In Japan...

"Hey, is that a ninja up there?"
(Japan, Aug 20 - Sep 19, 2011)

September 07, 2011

Typhoon Talas Time!

I just wanted to clarifty that I'm fine after typhoon Talas meandered its way across Japan. Last Friday, right before it was about to hit Japan, I was unsure how to anticipate what may be on its way due the modest nature of the Japanese people; everyone was just playing it down. I'm used to the USA, where people are on hurricane watch 24/7 days before it approaches. In Japan, everyone just went about their business as if nothing was the matter. The best advice I got from the assitant professor,

"So eh, be carefuly of typhoon, ok?"

OK. I'll do that. Some thought that the typhoon would blow over Tokyo. In the end, it struck further south and Nagoya just caught some of the edges, so did nothing more than spoil the weekend by forcing us indoors. It made a bit of a mess elsewhere though.

As it turns out, I have since been told that Japanese typhoons are not nearly as dangerous as Atlantic hurricanes in terms of sheer force. You won't see assorted objects being chucked around in 140 mph winds, but you may see your car floating down your street.

In fact, more rain fell in 72 h in one area than ever recorded before. It is the flooding that is why 50 people and counting have died. More details here:

Why Japan's Typhoon Talas Was So Deadly?

Also, Japan has a new Prime Minister. You could be forgiven for not noticing, because I'm in the country and I almost missed it! The old finance minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has been promoted. He is known as a "fiscal hawk". Considering the reason for his promotion was the hooplah around the March tsunami cleanup causing the previous leader to step down, it's understandable why it's not been a hot topic of conversation.

Difference between Japan and the West: No. 8):
The Japanese do not talk about issues of crisis or that draw criticism or embarrassment of their country. They will leave that to their politicians, who they do not openly question.


  1. Glad you dodged the typhoon! Sounds like the Japanese are quite philosophical about everything from natural disasters to politics - talk about cultural differences! What an experience living over there. Stay safe!

  2. Watching tropical storm Roke now! Can't believe the japanese weather!! Good luck and write when you can!