1175 posts tagged with Japan.
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Japan in the Space Elevator race

Japan is showing renewed interest as another contender in the race to build the world's first space elevator. Japanese scientists believe they can complete the project with an optimistic trillion yen budget, and are sponsoring an international conference (no English) this November to draw up a timetable. [more inside]
posted by p3t3 on Sep 27, 2008 - 60 comments

Pirates of the Rei-chan

Four-year-old Rei-chan plays the electone on tv. Then the "genius electone girl" is invited to perform for Johnny Depp (part 2, part 3), when he went to Japan to promote the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. (She and her friends also gave the same performance for Orlando Bloom.) [more inside]
posted by emmling on Sep 20, 2008 - 12 comments

Ninja Warrior: The Iron Fireman of Gifu

Ninja Warrior: The Fireman (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 18, 2008 - 43 comments

Ecoda dobutsuen

The Eco Zoo - some amazing Japanese 3D Flash. If you take a close look at the animals there... you might be able to get some tips to live in a more environmentally friendly way!
posted by Artw on Sep 13, 2008 - 13 comments

The Feminine side of Buddhism

As in most religions, Buddhism's pantheon of deities and saints has been male dominated. The preeminent exception to this is Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion, also called Guan Yin or Kannon. She is the female form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, who underwent a gender shift after being popularized in China. She has inspired amazing forms of worship. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 12, 2008 - 15 comments

"I can tell you that she went well."

RIP Nagi Noda (1973-2008) Amazingly talented art director/music video director. Sentimental Journey. Hearts on Fire. She's My Man. Her website of collected works, Uchu Country. Antville thread with a beautiful story from Aaron Stewart-Ahn is here.
posted by setanor on Sep 11, 2008 - 9 comments

Japan through wonderful vintage photos

Vintage 3-D stereoviews of old Japan, Meiji and Taisho era swimsuit girls, working people, geisha, and kids, old Japan salt prints, dozens of T. Enami glass slides, and strange or offbeat images: all part of a vast and superb collection of Japanese photos from 1862 to 1930 by flickr user Okinawa Soba. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 9, 2008 - 17 comments

Save Everyone!

Last Guy - input a website, any website, and save the survivors. [more inside]
posted by knowles on Aug 25, 2008 - 12 comments

When celebrities and language collide. In Japan!

Puzzled by sugary J-Pop bands and their eccentric (and failed) TV shows? Frustrated and confused by the complexity of Japanese and want to see what your inchoate blustering looks like from the other side? Then join "perennially unpopular" gaijin celebrity Thane Camus (grand-nephew of Albert Camus), as he walks a class of fellow pop star clichés through an endearingly awkward English conversation class.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 21, 2008 - 22 comments

Pink foam walls reveal national character.

Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu is a Japanese game show where contestants strike poses to fit through cutouts in pink foam walls. International reproductions of this game show reveal much about national character; reproductions exist in Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. [more inside]
posted by Alison on Aug 13, 2008 - 20 comments

Floating World

Viewing Japanese Prints is an encyclopedia of Floating World art (or ukiyo-e) and related genres. It has lots of images to go with the articles. Once you've gone through the site and familiarized yourself with pre-modern Japanese printmaking you might want to browse through the humongous image archive of Tokyo Metropolitan Library. Here are a few images that caught my eye: musicians attempt to keep a lady entertained, samurai pirate jumps into the water, crazed sea-captain wields very big axe, two samurais in combat, elfin man watches split-tailed cat dance while a giant feline stares angrily and giant toad belches up samurai while another samurai fights a gigantic fish and a third samurai observes the action from the banks of a river.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 7, 2008 - 15 comments

A new kind of waterfall

水の落ちる絵 (Pictures in Falling Water) [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2008 - 38 comments

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.

Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." [more inside]
posted by ikahime on Aug 1, 2008 - 10 comments

Japan from the Driver's Seat

Japan from the Driver's Seat -- American truck driver in Japan keeps a photo blog. [more inside]
posted by yort on Jul 29, 2008 - 13 comments

鳥捉魚 bird catch fish

For over a thousand years, fishermen all over the world have been using cormorants to help them fish in lakes and rivers. In Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, cormorant fishing on the Nagara river has continued uninterrupted for the past 1,300 years. In Guilin and Yangshuo, China, cormorant birds are famous for fishing on the shallow Lijiang River. The islands of the Beaver Island archipelago in Northern Lake Michigan host what may be the densest concentration of the big, black diving birds on the continent, an estimated 50,000 that eat about 9 million pounds of fish from the surrounding waters from spring through fall. Fishermen and tourism interests want the state and federal governments to cut the number of double-crested cormorants around the Beaver Island group by half, raising the ire of bird lovers and animal-rights activists who say the cormorants aren't at the root of the problem.
posted by mrducts on Jul 1, 2008 - 13 comments

June 30th, June 30th

30 years ago, Richard Brautigan's last collection of poems, June 30th, June 30th, was published. [more inside]
posted by ikahime on Jun 30, 2008 - 24 comments

Nobody knows Emperors and Queens more intimately

Pictures of 100 poems by 100 poets, explained by a Wet Nurse - Hokusai's pictures describe what the poems do in the head of a wet nurse. With high resolution scans.
posted by tellurian on Jun 29, 2008 - 9 comments

"It's not of this world. It's Sadako's fury. And she's put a curse on us."

RIP Tartan Films. The UK-based film distribution company has gone into administration, laying off it's entire staff. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 28, 2008 - 28 comments

The Uncanny Island

"I began to realize that "robots"-- in all their various forms-- can really be seen as a symbol of a larger relationship between people and technology." In 1988, Frederick Schodt wrote about the Japanese fascination and use of robots in his book Inside the Robot Kingdom, curious by the disparities between American and Japanese manufacturing processes . In 1988, the American public wasn't ready for the book, or for robots. Today, Japan still has embraced robotic automation in a way that arguably no other country has. For more similar topics, Mangobot is a column that reports on Asian futurism.
posted by artifarce on Jun 22, 2008 - 22 comments

I wonder if Sumo Wrestlers have to lose weight also?

We've talked about BMI as a metric for health, and possibly laws regulating health. What about waist measurment? [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. on Jun 14, 2008 - 21 comments

The "Humans of Hokkaidō" formally recognized.

Until 400 years ago, the Ainu controlled Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four main islands. Today they are a small minority group of Japan. They are a hunting and fishing people whose origins remain in dispute. Long before the people who would come to be known as "the Japanese" completed their migrations from the Asia mainland, the islands of Japan were already inhabited by a race of people known as the Ainu ("human"). On this northernmost island, (Hokkaido), in the "snow country," there still may be found remnants of this once proud and vigorous people who roamed the Japan islands long before the Japanese themselves arrived.
More links inside [more inside]
posted by dawson on Jun 6, 2008 - 35 comments

magical balls

This fun Japanese contact juggler's clip is proving popular lately, but he is not the first Japanese practitioner of the art to surface online. Here are several more highly entertaining Japanese contact juggler clips worth watching: one, two (starts about 1:06), three, four, five. (all via the highly entertaining Ministry of Manipulation's blog). [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 5, 2008 - 27 comments

Jero

Enka is popular Japanese music which started to become popular in the Showa era after World War II. Until very recently, it's pretty much been popular only with the older crowd or in karaoke. Recently, though, a popular young star from Philadelphia has brought about a resurgence with the younger crowd. Look at his videos and be amazed. Presenting Jero. [more inside]
posted by greasepig on Jun 2, 2008 - 18 comments

Don't play with your food - well, OK, go ahead.

