1261 posts tagged with Japan.
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The Tale of Genji is 1000!

The Tale of Genji turned 1000 years old sometime around now, and Japan is celebrating with parties and dressing up. This lengthy rambling narrative may be the world's first novel, although that depends on how you define "first" and "novel." For the person who is technophilic and literary, there is a very cool robot that reads it to you (in Japanese -- sorry). Sadly, it is only a prototype. There is a recent board game, however. More useful links previously.
posted by GenjiandProust on Jan 10, 2009 - 9 comments

She is more than just a cute high school girl! She is a master of Karate!

High-Kick Girl! That says it all but there's more to the story than just a kick to the head. Meet the star, teen karate girl Rina Takeda. Watch her take on a guy in a baseball uniform.
posted by grounded on Jan 8, 2009 - 49 comments

Junction Fetish

Large Commuter Collider The Ōhashi Junction is rad.

Looking for all intents and purposes like a modern-day Coliseum, the Ōhashi Junction will be about the same size as the National Olympic Stadium when complete. It's really a marvel of modern engineering, and for those lucky enough to be in Tokyo, you can actually go walking through it for a limited time.

I don't know why people don't fetishize junctions more.

(I apologize for all the Japanese, just jump to the photos)
posted by odasaku on Jan 6, 2009 - 16 comments

cats + ramen = win!

Cats and noodles - what's not to like? Neko Rahmen has both, featuring Taishou, a cat who runs a ramen shop. Neko Rahmen was originally a comic strip, then a series of short animes (English-subtitled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13), and now there's a live-action movie, featuring a cameo by a famous cat.
posted by needled on Jan 6, 2009 - 3 comments

The bubble to end all bubbles?

The cover of a major financial publication warns: If you're holding U.S. Treasuries, GET OUT NOW! [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Jan 5, 2009 - 74 comments

Ramen Girl. No really. No joke! Seriously!!

Kaiju Shakedown points us to the trailer of Ramen Girl, starring Brittany Murphy as a American who decides to learn how to make the perfect bowl of ramen noodles (what?!?!) after she is dumped by her boyfriend in Tokyo. Tampopo this isn't. [more inside]
posted by gen on Jan 4, 2009 - 73 comments

If you meet a 10-foot-tall woman in a snow storm, run

Have you met the Yuki-onna? You might meet her in a snow storm, and recognize her by her pure white robe marked only with a splattering of blood and her lack of feet. She might kill you with icy breath, or lead you into the storm to die of exposure, or seduce you, only to steal your soul. She's the subject of one of Japan's better known ghost stories (the climax of which was depicted in Tanaka Tokuzo's 1968 film Kaidan Yuki Onna) and has also made an appearance in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (2:50).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Dec 31, 2008 - 21 comments

メリー・クリスマス with ふろしき

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a not-for-profit company sponsored by the UK government, urges you to cut down on waste paper this holiday season and wrap your presents with furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. [more inside]
posted by armage on Dec 23, 2008 - 19 comments

The digital collection of the Tokyo National Museum

The digital collection of the Tokyo National Museum is full of wonder. TNM is the oldest museum in Japan and collects archaeological objects and art from Japan as well as other parts of Asia. The collection can be browsed by type or region. Here are some of my favorites: Buddha's life, The name "Korin" given to pupil, Tale of Matsuranomiya, Coquettish type, Tea caddy in shape of bucket with handle, Mirror, design of sea and island, Traditionary identified as Minamoto no Yoritomo, Seated Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) and attendants, Sword mounting of kazari-tachi type and (my current desktop background) Figures under a tree. This is but a small sampling of all that can be found in the digital collection
posted by Kattullus on Dec 22, 2008 - 4 comments

Today's Tom Sawyer-san

Internet apotheosis. When 13 year-old Japanese girls rock Rush, complete with drumstick insanity, then we can all go home. We've done what we've set out to do. (SLYT)
posted by awenner on Dec 21, 2008 - 71 comments

Two-story camping car

"We were classmates in high school... And we spoke the plan to go to Yakushima Island. However, the talk swells greatly...We decided to make a camper for a round-the-japan trip. We thought that various equipment was necessary to long trip. However, the bed space has disappeared when various equipment is packed. Then, the idea adjusted to two stories appeared." More on the truck and the trip. (via Dinosaurs and Robots)
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 21, 2008 - 21 comments

Flash snowday! Tip: combine objects.

Have a Minoto game to make a snow day bright. [more inside]
posted by melissa may on Dec 20, 2008 - 9 comments

The Grand Experiment

History Repeats Itself in Different Hues -- a readable Q&A data dump comparing the economics and policy responses of 1990s Japan and current events
posted by troy on Dec 19, 2008 - 6 comments

For this you die, hooman.

Japanese cat humiliation. SLYT
posted by MaryDellamorte on Dec 17, 2008 - 46 comments

My SUV seats two

Britney Spears loves Japan for its tiny cars. Tiny cars are huge in Japan. But Americans are not very big on very small cars. Nonetheless, automakers may bring tiny microcars to the U.S.. The trick will be making money on smaller cars. Small cars are nothing new, but soon they may be cool.
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 17, 2008 - 98 comments

Even the nervous user can create plush toys

We introduce Plushie, an interactive system that allows nonprofessional users to design their own original plush toys.
posted by geos on Dec 15, 2008 - 28 comments

Lunches of endless novelty and imagination

Obento wonderland. A site in Japanese which (appears to) chronicle one bento-crazed artisan's daily lunch-making ritual. Let no lunch be without novelty! You don't need to be able to read the text to get a perverse kick out of the images. [more inside]
posted by lottie on Dec 9, 2008 - 12 comments

Mono-Ha

Phase — Mother Earth, a piece created by Mono-ha artist Nobuo Sekine in 1968, has been re-created:
Consisting of a hole dug into the ground, 2.7 metres deep and 2.2 metres in diameter, with the excavated earth compacted into a cylinder of exactly the same dimensions, Phase — Mother Earth was instrumental in the early development of work by the Mono-ha artist group, and has been considered a landmark work in Japanese postwar art history.
More about Mono-ha inside. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Dec 3, 2008 - 8 comments

A New Way to Stimulate the Economy.

