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Hornets, gentle giants

The Asian Giant Hornet is cool, unless it's baked. Japanese honeybees can detect the hornet's secretion and they attack en masse. With approximately 500 honeybees surrounding the hornet in a tight ball, the temperature within the cluster rises to 47 degrees Celsius which bakes the hornet alive.
posted by tellurian on Jun 8, 2006 - 35 comments

Modern Japanese Art

My earliest memory was when I was three. I had a fever and my mother was wiping a cold wet rag on my body. There were fish swimming in my room, as though I was underwater, but I could breathe just fine. That's why I was surprised to find this. "The contemporary art in Japan (english) is naturally influenced by the world contemporary art. But the power of the Japanese traditions, the oppressive presence of a dense urban environment and the various traumatism undergone by Japan for 60 years (defeat of 1945, Hiroshima, earthquakes, economic crisis, etc.) involve a production very rich, original and little known."
posted by sluglicker on Jun 4, 2006 - 6 comments

Gaki No Tsukai

"...this clip of a Japanese show called Gaki No Tsukai stands out not for what it includes, but for what it lacks - talking and screaming. It takes place in a studio made up like a library, with the participants (including Kickboxing champion Ernesto Hoost) stifling their laughter, screams of pain and retching noises, just like any student did in their own junior high school library." [youtube video, text shamelessly lifted from wfmu]
posted by Armitage Shanks on May 18, 2006 - 25 comments

Seaman Ship

We want you as a new recruit. The Japan Defense Agency has a short recruitment video on their site. [via]
posted by tellurian on Feb 9, 2006 - 17 comments

A Hole Is To Dig

Behold the Chikyu! Japan has built and launched a drilling ship with which they will drill what they hope will be the world's deepest hole into the Earth's crust and mantle.
posted by fandango_matt on Sep 29, 2005 - 35 comments

Harajuku Street Style

Harajuku Street Style. Oh those crazy cool Japanese kids! The streets of Harajuku are as much a fashion playground as they are an exhibit of Why You Should Never Pair White Boots with Gold Chains. This is, of course, in line with the existing weirdness of the brilliant Katamari Damacy, mayonnaise-and-squid pizza, and the "no caption required" homoerotic dating sim "le, Tatemasu!",
posted by riffraff on Jan 7, 2005 - 34 comments

the snake comes out of the dirt

AN AMAZING JAPANESE ANIMATION based on the psychologically complicated and beautifully playful work of comic book artist Jim Woodring. (Monday morning cartoons for you, complete with a nod to the Jetsons, courtesy the Japan Media Arts Festival. Other featured work here.)
posted by Peter H on Aug 16, 2004 - 19 comments

Hanafuda and Go-Stop

Hanafuda, also known as Go-Stop. [more]
posted by hama7 on May 2, 2004 - 6 comments

Black ships and Samurai: Japan and the US, 1853

Black ships and samurai In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
posted by carter on Mar 14, 2004 - 18 comments

Ping Pong Pang Pong!

Ping Pong Pang Pong ... (MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+] [+] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+] [+] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+]. The very excellent Shonen Knife used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
posted by carter on Mar 3, 2004 - 7 comments

Where Time Stands Still

Hihoken - Erotic Museums In Japan [NSFW, obviously]
posted by eilatan on Feb 26, 2004 - 2 comments

Get out of the Crimson room

Get out of the Crimson room. [flash]
posted by xmutex on Feb 16, 2004 - 37 comments

Old Japanese coins and bank notes

Gallery of old Japanese Bank Notes and coins.
posted by hama7 on Feb 2, 2004 - 2 comments

Japanese Railway Train Panoramas

Kazumi Namiki uses a slit camera to capture panoramic pictures onto a whole roll of film. He uses his slit camera to take photographs of Japanese railway trains; lots and lots of trains. [via boingboing]
posted by carter on Jan 12, 2004 - 9 comments

Liquid Mouse Christ

Santa is trapped in a usb mouse.
posted by srboisvert on Dec 23, 2003 - 8 comments

Amodal Suspension

"Amodal Suspension" is a large-scale interactive installation developed for the opening of the new Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Japan. [more]
posted by hama7 on Nov 17, 2003 - 6 comments

A small brown open-mouthed monster

Domo-kun! Domokun is "a small brown open-mouthed monster hatched from an egg who lives with a wise old rabbit underground." In Japan, he's the mascot of the NHK BS2 channel and is the star of a series of stop-motion shorts (100MB .mov), the fun and warmth of which aren't lost in translation. In the western world, Domokun is better known as the monster chasing that cute little kitty.
posted by adrianhon on Oct 11, 2003 - 13 comments

8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan

8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan. Holy crap. The Kobe quake in 1994 was a 6.9 - am I right to think that an 8.0 is about ten times worse than that one? Any mefites in Japan who can give us more information?
posted by majcher on Sep 25, 2003 - 61 comments

Manscaping! Another word brought to you by Queer Eye.

