Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"We're nerdy kids in real life and we're Final Fantasy characters right now."

I think that two of some of my most favorite things to do is watch anime and listen to public radio. So, I was excited to hear when my local radio station said that they would be doing a broadcast about Japanese pop culture exports, as a part of their summer documentary series.

This was a fun little report! It mentions a lot about the country and lifestyle of Japan, how its technological boom led to the formation of a whole new culture, further western influences, and the culture that the country has produced and shared abroad.
A documentary about why Japan is cool!

Anime is mentioned prevalently throughout the report, they even interview con-goers. The most thought-provoking part of the documentary (to me) is where they compare the introduction and growth of anime and J-pop culture to the early days of rock and roll!

Click here to listen to the report, "Japan's Pop Power", in its entirety (51:30) on you RealPlayer, or just read the transcript.
Either way the website is very interesting and presents a great insight into many aspects of new, old, and classic (but mostly new) Japan.

Ha! Listen to John Biewen (non-otaku) ask about FLCL!

First Comic-con 2007 video

... of waiting in line! You'll see Jent, Gio, my cousin and Kelly. Full report by the end of this week!

We were waiting in the long line for the masquerade event. Its like the big cosplay show at the end of the night. Here are the winners: Link I will have videos from he coplay event in my full report.

Comic-con report soon...

I know I had promised it today or tomorrow, but most of the pictures we took were on Jent's camera. Jent is returning home today, so once she is rested, I can put together the full report! Here's a snap of Jent below. A video follows soon! (uploading)


Monday, July 30, 2007

1,501 in 1,060 games! Ichiro's at it AGAIN!

I know the M(ajor)L(eague)B(aseball) fad is recruiting Japanese pitchers... but don't dismiss the hitters... especially MLB's First Japanese Position player.
The small town 豊山町 (Toyohama), native 鈴木 一朗 (Suzuki, Ichiro) has been earning awards and setting records almost his entire Professional Baseball career.

Seattle's game on Sunday, July 29 against Oakland was no exception.
Ichiro (as he is often known) became the third fastest person to reach 1,500 hits as he scored a single off Lenny DiNardo during his 1,060th game.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau. Al Simmons (1,040) and George Sisler (1,048) reached the mark quicker, Ty Cobb is fourth at 1,070.
Ichiro finished 2/5 for the day.

Even long before Ichiro started with Seattle in 2001, he was gaining awards in Japan's Pacific League with the ORIX Blue Wave.
During his 9 seasons with Orix, Ichiro made 1,278 hits, was MVP from 1994-1996, received the Matsutaro Shoriki Award 1994 and 1995, and received both the Best Nine AND Golden Glove from 1994-2000.

Since his start with Seattle in 2001, Ichiro has been receiving Golden Gloves year after year, as well as becoming the second person EVER to receive both the MVP AND Rookie of the Year during his debut year.

2004 seemed to be Ichiro's Golden Year:
First person to hit 200 or more hits during each of their first 4 seasons
First person to have three 50 hit months in a season
His First time being named Player of the Month for August
Broke and set Modern MLB record with 225 singles in a season
Broke and set ALL TIME MLB record with 225 singles in a season
Broke and set record for hits on the road with 145
Broke and set MLB's record for most hits in ANY given 4 year span with total of 924
Broke MLB's record for most hits in a season and ended off with 262 hits

Ichiro is also the first MLB player to join the Golden Players Club and was named 2007 All Star Game MVP going 3/3 and hitting the first All Star Game in the park Home Run.

On July 13th, Ichiro signed a 5 year contract extension with Seattle valued at 90million USD. We'll be seeing a lot more of the "Human Batting Machine" and more records... I'm sure.

Sources: ESPN and Wikipedia

Now THIS is how it's done!

Finally, a good example of what the Hare Hare Yukai dance should be! ENERGETIC!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Abe is in for the long haul.

Japan's ruling party for over fifty years, the Liberal Democratic Party, has been declared this term's minor party as they will soon give up many of their seats in the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party amidst scandals over current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration.

Abe, a LDP member himself will most certainly face resignation requests now, especially since it may become more difficult to pass legislation through opposing parties through the House, coupled with the growing list of scandals attributed to Abe and his party.

The LDP, the more conservative of Japan's competing parties survived in the house after it was discovered that secret American agencies were funding the party overseas to combat the popular Socialist and Communist Parties after it was exposed in a New York Times article.

