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The Japanese sleep.

Japanese people in suits who are asleep in non-bed places.
posted by Kleptophoria! on Feb 3, 2005 - 28 comments

OH! Mikey

Welcome to the world of the Fuccon Family, aka OH! Mikey, a bizarre and amazing "mannequin drama" that has taken Japan by storm.
posted by OpinioNate on Feb 2, 2005 - 10 comments

Misty Keasler: photographic essays

Misty Keasler's photographic essays range from quirky views of her east Texas extended family and Japanese love hotels to unsettling essays on orphanages and the Guatemala City dump. flash. via gordon.coale.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 26, 2005 - 12 comments

"For my part I don't need Japanese pictures here, for I am always telling myself that here I am in Japan"

I envy the Japanese for the enormous clarity that pervades their work. It is never dull and never seems to have been made in haste. Their work is as simple as breathing and they draw a figure with a few well chosen lines with the same ease, as effortless as buttoning up one's waistcoat.....
--Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, 24 September, 1888
The term "Japonisme" came up in France in the seventies of the 19th century to describe the craze for Japanese culture and art. Van Gogh, like so many other Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists, was one of the admirers (and collectors) of Japanese art. He defined himself as “a simple worshipper of the eternal Buddha”, and the most peculiar among his many self-portraits is "Self-Portrait as Buddhist Monk" (see a comparison here and here), painted in 1888 and dedicated to Paul Gauguin. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jan 17, 2005 - 10 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

Japanese Death Poems

My coming My going, Two simple happenings that got entangled... Japanese Death Poems. Small beautiful simple poems written before death. I just discovered them and thought I would share. A few more here
posted by mrs.pants on Dec 17, 2004 - 15 comments

The Next War?

Is the next war unavoidable? China is now building a large amphibious fleet, with the sole purpose of invading Taiwan. This joins its ever-growing and formidable surface and submarine fleets. Thousands of coastal surface-to-surface missiles, with dozens added each month, now face Taiwan. For its part, Taiwan is considering an $18 Billion arms purchase from the US. India is ramping up its military might, and even Japan is changing its neutral defense policies. Is a major Asian conflict coming soon?
posted by kablam on Dec 14, 2004 - 106 comments

The G-Cans Project

The G-Cans Project is a massive project, begun 12 years ago, to build infrastructure for preventing overflow of the major rivers and waterways spidering the city (A serious problem for Tokyo during rainy-season and typhoon season). The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface. The whole system is powered by 14000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying edogawa river.
posted by joelf on Dec 4, 2004 - 24 comments

Japan is crazy on the internet!

Megametajapanfilter --feel the fury of 2ch, Japan's largest message board. Not only have bus hijackings (CNN) and group suicides been announced there, but 2ch helped spawn a world of memes and spin-off sites. The likes of pancake bunny (Oolong) and roflcopter have been breeding freely in the English-language mirror-world 2ch would help create. There is the (frequently disgusting and sexual) spin-off image board 4chan (English), which is a legend in its own right, plus many other *chans you'd rather not see. (See also the Japanese Futaba Channel.) Obviously Something Awful goons had their fingers in the 4chan pie.
posted by Kleptophoria! on Dec 2, 2004 - 19 comments

Hard-Boiled Wonderland

Haruki Murakami is one of Japan's most widely translated authors, yet he still answers his readers emails. He has compared the process of writing to simultaneously designing and playing a video game. He is sometimes dismissed as a pop-writer, but the fifty-something's life and works have already garnered him a critical autobiography. He has investigated and written about the Aum Shinrikyo sarin attacks for his book, Underground. His novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, transcends elements of both cyberpunk and detective fiction through a combination of surreal allegory and an almost stoic immediacy. It all begins with the impossibly slow ascent of an elevator.
posted by rdub on Nov 28, 2004 - 68 comments

Every epoch dreams its successor. - Jules Michelet

G-CANS Project. A look at the massive storm drains under Tokyo, that took twelve years to build. [this is cg]
posted by riffola on Nov 21, 2004 - 48 comments

Girlfriend's Lap Pillow

This week's addition to the "Japanese People no nuts, they craaaayzy!" cottage industry. Hot off the heels of the Boyfriend Arm Pillow, your boyfriend can now wrap his other arm around some hot heels. Yes, it's the Girlfriend Lap Pillow. The only thing I can think of right now is that it looks uncomfortably angled for head use. Oh, and that it's completely insane.
posted by Stan Chin on Nov 14, 2004 - 23 comments

