Hints of a secret city beneath Tokyo
Japanese foreign correspondent Shun Akiba says that after examining various maps of Tokyo, and finding large inconsistences, he has found evidence of a huge network of tunnels beneath the city of Tokyo. A large underground city beneath an aboveground one is not unheard of, as Beijing has this one,
but the odd part is, (assuming this story is true,) is that Shun says there has been a coverup and a "...conspiracy to silence [me]," with officials being "...defensive and noncooperative..."
posted by Snyder
on Mar 4, 2003 -
"It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the Website of the Kyoto National Museum.
We hope this site will open up the fascinating world of East Asian art to a broader audience than ever before possible." 
posted by hama7
on Feb 26, 2003 -
Heart surgery in our family has triggered something of a crisis of fitness with everyone vowing to loose weight. Ironically its the runner in the family that has suggested the most sensible solution: buy a pedometer
and increase the number of steps per day you walk to 10,000. (Although some say to just increase.
) The idea supposedly started in Japan
. The idea is to add a bit of activity here and there (the first site recommends going to a restroom on a different floor) rather than trying to lump the 30 minutes per day all ot once. So far with a desk-potato lifestyle 3,000 is easy but adding the extra few miles every day will require some extra work. Less social than a Volksmarch
but compatable with a mall walk.
And definitely less hazardous than freestyle walking.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Feb 21, 2003 -
Japanese create "invisible" cloak.
Well, not really. Technically, just a two sided cloak, the front of which is a projector, and the back of which is a camera. Only works, one would imagine, if you're looking at a person straight on, and even then it would help if you were partially blind, or at the very least, raised in the wilderness & easily fooled by modern technology.
posted by jonson
on Feb 5, 2003 -
Tired of haikus? Then it might be time for tanka
than haikus, tanka is 31 syllables divided into lines of 5-7-5-7-7. There's been a World Tanka Competition
(mostly in Japanese, but the poems are translated into English) and a modern tanka poet, Machi Tawara
, has had her work turned into movies, television shows, and a musical revue. All that's needed now is to make it popular in the English-speaking world
posted by Katemonkey
on Dec 31, 2002 -
You've been in Japan too long when...
A) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again.
B) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again.
C) ...your hair is thinning and you consider it "barcode style".
Or perhaps if you're unsurprised that such a historically isolationist nation is now so uniquely and openly fascinated
with the opinions of those who have moved to their land...wow. This is somewhere I must travel to.
posted by effugas
on Dec 17, 2002 -
Flash with no name
- think you've seen every bizarre Japanese flash? Good chance you haven't seen this one yet. I am at a loss for a title. This is not safe for work. This is not safe for children or small animals. Do not take with medication. Mock the message, not the messenger.
posted by madamjujujive
on Nov 21, 2002 -
Akiyoshi's illusion pages.
This japanese psychology professor has been collecting and developing geometric optical illusions, some of which are found on the streets [inc. Brighton, UK!], notably he is inspired by traditional japanese design and architecture. NB: Though not exactly Friday Flash, the emphasis on clour & motion illusion prompts Akiyoshi to warn: "Caution: This page contains some works of "anomalous motion illusion", which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately." How polite!
posted by dash_slot-
on Nov 8, 2002 -
A million Japanese boys, hiding in their rooms.
I didn't know about this - but then again, by definition, maybe I wouldn't. Domestic hermits aside, I frequently see behavior I'd identify as "borderline mentally ill" slide right under people's radar here in Tokyo, and I'm certain a nihonjin
might think the same thing after a year in my hometowns, New York and San Francisco.
What culturally-specific form does neurosis take in your neck of the woods?
posted by adamgreenfield
on Oct 20, 2002 -
abducted by North Korea in Japan for brief visit
After many years of denying accusations, North Korea finally came clean last month and admitted to
having kidnapped a number of Japanese civilians. Of the thirteen they admit to abducting, they say
only five are still alive, and these five have been allowed a visit to Japan this week. On a less
encouraging note, however, the five survivors were not allowed to bring their children or spouses and
arrived donning pins bearing an image of the Great Leader.
Is Kim Jong Il genuinely turning over a new leaf
, is this just another part of a heartless cash grab
scheme, or did the "axis of
evil" speech intimidate
into softening up for a moment?
posted by shoos
on Oct 16, 2002 -
So Exactly Why Doesn't Nicole Kidman Want This Commercial To Be Shown In The U.S.?
