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"This one is SUPER lucky!"

At the dawn of the millennium, Japanese society has suffered a severe economic collapse, leading to widespread youth apathy and 800,000 students boycotting school. Adult society sought to reassert their authority by passing the Millennium Education Reform Act, otherwise known as the BR Act. - a look at Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale.
posted by Artw on Jul 23, 2013 - 64 comments

When 772 pitches isn't enough

Tomohiro Anraki might be the next big Japanese pitcher, if he manages to survive high school baseball in Japan. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Jul 22, 2013 - 20 comments

What kind of pants does Super Mario wear? Denim Denim Denim

Nintendo's Famicom (the Japanese counterpart to the NES) launched in Japan three decades ago this week. Ars Technica and NintendoLife have posted tributes and history lessons of this console.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 16, 2013 - 15 comments

Moving in stereo

Stereophoto maker lets you make anaglyphs and stereo animated gifs, like these. (You can control the point of focus with your mouse in the flash versions.) Instructions for making it work on a Mac.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 11, 2013 - 8 comments

Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening)

A case currently before the International Court of Justice has Australia (supported by New Zealand) seeking to either stop the flagrant abuse of a loophole in the International Whaling Commission's rules by Japan, or a nasty cultural imperialist "moral crusade" attempt to suppress a sustainable, ancient tradition of killing whales with factory ships around Antarctica. You can watch Court arguments here.
posted by wilful on Jul 8, 2013 - 39 comments

Let's have a teeny-tiny dinner

Come over my house and we'll cook up a tiny Re-Ment dinner...do you prefer Japanese cuisine? Maybe something European or Chinese? Perhaps fresh from the farm? Save room for Decoration Cake and Gummy Crepes for desert. RRcherrypie's YouTube channel has served up mesmerizing meals to millions. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 2, 2013 - 34 comments

Your own dog is optional

"Hi, I am Francis, the host of this show - Cooking With Dog." We will be cooking Choux Creme (Cream Puffs) / Tako-meshi (Mixed Rice with Octopus) / Cheese in Hamburg / Chicken Curry / Okonomiyaki / Agedashi Tofu / Yaki Gyoza / Bento Lunch Box / Green Tea Ice Cream. "Good luck in the kitchen!" (Previously)
posted by Katemonkey on Jun 28, 2013 - 26 comments

A Revolution in Fiction Unfolds

Nill Kamui is an independent island caught in a power struggle between the forces of Donatia, the land of Knights and the Church, and Koran, an empire of secrets and the immortal empress Ghost Mother. When the Red Dragon, the ancient protector of the island, goes berserk and starts killing for no reason, a desperate plan is hatched: a team of representatives from each of the three powers is given a mission to find why the Red Dragon went mad and stop him by any means necessary. Red Dragon is a tabletop RPG campaign with its own trailer, and that's not all. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Jun 22, 2013 - 20 comments

Spoke Stack

Mechanised Japanese Underground Bicycle Parking Pictures and video of space-saving bicycle parking in Japan.
posted by hawthorne on Jun 14, 2013 - 26 comments

Mascots.

Everyone needs professionally-trained Mascots. Especially Princesses. (Wait for the 2 min. mark) [more inside]
posted by lemuring on Jun 13, 2013 - 6 comments

Photographs of the Great Kanto Earthquake

On Saturday, September 1, 1923, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck the Kantō region of Japan. The resulting fires destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes in Tokyō and Yokohama, resulting in 142,800 deaths. A new resource site hosted by the University of Hawai'i, The Great Kantō Earthquake Japan of 1923, provides images of 199 scanned photographs documenting the destruction and aftermath of what, at the time, was the most powerful earthquake to strike the region. [more inside]
posted by sudasana on Jun 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Physics + Art = Awesome.

