"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Technomorality: Are there more examples
, or are the Japanese just better than us? As the potential of technology increases, isn't it just possible that the world really could become a better place?
posted by ewkpates
on Mar 30, 2004 -
Black ships and samurai
In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
posted by carter
on Mar 14, 2004 -
Nice Whisk(e)y: Shame About The Size!
Behold a wonderful, almost infinitely explorable repository of miniature bottles of whisk(e)y; a Japanese one-guy Smithsonian that's quite probably the only resort for those looking for labels of ancient and/or abandoned delights. American straight whiskey fanatics (like me) will be specially surprised. Worth exploring, though exploration isn't easy: it's full of unexpected riches, but never easily had. [Previously offered in the course of a classic languagehat post.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Mar 10, 2004 -
Ping Pong Pang Pong ...
(MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+
] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+
] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+
]. The very excellent Shonen Knife
used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes
in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2004 -
: Plentiful Electronic Photo Library on Odagahama Japan, and Neighbouring Seashores.
posted by hama7
on Jan 29, 2004 -
is an amazing Japanese textile dying technique--a very sophisticated form of tie-dye, where nubby
things like this
into this fish
or these flowers
(scroll for detail) or these starbursts
. Specifically this odd thing
). You can find excellent photos and descriptions of the process here
(scroll down and hold mouse over photo), and here
. There is also information at the World Shibori Network
. This photo
shows partially dyed fabric and here is a video
of the preparation for dying. Shibori is very labor intensive
(carpal tunnel syndrome-city
) and was a one time subject to a sumptuary tax and one form was outlawed by an emperor for being too extravagant. There are many different knots and ties for different patterns--browse here
(gallery1-7), and here
. Shibori can be used to make some striking
images. Diverse examples of shibori --iris
, layered squares
, large bridge banner
, subtle black and white winter scene
, , a nifty “aerial view” of earth as a tidal pool
with hot air balloons (detail of anemones)
. Don't miss the stunning work of Hiroko Harada (English
). I especially like Rain In the Forest
, There Are Ripples On the Cloth
, Seasonal Changes
, and this large installation
. You can browse more here
, but the Japanese page
posted by lobakgo
on Jan 16, 2004 -
A site 'devoted to showcasing the work of the shokunin, or artisans, still working and carrying on the traditions of handcraft production in Japan. '
posted by plep
on Jan 11, 2004 -
Echoes of Incense: A Pilgrimage in Japan.
'The route of the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku is the classic Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. Its 1300 kilometers test the body and spirit and open the mind to an experience of its true nature. For over a thousand years, only Japanese followed the path to the remote places of the Japanese island of Shikoku. In the winter and spring of 1993, I walked this path. Afterwards, I wrote Echoes of Incense to record what I experienced in words and pictures. '
Related :- Experiencing the Shikoku Pilgrimage
, from the Asian Wall Street Journal, 1977.
posted by plep
on Dec 20, 2003 -
is a cat figurine, sits and has it's front paw raised as if it is calling for luck, fortune and customers to your store, and invites happiness to your home.
posted by riffola
on Dec 5, 2003 -
The Japanese SAQ
provides some much-needed and often fascinating answers for seldom-asked questions about Japanese culture like, "Why do those porcelain Tanuki
statues outside of restaurants have such outrageously large testicles?"
posted by MrBaliHai
on Dec 5, 2003 -
"A generation of Japanese youngsters has dropped out of society entirely, unable to cope, it seems, with the rapid syncopation of life in Asia's most developed nation. The phenomenon has been dubbed hikikomori, or social withdrawal, by psychiatrist Tamaki Saito, who estimates that one in every 40 Japanese households has such a loner. That's an astounding 1 million social dropouts".
Great article on Asia and how its countries deal/don't deal with mental illness.
posted by SpaceCadet
on Nov 24, 2003 -
Dentsu Advertising Museum.
Japanese advertising 1603-1926.
'The Edo Era (1603—1867), during which a full-fledged feudal system was established by the Tokugawa shogunate, was also an era in which the culture of townspeople flourished. That Japan had already developed distinctive advertising techniques of its own as early as the Edo Era might come as a surprise to you. But ample evidence of these remain for us today to follow a historical trail, in the form of nishiki-e (a multicolored woodblock print), hikifuda (handbills) and signboards. A witness of the times, as well as a chronicle of advertising creative work in Japan, these relics represent a valuable record of both the evolution of corporations and the history of common people's lives.'
'Dentsu Advertising Museum presents selected advertising artifacts and works of art from the Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation collection, in order to give you a taste of the historical background to Japanese advertising techniques.'
posted by plep
on Nov 21, 2003 -
Japanese Prints and the World of Go.
Classic Japanese art meets classic Japanese boardgame.
'The purpose of this catalogue is twofold: to enlarge the understanding of print collectors who may be unaware of the long historical and legendary background of a game that has for centuries engaged the interest of many artists in Japan; and to enrich the experience of go players by presenting works that reveal some of the large body of traditions and associations connected with the game in Japan's cultural life. Although artists were inspired by the game of go to work the theme in several media--wood, ivory, metal, textiles, and clay, and while the motif appears on numerous scroll and screen paintings--it is in woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) that its image is most frequently found.'
'. . . there is a text that likens the world to a go-board. For those who see with their minds, it is the centre of the universe.'
Warning: Each sub-link in the article opens a new window.
posted by plep
on Nov 19, 2003 -