Abe has also lost popularity since he began calling for constitutional changes and his current privatization of the postal system, which has recently caused an increase in costs for most of the system.

He was voted into power in 2005 and took the office of former PM, Junichiro Koizumi.

For more information, read these articles.

Pay it Forward>>>

Several residents of a Japanese apartment complex are beginning to speak out about what has been placed in their mailboxes.
No, it's not bills or mis-deliveries of packages...

This is a bit bigger.

How about 1.81 million yen?

"The money was in identical plain envelopes, which were unsealed and carried no names or messages," a police spokesman said on the money, which was found in eighteen mailboxes in the apartment buildings.
Residents feared counterfeit bills and called the police, but discovered that the bills were in fact real.

It is suspected that this occurrence may be related to similar strings of money "droppings" around Japan: in public building restrooms, other mailboxes, and even from the sky.

Some envelopes come with a message inside telling recipients to 'do good deeds with the money'.

Read the article here.
For a currency converter go here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ninjas, Ninjas, Ninja training

Ninja Warrior!
This is a new show that me and my family watch, after browsing the programs and stumbling upon this: On the G4 cable network, a Japanese television game show called Ninja Warrior test many skills, such as...
Balance, rope climbing, jumping, holding on for dear life, and such.
Up to 100 people can join each time, whether you have skill or not.

It really is very interesting. There are 4 different levels, 3 is seen as "extremly difficult" and 4 is known as "nearly impossible."

So far, from the episodes that we've seen, there is no known prize at the end of this game. Maybe it's just the pride of being know as a Ninja Warrior, when hardly anyone gets past the second stage?

Enjoy, no? =3

Oh, and. This show has been running for quiet some time now. I think 7 years?

Here is Mr. Octopus, age 56 (he's tried out many times and has never gotten past the first stage >_<).

Ninja Warrior, Makoto Nagano (34) is the second person to ever beat the Sasuke course out of 2,400 people.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How to shut up a crying baby

The NES Pad Tattoo

(Via Kotaku.com):
Game tattoos come and go with varying degrees of technical prowess. Being a heavily tattooed gentlemen myself, I feel I'm qualified enough to pass opinion on other works and I must say, this one is quite well done. The only part I question is the Nintendo logo, but with the quality of the picture and bend of the arm, it's kind of hard to tell how well it's done. I am impressed that they added in the cord and the plug since usually you just see the controller itself. According to the bbps where this picture originated, this is just the start of what will eventually be a full game tattoo sleeve. One can only imagine what further video game wonders will adorn this disembodied arm.

Rice Paddy Art

(Via PinkTentacle):
Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety. This year’s creation — a pair of grassy reproductions of famous woodblock prints from Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji — has begun to appear (above). It will be visible until the rice is harvested in September.

More here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sasuke and the Goblet of Fire (Naruto + Harry Potter)

Final Harry Potter book comes out tonight!!!!

The Narutrix (Matrix + Naruto)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pizza Hut Japan Has Created A Monster

(Via Japanprobe.com):One half of the pizza is the hamburg section, with the following ingredients:

crust stuffed with mini sausages and bacon (advertised as tasting really great with ketchup on it!)

The other half is the “gourmet” section:

Italian sausage
bacon bits
sliced tomato
green pepper
garlic chips
black pepper
crust stuffed with cheddar and mozzarella cheese (advertised as tasting really great when you put honey maple syrup on it!)

The pizza costs 2500 yen for a medium (about $20) and 3550 yen for a large (29 dollars).

Mushi catcher

(Via fareastgizmos.com: )
For gizmos with crazy ideas no one can beat the Japanese. The Mushi catcher from Century Japan is an example. The mushy catcher helps you to catch small flies found on the walls. By using the catcher no marks are left on the wall and is child safe as no power, chemicals are used. The effective range is 1-3 cm from the fly. Using suction technology the fly gets inside the tube. Presto! No dirty hands, marks left on the wall. Only problem is what to do if the fly flies off. It seems the catcher is for dead flies found in hotels, guest houses near the wall clock, light etc.

