303 posts tagged with japanese.
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Insert your own "Alien Ant Farm" joke here.

A traditional Japanese cover of "Smooth Criminal", led by flautist Yoshimi Tsujimoto.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 21, 2015 - 22 comments

Unlockdown Nation

Why are little kids in Japan so independent? - 'If we had a nonviolent society, kids could walk around on their own, unafraid, like they do in Japan'. (via)
posted by kliuless on Oct 3, 2015 - 83 comments

Woodblock GIFs

Japanese woodblock prints re-imagined as animated GIFs. (via Giant Cypress)
posted by jedicus on Sep 21, 2015 - 13 comments

Vatican Library: more than 500 documents and 1 million pages digitized

In March 2014, the Vatican Library announced it was beginning its efforts to digitize a portion of its extensive collection in coordination with the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. In the past year, they've made good progress, as documented on the project's blog, which provide some good insight into the process and the documents that have been digitized to date. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 13, 2015 - 14 comments

Time with class! Let's Count!

I want to demonstrate how amazing combinatorial explosion is! Please don't stop me.  An animation about numbers that get large. It has a happy ending and possibly even a moral. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 12, 2015 - 21 comments

Kings of the beat and their all-star show!

Deavid Soul ("The Avid Soul") aka "Rich & Famous" are a Japanese duo who make house/disco/funk and, more recently, world music. You may remember them from such Dreamcast darlings as Jet Set Radio and Jet "Grind" Radio. Their style is an instantly recognizable mix of 90s house and classic disco with copious samples from hip hop, disco, R&B, reggae and 80s/70s film. For their latest album, they've collaborated with Exotic Light Orchestra to add a Latin American fusion sound to their already eclectic aural soup. They're real good. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jun 6, 2015 - 9 comments

Rainy 4th World Ambient and Blaring Iridescent Pop

Two unique, evocative Japanese mixtapes to assure you that spring is really here at last: Spencer Doran's Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo and Ventla's Astrocast 45. [more inside]
posted by One Second Before Awakening on May 16, 2015 - 10 comments

What it Says on the Tin, Collect Cats

A highly addictive and adorable Japanese Smartphone Game Available for both IOS and Android and exclusively in Japanese, it's pretty easy to navigate, and a clearer explanation of how to play can be found here.
posted by KernalM on Apr 28, 2015 - 410 comments

No, these oysters, they were purely oysters as a concept

A trio of Haruki Murakami's Advertorial Short Stories: In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Onward spent massive sums on advertising J. Press in the print media. The classic ad format, often seen on the back cover of lifestyle magazine Popeye, showed a Japanese or American man telling a colorful story about their favorite trad clothing item. In 1985, as Japanese pop culture went in more avant-garde directions, Onward came up with a new idea — asking up-and-coming novelist Murakami Haruki to write a very short story inside each month’s advertisement for magazines Popeye, Box, and Men’s Club. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Apr 22, 2015 - 2 comments

Let's Speak English

Let's Speak English! Cartoonist Mary Cagle's adorable tales of teaching English in Japan.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Apr 8, 2015 - 49 comments

The Way Home

Quintet were a Japanese game developer founded by Tomoyoshi Miyazaki and Masaya Hashimoto, the writer and director (respectively) of the first three games in Falcom's long-running Ys franchise. They are remembered primarily for a flurry of extraordinarily unique, creative and often surprisingly philosophical Super Famicom/Nintendo games such as ActRaiser, Robotrek and Terranigma, which share an emphasis on literal world-building, creation and invention. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Apr 4, 2015 - 20 comments

an adorible ESL class project

Wassabi Woman
posted by rebent on Mar 24, 2015 - 12 comments

Just in time for the baseball season...

Baseball behind barbed wire The year was 1944. A playoff series between two all-star baseball teams generated ample excitement. Gila River fought Heart Mountain in thirteen games to win the series. The players described it as exhilarating. But the players taking part in this all-American pastime did so in dire circumstances. Gila River and Heart Mountain were both Japanese incarceration camps (previously known as internment camps), and these athletes were among the tens of thousands of Japanese Americans imprisoned there.
posted by dfm500 on Mar 21, 2015 - 6 comments

well-written instruction manual & large, folded color map 🌏

"Some games make an enormous impact on you when you play them, and time and technology do little to diminish that impact. I feel that way about quite a few games: Elite, Super Mario Bros, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are three that immediately come to mind. Secret of Mana is without question a fourth." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 11, 2015 - 69 comments

Karoshi: Japanese for dying TO work, AT work, and BECAUSE of work.

