Category Archive 'Japan'
18 Jan 2015

Ultimate Office Prank

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Somebody actually paid a fortune to arrange the installation of video and other technologies providing the simulated appearance of full 1-to-1-scale giant robots, Zaku, called “mobile suits,” from the popular Gundam anime, at a high-rise Tokyo office building. Futher Gundam appearances have been promised.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

08 Aug 2014

Kintsugi Tool




Guess what this is.

This is is a tool called taiki, which means tai fish tooth. Don’t say it’s creepy. It’s a traditional tool to polish gold. Tai fish has strong teeth, so it is one of the best tool to make sprinkled gold shinny.

My friend who also learns kintsugi is a chef, and he gave a dozen of teeth. it’s interesting to hand make kintsugi tools.





Via Collections & Recollections.



Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

31 Jul 2014


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In Kendo, you shout “Men!” as you strike at the head.

Hat tip to Madame Scherzo.

25 Jul 2014


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Yadome no jutsu, the Japanese art of cutting or blocking a flying arrow.

15 Jul 2014

Yahoo Japan Offering Special Service Designed for Boomers

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Silicon Beat:

It’s old news that the Internet has become an essential part of daily life. But now Yahoo Japan is offering to help people prepare for their eventual death online.

A new service called “Yahoo! Ending” promises to delete personal data from online accounts, send out a digital farewell message to friends and even host a memorial web page where people can leave condolences – once the service has confirmed that a subscriber has died.

That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said the service will also help people plan their funerals and even compose their wills. (We checked out the Yahoo Japan site, but the English-language version provided by Google Translate left us confused about some details.)

This isn’t actually a new idea: We’ve reported previously on smaller companies that offer this kind of service. But it’s the first time we’ve heard of a comprehensive death package offered by a large Internet company. Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between Sunnyvale-based Yahoo and the Japanese giant SoftBank.

A US version would be poised to make a fortune.

18 Feb 2014

If You Feed Them, They Will Come

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The Japanese have an island devoted to rabbits.

Daily Mail story


24 Jan 2014

Sword-Related Japanese Sayings

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A great collection from Markus Sesko:

jigane ga deru (地鉄が出る) – Literally “the steel appears,” for example when a blade is polished so often that the shingane appears or the jigane shows more unrefined areas. As a saying, it means “to reveal one´s true character.”

Hat tip to John Antony Scott.

21 Nov 2013


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Hand-coloured albumen print photograph entitled Samurai, taken by Felice Beato and Charles Wirgman, c. 1865. Published in Photographic Views of Japan in 1867.

The subject of the portrait has his sword already started from its sheath in a ready-to-draw position, and his eyes and the expression on his face reinforce the pose. The subject’s natural pose of incipient violence reminds one of the readiness of a goshawk standing tiptoe on the branch or the lion crouched in the grass ready to charge. He has the same predator’s eye.

Hat tip to Madame Scherzo.

25 Oct 2013


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Kyūdō: 弓道 is the Japanese style of Archery.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

18 Oct 2013

Japanese Island of Cats


Aoshima, Japan: left by humans to the cats.

Via This Isn’t Happiness.

03 Sep 2013

Japan, the Canary in the Coal Mine of Postmodernism

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Daniel Greenfield suggests that we look at contemporary Japan as a kind of mirror for the post-modern, totally decadent and deracinated West.

Depressed post-industrial economy, low birth rate, social disintegration and a society obsessed with pop culture and useless tech toys? A country that has embraced pacifism to the extent that it can hardly defend its own borders? A nation where materialism has strangled spirituality leaving no sense of purpose?

We are Japan. And so is Europe. Or rather Japan is the place we all reach eventually.

Japan is strange because it aggressively hurled itself into a postmodern void without knowing what was on the other side. It did this with the same dedication that its soldiers once marched into machine gun fire.

Japan had been in a race with the West, as it had been ever since Commodore Perry showed up with a fleet to open up a closed nation. It wasn’t unique in that regard. A lot of countries tried to do the same thing. Most found that they couldn’t keep up with either our technology or our decline. Japan shot past us in both areas. It beat us technologically. And then it outpaced our decline.

In the 80s, there were dire predictions that the future would belong to Japan. America would be broken up and run by a bunch of Japanese corporations. There were even predictions that after the fall of the USSR, the next war would be with Japan. Some of those predictions came from some surprisingly high profile analysts.

The future doesn’t belong to Japan. It may not, at this rate, belong to anyone. Japan hurled itself into the future, but didn’t find anything there.

Korea hurled itself into that same future and found only emptiness. Now China’s elites are rushing into that same void and are beginning to discover that technocracy and materialism are hollow. That is why China is struggling to reassert Communist values even while throwing everything into making Walmart’s next product shipment. Like Japanese and Korean leaders, Chinese leaders are realizing that their technological and material achievements have left their society with a spiritual void.

That isn’t a problem unique to Asia. Asian countries were just less prepared for a rapid transition to the modern age. Europe and America, which had more time to prepare, are still on the same track. …

The thing we have in common with Japan, China and Europe is that we have all moved into a post-modern future while leaving our values behind and our societies have suffered for it. It is a future in which stores have robots on display but couples are hardly getting married, where there are high speed trains and a sense of lingering depression as the people who ride them don’t know where they are going, and where the values of the past have been traded for a culture of uncertainty.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

29 Aug 2013



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