Mitsubishi's dieselgate: cheating since 1991

Mitsubishi_eK_Wagon_rear

Mitsubishi has admitted that it cheated on emissions standards tests for a quarter of a century, and it admits that this affected 600,000 cars, but the company says that the cheating cars were only sold to Japanese people. Read the rest

A place for Peanuts fans to go wild

Top Image Charles Brown

Roppongi Hills is a very hoity-toity shopping area in Tokyo. You have to buy tickets to get into the mall! But a seven minute walk from the Roppongi subway station you will find the brand new Snoopy Museum. Now, it may be called the “Snoopy” Museum, and from the outside it looks like the Snoopy Museum …

… in fact it’s really a “Peanuts” Museum. If your response to that is “Good grief,” then please hit the back button and all of Boing Boing awaits you. But, if you’re like me and you’ve been reading “Peanuts” your whole life, this is a sublime pleasure and I look forward to visiting in October.

The museum has just opened on April 23, and its English language website says that tickets sell for a measly 1,800 yen ($16.50) if you buy them in advance, which I would since the Japanese are very well organized and obsessive about this kind of stuff:

Visitors will have the opportunity to view unique original cartoons from the collection of the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This will include large-scale works created by Mr. Schulz himself, featuring popular characters like Snoopy and Woodstock.

Every six months, the Snoopy Museum will introduce new exhibitions curated by the Charles M. Schulz Museum. These will include early comics that were drawn before Peanuts, such as his Li’l Folks cartoons, animation art, Vince Guaraldi’s jazz music from animated Peanuts cartoons, and rare vintage Peanuts memorabilia. In addition, unpublished sketches and artwork will be displayed in a section highlighting an unknown side of Schulz sure to surprise and delight even his most loyal of fans.

Read the rest

Beautiful Japanese "minimalist survival kit" that fits in a tube you wear on your back

bbea417e8614ca906873fba7b037daf6

The Minim+Aid is a "minimalist survival kit" from Japanese design firm Nendo that features "a whistle to alert others of one’s presence, a radio [that can also charge your phone], raincoat, lantern, drinking water and a plastic case, all packaged inside of a 5cm wide tube that is waterproof and floats." Read the rest

Music video made for viewing on a smartphone

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 9.41.36 AM

Japanese pop group Lyrical School made a video for their song "Run and Run" that looks like it has taken over your phone. It's another indication that the portrait mode vs. landscape mode war is over.

[via] Read the rest

Japanese teen girl metal band Babymetal performs on Colbert

babymetal

Babymetal made their US TV debut when they performed their song "Gimme Chocolate!!" on Colbert's Late Show last night. Read the rest

Babymetal, live on Colbert!

animation (4)

Babymetal, Japan's greatest synthetic all-woman heavy metal band, just released their second album, Metal Resistance, an occasion they celebrated with an outstanding live appearance on Colbert, performing Gimme Chocolate, their biggest hit. (via Metafilter). Read the rest

Watch: Magician dexterously floats credit-cards around Tokyo

animation (3)

Zach Muller, a card mechanic (previously, previously) got a commercial gig for JAL that has him wandering the streets of Tokyo, dazzling people with amazing credit-card tricks. (Thanks, Magicpeacelove!) Read the rest

A wonderful 4 minute video tour of Japan

japan

Each scene in Vincent Urban's video of the wide variety of wonderful things in Japan lasts just a couple of seconds. I can't wait to return.

This film is a collection of audiovisual moments and memories of a 3-week railway journey through Japan in 2015. We were whizzing through the country with the Shinkansen visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto as well as lots of wonderful little places along the way, meeting the most friendly people and experiencing a culture that somehow balances its rich tradition with a very futuristic present.
Read the rest

Starving pensioners in Japan responsible for shoplifting crime-wave

4446726175_85618b5c1d_b

Japan's recently expanded prisons are already at 70% occupancy, an incarceration epidemic blamed on hungry pensioners who account for 35% of the nation's shoplifting, with a high rate of re-offending. Read the rest

Learn what it takes to be a sushi chef

Oona Tempest is an apprentice sushi chef at New York City's Tanoshi Sushi. I do love my sushi, but I definitely wouldn't have the fortitude or filleting-skills to be trained as a chef. (Eater)

Read the rest

All aboard the railroad at Tokyo Disneyland!

westernland

While the railroad at Disneyland in Anaheim, California is out of service for a year and a half while the route is being changed and “The Star Wars Experience” is being built, I thought it might be fun to take you for a ride on The Western River Railroad at Tokyo Disneyland, which remains exactly the same as it was on park opening in 1983.

While the railroads at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris run around the perimeter of the parks and are a both a method of transportation as well as an attraction (the latter at some parks more than others), the railroad at Tokyo Disneyland is something else entirely.