The Japanese government is attempting to end Japan's culture of "death by overwork" (now known as karoshi) by moving to make it illegal to not take mandatory paid vacation days. Why won't Japanese workers go on vacation? The Japanese work some of the longest hours in the world and fear taking paid holidays in case they are ostracised by colleagues. The stress is so extreme that every year thousands of workers succumb to “karoshi”, or “death by overwork”. They either commit suicide (the see suicide as salvation), or die of a stroke or a heart attack. The Japanese are literally dying for work and the phenomenon is spreading to other Asian countries such as China, South Korea, and Bangladesh. A "chapter" of the award winning documentary "Happy" (now on Netflix and other online venues) looks at this Japanese phenomenon of Karoshi. HAPPY (trailer here) takes you on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
posted by spock on Mar 8, 2015 - 50 comments

The largest battleship in naval history

A research team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claims to have finally found the wreckage of the Japanese Yamato-class Battleship Musashi, sunk at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea October 23-24, 1944, part of the largest naval battle of World War II. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Mar 4, 2015 - 11 comments

Welcome to Hope's Peak Academy

Originally released on the PSP system in 2010 the first Danganronpa game called Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ( (ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生) developed and produced by Spike Chunsoft . It featured a classic whodunit game where the MC (Makoto Naegi) a Japanese teenger found himself stuck in a strange high school setting with a unique cast. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Mar 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Buried in-her-own-mind Treasure

Japanese woman comes to America to search for buried treasure- but it's the fictional buried treasure in the movie "Fargo". She's come to North Dakota's "Siberia" to end her own life and the language barrier and our perceptions of Japanese 'normal' get in the way. [more inside]
posted by naight on Feb 27, 2015 - 15 comments

we are not familiar living with foreign people ... what do you even eat?

meet the unlikely Airbnb hosts of Japan
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Feb 24, 2015 - 58 comments

A modern war story

FLAG is a unique anime series: a fictional war documentary told entirely through a camera lens. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 30, 2015 - 9 comments


It's gloriously incomprehensible and very Japanese, but still: BUGGG, a game, or rather several games. (Requires Unity) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 17, 2015 - 12 comments

Being Buddhist, Being Gay — George Takei

When the Supreme Court of the State of California ruled for marriage equality in 2008, we seized the opportunity. Having founded the Japanese American National Museum (I’m still a trustee on the Board there), we wanted to have our wedding there, in the “Democracy Forum” building. It was, after all, democracy that made our formal union possible. And Brad too had embraced Buddhism by now, so it could be a Buddhist wedding. We chose Rev. Briones of the Nishi Hongwanji Temple to be our officiant because he personifies Buddhism’s diversity, being that he’s a Mexican American Buddhist minister.
[more inside] posted by Elementary Penguin on Jan 14, 2015 - 19 comments

he hides in the dark waiting to strike

Medieval Japanese Poetry and Minecraft
"Tanka poems place emphasis on the environment and emotions – a natural bridge to connect poetic verse and model landscapes in Minecraft."
Here is a link to poems written by the students as part of this project.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 9, 2015 - 5 comments

All yellow – Corn with corn. Moreover, he has to eat with chopsticks.

Revenge obento. From IroMegane (via flex). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 15, 2014 - 33 comments

I'll come at night / for no one censures / traveling the path of dreams

We know very little about Ono no Komachi aside from that she was Japanese, female, a poet, and the subject of numerous medieval legends about her beauty and hard-heartedness, with her name becoming a metonym for a beautiful woman (much like Helen is in English). Our best guess as to her dates is "active in the 850s," and as to her background, "probably a lady-in-waiting to someone in the capital," though tradition has spun out many speculations. Based on 22 poems thought reliably attributed to her, she is considered today one of Japan's greatest woman poets, noted in particular for her passionate love poems and her technical mastery, especially at using words with multiple meanings.

This last feature makes her difficult to translate, of course, but nonetheless people keep trying -- her most famous poem, selected for the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, is one of the most-translated poems from any language. Links to several attempts at her corpus inside. [more inside]
posted by Quasirandom on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 comments

The Company Is Father. The Company Is Mother.