Here in Portugal, for instance, you can't blink without seeing the ruddy thing. Movie stars increasingly have a very profitable but extremely embarrassing advertising life which they're understandbly keen to keep secret from the American market. Wonderful websites like Japander
(do check out Jodie Foster's endorsements of the Honda Civic Ferio and Keri Cosmetics, won't you?
) conspire to keep them deservedly humble. So why does
this double standard exist? Do these movie stars really think that globalization (not to mention the Internet) is just a myth?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Oct 5, 2002 -
More than a year ago,
MetaFilter discussed a petition to bring "Spirited Away
," the newest full-lenth animated movie by Hayao Miyazki, to the US. Released in Japan as Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
, it is the most popular movie ever released in Japan and has it's US limited release this weekend. Do you think "Spirited Away" will "break through" to a wider American audience when Princess Mononoke didn't? What a wonderfully fantastic movie!
posted by gen
on Sep 21, 2002 -
U.S. faces bigger issues than hitting Iraq.
A former Japanese diplomat--now chairman of the English-Speaking Union of Japan-- offers a quintessentially Japanese view regarding the manifest folly of a US attack on Iraq. (From The Japan Times). Mr. Hanabusa underscores the formidable difficulty of the victor's creating anything but a puppet "regime change." Since Japan has had some recent experience in this regard, his words merit contemplation by those who favor an immediate attack and damn the foreseeable consequences thereof.
posted by rdone
on Sep 3, 2002 -
The Virtual Tour of Edo
allows you explore the city that would one day become Tokyo, Japan. Classical images illustrate short descriptions of life in this 18th century metropolis. Although modern Tokyo may look very "Western" on the surface, in its heart the spirit of Edo still lives on!
posted by Joey Michaels
on Aug 24, 2002 -
Look no further than John Fiorillo's Viewing of Japanese Prints
for the definitive online resource on the art. Covering over three centuries of Japanese print making from Ukiyo-e
through Shin Hanga
and Sôsaku Hanga
has detailed histories and critiques of the artists, including such legendary masters as Katsushika Hokusai
. The site also includes a wealth of information on the artform itself, with essays on topics as varied as the deciphering of prints
and the various forms of poetry found on them
, as well as archival notes on print fading
. Have a question for the man himself? Shogun Gallery's discussion board
is one of his favorite haunts, where he helps users with questions ranging from signature identification to the allusions found within a specific print. Given the wealth of information and beauty of the work, this site's a treasure.
posted by J. R. Hughto
on Jul 31, 2002 -
There are lots of toys modeled after automobiles, but no automobile has ever been modeled after a toy (?), until now. The insanely popular Choro-Q line of toy cars of Japan (ebay pics here
) have inspired a whole new line of impossibly cute real cars
, to be unveiled in November of this year. The tiny, brightly colored electric autos
look like something straight out of a Roger Rabbit cartoon, seat one, go 50 miles on a battery charge, and cost around $10,000.00 - $16,000. Must...have...one...
posted by iconomy
on Jul 16, 2002 -
All about the different parts of one Japanese man's pet hamster plus illustrations. "I have read that hamster's whiskers shows the width that they can pass through. But Momo forgets. One day Momo tried to go into the cleaner hose. As he has the big hip, he could't go into it. And in his effect to go, he could't get his head out. When I ran to him in a hurry, his head gone out of the hose, and he rolled backward."
posted by moz
on May 17, 2002 -
UnificationChurch Under Siege in Brazil
Rev. Moon's massive land purchases lead to major search-and-seizure operation. Money laundering and other no-no activities. This cult, the Avis to Scientology's Hertz, has paid President Bush I handsome money to speak in their behalf when they began operations in Brazil. They also own the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and many many other businesses, including a university, jewelry stores nationwide, and a ballet company. Their found, Rev. Moon, a convicted felon (taxes). Rumored to get money from Japanese mob to do their conservative activities, and now want to open car plant in China. Gone the days of merely selling roses.
posted by Postroad
on May 14, 2002 -
Japan’s Gross National Cool
- Foreign Policy has an interesting article on the impact of Japanese culture and how it has replaced "Made in Japan" products as the dominant export from Japan. The author points to director Hayao Miyazaki, director/actor Takeshi Kitano, artist Takashi Murakami, and singer/songwriter Namie Amuro, as well as anime in general and Hello Kitty as examples of the global spread of Japanese culture. Do you recognize these people or their work? [more inside]
posted by gen
on Apr 30, 2002 -