Saturday, April 30, 2005

Order of My ability in languages

My language (speaking) ability...

Japanese>English>>Thai>Tagalog>Korean and Spanish>Malay and Chinese

*My Background*
Japanese: 24+ years
English: at least 7 years education + 5 years
Thai: 8 months
Tagalog: 1 year?? (learnt from my friends for 4 years ago)
Korean: intensive korean lesson for one semester, for 2 years ago
Spanish: 2 and half years, but i forgot almost everything
Malay and Chinese: learning from my friends...

NUS language education is much better than that in my university.
I can speak in Thai much better than in Korean or Spanish...

Let's see which languages I will improve more or forget.
Or maybe, what other language I am going to learn...??

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 2:20 AM
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Monday, April 25, 2005

Learnt some politics and history

Today, I read about 靖国神社, Japanese colonialism and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia. Those hostorical and political topics are what I would have never studied in Japan. :P
Because in Japan, I am major in FOREST HYDOLOGY, more like natural science, and I rarely read newspaper. But from last August, since I started studying in Singapore, I read news. I dun read newspaper in Japan because... my friends tell me something important/interesting happen in Japan or in the world. In Singapore, I have three reasons why I read news almost everyday.
First, simply because I am in foreign country. I have to think about both my country&culture and other countries everyday. There are students from many different countries studying in NUS. We are exchanging cultures, languages and knowledge everyday. It is natural to be interested in everything happened or happening in the WORLD including my own country.
Another reason is because I am studying in ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES faculty here. I am studying history, sociology and politics. So I have no choice but to read many world news, articles and books. It is quite different from my major in Japan so it is difficult for me to study, but at the same time, it is very interesting!! I am glad to have oppotunity to study about social sciences. The last reason is that I want to know what happning in Japan even I am in Singapore, but there is no one tell me about Japanese news here so I read myself. :P

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 12:25 AM
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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Overworking, Holiday and "Golden Week"

Just now I read one news that the French are opposing to decreace one public holiday. This is the most interesting news I read today. "but i am not amazed, it is the french state of mind", my French friend said. According to the news, France railway decided to overwork 1min 52sec per day instead of working one extra day. Overworking 1min 52sec per day!!? It is really nothing for me. Thousands of Japanese overworking for a few hours per day I guess. And what is worse, many of them are overworking without payment. It is of course illegal though, it is very common phenomenon in Japan... According to one website, some of the Japanese work without payment more than 80 hours per month including working on weekend. (Source Here /2003)

But for the French, even working one extra day (or 1'52 per day) can be a big problem. My friend said, "Well, overworking 1min 52sec every working twice as more for them... I guess they are not happy. They will go on strike soon." Maybe Japanese workers should follow the French!! He told me that the French dun work during weekend and work from 9am to 5pm for the weekdays. It seems very NORMAL for most of people, but not for Japanese. In Japan, many people are working until midnight or even during weekend.

Many people ask me that how many days do we have holidays. It means not publich holiday, but paid holidays I guess. Usually, we cannot make holiday unless it is Sunday or public holiday. BY LAW, we supposed to have some paid holiday, but IN FACT it is very difficult to use the paid holiday as holiday. This is the reason why there are more PUBLIC HOLIDAYS in Japan than in other countries, I think. There are 16 public holidays in Japan. Especially in May, there are 3 days continuous holidays in Japan. We call long holidays in May, including weekend before and after the 3-day public holidays as "Golden Week" in Japan.

This year is very good. The public holiday is 3-5th May, and if we absent on 2nd and 6th of May, it will be 9days continuous holidays. (Because April 30th and May 1st, 7th and 8th are weekend!!) I think not so many people can absent on both 2nd and 6th though, "Golden Week" is the only "long" holidays for Japanese. But because of that, the travel related fares (such as air ticket, hotel and travel agent's fee) during "Golden Week" are extremely expensive!! Sometimes, it can be DOUBLE price as usual. To make matter worse, because many Japanese travel or go out all at once during that period, most of places where people like to go during holidays are overcrowded. It is really CRAZY to travel famous spot during "Golden Week". EXPENSIVE, CROWDED and TIRED!

* All the sources and link is written in Japanese. Sorry!!

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 10:24 PM
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Japanese Movies

I found many of my favorit Japanese movies can watch in NUS library. I should search them earlier so I could watch them when I wanted to... They have original movie(Japanese version) of "Shall We Dance?" and some STUDIO GHIBLI films. The STUDIO GHIBLI films available at NUS library is following.

天空の城ラピュタ = Castle In The Sky /1986
となりのトトロ = My neighbor Totoro /1988
火垂るの墓 /1988
魔女の宅急便 = Kiki's Delivery Service /1989
紅の豚 /1992
平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ /1994
耳をすませば /1995
もののけ姫 = Princess Mononoke / 1997

Unfortunately, they dun have "風の谷のナウシカ", one of the most favorit movie of all studio ghibli films. They also dun have some of latest movies such as 千と千尋の神隠し(2001?) and ハウルの動く城(2004), but it is ok for me. Because I have 千と千尋 on my harddisk of my PC and I watched ハウル when I went back to Japan in last December.

Now... I want to watch the original of "Shall We Dance?" very much. Then I want to compare the differences between the original and remake one.

2 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 5:28 PM
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I still cannot believe my friends graduated University already and they are working now. Just now, I saw one comment of my friend in Japan on our Cafe website. He wrote that he started working from the begining of this month and he is looking forward to holidays on May.
Yes, we are already old enough to start working. I know that. But... I cannot believe even I have to work soon. And... I am not sure if I can find good job for me... I have no experience of having constant job, even for part time job so I have nothing to write on my resume.
Going back to Japan is going back to facing numbers of problems I have in Japan. Am I ready to be 社会人?? No... I dun think so. Ah... It seems I am still in my long long moratorium. If I want to work I should look for job from now though, I didnt do anything. Actually, it is already too late in Japan. We have to start looking for job about one and half years before we graduate university...

Another thing I am worry about is that... if I can adopt myself to life in Japan as a master student again, when I go back to Japan. I didnt adjust to sdtuding in the master program even before I come to Singapore...

2 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 5:15 PM
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The Influences of The Protests on China


"The violent movements against Japanese actually affect Shanghai city most. The image of Shanghai as a cosmopolitan city was cracked", Mr. 楊国強 of 市外事弁公室 said to consul general of Shanghai. Japan is an important investor for Shanghai, so Japanese economic activities in Shanghai is directly affect development of Shanghai city. After the protest happened in Shanghai on 16th April, the Shanghai city officials start visiting Japanese companies one by one in order to inquire their damage and ask them to keep their bussiness in Shanghai.

Many Japanese and Japanese companies had thought Shanghai was safe, but their thought was denied on last weekend. Some shops and restaurant are destroied, and a few Japanese are injured. But the incident affect not only Japanese companies, but Shanghai city. I read another news that one Japanese company postponed to embark on Shanghai after the incident.
Not only Shanghai. China is "factory" of Japanese products and employees of the factory is the Chinese. So the loss in the Japanese business will affect the Chinese who working for the Japanese company. Besides it may affect the investment in China.

This post is based on my knowledge from reading the news on

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 8:47 AM
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Friday, April 22, 2005

Comment on the news "Japanese man in China gets local help"

This is the best news for me today. The news is about one Chinese who is raising funds for a Japanese restaurant damaged in the protests on 16th April. He owns a bar in Shanghai and owner of the Japanese restaurant is regular customer of his bar. I think he is brave to put a collection box for the Japanese restaurant in spite of the surge of anti-Japanese sentiment in China. He might be a target of the protesters. But he said that he cannot tolerate such senseless violence and his intention is to do the right thing. Though most of people who contribute to the fund are Japanese or Westerners, I am grad to know that there are some Chinese droped money in the box for Japanese.

This news site is Japanese news site so this news was reported in Japanese also. I want many Japanese and Chinese as well to read this news, and want them to think what is "right thing" to do.

Contrary to this, the worst news I read today is... Sigh... one STUPID Japanese who call himself as a member of right wing, attacked a brunch of Chinese Bank (中国銀行) in Yokohama, Japan. He threw a beer bottle of gasoline with fire. He did such stupid thing to oppose against the anti-Japanese riot in China. He is so stupid that he didnt notice he did same thing as some of the Chinese are hitting Japanese companies in China.