Because of burdensome government regulations regarding railroad operation which would have prevented a typical Disney-style railroad that circled the park with multiple stations, the executives at The Oriental Land Company (a consortium of well-known Japanese corporations formed specifically to build and operate the Tokyo Disney park) and Walt Disney Imagineering cleverly decided to do something different.

Called “The Western River Railroad,” the attraction has four steam powered trains: The Colorado, The Mississippi, The Missouri, and The Rio Grande. There is only one station, which sits atop the entrance to The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. It functions solely as an attraction, and so there’s a lot more to see (particularly after the subsequent construction of some major attractions after the park opened).

From the station, the train runs around the perimeter of the Jungle Cruise and then past a small scenic station called Stillwater Junction. Read the rest

Timothy Leary on youth culture and Japan (c. 1990)

leary71

In the early 1990s, BB pal Joi Ito (now director of the MIT Media Lab) hosted bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary on a trip to Japan. At the time, Tim was energized by the intersection of youth culture and digital technology to empower the individual. Above, video that Joi and friends shot of Tim in fine form. Man, I miss him, and those cyberdelic days. Bonus shout-out at 8:25 to Anarchic Adjustment, Nick Philip's surreal and inspiring clothing line that evolved into today's Imaginary Foundation!

Read the rest

A hand-carved wooden clock that scribes the time on a magnetic board

animation

Suzuki Kango carved over 400 wooden parts for his senior thesis exhibition project: it uses "four magnetic stylus pens on a magnetic drawing board to mechanically write the full time every minute in 24-hour format." Read the rest

The Origami bookmark you can make for free

Origami-Bookmark

I can’t tell you how many times over the past five decades I needed a bookmark when none were around. Bookmarks are designed to reside most comfortably between the pages of a book, which makes them awkward to keep in your pocket, wallet, or purse, which is really where you want them when you suddenly need one.

This results in lots of corners being torn off magazines and newspapers to use in a pinch. But the bookmark you get from tearing off a corner is small and often slides either out of the book or down between the pages. And don’t mention folding the corner of the page over – don’t go there. Book publishers (that’s me) don’t like to hear that.

Of course, origami will solve your problem. Before you give up and think, “I can never get those damn paper folds right,” let me soothe your anxiety by explaining that making one of these cute and clever origami bookmarks is easy as pie and takes about a minute.

The Origami Resource Center online teaches oodles of methods for simple square origami bookmarks, or more decorative versions including pandas, penguins, peacocks, and Santas. From that website is a simple square fold that you can make even if you’ve never folded a piece of paper before. I’ve simplified it a bit more, making it (hopefully) even easier.

First, you need a piece of paper, exactly square – anywhere from 4 to 8 inches will do. And I’ll use a piece of origami paper in the photos so it’s easier for you to keep track of which side is which (commonly found origami paper is colored on one side and white on the other). Read the rest

Perserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen

tumblr_o0ypr1lcmv1t3i99fo1_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I saw the sour plums on the cover of Preserving the Japanese Way calling out to me from the highest bookshelf at teeny-tiny Moon Palace Bookstore, Minneapolis. As the Master Food Preserver for my county, I’m a sucker for beautiful books on food preservation. Angela, the owner, clapped and oohed as I plunked it down. “I love this book. I can’t cook, but this book makes me want to eat!”

I’m authorized by the State of Wisconsin to teach the safest scientifically proven methods of food preservation. In my teaching, I’ve heard lovely stories of immigrant grandmothers and their favorite recipes and the joy keeping these traditions alive brings to people. This connectivity to our shared and adopted cultures is one of the most compelling aspects to Preserving the Japanese Way. Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a wonderfully opinionated ex-pat who embraced rural Japanese culture with her marriage to a Hokkaido farmer nearly thirty years ago. Her notes and recommendations are informed by her American “keep trying” attitude, coupled with the Japanese concept of perfecting a singular thing.

Hachisu follows her insatiable curiosity in discovering the old ways. Her vignettes of meetings with artisanal makers are entertaining and informative. Her explanations and definitions of very specific Japanese ingredients are profoundly useful; for the first time ever I understood the nuances of soy sauces. She also acknowledges that artisanally made food is expensive. She recognizes that not everyone has the monetary luxury of purchasing small-batch regional soy sauces and offers accessible and easily available substitutes. Read the rest

Printed circuit board masking tape

823653_1819ee8cefd2454ea65219f6540fbe34

A must-have for the with-it cyberpunk, and it's appropriately hard to get ahold of, being sold only through a Japanese website that uses translation-software-resistant graphics of Japanese text set against an animated background that made mincemeat of all the Japanese-English OCR software I tried it on (I think this is the orders page, but couldn't get more than one word in four out of Google Translate's photo-text converter). Read the rest

Handmade Japanese leather goldfish bags

tumblr_nq4pzvDMou1snlnsio1_1280

Atelier Iwakiri handmakes its nubuck goldfish purses to order, with a two-week to three-month lead time between orders and delivery. Read the rest

More posts