With mass layoffs still taboo in Japan, senior workers who refuse to resign are sent to "chasing-out rooms"
instead of being allowed to work. (SL NYTimes)
posted by reenum
on Sep 4, 2013 -
"I lived in a hut near the summit of Mt. Fuli, the highest mountain in Japan, [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 6, 2013 -
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.
, 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 -
"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia
— or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 10, 2011 -
"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 -
Sure you consider yourself a retro 8-bit gaming geek, but have you played Udon Boy in Ramen Land, or Kung Fu Psycho Rider? Don't feel bad, they're from Japanese culture store Meteor's annual Famicase
, an exhibition of imaginary games
posted by artifarce
on Jun 5, 2009 -
Following the death of his sister to brain cancer, Motoi Yamamoto
adopted salt as his primary artistic medium. In Japanese culture salt is not only a necessary element to sustain human life, but it is also a symbol of purification
. He uses salt in loose form to create intricate labyrinth patterns
on the gallery floor or in baked brick form
to construct large interior structures. As with the labyrinths and unnavigable passageways, Motoi Yamamoto
views his installations as exercises which are at once futile yet necessary to his healing.
posted by netbros
on Mar 20, 2009 -
is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement
posted by tellurian
on Jan 27, 2009 -
Until 400 years ago, the Ainu controlled Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four main islands. Today they are a small minority group of Japan. They are a hunting and fishing people whose origins remain in dispute.
Long before the people who would come to be known as "the Japanese" completed their migrations from the Asia mainland, the islands of Japan were already inhabited by a race of people known as the Ainu ("human").
On this northernmost island, (Hokkaido), in the "snow
country," there still may be found remnants of this once proud and vigorous people who roamed the Japan islands long before the Japanese themselves arrived.More links inside [more inside]
posted by dawson
on Jun 6, 2008 -
"In the late 1920s, young Yoshiyuki received an early Kodak camera as a gift. Since the main livelihood of the town came from the sea, he gravitated there, and soon found a passion for "the simple, even primitive beauty" of ama
– girls and women who harvested seaweed, turban shells and abalone from beneath the coastal waters." "By the late 1960s, they had disappeared. This body of work stands as the final, most comprehensive visual document of the life and work of these divers." [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by tellurian
on Mar 27, 2008 -
Sushi Science and Hamburger Science: I had always regarded science as universal and believed there are no differences in science at all between countries. But I was wrong. People with different cultures think in different ways, and therefore their science also may well be different. In this essay, I will describe differences I have observed between Western science and Eastern science. Let me start with a parable......
posted by Rumple
on Feb 24, 2008 -
...Japanese hip hop has become a significant national, cultural, and business genre since the late twentieth century, and this phenomenon has been applied and has succeeded by using almost the same ideology that was historically used by other Japanese industries like automobile manufacturing. The pioneers in the Japanese hip hop industry like Buddha Brand learned their skills in the U.S. and have successfully been influencing the contemporary Japanese music scene. As a result, the imported hip hop has become a ''Japanized'' products. Many hip hop industries in Japan have modified the American hip hop into Japanese ways, and their businesses, like the hip hop dance schools, have succeeded.The Japanese Hip Hop Movement: Its Cultural and Economic Impact [more inside]
posted by y2karl
on Jan 19, 2008 -
Comedy duo, Ramenz
(ラーメンズ), aka Kobayashi Kentaro and Katagiri Jin, also known as the Japanese versions of Mac and PC
, have recently done a number of shorts collectively called "The Japanese Tradition." Apparently, these tongue-in-cheek pseudo-instructional vids about famous aspects of Japanese culture (Tea
, and Relationships
) have been fooling a lot of non-natives into thinking they are actual guides. (YouTube, each approx 4-6 min).
posted by ikahime
on Mar 29, 2007 -
Geiko of Kyoto
is a stunning photo gallery of Kyotos's Geisha - both the mature Geiko and the apprentice Maiko. Melissa Chasse annotates many photos with fascinating details and offers an account of her tea party with Mamechika
, a lovely Maiko. For more, this lovely Geisha site
offers a brief history from the era of the floating world, more photos, Ukiyo-e art, and links. Also see y2karls' prior definitive post on ukiyo-e
posted by madamjujujive
on Sep 23, 2006 -
is an insightful, well-written blog dedicated to Japanese culture, books, current affairs, news, sex, random images and observations of life, as seen through the eyes of an English expat living in Tokyo.
posted by darkstar
on Jun 18, 2005 -
Not safe for work! 'Hi, this is masamania who create this page, MasaManiA.com. This page is made up of photos I actually take in twon. .I hope I can show and tell you the real, true Japan that cannot be seen in other mas media. I am living in Tokyo, Japan. I was born in Japan, grown up in Japan, study English in Japan. This is the reason I can speak Engrish. Some people complain that my updating and email response is slow. And other people conplain that my englsih is poor. '
posted by plep
on Oct 24, 2004 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Breakup businesses in Japan
I wouldn't be surprised is this became a television show in Japan. Best line: "Men can always be seduced if the woman operative is reasonably good-looking," says Hiwatashi. "That's an absolute. Men are basically simpletons."
posted by zinegurl
on Jan 10, 2002 -