Sushi art. Weird sushi art. Sushi ASCII art. Sushi soap. Sushi jewelry. Sushi candles. Wind-up sushi. And finally, sushi made of chocolate!
posted by desjardins on May 31, 2008 - 8 comments

Puss puss puss

Hello Kitty becomes Japan's ambassador to China. The little half-Japanese, half-English cat has become so globally recognisable that it is, perhaps, inevitable that the Japanese board of tourism has appointed her their official tourism ambassador to China and Hong Kong. This is not the first time the world has looked to Hello Kitty to perform an ambassadorial role; she has been United States children's ambassador for Unicef since 1983. [more inside]
posted by infini on May 25, 2008 - 18 comments

Urban Tentacles

Interzone interchanges: Can GPS get a driver off of, or keep a driver off of...these things? (via)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on May 22, 2008 - 19 comments

Takashi Murakami

Hentai sculpture sells for $15m (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 15, 2008 - 98 comments

Feudal Crime Lords of Japan

Among industrialized nations, Japan has a pretty low rate of violent crime, a relatively high number of police, and a virtually non-existent acquittal rate. Yet, somehow the Yakuza persists.
posted by absalom on May 12, 2008 - 54 comments

Kano Collection of old Japanese books and scrolls

Tohoku University's Kano Collection is an unparalleled collection of japanese books from the Edo period. The beautiful and grizzly Kaibou zonshinzu anatomical chart has been making the blogrounds lately but that's only one of the countless treasures the Kano Collection has to offer. Stumbling around near-blindly, like a non-Japanese reader such as myself, with only minimal help from the site, I have come across an amazing variety of beautiful objects, such as this picture book, a scroll with images of animals, city map, map of Japan, battle map, another picture book, the Kaitai shouzu anatomical chart and this picture scroll which has my favorite little scene I've come across in the collection. Whole days could be spent just surfing idly through the Kano Collection.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 28, 2008 - 9 comments

Every tree and every blade of grass appears to be enemy soldiers

A Preview Of Tomorrow’s Olympic Torch Relay. Japan Probe has posted a few computer-generated examples of what the relay should look like, and links to a news report that states 10,000 Chinese will be in Nagano (location) (cuddly mascots) tomorrow to watch the torch relay. Japan had already canceled plans to stage the start of the torch run at Zenkoji Temple in the city; the temple was then mysteriously defaced. Previously on Japan Probe I II. Meanwhile, a tulip vandal who has been terrorizing Japan has been caught on tape. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 25, 2008 - 14 comments

the red invasion

Horror movie or pasta sauce commercials? (The company web site is a little odd, too.) [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks on Apr 17, 2008 - 14 comments

Can't sleep. Juhyo will eat me.

I want to put winter behind me like any other right-thinking Midwesterner, but these trees are too cool to ignore. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia on Apr 10, 2008 - 19 comments

Nintendo Virtual Urinating Game

Nintendo Wee
posted by jonson on Apr 10, 2008 - 51 comments

The Japanese Garden

Paradise: The Gardens of Tokyo. A collection of amazing photographs of Japanese gardens as taken by Tim Porter. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Apr 10, 2008 - 6 comments

Japan before Allied bombings

Old Photos of Japan - a daily photoblog featuring images of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 9, 2008 - 21 comments

The world had been sepia, drained of colour and light...

Edo Photo Generator. Use this ancient photo generator (in JP, but a cinch to use) to give your photos that certain Edo look. Via C. Buddha's Hasty Musings
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 7, 2008 - 36 comments

Kanamara Matsuri festival

Whip it out and dance don't be afraid (NSFW?). Yes! It is that time of the year again : today Japanese people celebrate Kanamara Matsuri (金まら祭り), the annual Kawasaki Fertility Festival (previously on Hōnen Matsuri (豊年祭)
posted by elpapacito on Apr 6, 2008 - 14 comments

Tamahagane steel is bliss

Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival There stands the only plant in the world...capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak. From a windswept corner of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Japan Steel Works Ltd. controls the fate of the global nuclear-energy renaissance. Each year the Tokyo-based company can turn out just four of the steel forgings that contain the radioactivity in a nuclear reactor. Even after it doubles capacity in the next two years, there won't be enough production to meet building plans. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Vintage Anime

Vintage anime: Evil Mickey Mouse invasion! (YT) and an even more beautiful example from 1943.
posted by vronsky on Mar 29, 2008 - 13 comments

