1186 posts tagged with Japan.
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The Suwa Lake New Fireworks Contest

Each year two fireworks festivals are held at Suwa Lake in Nagano, Japan. The first, in August, is one of the largest in Japan. The second, in September, features a contest for the best new fireworks. Some of the effects are stunning: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 5, 2015 - 5 comments

“Dead people have taught me how to live better,”

The Lonely End. "Three months ago in an apartment on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan, Haruki Watanabe died alone. For weeks his body slowly decomposed, slouched in its own fluids and surrounded by fetid, fortnight-old food. He died of self-neglect, solitude, and a suspected heart problem. At 60, Watanabe, wasn’t old, nor was he especially poor. He had no friends, no job, no wife, and no concerned children. His son hadn’t spoken to him in years, nor did he want to again."
posted by zabuni on Jun 28, 2015 - 59 comments

At last! The fruit cutting championships!

The Fruit Cutting Championships, a 2008 episode of the TV Tokyo variety show TV Champion 2, complete with commercials. Remarkably entertaining despite the language barrier (due to the visual nature of the competition). Event breakdown/explanation after the fold. [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Jun 25, 2015 - 15 comments

Ride on, Tama.

Tama, the feline station master and mascot of Kishi Station, has passed away at the age of 16. [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby on Jun 25, 2015 - 37 comments

Shodo Performance Koshien

Shodo Performance Koshien is an annual competition, held in Ehime, of massive-scale Japanese calligraphy performed live by teams of high school students. (The videos with two-digit numbers in their titles are actual performances.) This year's will be held in Shikokuchuo-shi, Ehime, on July 26. Interested in trying it yourself, but don't feel like breaking the bank on an enormous horsehair brush? Try using a modified mop!
posted by DoctorFedora on Jun 24, 2015 - 6 comments

A Message of Peace From a Survivor of Hell: A Hiroshima Survivors Story

Hiroshima bombing survivor Tomiko Matsumoto tells her tale. [more inside]
posted by Admira on Jun 16, 2015 - 72 comments

If you talk to American people, they smell like freedom

How do you distinguish Americans [from other nationalities]? Students from many different countries at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan) talk about what makes Americans different. (SLYT)
posted by desjardins on Jun 14, 2015 - 127 comments

(SLYT) Meanwhile, at a Typical Japanese High school...

(SLYT) One girl runs, and the other chases her, through the streets of Atami.

Bonus "behind the scenes" feature.
posted by happyroach on Jun 7, 2015 - 30 comments

Tokyo Roar

Tokyo saturates the senses.
posted by Sokka shot first on Jun 1, 2015 - 26 comments

The Change Trays of Japan: Object lesson

"I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of handing your payment to the clerk, or setting it on the counter by the cash register, here you are generally expected to put your payment into a tray that is presented expressly for the purpose. ... So, what the heck are these trays called? And what is their origin and purpose?" [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jun 1, 2015 - 45 comments

The other FAIL blog

Dr. Yotarou Hatamura, who runs the Association for the Study of Failure, is also supervisor of the Failure Knowledge Database Project. He proposes adopting the "Failure Mandala" to promote the systematic understanding and dissemination of failures. To support this approach, he presents a compilation of 100 case studies of failure events organized by topic (also viewable as a single list of PDF files; and available in Japanese). Dr. Hatamura subsequently chaired the investigative committee into the Fukushima nuclear incident, which he discusses here.
posted by Rumple on May 31, 2015 - 11 comments

Nintendo's company guides to job applicants

In Japan, people applying to work at Nintendo are given an amazing company guide (2015), bursting with color, that they remake every year. 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 ( via Simon Carless [Twitter], thnx)
posted by JHarris on May 10, 2015 - 10 comments

a beguiling stream of unsullied strangeness

Kill Screen Daily has an interview with FM Towns Marty (NSFW), who posts images and gifs from otherwise inaccessible retro Japanese computer games. His images were controversially used in Jon Rafman's video for Oneohtrix Point Never's song Still Life (Betamale) (NSFW).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Apr 20, 2015 - 8 comments

Anthropology, already read

Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 18, 2015 - 4 comments

"Soy sauce is seasoning every home needs."

Soy sauce makes "miracle" comeback in tsunami-wrecked Japan
When the tsunami warning sounded, workers at the two-centuries-old soy sauce maker in northeastern Japan ran up a nearby hill to a shrine for safety, and watched in disbelief as towering waters swallowed their factory. They all believed the business, started in 1807, and its precious fungal cultures that give soy sauce its unique taste were lost forever. Everyone except for Michihiro Kono, the ninth-generation son of the founding family. Four years later, Yagisawa Shoten Co. has been saved through Kono's conviction, crowd-funding and the unexpected survival of its vital ingredient.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Apr 10, 2015 - 15 comments

Let's Speak English

Let's Speak English! Cartoonist Mary Cagle's adorable tales of teaching English in Japan.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Apr 8, 2015 - 49 comments

