1229 posts tagged with Japan.
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The Woman Who Makes Prosthetic Pinkies for Ex-Yakuza Members

When “Mike” spotted a newspaper advert for a clinic making prosthetic fingers in the 90s, he thought it was a scam. But the ex-yakuza member had booked himself a consultation within the hour. For almost a decade, a stumpy pinkie on his left hand had marked out his previous allegiance to the criminal world, preventing him from leading a normal life. A fake little finger, he thought, sounded outlandish, but it was worth a shot. It might allow him to disguise his past—and help shield against Japanese society’s prejudiced view of ex-yakuza members in search of redemption. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Feb 9, 2016 - 13 comments

L.A. Dreamers

Five Japanese girls meet in Los Angeles. They are far from home but they have same goal, chase the dream of becoming hip hop dancers. [SLVimeo]
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 8, 2016 - 4 comments

history of japan (in 9 minutes)

history of japan in 9 minutes by bill wurtz
posted by gen on Feb 2, 2016 - 41 comments

On this spot

On This Spot is a history blog that focusses on then and now photography, comparing historical and contemporary photographs of the same locations. Locations include cities and battlefields in the UK, Germany, France, Japan and Canada.
posted by Dim Siawns on Jan 29, 2016 - 8 comments

Such a good doge

If you like Shiba Inus, and you like slow-paced videos, you will love this hour-long video of a doge on a leisurely walk through a Japanese village. They visit a temple, stop for some noodles, take some photos, and create some paw print art. No dialogue, only music. No Japanese knowledge required. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jan 24, 2016 - 28 comments

Millions of sushi, sushi for me.

On one hand, you have the Jiro-sans of the world. On the other...
posted by theappleonatree on Jan 24, 2016 - 35 comments

N. Korea does have a long history of exaggerating its military prowess.

North Korea says it just tested a hydrogen bomb. Here's what we know. [Vox]
According to top experts, it's very plausible this was a test. "I think it is *probably* a test," Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, tweeted. "DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea] event epicenter close to test site and on 1/2 hour." Generally, earthquakes don't just happen on exactly the half hour.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Jan 6, 2016 - 82 comments

A Moss Girl’s Guide to Japanese Moss Viewing

Since I first discovered moss ten years ago, the joys of examining moss in its natural habitat and marveling at the sporey, crazy geometries on the other end of my magnifying glass has become one of my greatest pleasures in my life. And I’m not alone: a growing number of young Japanese women have taken up moss-viewing, calling themselves “moss girls” and holding moss viewing parties all over Japan. More recently, the trend has spread to people of all ages and sexes, who are discovering new venues all over the country where moss enthusiasts can gather to share their passion. [more inside]
posted by dmit on Jan 6, 2016 - 37 comments

"The food is authentic in spirit."

"It was Asian enough for my immigrant parents and American enough for my sister and me." In the PBS feature documentary, Off The Menu, filmmaker Grace Lee traverses the US into the kitchens, factories, temples and farm of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. Food Republic spoke with Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, whose NYC restaurant, Fung Tu, is featured in the film.
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 31, 2015 - 4 comments

Supreme Skills! Miracle Tops: May They Spin Forever!

Supreme Skills is a show on the NHK, presented here dubbed well into English, in which two groups of Japanese engineers who compete to meet the challenge of exceptionally strict production standards according to their talents and natural biases. Eight additional shows are linked inside.
In Supreme Skills! Miracle Tops: May They Spin Forever! [24:47] A group of young satellite engineers and a group of wizened craftsmen compete to produce a top that will spin the longest in an understated drama of rapidly rotating dreams. It showcases the design focuses and production process of both teams as well as the engineering and physics concepts they demonstrate supreme mastery over as we watch the tops spin and the engineers grow increasingly nervous.
[more inside] posted by Blasdelb on Dec 29, 2015 - 36 comments

"This squid was not damaged and looked lively . . ."

