Archive for June, 2008

Japan’s new earthquake alert system

Saturday, June 14th, 2008 by Chris


Earthquake Early Warnings, originally uploaded by miyagawa.

This (not my photo; thanks, Flickr!) is what appeared on the TV screen several seconds before the earthquake arrived in Noshiro this morning. Note that the blue overlay is not part of the newscast, but pops up over whatever show is currently on. This particular warning is from an aftershock about half an hour after the main quake, so at this point everybody was already watching the news.

Seismic sensors are placed all over the country, and immediately upon the occurrence of the first shock, the epicenter is calculated and warnings go up on TV stations immediately. Since the shock waves take time to spread from the epicenter through the ground, the warning will hit the TV before the quake arrives in most places. Impressive stuff.

Iwate Earthquake

Saturday, June 14th, 2008 by Chris

About 20 minutes ago there was a large earthquake in our neighboring prefecture of Iwate. The epicenter was right around the “tri-state area” where Akita, Iwate, and Miyagi meet.


Amazingly, I was watching the news when the earthquake happened, and an earthquake alert popped up on the television about 10 seconds before the earthquake actually arrived. The shaking was not heavy all the way over here in Noshiro, but it went on for over a minute. It felt like being on a boat, with a kind of constant vibration accompanied by big, slow swaying back and forth. I went outside and noticed all the powerlines swinging all over the place. Our landlord’s gardener was out there and didn’t seem to be noticing anything though!

More info

JPop 101

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 by Steph

To get more of a flavor for the JPop School of Japanese Studies, below is a cross-section of my, um, homework.

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The JLPT and JPop

Monday, June 9th, 2008 by Steph

Let’s face it, posts have been few and far between these last few months. The cause of this silence? I blame the Japanese… not the people, mind you, who have been exceedingly fun and kind and friendly, but the language, which has not yet exhibited any of these qualities to me.

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