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We're all living in Murakami's world.

The Murakami Method : hailed as the Japanese Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami (previously discussed here) lives in his factory wherein he "makes art and sleeps." Murakami spans the artistic spectrum as both a proponent of Japanese otaku culture - the "geek" culture of manga and video games and the author of a PhD dissertation of Nihonga - a style of Japanese painting whose name literally translates to "Japanese painting." Further bridging the gap between "high and low culture," Murakami shows his work in museums and in the Louis Vuitton store in Tokyo.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Apr 3, 2005 - 5 comments

The Japanese Gallery of Psychiatric Ar

The Japanese Gallery of Psychiatric Art. Images from Japanese psychiatric medication advertisements: 1956-2003 (via Absent without leave)
posted by matteo on Mar 9, 2005 - 14 comments

Do Not Laugh At Our Signs

Japanese Warning Signs: Signs. In Japanese. Warning you not to do things.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Mar 2, 2005 - 43 comments

nanaca crash

Nanaca Crash Fun Japanese Flash game, although I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on the nuances.
posted by jeremias on Feb 25, 2005 - 36 comments

packaw!

MU QT [via S/FJ]
posted by felix betachat on Jan 12, 2005 - 23 comments

Rats Perception Elvis

If rats can distinguish between Japanese and Dutch, why would Elvis have looked like this at age 70?
posted by mcgraw on Jan 9, 2005 - 21 comments

Enjoying Japanese Tale

Japanese fairy tales. In English, illustrated.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 19, 2004 - 7 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

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

Ronald, you've changed

The Japanese have a somewhat different conception of Ronald McDonald from what we have here in the states. (safe for work, Windows Media required)
posted by RylandDotNet on Nov 10, 2004 - 19 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

Flash Friday Fing!

Unsurprisingly cute Japanese game. Today's reason for my corporate shirking.
posted by Hartster on Oct 8, 2004 - 15 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

Hanafuda and Go-Stop

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

Manabu Yamanaka Photograph

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

Japanese Old Photographs

Japanese Old Photographs from the Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (1860-1899).
posted by hama7 on Mar 25, 2004 - 11 comments

Toho Tokusatsu Movie Poster Gallery

Toho Tokusatsu Movie Poster Gallery.
posted by hama7 on Mar 5, 2004 - 3 comments

SuperSize Me.

SuperSize Me. NYT Link reports that the average person in the USA is getting bigger. But, we aren't the only ones.
posted by jopreacher on Mar 1, 2004 - 7 comments

WWII Japanese Handgun Website

Nambu: WWII Japanese Handgun Website.
posted by hama7 on Feb 28, 2004 - 39 comments

The Shadowy World

Perceptions of the Shadowy World. The Japanese concept of yami. [Via wood s lot.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2004 - 9 comments

Make it grow, make it grow, make it grow

Friday Flash Fun. Grow weird things on a weird planet... weirdly. via boing-boing
posted by seanyboy on Feb 20, 2004 - 25 comments

Shibori Japanese Tye-Dye

Shibori is an amazing Japanese textile dying technique--a very sophisticated form of tie-dye, where nubby, lumpy, bizarre things like this are transformed after dying into this fish or these flowers (scroll for detail) or these starbursts. Specifically this odd thing became this (detail). You can find excellent photos and descriptions of the process here, 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, here(gallery1-7), and here. Shibori can be used to make some striking and detailed images. Diverse examples of shibori --iris, layered squares, waves, kimonos, 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/Japanese). 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 has more.
posted by lobakgo on Jan 16, 2004 - 18 comments

Future Shock, "Late at Night"

Just what you wanted, break dancing Japanese geezers
Still photos, live action and animation melted into a music video (streaming Quicktime) by Neo, a duo made up of Londoners Jake Knight and Ryoko Tanaka. More clips on their site. (via Jeansnow.net)
posted by planetkyoto on Jan 16, 2004 - 20 comments

Sex, Ukeleles, Gadgets...and more!

Have a merry, sex and gadget filled hyper-commercialized Japanese Christmas. "Well it all started when a Spanish Jesuit missionary named St. Francis Xavier brought Christmas to Japan in 1549...." The Jesuit bid to Christianize Japan was a flop though, and now - while Jews in the West, for example, tend to go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve, the Japanese had little connection to the Christian version - so they invented their own! Syncretistic Japan pulls in random elements of Western "Christmas" and recombines in pleasing new ways! ( shocking only to Christians ). Santa Claus on the Cross and more!

