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Topic: Japan Discussion

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ELI-ASH

I use a program called keyholetv to watch some tv channels from Japan. The 2 main ones I watch are TV Asahi(airs New Japan every saturday) & Tv Tokyo(if im ever in the mood for anime except without subtitles XD)

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My Youtube channel Now streaming via youtube gaming. O_O My backloggery
PSN:ELI-ASH

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RR529

Journeys in Japan was on today! This week they went to Toyama prefecture, to cover the Kaze no Bon festival. (a festival that's traditionally held to pray for a good harvest)

It's a festival centered around dance, many of which are centered around representations of rice harvesting. They showcased a program where the traditional dance was being passed down to children.

Traditional instruments play a big part as well, such as the Kyoku (a three stringed Violin-like instrument). They showed a craftsman who repairs them in preperation for the event.

They also talked to a master Kyoku player, his son, & grandchild (passing down the family tradition). When asked if he felt pressure in taking on his father's art, the son said that yes, there was a lot of pressure from all around. When asked about his son's ability (remember, the son is an adult man, sitting right in the room), the master said that "at least he'll no longer embarrass himself in public"... (very shrewdly put). The grandson said he wants to keep the tradition alive when he's grown up.

They then caught up with a fisherman who was catching Ayu in the river. They are salted & broiled, and can be eaten whole. He can never attend the festival, because this is a busy time for his restaurant, since tourists always want to try the fish.

They then spent some time with a 24 year old woman who was getting ready to take part in the evening's dance. This is the last year she'll be able to do it, as she's getting married in two months, and married women aren't allowed to take part.

Finally, they showed the intricate dance, which the woman from earlier was taking part in, and they were taking their cues from the Kyoku master & his son, who were playing the music. Lastly, the dance proceeds down the quiet streets of town, where anyone can join in.

If you want to visit during this time of year, it's suggested you set up reservations at a traditional Ryokan in advance, as they'll find you good dance watching spots.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: They covered Pokémon X & Pokémon Y for Nintendo 3DS. It's an international mega hit franchise, and the overall top selling video game franchise in Japan. They spoke to the game's director, Junichi Matsuda, about the global simultaneous release. He said that it's something he's been wanting to do for over 7 years, that way people won't spoil the game for themselves by looking stuff up online (since it wouldn't be known yet by anyone). They talked to the art director about adapting all the creatures into polygonal 3D images, and the localization team that makes up all the Pokémon names for each of the 7 included languages. They usually try using Japanese & English words when coming up with the original names, but may change a name so it can keep it's meaning in another language (Gogoat, for example, is a combination of Go-Kart & Goat, but it's literal German translation is a combination of Goat & the sound of a large engine). They also talked about the biggest new features, such as Mega Evolutions, and the addition of the Fairy type (Matsuda said that tournaments were getting boring, since everyone was using the same overpowered Dragon types, so that needed to be addressed). The hosts then got their hands on the game, where they toyed with "Pokémon-Aime". They discussed the series' start on the Game Boy, of which the female host fondly reminisced on.

Side Theme: They covered two new artsy anime films, which are being released theatrically. The first of which shows Japanese life in the 1890's. The second is a cute love story between two children.

Creator's Interview: They interviewed the Manga Brothers (a three man team of a manga artist, musician, & actor). They came up with a childrens' manga called The Nato Samurai, that teaches kids the importance of food. It's so popular that they have created sequels, and are making even more.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

BEGIN Japanology was on today! This week's theme was mascots.

The host started out in a popular mascot merchandise shop in Harajuku, where famous people like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Brad Pitt, & Angelina Jolee have shopped. Mascots are cute characters that represent a company or other organization, like the Pokémon characters which have been popular since the 1990's. It's said that some 80% of the Japanese populous owns some sort of mascot merchandise.

Some of the earliest modern mascots are a girl who looks like she came out of an American comic book (to represent a western confectionery shop), and an elephant that represents a pharmaceutical company (in Japan, elephants are associated with long lives). Both were invented in the 1950's, and are used to this day.

Government offices also have mascots, such as the Tokyo Police's Pipo (Pi=people Po=police, signaling the unity between people & the authorities). Over 60 public prosecutors have their own mascots.

They also spent some time with NHK's own mascot, Domo, who has a worldwide following. His mouth is designed to look like a TV, and like television, the word "domo" in Japanese, has lots of versatility.