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 7:34 PM
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Just now I saw on MSN messenger that one of my friends was listening "Footloose" of Kenny Loggins. That remind me of one old movie "Footloose", same name as its theme song. (I really like MSN messenger version 7.0 that I can see what my friends are listening. It can remind me of my favorit songs or my old memories just like today.)
It is very old movie... about 20 years old. I watched the movie only once when I was in high school, but I can still remember the movie and the theme song. Because I like the song very much and... I watched the movie with someone I really really like. (*^-^*) After I watched the movie, I was so excited about the story and the theme song and I might be jumping around his room. :P
Now I want to watch the movie again...

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 1:15 PM
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Thursday, April 21, 2005


I just finished the Student feedback for the modules and teachers of this semester. Mostly, I wrote good things to all of my modules and teachers. Especially for my history teacher and Thai language teacher. I like them very much. They always keep encourage me and help me to improve my studing here.

Teow 先生

He kept encouraging me to study history which is not my major. It was level 3000 history module, so it was very difficult for me to understand or just follow the lectures and tutorials. But even my mid-term exam, essays and presentations are not very good, he always told me, "good job", "improved", "thank you for your effort", etc, not to disappoint me but to motivate me to study. Then he coached me how to enhance my knowledge about history. Thanks to him, I could study alot history about Japanese history and Japan-Eastasian internationa relationship. Also, numbers of readings he gave us every week, it helped me to improve my English reading skill. I appriciate him that he allowed me, 問題児 or 劣等生, to take his module in this semester only to keep him worrying about me again, for another semester.

Ajarn Jeab,
สวัสดีค่ะ อาจารย์ชว่ยให้เราเรียนภาษาไทยทุกวันทั้งวันค่ะ ขอบคุณมากค่ะ ฉันกับเพื่อนฉัน นักเรียนทุกคนชอบอาจารย์มากค่ะ อาจารย์บอกฉันว่าเขียนภาษาไทยของฉันดี แต่ฉันตอ้งฝึกพูดภาษาไทยมากค่ะ ฉันฝึกพูดภาษาไทย แต่ยังไม่ดีค่ะ ฉันจะเรียนภาษาไทยเองที่ญ่ปุ่นเหมือนกันค่ะ ฉันจะคิดถึงอาจารย์มากค่ะ

She always helped us practicing Thai, even during her lunch time. She alwasy welcome our questions, extra practices and extra works. She checked my extra thai essays other than homework and helped us to practice for our oral exam from morning to ningt. I really appriciate her to help me studying Thai. I like her very much and I will miss her in Japan.

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 6:13 PM
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

空はなぜ青い? : Why the skies are blue?

I am studying for my geography exam, and today... Oh, already yesterday, I studied about Atmosphere, Radiation and Earth-Sun Geometry. Then I found this question. "Why the skies are blue?" I think I learnt the answer for this quesion before, but I forgot it already. Ok, let's figure out again. The sky blue color is affected by "scattering of light" according to what I learnt yesterday. In our lecture note, there is an explanation about the scattering like following.

Rayleigh scattering:
- Scattering particles are much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation
- Performed by individual gas molecules
- Scattering is both forward and backward
- Biased towards shorter wavelengths (in particular VIS light, in particular blue) which results in blue skies and red sunrises and sunsets (because of longer transmission pass through atmosphere blue wavelengths are filtered out and only the longer VIS wavelengths remain)

Hum... I can easily understand why we can see red sunrises and sunsets, but I cannot understand why the skies are blue in the day time from this explanation. What is the meaning of "Biased towards shorter wavelengths"?? Why it biased??

1. Why it looks "blue"
When light (radiation wave) reach the surface of object, the light is absorbed, reflected, scattered or transmitted. If all the light is absorbed, the objest looks BLACK, and in the case of transmittion, it looks WHITE. But if the object reflect or scatter any wavelengths of light (radiation), the object looks coloered. So if the object reflect or scatter wavelength of blu light, the object looks "blue"

2. Blue light and Red light
What is the differentces between blue light and red light? This is easy to answer. Blue light is shorter in wavelength and red light is longer in wavelength. And shorter wavelengh radiation of blue light has more energy than longer wavelength radiation of red light.