Wii Fit Parody

Here he comes

I don't know about those of you kids out there, but when I was real little this was my idea of a good anime and the movie is now happily cast. Here's hoping that the apocalypse can wait.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Genius Chimpanzee Pan-kun Is Back [And He Can Ride Trains]

(Via JapanProbe.com): After taking a break for several months, the Pan-kun & James segment has finally returned to Shimura Zoo. On last night’s program, Pan-kun took James on a train ride:

It’s pretty obvious that Pan-kun had to have been following instructions [it specifically says that he and his trainer had previously practiced how to purchase tickets], especially when it came to actions such as retreiving his ticket from the gate after entering the station. Even if that’s the case, it’s still pretty damn amazing that he managed to do most of the stuff he did in the video.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Japanese TV: Tilted Floor Cleaning

(Via JapanProbe.com): This week’s Haneru No Tobira had the guys tackling the challenge of cleaning the floor of a classroom that was increasingly tilting:

Rub-a-dub-dub: 3 girls in tubs successful in 37 mile crossing from Sado to Honshu

(Via Mainchi) NIIGATA -- Three women completed the 60-kilometer crossing from Sado to Honshu in tub boats Saturday, following in the footsteps of a mythical figure who traversed the straits to see her lover on the mainland.

Kanako Takahashi, 26, Miho Hamada, 25 and Miki Takano, 27, each rowed a tub boat across the Sado Straits to make the first successful crossing in the craft for 40 years; the third overall, but the first ever to be completed solo.

"My arms and hands are really hurting, but I'm so glad it was successful," Hamada said.

A Sado tale tells of a woman called Omitsu paddling one of the island's famous tub boats from Sado to Kashiwazaki, where her fisherman lover Gosaku lived. The Sado Tourism Association planned the three women's crossing, which began at about 10 a.m. Friday in Sado.

'Ramen bath' offers supposed health benefits without lingering aroma of pork marrow

(Via Mainchi):
Visitors bathe in the ramen bath at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun hot spa theme park.

HAKONE, Kanagawa -- A "ramen bath" has been opened at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, a local theme park and hot spa.
The bath, shaped like a ramen bowl, contains pepper-flavored water colored a light, milky brown, to like tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen soup. The special bath was created jointly by the theme park and a famous ramen shop, Nantsuttei in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The bath was completed at the unveiling event, with the owner of Nantsuttei adding "noodles" made of bathwater additives into the tub.
The water contains collagen and garlic extracts, and theme park officials claim it can help produce beautiful skin and aid moisture retention. (Mainichi)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More from Nintendo: SUper Mario Galaxy

This is unlike any Mario I've seen before! Then again, this is Mario in space xP

The latest from Nintendo: Wii Fit

First there was Wii Sports. Then there was Wii Play. Now coming soon is Wii Fit!

Harry Potter & The Japanese Schoolgirls

(Via Japanprobe.com):

On last night’s episode of Let’s Go To School, Daniel Radcliffe visited a Japanese girls’ high school. Unlike Billy Blane’s visit to a girls’ high school on a previous episode of the show, this week’s program was all about entertaining and suprising the visiting foreign celebrity. It started with lots of screaming as Daniel arrived at the school.

After his screaming Japanese schoolgirl reception, Daniel was taken to several classrooms to be entertained. Since Daniel’s visit was all about promoting the new Harry Potter movie, the schoolgirls showed him some magic tricks:

More videos from this clip here.

Chihuahua Born With a Heart on his Coat

(Via Tokyomango.com):This is Heart-Kun, a chihuahua puppy recently born to breeder Emiko Sakurada with a perfect heart on his coat. No, he was not genetically engineered to look like this, although Sakurada admits she's bred over 1000 little dogs. How cute is that? I wonder how much he'd sell for on eBay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Japan’s unique square watermelons ready for summer time

(Via JapanSugoi.com):

If you’re visiting a Japanese friend’s home this summer for a meal, you will be served fruit and most likely a very refreshing watermelon which is a typical summer fruit. Watermelons are not really expensive unless they are specially grown and wrapped as gift items. Twenty years ago, a farmer from Zentsuji in Kagawa prefecture grew the first square shaped watermelon. These watermelons were grown in cube shaped glass containers while still on the vine and the square boxes are the exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, allowing full-grown watermelons to fit conveniently and precisely onto refrigerator shelves. The cost for this convenience is retail of 13,000-15,000 Yen!