Since around 2007, there has been a growing fad of local mascots, that represent a town or other location. They don't have the same sleek designs of corporate mascots, but each have their following. One of the most popular is Hikonyan, a samurai cat (a castle lord in the area, was said to have been saved by a cat in legend).

The Japanese affinity for mascots goes back to ancient times, as they believed everything (including trees & rocks) have souls. There were "gods" dedicated to natural phenomena like lightning & wind, who looked dangerous on the outside, but were revered by people. In the 18th century, people stated carrying around Natsuka on their kimono sashes, which were designed after animals, Chinese Zodiac signs, and other creatures of myth. These were the forerunners to modern mascot keychains that hang from cell phones.

They then talked about Hello Kitty (known as Kitty in Japan), who is possibly the biggest Japanese mascot in the world. She started out in the 1970's, but by the 80's was loosing popularity. They discussed how they started following yearly fashion trends in her design to keep her relevant & gain popularity. Eventually turning her into a global brand that even targets adults.

They then talked about a modern mascot, Hatsune Miku. A CGI idol that is able to sing on stage & gather large crowds. She first gained popularity in the mid 2000's, when her software was first released to the public, and people could create & share songs they had created with her. Recently she has put on her first ever classical style music performance.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Journeys in Japan was on earlier today! This week, they went to Gokayama in Toyama.

The area is known for it's very traditional style village, which has been here for 700 years, and here the people live in harmony with nature.

The old wooden houses are three stories high, and have a fire pit in the middle of the bottom floor. It keeps the entire house warm, and the smoke makes the wood harder & more durable over the years. The triangular rooftops are designed to minimize the weight added by snow in the winter (the area gets some of the heaviest snow in Japan). The dried plants they make the roof out of have a natural waterproof property that helps even more against the snow, and only has to be replaced every 40 years (the entire village helps out with this task, when it comes).

In the morning, the host went out to the fields with the family that was hosting her, and helped them harvest eggplant & squash. They then went back home & made a hearty breakfast with the plants they harvested.

The village is down to about 50 people, after younger generations have left to go to the city, but young people who have left the city are starting to move here, because they want their children to appreciate nature.

3 of the families here still make "Washi", a traditional Japanese paper making art. The host spent some time with one such artisan, who let her make her own washi. He has various crafts in his home, including a piece of washi with Monsters Inc characters drawn onto it, a gift from one of the film's creators.

They then showcased Kokiriko, perhaps Japan's oldest performing art, which is named after the dance's most important instrument. This is still practiced in the village, and visitors can see it here.

There is also a boat tour in the area, which will give you a scenic view of the surrounding area.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: They covered Sonic Lost World for Wii U! It's the newest release in the popular long running platforming series, featuring the titular hedgehog. The first release in the series, Sonic the Hedgehog, released in 1991 to 15 million sales, and now there are even fan events, like the U.S.A.'s Sonic Boom. The game has Sonic venturing to the mysterious continent of "Lost Hex", battling his nemesis Dr. Eggman & his new companions, a group of ogres known as the "Deadly Six". Talking to the game's director, he mentioned that he wanted to somewhat take away the series' trademark speed, for a couple of reasons. A focus on speed limits them to a very linear game progression, and they are limited to a small number of styles & obstacles so players aren't overwhelmed. Slowing the game down allows them more creative freedom to come up with fun & fresh new ideas to make Sonic a more varied "action" game. There are even 3 set speeds players can choose from, so everyone from newcomers to veterans can have Sonic move at a speed that is comfortable for them, and parkour elements were added to accomodate new players (new players generally complained that speed makes Sonic games too difficult). The new "Deadly Six" enemies were originally designed after Japanese style ogres (featuring tiger print clothing), but after extensive focus grouping with American audiences (a first for the series), they were altered to appeal to American kids. Many elements from past games return, such as the popular "Color" powers, many of which are controlled with the Wii U gamepad. It has also been released on 3DS with different levels & powers, in the hopes of maximizing the potential new audience. The hosts then got some hands on time with the Wii U version of the game.

Side Theme: They mentioned the anime film Madoka Magica the Movie 3, & Tecmo Koei action game Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate (Vita).