Exist Strategy vs. Exit Strategy

The oldest company in the world has been operated by the same family for more than 1300 years and 52 generations. Natasha Lampard looks at Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan and wonders: "What if our 'exits' were bestowing upon someone you love, the thing you have created and crafted with love? What if, instead of focusing on exits, we focused on sticking around?"
posted by DarlingBri on Apr 2, 2015 - 23 comments

the monk who ran 1,000 marathons

In their quest for enlightenment the legendary monks of Mount Hiei put themselves through an excruciating endurance challenge: 1,000 days of long-distance running. (SLGuardian)) Runner Adharanand Finn writes: I have come to Japan, hoping to meet one of them and to find out what they can teach a recreational runner about the path to spiritual wellbeing. What he discovers is beautiful and true, though at first he's a little nonplussed. [more inside]
posted by glasseyes on Apr 1, 2015 - 13 comments

It's April 1st in Japan

Professional Street Fighter player Daigo Umehara announces plans to retire and become an accountant
posted by DoctorFedora on Mar 31, 2015 - 15 comments

Half is Not Enough

Ariana Miyamoto is the first biracial winner of Miss Universe Japan in the nation's history. Born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father and raised in Nagasaki, she is considered "hafu" within her native Japan. [more inside]
posted by PearlRose on Mar 23, 2015 - 43 comments

Programmed by N A S I R

It was common practice in the 8/16 bit era for Japanese programmers to use pseudonyms or abbreviations in the game's credits, so you might not have given too much thought to the name NASIR popping up in the credits for Rad Racer, Final Fantasy II or Secret of Mana. In fact, NASIR was just the first name of programmer Nasir Gebelli, an Iranian-American who first made his name programming ambitious games like Horizon V in the Apple II era. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise on Mar 23, 2015 - 10 comments

On Memory: New Writing from Japan

On Memory: New Writing from Japan : a collection of newly translated fiction and non-fiction by Japanese writers, appearing in Words Without Borders magazine.
posted by Nevin on Mar 18, 2015 - 2 comments

Hell on earth.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of what is considered the single most deadly bombing raid in history, the 1945 US napalm firebombing of Tokyo. Today, there are still victims seeking redress and recognition from the Japanese government for the ‘unparalleled massacre’ of that horrific night.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 9, 2015 - 58 comments

Karoshi: Japanese for dying TO work, AT work, and BECAUSE of work.

The Japanese government is attempting to end Japan's culture of "death by overwork" (now known as karoshi) by moving to make it illegal to not take mandatory paid vacation days. Why won't Japanese workers go on vacation? The Japanese work some of the longest hours in the world and fear taking paid holidays in case they are ostracised by colleagues. The stress is so extreme that every year thousands of workers succumb to “karoshi”, or “death by overwork”. They either commit suicide (the see suicide as salvation), or die of a stroke or a heart attack. The Japanese are literally dying for work and the phenomenon is spreading to other Asian countries such as China, South Korea, and Bangladesh. A "chapter" of the award winning documentary "Happy" (now on Netflix and other online venues) looks at this Japanese phenomenon of Karoshi. HAPPY (trailer here) takes you on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
posted by spock on Mar 8, 2015 - 50 comments

Butt Bat Girl

When Manga, public art and slapstick comedy collide [more inside]
posted by Megami on Mar 6, 2015 - 7 comments

Observe how the light affects the fabric in the video

Anrealage AW15016

More information about Kunihiko Morinaga, and also some of his past work with cellphone-resistant clothing.
posted by oceanjesse on Mar 5, 2015 - 6 comments

The largest battleship in naval history

A research team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claims to have finally found the wreckage of the Japanese Yamato-class Battleship Musashi, sunk at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea October 23-24, 1944, part of the largest naval battle of World War II. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Mar 4, 2015 - 11 comments

nya nya nya nya

A corner of Japan where cats rule [SLR.tv]
posted by infini on Mar 3, 2015 - 29 comments

Next I would like to visit Okonomiyaki Galaxy please 

Okonomiyaki World is a surprisingly comprehensive cooking resource that includes a history, recipes and variations for both Osaka/Kansai and Hiroshima styles, information on ingredients and nutrition, supplies and utensils, restaurants serving okonomiyaki around the world, and even an okonomiyaki discussion group. The only thing it's missing is a banjo tribute that features animated, dancing cats, but this link has you covered.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Mar 3, 2015 - 25 comments

we are not familiar living with foreign people ... what do you even eat?

meet the unlikely Airbnb hosts of Japan
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Feb 24, 2015 - 58 comments

Tomatan

Tomatan: a wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes as you run.
posted by GuyZero on Feb 20, 2015 - 53 comments

Jim O’Rourke Live in Tokyo in June of 2014 [Part 1] [Part 2] Jim O’Rourke Plays “Women of the World” (Live on Christmas Day, 2013). Jim O’Rourke at Work on the Grizzly Man Soundtrack; Special Appearance by Werner Herzog. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 19, 2015 - 7 comments

Gay marriage comes to Asia?