The Butt-Biting Bug Japanese anime song on NHK

(Via JapanSugoi.com):

Shiri-Kajiri Mushi みんなのうた おしりかじり虫 is a strange and fun anime song shown regularly as filler between shows on national broadcaster NHK. The anime song is a play on similar sounding phrases “making acquaintances” and two “bottoms” cheek to cheek and features an Ass biting insect that brings people closer together! A complete DVD and CD song set comes out on July 27th.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Homemade Tank


I'd drive one of these to work!

Japanese TV: Dizzy Boxing

Another reason why we need tv shows like this in America xD

Friday, July 06, 2007

Japanese SWAT Members Train To Fight Terrorism

(via JapanProbe.com):
They’re actually called “SAT” instead of SWAT in Japan, but they’re still pretty cool. Here’s a video of some SAT members taking part in an anti-terror training exercises, which they have stepped up prior to the 2008 G8 summit in Hokkaido:

Japanese girl pro-eater !!

(Via JapanProbe.com)
Japanese TV is looking for an American girl who is willing to challenge pro-eater Gal Sone:

Ryoko Aoki would like to contact a female American competitive eater who is interested in the following opportunity (from an email):

I am working on a TV show for Japan and looking for american female eaters to appear in the show with Gal Sone. We prefer someone who is in 20’s and not belong to IFOCE.

Please send responses to Ryoko Aoki - ryoko@officekei.net

If you’re unfamiliar with Gal Sone, you might want to watch this video of her in action:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Taberu Me: Peanuts as business cards

(Via Pinktentacle.com): For people looking to liven up the formal rigamarole surrounding the exchange of business cards in Japan, Arigatou Co., Ltd., a company specializing in the sale of laser-etched food products, offers “Taberu Me” edible business cards printed on peanuts.
Taberu Me cards are created using Arigatou’s high-grade CO2 laser engraver nicknamed “Shiawase-kun,” which can etch up to 700 characters per second on hard organic materials like beans, nuts, rice and pasta and which has been optimized to print clean-looking logos, names and telephone numbers on the irregular surfaces of peanut shells.

As for the product name, Taberu means “eat” and Me could either be an abbreviation of meishi (”business card”) or “me” in English, in which case Taberu Me would be saying “Eat me” — a message you probably don’t want to convey to your new business partner at the first meeting. Regardless, a set of 150 Taberu Me cards costs 5,800 yen (around $50), which is mere peanuts considering the lasting impression you will make on your new counterparts.

Gundam Haruhi

WARNING: This video contains fighting between Hare characters and Lucky Star characters. If you like Lucky Star, you should watch this with only one eye open!! Warning brought to you by Moonlight's We-Rawr-US Inc.

More Japanese Human Tetris

Here’s a fun clip from the latest episode of Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Deshita, featuring the famous game in which contestants must squeeze themselves through holes in an oncoming wall before being pushed into the water:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Omg, someone has combined Haruhi Suzumiya with Neon Genesis Evangelion (my favorite anime):!!

Takeru Kobayashi Defeated

Via JapanProbe.com:

Despite his best eating performance ever (and possibly throwing up a couple times), Takeru Kobayashi has failed to win his 7th Nathan’s hot dog eating title:

In a gut-busting showdown that combined drama, daring and indigestion, Joey Chestnut emerged Wednesday as the world’s hot dog eating champion, knocking off six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi in a rousing yet repulsive triumph.

Chestnut, the great red, white and blue hope in the annual Fourth of July competition, broke his own world record by inhaling 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes — a staggering one every 10.9 seconds before a screaming crowd in Coney Island.

“If I needed to eat another one right now, I could,” the 23-year-old Californian said after receiving the mustard yellow belt emblematic of hot dog eating supremacy.

Kobayashi, the Japanese eating machine, recently had a wisdom tooth extracted and received chiropractic treatment due to a sore jaw. But the winner of every Nathan’s hot dog competition from 2001 to 2006 showed no ill effects as he stayed with Chestnut frank-for-frank until the very end of the 12-minute competition.

Kobayashi finished with 63 HDBs — hot dogs and buns eaten — in his best performance ever. His previous high in the annual competition was 53 1/2. The all-time record before Wednesday’s remarkable contest was Chestnut’s 59 1/2, set just last month.

Kobayashi has stated that he will be back next year.

JPop Radio is back!

JPoP Radio powered by ArmiTunes!