Creator's Interview: They interviewed manga artist Sakura. She is currently releasing a series about a boy who comes across a mysterious blog, that tells him he'll have luck with girls if he follows it's instructions. She is also a popular cosplay model, has released a popular Final Fantasy acapellega album, and has appeared at an anime convention in L.A.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: They covered the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3/PC). It's actually a reboot/sequel to 2010's FFXIV, which was poorly recieved by fans & critics. This new reworked version was a hit at this year's TGS, and has broken records for the number of people playing a Japanese MMORPG. Despite being sort of a reboot, it actually continues the story set in the original, so players who enjoyed it can continue their adventure, but it's open to newcomers. They wanted extreme details to the game's setting, as there are over 6000 unique characters, and dungeons are given history, that way they feel like a natural part of the game world. The game has improved graphics & a faster battle system when compared to the original (amongst other changes for the better). They plan on opening up the "Crystal Tower" to players soon, and it's a nostalgic throwback to FFIII that will bring old & new fans together. The first Final Fantasy game was released in 1987 for the Famicom, but it became a household name, and must play for gamers, with 1997's FFVII, which is still the series' pinnacle. They have high hopes for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn though, as they say it's the game that gamers are going to look at to judge their (Square Enix) quality as a game maker, more than any other.

Side Theme: They mentioned the second release in the Ghost in the Shell Arise series, and that it will connect closer to the original GitS series.

Creator's Interview: They interviewed Atsuko Ishida, who started her work in anime by animating in Ranma 1/2, Evangelion, & Crayon Shin Chan. Her first release as a manga artist was a title called I Work in Manga, and she is putting her love for baseball to good use with her current serial, Ball Park Lovers.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

BTW, sorry I haven't given any updates in awhile. The last few shows I've caught have been repeats, and turning back the clock has changed which programs I'm able to catch (since Japan doesn't turn back as well).

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Fikachu wrote:

When I hopefully move to Japan, I plan to boycott the 2020 Olympics

Why?

On another note, I found out I should still be able to catch Tokyo Eye & BEGIN Japanology, so I might be able to start updating more frequently again!

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

Fikachu

Why?

Long story short, I regard the Olympics as a waste of money

I don't see how the Olympics is going to help Japan get out of the economic predicament it's in

[url=http://www.mybannermaker.com][/url]

RR529

Fikachu wrote:

Why?

Long story short, I regard the Olympics as a waste of money

I don't see how the Olympics is going to help Japan get out of the economic predicament it's in

Believe me, the amount of money these kinds of events bring in, is well worth the money spent to get them in the first place.

They'll become the tourism hot spot for the year (and it'll probably have a positive effect on their tourism numbers for a few years after that), and that'll bring in an unprecedented amount of funds for not only the Tokyo area, but the nation as a whole.

Furthermore, they'll have the attention of the entire world, which will give them the best chance yet to restore foreign confidence in goods produced in the country, especially within the Fukushima area, which are currently a hard sell.

Last year the MLB All-Star game came to Kansas City (the nearest big city to our area), and all the shops, restaurants, etc. in the area were astounded at the amount of money that brought in to them, and the city as a whole. the Olympics would be like that, at least a thousand fold.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

The_Fox

Hosting the Olympics is more of a status symbol for a country than anything. China spent $20-30 billion (with a return of less than a quarter of that amount) and Greece wound up going through something like 7% of their GDP just for hosting the Olympics. Crazy.

That being said, boycotting the Olympics is going to do nothing other than making you an official party pooper. And who wants that?

Edited on by The_Fox

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

-President John Adams

Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

Fikachu

Do you even know what the olympics is?

Yes

back on-topic
I've managed to translate a couple of Arabic words into Japanese

Edited on by Fikachu

[url=http://www.mybannermaker.com][/url]

Turnip

Fikachu wrote:

Do you even know what the olympics is?

Yes

back on-topic
I've managed to translate a couple of Arabic words into Japanese

If you're thinking of learning Japanese, my best advice is to be sure not to slack on studying grammar. I made the mistake of focusing mainly on vocab for the first year or so of my Japanese studies, and I feel like I could be light years ahead of where I am now if I had put the time I spent studying vocab into studying grammar.

Cringing is really fun.

RR529

BEGIN Japanology was on tonight! This week's theme was Ukiyo-e paintings.

Ukiyo-e paintings start out as a series of wood blocks that have intricate images carved into them, each one with a different colored ink assigned to it (a series, for one painting, can take 2 months to create). Once carved, a piece of paper is applied to the blocks one at a time, until the entire image is transferred onto it (this may only take about an hour, as they can be mass produced).

They were produced as inexpensive art for the average citizen. Popular subjects for painting were beautiful women (liked by male customers for thier beauty, and liked by female customers for thier depictions of the latest fashion trends), Kabuki actors (they'd even produce prints honoring a deceased actor, as a way of spreding the news to fans), and natural landmarks (these were popular because Japanese people were starting to travel for leisure at the time, and some copies would even be annotated, to be used as travel guides).