3. Selective scattering
Selective scattering (or Rayleigh scattering) occurs when certain particles are more effective at scattering a particular wavelength of light. Air molecules, like oxygen and nitrogen for example, are small in size and thus more effective at scattering shorter wavelengths of light (blue and violet). The selective scattering by air molecules is responsible for producing our blue skies
Source: Scattering of Light

Here is better explanation about Rayleigh scattering, but still, this doesnt show why small size air molecules are more effective at scattering shorter wavelengths of light... This is because blue light has shorter wavelength so it is more easier to hit air molecures than longer wavelength of red light. (Shorter wavelength radiation vibrate more than longer wavelength radiation to move same in distance... Am I correct?) So, blue light is easily scattered by atmosphere, thus skies looks blue.

Ok, this is enough. Actually, for final exam, I dun have to write this long. Just need to write, "Blue skies are produced as shorter wavelengths of the incoming visible light (violet and blue) are selectively scattered by small molecules of oxygen and nitrogen" as it written in the link here. That is enough, I think...
BTW, why it is said "skiES" in English? I can see only one sky above me though.

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 8:39 PM
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Writing "short essay" or blog for whole night

Wow... The post I wrote just now was very long. It can be a short essay, though I have to re-write again and again to make it better, if I have to hand it in to my teacher...
I wrote alot tonight but I still have many things I want to write about. Now, especially, the issue of bad relation between Japan and China recently which makes me distress for these days...

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 9:23 PM
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About "Japanese Men" written by Sijing

I think Sijing, my friend who is doing internship in Japan described well about Japanese men. In Japan all wokers HAVE TO wear suits. (As for women, have to wear suits AND have to MAKE UP.) I also think my guy friends in suits look nice, but not "salary man", or office worker. Some of them still look nice, but most of them are... too tired for working. Sometimes, they looks pity for me, especially, middle aged men who working too hard for their company and family, they had no time to look after their family. But for their family, they go away from him since he is always not with them and never look after them. In some of Japanese newspaper, those middle aged men who ignored by family are described as "bulky refuse" or 粗大ゴミ. Actually, Japanese men/fathers are working so hard for their family, but their family dun think only working is not enough for them as FATHER. How pity they are.
Maybe... so is my father. We dun ignor him, but he is always kept away from other family members. I talk with him only when he speaks to me. It doesnt mean that I dun like him, but I just dun know how to or what to talk with him, because I didnt talk so much with him for long long time. I cannot remember when is the last time I talked to him well... Why so? Hum... Both of my parents are working so I was took care by my mother side grand-ma when I was a child. During weekday, they go out before 7am in the morning and come back very late at night; as Sijing mentioned, it is normal to have overtime working. Even for my mum used to came back about 8pm, my father... he used to came back very late like 11pm. When I was a child i wanted them to play with me but they are too tired. Sometimes I asked my father to let us bring somewhere for Sunday, but he kept saying "next time" and the "next time" never came, So I just stoped asking him to bring us out. When I was in secondary school I didnt like both of my parents especially my father because they never listen to me when I need their help. I could accept my mum easier than my father, she is doing her own job AND tried to do housework as well. But for my father he never help her even though both of them working same amount. I thought and still think it is not fair for her.

Sijing mentioned about a bit about japanese women. She wrote, "Japanese women are really beautiful! I am saying this in an affirmative tone. Really! Pretty women are seen everywhere. The way they dress, IN FACT, look like models in fashion magazines. No other women in the world can beat Japanese women in dressing-up. I always wonder how they can make their hairstyle and makeup so great everyday that it seems like they just came out of a beauty salon." Hum... Japanese women are so beautiful? I have no idea about that part. There are some beautiful women but not so many I think. I agree that most of Japanese women wear nice clothes and make up well. They are good at decorating themselves. Ah~ but not me! I cannot make my heir, dun like to make up and wear.. i think my clothes is still ok, but I dun waer like the models of fashion magazins. I waer the clothes that I like, but not the fashionable one. So this might be the reason why many people here cannot believe I am Japanese. :P

About the last topic, traditional way of thinking among Japanese men, sadly I think it is true that "it is quite common for Japanese women to quit their job and become a full-time housewife." I also talked a few of my guy friends, I was shoked one of them said he want his wife to quite job when he get married. I have never asked all of my guy friends about this topic, but I know most of them prefer their wife as a full-time housewife and few of them are happy with their wife working and earning money as much as they do, especially after they had a child. In Japan, men and women should be treated as equal BY LAW, but many companies prefer to employ men, moreover, they exert pressure on women to quit job when she gets married or gives birth, as well as her husband. There are some women who want to be a house wife, but some of women want to work as much as men do. So, many women dun wanna get married or have child in Japan.