Doing Business in Japan
posted by oceanjesse on Nov 7, 2014 - 21 comments

Dinnertime cosplay

Multiple websites are out there to help you dine like an anime character. Typically, they consist of anime screencaps plus either adapted or invented recipes that attempt to replicate the dishes. Okonomiyaki, dainty strawberry cakes, gyoza, Ponyo's ramen, coffee jelly, you name it! There's the earnest Real Anime Food. Then there's the sillier Recipes for Weebs, which has functional indices. Anime Recipes hasn't updated in a year, but it has a long list of recipes, including the fish pie from Kiki's Delivery Service. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Jul 29, 2014 - 11 comments

considering & rethinking bathrooms

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian):
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 22, 2014 - 181 comments

Seven roses later ... each rose opens like an ideogram, like a gate

In an essay reflecting on translation, Yoko Tawada reads the poems of Paul Celan as if he had written in Japanese. The essay's translator, Susan Bernofsky, offers context, and in an earlier piece, Rivka Galchen considers "Yoko Tawada's Magnificent Strangeness." More conventional introductions to Celan are available via the Poetry Foundation page on Celan, 14 poems from Breathturn, and a video of Celan reading "Allerseelen" (English sub.; alt. trans.). Tawada's own poetry includes "The Flight of the Moon" (video in Japanese). [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 13, 2014 - 1 comment

Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho

Japanese Doctor Who (SLYT). A highlight clip from the long-running tokusatsu series which featured a multitude of actors, in addition to a variety of period costumes and wood-and-resin models, and location shots mostly based in a public park or rock quarry. The program's haunting soundtrack can be heard in the later portion of the piece.
posted by Smart Dalek on Jul 12, 2014 - 16 comments

The Fansubbed Last Words of an Auditory Phantom

Eccentric Japanese bedroom musician Ventla is in the process of releasing 100 digital albums for free over the coming years, and he's already up to 25. Think J Dilla meets J-pop in the form of small, extremely evocative song sketches. At his most extroverted he sounds like a buzzing 8-bit executive lounge dance party, and when he's introverted it's like strolling through a rainy park full of sleeping flamingos. [more inside]
posted by One Second Before Awakening on Jun 20, 2014 - 7 comments

Dismantling and rebuilding someone else's work

Starting up fan localization projects feels much like amassing the cast of your typical role-playing game: a group of random strangers rally around a common cause before embarking on their journey together. In was in this way that Mandelin and Erbrecht found each other — stumbling to create something beautiful and meaningful, and realizing they could make that beautiful and meaningful thing better by working together. — For Polygon, Alexa Ray Corriea dives into the underground world of fan-translated games.
posted by MartinWisse on May 21, 2014 - 7 comments

The goat says "Meh"

Visualize a comic book, in your language, and imagine what would be written in the text balloon coming from the mouth of an animal. Now translate it. Derek Abbott of The University of Adelaide (previously) has compiled "the world’s biggest multilingual list" of animal sounds, commands, and pet names.
posted by Room 641-A on May 21, 2014 - 20 comments

(•ˇ‿ˇ•)-→ ✿♬゚+.(。◡‿◡)♪.+゚♬✿。 :: ೖ(⑅σ̑ᴗσ̑)ೖ :: °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° ~(˘▾˘~)

JapaneseEmoticons.net solves all of your Japanese emoticon needs
posted by Going To Maine on May 8, 2014 - 29 comments

Building hope

Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker win proves that building hope is finally in vogue
The architecture world has a new laureate, and he builds in cardboard. Japan’s Shigeru Ban was named this week as the winner of the Pritzker Prize, an annual award that is often called architecture’s Nobel – and his win sends a clear and timely message. Social change, sustainability and improving the lives of the many: This is what matters now to the world of architecture. With Ban’s Pritzker, the global design elite is marking that shift.
Take a Tour of Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban's Paper Tube Structures [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

She will melt your face and warm your heart

Li-sa-X is an adorable 8 year old Japanese girl who plays rock guitar covers (youtube channel)
posted by roaring beast on Mar 26, 2014 - 44 comments

the simple-ish ideas are the best

MEG - PRECIOUS is a music video. Enjoy.
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 7, 2014 - 4 comments

Foreigners Abroad.

11 French Tourist Tips For Visiting America. Tips For Russians. Tips For Japanese Visitors.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 6, 2014 - 162 comments

"I always want to write erotic music..."

In An Autumn Garden "I always want to write erotic music... Not only about the love between men and women, but in a much more universal sense - about the sensuality of the mechanism of the universe... about life." Toru Takemitsu Part 1 Part 2> I close my eyes for this (you don't have to).
posted by lucerita on Jan 19, 2014 - 3 comments

conspiracy of kindness

A Japanese Holocaust rescuer, it is estimated that Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania in WWII, facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. The profoundly moving story is now on YouTube: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 4, 2014 - 9 comments

Plan A to Z

"I felt the only way to make any progress with the project was to make a clay model to show Katayama-san, gain his support, and ask him, as the President of Nissan USA, to push for the model's development."