They first appeared in the 17th century, and were initially only made with solely black ink (since it was expensive & time consuming to color them), but in the early 18th century, new techniques were developed that made color prints easy to develop, and their popularity spread. Their popularity began to fall in the late 19th century, when western culture was becoming popular, but they were first exhibitioned in Europe at this time, inspiring famous artists such as Van Gough & Monét.

Recently, a set of wood blocks belonging to a famous 19th century Ukiyo-e artist were discovered (and authenticated). They were restored, and all new prints were produced using them. The new copies revealed some surprising new intricacies that have been lost in the originals (due to color saturation).

Meanwhile, in the historic Nihonbashi neighborhood of Tokyo, they've started revitalizing youth interest in the area by recreating famous Ukiyo-e works on the walls & shutters of businesses. When the shops close, it's almost like an open air museum of sorts. The project started in 2006 (with the city government giving the project funding since 2009), and there are now 26 paintings throughout the neighborhood, with more planned.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

Fikachu

RR529 wrote:

BEGIN Japanology was on tonight! This week's theme was Ukiyo-e paintings.

Ukiyo-e paintings start out as a series of wood blocks that have intricate images carved into them, each one with a different colored ink assigned to it (a series, for one painting, can take 2 months to create). Once carved, a piece of paper is applied to the blocks one at a time, until the entire image is transferred onto it (this may only take about an hour, as they can be mass produced).

They were produced as inexpensive art for the average citizen. Popular subjects for painting were beautiful women (liked by male customers for thier beauty, and liked by female customers for thier depictions of the latest fashion trends), Kabuki actors (they'd even produce prints honoring a deceased actor, as a way of spreding the news to fans), and natural landmarks (these were popular because Japanese people were starting to travel for leisure at the time, and some copies would even be annotated, to be used as travel guides).

They first appeared in the 17th century, and were initially only made with solely black ink (since it was expensive & time consuming to color them), but in the early 18th century, new techniques were developed that made color prints easy to develop, and their popularity spread. Their popularity began to fall in the late 19th century, when western culture was becoming popular, but they were first exhibitioned in Europe at this time, inspiring famous artists such as Van Gough & Monét.

Recently, a set of wood blocks belonging to a famous 19th century Ukiyo-e artist were discovered (and authenticated). They were restored, and all new prints were produced using them. The new copies revealed some surprising new intricacies that have been lost in the originals (due to color saturation).

Meanwhile, in the historic Nihonbashi neighborhood of Tokyo, they've started revitalizing youth interest in the area by recreating famous Ukiyo-e works on the walls & shutters of businesses. When the shops close, it's almost like an open air museum of sorts. The project started in 2006 (with the city government giving the project funding since 2009), and there are now 26 paintings throughout the neighborhood, with more planned.

I remember reading about Ukiyo-e in my online Art History class

[url=http://www.mybannermaker.com][/url]

RR529

Journeys in Japan was on tonight! In what's the most interesting episode thus far, they went to the city of Iga.

The host of the episode was William Reed, an American who is a master in the Aikido martial art, who went to Iga to learn about the city's long ninja history.

Nowadays it's just a quiet mountain town with a population of around 100,000, but up to even just 100 years ago, this city was widely associated with ninja. You see, during Japan's "Warring States" era, the region's warriors gathered here because it was surrounded by mountains on all sides (which are often draped in a thick fog), meaning it was hard for enemies to attack, and easy for them to launch surprise attacks. Over time, they became famous for their stealthy fighting techniques, and nobles from the nearby capital of Kyoto hired them out for spying missions. They had a long history, with documents confirming they were active until at least the 1860's, with evidence that the Shogun had hired them to spy inside the American warships that forced the country out of isolationism.

Of course, some modern day residents of the city are direct descendents of ninja clans, with official paperwork to proove it. Such documents include information about various jobs they were hired to take on, or special techniques that needed to be secretly passed on. The most important of which was the instructions to make gunpowder, which made the people of the time think they had supernatural abilities (which has influenced their depiction in modern pop culture). Some of the tools they developed with this gunpowder, were flairs used to communicate with one another, and special torches that were resistant to water.