A proper Christmas in Japan - for singles - involves a hot date and visit to a "Love Hotel" where "you might be directed by scantily-clad female elves to rooms complete with Christmas trees and life-size reindeer watching the proceedings with interest." and "Grope Free Commutes", for Japanese women tired of having their asses grabbed on the subway by drunk salarymen returning from "Forget the Year" parties. This fine blog chronicles it all: " the Dolphin-and-fish-surrounded Christmas tree", Ukelele Christmas parties - "I wandered into a score of middle aged Japanese ladies wearing Hawaiian shirts and plastic lays, tuning up their ukuleles" and more. And don't forget to buy some cool new gadgets. "...a tiny robot helicopter weighing less than 9 grams... "
posted by troutfishing on Dec 25, 2003 - 19 comments

What are those Tentacles for?

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 - 23 comments

It canna be!

Scotland shamed: Japan wins whisky challenge. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre hosted a tasting in Toronto, and a 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido, beat out a 16-year-old Lagavulin (my own favorite) and 12-year-old whiskies from Cragganmore and Balvenie (also excellent). This is reminiscent of the 1976 tasting in which California wines beat out French ones and put California on the map; can America someday produce a world-class scotch-type whisky (the preferred spelling in Scotland), or shall we simply continue to take pride in our bourbon and rye?
posted by languagehat on Nov 25, 2003 - 37 comments

Hello Kitty I love you!!!

The billion-dollar juggernaut that is Hello Kitty. Tokyo-based journalists Ken Belson and Brian Bremner have published a history of Japanese character-licensing company Sanrio and their most famous character, Hello Kitty. As Japanese "kawaii" (cute) culture continues to invade the world, this looks to be a great guide to the history and impact of Kitty-chan and her minions.
posted by gen on Oct 15, 2003 - 21 comments

igpx

Immortal Grand Prix [note: flash] ... a cool little turn-based strategy game based on a japanese cartoon.
posted by crunchland on Oct 6, 2003 - 13 comments

I Love Egg

I Love Egg
posted by mr_crash_davis on Oct 4, 2003 - 10 comments

ozuyasujiro.com

Ozu Yasujiro.com: "This site is non-profit, based in England, and maintained as a shrine and resource dedicated to the late director."
posted by hama7 on Sep 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Liar!

Japanese Tolkien fans angered over translation issues. Relatively old news, but I believe not that well known. Do the technical difficulties involved excuse the loss of important meaning in dialogue? Film translation seems to suffer from much less prestige than literary translation, though that too has its controversies. In the US, anime fans replay the loose vs strict translation debate daily, also protesting cuts and edits. Is it really impossible in the rush to make money off the geeks and off the masses to stay relatively true to the original material?
posted by e^2 on Aug 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Manscaping! Another word brought to you by Queer Eye.

It's Dinner Time. You know what that means: Hairy chests. [geisha asobi poss. nsfw] Mmmmmm... I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog just looking at it! What's that? You're in the mood for hairy backs? [e.blort] Why, Bill Cosby from Ghost Dad would be proud! (Whoever else has seen that movie gets a free... flowbee.)
posted by Stan Chin on Aug 26, 2003 - 28 comments

KABOOM!

Whatever you do, don't touch anything, especially the walls! [note: flash]
posted by crunchland on Aug 3, 2003 - 25 comments

Wiener Art

Fun things to do with your wiener. (Totally safe for work.)
posted by Wet Spot on Jun 28, 2003 - 7 comments

Learn English.

Learn English.
posted by xmutex on Apr 17, 2003 - 15 comments

old japan maps

A bunch of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces."
posted by stbalbach on Apr 13, 2003 - 5 comments

So lifelike! Soon humans will be unecess...

Gracefull bipeds, miniature robot ballets.... Titled by the BBC as "Humanoid robots wow Japanese", The world's largest robot exhibit this weekend in Yokahama features Asimo by Honda ["Asimo can now recognise individual faces and can understand gestures as well as spoken commands. Meet him once and he never forgets, responding by approaching and calling your name on subsequent meetings."] as well as Sony's newest Aibo accesories and their stunning SDR-4X ll, a biped sporting "fluid walking motion and lifelike gestures." Epson Seiko caught my attention, though, with their dozen tiny Bluetooth controlled 12.5 gram Monsieur ll-P robot prototypes which executed a miniature choreographed ballet.

Pretty soon they'll be scuttling around on our walls like cockroaches, watching us......
posted by troutfishing on Apr 5, 2003 - 11 comments

kichi kichi!