The Datsun 240-Z In The Styling Studio
Concept To Reality 1965 to 1968

posted by timshel on Nov 13, 2013 - 29 comments

Apparently there are a lot of video games based on this novel

On Megami Tensei:
Based on the Japanese horror novel series by Aya Nishitani, this one’s about a student computer genius, who’s also the reincarnation of an ancient Japanese deity, who uses his giant clunky 80s mainframe to summon up some horrifying devils. This involves some not-bad animation of a well-endowed teacher’s frilly brassiere heaving up and down as she becomes the conduit for horrifying monsters from another dimension to invade our world. Then giant piles of red goop start crushing students and a big blue hairy devil named Loki fights our student computer genius hero, who fights back with his reincarnated girlfriend and his magic sword and his pet devil animal throughout several alternate universes.
let's anime presents: The Top Ten Least essential OVA (anime) of the 80s. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 3, 2013 - 35 comments

we are friends

The Daily Life of a Grandma and Her Odd-Eyed Cat
posted by Sticherbeast on Oct 28, 2013 - 36 comments

These guys are fucking AMAZING.

Kiyohiko Senba is a composer who’s been likened to Zappa for his ambition, talent, madness, and virtuosity, but his music is considerably easier to get into. Get ready, because his large-scale orchestra project, Kiyohiko Senba and the Haniwa All-Stars, is about to blow your goddamn mind.

Let's start simple and ramp up. Hohai Bushi sounds a bit like an Ennio Morricone composition but with more electric guitar. Taiikusai is so heartfelt, yearning, and soaring that I cried when it got to the climax. They cover both Franz Schubert’s “Standchen" and Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t To Say You Love Me” in ways that are all kinds of awesome. But the real treasure for me is this one, which begins with them playing the Village People’s “YMCA” but then transitions into Daimeiwaku, a freaking phenomenal good original piece that sounds – I don’t know how else to describe it – like James Brown and John Philip Sousa decided to play Katamari Damacy together and had a really good time. (With some klezmer and Leonard Bernstein thrown in there too, for good measure.) But wait! There’s [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 25, 2013 - 24 comments

Wladimir Balentien breaks Japan's single-season home run record

Japanese baseball's single-season home run record has been broken. Set by the legendary Sadaharu Oh (still holder of the world career home run record) in 1964, it stood for 49 years. In recent years, several players had come close to breaking it... only to be walked for the rest of the season, by teams managed by Oh himself. The record was broken by Wladimir Balentien, who's from Curaçao -- an island familiar to baseball fans partly for its oddball names which combine Dutch, Papiamentu, and other influences. In affectionate tribute, Notgraphs published this guide to figuring out your Curaçaoan name.
posted by LobsterMitten on Sep 18, 2013 - 32 comments

Eiji Toyoda, Promoter of 'Toyota Way,' Dies at 100

Eiji Toyoda, architect of the “lean manufacturing” method helped turned the automaker Toyota, into a global powerhouse and changed the face of modern manufacturing. 'In almost six decades with the company he helped transform a tiny spinoff of a textile loom maker into the world’s biggest automaker. Early on, he helped put Toyota at the forefront of a wave of automobile production in Japan, pushing it to bolster its lineup, first by adding compact vehicles and sports cars in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated the development of luxury models to compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, culminating with the Lexus brand in 1989.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Sep 17, 2013 - 45 comments

"A mind as curious, subtle, and complex as yours, as mine, as anyone’s."

The book that helped me understand my son. Author David Mitchell's introduction to The Reason I Jump, a newly-translated memoir by thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida on what it's like to have autism.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 8, 2013 - 13 comments

An Open Letter to Bigot Diners

"Why yes, we do have a female sushi chef. She also happens to be Caucasian. Her name is Mariah Kmitta, and we are blessed to have her behind our sushi bar." Sushi chef Hajime Sato of Mashiko in Seattle responds to customers who find a non-Japanese sushi chef distasteful with "An Open Letter to Bigot Diners". The opinion is not universally accepted. Slate author LV Anderson wonders, "does raising your eyebrows at a white sushi chef really make you a bigot?" [more inside]
posted by saeculorum on Sep 5, 2013 - 177 comments

and rare flowers on the shelves will bloom for us beneath a lovelier sky

Chouchou are a Japanese duo of artist/musicians who make haunting, ethereal electronic lullabies of otherworldly beauty. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Aug 29, 2013 - 3 comments

Extreme Kendama

In this video, you'll see people doing tricks on skateboards, rollerblades, and kendamas, for which the crowd goes wild. Yes, kendamas, the traditional Japanese wooden toy consisting of a handle, three cups and a spike (the "ken"), and a wooden ball (the "dama") on a string, with a hole opposite of the string. This toy has a long history, and is similar to a number of games found elsewhere in the world. But it wasn't until 1975 that it was formally organized as a competitive sport in Japan by the Japan Kendama Association, which has patented the design of the kendama and designated the tricks required to reach specific rankings. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 21, 2013 - 8 comments

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