is from Japan. Toshio Hirano
lives here now. He came to this country following a particular sound
and has made a career of it. He even has a movie
about him (YT trailer
)! He plays monthly here
in San Francisco. Last night, as I watched him sing the blues, I reflected on how different yet connected our two countries are. Join me in sending good thoughts to our brothers and sisters in Japan.
posted by Jibuzaemon
on Mar 15, 2011 -
Amidst the massive aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami being discussed in this thread
, the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plants continues to unfold.
For objective information, discussion, and analysis of the ongoing efforts to stabilize the fuel cores in the boiling water reactors of the type in Fukushima, nuclear engineers such as @arclight
are providing laypeople with a much needed crash course on the inner workings of nuclear reactors. [more inside]
posted by Dr. Zira
on Mar 12, 2011 -
The Japanese word kōgei
(also as kougei
) [工芸], basically translates as 'crafts', or even 'handicrafts'. In many places in the world, such products are generally considered as something lesser than 'arts'. In Japan however ... Please meet Mr. Lionel Dersot, Tokyo resident for 25+ years, who is ready to take you on a (bilingual) survey of some wonderful work in the field, both old and new, at his blog 'The Daily Kogei
' - Un petit détour bilingue dans l'artisanat japonais et bien plus, diffusé de Tokyo
posted by woodblock100
on Mar 2, 2011 -
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]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 27, 2011 -
"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]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
has recently posted a new version
of his wildly popular video*
"Luv(sic) Pt.2". This time, rather than the streets of Japan, he filmed it in the villages of Cambodia. The result is similar, yet very, very different.
posted by Toekneesan
on Feb 10, 2011 -
In March of 2009, the Japan Sumo Association won a lawsuit
against Kodansha, a large Japanese publishing house. Kodansha had alleged that match fixing was rampant in Sumo, even at the highest levels. However, in the last week, police have discovered text messages
between wrestlers showing proof of fixing, including negotiation over compensation. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah
on Feb 5, 2011 -
, or "Ghost Leg," is a lottery party game from Japan. At the top of a sheet there are a number of spaces for people to write their names. At the bottom there are prizes. There are an equal number of each. Between them is a map obscured behind a sheet. The map is made of straight vertical lines connecting the names and prizes. Connecting those lines at random intervals are horizontal lines. When it's time to pick winners, the sheet is removed and players can follow the lines to find their prize. You follow the line from your name down until you encounter any horizontal line, which you must follow, then continue down, continuing to follow all horizontal lines you encounter, until you reach your prize. No two horizontal lines can touch. Provided that, the process is perfectly deterministic and reversable. The same ends are reached whether you follow from the top down or the bottom up. If you have difficulty visualizing this, check the Wikipedia page
. [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Dec 24, 2010 -
The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.The View From Over Here
details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean
. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt
on Dec 17, 2010 -
Japan Air Raids
"is an ongoing project to build a digital archive dedicated to the international dissemination of information about the World War II air raids against Japan." They have seeded it with quite a bit of material (e.g. Target Tokyo, narrated by Ronald Reagan in the documentary and propaganda
section) and promise there is much more to come. [Warning, some images may disturb] [via]
posted by unliteral
on Dec 12, 2010 -
I asked Igari to help me deal with the fallout from the book. After much discussion, he and his two colleagues came up with a plan. His parting words were: “It’ll be a long battle. It’ll take money and courage, and you’ll have to come up with those on your own. But we’ll fight.”
On August 28th, his body was found in his vacation home in Manila, wrists slashed. Time of death unknown. It’s been ruled a suicide. Personally, I believe he was killed. I probably will never be able to prove it. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Nov 25, 2010 -
The Royal House I knew I had seen one of the pictures before somewhere before, and understood instantly what the surrounding pictures all had in common. A familiar symbol caught my eye, glinting gold. It was the mark of the Imperial House of Japan.
posted by KokuRyu
on Nov 23, 2010 -
Various Japanese plants (and fungi) spring to life in Omni/ScienceNet's "Action Plant" series of time-lapse videos
shot in Kōchi prefecture.
posted by gman
on Nov 9, 2010 -
Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (also called Hausu)
has been a cult film legend pretty much since its 1977 release in Japan. As director, Obayashi alchemizes the usual horror trappings (seven pretty young girls, each defined by one personality trait, visit a mysterious aunt who lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere) into a glorious, barely coherent, eminently watchable fever dream. The film has been discussed
in the know
for some time
, but unless one knew who to ask, or lucked into the right festival, actually seeing
the movie outside of the trailer
or scenes on Youtube has been a bit of a difficult task. This particular injustice has officially been remedied, in a move for which very few people were calling out, but more might have if they'd known about it: House has been released on region 1 DVD and Blu-Ray by no less an entity than the Criterion Collection
, finally taking its rightful place in cinematic history alongside such films as Rashomon
, The Seventh Seal
, and Olivier's Hamlet
. Just in time for that Halloween party! Provided you not only want your guests to be entertained but also thoroughly bewildered and maybe slightly shellshocked.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER
on Oct 26, 2010 -
Hatsune Miku's latest album
debuted in the number one spot on the Japanese weekly Oricon album charts. She's playing live to sold out stadiums, and action figures depicting her have been shot into space
... [more inside]
posted by zeoslap
on Oct 21, 2010 -