Friday, March 28, 2008


"Namakura Gatana" (The Dull Katana) is not the oldest animated feature from Japan (that honor belongs to Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki), but it's certainly close. First screened in 1917, it was recently rediscovered sitting in a box in Osaka and is ready for screening once again、along with an animated movie from the following year, "Urashima Taro."

The Asahi Shimbun has the story here:

Monday, March 24, 2008


Folks in Kamiigusa, in the western suburbs of Tokyo, have erected an enormous bronze GUNDAM in front of their local train station in a desperate attempt to attract visitors. I have passed through Kamiigusa before, and don't really know much about the place, except that rent is cheap. Not nearly as cheap as Okayama prefecture however, which has an even more impressive gundam to watch over it. Good luck Kamiigusa!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cuddly Politicians

While he isn't as sexy as some recently elected politicians, Doraemon has the likability factor, and levels of popular acceptance that even the most highly regarded politicians in Japan can dream of achieving. Never mind the fact that he's a cartoon; Doraemon is Japan's newest ambassador to the world.

The Daily Yomiuri has the story here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Tsuyoshi

Tsuyoshi is a bear. Not an ordinary bear however. He is the world's most messed up, depressed bear and he's in love. The Asahi Shimbun has the story here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


By now I'm sure most of you have heard of Obama. He wants to be the President of America! Now, lots of people want to be the President of America, but very few of them are not actually stupid, mentally ill or foreign. Unlike most of the other people that I just hyperlinked, Obama actually has a pretty good shot. He will however need all the help he can get to take the throne. The town of Obama, Japan, has already made up their mind as to who to vote for, and the answer, suprisingly enough, is HILLARY! Just kidding. They would love to see Obama win. Unfortunately Japanese people are not allowed to vote in American elections. They can however offer moral support and front-page news for those slow-news-days when lazy journalists trundle out their most time-honored cliches. The truth is, Obama voting for Obama is not news. It's barely even human-interest. The real question in my mind is this:

Who will Usa be voting for?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Katana is NOT a Toy

Let the buyer beware..

Basically, if you are going to buy a crappy fake katana make sure you don't go around smacking things with it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ninja School

The Asahi Shinbun goes to Ninja School, and finds out that it's mostly white guys. Who doesn't love ninjas? The Japanese, apparently. It has, I suppose, become a bit of a cliche for westerners to gush about these masked killers but, like sumo, the locals just don't seem to go for it anymore. Too caught up in western sports, Japanese kids no longer have time for shuriken, water-walking and opinion polls. Opinion polls? No, seriously, wikipedia swears its true. Despite the best efforts of a handful of dedicated ninja, it seems to be going the way of the rest of old Japan (namely , although it is, apparently, still possible to meet a ninja on the street. Godspeed you black-clad death-bringers!!