Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Know what this is? Its a link to this website in QR Code. All over Japan you see these. Magazines, posters, on packaging, etc. You scan it with your mobile phone camera and it will most likely bring you to a website. It can also be an address contact, message, or SMS (whatever that is).
I don't use them very much.
The Japanese have some crazy ass TV shows. I stumbled on the story of Nasubi the other day and couldn’t believe what I was reading.
Back in the pre-Y2K days of 1998 Japanese TV producers held an audition for a new show. A comedian named Nasubi (Japanese for eggplant) “won” the audition and was blindfolded and brought to a one room apartment somewhere in Tokyo. The apartment was stocked with a stack of magazines and a pile of postcards. Nasubi was told to strip naked and left with a cushion, a table, a small radio, a telephone, and some notebooks pens. He had no food.
Nasubi was told that in order to escape his prison he had to win a million Yen ($10,000) in prizes via magazine mail-in contests. This was also the only way he could eat- his first two weeks were without calories until he won some jelly in a contest (what kind of contest prize is jelly?).
Nasubi soon won a 5kg bag of rice but didn’t have anything to cook it with. He worked up a prison style cooking method using a cup of water and rice placed on the heater. He also won a TV set but didn’t have a cable or antennae. When he finally won a VCR the only videos he had were an exercise and cycling video.
The whole story is nucking futs. The guy was locked away for 15 months all by himself, forced into a starvation diet, and had his entire ordeal broadcast on TV and the internet. His diary became a best seller on the outside world.
At the end of his show Nasubi was placed in yet another small enclosed space, where out of force of habit he took off his clothes. Imagine the mindfuck he went through when the walls fell away and he found himself in front of a large studio audience, where he was finally told the details of what had happened to him over the past year and change.
Nasubi’s adventures makes Survivor seem pretty tame. Head over to the Quirky Japan Home Page to read the whole story, if anything it’s even stranger than I’ve been able to write here.
- from some website
Monday, December 22, 2008
This year I unfortunately wasn't invited by my schools due to certain reasons (nothing bad) but that doesn't mean I couldn't break one up at my local watering hole! At my favorite local bar there is an upstairs that is rarely used but this time is full with around 15 Japanese people. Some of them I knew, some I didn't. I took the oppotunity to go upstairs where I was treated like a C-list celebrity (not that uncommon). A bunch of Elvis loving Harley riders were a ton of fun and one girl stared at me for 5 hrs straight but I didn't let that get to me. Drinks and food up the wazoo! After an hour or two I had to check where I stood with my bar tab and Jun, the bartender/owner, said "$30, no, $20, no, $10." I couldn't go along with that but he stuck to it all night. And that's is what is exactly was. All night. Most of us were there until 9am. And only $10. I love Jun.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Some funky fortune telling device.
A gorgeous field of light
Miyagase lake/damn/tourist parking area/mountain place
Christmas Hello Kitty
I really like this photo
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Did you see that there is a remake of "They Day the Earth Stood Still?!" With Keanu Reeves?! UGH! I don't know when it opened in the States but it just got here.
I joined mixi, an invitation only, Japanese equivalent to Facebook or Myspace but with 10 times more users. I am officially %10 more Japanese now.
For the second time my smaller sized local watering hole owner told me this interesting snippet of Japanese history.
In Japanese there are countless "counters" for counting everything. In English, we say one second, one glass, one bird, one chopstick. In Japanese we say one (the initial number changes unexpectedly for each category) followed by some obscure counter. I won't go into it.
So, about 200 years ago, the head dude in Japan, not the emperor but some general, said it was illegal to eat animals not including birds and fish. Animals have a different "counter" than birds. So, a some guy decides to change the counter for rabbit to wa, the counter used for birds. Effectively defining rabbits as birds and allowing people to eat them. Interesting right?
Winter vaca is coming up and I have two weeks to do stuff. Christmas and New Years celebrations as Americans know it is pretty much non existant so I hope to do one of several things. One is buy a $100 train pass that allows 5 non-consecutive days of unlimited travel around Japan. This is an amazing deal and its quite easy (ie: cheap) to travel very far.
It's an option.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
While the others may have been disappointed, I enjoyed myself immensely with the luck I had.
My ride, the GTR: