In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink
of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues
involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales
, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes
in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak
and possibly unresolvable
using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results? [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing
on Feb 2, 2012 -
- In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter
on Jan 29, 2012 -
Although the ultra-mysterious and rumour-cloaked Les Rallizes Dénudés/Hadaka no Rallizes existed in various forms from November 1967 to their last gig in October 1996 they are practically unknown in - let alone out of - Japan. Their recorded output is incredibly rare and highly priced and interviews or articles in the music press virtually non-existent. Tie that in with links to radical left-wing politics, extreme sensory assault at live shows and a general revolutionary aura and you have what must be the ultimate cult group. [more inside]
posted by twirlip
on Dec 20, 2011 -
Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 19, 2011 -
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]
posted by DoctorFedora
on Dec 15, 2011 -
On Monday, Google released Memories for the Future
, a website that allows you to "... walk the scarred coastline [after the Japanese tsunami] virtually". "... it is possible to see the full extent of the damage by finding an image in Street View and then clicking the “Before” and “After” links at the top to see how the earthquake and tsunami impacted that area.
" The Japan Real Time blog has a good introduction and writeup
posted by woodblock100
on Dec 13, 2011 -
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]
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 11, 2011 -
「こくせん ― 黒板戦争」
(Blackboard War) is a homemade stop motion video created by some students (out of more than 2500 still photos) for their school's culture festival. There is also a sequel
(made from more than 3000 photos this time).
posted by emmling
on Nov 30, 2011 -
Hanover Historical Texts Project
is a collection of primary source texts from ancient times to the modern era in English translation. There is a great number of interesting texts, for instance accounts of Zeno
, he of the paradoxes, the diary of Lady Sarashina
, a lady-in-waiting in Heian era Japan, a letter from Count Stephen of Blois and Chartres
, a crusader writing to his wife, Arthur Young's travels in France
before and during the Revolution, a report by the American ambassador in St. Petersburg on March 20th, 1917
, immediately after the February Revolution, and finally Petrarch's letter about his graphomania
. That last one is from what is perhaps my favorite part of the website, a trove of Petrarch's Familiar Letters
. But there's much more in the Hanover Historical Texts Projects besides what I've mentioned.
posted by Kattullus
on Oct 24, 2011 -
GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House. On the third day after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Nine miles out at sea, a man had been found alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 13, 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 -
"Pretty much all haikyo that contain items related to the building’s past are interesting. On the odd occasion even empty structures are too. But while memory-filled houses and sorry-looking snake centres are fascinating in their own very different ways, there’s arguably something that little bit special about a long-abandoned school." An abandoned but perfectly preserved Japanese school
. [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Sep 28, 2011 -
Gundam Navi: [Via: Comics Alliance]
"If you're a Japanese otaku growing bored of your crippling iPhone GPS dependence, Namco Bandai could have the solution for you -- gaming your way to destinations with Mobile Suit Gundam. Gundam Navi, the first of a line of Character Navi programs, is a new GPS app that transforms a user's commute into "battle events" that pit a location marker against randomly generated enemies lined up on a given route." Gundam Navi is available for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. The app costs ¥3,500 for one year of usage.
[Screenshot 1] [Screenshot 2] [Screenshot 3] [Screenshot 4] [Screenshot 5]
posted by Fizz
on Jul 30, 2011 -