It's Dinner Time. You know what that means: Hairy chests. [geisha asobi poss. nsfw] Mmmmmm... I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog just looking at it! What's that? You're in the mood for hairy backs? [e.blort] Why, Bill Cosby from Ghost Dad would be proud! (Whoever else has seen that movie gets a free... flowbee.)
posted by Stan Chin on Aug 26, 2003 - 28 comments

Happy Store, Visual Paradise TV

Are you Happy?? I'm so Happy!! LOVE&PEACE Happy Together...! Tune in for 10 hours of high-res streaming Happy Store to get your fix with hosts Tomoe Shinohara and Eriko Sato. Just one program you can catch live on So-Net Visual Paradise TV.
posted by son_of_minya on Jun 18, 2003 - 9 comments

Learn English.

Learn English.
posted by xmutex on Apr 17, 2003 - 15 comments

old japan maps

A bunch of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces."
posted by stbalbach on Apr 13, 2003 - 5 comments

Happy Birthday Astroboy

Happy birthday Astroboy - Born on April 7, 2003. Oh how the future has dissapointed; why don't we have flying juvenile robots to protect us from evil? All we have is kitch T-shirts. The history and episode guide to Astroboy, and lots more information on this Japanese cartoon favourite.
posted by Jimbob on Apr 6, 2003 - 14 comments

Dance of Darkness

In retrospect I have seen a glimpse of it before, in Baraka (scroll down to images, in the middle of the second row). I had forgotten this. I had read about it before too and smugly thought I knew about it then. When I saw it live for the first time I realized I didn't know anything at all about it. And now that I've seen it, now that it feels like I know it, it still feels like I don't know anything about it.

Unfortunately there's only so much that can be said about anything. You have to experience it, and even then it has to touch you or resonate with you in some way before it really means anything to you. All I can say is that I saw something last weekend that touched me and resonated very strongly with me. And anything that I or anyone else could tell you about Butoh couldn't tell you what that was, much less give you what was given to me.
posted by wobh on Apr 4, 2003 - 10 comments

"There is making of silver sex". Taking bodypainting/messy obsessions to the very edge, Manon Production from Japan sells a wide selection of fetish videos (sample mpeg 1.69MB). All feature illustrative pictures and detailed, eerie Engrish descriptions ("we feel admirable and poor at her black smile"; "Midori's body is changing colourfull"; "a little golden powder enters into her eyes"). Results can also evoke a sculpture, the theater or abstract art. Considering the evident misogyny of the whole effort, is it all the more unsettling because the images are sometimes beautiful (1, 2)? Is it an attempt to somehow bring Sorayama's creatures to life? Could the models be actually enjoying it? NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
posted by 111 on Mar 16, 2003 - 16 comments

Rook! I'm Invisibir!

Japanese create "invisible" cloak. Well, not really. Technically, just a two sided cloak, the front of which is a projector, and the back of which is a camera. Only works, one would imagine, if you're looking at a person straight on, and even then it would help if you were partially blind, or at the very least, raised in the wilderness & easily fooled by modern technology.
posted by jonson on Feb 5, 2003 - 55 comments

Sushi Seal Family

The Sushi Seal Family are simultaneously sushi and seals. Actually, judging by the sample movie and the episode guide, it seems more like "Barbapapa" meets Zen koans. But it's big in Japan, apparently. (Via Geegaw.)
posted by staggernation on Jan 3, 2003 - 19 comments

Too Long In Japan

You've been in Japan too long when... A) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again. B) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again. C) ...your hair is thinning and you consider it "barcode style". Or perhaps if you're unsurprised that such a historically isolationist nation is now so uniquely and openly fascinated with the opinions of those who have moved to their land...wow. This is somewhere I must travel to.
posted by effugas on Dec 17, 2002 - 68 comments

It's cute. It's funny. It's simple. It comes in different sizes and offers lots of goofy artistic possibilities. Its silly commercials [quicktime] will crack you up. It is nothing, really. It is just Meary.
posted by mediareport on Oct 28, 2002 - 27 comments

Chindogu

Chindogu is the ancient Japanese art of the Unuseless Invention -- that is, a creation which seems like a great idea, but which, in reality, causes more inconvenience than it cures. Behold the almost handy Backstratcher's T-Shirt, the Eyedrop Funnel Glasses, the Butter Stick and the Kitty Dust Slippers. Because everyone enjoys a good Unuseless Invention, I have given this book as a gift more than any other.
posted by Shadowkeeper on Aug 19, 2002 - 5 comments

When the Japanese do ice cream, you end up with flavors like...well, whatever you're thinking, it's probably not too far off.
Mmm, wasabi.
posted by Su on Jul 23, 2002 - 30 comments

Fingertip found in a Japanese Rice Ball.

Fingertip found in a Japanese Rice Ball. In other news, the feds are thinking about investigating rumors about dead bodies being stored inside the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
posted by kingmissile on Jun 4, 2002 - 15 comments

Check out this soccer/baseball stadium. You can fold the baseball field and roll in the soccer one. Animation here. Amazing.
posted by sikander on Jun 1, 2002 - 17 comments

China thumbs nose at Japan, sends asylum seekers on their way.

