The world's oldest family companies
start with a 1,400 year old Japanese family business
that has always built Buddhist temples. On the corporation side, only one of the great chartered companies
survives, Canada's Hudson Bay Company, founded in 1670
, and now a large retailer, though there may be much older
corporations. There is even a club with an interesting web site, Les Hénokien
, for companies that are over 300 years old. If companies aren't your thing, there is always the world's oldest restaurant
posted by blahblahblah
on Sep 28, 2005 -
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life"
", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov
's 'Men of Power' tetralogy
after the gloom of Moloch (1999)
, about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus
, focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Sep 13, 2005 -
Anti-Japan War Online "The game will allow players, especially younger players, to learn from history. They will get a patriotic feeling when fighting invaders to safeguard their motherland"
The background for "Anti-Japan War Online" is the Japanese invasion of China during World War II, from 1937 through 1945.
Nothing like a good MMORPG to foster a little patriotism.
posted by bigmusic
on Aug 24, 2005 -
is the name of a new art and design-focused online magazine from Japan. They have many interesting articles on art and design in Japan including an interview with ELM Design
(on their work for Yamaha), Monolake
talking about their network music projects, Eto Koichiro
talking about some of his art/programming projects, a profile of Japanese production house Little More
, and a lot more in both English
posted by gen
on Aug 5, 2005 -
Atoning for World War II, 60 years later (and Japan should continue to do so)
It's no news regarding Japan's role during WWII. However, unlike Germany, Japan has yet to fully apologize and repair strained relations in Asia.
However, it is complete crap that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer thinks that people should glaze over the atrocities in light of Japan's monetary donation. Let's not forget that the US benefitted from the medical experiments that were conducted by the Japanese and that in the fight against communism was willing to quickly establish an outpost and let bygones be bygones.
posted by dkhong
on Jul 30, 2005 -
"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose
was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino
, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.
Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie
" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies
, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts
online and apparently even email her
posted by gottabefunky
on Jul 12, 2005 -
is an insightful, well-written blog dedicated to Japanese culture, books, current affairs, news, sex, random images and observations of life, as seen through the eyes of an English expat living in Tokyo.
posted by darkstar
on Jun 18, 2005 -
If you are interested in Japanese culture and especially that jolly Japanese pop music, then you might enjoy this podcast radio program made in Sweden. Nine one-hour-sessions has been made so far and each one focuses on a special artist or theme, and includes (at times) interviews with the artists themselves. The show's in English.
The podcasts (ep. 7-9) in MP3 are available here
The radio programs (ep. 1-7) are also available here
for RealAudio Streaming.
posted by iwanttobuild
on May 25, 2005 -
Business Card Etiquette
Do not play or fiddle with people's business cards - treat them with respect. A Western businessman once famously lost a big deal for picking his teeth with one of his colleagues' business cards, and was never given the opportunity to do business with the company again.
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Apr 22, 2005 -
Traditional Crafts of Japan
is an incredibly detailed web site maintained by the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries
of Japan. It covers textiles
and even tea whisks
! It also includes detailed explanations of the background of each individual craft, in depth descriptions of production processes for each item, photo galleries
for each product, contact information for manufacturers, interviews with craftsmen, tourist spots to visit in Japan to see each of the crafts being practiced and even quick time videos of these master craftsman at work. Truly a must see for anyone into anything old world Japanese.
posted by grandcrewno2
on Apr 14, 2005 -
If you've ever wondered how sumotori achieve their epic
bulk, this article from Gastronomica
details the complex preparation and serving rituals of the (perhaps not
) delicious, protein-rich chunky soup that's the staple of their diet (with recipe helpfully included).
posted by melissa may
on Mar 26, 2005 -
The Sukiyaki Song [mp3]
Depending on your age, you may have heard your parents humming this, or even hummed it yourself. Sung by Kyu Sakamoto
, the Sukiyaki Song was the only number 1 hit by a Japanese artist in the US, in 1963. It remains the biggest international hit by a Japanese popular singer. The song has nothing to do with the popular Japanese beef dish
; the Japanese title was "Ue o Muite Aruko" (I Look Up When I Walk), but was changed
because it was thought that western DJs would be unable to pronounce it
. The song spawned many covers, and Maddmansrealm
over 60 of these, including French
versions, bossa nova
versions, a short accordion version by Styx
, and a live instrumental version by Bob Dylan and Tom Petty
[mp3s]. Kyu Sakamoto died in 1985 in the crash of JAL 123.
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2005 -
'American and Japanese images of kamikaze pilots differ greatly. This web site explores diverse portrayals and perceptions of the young men who carried out suicide attacks near the end of World War II.'
'When Japanese kamikaze pilots carried out their attacks between October 1944 and October 1945, Japanese and American people had opposite perspectives. Japanese people saw young smiling pilots as they waved goodbye. In contrast, American soldiers viewed death and destruction when the pilots' planes exploded upon crashing into their ships. These very different points of view continue to influence Japanese and American perceptions of kamikaze pilots even until today.'
posted by plep
on Mar 3, 2005 -
Shoui Hara can't stop drinking.
It's part of his job. A job where charm is a necessity, good looks a qualification, and unabashed flattering is all in a night's work. Shoui Hara is a host, a male geisha
working beneath the neon lights of Tokyo's Kabukicho, and in his line of work the men entertain the women
in a way you might not expect. A look at the complex relationships of the sometimes very dangerous (NSFW)
Japanese host clubs.
posted by dead_
on Feb 23, 2005 -