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Posts tagged japan

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Japan volcano: at least 30 victims found near Mount Ontake peak

Justin McCurry, The Guardian:

At least 30 people are believed to have died near the peak of a volcano in central Japan that erupted without warning on Saturday, trapping scores of amateur climbers and covering a wide area with thick ash.

Police said rescuers had discovered more than 30 people suffering from heart and lung failure; official confirmation that the victims are dead won’t come until doctors have examined the bodies.

Absolutely terrible. The volcano, dormant for 35 years, has apparently been a popular hiking spot.

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For Japanese Linguist, A Long And Lonely Schlep

I don’t remember how I ended up on this, but here’s a 2012 article by Lucy Craft for NPR:

In Japan, a linguist has toiled quietly for decades to compile the world’s first Yiddish-Japanese dictionary — the first time the Jewish language has been translated into a non-European language other than Hebrew.

[Kazuo] Ueda made several trips to Israel, but most of his research was a lonely, solo affair. Isolated from actual speakers of the language, he taught himself, with the help of Yiddish newspapers and literature.

Ueda would later publish a series of books on the Jewish language and people, but he considers that a prelude to his magnum opus — the 1,300-page, 28,000-entry Idishugo Jiten, or Yiddish-Japanese dictionary, published several years ago. His publisher wouldn’t release details but conceded sales are most likely tiny for the dictionary, which costs more than $700.

Now only $600 on Amazon.co.jp!

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Hi Score Girl Halts Serialization After SNK's Copyright Charges

Anime News Network:

The editor-in-chief of Square Enix’s Monthly Big Gangan posted a message to its readers announcing that the magazine will temporarily halt serialization of Rensuke Oshikiri’s Hi Score Girl in light of alleged copyright violations. SNK Playmore had filed a complaint, asserting that the manga features over 100 instances of characters from The King of Fighters, Samurai Spirits (Samurai Shodown), and other fighting games owned by SNK. Police searched the publisher’s headquarters last Tuesday.

An SNK Playmore representative told ITmedia News that there were “absolutely no” requests or discussions by Square Enix to obtain consent to use SNK characters. The manga also uses characters from CAPCOM’s Street Fighter II, Sega’s Virtua Fighter, Namco’s Genpei Tōma Den, and other games. ITmedia News contacted CAPCOM, Sega, and Bandai Namco Games, and each one said that it gave formal consent for the manga to use its games’ characters.

That they properly licensed the other characters but not SNK’s is probably the most bizarre part of this story.

(In case you weren’t aware, Square Enix has a manga publishing division inherited from Enix, and they actually publish a lot.)

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Dominic Nahr took some photos for TIME at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered meltdowns in 2011 after being struck by tsunamis:

Japan, Okuma, 2014. A TEPCO worker stands inside the central control room of reactor 1 and 2. Both reactors overheated, causing meltdowns. The melt down in reactor 1 eventually led to a hydrogen explosion that released large amounts of radioactive material in the air.

There are some pretty neat photos in the set, but it’s all very harrowing. Three and a half years later and they’re still cleaning it up.

Dominic Nahr took some photos for TIME at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered meltdowns in 2011 after being struck by tsunamis:

Japan, Okuma, 2014. A TEPCO worker stands inside the central control room of reactor 1 and 2. Both reactors overheated, causing meltdowns. The melt down in reactor 1 eventually led to a hydrogen explosion that released large amounts of radioactive material in the air.

There are some pretty neat photos in the set, but it’s all very harrowing. Three and a half years later and they’re still cleaning it up.

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Goro Miyazaki to Direct Ronia the Robber's Daughter TV Anime

Anime News Network:

Goro Miyazaki (Tales from Earthsea, From Up On Poppy Hill) will direct a television anime adaptation of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter (Ronja Rövardotter) children’s fantasy book. The series, titled Sanzoku no Musume Ronia in Japan, will air on NHK and BS Premium this fall. POLYGON PICTURES (Knights of Sidonia, The Sky Crawlers) is animating the 3D CG series in collaboration with Studio Ghibli. The show will mark the first time that Miyazaki is directing a television anime series.

It’s also Ghibli’s first television series at all, so that’s cool.

Astrid Lindgren is best known for Pippi Longstocking.

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2 islands merge near Japan

CNN:

NASA’s Earth Observatory reports that Niijima island, a volcano which broke through the ocean’s surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last erupted 40 years ago.

Niijima emerged about 500 meters (550 yards) from the older Nishinoshima in November. Now, according to observations taken at the end of March, they are one, measuring about a kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) across.

They’ve got some airborne and satellite photos showing the progress of the merging.

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In the 1990s, Japanese sumo wrestling was fairly popular in Hawai’i. I don’t mean that sumo leagues cropped up around the state, but rather that we cared about professional sumo in Japan. The local news would even carry results from the major tournaments.

The reason was that several sumo wrestlers from the state were having success in Japan. The most notable of the lot were Konishiki, Akebono, and Musashimaru, and the latter two became the first two foreign-born wrestlers to reach the sport’s highest rank of yokozuna. We were really proud of what they were able to accomplish.

So anyway, here’s Konishiki rapping with Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on “Livin’ Like Kings,” off the 2000 album KMS.

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This is “TEMPEST,” the ending theme from Resident Evil: Director’s Cut Dual Shock Ver. This specific version of the game, a second release of the director’s cut remake, also included a new score by Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi. I’m an enormous fan of this piece of music, especially the part at 1:27 when the Resident Evil Big Band muscles in for a fifteen second performance.

Japan was rather stunned last week by Samuragochi’s admission that he’s been using a ghostwriter for almost twenty years. Martin Fackler reporting for The New York Times:

On Thursday, Japan learned that one of its most popular musical figures, Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, had staged an elaborate hoax in which someone else had secretly written his most famous compositions, and that he had perhaps even faked his hearing disability.

Across a nation long captivated by Western classical music, people reacted with remorse, outrage and even the rare threat of a lawsuit after Mr. Samuragochi’s revelations that he had hired a ghostwriter since the 1990s to compose most of his music. The anger turned to disbelief when the ghostwriter himself came forward to accuse Mr. Samuragochi of faking his deafness, apparently to win public sympathy and shape the Beethoven persona.

Takashi Niigaki, a composer and university lecturer who has conducted several pieces by Samuragochi, has come forth claiming to be the ghostwriter. His impetus to come clean now is that one of the pieces he wrote for Samuragochi, “Sonatina for Violin,” is the piece that figure skater Daisuke Takahashi will use for his short program at the Olympics. The Japanese Skating Federation will be stripping Samuragochi’s name from the program.

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Hiroo Onoda, Soldier Who Hid in Jungle for Decades, Dies at 91

Robert D. McFadden, The New York Times:

Hiroo Onoda, an Imperial Japanese Army officer who remained at his jungle post on an island in the Philippines for 29 years, refusing to believe that World War II was over, and returned to a hero’s welcome in the all but unrecognizable Japan of 1974, died on Thursday in Tokyo. He was 91.

Onoda’s is a bizarre story, if you haven’t heard it before.