China thumbs nose at Japan, sends asylum seekers on their way. A happy ending (beginning) for five North Korean asylum seekers who were dragged out of the Japanese consulate in Shenyang by Chinese police -- with more than tacit initial approval from local Japanese officials.
posted by Bixby23 on May 22, 2002 - 3 comments

Japan criminalizes shrooms.

Japan criminalizes shrooms. Street merchants like these will soon be a thing of the past.
posted by skallas on Apr 25, 2002 - 9 comments

Japan To Host IWC Meeting in Whaling Port

Japan To Host IWC Meeting in Whaling Port . . .the sheer volume of food they [whales] need has actually become a threat to the ocean environment.

Apparently they feel that when the rest of the world gets to taste whale bacon, or whale soup, they will suddenly realize who stupid we've been in banning commercial whaling. Am I hypocritical in eating tuna or salmon, but being horrified with the potential resumption of commercial whaling?
posted by Danf on Apr 18, 2002 - 16 comments

It's the Shperiks!

It's the Shperiks! Those wacky mascots for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan! I can't tell what the heck is going on here, and if it weren't for the upbeat BGM, I'd probably be scared to visit this site again. But it was an interesting little adventure...
posted by Bixby23 on Mar 26, 2002 - 6 comments

The business of crying in Japan

The business of crying in Japan Interesting LAT article that discusses the controversy behind a Japanese lawmaker's comment on the use of tears by females.
posted by zinegurl on Jan 31, 2002 - 2 comments

Astroboy!

Astroboy! Get out your red rocket boots and laser shooting behind. Sony is planning to bring the cult superhero/wonderboy to the screen in 2004 in computer-generated glory. Will the film feature Astro's evil brother Atlas, or Astro's slightly unnerving robotic parents?
posted by phatboy on Dec 10, 2001 - 6 comments

PostPet

PostPet Japan's most popular email program. it's NOT outlook, it's NOT notes, it's NOT eudora. it's PostPet. related article here: A Dancing Pink Bear Named Momo. now looking at this pink bear in particular and japanese culture in general, any chance that imode will *really* be popular in Europe and the US?
posted by HeikoH on Oct 9, 2001 - 14 comments

Not many still-practiced sports existed at the dawn of recorded history. Sumo wrestling is one of them. I've been trying to learn more about Sumo lately, and with the Aki-Basho tournament coming up next month, now is the time to follow along on the web as the drama unfolds.
posted by machaus on Aug 25, 2001 - 5 comments

Hot diggity dog!

Hot diggity dog! good clean fun or are the japanese humiliating us in international competitions for a reason?
posted by ggggarret on Jul 11, 2001 - 5 comments

Nasubi entered a contest..

Nasubi entered a contest.. A contest that required luck... It soon dawned on Nasubi just what type of luck he had needed to win.
posted by Kino on Jun 14, 2001 - 22 comments

"People can eat Godzilla and become energetic and powerful. It's got dreams mixed in with fun," Takara spokeswoman Yoko Watanabe said Tuesday.

"People can eat Godzilla and become energetic and powerful. It's got dreams mixed in with fun," Takara spokeswoman Yoko Watanabe said Tuesday. Do I even need to comment? They've chopped up Godzilla and they're eating him. Where's Greenpeace when you need them? (Of course, maybe it's the pseudo-Godzilla from the recent American picture...I'd feel less bad about that.)
posted by Ezrael on Jun 13, 2001 - 13 comments

Not merely content to invent the future, Japan is also hard at work inventing the past.
posted by lagado on May 9, 2001 - 25 comments

Postal Savings is great.

Postal Savings is great. Nothing beats having a cash machine on every corner. Except maybe having a cashless Coke machine on every corner.
posted by dfowler on Apr 26, 2001 - 17 comments

You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre.

You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre. A very graphic account of the massacre of Chinese citizens by Japanese soldiers in World War 2. I found this tale to be far more sickening than that of the Holocaust.

Don't read it if you don't wish to read and see accounts of how Japanese soldiers sliced up pregnant women and beheaded children in the streets. It is truly awful.
posted by wackybrit on Jan 29, 2001 - 47 comments

Even the bad guys

Even the bad guys have PR sites these days. From the cuddly looks of this buddhist sect leader, you'd never have assumed he was responsible for the only large-scale act of terrorism in Japan in recent memory (the Tokyo subway Sarin gassing).
posted by Neb on Jan 16, 2001 - 5 comments

Boon-Ga Boon-Ga!

Boon-Ga Boon-Ga! [via fark] - a video game played by spanking. Even worse is the person dressed up like the game controller at a trade show, even more disturbing next to the person in the turd (?) costume. Brought to you by Taff System (link not functional at time of posting)
posted by plinth on Jan 5, 2001 - 0 comments

When archaeology goes bad

When archaeology goes bad "For a nation that has always reveled in its cultural uniqueness, the discoveries were more than heartening; they were almost too good to be true. "
posted by lagado on Dec 12, 2000 - 7 comments

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