Culture

Fuerza Bruta: “Panasonic Presents WA! Wonder Japan Experience” Is A Vibrant and Spectacular Celebration of Traditional Japan

2017-09-25 03:46

Fuerza Bruta: “Panasonic Presents WA! Wonder Japan Experience” is an exhilarating, uninhibited and unforgettable show to be enjoyed by visitors to Japan and long-term residents alike. Fuerza Bruta Since its inception in Buenos Aires in 2003, under the direction of Diqui James, Fuerza Bruta has brought its postmodern and highly energetic spectacle enveloping audiences in a joyous frenzy of dance, acrobatics, music and art, to locations across the globe such as Miami, Chicago, Madrid, London, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Taiwan. It also enjoyed a highly successful off-broadway run from 2007 to 2016 at the Daryl Roth Theater. Throughout these years, Fuerza Bruta has developed and refined a unique formula for…


Chibi Maruko-Chan Spinoff’s Protagonist Squares Off Against Tough Times

2017-09-21 01:17

The nostalgic world of Momoko Sakura’s manga Chibi Maruko-Chan, set in a Japanese suburb in the 1970s, and the simple everyday school life and family life of its protagonist Maruko, has been entertaining audiences ever since it appeared in the pages of shojo manga magazine Ribon in 1986. Translated into several languages and made into television anime, several full-length feature animated films, and even a live-action TV drama, Chibi Maruko-Chan’s (mis)adventures have universal appeal. Therefore, when Momoko Sakura announced last fall that she was working on a self-parodying spinoff manga called Chibi Shikaku-Chan, fans took notice. With the manga to be published in the Sep. 25 issue of Grand Jump,…


Set Sail on Yokohama Bay for a Pirate-Themed Anime Song DJ Party

2017-09-19 06:39

Since the mid-2000s, Japan has developed and refined a unique spin on club culture called anikura (a term combining “anime songs” and “club”), in which DJs play anime songs or other genres within the Akiba-kei, or Akihabara style spectrum (namely, anime songs, songs from tokusatsu and action hero shows, video game and PC game music, idol songs, songs by anime voice actors, dempa songs, chiptune, etc.) — either in their original form or as remixes with EDM — and VJs plays clips from anime or other media matching the tunes. At first limited to clubs like MOGRA Akihabara and Club Tsukiakari Yumeterasu in Kawasaki, anime song DJ parties can now…


Japanese Slit Drum Inspired By Traditional Garden Ornament Makes Beautiful Otherworldly Sounds

2017-09-19 02:16

When you think of Japanese instruments, you may be familiar mostly with the koto, shakuhachi, and shamisen, as well as how they can be used to give popular music a beautiful and traditional Japanese twist. Thanks to Twitter user @wyrm06, many even in Japan are now discovering an otherworldly rippling instrument that they had never heard of before called the Hamon Slit Drum. With 70,000 tweets, many are surprised to find out that the pings and echoes of the Hamon Slit Drum actually come from a Japanese instrument. 日本にもヤバい金属楽器はある!という事で「波紋音」です。あまりにも豊かな倍音成分がヤバくて無限。Rav drumと同じ金属製のスリットドラムですが作品ごとにランダムな切れ込みになっており、完全に自分だけの楽器になります。この個体はオーナーが中に鎖を仕込んでいてビビり音が出ます。 pic.twitter.com/0gW0R3gvsz — サカン@世界の打楽器 (@wyrm06) 2017年9月17日 Of course, the Hamon is very similar to the Russian RAV Drum (seen below), along…


It’s a Fukui Sharknado! Or is it?

2017-09-19 01:49

Sometimes, certain less populated prefectures of Japan which are less commonly frequented by tourists and less commonly known by average city-dwellers are characterized in popular culture as wild and dangerous. For the most part, such characterizations are tongue-in-cheek, and even the locals enjoy playing it up. This seems to be the case with Fukui, located in the central Chubu region of the Honshu island facing the Sea of Japan, and one of the least populated prefectures. This picture posted on Twitter last Saturday by @oyayubi_814, along with the caption: “Fukui…dangerous!” caused quite a stir. It would seem to be a hammerhead shark lying on a street gutter, clearly far removed…


Absolutely Stunning Photos Of Hokkaido’s Fire Walking Festival Bring Japanese Folklore To Life

2017-09-19 11:33

Japanese festivals seem to put a priority on spectacle, whether they be magical lantern festivals that seem like they came right out of Spirited Away, or penis festivals with giant marching phalluses, guests always walk away with a sight to remember. Japan’s most northern prefecture of Hokkaido is home to a many regional festivals, but it’s dramatic fire-walking festival held in the town of Furubira may be one of its most spectacular. Source: @katuka2 While not the only fire-walking (hi no watari) event in Japan, Furubira’s festival adds a theatrical flair by having a Tengu cross a barrier of towering wall of flames. Tengu (“Heavenly Dog”) are somewhat disruptive spirits…


“Blackface Potato Chips” Leave Questionable Aftertaste

2017-09-15 05:03

One of the features characterizing the Japanese commercial food and beverage industry is that new variations of products, whether in flavor, packaging, or size, continually appear on the market, some lasting a whole season, others only lasting a few weeks. In other words, consumers can expect to see something new at all times. A stroll through the aisles of a Japanese convenience store is never boring. Right now, this is what you’re likely to see in the potato chips section of your local store: source: Grape Inc. “Wait a second? What’s a Japanese man in blackface doing on the cover of that bag of chips?” you may wonder. It turns…


