Discussion Class Topics

Friday the 19th of July -


 -  Japan's Eco-Push 


Recently 7-11 announced that they would start wrapping their onigiri in "bioplastic" which is apparently better for the environment.

Uniqlo will apparently start using paper, rather than plastic bags.


Will changes like this actually have a significant impact on the reduction of plastic waste? Or is this still too small of an effort to really change anything?


What other things are Japan doing to help the environment? Is Japan doing enough?

Japan has an incredible amount of plastic usage compared to most other countries, do you think Japan is doing enough to help reduce this?


How about other kinds of environmental improvements?

Is Japan doing anything good in this field?


Let's discuss this.


Sunday the 21st of July -


 - Should Historical/Cultural Research be conducted by an insider or an outsider? 



If you think about the history of your country, or your people, you probably want to believe that a lot of the things that have been said, done, or not done, are good or impressive things, we probably don't really like thinking of the bad things that have occurred.


But when it comes to research, it's important to look at the facts.

When we look at historical research, it important that we don't put our own biases into our research. If we find something that may make our own history look bad, there is chance that we may not want to share that information.


But if you are an outsider, it is entirely possible that you don't care whether the facts improve or tarnish the reputation of the country you are researching.


We tend to have a grand narrative that applies to our country, or our history, and when new information is found, it can either reinforce that narrative, or destroy it completely.


So with all of that in mind, what do you think? Should research into cultural or historical information be conducted by insiders or outsiders?

Would an insider have better insight into something that may be seen as bad by an outsider?

Would an outsider have less bias towards keeping the information on the grand narrative that has already been produced?



Let's talk about that.

Tuesday the 16th of July -


- Thursday the 18th of July - 


 - Problems with Japan's music industry, and the abuse of idols 


So with the recent death of Johnny Kitagawa, its time we talk about the Japanese music industry.


You probably all know about the sexual harassment claims that were made against Johnny himself from multiple male members of groups that were part of his company. 

On top of this, you probably also know that there has been a lot of talk about abuse of female idols as well, in other sectors or companies.


In any case, what kinds of problems are present in today's music industry in Japan?

What kinds of abuse are swept under the carpet?

Is anyone making substantial progress in alerting Japan to problems in the industry?

If not, why not? Is so, how?


From a foreign perspective, some may feel that the kinds of contracts that idols/music groups have to sign is also a sort of abuse, in the way it controls their lives; they can't have a boyfriend/girlfriend, can't get married, can't be seen in public with certain people, can't go to certain places, have to perform in ways that are completely different from the industry they're in, and if they ever wish to stop, they are often hit with massive fines that they have to pay.

How do you feel about those kinds of contracts?



Let's talk about that.



Students with Dan and Hohua!


Moira, Mark, Hohua and Dan!












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