100 artists from around the world designed credit cards for a Japanese bank and Visa. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 28, 2008 - 33 comments

Urban exploration Japan: abandoned mining town

Urban exploration Japan: abandoned mining town. Step into the doctor's office for a dose of creepy. Three-part photo essay. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto on Nov 28, 2008 - 19 comments

I think that's a hard G.

Gizmine - "the world's largest Japanese gadgets and lifestyle design shop." Viewable by color, theme, price, popularity, or brand.
posted by Manhasset on Nov 26, 2008 - 11 comments

His name is Robert Paulson

The Bra for Boys blossoms in Japan.
posted by cytherea on Nov 25, 2008 - 32 comments

Yukio Mishima 14 January 1925 - 25 November 1970

"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside]
posted by eccnineten on Nov 25, 2008 - 11 comments

Cartoons AGAINST Narrative!

“A Dream To Have In Heaven” (Tengoku De Miru Yume - 天国でみる夢) is a non-narrative, surreal manga created by Maki Sasaki. It was published in the November 1967 issue of Garo, a now-defunct alternative and avant-garde monthly manga anthology magazine that peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
posted by defenestration on Nov 24, 2008 - 16 comments

No Coffee for Old Men in Black

In a series of sixteen advertisements screened in Japan, Tommy Lee Jones plays extraterrestrial 'Alien Jones', who has taken the form of a man to check on the world of humans, all the while drinking a Japanese brand of coffee named BOSS. I have no idea how Tommy Lee Jones got talked into doing these advertisements, or why. And after watching them for yourself (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16), you probably won't either.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 23, 2008 - 85 comments

“You say?” Apparently they do.

It's not even Thanksgiving yet and already the 2008 "best of" lists have begun. Here's a list of the Top 60 popular Japanese words/phrases of 2008. "Morning banana" doesn't mean what you think it does. Is Sarah Palin an obaka-aidoru - おバカアイドル ? (via)
posted by tractorfeed on Nov 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs
posted by knave on Nov 12, 2008 - 27 comments

The "Near Future Technopop Unit"

Perfume, a three-girl Japanese technopop sensation formed in 2001 now consisting of Nocchi, Kashikuya and A~chan, is about to release their ninth single, "Dream Fighter". Perfume's July 2008 single "Love the World" was the first technopop song ever to debut at #1 on the Oricon sales chart. The previous highest debut for techno was Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Kimi ni, Munekyun" 25 years ago in 1983. (original article citing #1 record translated via Google translator) [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Nov 7, 2008 - 61 comments

Doooooom

Live doom. KFJC in Los Altos Hills, California is streaming live video and audio of Japanese doom gods Corrupted and Oakland's Asunder starting immediately. Requires free download of VLC media player shareware to get the live feed (instructions in first link). Equipment being set up as we speak. [more inside]
posted by The Straightener on Nov 6, 2008 - 61 comments

A blog about Japanese photography seen from abroad.

A blog about Japanese photography seen from abroad. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Nov 3, 2008 - 2 comments

The Resting Place of the Fallen Flowers of Yoshiwara

浄閑寺—Jokanji, the "Throw Away" Temple "From the street, it looks like many other Tokyo temples, but behind the new main building is an old cemetery that has one particular point of interest, a crypt and monument to twenty-five thousand prostitutes interred there."
posted by gomichild on Oct 30, 2008 - 14 comments

Yamamaya!

On a Japanese island just east of Taiwan lives the Iriomote wildcat. Numbering between 60 and 100, this creature has been critically endangered since its discovery in 1967, although it has likely never numbered more than a few hundred in the 200,000 years it's lived on the island. The Iriomote wildcat is protected, and endearing to many Japanese - it was even featured in the popular anime Azumanga Daioh (warning: English dub). The chances you'll see one are slim, but conservation efforts continue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Oct 29, 2008 - 15 comments

Kuroda Sensei

Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei is an incredible Japanese martial artist. As a skilled swordsman, he practices very old and unusual forms of iaido, kenjutsu as well an interesting form of ju jutsu. He is both incredibly still and incredibly fast and he knows a few tricks too. [more inside]
posted by salishsea on Oct 24, 2008 - 60 comments

Military-Grade Moe-Anthropomorphism

Military equipment drawn as anime girls. Probably SFW, but good luck explaining it to the boss. Wikipedia explains.
posted by mccarty.tim on Oct 19, 2008 - 34 comments

Waiting on you hand and foot

A restaurant in Japan employs Monkey Waiters. They're not the worst waiters in the world and you only have to tip them with edamame.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Oct 7, 2008 - 60 comments

“Sever the ignorant doubt in your heart with the sword of self-knowledge

Tsukiji knife photos by Tony McNicol. List of published articles. List of selected photo galleries. I’ve been taking photos of a 240 year old knife shop in Tsukiji fish market.... If you buy a knife at the shop you can bring it back to be sharpened for free. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 1, 2008 - 14 comments

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

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