Architeuthis Dux: Giant Squid observed in Toyama Bay, Japan. [SLYT] The story from CNN. This one was 12 feet long; they can grow to 60 feet. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Dec 28, 2015 - 67 comments

Yakitate!! Japan, an informative manga/anime series about bread baking

From the beginning of the first episode, you can see that Yakitate!! Japan is a silly show about bread. The title, which translates to Freshly Baked!! Ja-pan, alone is enough to warn you that it's full of puns ("pan" is Japanese for bread). If you're inspired by the show or manga, here are a ton of recipes, beyond the rice cooker bread recipe from the show, which was converted to US units for the English manga translation. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 28, 2015 - 23 comments

Shin Kubota and The Jellyfish of Immortality

Vice Motherboard on the immortal jellyfish and Shin Kabota, the man who sings their praise. Shin Kubota music video.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 26, 2015 - 3 comments

Money is extracted from people in love & happy people support capitalism

Since 2006, a group of lonely single men in Japan calling itself Kakumeiteki Hi-mote Domei (“Revolutionary Losers’ League”) has been protesting against Christmas, arguing that the holiday, as practiced in Japan, marginalises the uncoupled. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 21, 2015 - 42 comments

Moe desu

This stressful, ongoing debate fuels the seeming paradox of an “endearing” military force. In Japan, where indirect communication is highly valued, cute illustrations have long played the role of tension-breakers and mediators in situations of conflict. Thus kawaii mascots, whether miniskirted girls or bunny-rabbit decoy launchers, are both a reflection of pop-cultural trends and a way to defuse the very touchy issues surrounding the military’s undeniable presence.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 15, 2015 - 16 comments

Classic Art with a Modern Twist

2015 marks the 400th anniversary of the famous Rinpa School painting of the Wind God and Thunder God (Fujin-Raijin-zu). This has led a modern painter of the Rinpa School to add his own twists on the iconic painting, first in a collaboration with Nintendo to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. and, shortly thereafter, to celebrate the new Star Wars movie's release. In addition to these, the artist, Yamamoto Taro, has quite a history of producing traditionally-styled Japanese paintings with a modern sensibility and a touch of humor.
posted by DoctorFedora on Dec 7, 2015 - 4 comments

Please look forward when walking

Samurai Smartphone Parade
posted by infini on Dec 2, 2015 - 7 comments

Style Out There

Asha Leo of Refinery29 travels around the world to learn about international fashion subcultures and the way fashion affects society worldwide. So far she's met Gothic (and other) Lolitas in Amsterdam, Moroccan expat culture, hijra in India, Hasidic designers in Brooklyn, Korean matchy-matchy fashion for couples, and the highly colorful world of Japanese decora.
posted by divabat on Nov 30, 2015 - 6 comments

In a beautiful pea-green boat

Thankful for Friendship: the story of Marimo the cat and Fuku the owl
posted by infini on Nov 26, 2015 - 8 comments

Art of Sakuga

The term sakuga (作画) refers to a series of well-drawn movements in animation found in both western and Japanese animated shows. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Nov 26, 2015 - 9 comments

Leave no ball behind.

"Once upon a time, in a tiny home, lived three ball brothers: Biita, Biisuke, and Biigoro. The three lived happily together but one day.... What?! Two of the brothers were taken!"

And so begins Biisuke Ball's Big Adventure, where one little ball braves a Rube Goldberg machine and larger-than-life enemies to rescue his ball brothers and bring them home. (Turn on closed captioning for subtitles in English.) [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 22, 2015 - 8 comments

Fighting crime is just my hobby

Onepunch-man (ワンパンマン) a comedy/superhero webcomic created by ONE in 2009 hosted on his site which quickly became a viral hit over the years. It features the adventures of Saitama (サイタマ), an unlicensed hero, and his disciple Genos (ジェノス) as they protect the citizens in Z-city from a variety of villains and monsters. However, after all his dedication to training to become a serious hero he feels empty as everything is too easily resolved with one punch. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Nov 15, 2015 - 11 comments

OkonomiYumi!

How a Guatemalan chef became the owner of an okonomiyaki restaurant in Hiroshima. [more inside]
posted by bigZLiLk on Nov 7, 2015 - 27 comments

“A mix of Japanese pop songs, most of them with a synth funk backbone”

Jen Monroe and Brian Sweeny, the curators of the Listen To This! album blog, have collaborated with Self-Titled Magazine on an eclectic mix of Japanese synth pop that will go perfectly with your personal end-of-Summer / Fall weather: OMG JAPAN (Track list and liner notes)
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 25, 2015 - 6 comments

Crickets chirp around the door

Four seasons? Is that all you got? Japan has 72 seasons.
posted by Gotanda on Oct 21, 2015 - 31 comments

Insert your own "Alien Ant Farm" joke here.