New and Improved Shrine Maiden Loungewear is Back by Popular Demand

2017-09-14 07:16

The miko, or shrine maidens, who assist in various capacities in Shinto shrines, are probably one of the more iconic images of traditional Japan with their simple red and white robes. The miko is also a favorite and recurring character type in manga and anime, from Rei Hino / “Sailor Mars” in Sailor Moon, Kaho Mizuki in Cardcaptor Sakura, the Hiiragi siblings in Lucky Star or Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! This popularity has made miko or miko-inspired outfits a common sight in the cosplaying community. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way you could indulge in the miko fantasy within the comfort of your own home? The…


“Re:Zero” x Lawson Collaboration Will Make September a Month to Rem-ember

2017-09-12 09:53

Fans of the ever-popular blue-haired part-coiffed younger sister maid demoness, Rem, from the anime “Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World” have been treated to some exciting news lately. Not only was there an announcement on Sunday of a new original OVA episode, but there’s a delightful collaboration with convenience store mainstay Lawson to look forward to as well! source: (C)長月達平・株式会社KADOKAWA刊/Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活製作委員会 (C)Lawson, Inc. From September 13 to October 16, Lawson is coming out with several types of Rem collaboration goods, some of them sold in select stores and others available for purchase online. Here is what has been announced thus far: Acrylic Figure Stands source: (C)長月達平・株式会社KADOKAWA刊/Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活製作委員会 (C)Lawson, Inc. These attractive acrylic…


Send Custom Comic Book Packages With Manga Tape

2017-09-11 04:42

Gift-giving customs in Japan runs deep. Whether it be within the workplace, a wedding, or the importance of wrapping the gift itself, there are many facets to the culture of gift giving in Japan than make it a special act. While this isn’t necessarily true of sending packages, an awarding winning design by Japanese stationery company Kokuyo is giving you the option of adding an extra level of personalization to the packages you send in the form of your very own manga strip! Manga Tape previously was honored at the 2016 Kokuyo Design Awards, and is now set to be realized with its very own release. The strip of tape…


Wanted: Apprentice to Last Living Expert in Shabari, Artisanal Craft Crucial to Japanese Textile Tradition. All Nationalities Accepted.

2017-09-11 04:11

In a tweet which got shared over 46,000 times, Ise-Katagami textile stencil artist and self-styled “hybrid craftsman” Atsushi Kimura sent out the following desperate plea for help: “Isn’t there anyone who would like to be the only craftsman in Japan? For shabari, a craft necessary for Ise-Katagami. The only living craftsman is here in Shiroko (a district in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture) and he’s already in his late 70s. Every day, he says: “I want to quit” but he can’t because he keeps getting job requests from all over Japan. Someone help!” 誰かさ〜日本で唯一の職人になりたいっ!ってひといませんか?? 伊勢型紙に必要な紗張り職人。これ、日本全国みても白子に1人しかおらず、その1人ももう70後半。「もう辞めたい」と言いながらも、全国から仕事がくるから辞めようにも辞めれず… だーれーかー!! — ハイブリッド職人 木村あつし (@atsushi800) 2017年9月1日 Ise-Katagami Ise-Katagami (伊勢型紙), the Japanese craft of making paper stencils for…


This Inspirational Dancer Isn’t Bound by her Wheelchair

2017-09-10 09:52

Meet Ayananana. She dances as an odorite, following a performance genre that has blossomed in the past ten years. Fans of mostly Vocaloid or J-pop upload dance videos to popular video sharing sites like NicoNico Douga and YouTube. Here she is performing “Onegai Daarin” (Please, Darling) by ONE: Ayananana was already interested in dance since she was 13, although she didn’t perform for the public. However, she later faced a life-changing event which cast a shadow over her aspirations. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nerves, causing numbness in limbs and other parts of the body….


Fascinating Look At How Japanese “Eel Masters” Work 24/7 To Make The Perfect Unagi

2017-09-07 06:40

It’s often thought that sushi (although which contrary to popular belief, doesn’t actually require any seafood) is thought of to be Japan’s representative fish dish, it may be eel, or unagi, that is the country’s most beloved. Now changing attitudes toward food abroad has helped unagi gain more popularity in foreign countries, shifting toward the same status as a savory and luxury treat (and one of the country’s summer delicacies) that it holds in Japan. Much like sushi, unagi may as well have become part of the English language, with many high quality varieties in Japan attracting foreign guests and tourists. The sauce-covered warming dish is a big crowd-pleaser, and…


Japanese Artist’s Furisode-Kimono Dress Shirt Hybrid Comes To Life In Stylish Combo Piece

2017-09-05 01:31

Although by no means common, it’s become sort of a recent trend with certain Japanese fashion brands to release “kimono-hybrids”, or clothing combining the aesthetic appeal of a kimono with indoor comfort. Japanese eccentric bookstore and oddity shop Village Vanguard is no stranger to these, having recently released easy-to-wear kimono pajamas and even a schoolgirl uniform-kimono hybrid. Their latest offering, however, offers a combination of formal attire that results in a cool and casual mish-mash of East and West with a furisode dress shirt. A furisode (“swinging sleeves”) is a style of kimono characterized by long, draping sleeves. Usually made of brightly colored silk, the furisode is worn by many…


Gorgeous Traditional Japanese Snack Reveals Different Scene With Each Serving

2017-09-04 04:29

Despite how great they taste, sometimes traditional Japanese desserts and sweets are best eaten with one’s eyes. Carefully crafted techniques that withstand generations often capture an impressive balance between beautiful aesthetic and delicious flavor, with many Japanese sweets makers treating their snacks as works of art. One of the most well knownwagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets is Yōkan (羊羹), a thick, jellied dessert made from sugar, red bean paste, and agar. While it may be one of the simpler examples of wagashi, one Japanese confectionery maker is introducing a type with a gorgeous new twist. Source: Nagatoya Source: Nagatoya Called the Fly Me to The Moon Yōkan Fantasia, the treat…


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