They carried the joys and sorrows of those living with the sea

Iwase Yoshiyuki "In the late 1920s, young Yoshiyuki received an early Kodak camera as a gift. Since the main livelihood of the town came from the sea, he gravitated there, and soon found a passion for "the simple, even primitive beauty" of ama – girls and women who harvested seaweed, turban shells and abalone from beneath the coastal waters." "By the late 1960s, they had disappeared. This body of work stands as the final, most comprehensive visual document of the life and work of these divers." [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 27, 2008 - 48 comments

Is this Progress?

First it was hostess bars, then host bars, then maid/anime cafes, and now this. Where will the madness end? [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Mar 25, 2008 - 28 comments

Old Folks' Homes

Bert Teunissen - Domestic Landscapes. Photographs of (mostly) senior citizens in their living rooms and kitchens. [more inside]
posted by ceiriog on Mar 25, 2008 - 17 comments

The 400 Million

The 400 Million 四萬萬人民 - China, 1938 (53 minutes / sound / black&white / 35mm) Directed: Joris Ivens. Camera: ROBERT CAPA. Parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The Japanese aggression against China in 1937 forced the Chinese communists and Chiang Kai-shek's Kwomintang to take up the joint battle against their common enemy. With modern weapons the Chinese are pursuing their struggle behind enemy lines. This film shows all aspects of a war: the battle, the preparations, refugees, casualties and victims, the fear and distress, the human misery and the courage, and the land under fire."
posted by vronsky on Mar 20, 2008 - 8 comments

KITTY!!!!!!

Nyanko The Movie 2. I've been thinking about ordering this, but I'm afraid it'd be my own personal Infinite Jest. It's a movie about cats. [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Mar 16, 2008 - 18 comments

Howl's Moving Castle papercraft

Howl's Moving Castle - in papercraft. Stop motion animation of the assembly here, flickr set of the finished product here, details on the kit here. Found via.
posted by jonson on Feb 25, 2008 - 12 comments

half-baked food for thought

Sushi Science and Hamburger Science: I had always regarded science as universal and believed there are no differences in science at all between countries. But I was wrong. People with different cultures think in different ways, and therefore their science also may well be different. In this essay, I will describe differences I have observed between Western science and Eastern science. Let me start with a parable......
posted by Rumple on Feb 24, 2008 - 46 comments

Reinvent yourself with an MBA.. in farming

Trying to get unemployed youth interested in farming, Pasana O2 boasts a slick website (Japanese only unfortunately), a vision statement, a newsletter and oh yeah, an underground farm covering one square kilometer inside a former bank vault. [Via our very own]
posted by your mildly obsessive average geek on Feb 16, 2008 - 6 comments

Sapp Time resumes on February 23rd

This is a post about 6'4", 380 lb. professional fighter and entertainer Bob Sapp. A good place to start is this fantastic, disdainful overview of Sapp's kickboxing career through 2005. It features lots of pictures, crooked officiating, illegal blows to the back of the head, and some well-deserved humbling. Sapp is also known for a less distinguished MMA career, which includes one of the most exciting fights of all time, against the great Antônio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (Watch it here: [Round 1] [Round 2]). [more inside]
posted by 1 on Feb 13, 2008 - 50 comments

The Notes of a Japanese prisoner in the USSR

Kiuchi Nobuo - a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
posted by tellurian on Feb 5, 2008 - 23 comments

Low-bit gal from 'round Tokyo-way.

There is a small but very dedicated and enthusiastic group of people around the world making music with Nintendo Game Boys and other cheap electronic gadgetry. While many of them are consciously fitting their low-bit sonics into relatively straightforward and predictable dance-oriented forms, some others are taking a rather more whimsical and less predictable approach. One such favorite of mine is the utterly charming, Tokyo-based henna dress. Then there's her alter ego, beta dress. Then there's her 3rd alter ego, CAMEBOY (of GGG) . [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 4, 2008 - 21 comments

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