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900-1945 During the years 1900-1945, the question that motivated Muslims and some Japanese was whether Japan could be the "Savior of Islam" against Western imperialism and colonialism if this meant collaboration with Japanese imperialism. Even during the 1930s, when there was little hope left for prospects of democracy and liberalism in Japan (for that matter in Europe as well), the vision of a "Muslim Japan" was so compelling to many Muslims in Asia and beyond, even among black Muslims of Harlem, as a means for emancipation from Western hegemony/colonial reality that it justified cooperation with Japanese intelligence overseas. Okawa Shumei, the major intellectual figure of Pan-Asianism, the "mastermind of Japanese fascism" in the Tokyo trials, who justified Japan's mission to liberate Asia from Western colonialism by war if necessary, saw Islam as the means. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the relationship transformed into a major Japanese military strategy as the Japanese government began to implement its Islamic policy by mobilizing Muslim forces against the United Kingdom, Holland, China and Russia in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.      Alternately, The Fukuwaza Doctrine
posted by y2karl on Nov 12, 2004 - 11 comments

Retrolicious

The Japanese Product Design Database features old product designs from the 60's on. Stuff like Sony's Portable Record Player (1982) and Suzuki's 360cc Micro Sportscar (1971). (via)
posted by Ufez Jones on Nov 10, 2004 - 24 comments

Night Windows

Night Windows Gorgeous images of night-time urban Japan (Japanese titles, English alt tags, 1024x768 images available). Includes: sleeping bullet trains, trams, cats, Tokyo Harbour tunnel, bridges, tail lights, Narita airport, offices, Mount Fuji, Tokyo Disneyland (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and many more.
posted by carter on Nov 10, 2004 - 13 comments

"In fact the whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people".

Discovering Japan. As a perennial outsider at loose in Japan, writer Donald Richie captures the joyous freedom of being foreign. The foreign observer is likely to be happy only if he sees his foreignness as an adventure, and recognizes that he has given up a sense of belonging for a sense of freedom, traded the luxury of being understood for that of being permanently interested. Richie, the philosopher-king of expats in Asia for the past half-century, arrived in Tokyo in 1947 as a typist with the U.S. government and never really left, writing dozens of books , on Japanese movies, temples, history and fashion, while enjoying himself as an actor, musician, filmmaker and painter. The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 is a monument to the pleasures of displacement. Richie watchers can observe, more intimately than ever, a man who is generally happiest observing. More inside.
posted by matteo on Nov 9, 2004 - 12 comments

Take your mind off the election...

Princess Maker 2 - Stressed out from current events? I doubt the game is as much fun to play as it is to be bewildered by, but either might help. "...is basically a perverse sports management simulation where your entire team consists of a single ten year old girl that you have to raise to adulthood. Much like any decent sports manager game you have to keep track of a nearly overwhelming number of statistics that fluctuate based on training. In Princess Maker 2 these run the gamut from the mundane like "strength" and "charisma", to the droll like "cooking" and "conversation", to the bizarre like "sin" and "temper". "
posted by soulhuntre on Oct 28, 2004 - 13 comments

Masamania

Masamania. Not safe for work! 'Hi, this is masamania who create this page, MasaManiA.com. This page is made up of photos I actually take in twon. .I hope I can show and tell you the real, true Japan that cannot be seen in other mas media. I am living in Tokyo, Japan. I was born in Japan, grown up in Japan, study English in Japan. This is the reason I can speak Engrish. Some people complain that my updating and email response is slow. And other people conplain that my englsih is poor. '
posted by plep on Oct 24, 2004 - 13 comments

Be Attitude for Gains

In-your-face shoot-em-up action by bedroom-coders/games designers. From Japan: Warning Forever; Perfect Cherry Blossom; Cho Ren Sha 68K; Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra; Score Soldier; rRootage; Every Extend; TKKN / Crazy Game; and Galshell: Blood Red Skies [NSFW]. Be attitude for gains! From the West: Deadeye; Strayfire; Warblade; Mutant Storm; Bugatron; Space Birdz; Spheres of Chaos; Battle of Yavin; Demonstar; 'Troid; Platypus; Gridrunner; Intensity XS; and Tsunami 2010. From the pages of Edge magazine.
posted by nthdegx on Oct 1, 2004 - 9 comments

shirt-fu

my new shirt folding technique is unstoppable. (QT mpeg)
posted by whatnot on Sep 28, 2004 - 24 comments

We Forget Most Every Little Thing

Memories of a Dog. Moriyama Daido's pictures are taken in the streets of Japan's major cities. Made with a small, hand-held camera, they reveal the speed with which they were snapped. Often the frame is tilted vertiginously, the grain pronounced, and the contrast emphasized. Among his city images are those shot in underlit bars, strip clubs, on the streets or in alleyways, with the movement of the subject creating a blurred suggestion of a form (warning: NSFW images if you scroll down the page) rather than a distinct figure. His best known picture, Stray Dog, (1971) is taken on the run, in the midst of bustling street activity. It is an essential reflection of Moriyama's presence as an alert outsider in his own culture. Moriyama is also a toy-camera enthusiast (his favorite is the Polga) . He has worked in the US, too: "N.Y. 71". (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 27, 2004 - 6 comments