If you can't get the radio to play, you will need to update or install Apple Quicktime. (free)

Grab Quicktime here!

AKB48 new single!

I posted about their last single, so i'd thought i might as well do their new one!
It's called BINGO, it's not good, not good at all, as a big fan, i'm really dissapointed, all their past posts have been so awesome XD;
Oh well
here it is!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ようこそ! JAL Welcomes You!

Well, I was asked to post this with my thoughts and experience...
I assume I'm mainly asked to write about Japan Airlines.
Oddly enough, Domestically, JAL, is my first choice if I was to fly, although depending on the location internationally I have more experience wit ANA.
I have to say, after watching these videos, I think I've made the wrong choice :P
Not to mention, the headphones from JAL were better quality then that of ANA. ^_^

When I flew domestically to Hokkaido, via JAL, I was pleasantly surprised when they offered me and my flight mate, Pooh, to switch our seats for more comfort and the flight attendant even help to make sure Pooh was properly fastened for his safety.
While Pooh was enjoying his games of Tetris, I watching 2 TV's, one watching the view below and the other on the local news in Hokkaido.

The staff was extremely friendly, but unfortunately for me, the flight from Nagoya to Hokkaido took no time at all, so I didn't get to sample any of the food. :(
I have to say, the 1 or 2 hours it took for me to get to Sapporo by plane, was a lot more comfortable then taking the 2 day ferry back.

This is my first time watching the JAL Tourism video... I personally think they did a good job capturing the spirit of community along with showing the balance of the Old and New that Japan tries to maintain. The footage of Kyoto (^_^) and the precision and beauty of the food makes me want to hurry back.

I'll just stop now and let the videos tell you their story.
Please remain seated at all times and EnJoY!

"Are you ready for your big summer holiday travel to Japan? If you’re flying Japan’s national carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL) and you have never been on an Asian airline before, getting ready to be treated. JAL is Asia’s largest carrier and is run by Japan Airlines Corporation 株式会社日本航空 headquartered in Tokyo.

It runs Japan Airlines International 日本航空インターナショナル and Japan Airlines Domestic 日本航空ジャパン services. It has one of the largest 747 fleets in the world, operates as part of the OneWorld alliance and it’s frequent flyer program is called JAL mileage bank.

,Most JAL international flights land at Terminal 2 at Narita International Airport

Here are some videos introducing JAL and Japan for first time visitors."

JAL Yokoso Japan video

JAL crew

JAL Japanese TV commercial

JAL safety video

JAL crew uniforms

Provided by JapanSugoi

Legend of Zelda Medley The Hyrule Symphony

Dancing Storm Trooper (in Japan)

Watch! xD Go Danny Choo! This post is just for PunkChick. She is special.

Monday, July 02, 2007

It ain't anime news if it doesn't have Lucky Star!

The drawing in the right corner of this picture is Konata's fanart that was published in the latest NEWTYPE, as mentioned in episode 8 of L*S.

Did you click that link? Crazy.

No, I have not begun watching L*S neither will I. I just figured you folks who watch it might find it amusing to see a drawn girl's drawn girl. You follow me? No? Okay, nevermind.

Thanks to DarkMirage who has the rest of the article. (Sorry about the news being so late, I've been a bit out of touch with the anime world as of late.)


Thanks Japan. No, thanks, really!
If Cool Cucumber Pepsi and the multigate computer chip were just some of the neat, new inventions you guys turned out this past month, they would still pale in comparison to the wireless air guitar.

This floating guitar neck, held precariously between your fingers as you strum irresponsibly through the light sensors on the hilt, produces a number of hard rock hits through a "tiny, tiny speaker," causing sheer fun and entertainment.

Ah, if I
had a nickel for every time I slacked off in the back room, strumming my Airliner 5000 Kip Edition (double necked) invisible guitar, when I should have been working, I would have enough money to slack off for the rest of the day and pretend to grind my axe while my mouth provides the notes and the roar of the crowd just after I do my finale. Hmm... (note to self: see if there are any lucritave careers in professional air guitaring!).

Geez, and I thought the electric air drums were going to be the most advanced technology I'd see in my lifetime, then there's this!
This extended solo goes out to you, Japan.


Lots more cool stuff here!! Continue browsing...

Archives: (Oldest) April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 December 2010 (Most Recent)