BLOG BIZ:’s facelift; outstanding issues with Index Page and appearance on mobile devices

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Hi Blog.  At the end of’s 10th Anniversary as a blog (and 20th Anniversary as a website archive), here’s the best Christmas gift ever:  a facelift and a cleanup!  (Thanks for that!)

You probably noticed how slowly loaded in recent months.  That was because we had issues of memory and backlog buildup over a decade (to the tune of 55GB of it), as well as a customized WordPress theme that was so obsolete it alone took fifteen seconds to load!

That’s why the revamp of the site’s appearance. Of course, we kept the “” typeface banner (that’s always been there, however crufty), but hopefully the site is easier to load and read now.

We are still having issues with (beware, neophyte Geek Speak follows):

  1. Reordering widgets for appearance on mobile devices — on cellphones and tablets the contents of the left sidebar appear, then the blog excerpts, then the right sidebar.  I’ve tried to figure out to reorder them so the blog excerpts appear at the top, so if anyone could steer me in the right direction, I’ll get right on it.
  2. Creating an Index Page that has post excerpts that lead to entire full-text single posts.  Until a short time ago, we had the Index Page with excerpts that led to excerpt-text only single posts.  I’ve fixed it so that all the contents are visible, but alas, they’re all visible on the Index Page too.  I’ll have to create a “child theme” shortly to straighten that out.

Meanwhile, Happy Holidays to all Readers!  My next Japan Times column, my annual roundup of the Top Ten Human Rights Issues of 2016, will be out on January 9, 2017.  Enjoy!  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito


Do you like what you read on  Want to help keep the archive active and support’s activities?  We are celebrating’s 20th Anniversary in 2016, so please consider donating a little something.  More details here. Or even click on an ad below.

14 comments on “BLOG BIZ:’s facelift; outstanding issues with Index Page and appearance on mobile devices

  • The new site looks great. Well done Debito!

    Thanks for everything you do and I hope you have a great Christmas and a splendid New Year!

  • Kuramae-greg2001 says:

    Congratulations for the much-needed new design and theme.

    My only gripe is the white background that hurts my eyes, implementing a ‘night mode’ or change the color to something less bright would help a-lot those of us with eye problems. besides that, the new design is really good.

    Good Job Dr Debito

    — Thanks for the feedback. I’ve dimmed the white into a little more grey.

  • Congratulations!

    I do some work with digital marketing myself, and had always been on the fence with weather to email you with some suggestions.

    The new site looks great!

    You might want to look into using something like sumome ( which will make it easier for people to share your posts on social media.

  • Another thing I’d love to see: can we reply to specific comments? So instead of saying “@Anon #2”, can we thread/nest the comments directly?

    — I’ll look into it. Thanks!

  • Good new look.
    Some links don’t seem to work.
    November newsletter seems to be missing.

    Here’s a story about Japan giving extra-discriminatory treatment to expectant mothers requesting refugee status;

    I’m guessing Japan doesn’t want the criticism that comes with forcing kids born, raised and culturally Japanese to have to ‘go back’ to a country they’ve never lived in.

    — Hi JDG. Thanks for the feedback. For the record, the November Newsletter is actually dated October 30, 2016, and it’s here.

  • Continuing with suggestion from above … then you could reply by replying, instead of editing comments and writing in bold 🙂

  • Hi Debito,

    I recommend dumping WordPress and migrating to Medium. It’s free, and you’ll never have to worry about the tech side of your site ever again. They also have a way to import from WordPress.

    I did it for two of my sites earlier this year and couldn’t be happier. Now, finally, I can just focus on the content, and leave the Medium team to incrementally improve my site.

    Details here:

    — Thanks for the advice!

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Happy New Year Dr. Debito and all readers!

    Here’s a hum-dinger to start the new year!

    The O-yaji running ‘cool Japan’ explains why his project to broaden Japan’s international ‘soft-power’ requires absolutely zero input from NJ (in fact, he even says that it’s not necessary to cater to NJ needs!).
    In addition, he also confirms (as I’ve said all along) that ‘omotenashi’ really is all about telling people what they want.
    Japan certainly never fails to disappoint.

  • Baudrillard says:

    @Jim, Uncool Japan, Oyaji says “establishing myself as a leader who doesn’t flatter foreign businesses and doesn’t crack under their pressure, which many companies still do. So, I began thinking that I want to promote a Japan that doesn’t curry favor with foreign countries at its expense”

    1. Pride and egotism? CHECK
    2. No negotiation/inflexible? CHECK
    3. Nationalist agenda? CHECK

    Its all about peddling, the narrative they want to sell and explaining thre “correct” view of a monolithic Japan (as the conservative oyaji power elite see it) to naive, gullible fresh grads overseas.

  • Dr. Arudō:

    I wanted to bring this new poster from 国土交通省 to your attention. (Please see page 3 of the PDF.) I had already been seeing it as a video inside the trains, but I came across it live and in person at a nearby station and was so irritated about the blip about addressing “foreigners” in English that I took it up with the station master at my local station.

    Here is a picture of the offending portion.

    I asked them if they were encouraging people to judge others based on their appearance–if that is their policy, and they tried to avoid responsibility by dumping it back on 国土交通省. I pointed out that they are distributing it and tacking it up in their facilities and therefore must take responsibility. I of course also pointed out that most foreigners in Japan are Asians and can’t speak English, and even whites and blacks in Japan may not speak English either. (Also, the obvious possibility that they might very well speak Japanese.)

    The Seibu representative wrote down my remarks and stated he would pass them along to the head office. I would ask that you please pass this along and encourage others to complain to their station masters as well as to 国土交通省. Here is a form to contact them directly. (It doesn’t open in Firefox for me, I have to use IE.)

    Happy new year!

    — Not to mention it’s pretty poorly drawn, too.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Jump in Japan’s (specifically Shinjuku ward) syphillis infection rates blamed on ‘record number of tourists from countries with high infection rates’! Wow. Are they really suggesting Japanese ladies are giving it up so readily to tourists from Asian countries that they literally just met?
    Naturally, J-gov forms a task force to ask the infected for their nationality!

  • @DylanRobertson

    Medium may be is cool and slick (WP can be as well*) but i don’t believe their close-ecosystem fits with philosophy. WordPress on the other hand is a very a platform build on the ideas of freedom, democracy, and open-source community which are exactly what represents.

    “Why WordPress?”

    As for WordPress’s Achilles’ heel, security, there are companies like WPengine and sucuri who can solve this problem.

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