Shibuya, Tokyo to begin issuing certification to same-sex couples of "relationship equivalent to marriage."
posted by DoctorFedora on Feb 11, 2015 - 39 comments

A sad-beautiful tale

Houshi Ryokan was founded around 1,300 years ago and it has always been managed by the same family since then. 
It is the oldest still running family business in the world.
posted by ecorrocio on Feb 2, 2015 - 27 comments

zara zara goro goro poki poki zaku zaku

Chocolates That Represent Japanese Onomatopoeic Words To Describe Texture
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 30, 2015 - 22 comments

Hakata-yuki

How long does it take to get from Tokyo to Hakata riding the Nozomi #11 on the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen line? About 5 hours and 14 minutes.
posted by Sokka shot first on Jan 19, 2015 - 31 comments

“Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

“Murakami-san no tokoro” or “Mr. Murakami’s place”: [Japanese] an agony uncle column by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 19, 2015 - 14 comments

NEON GLITCHY PIXART MADNESS

It's gloriously incomprehensible and very Japanese, but still: BUGGG, a game, or rather several games. (Requires Unity) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 17, 2015 - 12 comments

Flavorstone Blue

100 Japanese maids make a pancake (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 16, 2015 - 44 comments

Traditional Japanese Wood Construction and Framing Techniques

Some short videos from a Japanese construction shop that practices traditional joinery techniques. The tools are modern, but the components and joinery techniques are traditional. For instance, joining two beams end-to-end. [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 12, 2015 - 35 comments

he hides in the dark waiting to strike

Medieval Japanese Poetry and Minecraft
"Tanka poems place emphasis on the environment and emotions – a natural bridge to connect poetic verse and model landscapes in Minecraft."
Here is a link to poems written by the students as part of this project.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 9, 2015 - 5 comments

Huts with Open Fire Pits and No Chimneys

Preserving the Gassho Style (SLYT) The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Dec 31, 2014 - 10 comments

A head full of hot air

The Utsunomiya Museum of Art museum in Japan recently created a gigantic balloon shaped like middle-aged man's head and launched it into the sky as part of an effort to bring art into public spaces. You can view the project's website here and see more pictures of the project here.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 31, 2014 - 14 comments

Master of Men In Suits

King Kong vs Godzilla vs Metallica (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 30, 2014 - 3 comments

Mother of the Sea

Every year in Uto, a remote town at the Southern tip of Japan, a festival is held to celebrate a woman known locally as the Mother of the Sea. Dr Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker died without knowing her research would save the Japanese seaweed industry and lead to a world multi-billion dollar obsession with sushi. The story of nori in Japan.
posted by infini on Dec 12, 2014 - 20 comments

Only in Hebocon would the champion feel ashamed.

"Hebocon is a robot contest for the technically ungifted. Entrants will need compromise and surrender, instead of ideas and technical skill. Robots are penalized for having high-tech features."
posted by ardgedee on Dec 2, 2014 - 26 comments

Boom! "Shriek" Flames *Death metal plays* "Oishi desho?" (SLGV)

If you're only going to watch one three second video on how to cook shrimp, make it this one.
posted by Purposeful Grimace on Dec 1, 2014 - 38 comments

On Japanese Farewell Ceremonies for Things

Destruction and sacredness of life are often reasons for conflicts in Western culture; on the contrary, ceremonies like hari kuyo can become, even for Westerners, precious opportunities for reflection. In our habit of first producing and then acquiring, often with craving, a great quantity of objects destined to be thrown away like useless, harmful, and cumbersome rubbish shortly after their acquisition, are hidden the germs of attachment and hate that, together with nescience (avidyā), form the sad trio of spiritual poisons. We generally believe we are good custodians of the environment when hurriedly, even with a bit of resentment, we throw in the rubbish bin all that has been discarded. In transforming "removal" into "restitution," the getting rid of useless objects can instead become a stimulus, and not a mere gesture of refusal, for considering our relationship with activities, objects, and the environment, by carrying out, through decorous and at times melancholic farewell ceremonies, daily exercises of kindness and giving.
Farewell Ceremonies for Things, from Dharma World, providing context for a number of Japanese ceremonies, including Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, Fude-Kuyo, a ceremony for brushes, Ningyo-Kuyo, "a doll funeral", and other ceremony for valued items, activities, and professions.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 24, 2014 - 19 comments

More on those photogenic Japanese macaques, aka snow monkeys

Last February, a Japanese snow monkey got hold of someone's smart phone (as discussed on Reddit and elsewhere), and Marsel van Oosten captured a great view of that same Japanese macaque, winning accolades and awards around the 'net and globe. If you'd like to know even more, he chatted with the 500 px ISO blog, discussing these hot-tub bathing macaques and nature photography in general. If you'd like to know more about Japanese macaques in general, here's a broad overview of the photogenic monkeys, and an hour long PBS documentary to delve even deeper. (Snow Monkeys bathing in hot springs previously)
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 17, 2014 - 14 comments

All yellow – Corn with corn. Moreover, he has to eat with chopsticks.

Revenge obento. From IroMegane (via flex). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 15, 2014 - 33 comments

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