This is the current state of YoYo mastery. It is excellent.
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 6, 2013 - 27 comments

Life is the Pits

"...there is never a moment when the film doesn't look absolutely realistic, and it isn't about sand anyway, but about life. 'Are you shoveling to survive, or surviving to shovel?' the man asks the woman, and who cannot ask the same question? 'Woman in the Dunes' is a modern version of the myth of Sisyphus, the man condemned by the gods to spend eternity rolling a boulder to the top of a hill, only to see it roll back down." 1, 2 (NSFW: some nudity). Video essay by James Quandt. Based on the novel by Kobo Abe.
posted by seemoreglass on Jun 6, 2013 - 11 comments

富士山

"I lived in a hut near the summit of Mt. Fuli, the highest mountain in Japan,
for five months straight, four years in a row,
for a total of 600 days. Each morning,
I photographed the dawn from the same spot, chasing the ever-changing
drama that unfolded before my eyes.
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 6, 2013 - 8 comments

Is that in the rules?

Each event has a different theme, revolving around a past era. Previously, Steam Garden did a Meiji-themed party — a fascinating time when Japan was opening its doors to the West, and fusing Victorian fashion with traditional kimonos and obis. This time, the code word was Celtic Fantasy. Luke describes it as “a blend of industry, fantasy, and epic adventure set to a soundtrack of exciting tribal and Celtic music.” - Japanese Steampunk, complete with bagpipes, medieval food, fire dancers and wood elves.
posted by Artw on May 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Say you love me or I’ll kill you!

Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Kate Bush and Mike Patton. Togawa, who became known in Japanese culture after appearing in a bidet commercial, was half of the electro-cabaret band Guernica, which sometimes sounded very classical and sometimes sounded very new wave and sometimes much stranger. Somewhat more straightforward is her rock outfit Yapoos, which similarly varies quite a bit in sound and style. Her solo work, unsurprisingly, is quite melodramatic, with some very interesting arrangements, both parodically poppy and funky. I particularly like her covers of All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine's Comme à la Radio, and – weirdly – Pachelbel's Canon.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 21, 2013 - 14 comments

Not available in blue

How Mercedes Benz sells cars in Japan: anime car chases against legendary food trucks (slyt).
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 21, 2013 - 36 comments

Tags: nightmarefuel

Face Stealer App Will Steal Your Ability to Sleep [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 20, 2013 - 19 comments

When I stop listening, I have a hard time believing I just heard it.

Katra Turana is the most delightfully baffling band I know. Sometimes they sound like a calypso band gone mad. Sometimes they sound like a tornado slamming into a string quartet. Sometimes they're catchy and heartwarming. Sometimes they're sparse and sinister. Or they're annoying in grandiose ways. And sometimes they blossom into something that's vulnerable, lush, and devastatingly beautiful. I know next to nothing about them. They confound me. I hope you find them as wondrous and as special as I do.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 20, 2013 - 25 comments

Little Witch Academia is the best way to spend half an hour

Little Witch Academia is an accessible and gorgeous original anime about students learning magic and believing in yourself, available offically on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Apr 20, 2013 - 16 comments

Kittybus!

The Real Catbuses of Japan
posted by Artw on Apr 16, 2013 - 44 comments

The Japanese Version

In the late '80s, documentarians Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker spent six months in Tokyo looking at how symbols and imagery familiar to Americans had been appropriated and given new significance in Japan. Though more than 20 years old, the resulting video remains popular in undergraduate courses across the social sciences and humanities in part because it's so entertaining. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 13, 2013 - 13 comments

North Korea Sets April 10th Deadline

North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
posted by Artw on Apr 5, 2013 - 239 comments

Grappling for survival

Wrestling Out Of The Olympics - The Gods Must Be Crazy Mad
The whole lucrative sham of it all was exposed once again this week when the executive board of the IOC — Informal Motto: "Me Some Too, Yes?" — recommended that wrestling be dropped as an Olympic sport in the 2020 Summer Games, which are supposed to be held in Istanbul, Tokyo, or Madrid, depending on whose checks clear first, I believe. According to the board, wrestling is no longer a "core sport" in the Olympics and it will have to petition for inclusion in 2020 along with, and I am not making this up, sport climbing and wakeboarding. This is terrific. Why don't we just hold the Olympics in an REI outlet store somewhere?
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 19, 2013 - 94 comments

He has come, our Ultraman!

