of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here
posted by picea
on Aug 2, 2010 -
It was the time, when I was eating sashimi at a bar, fiddling with my iPad.
A slice of Tuna accidentally dropped on the iPad.
At that time, I hurriedly got rid of the sashimi, wiped it off,
Later I found that suddenly. In the first place,
If iPad were a dish, there are no problem
posted by desjardins
on Jul 22, 2010 -
The next morning I recalled a question the woman had asked me the night before: of the two ingredients of wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of impermanence, did I prefer wabi, the rusticity, simplicity, and irregularity of things in their created state, or sabi, the patina of age, the wear and tear that comes with constant use, the intimations of transience. I'm in the sabi camp: sabi as a concept is in all probability etymologically related to the verb sabiru, to rust, and for us lusters after rust, Yubari is sacred ground. Spike Japan
is the blog, or ongoing essay, of Richard Hendy, a long-time resident of Japan, about urban decay and population decline in Japan. The writing is digressive, knowledgable, opinionated, witty and engaging. The longest series is a travelogue of Hokkaido
, in which the section on Yubari
is the most stunning, though I also like the tour of Kuril Islands' dispute tourist attractions
. There's much to read on Spike Japan, but let me point you towards the melancholic Requiem for a Railway
, about Hendy's trip along an abandoned railway line.
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 18, 2010 -
An AWESOME collection
of sci-fi illustrations by the prolific Shigeru Komatsuzaki (1915-2001), whose fantastic work appeared on plastic model kit boxes and in magazines and picture books in the 1960s to 1970s.
via [more inside]
posted by Monkeymoo
on Jul 5, 2010 -
isn't a link that sounds promising, but oh, what a treasure trove of old Japanese art it is. Among the many lovely collections is the Japanese folktales in foreign languages
, another has maps, which is probably easiest to browse by decade
, then there's the picture scrolls
(some nsfw), and also illustrations from an 1870s world tour
. That's just a small taste of what's there. If, like me, you don't read Japanese, often you'll be going in with scant information of what will be on offer, but even random stumblings will reveal beauty and wonder. Just to get you started, here are nearly 800 pictures of demons
and over 2500 floating world woodprints
. [Note: Blue dots mean the material is accessible to the public, red dots mean you have to have a login to see it]
posted by Kattullus
on Jun 25, 2010 -
"An appreciation of calligraphy is a lifelong interest for many Japanese, and for some, acquiring proficiency at it is a lifelong study. Yet, over the past two decades, a few have quietly put down their fude and picked up a bamboo qalam to try their hand at calligraphy in Arabic, which, they often find, is not as alien as they had thought."
posted by chunking express
on Jun 18, 2010 -
, Prime Minister of Japan, will resign. Also stepping down is Ichiro Ozawa. After a series of misscues, calls for Hatoyama's resignation
started popping up. Among the issues dogging Hatoyama were questions about a sizeable amount of money he received from his mother (possibly disguised as campaign contributions to keep him from looking like a weak candidate who couldn't raise funds), reneging on a promise to move the US Marine bases out of Okinawa, and this shirt
. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah
on Jun 1, 2010 -
This isn't exactly breaking news, since it circled the writing utensil blog scene (I didn't even know there was one) in 2008, but check out the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga
. It's a mechanical pencil (only available in Japan and over the internet I believe) that automatically rotates it's lead for you. Here's some randomly-chosen, Google-acquired reviews of it: 1
. [more inside]
posted by DoublePlus
on Apr 7, 2010 -
"In the 1990s, Taichi Yoshida, the owner of a small moving company in Osaka, Japan, began noticing that many of his jobs involved people who had just died. Families of the deceased were either too squeamish to pack up for their dead relatives, or there wasn't any family to call on. So Yoshida started a new business cleaning out the homes of the dead. Then he started noticing something else: thick, dark stains shaped like a human body, the residue of liquids excreted by a decomposing corpse.
These, he learned, were kodokushi, or 'lonely deaths
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey
on Apr 6, 2010 -
Seba Jun, aka Nujabes
, was a quiet and rather reclusive Japanese hip-hop DJ/producer/label head, as far as hip-hop personalities go. He didn't do many interviews, and his two albums
and 15 or so vinyl singles
which were released on his own Hydeout Productions
label, all of which were only released in Japan. Regardless of the limited push, he gained renown world-wide for his relaxed, jazzy hip-hop, due in part to his music being featured on the anime series Samurai Champloo
. The musician's life was cut short in late February
, following a car accident. He was 36 years old. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 3, 2010 -
, about the annual dolphins slaughter in Taiji, Japan, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. However, the movie has only been screened once in Japan, during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October. Reaction from the town
is a combination of "We're not doing anything wrong" and "It's none of your business what we do" with the added refrain of "We're protecting our cultural traditions" which is already familiar to anti-whaling activists and the like. Due to a media blackout, most Japanese people don't even know the hunt happens, but will the movie's increasingly high profile (It's even becoming a TV show
) and the negative publicity force a change? More details
on the making and content of the movie. [more inside]
posted by donkeymon
on Mar 9, 2010 -
In the 1880s at a time when most Europeans were denied access to the Japanese interior an Italian photographer managed to capture many images of Old Japan. These were then beautifully and realistically hand painted and serve as a remarkable record of a world long since disappeared. Victorian-era photos of Japan.
posted by shakespeherian
on Feb 22, 2010 -
One of the longest-running and most-revered Samurai series of Japan, Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman
, played by actor Shintaro Katsu
, produced 25 films and 112 episodes of a popular television series. It was a popular favorite, and concerned the titular character Zatoichi, a poor blind mendicant masseur who carried with him a deadly secret: a hidden cane sword and complete mastery of swordsmanship, despite his blindness. Zatoichi was by far the great antihero of classic samurai cinema. Often low-budget, sometimes schlocky, always thrilling, the Zatoichi series
has slowly become more well-known outside Japan in later years.
Criterion has just debuted a Hulu channel
offering six of the greatest feature-length Zatoichi classics – the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh – completely free of charge: The Tale Of Zatoichi Continues 
; New Tale of Zatoichi 
; The Fugitive 
; On the Road 
; and Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold 
posted by koeselitz
on Feb 21, 2010 -
Paul Watson's Sea Shepard
Crew is at again. On the 6th Jan 2010, the Ady Gill, a $2M dollar high speed catameran was sunk after a collision
(video + story) with a Japanese whaling ship in the antartic.
Now, the former captain of the Ady Gill is being detained
(video+story) on the exact same whaling ship after using a jet ski and cover of darkness to climb aboard and present the Japanese with a civilian arrest warrant and $2M dollar demand for damages.
Diplomatic crisis builds
as governments are unsure what will happen to Mr. Bethune. He may face piracy charges in Japan.
posted by Funmonkey1
on Feb 15, 2010 -