Posts tagged japan
Posts tagged japan
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.
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.
Elaine Kurtenbach, AP:
A volcanic eruption has raised a new island, according to earthquake experts and the Japanese coast guard.
Advisories from the coast guard and the Japan Meteorological Agency said the islet is about 660 feet in diameter. It is just off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands.
The approximately 30 islands are 620 miles south of Tokyo, and along with the rest of Japan are part of the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire.”
Colin: OH MY GOOOOOOD
This GIF is an edited version of a Japanese commercial for the telecom company SoftBank (translation on reddit). It’s part of the wildly popular “Shirato Family” series of commercials.
Edan Corkill wrote a long piece on the commercials for The Japan Times back in 2012. It’s a surprisingly good read, check it out.
Of course, I strongly prefer the GIF to the commercial. 8)
Continuing our statistically anomalous recent coverage of World War II here on Nullary Sources, here are Mari Yamaguchi and Malcolm Foster of the Associated Press talking about how a Japanese politician put his foot in his mouth the other day:
An outspoken Japanese politician apologized Monday for saying U.S. troops should patronize adult entertainment businesses as a way to reduce sex crimes, but defended another inflammatory remark about Japan’s use of sex slaves before and during World War II.
[Osaka Mayor Toru] Hashimoto said then that the practice of using women from across Asia to work in front-line brothels before and during World War II was necessary to maintain discipline and provide relaxation for soldiers. He added that on a recent visit to the southern island of Okinawa, he suggested to the U.S. commander there that his troops “make better use” of the legal sex industry “to control the sexual energy of those tough guys.”
Whoops! I can’t imagine how that wouldn’t have gone over smoothly.
A replica of Michelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture David that was erected suddenly last summer is unnerving residents of a Japanese town, with some calling for the naked masterpiece to be given underpants.
Okuizumo town in western Shimane prefecture received five-metre (16-foot) replicas of David and of Greek treasure the Venus de Milo, as donations from a businessman who hails from the area.
The statues were put up in a large public park that also includes a full-size running track, a baseball stadium, tennis courts, a mountain bike course and a play area with apparatus for children.
So two things about this story. #1, the obvious: hahaha those wacky people in Japan want to put pants on David, how silly what sillies they are
More importantly, this rich guy who isn’t even named in the story apparently purchased multiple replicas of David and just dropped them off in a park without telling anyone. Who even does that?
I totally missed this until now, but in 2010, Jake Adelstein, author of neato book Tokyo Vice, used his yakuza contacts for the noblest of purposes: reviewing the accuracy of SEGA’s video game Yakuza 3:
M: I like the fact that you power up by eating real food. Shio ramen gives you a lot of power — CC Lemon, not as much. It all makes sense.
S: The breaded pork cutlet bento box is like mega power. More than ramen. That’s accurate.
K: Kiryu is fighting all the time. He’s gotta be a fucking idiot. No yakuza is going to run around getting into fistfights like that. Especially not an executive type. He’ll wind up in jail or in the hospital or dead, maybe even whacked by his own people for being a troublemaker. These days, he’d probably get kicked out before even going to jail. Guys like that start gang wars and nobody wants that now. When a yakuza gets into a fight, it’s serious business.
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever read.
The All Japan Kasoh Grand-Prix is a recurring televised content in Japan where teams use costumes and props to act out a scene depicting a person or people, an object, an event, etc. This video is a compilation of the first 79 winners, starting from the competition’s event in 1979 and going to 2008.
If you’ve ever wondered where the bullet time ping-pong video is from, this is where. It won in 2003.
Chiune Sugihara was an awesome guy who was a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania during World War II.
Sympathetic to Jews who were trying to leave Lithuania after it was occupied by the Soviet Union, he took it upon himself to write thousand of exit visas for refugees, despite having orders from the Japanese Foreign Ministry to the contrary.
Sugihara continued to hand write visas, reportedly spending 18–20 hours a day on them, producing a normal month’s worth of visas each day, until 4 September, when he had to leave his post before the consulate was closed. By that time he had granted thousands of visas to Jews, many of whom were heads of households and thus permitted to take their families with them. On the night before their scheduled departure, Sugihara and his wife stayed awake writing out visa approvals. According to witnesses, he was still writing visas while in transit from his hotel and after boarding the train at the Kaunas Railway Station, throwing visas into the crowd of desperate refugees out of the train’s window even as the train pulled out.
In final desperation, blank sheets of paper with only the consulate seal and his signature (that could be later written over into a visa) were hurriedly prepared and flung out from the train.
What a badass.
Wonderful story about Japanese music collectors in The Wall Street Journal by Neil Shah:
For decades, Japan’s record shops have scoured the globe for records to feed the nation’s collectors. Employees of Japanese retailer Disk Union once spent $20,000 in a day at Nashville’s The Great Escape record store hunting for tunes including ones treasured by Japan’s soft-rock and easy-listening fans. With U.S. record stores closing, this focus on obscure music is making supply difficult to find—and fueling secretive competition.
Japan has surpassed the U.S. as the biggest seller of CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes, with 25.4% of global sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Tower Records Japan Inc.—which survived its U.S. parent’s closing in 2006—opens its 87th store this month.
Much of what the Japanese want goes for higher prices. Collectible artists in Japan include female pop singers like Patti Page, whose “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window” was a 1950s hit, and 1980s teen idol Debbie Gibson. A “Doggie” record-single goes for $5 in the U.S. and $30 in Japan, while Ms. Gibson’s LPs can fetch $200 on eBay. The Japanese “like sugary sweet pop,” collector Alec Palao says.
Japan is apparently all about the cheap crap that none of us care about any more.