This one time in Edo Japan, Bashō
got together with a bunch of his rich friends from Nagoya to make up a set of interlocking poems (renku
) — 36 of them, to be exact (a format called kasen
). Then, 320 years later, the complete cycle was animated
by a diverse international team of artists. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Nov 14, 2011 -
Gauche the Cellist [Google video, 63 minutes] is based on a story [Japanese; English translation #1, #2] by Kenji Miyazawa, one of the most-loved poet/storytellers in Japan (Miyazaki and Takahata love his works, and have been influenced by him). The movie was made as an independent project by a Japanese animation studio, OH Production (wiki), and took 6 years to complete. It is rather difficult to make a Kenji story into a movie because there are many Japanese just waiting to rip you apart if you screw up, but Gauche has been highly acclaimed, and is considered one of the best Miyazawa movies (IMDb). The story is about a cellist, Gauche, who becomes a better cellist by interacting with animals who visit his home every night. *
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 8, 2011 -
Nearly seventy years ago, 10,000 Japanse Americans were forcibly relocated to Heart Mountain
, just outside Cody, Wyoming; they were part of a larger group of more than 120,000 men, women, and children incarcerated in War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps
due solely to their ancestry. This past weekend, about 100 survivors of the camp -- led by the delightfully named Bacon Sakatini
-- returned to this remote corner of Wyoming to celebrate the grand opening of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center
Of the ten WRA camps, Heart Mountain had the only organized resisters movement
, which was started in 1944 by seven men who formed the Fair Play Committee
to protest the drafting of Japanse American men while their families remained imprisoned -- leading to the largest draft resistance trial in U.S. history.
posted by scody
on Aug 25, 2011 -
"Formed by Rocket Matsu in 1995, Pascals
is a fourteen piece acoustic orchestra that makes very unique and original tunes with the pianica, many kinds of toy instruments, violin, cello, banjo, guitar, winds, accordion, and more. The sounds is always seasoned with spirit, wit and humor. And it gives people a feeling of freedom." [more inside]
posted by Rube R. Nekker
on Mar 3, 2011 -
of Japan were live narrators of silent films.
"To many 'silent' cinema fans in Japan, benshi
were a major attraction. It was usually the film that drew people to the theater, but it was often the benshi
which determined which theater a person would attend. Benshi
were huge cultural stars of the time, with benshi
earning as much, if not more, than many actors." [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 27, 2011 -
The Tatara Project
: Learn how to make your own Japanese tanto knives from homemade steel; just follow these explicit directions and 125 photos
posted by bwg
on Feb 21, 2011 -
"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman
(Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,
) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain
, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment
acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "
" totally bowdlerize
the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets
. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,)
and the first 19 episodes of the show,
all available on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 28, 2011 -
If you enjoy games like Myst and Riven, take a crack at Cageling
. It's a good thing your prison is a luxurious rococo palazzo, because you'll probably be there for a while. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal
on Dec 3, 2010 -
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films
distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing
Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International
, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully
re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree
(while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention
The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic
gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog
, debuted in more than forty tongues
Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes
and one-line comparisons
, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights:
"One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali,"
and "A Whole New World"
) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata,"
(The Lion King
) - "Under the Sea"
and "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
(The Little Mermaid
) - "Belle"
and "Be Our Guest"
(Beauty and the Beast
) - "Just Around the Riverbend"
) - "One Song"
) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"
) - Medley
) - "When She Loved Me"
(Toy Story 2
) - Intro
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 12, 2010 -
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens
) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD,
but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi
(tea). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 25, 2010 -
A lion stalks the plains. It spots an antelope. His lunch, it would seem, is assured, except for one thing. This antelope... can TRANSFORM
! It's another incredibly bizarre and awesome EYEZMAZE game. Click on the various parts of the antelope to make things happen, until he's safe from the predator's attack. [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on May 21, 2010 -
is recognisable to most in the West as an Abacus. Despite the prevalence of electronic calculators, the Soroban is still incredibly popular in Japan, with parents oft paying for private tutors to teach their children. The remarkable phenomenon of Flash Anzan
is observed after a few years of practice, when users no longer need a real Soroban and can work off an imaginary one.
posted by Biru
on May 6, 2010 -