Japanese Sound Effects and what they mean. Spotted on Gen Kanai's blog: this rather comprehensive list of sound-effect words from manga - the Japanese equivalent of BAM! WAP!, OOF! (and possibly even D'OH!), but covering a wider range of social and emotional terrain. Lest you surmise that these are more or less arbitrary, I "tested" ten or so on my fiancee and found that she knew every single one. Aaaa!
posted by adamgreenfield on Apr 3, 2003 - 12 comments

"There is making of silver sex". Taking bodypainting/messy obsessions to the very edge, Manon Production from Japan sells a wide selection of fetish videos (sample mpeg 1.69MB). All feature illustrative pictures and detailed, eerie Engrish descriptions ("we feel admirable and poor at her black smile"; "Midori's body is changing colourfull"; "a little golden powder enters into her eyes"). Results can also evoke a sculpture, the theater or abstract art. Considering the evident misogyny of the whole effort, is it all the more unsettling because the images are sometimes beautiful (1, 2)? Is it an attempt to somehow bring Sorayama's creatures to life? Could the models be actually enjoying it? NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
posted by 111 on Mar 16, 2003 - 16 comments

Posters of Toei Yakuza Movies

Posters of Toei Yakuza Movies.
posted by hama7 on Mar 4, 2003 - 4 comments

Hounen Matsuri et cetera

Hounen Matsuri is Japanese and means Festival for a prosperous year.
There are many festivals in Japan. But this one is quite different. Not many Japanese know about this Matsuri, and they are very surprized [QuickTime video] when they hear about it for the first time. Well, what is it?
posted by hama7 on Feb 22, 2003 - 11 comments

Poetic Japanese Mistranslation

The Powell is sent in order to carry the water: I find Japanese "Engrish" websites unfunny and stupidly patronizing but this blog is potential poetry - Surrealist poetry. Whether it was machine-translated or drafted using Breton's, Ionesco's or Burroughs' techniques, it's splendidly memorable: Rather than "I am sad" we need "mush truth". All it needs is some artful, e.e.cummings-like arranging on the page to be transformed into art. [Via Linkfilter].
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 6, 2003 - 25 comments

U.S. and Canadian WWII Concentration Camps

Striking, panoramic photo collages of the ruins of U.S. and Canadian concentration camps used to isolate Japanese-Americans during WWII. Masumi Hayashi's rich site also features documents, personal stories and Shockwave interview clips, a discussion board and data on each camp. And, yes, this post was inspired by U.S. Congressman Howard Coble's recent comment.
posted by mediareport on Feb 6, 2003 - 34 comments

The Year of the Goat

Let the celebrations begin! According to the Chinese calendar, tomorrow begins the year 4700. The festivals and superstitions surround the celebration for the new year are fascinating in China as well as Korea. Which animal year were you born in and do you follow the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean zodiac? Finally, the mathematics behind the calendar are truly fascinating.
posted by Plunge on Jan 31, 2003 - 15 comments

japanese emoticons

Japanese Emoticons (*^_^*)
posted by hama7 on Jan 29, 2003 - 28 comments

Navajo Code Talkers

You've probably heard of the WWII Navajo "code talkers" who managed to baffle crack Japanese cryptanalysts and were credited with enabling US success at Iwo Jima. Civil engineer, journalist and photographer Philip Johnston was the determined mind behind the "windtalkers". The son of missionaries, Johnston grew up on a Navajo reservation and was one of only a handful of outsiders fluent in the Navajo language. A bit of his background is included this article, and you can read a complete history of his plan, view an archive of photos by Johnston, and see copies of his enlistment application letter to the Marine Corps commandant, as well as a recommendation letter from the Commanding General. (more inside...)
posted by taz on Jan 22, 2003 - 13 comments

Oh, those wacky Japanese animators!

Pinpin Lelapin...While surfing on a Singapore site called FlashMove, I came across a zany Flash site: A wonder bit of inscrutable Japanese-inspired French animation from Studio Tanuki in the form of Pinpin Lelapin, an adorable pink balloon bunny rabbit who farts on people. In addition to the giddy animation and stylised artwork on the site is the unique "Super Mario"-type run-and-jump navigation. (Note: Mostly in French, with some Japanese and broken English. Contains Flash, music, farts, giant mecha battles and a Sailor Moon parody.)
posted by Down10 on Dec 28, 2002 - 8 comments

Kodocha calls it quits. Kodocha Anime, one of the best known and most reliable anime fansub tape distributors, is closing down operations. Why? Because everything's going digital. [more inside]
posted by Slithy_Tove on Sep 23, 2002 - 3 comments

A new use for haiku!

A new use for haiku! Ancient Japanese art as spam filter? Habeas seems to think so. Come on kids, let the sorry attempts at poetry begin!
posted by krunk on Aug 20, 2002 - 28 comments

Chindogu

Chindogu is the ancient Japanese art of the Unuseless Invention -- that is, a creation which seems like a great idea, but which, in reality, causes more inconvenience than it cures. Behold the almost handy Backstratcher's T-Shirt, the Eyedrop Funnel Glasses, the Butter Stick and the Kitty Dust Slippers. Because everyone enjoys a good Unuseless Invention, I have given this book as a gift more than any other.
posted by Shadowkeeper on Aug 19, 2002 - 5 comments

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