A traditional Japanese cover of "Smooth Criminal", led by flautist Yoshimi Tsujimoto.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 21, 2015 - 22 comments

Covered in lube and sliding about — it’s a fantastic way to make friends

The "Lube Olympics" makes slippery bid to rival 2020 Tokyo Games — featuring popular Greece sports like group sumo, tug-of-war, giant balls relay, sliding underneath the sheets and so much more
posted by a lungful of dragon on Oct 11, 2015 - 13 comments

Unlockdown Nation

Why are little kids in Japan so independent? - 'If we had a nonviolent society, kids could walk around on their own, unafraid, like they do in Japan'. (via)
posted by kliuless on Oct 3, 2015 - 83 comments

Hardcore Gaming 101 video articles

Here is the new series of video articles started by the ultra-knowledgeable folks at Hardcore Gaming 101. The first two are up, the beginning of series on Pre-Super Mario platform games and on the early history of JRPGs. Related is the video adjunct to the Game Club 199X Podcast, with over 50 videos. (Previously.)
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2015 - 23 comments

Japanese Government Asks Universities to Close Social Science Faculties

Short on time? Here are the highlights: Japan’s Minister of Education has asked all national universities to close their social sciences and humanities departments. 26 universities have so far confirmed plans to close affected faculties or convert them to "areas that better meet society’s needs" [more inside]
posted by Shouraku on Sep 29, 2015 - 138 comments

Woodblock GIFs

Japanese woodblock prints re-imagined as animated GIFs. (via Giant Cypress)
posted by jedicus on Sep 21, 2015 - 13 comments

Fukushima.

This photographic documentary is not intended to tell the story of the events surrounding the disaster yet again. [...] It is not earthquakes or tsunami that are to blame for the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, but humans. [...] As in the Chernobyl case, it was a human, not technology, that was mainly responsible for the disaster.
posted by slater on Sep 21, 2015 - 5 comments

"All Japanese young women want kogao."

An American living in Japan, Ellen Freeman confronts her own body issues upon learning that her 'small face' fits an ideal of beauty she wasn't even aware of.
posted by buriednexttoyou on Sep 19, 2015 - 42 comments

The love that dare not speak its name

Cat & Snail [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Sep 18, 2015 - 23 comments

Drink your single malt and put your helmet on...

In 2011, Ardbeg, a prominent Scotch whisky distiller, sent vials of its whisky to the International Space Station to mature. Those vials have been returned to Earth and subjected to taste tests alongside samples of the same whisky matured at Ardbeg's distillery. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Sep 9, 2015 - 40 comments

♥xoxo♥

Sexy Pudding! Part 2! The long awaited and highly anticipated sequel to butt pudding, previously.
posted by phunniemee on Sep 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2015 - 24 comments

Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight

The Japanese women who married the enemy — "American GIs were told not to fraternise with Japanese women, but they did." Within a few years after Imperial Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945 and subsequent occupation, over 30,000 Japanese war brides married American troops and returned to the United States with them (BBC News documentary broadcast schedule).
posted by cenoxo on Aug 17, 2015 - 15 comments

"Almost no-one in Britain spoke Japanese"

The UK's desperate-measures approach to teaching Japanese during WWII, and its lasting impact. [SLBBC] [more inside]
posted by terretu on Aug 12, 2015 - 12 comments

“Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?”

Visiting Tokyo Snake Center: A 'Snake Cafe' in Jingumae, Shibuya Ward [YouTube]
Who needs a cafe full of cute kittens or fluffy owls when you can unwind and enjoy a refreshing beverage in the company of …SNAKES! A new snake-themed cafe has just opened up in Tokyo that makes such beautiful dreams possible. For a mere 1000 yen, patrons can enjoy a spot of orange juice and a sit-down with a non-venomous viper. [via: Crunchyroll]
Official Site: Tokyo Snake Center
posted by Fizz on Aug 11, 2015 - 63 comments

Just your everyday Nippon Kondate

Bismark, North Dakota, 1905: Typical menu for a ladies' church group luncheon: Tcha, kashi, sushi. Yes, that kind of sushi: Eccentric Culinary investigates the culinary history of America's love affair with Japan in Part 1 of The Great Sushi Craze of 1905.
posted by Diablevert on Aug 5, 2015 - 9 comments

GIFs of life in Japan

Trees and trains and rain.
posted by Bee'sWing on Jul 27, 2015 - 21 comments

"odd and magical occurrences..."

Ever wanted to get lost in a piece of art or feel like you're inside an anime? LA-based art duo kozyndan posted an immersive "VR" experience of their 2009 Miyazaki-esque piece "Nakano In Spring". (More info on the original piece is here) [more inside]
posted by raihan_ on Jul 22, 2015 - 7 comments

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

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