This Film is Just the Massacre of an Assassinator

Agitator. Blood doesn't politely trickle in Takashi Miike's films: it gushes out in (warning: NSFW, graphic) improbable fountains, painting walls and filling up small cars. His trademark point-of-view shots are taken from places other directors wouldn't dream of: the bottom of a dirty toilet bowl (as a man falls into it after being killed); within the ear canal (as it is pierced by a metal spike); even from inside a character's vagina. He has depicted incest, drug abuse, teenage prostitution, violence against women and children and small dogs, and necrophilia -- and that was just in one film, Visitor Q, his take on Pasolini's Teorema. Miike has just introduced his latest movie, Izo, at the Venice Film Festival (.pdf file). Miike is less sure about why Americans are now embracing Japanese horror films. His country's horror genre is influenced by "kwaidan," traditional Japanese ghost stories that feature revenge and malice: "The stories always have the 'hatedness.' You always bring the feelings of hate [that] you don't see in American cinema". What freaks him out the most, however, is the everyday automobile accident. "Even in a film, I can't bear to watch it -- it's so much (about) how people are weak, to be just crushed with a car. It makes me feel really depressed".
posted by matteo on Sep 22, 2004 - 24 comments

those crazy japanese

The OS Girls.
posted by reklaw on Sep 13, 2004 - 17 comments

Comparison of life in Piscataway, New Jersey; Kochi, Japan; and Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China

Comparison of life in Piscataway, New Jersey; Kochi, Japan; and Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China by Ernie French.
posted by tranquileye on Sep 8, 2004 - 11 comments

Cildren's book illustrations - 1920s Japan

Kodomo no kuni - children's book illustrations and songs from 1920s Japan. I found the artist's index the best way to navigate. (via the always entertaining quiddity)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 21, 2004 - 12 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

Damn Right

Who's the teenage supersleuth with the superpowered cell phone who catches all the crooks? Ketai Deka.
posted by ursus_comiter on Jul 30, 2004 - 7 comments

Her face is very beautiful but small boob.

Syashin Mania is a collection of photos of pop culture Japan. In this case it is fan car art of Ayumi Hamasaki, a popular singer. (Some other pages on the site are NSFW.)
posted by gen on Jul 25, 2004 - 12 comments

Asia: Full of Grace

Asia Grace
posted by euphorb on Jul 21, 2004 - 6 comments

Harajuku, Tokyo

Every Sunday, it's Halloween in Harajuku. Hanging out by the train station at Tokyo's most fashionable district are young women dressed as nurses, but with white faces and a trickle of painted blood dripping from a lip. Men in their late teens or early twenties fidget under huge manes of spiky green hair and layers of black leather.
Some really amazing costumes can be seen here. And by amazing I mean interesting, and by interesting I mean freaky.
posted by Jase_B on Jul 19, 2004 - 30 comments

omae wa otaku da!

Midaregami: The Japan Hierarchy. The stratified hierarchy of Japanese society is mirrored onto those foreigners who choose to live in Japan. Inspired by The Geek Hierarchy.
posted by gen on Jul 12, 2004 - 3 comments

Time magazine?!? I'd never thought...

Home is where the heart is. Karl Taro Greenfeld, journalist and author of Speed Tribes, among others, has a nostalgic piece in Time Asia (Aug. '03) recounting his heady youth in Tokyo alongside his thoughts on his ailing Japanese grandmother.
posted by gen on Jul 9, 2004 - 5 comments

Museum of Park Slide

Museum of Park Slide.
posted by hama7 on Jul 8, 2004 - 14 comments

Iraq, Manchuria, Askari Street--It's The History News Network!

From Nanjing 1937 to Fallujah 2004; Is the U.S. Repeating the Mistakes of Japan in the 1930s?; Attempting Analogy: Japanese Manchuria and Occupied Iraq and Manchuria and Iraq, 1932 and 2004: you can kiss that Vietnam analogy good bye--when historians talk history, they range farther afield. I ♥ the History News Network! Here is food for thought at an all night, all you can eat smorgasbord--those who teach history are condemned to discuss it and we're all the better for it.

For example, Hala Fattah's Askari Street is my current favorite Iraqi weblog. She gives us the history of the Arab horse, the Pachachi family, the Shammar tribe and Kirkuk, and its place in Iraqi History and she has barely begun to write.
HNN: oh, it's an embarrassment of riches and a fount of endless fascination.
posted by y2karl on Jun 11, 2004 - 23 comments

Decline in Japanese marriage and birth rate

Interesting article on the Japanese "social recession" (from the back pages of USA Today) "To an astonishing degree, the sexes are going their opposite ways in Japan. Young women are revolting against the traditional role of obedient housewife, opting instead to live at home and shop and socialize with girlfriends. Startled men are retreating into solitary ways. Check-ins at the country's famed 'love hotels' are even falling. As birthrates slip, a social crisis looms."
posted by Prospero on Jun 3, 2004 - 38 comments

Best.. Urban... Exploration.. Site.. EVER.

