Tag Archives | Japan

Japanese Media, Psychedelic Yokai, and Graphic Novels

My cinematic graphic novel TRETA-YUGA—the sequel to my breakout success KALI-YUGA—is now live on Kickstarter. In light of this, I thought I’d note the ways in which Eastern lore has profoundly influenced my work in graphic novels.

10537160_10152424194287267_5561809477058397587_o

From my original article at Reality Sandwich:

The Japanese have always had a distinct way of portraying supernatural encounters with otherworldly beings. The infiltration of J-horror into the stale domain of Hollywood was an early sign of amnesiac Westerners longing to learn of the old ways. Supernatural encounters with the other (often the demonic Yokai), in whatever horrific way they are experienced in media, is seen by the Japanese as a way of gleaning knowledge from forgotten ancestry and learning the delicate threads of fate. It is in these darkly psychedelic, shadow healing encounters with the Gods that mortals are forced to reconsider the meaning of time, matter, and being.

Scholar Noriko T.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tomb of Jesus Christ: Shingo, Japan

Tomb of Jesus Christ Photo by vera46 on Flickr | Copyright: Creative Commons

Tomb of Jesus Christ
Photo by vera46 on Flickr | Copyright: Creative Commons

via Atlas Obscura [Follow the link to read the rest and see more photos]:

The small village of Shingo in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture is known not only for its cattle ranches and yam production, but thanks to one rogue cosmoarcheologist the village is also home to the supposed Tomb of Jesus Christ.

According to apocryphal religious writings known as the Takenouchi Documents, it was not Jesus who was crucified on that bloody Golgotha, but in fact it was his younger brother, Isukiri. After being captured by the Romans, it is said that Jesus escaped by switching places with his younger brother, taking only a lock of the Virgin Mary’s hair and one of his brother’s ears while he fled to Japan. After settling down in Shingo, Jesus is said to have had three children with a local woman before dying of natural causes at the age of 106.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Japan’s Decision on Collective Self-Defense in Context

Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.com

Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.com

This article was brought to my attention by a Disinfonaut via the Contact Page.

via The Diplomat:

On July 1, Japan passed a Cabinet decision that fundamentally changes the interpretation of war-renouncing Article 9 of its Constitution to allow the exercise of the right of collective self-defense.

Claimed to be part of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s doctrine of “pro-active pacifism,” the move stems from a correlation between Japan’s rising nationalism on the one hand, and joint U.S.-Japan efforts to strengthen their security cooperation on the other, as Washington and Tokyo are renegotiating their defense guidelines for the first time since 1997. The revised guidelines are due by year-end, with an interim report slated to be released next week.

Proponents say the Cabinet decision provides only for a “limited” expansion of Japan’s military capability overseas and allows for a strengthened U.S.-Japan cooperation that will make the Asia Pacific region more secure.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Japan’s Self Defense Force and Its Propagandistic Recruitment Video

Screenshot of Japan's recruitment video.

Screenshot of Japan’s recruitment video.

Al Jazeera America analyzes Japan’s remilitarization and Shinzō Abe’s (Japan’s Prime Minister) propagandistic recruitment video with criticism and skepticism.

Dexter Thomas writes at Al Jazeera America:

In the past, Japan’s military has been reserved strictly for defence – hence its official title, the Self Defence Force (SDF). But thanks to this new reinterpretation of the constitution, the only thing that is necessary for military mobilisation is for one of Japan’s allies to be “attacked”. This is a scary prospect if we consider that Japan’s biggest ally is the US (and when we consider how many enemies the US has made over the past few years).

Perhaps the pros and cons of re-militarisation is a topic worth discussing. Unfortunately for the people of Japan, and of the East Asian region, this discussion has never occurred, as Abe’s administration is making the decision for them.

In response, there has been an unprecedented amount of opposition.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Japanese Man Self-Immolates In Protest of PM Abe’s Plans for Military Expansion, Japanese Media Ignores It Completely

man-shinjuku-self-immolate-burn-death-suicide-protest-collective-self-defense-3“Free media” my entire ass.  I walked into work here in Tokyo and neither the Danish fella I work with nor his Japanese wife had heard anything about a man self-immolating in downtown Tokyo,  despite it happening in the middle of the day at Shinjuku Station, possibly the busiest train station in the world.  This is likely because not a single major Japanese news service covered it at all.

Prime Minister Abe’s plan to revise Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which limits their military actions to a non-aggressive, purely defensive philosophy, is not really a new thing.  In the past, both the UN and the US have requested that Japan get themselves a “real” army (apparently the highest military budget in Asia doesn’t give you a “real” army), but massive protests from the populace have killed any efforts to do so.

There also hasn’t been any mention of the massive protests currently happening in the city yet.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Wearable Eyes Turn You Into Emotional Cyborg

Check out this very obtuse video for wearable cyborg eyes.

via Gizmodo

Invented by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa at Japan’s Tsukuba University, AgencyGlass takes the load off your facial muscles and the emotional centers of your brain with a Bluetooth computer and a pair of OLED displays. The built-in gyroscopes steer your fake eyes to coincide with your real head’s position (for instance, looking up with a thoughtful expression when you tilt your head back), and a shirt-pocket camera tracks the faces of the people around you to maintain polite, piercing (fake) eye contact.

 

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Japanese Revelers Celebrate the Penis This Month

Pic: CC

Pic: CC

It’s Kanamara Matsuri time in Japan – Huffington Post has a gallery of photos for your perusal… Via HuffPo:

Held this year on April 6, the festival is a celebration of the penis and fertility. People parade gigantic phallic-shaped mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) down the streets during the event, as revelers suck on penis lollipops, buy penis-themed memorabilia and pose with sculptures in the shape of — you guessed it — penises.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Nuisance Cat Guilty of Shoplifting and “Walking in an Aloof Manner’

1394321881-0If only those were the only things my irritable old tomcat were guilty of…

Via Neatorama

A 7-11 store in Kanto, Japan, has reached its limit over a known shoplifter. The store posted a sign with a picture of the perpetrator, a cat described as “three-apples-tall, black, and walks in an aloof manner.” The cat has been helping himself to cat food from the store for some time. The sign reads, in part:

We need your help
Please do not feed this cat.
It enters the store and shoplifts cat food.
We told the cat that it was banned from the store but it didn’t listen.
Thank you for your cooperation

Read the rest

Continue Reading

What Has Happened to the Tsunami Debris from Japan?

Pic: US NAVY (PD)

Pic: US NAVY (PD)

Via ScienceDaily:

The amount of debris in the ocean is growing exponentially, becoming more and more hazardous and harmful to marine life and therefore also to our ocean food source. Measuring and tracking the movements of such debris are still in their infancy. The driftage generated by the tragic 2011 tsunami in Japan gave scientists Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner a unique chance to learn about the effects of the ocean and wind on floating materials as they move across the North Pacific Ocean.

Shortly after the tsunami struck, Maximenko and Hafner used the IPRC Ocean Drift Model to predict where the debris from the tsunami would go. Their computer model is based on trajectories of real satellite-tracked drifting buoys and satellite-measured winds.

The model has now been charting the possible paths of the tsunami driftage for nearly 3 years. The scientists have made a major improvement to the initial model: it now accommodates objects of different shapes and buoyancies that expose different amounts of surface to the wind and travel at different speeds and different trajectories.

Read the rest
Continue Reading