Japanese News and Culture Blog Roundup: 10/22/09-10/28/09

2009 October 29
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An Englishman in Osaka

Kurama Fire Festival 10/24/09: Kurama in flames

Coverage of the Kurama Fire Festival (Kurama no hi matsuri – 鞍馬の火祭り) which was held on 10/22. People with huge lit torches parade through the streets on the way to the Yuki-jinja Shrine. More pictures and information can be found here.

GaijinSmash.net

10/28/09: Cultural differences, again

Humorous article on the differences between how celebrity gossip is covered/prosecuted in Japan and in the US. Answers the all-important question: “What’s wrong with being naked?” (quite a lot, apparently). Written by a former JET teacher who is now married and living in Japan.

Japan Probe

Japanese Mascots 10/25/09: Japanese mascots hold summit in Hikone

Many towns and cities in Japan have their own mascots used to promote tourism. What do you think New York’s mascot would be? I can think of a few unsettling examples, but a big apple would probably be the most kid-friendly.

Japanese Pod 101

Soba Package 10/26/09: Learn Japanese Kanji – Everyday Kanji (Food Packaging)

Another very useful post from Japanese Pod 101. Venture into Japanese grocery stores without fear!

Néojaponisme

Japan Peace Sign 10/26/09: Contributing factors to the popularity of the “Peace” sign in Japanese photography

This is something I’ve often wondered myself. The best explanation I got while in Japan was, “It’s just something you do in pictures.” This post gives some much more detailed theories as to the origins of the practice.

Pink Tentacle

stereoview_19 10/28/09: Animated stereoviews of old Japan

Really cool colorized 3-D images from Meiji-era Japan. The animation makes me a little dizzy, though…

10/26/09: ‘Tele Scouter’ retinal-display translation glasses

The concept is awesome: glasses that display translations for foreign languages as you hear them (via a built-in microphone). However the reality is not quite up to par since machine translation technology is simply not advanced enough. However the glasses, which are set to go on the market in 2010, could still be used in other situations to display text for workers.

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