Nerikomi is a classical form of pottery where different colored clays are rolled into cylinders, then cross-sectioned to reveal a pattern. So soothing to watch the string cut through!
Faith Rahill has a great step-by-step demonstration here:
Nerikomi (often referred to as “neriage”) is a decorative process established in Japan that involves stacking colored clay and then slicing through the cross section to reveal a pattern, which can then be used as an applied decoration. Nerikomi designs provide a wonderful way to work three dimensionally with patterns and images. The results reflect a combination of both careful planning and accidental surprise, plus it’s exciting work for those who love patterns and are drawn to the wet-clay stage of pottery making.
Here are a couple more examples with far less annoying music. The agate pottery revealed after firing the glaze is especially nice:
When Sony announced in 2014 that support was ending for Aibo, their pioneering line of robotic dogs, former Sony employee Nobuyuki Norimatsu launched A-Fun, a repair service in Japan, to take care of any ailing Aibos. Things progressed from there. Video below. From National Geographic:
Norimatsu came to regard the broken AIBOs his company received as “organ donors.” Out of respect for the owners’ emotional connection to the “deceased” devices, Norimatsu and his colleagues decided to hold funerals.
A-Fun approached Bungen Oi, head priest of Kōfuku-ji, a Buddhist temple in Chiba Prefecture's city of Isumi. Oi agreed to take on the duty of honoring the sacrifice of donor AIBOs before their disassembly. In 2015, the centuries-old temple held its first robot funeral for 17 decommissioned AIBOs. Just as with the repairs, demand for funeral ceremonies quickly grew...
According to Head Priest Oi, honoring inanimate objects is consistent with Buddhist thought. Nippon.com quotes the priest: “Even though AIBO is a machine and doesn’t have feelings, it acts as a mirror for human emotions.”
Asian Boss asked Japanese people on the streets in Tokyo to try American style sushi.
"I can see that they try to hide the fish flavor by using mayonnaise and adding a bunch of avocado."
Indeed. Read the rest
In the latest episode of Asian Boss, people in the streets of Japan are given American style sushi and asked what they think about it. Most of them don't consider the complex, spicy concoctions to be sushi at all. Sample comments: "This is sushi?" "It tastes like Indian food." "Japanese people won't like this." "Not sushi." "I'd rate it 0 as a sushi." "I would never order this at a restaurant."
Tokyo artist Monde created a set of bookends for last week's Tokyo Design Festa that are tall, narrow dioramae containing detailed miniatures of the narrow laneways of Tokyo, with street furniture, signage and cobblestones; alas, these don't appear to be production items (and would need some kind of weight or underbook tongues to serve as effective bookends), but they're lovely to look at! Read the rest
Purikura means "printing club" in Japanese. It's basically a place for teens and kids to take their pictures in photobooths, filter them, and print them out as stickers. I took my daughters to the purikura shown here on Takeshita Street, and we really didn't know what we were doing, because the touch screens were in Japanese and loaded with options. I also noticed signs that said "No Men Allowed." The guy working there noticed that I was looking at the sign and he said, "Family OK!" and gave me the OK sign with his hand.
This video explains how to use a purikura machine. It still confuses me. Read the rest
I've got nothing. Just... just watch this. Read the rest
Good-Night TOKYO was video recorded in 1992 using a high-definition camera with features that didn't become standard on consumer devices for 20 years: 1080 lines and 60 frames per second. The world depicted is clearly from decades ago, but is recorded with a sharpness and starkness that signifies the present day, at least in the U.S. and Europe. It's a fascinating artifact which reminds me how carefully composed period films and shows have to be, because the real world is in truth empty of old things and overstuffed with the new.
You have probably seen sushi restaurants where plates of different kinds of sushi move past you on a conveyor belt. These kinds of places are called kaitenzushi. Here's one where you order sushi on a touch screen and the sushi arrives on a little rail system, stopping right in front of you. I want to go and see how it works. Read the rest
At Tokyo's Sushiya no Nohachi (すし屋の野八) you can order sushi made with just one grain of rice (粒寿司). Fortunately, after the novelty wears off, you can also order regular-sized sushi that's said to be excellent! A plate of tiny sushi is free, so long as you also drop around US$50 on regular sushi. The tiny sushi plate includes Toro (tuna), Tai (sea bream), Chūtoro (medium fatty tuna), Hokkigai (surf clam), Uni (sea urchin), Tako (octopus), Tamago (egg), Gari (pickled ginger). From Tofugu:
The tiny sushi idea originally came from a customer in 2002 who challenged the owner's son (Ikeno Hironori) to see how small he could make a piece of sushi. Over time, it became something they were known for.
That said, when we asked how often they need to make a plate of small sushi, we were surprised.
"Just a few times a week and at most five times in a day." Though when customers from overseas order, they tend to be extra enthusiastic about the tiny sushi.
He told us that one woman from Europe burst into tears and cried for an hour and a half after seeing the cute, little sushi.
This is a fun video introduction to feeding yourself in Japan, even if you don't know Japanese. Really, it's pretty easy to get food in Japan if you're a foreigner, but this video shows you different options, from konbini (convenience stores, which are much better than the ones in the US), to chain restaurants (again, usually tastier than US chains), to shopping mall food courts (beautiful and mind bending), and actual non-chain eateries. Read the rest
I've been to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo many times, but I've never seen a homeless encampment there. Redditor biwook took this photo of one of the shelters there. Whoever built it did an excellent job. There's a little sign in front. I can understand three of the four kanji characters: "stand up" "enter" "???" and "stop." What does the sign say?