Love Commercials Commercial!

Last year a I wrote a series about Japanese manners, each with a video of an AC commercial that broadcast nationwide, teaching Japan’s public to be a little more considerate to each other. I thought those commercials were brilliant, kind of like drink driving commercials back home, but these were about topics as frightening as eating hamburgers on a train. I Love CM I’m all for encouraging people to talk […]

Ramsay Ramblings 6/12/2008

Here’s another installment of Ramsay Ramblings so you can keep up with all the exciting happenings in my neck of the woods… Guns in Japan? Maybe so… In response to the shocking attack in Akihabara over the weekend, some people were calling for guns to be made legal. I don’t know what the current laws are regarding firearms in Japan, but I was surprised to see this sign at my […]

NHK English Characters Worse than Nara Mascot?

We were all highly critical of the “freaky looking deer-horned Buddha” mascot that was chosen to represent the Nara Heijo-kyo anniversary, and rightly so, but I fear that even he was more appealing than the two characters that front NHK’s “Eigo de Asobo” children’s TV show. Meet Kebo and Motch Let me introduce these ambassadors of the English language… This picture from the cover of an NHK CD actually shows […]

TV Viewing Figures vs. IQ Ranking by Country

Since coming to Japan, the amount of time I spend in front of the television has plummeted. I think it’s fair to say that I watch less than two hours of TV a week now. Some of you will find that hard to imagine, but it’s not surprising when everything on TV is in a foreign language. The internet as an alternative to TV These days I get my entertainment […]

Michael McKinlay on TV!

Regular LongCountdown reader, Michael McKinlay, was interviewed by CTV (Canadian TV) recently. I asked him why he was on TV and this was his response: CTV News called me because my name was listed on the University of Calgary’s Student Union Housing Registry. They asked if they could come over and interview myself as well as my roommate as they were doing a story on student housing in Calgary. Mike also […]