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Floods, aftershocks, and fallout.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. Japan, still feeling the aftershocks of the earthquake, the tsunami, the Fukushima exclusion zone... An opportunity for everyone to reflect on the disaster, share stories, and contemplate the impact of a year ago and what it means today.
posted by markkraft on Mar 10, 2012 - 10 comments

Listening to the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake

What does a magnitude 9.0 earthquake sound like? Researchers sped up low-frequency ground waves recorded during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, bringing them within range of human hearing. Hear the mainshock from just off the coast of Japan. And how it "sounded" in California. [more inside]
posted by Mercaptan on Mar 7, 2012 - 14 comments

Eat It, in Japan

Weird Al performs Eat It in Japan. Stay for the giant lobster man. [more inside]
posted by Think_Long on Feb 27, 2012 - 11 comments

"You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive."

In Search of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist, a 50 minute documentary exploring Murakami's Japan and culture. via.
posted by timshel on Feb 26, 2012 - 28 comments

Victory shout at 1:41

11 year old Nanaka showing off her impressive skateboarding skills. [SLYT]
posted by quin on Feb 19, 2012 - 32 comments

Bonsai!

Bonsai Treehouses by Takanori Aiba
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 14, 2012 - 26 comments

Japan Tsunami Pictures - Before and After

Japan Tsunami Pictures - Before and After See how Japan has rebuilt in the 11 months since the earthquake and tsunami
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

Pantomime Course

Not for the first time, a paper-mache rhino terrorizes Ueno Zoo. Previously: ape, polar bear, tiger, zebra.
posted by Winnemac on Feb 9, 2012 - 19 comments

Tiltshift Japan ist Krieg

It's the weekend according to UNIQLO CALENDAR, portraying the four seasons and forty-seven prefectures of Tiltshift Timelapse Japan. Music by Fantastic Plastic Machine who did internet classic UNIQLOCK. [Previous]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Feb 3, 2012 - 24 comments

What Has Piracy Done For Anime?

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 - 32 comments

78 78s

78 78s - 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 - 15 comments

I'm on my way to the Reprobate Empire, via Whiskey Island and the Temptation Straits

Mapping out whiskey. Start here, swimming in Drunkards Channel: Map On Temperance, 1846. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Jan 21, 2012 - 17 comments

NOW IT IS BEGINNING OF A FANTASTIC STORY

Here are fan-translated Game Center CX (previously) Episodes on YouTube: #1: Atlantis No Nazo, #2: Challenger, #3: Ghosts 'N Goblins, #4: Konami Wai Wai World, #5: Metroid, #6: Solomon's Key, #7 & #8: Prince of Persia: Part 1 - Part 2, #9: Mega Man II, #10: Super Mario 3. Much more after the break.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 28, 2011 - 32 comments

Works on low-talkers too!

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 (SLYT).
posted by scalefree on Dec 28, 2011 - 47 comments

China radically increases patent filings

China became the world's top patent filer in 2011, issuing 58% of global intellectual property filings. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 23, 2011 - 49 comments

Tsunami Drive-By

Yu Muroga was doing his job making deliveries when the 11 March 2011 earthquake hit in Japan. Unaware, like many people in the area, of how far inland the Tsunami would travel, he continued to drive and do his job. The HD camera mounted on his dashboard captured not only the earthquake, but also the moment he and several other drivers were suddenly engulfed in the Tsunami. He escaped from the vehicle seconds before it was crushed by other debris and sunk underwater.
posted by mannequito on Dec 20, 2011 - 49 comments

Les Rallizes Denudes

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 - 12 comments

Iconic souvenir, Kokeshi dolls from Japan

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 - 20 comments

Rokurokkubi (a long-necked monster)

"This site is a catalogue raisonné of the art of Utagawa Kuniyoshi. It contains over 5,000 images, counting multi-sheet compositions as single images. An undertaking such as this can never be considered complete..." An archive of the work of Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a 19th century print maker from Japan. Some highlights include sumo wrestlers, triptychs from Genji, the Zodiac, and Tanuki having fun (slightly NSFW). [Via Pink Tentacle.] [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 18, 2011 - 4 comments

The Stars of Famicom Games

Chris Covell translated a Japanese social studies book about the making of Super Mario Bros. 3.
posted by ignignokt on Dec 16, 2011 - 10 comments

Can YOU survive?

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. WARNING: MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of. WARNING: DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes. 28.8k USERS: Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Dec 15, 2011 - 64 comments

Come and see for yourself ...

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 - 9 comments

Sunnier Than Sonny And Cher!

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 (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) 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 - 33 comments

Cool! Obama's face for lunch!

Normally I manage a sandwich, pieces of fruit and veg, a yoghurt and a carton of drink for my kids' lunchboxes. In some parts of the world, it seems, only mini sculptures of cartoon characters, piano keyboards and pictures of Obama made from seaweed will suffice. Want to join in? Turns out Youtube is a goldmine: next week, give your child Octopus sausages!. Or buy a book!
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots on Dec 11, 2011 - 20 comments

A Reluctant Enemy

"What a strange position I find myself in," [Yamamoto] wrote a friend, "having been assigned the mission diametrically opposed to my own personal opinion, with no choice but to push full speed in pursuance of that mission. Alas, is that fate?"

A brief account of how one of the biggest critics of Japan's war policy became the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks. (SLNYT)
posted by swift on Dec 7, 2011 - 44 comments

In Japan, they farm like this; in American, they farm like that.

