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TOEIC Vocabulary in the News #2

What’s wrong with being naked?

Go to BBC News, read the report and come back. Sorry no audio for this one.

So, what is the report about?

What do you think?

TOEIC vocabulary

according to
apologised for
a number of
up to

A: So, what is the report about?
B: It’s about a Japanese pop star who was arrested for being naked. He was very drunk and shouting loudly early in the morning in a park in Tokyo. The guy, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, is very famous in Japan. He’s a member of a popular boy band called SMAP. Now, he’s in trouble. Toyota has cancelled commercials featuring him.
A: What do you think?
B: I like him. When I was working in a Japanese restaurant in London back in the 1990’s, serving roll sushi behind the sushi bar, customers from Japan sometimes told me I looked like him. I didn’t know Kusanagi back then, but I gathered he became famous while I was in England. I wanted to see what he looked like for a few years, so I was happy to see him on TV in 1997 after coming back to Japan, finally finding out who they were talking about. Anyway, I’m sorry he was arrested for nothing and now he’s in deep trouble. What’s wrong with being naked? He didn’t harm anyone. I also tend to drink too much like him, especially when I’m under stress, so I have to be careful.



テーマ:TOEIC - ジャンル:学校・教育

Dear Meg,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate that you gave me a different perspective. I must remember there are people who would be offended or terrified to see someone naked in public. I shouldn’t have said, “he was arrested for nothing”; he was arrested for being naked in public, which is something.

However, the degrees of seriousness of this type of offence vary depending on situations and motivations. If it’s sexually motivated, that’s a serious crime. I know there are some perverts who show their private parts in public in order to get sexual excitement out of it. They should be punished severely; I can imagine some women are terrified by that sort of offence. But Kusanagi wasn’t like that. He was just too drunk, perhaps too drunk to get aroused. People do stupid things when they are drunk; some get angry and violent, some start singing, some vomit, some start laughing, some fall asleep, some start shouting, and some start taking off their clothes. If it’s two in the morning, he is in a park alone, there’s no one around him and no one is likely to see him, then I think being naked there and then is not a serious crime. On that night, Kusanagi disturbed the neighbours by shouting loudly. I think that’s more troublesome than being naked in a park.
2009/04/25(Sat) 14:58:40 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]
I was very disappointed to read your comments. A park is a public place even at two in the morning. What he did was illegal and drinking is no excuse for what he did. Actually I was offended by some of the things you said on the radio when you were deeply drunk. You are not as famous as Kusanagi, but still sort of a public figure as a TOEIC expert. I want you to be more considerate of your listener’s and reader’s feelings.
2009/04/26(Sun) 06:42:08 | URL | 101 #-[ 編集]

2009/04/26(Sun) 12:14:00 | URL | 007 #-[ 編集]
2009/04/27(Mon) 00:27:49 | | #[ 編集]
Dear 101,

Thank you for your comment and I’m sorry that I disappointed you, but that’s me. Well, I agree that being naked in public is illegal but the point I was making is that there are different degrees of seriousness. For me, things are not black and white; there is a gray area between black and white, and it has different shades of gray.
You point of view is different from mine, and that’s good; if every one had the same opinions, that would be boring. So, I welcome differences and I’m not disappointed when other people have opposing opinions to mine.

Thank you for you advice on my blog and radio. I consider myself as an English teacher, so when it comes to learning English, I consider my listener’s and reader’s feelings; I always try to encourage and motivate them, and I’m careful not to discourage or demotivate them. However, when commenting on current affairs, I want to be provocative. If I prove my readers, they will be interested in the news and read it seriously, and if some of them eel strongly about my view point, they will put forward their opinions against it in English, like you and Meg did above. That’s precisely I wanted. I’ll be provocative when it helps learners’ language development.

Dear 007,

Thanks you for your comment supporting my point of view. It’s good to know that not all the women have the same opinion. So, he folded his clothes tidily even when he was really drunk? That’s funny. I like him more for that.

Dear Keiko,

Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.
Did he look like me? Thanks, that’s a compliment. Ten years go, I looked like him, but now I’m getting old, which is sad.

Dear 62,

Thank you for your message to 101. Your English is not poor. It’s quite good actually.
Well, 101 have the right to ask me whatever she wants, but I have the right to decide what I will do with her requests, so that’s OK. And of course, you have the right to make comments on what she says. It’s more interesting when there is a wide diversity of opinion.

Dear hidden comment contributor,

Thank you for your thoughtful advice. I’ll be careful not to drink too much.

