From the archives IV

Baldie Song in School Broadcast – Teacher With Thinning Hair Enraged

In an elementary school in Maehashi City, a song that ridicules people with thinning hair was broadcast via an elementary school’s PA system.

It is understood that a teacher in his 40s with thinning hair was angered by the song, and made 28 pupils prostrate themselves on the classroom floor. The song, which is called ‘Fugue for Baldies in a Minor Key’, came from an internet video site and is by a duo called Brief & Trunks.

On December 30th at 1pm, around one to two minutes of the song were broadcast. Whilst he was with the headmaster, the teacher in charge of the broadcast club heard the song and rushed to the studio. He then stopped the broadcast and told off six members of the broadcast club, making them prostrate themselves on the floor for around a minute. Four days later, twenty-seven more children who were listening to the song were asked to prostrate themselves.

A problem came to light after some of the children’s parents contacted the school. It was pointed out that ‘because the teacher has thinning hair, he flew into a rage’, although the teacher in question has stressed that, ‘I did not become angry because of my personal feelings’.



From the archives VI


Woman in silver seat has shorts cut with scissors

A man has been arrested for property damage by police in Higashi Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture, after a woman who was asleep on a train had her shorts cut with a pair of scissors. The suspect, 57-year-old Kohji Takahashi of no fixed address, claims to be employed as an architect.

At around 6.45am on the 19th, on board a semi-express train travelling from Sakado to Sakama on the Tobu-Tojo line, Takahashi was sitting to the left of a twenty-year-old vocational college student, who was asleep in a ‘silver seat’. The suspect is alleged to have cut the left thigh of the woman’s shorts in three places, the cuts measuring approximately ten centimetres in length.

‘The woman was occupying a sliver seat, and I became angry because I thought an OAP would not be able to sit there,’ Takahashi said.

The woman did not realise that her shorts were being cut, but having woken up when Takahashi stood up to leave, she got off at Takasaka station and reported the incident to a member of staff, who made an emergency call.


電車内で寝ていた女性の半ズボンをはさみで切ったとして埼玉県警東松山署は、器物損壊の疑いで住所不定の自称建築作業員、高橋耕二 容疑者(五七)を逮捕した。
逮捕容疑は十九日午前六時四十分ごろ、東武東上線池袋発小川町行き準急電車が、北坂戸—坂間を走行中、シルバーシートで寝ていた女性専門学校生(二〇)の左隣に座り、持っていたはさみで、女性の半ズボンの左太もも部分三 カ所を約十センチずつ切った疑い。
半 ズボンを切られている最中は気付かなかった女性だが、高橋容疑者が立ち上がったことで目が覚め、自らも高坂駅で下車。事情を聴いた駅員が一一〇番通報し た。

First past the post


A great deal is made of first lines, first pages, first chapters – first novels and first albums, even – but it struck me the other day that this same importance cannot be applied to the blog. The opening scene of any Bond film; Jane Austen’s famous line about it being a truth universally acknowledged that a woman of a certain age and background is bound to be in need of a husband (or however it goes – I’m paraphrasing); the first song on any album being the Big Hit Single; Shakespeare comparing his boyfr…er, I mean wife to a summer’s day. These are renowned because the media in question are linear (or at least were linear – albums in particular are in the process of being mutated into something distinctly non-linear by the digital age), and in the event of an old fashioned paper-based diary being published, its first entry may also become either famous, important or both.

But the first entry in a blog may be the least read of all, because the longer lived the blog becomes, the further away from its first page or most recent entry that first entry will inevitably move. Even if said blog goes on to become the Most Read Blog In The World (I wonder who that accolade currently belongs to? Britney Spears? Barack Obama? Timmy Mallet?), or buzzy, as I believe the current web parlance has it, or extensively Tweeted, Facebooked, Digged (Dugg?), very few of its readers will ever take the time to trawl all the way back through the archives to the very first time the blogger in question decided to make use of his or her free WordPress account.

Moreover, because blogs – by and large, at least – do not get re-written, the first entry is likely to be tentative, and particularly if the blogger is not already an experienced writer, poorly written. Not that I’ve done much research into the matter, but I suspect that a lot of blogs begin with something like the following: ‘Now that my boyfriend has left me / I’ve been diagnosed as terminally ill / my stamp collection has become so vast that the attic floor has collapsed, I’ve decided to start a blog. I don’t really know what I’m going to write about, and I don’t really know how often I’m going to write it, but I’m hoping that it will be therapeutic, and act as an outlet for my innermost thoughts / mentally unstable ramblings / painfully geeky obsessions.’ Well, you get the idea.

So, now that I too have decided to write a blog (my second attempt – the first having petered out after life and laziness got in the way), here is my own rambling, inconsequential but hopeful first entry, and here are my reasons for rejoining the blogosphere:

1) I’m moving to Japan with Mrs Muzuhashi this spring.
2) I managed to earn a living as a writer for a while before the recession hit, but haven’t done much since, and need to get back into practice if I’m ever going to…
3) …make some kind of impact in Japan as a journalist / travel writer / foreign correspondent / translator / cultural commentator / ninja assassin.

The aim is to try and avoid too much navel gazing, and – given my ongoing efforts to become at least semi-fluent in Japanese – to get out, meet people, hear their stories, experience cultural, er, stuff, and generally use my linguistic ability to get beyond the usual ‘I like sushi! / Isn’t Hello Kitty cute! / Japanese people do the craziest stuff!’ clichés. Whether I manage to achieve this is very much open to question, and finding the time to write entries – even more so than not being good enough at Japanese – is likely to be this blog’s worst enemy, as it is with every other blog that’s ever been written in the history of the internet.

Which is all a rather roundabout way of saying, who cares what I’ve just written, because no one’s ever going to read it anyway. Give me six months or so and I’ll have readers coming out of my ears (if that’s the right phrase), and if you happen to be one of them, congratulations for trawling your way this far back through the archives. For now, it’s time to get on with the hard work and stop navel gazing.