Certain members of the community have still passed on the Ninjutsu martial arts, with our host being allowed to take part in the training. They showed off their prowess with various weapons (like the popular throwing star), but trained shinobi can use almost anything as a weapon, such as chopsticks (which they effortlessly imbeded into a wooden plank with a flick of their wrist) and decorative braided ribbon (which can be used to disarm armed opponents, in the right hands). They also showed the host some of the footwork techniques that were developed to walk quietly, while keeping an eye on your surroundings. They also endure harsh training such as mountain climbing & meditating under waterfalls (which were actually inherited from a sect of nature worship, where it was believed you could obtain superhuman strength & senses by becoming one with nature via these methods).

The host then tried out some of the local cuisine, such as the famous "Iga Beef". It's actually regarded just as highly as "Kobe Beef", but is harder to come by as not much of it is produced, and it's mostly consumed locally.

If tourists want to visit the area, you'll be happy to know that their is a real ninja house here that has been perfectly reserved, where guests can see all the clever trap doors & secret passages that were actually used by the former residents here. There is also the Iga Ninja Museum which houses hundreds of real ninja weapons, armor, tools, & documents for you to view.

The host & Ninjutsu dojo put on a bit of a show for the cameras as well, with a martial arts spectacle that wouldn't be out of place in a movie.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

RR529

Tokyo Eye was on tonight! They decided to take a look into Tokyo's art scene this week.

First up they visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Building. Here, for free, you can borrow an electronic guide that will walk you through the complex, highlighting the various paintings & sculptures that decorate the complex (complete with video interviews with the artists of each piece). The electronic guide can give the tour in 5 languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English, & French). There are also artistic works on the outside complex, such as a large interactive maze, that is designed after the Manhattan cityscape (this piece isn't permanent though, and will be taken down soon).

They then went to the National Stadium, the stadium that was built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Here you can find a sculpture on display that won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics (there were artistic events held in the event, until the 1940's). They then inspected the Olympic cauldron, and gave meaning behind the various textures in it's design (it took an expert iron craftsman 3 months to make it). Finally, they looked at a couple of mosaics in the main stands. One is of the Greek goddess Nike, the other of the founder of Sumo (both symbolizing sports in their native countries). You can tour the stadium for now (and sporting events will continue to go on here until January 2014), but next year it will be demolished in order for a new stadium to be built for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

They then talked about Tokyo Creative Weeks, a 5 week long event that happens every autumn, hosted by the Tokyo University of the Arts, the biggest art school in Japan. They showcased various floats that were being built for the event's parade. Most of which took inspiration from classical Japanese art, although one had a 50's looking anime mech design, called "Retrofuture". The float that got the most attention is called "Bird of Destruction", which features a hawk made out of traditional Japanese instruments catching the Giant Catfish (believed to cause the nation's earthquakes in ancient times). This float symbolizes the memory of the 2011 East Japan Earthquake.

Also part of TCW, 14 business' in the area are hosting art pieces submitted by college students. At Fuji Dry Cleaning, they are showcasing a piece called "Area 431" (it encompasses the entire second floor, and is meant to invoke the image of a scientific laboratory). A butcher shop in the area is showcasing a projection onto it's shutters (when it closes up), with the projected film representing lonliness in a big city. (Fun Fact: I noticed some sort of Fullmetal Alchemist advertisement on the butcher shop's door)

Then they went to Hokusai-Dori, a street named after a famous Ukiyo-e artist of the same name. He was believed to have been born on this street, with many of his most famous works being displayed on street lights aling the street.

Then they went to Sumida Ward, to check out it's famed gardens. People in Tokyo often display their plants outside, but here especially, with all sorts of fantastic greenery around. People will reuse old containers to hold their plants.

Finally, they stopped off at the Sumida Triphony Hall. There are various artistic works based on sound here, such as door handles designed to look like human ears and stair railings that are meant to convey supersonic vibrations. Their most noticeable piece is a wooden sculpture of a pianist, but at first glance it looks like he has no piano to play. However, when viewed from above, it's clear that the entire floor looks like a set of piano keys. Backstage, there are over 70 paintings of tranquil waterfalls, put there with the intention of calming the performers' pre-show jitters.

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

Currently Playing: Hitman GO

Recently Beat: Castle of Illussion: Starring Mickey Mouse, Lara Croft GO, Front Mission Evolved

Snagrio

At some point I like to have a vacation in Japan. A friend of mine has been to Tokyo once and said it was awesome.

Heck, if Nintendo still had those Love Hotels I would have my honeymoon in one.

Snagrio

3DS Friend Code: 4081-5821-0404 | Nintendo Network ID: WingedFish64

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