How to make handmade Japanese scroll paper
(Many other traditional artisans at Gucci Japan
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
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.
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
Having confronted the problem of how to walk past someone without running into them, it's time MetaFilter dealt with another pressing social issue: How to deal with slow walkers
Mobile Suit Gundam
premiered on April 7th, 1979 in Nagoya, Japan, and with it came the now three-decade-old franchise that launched a thousand plastic model kits.
MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of.
DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes.
Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
What is Pink Lady
? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark
" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff
) with comedian Jeff Altman.
). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO
(a bit more rock and roll
), and SOS
along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland
, McArthur Park
and the occasional guest star.
) Also, Roy Orbison
Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them.
Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
CHARGEMAN KEN episode 35: DYNAMITE IN THE BRAIN (Youtube, 5:19)
...in which our poorly-animated, generic 70s anime boy superhero finds a unique
way to thwart the villains' plans. (Via the excellent let's anime.) [more inside]
Doraemon - the Hurricane Child (Japanese with English subtitles)
Perhaps Japan's greatest pop icon, Doraemon
is an earless robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita. Originally a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio
(a nom de plume of a manga writing duo formed by two Japanese manga artists) Doraemon would become probably the most popular anime series in Japanese history. A Daily Motion user has uploaded dozens of older Doraemon episodes, many with English subtitles).
The Basket Cat Blog:
Shiro loves very small baskets
. He also wears flowered hats
) and enjoys the idyllic Japanese countryside of Iwate Prefecture
. He and his brothers are very chill
Many short but sweet videos of them have been uploaded to YouTube on the shironekoshiro
channel. The blog is updated frequently and has extensive archives. More archives here
. Twitter Facebook [more inside]
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
The video game SEGAGAGA
, a Japan-only release for the Dreamcast, is an incredibly odd bit of gaming history. A business sim (of sorts) it tasks the player to lead Sega to victory over its rival the evil DOGMA Corporation (a thinly veiled analog for Sony). Loaded with in-jokes obvious and obscure, it is a love letter to Sega fans, and it was one of the last Dreamcast games made before Sega went third party. After a four-year hiatus, the Segagaga fan translation project
has resumed work on localizing this most unusual game. Intro video
. Edge Magazine interviews the director
. [more inside]
Five days of earthquakes.
An animated display of all earthquakes over M4.5. 1 video sec = 1 hour real time. The big one hits at 1:17. (SLYT).
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]
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
Japan's Okunoshima Island
once produced chemical weapons. After 1945, the facilities where shut down but the buildings remained and the island became famous for something else:
Being home to hundreds and hundreds of rabbits.
has uploaded nearly 4000 videos to YouTube. Many of these are trailers for the documentaries they sell, but they have also posted hundreds of full-length videos. Most are for short documentarie, but there are a lot of features too. It's somewhat daunting to explore, but the playlists
are a good place to start, and so are the shows: Features
and Savouring Europe
, a European travelogue series. Here's a few interesting ones: Gastronauts
, about French culinary students working to make astronaut food more palatable, Demon Drummers
, about student Kodo drummers, India's Free Lunch
, about the effects of free school lunches on Indian society, The Twitter Revolution
, about YouTube and Twitter's role in the 2009 Iranian uprising, Europe's Black Hole
, about Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova, Small Town Boy
, about a gay male carnival queen in a small town in England, The Vertigo of Lists
, Umberto Eco talks about the ubiquity of lists in modern culture and Monsters from the Id
, about scientists in the science fiction films of the Fifties.
Nissan has been running an ad campaign
in Japan based on the 1974 anime Heidi, girl of the alps
. The ads
are sort of
and were put together by the same crew that did The world of golden eggs
. The full episodes feature Heidi
to find the answer
to her question
'低燃費って何？' (What's teinenpi?).
(the last set of links are all Japanese, but are hopefully interesting enough without subtitles)
How to iron a shirt.
Everything is cooler in Japan. [more inside]
The lunar orbital spacecraft Selene
, better known by its Japanese name Kaguya
, has been sending back some incredible HD video, including some of Earth rising
and the Moon's surface
. [more inside]
RIP Tartan Films.
The UK-based film distribution company
has gone into administration, laying off it's entire staff. [more inside]
...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]
Playboy. Cowboy. Mandom.
The late Charles Bronson and his perfect chest, in one of his finest early pre-Death-Wish roles. And look out for Percy Helton. Here's a shorter version with more horse.
. [more inside]
I've been struggling for days to refrain from posting this video of a chimp taking five British bulldogs for a walk around the streets of Japan
, and it looks like I failed.
is a Japanese homebrew game, with English translation available, for Windows that exhaustively replicates the experience of playing on an MSX home computer
, a machine not sold in the U.S. but was contemporary with the likes of the Commodore 64 and Amiga in other markets. (Fun fact: the "MS" in MSX stands for Microsoft!) Although it looks very much like retro warez, La-Mulana is freeware. It is also notoriously long and difficult, with a character who controls like old-school Castlevania, enemies that will frequently knock you around like a rag doll, puzzles of amazing deviousness, and traps that think nothing of walling up a player without escape, or forever restricting access to certain powerups.
That said, the game does have charm, and is basically a love letter to the MSX hardware. Those who want to see it without beating their hands bloody against the keyboard can watch a guy play through the whole game in 85 installments
, cursing at it all along the way.
Anime Music Videos.
Yet another remixing web subculture
, they're usually a source of amateurishly produced angst. From the competitive perfectionists
, though, come well lipsynched
, action packed
, and occasionally just filthy
stuff for cartoon nerds. Besides the usual metal, ballads, and pop rock, there's some Daft Punk
, and downtempo
accompaniment. Or you can just go to hell
. Wear headphones and no-one will know.
Memorial Museum on Otsushima Island, on the site of the original kaiten base.
WWII Japanese suicide tactics included planes, boats,
and suicide submarines.
The submarine discovered recently
near Sydney harbor was not such a craft, yet the pilots
took their own lives rather than lead their pursuers to the I-class mother submarines
TV in Japan.
A hyper representation of what airs, or has aired on Japanese TV. Ranging from action packed to truly awesome (and from monkeys to ninjas), set your eyes to "dazzled" and brain to "frazzled".
Awesome J-Pop Videos.
For a genre
few in the U.S. are familiar with, it certainly garners some very heated opinions
(likely because of Morning Musume
and the like.) Still, there are some who go above
the fold. (largely youtube filter.)
Incredible Machine 01
- clever Japanese Rube Goldberg type devices in action. Film clip, annoying soundtrack alert. (via digg)