Ultraman Hit Song History Legend Hero Hen and Ultraman Hit Song History New Hero Hen are two 45 minute commemoration compilations of theme songs and clips of the Japanese tokusatsu hero Ultraman that were put together for the show's 45th anniversary. If you're pressed for time, you can just watch the original theme song with English subtitles.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 14, 2013 - 12 comments

When NASCAR takes over the Olympics

Tire jumping in japan The olympic sport where the auto enthusiast can comment endlessly about the tire he used to have, that would have won.
posted by boilermonster on Mar 13, 2013 - 39 comments

A Song of Ice on Fire

Methane hydrates, also known as clathrates, are crystalline ice structures which trap molecules of natural gas. They are fairly ubiquitous in near-shore seafloor sediments, where methane from decaying organic matter is trapped in an ice structure at low temperature and high pressure. Though methane hydrates are believed to contain substantially more natural gas than conventional deposits, extraction of the natural gas was thought to be impractical. Until now. [more inside]
posted by irrelephant on Mar 12, 2013 - 35 comments

Domino's crews get together and create Vocaloid (VOKARO) songs!

Domino's App feat. HATSUNE MIKU
posted by The Devil Tesla on Mar 7, 2013 - 29 comments

Toren Smith, 1960-2013

I had discovered the Animage comics version of Nausicaa, which provided my entry into the world of Japanese comics--a world which was to cause me to devote my life to bringing it to all English-speaking people.
Toren Smith, a brilliant editor and translator and one of Japanese comics' first and greatest advocates in the English-speaking world, is dead. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Mar 7, 2013 - 30 comments

"Are you blind? I'm on the field right now!"

Victor Mesa is the 2013 World Baseball Classic Cuban team manager. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Mar 6, 2013 - 10 comments

"A law should serve the people, but it didn't protect me."

In Korea, Changes in Society and Family Dynamics Drive Rise in Elderly Suicides - "The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation's runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 4, 2013 - 23 comments

"Designed in Japan, brewed in Belgium, drunk in Hong Kong"

"Yamada had already become interested in beer after going drinking with fellow students around Cambridge, and taken trips to Belgium and Munich to widen his beery knowledge. Listening to Bilimoria talk about his desire to brew a beer that would match up with Indian food, Yamada had a revelation. What about a beer specifically brewed to match up with Japanese food?"
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 1, 2013 - 17 comments

This is Who They Are

Infographic about Japanese teens aged 12-15 (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by misozaki on Feb 20, 2013 - 19 comments

The Lafcadio Hearn of Our Time

Donald Richie, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004
[more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Feb 19, 2013 - 23 comments

He's just a tramp-sama abroad.

Submitted for your enjoyment: The misadventures of Guy Jean, an American in Japan.
posted by TheNewWazoo on Feb 9, 2013 - 28 comments

Famous foods of Japan by prefecture

So, I’ve been doing my research. Because there are so many prefectures and so many famous foods, I’m going to be breaking this article up into two parts. One for North, East, and Central prefectures of Japan, and one for West and South prefectures of Japan. At the end of the second part, we’ll also include a printout that has a map with numbers on all the prefectures corresponding to a list down below it. That way you can print this out, take it with you, and go on a rompy food excursion in Japan.
posted by infini on Feb 6, 2013 - 17 comments

I don’t believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did.

A couple days ago, Minami Minegishi, a 20 year-old member of the wholesome, innocent idol group AKB48 posted a video of herself, head shaved, tearfully begging not to be fired from the group. What horrible crime did she commit? What awful, unpardonable sin caused her demotion and public humilation? Dating. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 1, 2013 - 76 comments

Mascot Bonanza!

Japan attempts to set the world record for the greatest number of mascots dancing at once. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jan 31, 2013 - 10 comments

"My hatred for Japanese cinema includes absolutely all of it."