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 8:25 PM
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Saturday, April 16, 2005


My friend did interesting analysis on Japanese companies. Especially, the following 2 parts, I thought it is interesting.

"1) User-Oriented and “Pay attention to details”: Although a lot of Chinese and Korean refused to buy Japanese products, no one can deny that Japanese made goods are very easy to use (気に入る). From the experience working in a Japanese company, I can strongly feel the“User-Oriented” spirit! When you start from the need of the user, the product is definitely designed in the way the user like and feels satisfied, in consequences."

"4) Not purely profit-focused: this point is merely my guess. Because I found that my analysis above are not convincing answers to my question. The reason I have such a guess is because I found a lot of things are designed for people to use rather than earning profit. E.g. I have seen No-need-to-touch sanitary bins in the toilet. The cost to produce such a thing is at least 100 times for the ordinary one. However, how big the market is? I doubt whether they did ROI calculation before mass production."

As for 1) user-oriented, I think it is fundamental of Japanese companies. There are so many good goods sold in Japan, if company never designed products from the customers' point of view, the company will go out of business soon. Japanese companies know that customers will buy product of good in use AND good in design, even if it is a bit more expensive than products of other companies.
As for 4), not all the companies are like that. However, some of companies, maybe smaller companies tend to be "not purely profit-focused". I think this is related to 1), Japanese companies often think about customers and users. This is maybe because of characteristics of Japanese people who always think about others, or maybe, they had to do like that because if they only think about their profit and give less service to their customers or treat the customers not very good... the customers will go away.

0 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 5:29 PM
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Friday, April 15, 2005

"FREETER" in Japan

There are so many "freeter" among young people in Japan and it is one of the big issues in japan. Why they become "freeter"?? Hum... it is difficult to answer...


Put `freeters' to work, ministry says (04/13/2005) - The Asahi Shimbun

Alarmed by a rise in the number of "freeters," people who hop from one part-time job to another without finding long-term employment, the labor ministry is planning steps to get them into full-time jobs.

Officials of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Monday they hope to reduce the more than 2 million people currently working as freeters by 200,000 in fiscal 2005.

"The increase in unskilled freeters is not just a problem for individuals. If the nation's companies fail to train our young people, Japan's international competitiveness and vitality will suffer," said a ministry official.

In addition to the freeters, about 520,000 people are categorized as "NEETs," or people "not in employment, education or training."

The ministry will place special advisers for freeters at nationwide Hello Work employment agency offices to offer job counseling.

It will also hold job seminars and employment fairs in cooperation with companies that are in need of workers.

Getting businesses involved is key to the plan, and one way to entice them to hire unskilled workers is the probation system.

In that system, firms take on young workers for a three-month period, hiring them as full-time employees after that if all goes well. In fiscal 2004, about 50,000 freeters were placed with companies on a three-month trial basis, the ministry said.

About 80 percent were awarded with full-time contracts after their probationary periods ended.

The ministry is also promoting ideas like "job cafes," places that are more welcoming for young people than the crowded Hello Work offices run by the central government. At job cafes, operated by local governments in conjunction with other groups, freeters can sip coffee as they search through job opportunities.

The ministry has set aside about 37 billion yen for such job-promotion measures. It is also creating a panel in May to discuss ways to reduce the ranks of young job-hoppers.

To be headed by Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the panel will gather 20 experts from academia and groups working to reduce youth unemployment to work out solutions.

The ranks of the young and under-employed are growing, the ministry says.

About 2.17 million people aged 15 to 34 have found only part-time jobs since graduating from school in 2003.

In recent years, that figure has grown by approximately 100,000 annually.(IHT/Asahi: April 13,2005)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My world, my story, my life...

I set up this BLOG for a week ago. But I didn't post anything.

I am studying in Singapore as an exchange student but my exchange program is going to finish soon. I will go back to Japan in May, next month. So I set up new BLOG now. My current web diary about my life in Singapore is still working, but I prepare this for the time when I go back to Japan...

Actually, I did not prepare at all. I did not buy my ticket to Japan, yet. Because... I do not want to go back yet. I still wanna study and play with my friends here... Though I know I have to go back.

2 kids are playing in Jasmine's World

Posted by jasmine @ 8:00 AM
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