Vegetation is overtaking the Fukushima exclusion zone, eight years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Read the rest
Wow, takes a moment to realize this video is a real human being, not CGI. Read the rest
I've been accused of being partial to Kewpie Mayonnaise because of its retro packaging, but that's only partially true. This is the best mayo I've ever had. Chalk it up to extra egg yolks and the MSG. It's made in Japan, but you can buy a 3-pack on Amazon for just . If you are making okonomiyaki (crepes with noodles, cabbage, pork, and egg), it's essential. Read the rest
From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.
Greetings, Wilcock readers! The series will complete here on Boing Boing, in weekly installments, through the end of the year.
(See all Boing Boing installments)
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If you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend paying a visit to Japan House in Hollywood. It's an event and cultural center created by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and features art exhibits, lectures, architecture and technology exhibits, and more. Its upcoming "Movie & Bites" event is a perfect reason to visit:
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Sunday, September 22
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM | $20
JAPAN HOUSE Salon | Level 5
A meal brings people together in more ways than one. As well as nourishing the body with sustenance, a meal can evoke forgotten memories and renew bonds that have weakened over time and distance. In this installment of “Movie & Bites,” a combined screening and culinary event featuring acclaimed works in Japanese film and television, these themes will be explored in The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952) by legendary filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu.
Taking place in 1950s Tokyo, a wealthy middle-aged couple find themselves growing apart and their marriage slowly disintegrating. Taeko, a sophisticated, city-bred housewife, is bored and resentful of her marriage to Mokichi, a humble and provincial businessman whose simple pleasures include cheap cigarettes and a taste for the unassuming, eponymous dish: green tea over rice (ochazuke). The couple’s marital woes are heightened by the arrival of Taeko’s vivacious niece, Setsuko, whose modernizing ways come into conflict with Taeko and Mokichi’s traditional views. Ozu, a master of observational storytelling, crafts an emotionally powerful yet austere film that shows the gentle unraveling of a marriage, the growing pains of acceptance, and the timorous, hesitant first steps at reconciliation over a mutual understanding of each other’s flaws and humanity.
Asian Boss went to the streets of Tokyo to interview people from Nepal, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, who moved to Japan to become convenience store staffers, fast food employees, farm workers, translators, and blue collar workers. Read the rest
In 1988, I worked in a toy store and quickly became annoyed by all the requests for the Snuggle bear. But this I can tolerate. For a moment anyway.
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Tokyo is a sound-saturated city: bustling traffic, train station announcements, people everywhere, the barrage of loud adverts, drunk salarymen singing in the Ginza streets at night, and even the loud caws of the Tokyo’s infamous large crows. Then there’s the seemingly ubiquitous background music in shopping centers, department stores, offices, and super markets. Read the rest
Leave it to Japan to design a modern television that's styled to look like it's from the fifties. That's just what Japanese electronics brand Doshisha has done with this fun, retro-styled cabinet that houses an LCD TV.
This ’50s-style TV has a wooden cabinet, real working volume and channel knobs on front, and stands on spindly wooden legs. While its facade looks a bit like the cool, but fragile Bakelite of the era, I’m betting it’s just cheap plastic that’s been colored that way. Inside, it’s got a 20″ LCD screen with HDMI, AV and USB inputs.
And, because the TV itself isn't hogging up space in the cabinet, the top opens and reveals a place to store things:
The bad news? This TV isn't going to work outside of Japan. Bummer. For ~$786 plus shipping, it better be able to do a lot more than look pretty.
(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest
From one of the longest-running homegrown “cute animal video” bloggers, kagonekoshiro -- the video you didn't know you needed right now, until you see it.
Beautiful hydrangea flowers worn on the head of these cute cats, somewhere in Japan on a warm summer's day.
A related gem from the same channel:
[source, youtube link] Read the rest
Last month Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe announced that shipments of high tech equipment and material to South Korea will undergo additional screening to make sure the imported materials are not being used for military or weapons purposes. The screenings will start on August 28. Until the announcement, South Korea' enjoyed most favored nation status with Japan, but now it will be treated like any other Asian country Japan trades with. Many Koreans have taken to the streets to protest.
Asian Boss went to Seoul to interview Koreans about the new restrictions.
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Great Big Story went to Tokyo to visit five small restaurants that make different kinds of popular street foods: takoyaki (pieces of octopus in griddle-cooked balls of dough, yakisoba (fried noodles, meat, and vegetables), gyoza (Chinese dumplings), okonomiyaki (crepes with noodles, cabbage, pork, and egg), and taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes with sweet fillings). My mouth was watering as I watched this.
Image: Great Big Story/YouTube Read the rest
It's not easy to find public trash cans in Tokyo (other than bottle-and-can recycling bins next to drink vending machines). Even so, there's hardly any litter on the ground. When I travel to Japan, I always keep a plastic bag in my knapsack to store trash until I come across a rare public gomibako (Tip: There's one in front of the Kiddy Land toy store in Harajuku). In this video, That Japanese Man Yuta challenges tourists to find a trash can in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Read the rest
The inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship were an unqualified success, with competitors from the US, Russia, Japan and beyond converging on Joensuu, Finland to thrash and knit: competitors such as Woolfumes, Bunny Bandit and 9" Needles thrashed to heavy metal music while knitting, for an audience of about 200. The winners were the five-person Japanese team Giga Body Metal. Scottish competitor Heather McLaren (a Ph.D candidate in engineering) told the AP, "When I saw there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I thought 'that’s my niche.'"
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Kurumi (28) is the top money earner at a hostess bar in Tokyo's Roppongi district. Read the rest
I love comic books and graphic novels. I'm not ashamed to say that dig me some cartoons. Sadly, I've never been able to get into anime and manga. It's a shame: I know that there are a ton of series available to watch, stream or buy online that I might potentially enjoy. I loved Robotech when I was younger. However, when I re-watched it recently, it didn't hold up for me. Every time I attempt to invest in something new, like Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist or Bleach, I quickly lose interest. I think it's more about my tastes in entertainment than it is about the medium--there's lots of folks who love anime. I'm just not one of them.
One of my earliest flirtations with anime was Akira. I was maybe 13, at the time. An arthouse theatre in the town I grew up in was playing it. I was drawn to the poster: Shotaro Kaneda astride his badass ride, holding what I thought looked like a bazooka. I bought the ticket and took the ride. I was way too young (or maybe too dense?) to be able to follow what the hell was going on. A few years later, I discovered the Akira manga, translated into English. I gave them a go. Better, but I still preferred Green Lantern. Also, I'm pretty sure that all the mutant blob weirdness gave me nightmares.
But hey, maybe it's high time to give it another try.
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Announced yesterday evening at Otomo’s panel at Anime Expo, Akira will be reborn across two different initiatives: first, an ultra-HD remastering of the original movie, which is set to release on blu-ray in Japan on April 24, 2020, with a western release coming at a later date (interestingly timed, given that Warner Bros.