"Japanese cinema’s preeminent taboo buster, Nagisa Oshima directed, between 1959 and 1999, more than twenty groundbreaking features. For Oshima, film was a form of activism, a way of shaking up the status quo. Uninterested in the traditional Japanese cinema of such popular filmmakers as Kurosawa, Ozu, and Naruse, Oshima focused not on classical themes of good and evil or domesticity but on outcasts, gangsters, murderers, rapists, sexual deviants, and the politically marginalized." The great Japanese director Nagisa Oshima passed away at the age of 80 last week. Appreciations from the Guardian, Slate, Fandor, Telegraph, NY Times, AV Club, and a few in-depth articles over at Senses of Cinema and Film Comment.
posted by HumanComplex on Jan 25, 2013 - 11 comments

It's never been a better time to be a Japanese shoegazer

While you're waiting for the third My Bloody Valentine album or just their next show why not listen to Yellow Loveless, the newly released, All-Japanese cover of My Bloody Valentine's 1991 classic Loveless? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jan 24, 2013 - 23 comments

Japanese Designers 101

I’ve found that while Japan has always been a significant force in the world of design, not many people are familiar with the names or faces behind the distinct aesthetic. In this edition I would like to briefly introduce some of the notable* industrial designers of the 20th Century that have made meaningful contributions to what we know today as Contemporary Japanese Design. by the ever wonderful Spoon & Tamago [more inside]
posted by infini on Jan 18, 2013 - 8 comments

Ghost in the Shell Arise in 2013

Ghost in the Shell Arise 「攻殻機動隊ARISE」 (AnimeNewsNetwork) is the newest anime tv series based on Shirow Masmune's cyberpunk manga which debuted in 1989. The new GITS Arise TV show is produced by legendary Japanese anime studio Production I. G. which has produced all of the Ghost in the Shell animated movies and tv series. [more inside]
posted by gen on Jan 15, 2013 - 59 comments

Coming of Age

Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan, when everyone who has turned twenty in the past year simultaneously gains the right to smoke, drink, and vote. Wherever you are, why not celebrate with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's (previously) latest video, furisodeshon?
posted by 23 on Jan 13, 2013 - 47 comments

Are you big in Japan?

On the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ. (previously)
posted by Chrysostom on Jan 11, 2013 - 62 comments

You seem to have paid a fairly high price for your happiness.

enchantMOON is a "Hypertext Authoring Tablet" featuring hardware design by Yoshitoshi ABe. For CES the company behind the tablet, Ubiquitous Entertainment, created a series of shorts directed by Evangelion veteran Shinji Higuchi. Some more details about the tablet can be found here and on the official Facebook page. Current details about the UI suggest it takes inspiration from Hypercard and Alan Kay's Dynabook. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Jan 10, 2013 - 9 comments

Mushi Mushi

Listen, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take missed calls anymore. (SLYT)
posted by cmoj on Jan 9, 2013 - 48 comments

Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012; "The Only Woman In The Room"

Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 4, 2013 - 20 comments

Stimulated Emission

light AMPLIFICATION - Is the color of future of your future neon pink? Is the language Japanese? Are the city's an eternal nighttime of airbrushed martini glasses, glossy red lips and consumer electronics? Do you jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace? Then this is the tumblr for you. [via mefi projects]
posted by Artw on Dec 29, 2012 - 44 comments

Japan

What's Going On In Japan? "Really Japan is quite a remarkable case, since neither fiscal nor monetary policy seems to be working to achieve the anticipated results. This year Japan will have a fiscal deficit of around 10% of GDP and gross government debt will hit 235% of GDP, yet the country is still struggling to find growth. Instead of reiterating old dogmas (whether they come from Keynes or from Hayek) more people should be asking themselves what is happening here. This is not a simple repetition of something which was first time tragedy and is now second time tragedy, it is something new, and could well be a harbinger for more that is to come, elsewhere. Oh, why oh why are economists not more curious?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2012 - 82 comments

Diabaram, diabaram, diabaram, nena dou ko baye...

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Youssou N'Dour -- Diabaram
See also, from the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival,
Moncef Genoud, Youssou N'Dour, and the ''Return to Gorée'' All-Stars -- Diabaram

Also from the 1990 Ryuichi Sakamoto album Beauty:

Ryuichi Sakamoto with Kazumi Tamaki, Misako Koja and Yoriko Ganeko -- Romance
I believe you will recognize the melody.
Ryuichi Sakamoto with Kazumi Tamaki, Misako Koja and Yoriko Ganeko -- Chinsagu No Hana
See also Power of Okinawa, Roots Music of the Ryukyus -- Ryuichi Sakamoto: Beauty
See also, for lyric and translation: Chinsagu No Hana [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 24, 2012 - 9 comments

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