You've probably seen Modern Ruins, Forgotten New York, and even Lost America... but have you seen the abandoned island of Gunkanjima? [via Boing Boing]
posted by keswick on May 22, 2004 - 18 comments

All about Wa

Researching the Way of Wa
The 1400 year-old Japanese concept of "Wa" is derived from the ancient meaning of peace and harmony. When applied to business practices, it incorporates mutual trust between management and labor, harmonious... relations among employees on all levels...
I continued forward to learn of Wa Shin Ryu, "the system that harmonizes the spirit," which I followed onward to Toki no Wa. Only then did I know that "I will see you again where the loops of time touch together."
posted by mcgraw on May 11, 2004 - 4 comments

Hanafuda and Go-Stop

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

arc buster

arc buster
posted by crunchland on May 1, 2004 - 3 comments

None, he slipped

"High court says man shot himself during interrogation".
In reversing the lower court decision, presiding Judge Toshinobu Akiyama of the high court said it was technically possible for Yanagi to snatch a bullet from a plastic bag placed on a table as evidence, when the two interrogators were not looking.
And yet, there might actually be an argument here. As seen in the Fark thread that followed their initial posting of this Japanese case, Alexander Jason (a forensic analyst) completed a rather detailed analysis and found the scene at least not incompatible with the suicide theory. This Alexander guy's quite interesting -- have to respect a guy whose home page opens up with a gun pointing at a mannequin's head (full research paper here, not entirely safe on a full stomach).
posted by effugas on Apr 30, 2004 - 5 comments

Vending Machines of Japan

Vending Machines of Japan PhotoMann recently decided to 'collect' images of unique vending machines found in Japan. They are everywhere. Estimates suggest there are 5.6 million vending machines which works out to be one for every 20 people in Japan. Sales from vending machines in 2000 totaled $56 billion! The most common are drink and cigarette machines followed by machines with pornography
posted by Postroad on Apr 30, 2004 - 19 comments

Just 26 Letters...

You Like Fish? Why Not English? A musical tribute to the Japanese people by George W. Bush.
(Warning: 500Kbps Windows Media stream. Also available: 500K bpsQuicktime, 80Kbps Windows Media, and 45Kbps Quicktime) [via VeryBigBlog]
posted by filmgoerjuan on Apr 27, 2004 - 15 comments

Open arms

You'd think the return of the Japanese hostages from Iraq would be cause for celebration. Nope. "You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody.
posted by gottabefunky on Apr 23, 2004 - 29 comments

Netsuke

Netsuke: ornate artifacts of the Edo period. Via neonepiphany.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 17, 2004 - 3 comments

Projects related to Medieval Japan

Sengoku Daimyo: Projects related to medieval Japan.
posted by hama7 on Apr 14, 2004 - 3 comments

Fetchi

A dictionary of Japanese pornography terms. After you've mastered the theory, you can read about it in greater detail, then test your knowledge. (First link SFW if no one's reading over your shoulder, others N.)
posted by kenko on Apr 11, 2004 - 9 comments

Photographs of Allied Occupied Japan after WW2

360 photographs of Allied-occupied Japan after World War Two, taken by anthropologist John W. Bennett, arranged in portfolios with comments by Bennett and links to large images, such as hotel umbrellas drying in the sun. The exhibition includes selections from Bennett's journal and letters with his first impressions of Japan. Portfolios include views of Tokyo, children in the park, women of the night, traditional architecture, and Japanese resorts.
posted by carter on Apr 11, 2004 - 5 comments

Manabu Yamanaka Photograph

Manabu Yamanaka Photographs. [view with caution]
posted by hama7 on Apr 9, 2004 - 6 comments

2004 Holy Log Pole Festival

Yamadashi, the first part of the Onbashira Matsuri, a septennial shinto festival in the Nagano Prefecture, involves hauling a bunch of 200 year old fir trees out of the forest and then perilously riding them down the hillside (locals only, all you extreme sports nuts) in preparation for May's Satobiki. O-hanami this is not.
posted by shoepal on Apr 9, 2004 - 5 comments

George Bush Found Guilty of War Crimes in Japan

Citizens find Bush guilty of Afghan war crimes A citizens' tribunal Saturday in Tokyo found U.S. President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms during the U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
posted by jasenlee on Apr 7, 2004 - 26 comments

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