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Thread: Japanese cities' lack of seasonal balance due to a man-made biodiversity

  1. #51
    Life is adventure Thunderthief's Avatar
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    Reading, writing and arithmetic is all anyone needs to get by in life, learning anything else in public school is rather pointless, thats what college is for (specialties).

  2. #52
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  3. #53
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caster51 View Post
    Why is that ? Because a few people have written books or made a website about trees ?

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  4. #54
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderthief View Post
    Reading, writing and arithmetic is all anyone needs to get by in life, learning anything else in public school is rather pointless, thats what college is for (specialties).
    Thank you, that was very representative of an average American's point of view.

    Given that this forum is composed mainly of Americans and Europeans (about 50-50), maybe we should make it more about differences between Americans and Europeans. I took care of summarising these differences here.

  5. #55
    puzzled gaijin
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    Hardly representative American opinion, in my opinion (of course I am an educator, though). Interesting contrasts in the link Maciamo. I would take issue with a few comments, but overall it seems to ring true. One area that is changing is with education, where now in England (not sure about the rest of the UK), education is not as cheap as it used to be, but still far cheaper than in the US.

    Also agree about the seasons bit, but actually, does it matter how long each seaon is (except for the long insufferably hot and humid summers here)? Summer is long here in japan, but I do find comfort in knowing it is shorter than HK's (March to mid October versus Japan's eary June to sometimes mid October). This year we are finally starting to get some nice night verus the usual tropical nights we get in the early Japanese 'fall'.

  6. #56
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    Also agree about the seasons bit, but actually, does it matter how long each seaon is (except for the long insufferably hot and humid summers here)?
    It matters for those who care about the seasons, about harmony, and about nature in general. Japanese culture puts a lot of emphasis on harmony (和, almost a synonym for Japan, as in 和風 or 和食), nature (Shinto is all about the relation between humans and nature), and the seasons (cherry blossoms are a symbol of Spring and of Japan, and the Japanese are quite obssessed by the seasons). As a nature lover myself, I expected a lot from Japan, but was also disappointed (as for many other things) in this aspect of Japan.

    In Tokyo (where I lived and heard people boast about Japan's wonderful seasons), I feel that the seasons are as follow :

    - semi-winter (from mid-December to mi-March) : half of the trees stay green, it hardly snows and never freezes, so that it doesn't really feel like winter.

    - short-lived Spring (mid-March to early May) : it does feel very much like Spring during the 1 or 2 weeks of cherry blossoms, but the lack of other blossoming trees and the lack of flowers doesn't give the impression of Spring the after the cherry blossoms have fallen.

    - low Summer (early May to mid-June, then again from late September to early November) : as hot as, or hotter than Summer in Northern Europe. The stability of the high temperatures, even at night, certainly does not make it feel like anything else but Summer.

    - high Summer (mid-June to late September) : a tropical Summer (hot and humid, with stable temperature day and night) unknown in Europe. Very similar to South-East Asia, the Carribean, or other tropical areas.

    - short-lived Autumn (early November to mid-December) : temperatures become cooler. Leaves on trees become yellow or red, then fall.


    Tokyo (as well as the West of Japan, from Kyushu to the Kansai) is indeed described by climatologist as a semi-tropical region, which means that Summer is very long (about 6 months), winter is very mild (almost no frost), and Spring and Autumn only last from 4 to 6 weeks. The low latitude of Japan compared to Europe also means that there is little difference of daylight between the summer and winter solsitices.

    Maybe it is this ephemerous character of Spring and Autumn in Japan that makes them so special in the heart of the Japanese. Like for the ephemerous cherry blossoms, that sometimes only lasts for a week, the Japanese feel that they have to be ready to "catch the moment" before it is gone. This is why they are so keen to follow the evolution of the blossoming line from Kyushu to Hokkaido and await impatiently the first blossoms, then all rush to see them at the same time. Indeed, if they don't rush they might miss the chance until the next year. I believe that this is why the Japanese make so much fuss about Spring and Autumn. The only similat craze in Europe would be to see other ephemerous phenomena, like a solar or lunar eclipse.

  7. #57
    Regular Member Mars Man's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say, a bit belated, that the new title fits the heart of the opening very well !! MM

  8. #58
    puzzled gaijin
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    I understand, though viewing foliage in New England in the US is similar (though running from North to South) for the excitement level generated, and in each state it only lasts a few weeks (though the fall itself, of course, lasts longer).

  9. #59
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    I didnt even think to make comparissons, it wouldnt be fair.

    Comparing the worlds largest most densest urban sprawl with a small green city in the heart of the most naturally stunning and beautiful part of Scotland would just be blatantly unfair, especially since Aberdeen has actually been barred from entering the Britain in Bloom contest because we always clean house with it.


    There were some nice gardens in Japan though, and I tried to make Tokyo greener by buying a big plant pot arrangement for my girlfriends homes balcony, a small gesture towards turning tokyo green.


    I feel sorry for many Japanese who dont really know nature at a level that us more green sub-urban rural types do, including rural Japanese, but then again, if they did, they would probably find the densest crunches of Tokyo depressing, and it wouldnt do to make depression an even bigger problem in Tokyo.


    One of my major concerns about possibly living in Japan would be the lack of a garden, I could live in an apartment in my own country easily enough because the streets would be green below, or at least a park nearby, but in Japan having a garden must be like a lottery win.


    I remember a house nearby my girlfriends apartment, it had a pretty substantial garden (for Japan) it would be nothing more then a small patch of lawn outside the FRONT of a western house in one of our more crunched up city centres, but it was a garden, and the house looked expensive (if still smaller then my cruddy place dating from the 60's) and I emagined how much they had to pay just to even begin to get the same quality of life and space that in Britain would be within a poorer persons budget range.



    Anyway, rant aside, Japan has tis nature, its just, as said, outside the cities, or or the outer edges.

    Japan's declining population isnt all bad, maybe it will give Japanese more of a chance to enjoy open space, planned public spaces and all that.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    As a nature lover myself, I expected a lot from Japan, but was also disappointed (as for many other things) in this aspect of Japan.
    Sorry to pick up on this but are you talking here about Tokyo or Japan or Japanese culture? From the sentence it is not too clear.

  11. #61
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    - semi-winter (from mid-December to mi-March) : half of the trees stay green, it hardly snows and never freezes, so that it doesn't really feel like winter.
    It was pretty cold, but more of a sharp cold, when it snowed it really snowed quite ehavily and for a long while, but the snow seemed to melt away not long after.

    It seemed to be getting warmer just about the time I was leaving anyway.

    I have to mention though I stayed in Ome city, which is like, at the edge of mega-Tokyo.

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