Dear 101,

Thanks for the second comment as well. Are you TOEICER 101?
I don’t think you offended anyone. There’s nothing offensive in your first comment.
I don’t quite understand your reference to Japan, though. You forgot this is Japan and made the comment? In fact, I found your first comment very Japanese in the sense that you suggested that considering other people’s feeling is more important than expressing your opinions freely.
What you must remember is that Japan is a free country; you can say whatever you want (well, to a certain extend of course). So, don’t worry about whether your comment offended other people or not. I put forward my thoughts, you did yours, and others did theirs. There’s nothing offensive about exchanging different points of view. You shouldn’t be disappointed or intimidated when other people disagree with you.
Well, actually your first comment was as provocative as mine; other readers have submitted responses to it. They did it in English so that’s good for their writing. I really thank you for your contribution.

Dear Chika,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, it’s heated indeed, which is good.
So, you liked SMAP before and now you like KAT-TUN? I know SMAP but I don’t know KAT-TUN very well. I don’t have TV at home. Sorry.
I feel pity for those pop starts because they are always watched and expected to behave well. It must be suffocating. That’s the negative aspect of being famous. Kusanagi must have been under stress.


Thank you for your input. That’s a well-formed essay.
Yes, alcoholism is dangerous. I’ve read 失踪日記 by 吾妻ひでお.
I’m not alcoholic but I sometimes drink too much. At the beginning of January this year, I visited my friend’s place in Kokubunji. We had cheese and wine party from early afternoon and I was supposed to leave at dusk. However, I had too much wine, passed out, and puked while I was asleep. I really felt guilty and hated myself.
Tomorrow I’m going to have drinks in Mitaka after a TOEIC talk. I’ll be careful not to drink too much.
2009/04/28(Tue) 23:41:00 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]
I apologized and withdrew from the discussion just because I realized that Kanzaki sensei’s fans would not feel comfortable hearing opinions against Kanzaki sensei. I do not want to be bashed by your fans. But I came back because people did not seem to get what I was trying to get at. I guess I have to write it explicitly to resolve misunderstanding.

- Actually I was offended by some of
- the things you said on the
- radio when you were deeply drunk.

What I am talking here is about some of your comments on … for example “Adult Video” … or that sort of things. As a woman I felt uncomfortable listening to it. I even felt more uncomfortable as a teacher who uses your books as textbooks for my classes. As an author of the textbooks, you are

-- sort of a public figure

Your house is a private place, but if you netcast from your house, you do not know who and how many people are listening to you. It is the same as you are in a public place.

Some people might say, “then, don’t listen to TBR.” I listen to TBR from the beginning to end because I never know when Kanzaki sensei gives useful information on TOEIC and English education.

I consider myself as your friend (Yes, I am TOEICER 101) and I do not want you to do something bad for your career under the influence of alcohol. I do not want you to ruin your career as Kusanagi did. I believe people are still responsible for their behaviors even when they are drunk.

-- People do stupid things when they are drunk

Yes, they do, and those stupid behaviors often hurt others physically and psychologically. If you are naked in a public place and a person who does not want to see you happen to see you, you hurt that person psychologically. It does not matter if you are sexually motivated or not.

-- the point I was making is that there
--are different degrees of seriousness.
-- For me, things are not black and
--white; there is a gray area between
-- black -- and white, and it has
-- different shades of gray.

I agree. So, Kusanagi was arrested for a minor crime ( =gray), not for nothing (white). I do not think what he did deserves such a big media conference, though. I am sorry people are making too big a deal out of what he did. Since he regretted what he did and apologized sincerely, he should be given a second chance.

-- I don’t quite understand your
-- reference to Japan, though. You
-- forgot this is Japan and made the comment?

I mean “this is Japan where the majority drink and heavy drinkers are proud of themselves. They are not treated as people with a problem and alcoholism is a taboo. So, I’d better avoid discussing drinking in Japan.

In my opinion, if you drink to the degree you cannot control your behavior and do not remember what you did the next morning, you’ve got a problem.

I hope you and your readers understand what I am saying.
2009/04/29(Wed) 15:15:13 | URL | 101 #-[ 編集]
>I wanted to see what he looked like >for a few years

for a few years(まあこれを使うとすれば)はlooked likeにかかるわけではないから、あえて使うとすれば、for a few years I wanted to see

2009/05/20(Wed) 09:19:39 | URL | Ray #-[ 編集]
Dear Ray,

Thank you for your suggestion. Do you think that’s confusing? I thought that was contextually clear. Anyway, the sentence is not very good, I must admit. How about this:

I wanted to see what he looked like but I couldn’t while I was in England.

2009/05/21(Thu) 02:28:50 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]

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