Japan's youth, unable to find jobs in the city, look to life on the farm. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Dec 1, 2011 - 36 comments

The Emissaries of Cool Japan

The Great Shift in Japanese Pop Culture: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. [more inside]
posted by subdee on Nov 30, 2011 - 36 comments

Blackboard War

「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 - 14 comments

Are Your Greetings Seasoned?

"I can’t even tell you how excited I was to finally see the cards that “killed my grandfather” and drove my family into extreme poverty. I actually think Haruo did a pretty good job interpreting my grandfather’s original sketch, considering the severely confusing nature of his drawing. It’s anybody’s guess as what my grandfather expected to get back, but needless to say it wasn’t this beautiful card." Bradwick J. McGinty III tells the story of the Japanese cut-away Santa cards from 1955, similar in style to the yōkai and kaiju illustrations seen previously. (via)
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 27, 2011 - 74 comments

The Sword Maker

Korehira Watanabe, one of Japan's last swordsmiths (SLYT).
posted by mahershalal on Nov 23, 2011 - 27 comments

Kampai, you bitches!

Jeremy Thorn is an abusive, hard-drinking gaijin who will teach you Japanese while verbally berating you. He and his friends will also get drunk and teach you how to cook Japanese food in a similarly abusive fashion. Then he'll take you on a tour of weird Japanese signage, sights, and stuff. (note: MLYT; a lot of swearing is involved) [more inside]
posted by sixohsix on Nov 21, 2011 - 58 comments

Studio 4°C: anime that is dense with substance

Studio 4°C is a Japanese animation studio, named for the temperature at which water is most dense, which they convey in their creative manifesto: "create only works that are dense with substance and extreme quality." The studio has produced a range of works, from commercials (Honda Edix | Nike iD REALCITY) and music videos (Ken Ishii - 'Extra' [prev] | Utada Hikaru - 'Fluximation'), to animated series (The Adventures of Tweeny Witches | Thundercats reboot [prev]) and feature-length films (Memories [1995] | Mind Game [2004]). More on their movies inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 14, 2011 - 19 comments

Meow Meow Meow

Japan's cat cafes, where you can have tea with cats.
posted by Artw on Nov 9, 2011 - 83 comments

Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean

The 13th century wreck of an invading Mongolian ship that fell victim to a famous typhoon known in Japan as the "kamikaze" or "divine wind" has been found off the country's southern coast. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Oct 27, 2011 - 14 comments

Doctor Volga, forgive me!

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]
posted by JHarris on Oct 25, 2011 - 15 comments

Hanover Historical Texts Project

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 - 6 comments

Bicycling the Globe at a Bargain

35 days, 2822 miles through 9 states at a cost of $252.51 ($7.21 per day). George 'the Cyclist' Christensen spends a good part of each year bicycling through a different country and wild camping in places like Iceland, Turkey, China, the foot of Mt Fuji and around Lake Victoria; And writing about his travels on his blog from libraries and internet cafés. For the past eight years, too, he has also followed the Tour de France after first watching upwards of 70 films [in 12 days] at the Cannes Film Festival.
posted by Rashomon on Oct 17, 2011 - 20 comments

"We'll be fine."

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 - 19 comments

Now I understand why Manchester has such a passion.

The shape of England suggests a woman conscious of the size of her breasts. [more inside]
posted by Yakuman on Oct 8, 2011 - 67 comments

Gauche the Cellist, a Japanese short story and animated movie

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 - 8 comments

The Lost Yankee

Kei Igawa arrived in the US with a lot of fanfare in 2007. After failing miserably with the Yankees, he was sent to the minor leagues. Since then, he has existed in an uncomfortable limbo, not completely part of either world.
posted by reenum on Oct 5, 2011 - 33 comments

"In fact, it is so untouched that there’s a real sense the students will suddenly return. Each and every one of the small class charging in from the entrance."

"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 - 10 comments

I Wanna Be Your Doguu

Dogu are stylized clay figures from the prehistoric period of Japanese history. After Erich von Däniken popularized his 'ancient astronauts' ideas, Dogu became associated with alien visitors and appeared in many videogames.
More information from The Met and Wiki.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Sep 15, 2011 - 23 comments

9 hrs.

Nine Hours is an ultra-modern capsule hotel in Kyoto, Japan.
posted by lemuring on Sep 6, 2011 - 57 comments

Animated Truth

In the 1990s, the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo ("Supreme Truth"), infamous for their gas attack on the Tokyo subway released a number (NSWF) of anime videos as a recruitment tool.
posted by griphus on Sep 6, 2011 - 17 comments

Fighter at Point Zero

"In the wake of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, former Shooto heavyweight champion Enson Inoue has been on a one-man charity mission, repeatedly traveling to northeast Japan to directly help those in need."

A 9-Day Diary of the Trip and an interview about his experience covertly visiting the derelict Fukushima Reactor to feed stray animals and witness the gravity of the disaster zone.
posted by lemuring on Sep 4, 2011 - 22 comments

What humans are doing in space these days

Hey, remember the ISS, that space station the Space Shuttle helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station for a bit. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 30, 2011 - 93 comments

Doraemon with English subtitles

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).
posted by KokuRyu on Aug 27, 2011 - 8 comments

The Fukushima Robot Diaries

Fukushima Robot Operator Writes Tell-All Blog. "An anonymous worker at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has written dozens of blog posts describing his experience as a lead robot operator at the crippled facility." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 24, 2011 - 19 comments

Woman achieves Judo 10th degree black belt - at 98

98 year old woman just got her 10th level black belt in Judo. Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark. The martial arts promotion by USA Judo brought 98-year-old Fukuda to tears at the women's dojo where she still teaches in Noe Valley. Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt. Video about Fukuda Keiko. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 9, 2011 - 102 comments

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