Tag Archives | Japan

End Times Canines

AIBO

Whether your think artificial intelligence is fact or fiction, the beginning of a brave new world or the end of this one, for many of Japan’s robot dog owners, doomsday has already come in the form of the end of the production of their really remarkable canine companions. Here’s the lowdown from RT Daily News

AIBO pet dogs are the world’s first home entertainment robots with artificial intelligence (AI). They can speak, sense, and express their feelings – which encourages many owners to treat the toys as real family members. The gadgets are even known for developing their own unique personalities.

Many who bought the dog robots now feel abandoned by Sony, which canceled the production of AIBOs in 2006. The last tech clinic for the toys was closed in March 2014, creating a massive shortage of spare parts.

Sony sold more than 150,000 units between 1999 – when they were created – and 2006.Read the rest

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Princes of the Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy

Can central banks create booms and busts by manipulating the money supply? Do they do this in order to create a public consensus for economic, political, and social change? Professor Richard Werner, a monetary and development economist at the University of Southampton, says they can do this, and that they are doing this. This is what the Bank of Japan did in the 80s and 90s, and that is what the European Central Bank is doing at this very moment.

The documentary “Princes of the Yen” reveals how Japanese society was transformed to suit the agenda and desire of powerful interest groups, and how citizens were kept entirely in the dark about this. Professor Richard Werner was a visiting researcher at the Bank of Japan during the 90s crash, during which the stock market dropped by 80% and house prices by up to 84%. He experienced first hand how actors inside the Bank of Japan deliberately adopted policies to further an agenda contrary to the interest of the majority of Japanese society.… Read the rest

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Take it and Like it: Corporate America and the Manipulation of Public Opinion

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill by Mark Weiser at Dissident Voice:

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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